Best e-Commerce for Physical Products?

by mirsh
17 replies
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Whats the best platform to use for physical products?

I´m currently setting up a Skate shop in the south of spain and in need of an online website.

I have experience with wordpress and website design but never an official e-commerce site.

Ive checked shopify but it seems pricey and just doesnt convince me much.
Woocommerce seems the one to go for but reallly tecnical if i want to design it myself and get my desired site?


What would you recommened? Or even something completely different.

Thanks!
#ecommerce #physical #products
  • Profile picture of the author Splatterfox
    Shopify is pricey? You pay 30$ a month for a complete shopsystem with high usability and responsive design. Trust me, if you don't know what you are doing it will be a lot easier than WooCommerce for example. WooCommerce requires some additional plugins most of the times, which cost something as well, while you can start a Shopify store with free plugins only.

    So my advise is to use Shopify, its also perfectly fine for physical products and depending on your plan you may get shipping discounts as well
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  • Profile picture of the author Capaly
    The nice thing about the combination of WordPress and WooCommerce is that it's free.
    You don't have to be a program coder to get started and if you're stuck there is a huge community that is willing to help you out.
    I use the template Storefront of WooCommerce. It's really great and acts amazing on all devices.
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  • Profile picture of the author Micah Frost
    Honestly.... i've been in e-comm for a long time, and the platform i ALWAYS go back to, is magento...

    for one, it's absolutely free, unless you pay for support or the commercial one.

    for 2, I am a programmer, i'm tech savvy, i'm hands on, and i love being able to go and tweak things. like..... shopping cart procedures, or various other things. it's hard to explain, but, the way shopify and other carts MUST work, is "general"..... they have to have something for everyone, not everything for someone. so, with paid shopping carts of any type, you will ALWAYS miss very important features that you cannot live without, and may end up shaping your entire business around what it is missing.

    I haven't used shopify specifically, but there was another cart i was forced to use once, and we had to have like 6 different excel spreadsheets to process orders properly, because we had so many products on the website (4.6 million actually, and no exaggeration (part of that was literally every available OEM part for every motorcycle made from 1980 to 2011 by large manufacturers) which means that 1 person, could order products from 2 to 6 even 8 different vendors! so we had to have different spread sheets for each vendor, different spread sheets for order numbers and products they ordered, and bins in the warehouse where pieces would go when they showed up until eventually, the entire order was there and could be shipped out, etc etc etc.

    We then moved to magento, because i already had experience with it....... of course, we did have to program in some things, but, it took care of everything we needed.

    HOWEVER... you do not HAVE to code, or change things, or develop plugins. it comes with almost everything you could ever need, and tons of free plugins, and a good support community. but you can't just pick up the phone and call magento like you can shopify, unless you pay for support.

    Another UP SIDE to magento.... let's say you REALLY take off, and start making tons of money, start growing and expanding etc. you'll want magento.

    Let's put it this way... WALMART... LOWES.. HOME DEPOT.. etc... all magento. not shopify....

    and, if you get to that point, you can always hire a developer to alter things that you need, as you need them and customize it. you can't do that with shopify or any paid cart system.

    the DOWNSIDE to magento, is that you need a good server to run it. you can't just get cheap 1$ hosting and expect it to run, or even install. I would never install it on anything less than a VPS. but.. it can handle hundreds of thousands of products right out of the box limited only by your server. which means talking to your supplier, getting the CSV file from them for their catalog, (or API access) and entering the ENTIRE catalog into your website automatically, with a few clicks of a few buttons... then all you had to do is add photos if their API doesn't do it for you. hence... 4.6 million products on our website. granted, it did take us a few weeks to do that... imagine doing that manually.

    but... if you have maybe 20 skateboard decks, a few types of wheels, and maybe 6 different trucks, it may not be worth using magento. but, with that small of an inventory, shopify may be too expensive to make it worth it, and maybe ebay is a better way to go. or amazon... or all three....

    Just my $0.02
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    • Profile picture of the author Acornia
      Originally Posted by Micah Frost View Post

      Honestly.... i've been in e-comm for a long time
      The people on these forums write such rubbish. Walmart use ATG, Home Depot & Lowes use Websphere. If you go to Magento website you can see their success stories, no major names and the odd one they do have, Magento is used to run a small subsite, not the main store. No enterprise company will touch Magento.

      It takes 1second per product to upload at a minimum which is 53days, but that's on servers costing $5,000 to $10,000/mth and even that's unrelistic. If you switch off indexing with that many products it breaks, Magento EE is better but a realistic number is 1million products per month and that's using onboarding tools.

      So it's just middleman upselling rubbish, because we know the people via via who speak with Walmart consulting companies, deal with the top multi-nationals in the world, and Magento is quite useless at these levels. Now, Magento has its moments but it's not necessary for a small skateboard company WooCommerce is fine. Shopify has nice themes but your locked in to their platform, find it's better for fashion boutiques who are more business focused whereas skateboads you have a little more flexibility with WooCommerce.

      If the OP needs it can provide some contact details, if they ask the people that know may just provide a WooCommerce Amazon AMI which they can run free hosting for 12mths via AWS. 4.6million products in Magento in 2-3weeks, they're counting variations, that's not a product, honestly the stupidity.
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      • Profile picture of the author CampChick
        Originally Posted by Acornia View Post

        The people on these forums write such rubbish. Walmart use ATG, Home Depot & Lowes use Websphere. If you go to Magento website you can see their success stories, no major names and the odd one they do have, Magento is used to run a small subsite, not the main store. No enterprise company will touch Magento.

        It takes 1second per product to upload at a minimum which is 53days, but that's on servers costing $5,000 to $10,000/mth and even that's unrelistic. If you switch off indexing with that many products it breaks, Magento EE is better but a realistic number is 1million products per month and that's using onboarding tools.

        So it's just middleman upselling rubbish, because we know the people via via who speak with Walmart consulting companies, deal with the top multi-nationals in the world, and Magento is quite useless at these levels. Now, Magento has its moments but it's not necessary for a small skateboard company WooCommerce is fine. Shopify has nice themes but your locked in to their platform, find it's better for fashion boutiques who are more business focused whereas skateboads you have a little more flexibility with WooCommerce.

        If the OP needs it can provide some contact details, if they ask the people that know may just provide a WooCommerce Amazon AMI which they can run free hosting for 12mths via AWS. 4.6million products in Magento in 2-3weeks, they're counting variations, that's not a product, honestly the stupidity.
        Ain't that the truth, Walmart's system is completely custom, Lowes does use websphere, as does Home Depot. No off the shelf software can do what Walmart or Amazon need to do.

        As far as WooCommerce is concerned, why would anyone want to use a product, based on the most hacked CMS on the planet? Being the most targeted software on the net, you are just asking for trouble.

        Magento is the #1 most used cart for manufactures and brands. And the #1 cart overall. This is their niche. We are talking about a skate shop here, I don't think they will be looking to compete with Walmart, Lowes, HD or Amazon anytime soon, so what they use is irrelevant. Doesn't appear they will have 4.6 million products either. So were looking at a 3 minute upload, at max.

        If OP is in it for the long haul, plans to grow, Magento would be the best way to go.
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  • Profile picture of the author Micah Frost
    oh yeah..... woo commerce and wordpress is good too. I haven't used woo commerce for a while though, i think it used to make customers log in through wp-login, which gave them access to the dashboard, which means, you need to set permissions, and go into the coding to remove things that you don't want customers to see, and inevitably, those files get overwritten every time wordpress forces an update......

    but that may have changed??????? i don't honestly know.

    i'm sure they have figured it out by now. and wordpress has tons of free templates. so maybe that's the best choice. try that first.
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  • Profile picture of the author CaraMooralian
    Magento platform is good for E-commerce website.
    Its free and easy to design website in it, if you have basic knowledge of HTML.
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  • Profile picture of the author smith2301
    Try to buy responsive e-commerce tamplate to promote your site. It must be SEO responsive. Be careful about it.
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  • Profile picture of the author mirsh
    Thanks for the help.

    Im going to give woocommerce a chance, if it busts ill set up a shopify in the mean time.

    Then always research futher options.

    Much appreciated!
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  • Profile picture of the author madzstar
    i am very surprised how no one has mentioned shopify! I moved from woo commerce to shopify because of the amount of maintenance and errors that keep occuring. Shopify even though you pay for it for a small fee every month you get SSL script, maintenance, support. If you want all that with woo comm you will end up paying a arm and a leg
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  • Profile picture of the author sunsetcoder
    I use cubecart or magento as per the client requirements both are good for ecommerce and you can set the shipping charges right if you have your physical products
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  • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
    WooCommerce/WordPress will require a whole lot more security updating on your part and occasionally, plugin conflicts after a WP update can cause a site to be non-functional.

    We prefer hosted solutions because you do not have to deal with any of that nonsense. The top three in our book are 3DCart, BigCommerce and Shopify for most small to medium size website businesses. 3DCart is clearly the least expensive of the three.

    Every website niche is different and some shopping carts are better than others for the type of store you are building. As we tell all of our people, use whatever you find the easiest to use. They all have free trials so take them all out for a test drive!
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  • Profile picture of the author fesco
    The best e-commerce website is supposed to be one which describes its products in more detail than the other e-commerce websites, and that also very effectively. According to me, Amazon is the best.
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    New guy with a passion to learn new things in life.

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  • Profile picture of the author enginethemes
    There are several ecommerce marketplace solution platforms you can try to build your ecommerce website for physical proucts based on requirements/solutions of each platform. Here are some platforms for recommendation: self-hosted and online service.

    1. Magento (open source)
    2. WooCommerce (WP ecommerce plugin)
    3. MarketEngine (WP marketplace plugin)
    4. WP eCommerce (WP ecommerce plugin)
    5. Shopify (online ecommerce service)
    6. Yo-Kart (online marketplace service)
    7. BigCommerce (online ecommerce service)
    8. Other
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  • Profile picture of the author simonwalker1
    I would definitely recommend Magento. It's widely used in some big stores. It's highly secure, speedy and relatively easier to install and code in.
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  • Profile picture of the author DWaters
    In my opinion, along with setting up your store you should also definitely use Amazon to sell some of your inventory using FBA. You will get far more buyer traffic looking at your products than you ever will on your site. In addition all customer satisfaction issues will be taken care of.
    Amazon has far more customer confidence that any other site.


    Almost half of all consumers who are looking to make a purchase go directly to Amazon immediately. You cannot compete with that.
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  • Profile picture of the author jonbowsir
    I agree with DWaters on the Amazon FBA front.

    You may want to pair that with Shopify, it's may be $30 a month but has a ton of perks like apps you can add to your store to increase conversions.

    Check out Hurrify and Notify
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