Posts Tagged ‘shopping cart’

Magento Has A New Hosted Store

Friday, April 15th, 2011

Magento is now offering new “Go” stores. Check out the tour and features here. If you are shopping around for hosted solutions, this is definitely one to check out. Our clients also like Volusion.

Of course, As Was can design and customise these shopping carts, and many more.

Many online sellers ask me the difference between a hosted solution and one where you get all the code. A hosted solution is more turnkey. You turn it on, it’s installed, you can start using it, and as the company updates features or fixed bugs, you have all of that automatically. When you get the source code, like the full version of Magento, you have to install that on a server. You have to admin that server or hosting account. As there are updates, you have to have someone install them. If something breaks, you have to find someone to fix it as Magento doesn’t want to troubleshoot your custom install of their system (well, not for free!). So it can be more work and more expense, but the result is something that you can nearly limitlessly customize.

A third option is one I hear from time to time, which sounds something like, “I found a guy who’s going to build me my own eCommerce system.” In nearly all cases, this is a bad idea. Unless you are a giant marketplace with needs and requirements that no system could come close to fulfilling, then maybe that’s a good idea. But 99% of the time, it sets you up for two things: 1) Being beholden to this guy for all of your maintenance, upgrades, etc…, and 2) feeling like your eCom world fell apart when you can’t find the guy or he goes and gets a real job.

So remember, for most businesses, a hosted solution is a good way to go. A solution where you get the code, like the full version of Magento, can be right if you don’t mind running your own server, maintaining that code, and finding people to install your updates. It’s nearly never a good idea to have some guy or some company build you your own eCom system from scratch.


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Why eBay Is Charging Final Value Fees on Shipping and Handling

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

I don’t have inside info on this. But I have an opinion, and many of you are asking about it. eBay recently announced that it would soon charge sellers the final value fee (aka FVF aka eBay’s commission on your sale) on not just the sale price, but also what you’re charging for shipping and handling. Why would eBay do this? Here is my best theory…

It’s about the shopping cart they’re working on. People will be able to buy from multiple people, and then have ONE checkout from one shopping cart.

If I put 3 things in a cart, some of those sellers might charge for shipping, some might have free shipping. That may be confusing to the shopper… Amazon doesn’t do that. J Crew doesn’t do that. Why am I being charged for shipping? Then, you have another potential issue. Someone has read a listing where it very clearly said FREE SHIPPING. They now assume FREE SHIPPING, and when they drop someone else’s item in the cart, and it’s NOT free shipping, they may get confused and feel lied to. Hey, that said free shipping, why am I paying for shipping?

I think eBay figured, “Aw crap, we tried getting sellers to lower shipping. We tried getting them to make it free. We gave them preferred placement in search results if they made it free, and some still didn’t make it free. Well, now we’ll really push them by saying hey, you’ll pay fees on it either way, so make it free.” The real message is: make it free so that the shopping cart is easier for shoppers.

eBay clearly is NOT taking into consideration the other problems like now you have to deal with sales tax on a higher number. Additionally, if someone makes a return, they expect 100% of their money back rather than JUST the purchase price. So we are working with our clients on rewording return policies to indicate a “restocking fee” since you can’t say you’re keeping money for shipping. Shipping was FREE!

So sellers, reword your return policy so that people understand that if they return it, they will not get 100% of their purchase price back, unless you are OK doing that and eating the shipping.


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