eCommerce for small business

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  • eCommerce for small business
  • Premier Icon zilog6128
    Subscriber

    Any small business owners/employees here who can recommend an eCommerce solution? Specifically one that will list automatically on eBay & Amazon?

    We currently don’t have an online shop of our own but list on eBay using GarageSale software on Mac. It’s OK software but is meant for single-users only (we use it on multiple computers but it’s a bit of a bodge) and obviously only targets eBay.

    We really don’t have much time to devote to online sales at the moment but the eBay listings are generating a bit of momentum to the point where on a good week it’s a few hundred pounds worth of sales for about 5 minutes work administrating the listings. I think if we spent a few hours a week we could see a really worthwhile return but I’d like it all to be as quick & easy as possible (most of the admin will be done by not too techy people)!

    The ideal software at the moment would be something similar but more suited to multiple users and able to target Amazon as well. Standalone software preferable but I get the feeling it will have to be a web-based solution (with a monthly fee).

    I’ve had a bit of a google and found a web-app called Magneto (which is owned by eBay) that sounds ideal. There seems to be a free open-source version you can host on your own server or a hosted version for a tenner a month (which is fine). It is meant to be for having your own online shop but there seems to be a company (M2E Pro) offering a free extension to integrate Magneto into eBay & Amazon. Plus we’d get a regular online shop as well as a bonus. Does anyone know anything about this system or (even better) actually use it?

    There seem to be a lot of other similar systems but they are all either more expensive or charge an additional fee for eBay/Amazon integration.

    Any ideas/comments? Thanks!

    Premier Icon Sandwich
    Subscriber

    Have you done the background work on PCI compliance? This will be required if you accept payment by card on-line and e-commerce will require the most onerous self assessment to be completed. A hosted solution where someone else keeps the card data secure for you until you download/process it. There’s a whole heap of stuff you need to do and network security is very important to them. Fines for data breaches are in the 10k range for EACH card compromised.

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Subscriber

    😯 Sounds a bit serious! Does that only apply if we are hosting the e-commerce ourselves? Presumably if we use a hosted service they will take care of that/take on the risk of card security etc? Or not?!

    We don’t even take cards over the phone to be honest so quite happy to stick just with PayPal online. Looking to make this less hassle not more!!

    Thanks for the info.

    Magento + Brightpearl

    Gives you the ecommerce platform, integration with eBay, Amazon and several other sales channels as well as very good order fulfilment, inventory management and accounting. A total business management solution.

    It you didn’t go for Magento, Brightpearl also integrates with several other ecommerce platforms

    Premier Icon nickdavies
    Subscriber

    Magento and then look at extensions to link in with amazon and ebay. Quick google gives: http://m2epro.com/

    There’s not much that you’ll find that will beat magento for the money, you can be up and running with a decent shopfront from about £1000 up done properly, less if you can do stuff yourself, more if you want to go more spangly.

    Don’t worry about PCI compliance – if you’re just doing little stuff and outsourcing card details through a 3rd party (I use sagepay & paypal) then compliance is £11.99 a year and 10 minutes to fill in a questionnaire.

    I’ve got a couple of shopfronts using this same system, bang me an email if you want any help or recommendations.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    Shop I’ve just started at uses Magento for a website but no integration with eBay yet. I’m currently looking at alternatives as the experience in the shop to date hasn’t been great.

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Subscriber

    Good stuff, thanks for the info guys. Magento did look like a decent option on the face of it from my initial googlings. Nick, ta for the reassurance re: PCI.

    Shop I’ve just started at uses Magento for a website but no integration with eBay yet. I’m currently looking at alternatives as the experience in the shop to date hasn’t been great.

    Any idea what problems they’re having?

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    Not really (yet) but they would like it to take feeds from distributors so that all the content doesn’t have to be created from scratch. I’m looking at stuff like CitrusLime and Nitrosell but it’s all very expensive!

    andyrm
    Member

    Brightpearl is brilliant – definitely the one I’d use and will be using later this year when I set up my new e-commerce sideline. If you want to speak to someone in more detail about it, one of my friends works for them so I could pass you his details?

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