Shopping · Mobile

Recommendation for shopping platform integration (web and mobile)

Eric Dillon

November 19th, 2013

Hi All,

I'm building a shopping site, but don't want to build the underlying shopping platform.
Any recommendation for a solid, scalable, reasonably priced shopping platform?

I will need to have a web front and a mobile front, for which I'll want tight control through an API.

Any recommendation?

Devon Read Founder & CEO of Blockchain Technology Group

November 19th, 2013

Shoplify is a great Ecommerce platform and they recently released a mobile pos platform as well. Check em out. -

Jake Carlson Software Development Manager at Oracle

November 20th, 2013

Anthony,

I agree with some of what you said, but having produced websites using Shopify, various standalone PHP shopping carts, and Wordpress plugin shopping carts myself, I think there are a few things I want to clarify:

First, of course Shopify websites can be on their own custom domain. One need only look at the example websites or read the docs to know this. How good a job Shopify does with regards to SEO analytics vs. Wordpress with your preferred SEO plugin may be open for debate, but Shopify does have all the basic SEO bases covered.

I do agree that 3rd party hosted services make business owners reliant on the service provider for core updates / bug fixes. However, this is also true with 3rd party off-the-shelf plugins. The difference is that the business owner can choose to have a developer fix issues with the software themselves or opt to upgrade / downgrade at a time of their choosing. This difference is true only for core shopping cart functions as the UI can be updated at will with Shopify and other similar hosted services. And you better believe that these services will fix a core shopping cart bug ASAP as it is their bread and butter. Hosted monthly services must keep providing consistent and timely support or customers will leave. If you make a one-time purchase of an off-the-shelf plugin, the developers don't necessarily have a strong incentive to support the software.

The developer pool for any given platform is indeed important to consider, and I agree that you can't go wrong there with Wordpress. Most of my work involves WP and I highly recommend it to most clients. However, I also believe in using the right tool for the job and that each case is different. If a client came to me and said that they want a content-driven website and a shopping cart as a side feature for a few products, I would probably recommend WP. If, however, the site's core function is ecommerce, and especially if the features they would like are more advanced, I may not recommend WP in their case. If someone just wants a quick ecommerce website to test out their idea with minimal development effort, services like Shopify are the way to go. The upfront costs are minimal, especially if they use an existing theme. Having a UI developer make a custom theme would be cheaper than setting up a WP site with an ecommerce plugin and custom theme.

So again, it really just depends on what the details of what the OP wants to do, and I agree that future plans should factor into it. But proving the product in the market need not involved a lot of custom development up front, and I am hesitant to offer a catch-all solution when I don't even know the problem.

Jake




Anthony Zeoli Digital Strategy and WordPress Consultant and Trainer

November 20th, 2013

Good points, Jake, Generally speaking, if I'm talking to an "entrepreneur," I'm going to assume that that person is interested in building out their own platform and not relying on SaaS solutions to build their business on. If it were, say, a non profit that just wanted to sell a few T-Shirts, then Shopify is a great solution. Agreed that the larger the project, the right tool for the job is a necessity. WordPress with a shopping cart plugin does rely on 3rd party as well, but you can always break away from that and take the shopping tools and modify them yourself without having to be reliant on that 3rd party. There are times, like when WP Ecommerce changed their plugin to reflect advances with custom post types, that the new system broke the old one, causing deep pain points with all who relied on it. One of my customers is still on the old version of WP Ecommerce, prior to that migration and he still has yet to spend on the upgrade. It still works, but I'm sure it's full of holes and now is no longer supported, so that's a problem. Given what Eric responded with - a customized portal where vendors have their own login and can add products to the ecommerce system as well as derive revenue from that system...well, that's definitely a larger ask, because any system you use you're going to have to build a members roles type application inside of it to allow that type of access. Usually these tools are built so when they are installed, a single vendor is running the experience. There may be some tools for Joomla, Drupal, WordPress or Magento that can convert your e-commerce experience and advance it into this realm, but I would think that from the requirements, there's going to be some level of custom programming no matter which way you go. Tony Zeoli, Founding Partner WordPress | Digital Strategy | IA & UxD 810 W. 4th St, #309, Winston-Salem NC 27101 ✉ az@digitalstrategyworks.com | Visit Our Site ☎ 917.705.4700 My profiles: [image: Facebook] [image: Twitter] [image: LinkedIn] Contact me: [image: Google Talk] djtonyz [image: Skype] tonyzeoli More words: We’ve got a new skin!

Alastair Trueger @500 Startups Founder & International Biz Dev

November 19th, 2013

Shopify's not too awful. Sent from my iPhone

Michael Salera Software Craftsman

November 19th, 2013

Anything but Magento, unless you have an army of PHP developers available to customize it.

Yousef Janajri

November 19th, 2013

Have you checked out Shopify? - Sent from Mailbox for iPhone

Anthony Zeoli Digital Strategy and WordPress Consultant and Trainer

November 20th, 2013

Eric, I believe that you can still do this with any CMS that provides for shopping functionality, however, it sounds like that system would have to expanded to either generate custom stores for each vendor (a WordPress multisite network with WP-Ecommerce, Shoppe, or WooCommerce could certainly provide this framework) or have a combined experience where you would have to write or modify a member roles system, giving vendors access to the main shopping site, push their products into categories, give them their own "stores" within the store and allow for couponind and other things. This certainly is not something I would do with Shopify. In fact, what you're really trying to build* IS SHOPIFY*, LOL. So, ruling out doing this as a software as a service and this has to go on an e-commerce CMS with customizations to allow for multiple vendors with their own sites or multiple vendors inside a single site with custom rules around each vendor who can then set sale price, variation, coupons and feature content on their front end store pages. Do you have your business requirements fully flushed out or do you need a strategist to help you define your requirements and point you in the right direction? Lastly, you could build a custom CMS yourself to do this on any PHP framework, like Zend. You could also build it on Rails, I'm sure. It all depends on the requirements. I leave out .net and java, because they are not open source and I don't operate in that world, but I'm sure there are ASP and JSP solutions that could suit your needs as well. Most start-ups can't afford that spend though. Tony Zeoli, Founding Partner WordPress | Digital Strategy | IA & UxD 810 W. 4th St, #309, Winston-Salem NC 27101 ✉ az@digitalstrategyworks.com | Visit Our Site ☎ 917.705.4700 My profiles: [image: Facebook] [image: Twitter] [image: LinkedIn] Contact me: [image: Google Talk] djtonyz [image: Skype] tonyzeoli More words: We’ve got a new skin!

Duane Nickull Chief Marketing Officer, Co-Founder at Cheddar Labs

November 20th, 2013

Eric:

My company has done eComm for SpeakOut 7-11, Purdy's Chocolates, AmericanEHR, Fairmont Hot Springs and many more sites.  It would be a pleasure to offer our services for you at startup rates.  If you are interested, please ping me via DM or email to duane at nickull dot net.

Alastair Trueger @500 Startups Founder & International Biz Dev

November 19th, 2013

Avoid anything touched by SAP... Sent from my iPhone

Anonymous

November 20th, 2013

Shopify?