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online store options

Posted on 2015-02-24
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Last Modified: 2015-03-01
Greetings Experts,
What are the options for setting up an online store selling specialist high end products.  
It would need to be very straightforward to set up and have good high quality templates. It will be a UK site so usual card payment options.

Any guidance really appreciated. SJ
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Question by:sunny-j
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Joe Winograd, EE MVE earned 250 total points
ID: 40628485
I'm working on setting up an online store to sell software and other digital downloads. The research I've done so far has led me to Shopify:
http://www.shopify.com/

I don't see why it wouldn't work for "specialist high end products". There are many plugins in their App Store:
https://apps.shopify.com/

And a wide variety of third-party Themes (templates) if you're not happy with the built-in ones:
https://themes.shopify.com/

I think it's worth a look for you. I've exchanged many emails with them and they have been extremely responsive and helpful:
support@shopify.com

As a disclaimer, I want to emphasize that I have no affiliation with this company and no financial interest in it whatsoever. Regards, Joe
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by:Lucas Bishop
Lucas Bishop earned 250 total points
ID: 40628647
I'm most familiar with US based hosted ecommerce platforms. Of those, I prefer Shopify and BigCommerce. However, I'm not aware of their ability to accommodate UK businesses. Specifically:

1.) VAT
2.) UK Credit Card Processors/Merchant Account
3.) International shipping carrier integration (royal mail?)
3.) Hosting in the UK

Obviously #1, #2 & #3 are likely roadblocks for any system you choose, if they aren't able to accommodate your needs.

With #4, the load time of the site will be influenced by where it is hosted. If the UK is your target market, you'll want to be sure the platform is hosted in the UK for the fastest load times. Slow load times lead to abandonment.

The one platform I see mentioned the most in eCom circles within the UK is:
http://www.bluepark.co.uk/

Bringing up the rear:
http://www.actinic.co.uk/
https://www.ekmpowershop.com/
http://www.actinic.co.uk/
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Author Comment

by:sunny-j
ID: 40639002
Thank you both for helpful comments, kind regards
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LVL 51

Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 40639013
You're welcome, SJ. Good luck with your store! I hope you sell lots of products. Cheers, Joe
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