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Online shoping center, where to start

Posted on 2014-02-10
Medium Priority
1 Endorsement
Last Modified: 2015-12-30
we would like to developp a virtual shoping center, like the real one: people can resnt an online space, display there products and shoppers would look around to find the products they are looking for (maybe like Amazone or Ebay, but much more real).
Here are the vag specifacations:

- The store owner can have the choice of the user entering is store and showing only is products (he has a url that le the shoper only shop in is store).
- There is a main search for stores or products of all stores.
- a user can buy from one or many stores if he/she wishes.
- The store owner could have a customized store:
        - Each store could have is own theem and art design work
        - Each store could have is own "vitrine" where he puts the products on the first page.
Some kind of an online fleemarket.

Some how, it would be interesting if people won't be able to purchase anything on saterday.

We mainly develop in c# and we are interested to find many module that we can integrate and developp bridges, hopefully in asp.net MVC. We thaught of nopCommerce, but, appreantly, the multi store options does not have an option where each store owner canot see each other orders.
Question by:ymazal_ca
LVL 24

Expert Comment

ID: 39847370
I always liked Actinic as it produces SEO friendly pages.
LVL 54

Accepted Solution

Scott Fell,  EE MVE earned 1500 total points
ID: 39847714
>where to start
There are not going to be any off the shelf shopping carts that will do what you want.  You will have to create your mall and back end on your own.  

Before you build, I would start with a little research.  Then build.
Is there a need for this?
Who is the target business you will attract? (large, small, retail, service etc.
What is the compelling reason for a virtual business to pay you rent vs a campaign of SEO/Inbound, PPC, PR and traditional advertising
>There is a main search for stores or products of all stores.
Why would somebody need to use this service rather than using google or bing?
How much money and resources will you need to put into marketing and advertising in order to attract people to pay rent in your mall?
How much money are "stores" willing to pay? and on what basis? (Will it compare to a ppc campaign?)
>Some how, it would be interesting if people won't be able to purchase anything on saterday Have you thought this through?  Since this is the internet, it is open 24hrs.  Closing down 1 day a week in the virtual world is much different then closing down a brick and mortar shop for special reasons.  http://www.hobbylobby.com/ is open 24hrs virtually but their physical stores are not open on Sunday.  You could easily have banners on your site for Saturday disclaiming the site will not have customer service available and leave it up to individual "renters" if they want to stay "open" or not.
What is the plan to integrate shopping and payments? Will stores have to add all of their products or will there be an automated system?  Or can they just link to their own site that already has all of their products?  When items are purchased, are stores using your merchant account or their own

I think the easiest way to go about this is to simply give the look and fee of a mall, and make the individual stores a simple landing page that redirect back to their own site.  If you are targeting businesses that do not have their own online shopping, your system could be their cart.  But I would suggest offering the ability to integrate with their own site.

If you look at other hosted solutions like  http://www.3dcart.com, the main difference is they are not advertising all of their users.  

What you could do is use http://www.opencart.com/ and for each store, create a subdomain that simply ads a new instance of open cart.  Now your people can manage the store on their own with little coding on your end.  I would create some scripting that will create the subdomain and install this with some default parameters though.

On your home page, create the the look and feel of a mall where entering each store goes to the instance of open cart.

Good Luck

Expert Comment

by:Ramesh M
ID: 41389625
If you want to start an eCommerce store business then you should follow few things.

1. Decide on the products that you would like to sell
2. Figure out if you want to build the website in-house or outsource it to a technology company
3. If you plan to build it in-house, there are two options - either hire a tech person or use some already available templates. We built it on Contus
4. Choose a design / theme and start writing content that will go on the website
5. You will also need high quality images to go on the website along the content
6. While you are writing the content, it is a good time to get started for On-Page SEO. Hire a SEO expert and word your content accordingly
7. When the website is almost on the verge of getting ready, initiate discussions with a payment gateway company and a logistics company
8. Finalize the plan best suited for you both for payment gateway and logistics
9. Simultaneously, also speak to a packaging company to figure out the right packaging for your products
10. That's it, you are good to go. Start marketing and bringing your customers to your website

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