Online retail store build.

somapop

Well-Known Member
Joined
8 Mar 2010
Messages
2,628
Hi.

I did a few photo's for a friend who owns her own clothes shop last year. I also built up a website for her (containing 6 or so pages linked to all her social media accounts, added brands, location maps, general info). It looks pretty decent for a non pro effort. This was using Wix so pretty straight forward really (no programming/coding required).
She's recently asked me if I could look into creating an online store for her shop, along the same lines as the website.
I've had a good look around and 'Shopfiy' stood out amongst them all. However, this requires a bit of knowledge of coding - she wanted something she could update herself (it would have to managed in house I guess - stock issues/new lines etc). I could possibly dip my brain into and give it a go, but I don't currently have the time to learn it...and I'm pretty certain she would more than struggle to update it herself (to update photo's (of stock) takes a bit of coding jiggery pokery).
I've contemplated taking time out to learn a bit of coding, perhaps a bit of night school (possibly as a career change consideration?)
I do the odd bit in root on my computer (for Vortexbox and XBMC and the odd website coding) but not enough to build a fully running web shop. I think the risks involved would require this to be managed professionally. Possibly why it costs in the region of 3-4k for an online shop site.
Her shop is doing well, so I wouldn't want her to p*ss potential customers off with an amateur shop site running snags and possibly even fraud from her customers accounts. Most of the decent web shop build sites seem to require a fair bit of coding knowledge....and she isn't particularly tech savvy,

Best advice? Ask to make a decision if it's worth (at the moment) paying out 3-4k for a pro shop site? Customers are asking if they can buy online. Not sure eBay is the direction she wants to go either (she works with a lot of branded clothing).

Cheers.
 

steviemc

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Joined
3 Aug 2011
Messages
2,854
Location
Bedlam
somapop said:
Hi.

I did a few photo's for a friend who owns her own clothes shop last year. I also built up a website for her (containing 6 or so pages linked to all her social media accounts, added brands, location maps, general info). It looks pretty decent for a non pro effort. This was using Wix so pretty straight forward really (no programming/coding required).
She's recently asked me if I could look into creating an online store for her shop, along the same lines as the website.
I've had a good look around and 'Shopfiy' stood out amongst them all. However, this requires a bit of knowledge of coding - she wanted something she could update herself (it would have to managed in house I guess - stock issues/new lines etc). I could possibly dip my brain into and give it a go, but I don't currently have the time to learn it...and I'm pretty certain she would more than struggle to update it herself (to update photo's (of stock) takes a bit of coding jiggery pokery).
I've contemplated taking time out to learn a bit of coding, perhaps a bit of night school (possibly as a career change consideration?)
I do the odd bit in root on my computer (for Vortexbox and XBMC and the odd website coding) but not enough to build a fully running web shop. I think the risks involved would require this to be managed professionally. Possibly why it costs in the region of 3-4k for an online shop site.
Her shop is doing well, so I wouldn't want her to p*ss potential customers off with an amateur shop site running snags and possibly even fraud from her customers accounts. Most of the decent web shop build sites seem to require a fair bit of coding knowledge....and she isn't particularly tech savvy,

Best advice? Ask to make a decision if it's worth (at the moment) paying out 3-4k for a pro shop site? Customers are asking if they can buy online. Not sure eBay is the direction she wants to go either (she works with a lot of branded clothing).

Cheers.

There's a lot of work involved in creating a professional fully functioning e-commerce website from scratch. it's not the most difficult task but it's really time consuming to get everything running smoothly - particularly with merchandise like clothing, as you're dealing with lots of variations on a product - styles/sizes/colours etc.

One of the main benefits to online selling is attracting new customers, and even after learning and implementing search engine optimisation (mainly Google and Bing) it'll still probably end up hidden on page 4O+ of the main search engines and therefore unlikely to be seen than more than a handful of potential customers. If the focus is mainly to direct current customers towards purchasing online I really would suggest going the Ebay route, until such time that either yourself or the owner can devote many hours to the task.

Rather than paying a premium for someone to design a website from scratch, there are opportunities to purchase existing websites that are already configured to sell retail clothing (together with payment gateway and e-commerce systems already implemented). This should be a far cheaper alternative and these are usually offered by people who are no longer trading. The likelihood is that their business was unsuccessful, however this shouldn't really be an issue as you'd be purchasing the pre-configured website content and overwriting it with your new product details, pictures etc. Amending and updating a pre-configured website usually requires nothing more than basic knowledge of a file-transfer program html editor.
 

somapop

Well-Known Member
Joined
8 Mar 2010
Messages
2,628
Hi Stevie - apologies - missed your reply.

I think the main issue is time. The owner is more of a friend of my missus, so I don't see her that often. I think if this was my company (and I was selling online) I would take the time to develop and and learn the bit of coding required to get an e-commerce site running. I know a guy who sells audio/computer equipment online and the amount of work required to set up and manage his website is phenomenal (and he's very tech savvy). Aside from the daily twitter/FB updates she herself isn't au fait with tech. Even the Wix site I set up (which is pretty easy, but with good results) she might find a bit tricky. Therefore I'd have to suggest she really thinks about whether she currently needs an e-commerce site (she does get asked by customers).
Not quite sure she would like the ebay route as there might be conflicts with the clothing brands she used (delicate relationships it seems).

She quite likes the oi polloi site http://www.oipolloi.com - looks quite simple...but, a tonne of work to get all the stock online, never mind updating with new stock, photo's, sizing, costing etc.

Have you seen the Shopify examples? They provide templates (very good ones) but then it still requires basic coding experience (it's a bit removed from working on designs in Photoshop/After Effects/Final Cut). This is where I hit a bit of a brick wall when looking into it. I'd have to devote too much time to get it running (and picking up the coding) to make it worthwhile. Shopify offer (at a cost) designers to step in and set it up. Possibly not as much as the 3-4k it would cost to start from scratch, but I'd hazard a guess it would't be cheap.

I guess I'm just trying to advise her of the best options. Worth emailing Shopfiy and getting a price for one of their designers/engineers to work from a template?
Your mention of purchasing pre existing sites is interesting (would that be different to the like of shopify and it's set of templates?).

Many thanks stevie.
 

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