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Overview of ecommerce solutions

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Overview of Ecommerce Solutions. Topics include requirements, general solution approaches, deciding on a direction, an cost expectations. Platforms discussed include WordPress, Magento, Drupal Commerce, BigCommerce, Shopify, others.

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Overview of ecommerce solutions

  1. 1. ©2015 Eric Landmann, Earthling Interactive, Madison, WI Overview of Ecommerce Solutions By Eric Landmann Project Manager / Lead Ecommerce Developer Earthling Interactive   Madison, WI USA
  2. 2. ©2015 Eric Landmann, Earthling Interactive, Madison, WI About Earthling Total Staff: 30+ Avg Experience: 7.5 years # Staff > 8 years Experience: 10+ # Staff > 5 years with Earthling: 8 Well-Rounded Developers/Computer Scientists, DBAs, UI Designers, Business Analysts, Statistics Current Clients From Small to Enterprise, local to international Have built > 35 ecommerce sites
  3. 3. ©2015 Eric Landmann, Earthling Interactive, Madison, WI Outline GENERAL APPROACHES Software as a Service      (SaaS, or Hosted Solution) Build It Yourself – or with a developer (Self-Hosted) A FEW EXAMPLES REQUIREMENTS Storefronts, Design Catalog (Products and Categories) Customers and Orders Shipping, Checkout Hosting, Business Considerations DECIDING ON A DIRECTION Platform Trends Comparison of Platforms to Solutions Find the Soultion COST EXPECTATIONS What does all this cost?
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  21. 21. ©2015 Eric Landmann, Earthling Interactive, Madison, WI Let’s talk about requirements…. What do you want your site to do?
  22. 22. ©2015 Eric Landmann, Earthling Interactive, Madison, WI Storefront Do you want more than one storefront (multiple stores or websites or different URLs)? Design Do you want a custom design? What sort of design features do you want? –Social media integration, video, product information –Upsells, crosssells, shipping or CRM integration Do you want the design to be different for any storefront/ category/product? Are there any areas of the site that should be protected from the typical shopper? Requirements
  23. 23. ©2015 Eric Landmann, Earthling Interactive, Madison, WI Catalog (Products and Categories) Approximately how many products? Approximately how many categories? What sort of product options are needed? size / color / packaging / pickup Do you need gift certificates? Do you have any virtual products (software, coupons, gift certs)? Do you want to track inventory? Are there pricing breaks (tier pricing)? Do you want related products or upsell products? How would you like to sort categories? List / grid Filter by category / attribute / options Show product options as images (i.e. colors)? Requirements
  24. 24. ©2015 Eric Landmann, Earthling Interactive, Madison, WI Customers and Orders What is your customer profile, who do you sell to? Is there more than one customer group? Do different customer groups have special pricing? Do you need wholesale pricing different from retail? Is there an ERP or accounting system that needs to be fed order and customer data? Do you need any discounts or promotions (free shipping, $20 discount, etc.)? Are there any special customer order identifiers that needs to be used (e.g. customer number)? Requirements
  25. 25. ©2015 Eric Landmann, Earthling Interactive, Madison, WI Shipping Which shipping methods do you use (common carrier, USPS, FedEx, UPS, table rates)? Do you dropship from warehouses? Are there any products that don't fit normal shipping rates? Are there any special shipping requirements (such as handling fees, no delivery to certain areas)? Do you have stores or locations that need to be listed and found? Requirements
  26. 26. ©2015 Eric Landmann, Earthling Interactive, Madison, WI Checkout Do you want one-page checkout? Do you want checkout discounts (e.g. "buy 1 get 1" or "x% off order")? Do you have a credit card gateway (e.g. AuthorizeNet or PayPal) and merchant account? Do you want special messaging on the checkout page? Requirements
  27. 27. ©2015 Eric Landmann, Earthling Interactive, Madison, WI Hosting Do you have an existing site that is being replaced? Do you have a preferred hosting provider? Do you have a Google Analytics account? Who is the domain registrar? Requirements
  28. 28. ©2015 Eric Landmann, Earthling Interactive, Madison, WI Business Considerations If you have an existing website, and are you willing to switch platforms if necessary? What is your timeframe? What is your budget? What resources can you commit? How many transactions do you expect (really...)? Do you need to connect to an accounting or ERP system (Quickbooks, Great Plains, Salesforce)? Requirements
  29. 29. ©2015 Eric Landmann, Earthling Interactive, Madison, WI General Approaches Software as a Service (SaaS, or Hosted Solution) Signing up with an “all-in-one” solution Build It Yourself (Self-Hosted) Using a designer and/or developer to work with an open-source platform
  30. 30. ©2015 Eric Landmann, Earthling Interactive, Madison, WI Characteristics • Platform name recognition • Signup and get going • Nothing to install or download • More-or-less predictable pricing • Support is usually online forums, ticketing or chat Examples Demandware Yahoo Store Volusion Miva Merchant BigCommerce Shopify Software as a Service
  31. 31. ©2015 Eric Landmann, Earthling Interactive, Madison, WI Advantages • More-or-less predictable pricing • Get going quickly • Less long-term commitment • Generally cheaper in the short-run • Can accommodate big spikes in traffic (scalable) Disadvantages • Limited design possibilities • Long-term usually prohibitively expensive • Black box code (can't change it) • Can be hard to determine exactly how features work • If your requirements don't fit, you're out of luck • Little/no developer-level access, or must work with “certified” devs • Support can be a challenge • You don’t own • Might be difficult to connect to your gateway/merchant account Software as a Service
  32. 32. ©2015 Eric Landmann, Earthling Interactive, Madison, WI Characteristics • Ranges from all-DIY to project to one with substantial developer involvement • Typically done with an open-source platform • Generally it's wide open for features • Moderate startup cost • Platform and developer choice are critical for success • Personal relationship with a real person (meet face-to-face) Examples WooCommerce Magento opencart Prestashop Drupal Commerce osCommerce Build it Yourself
  33. 33. ©2015 Eric Landmann, Earthling Interactive, Madison, WI Advantages • Several excellent open-source frameworks • Very rich and well-evolved feature set • Code is free (free as in a puppy) or very inexpensive • Large mindshare among developers • Generally good documentation • Design flexibility • Extensible – Get exactly the features you want • Depending upon requirements, can be very cost-effective • You own it Disadvantages • Learning curve can be steep • More decisions to be made, requirements are key • It's the Wild West • Cost can be unpredictable or vary hugely • There is some degree of ongoing expense (can be a benefit) Build it Yourself
  34. 34. ©2015 Eric Landmann, Earthling Interactive, Madison, WI Tip #1 Look at the requirements! (you did those, right?) If you don’t pay attention to them, a bad experience is guaranteed Deciding on a Direction
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  36. 36. ©2015 Eric Landmann, Earthling Interactive, Madison, WI Platform Comparison – SaaS Platform Initial Codebase Hosting Admin Experience Level Bandwidth Limits Demandware Quoted Quoted High Quoted Yahoo Store 0 $69/mo Low No Volusion 0 $85/mo Medium Yes Miva Merchant 0 $79/mo Medium No BigCommerce Low $80/mo Medium No Shopify 0 $79/mo Medium No
  37. 37. ©2015 Eric Landmann, Earthling Interactive, Madison, WI Platform Comparison – Self-Hosted Platform Initial Codebase Cost Initial Development Cost Hosting Type Hosting Cost Admin Experience Level WooCommerce ~$200 Low Shared $15–30 Low Magento 0 Med-High Virtual Server $90– $250 High opencart 0 Low Shared $15–30 Medium Prestashop 0 Low Shared $15–30 Medium Drupal Commerce 0 Med-High Virtual Server $30–90 High osCommerce 0 Low Shared $15–30 Medium
  38. 38. ©2015 Eric Landmann, Earthling Interactive, Madison, WI A Word about Open-Source Solutions WordPress Magento Drupal
  39. 39. ©2015 Eric Landmann, Earthling Interactive, Madison, WI Finding the Solution Get out the requirements… Pay attention to these:       1. Feature set – does it do what you want? If not, what will it cost to develop or add that feature?       2. Design – Do you need a custom design, can you use a stock template with modification?       3. Codebase – Is it open-source, or proprietary?       4. Total project cost – Get a quote on development Ignore these:       1. Free setup fees. Has very little relevance if your site doesn’t have the correct feature set       2. Hosting cost. It is trivial in the long-run and if self-hosted, can be controlled.
  40. 40. ©2015 Eric Landmann, Earthling Interactive, Madison, WI Cost Expectations
  41. 41. ©2015 Eric Landmann, Earthling Interactive, Madison, WI References BuiltWith http://builtwith.com/ecommerce/ http://trends.builtwith.com/shop WooCommerce http://www.woothemes.com/woocommerce/ Magento http://www.magentocommerce.com/ Demandware https://www.demandware.com/ Yahoo Store https://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/ecommerce/compare-plans Volusion http://www.volusion.com/hosting-plans-pricing Miva Merchant http://www.miva.com/ecommerce-hosting BigCommerce https://www.bigcommerce.com/pricing/ Shopify http://www.shopify.com/pricing Earthling Interactive http://www.earthlinginteractive.com
  42. 42. ©2015 Eric Landmann, Earthling Interactive, Madison, WI Questions? Eric Landmann landmann@earthlinginteractive.com Twitter: iteratews    LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/elandmann

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