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RobG
05-02-2006, 08:22 PM
Hello all.

I am just starting out in web design, and I have my first client interested in an ecommerce site. We have had a meeting to discuss requirements. Here are the main oints raised by the client:

- Ability to add/modify/delete items from catalogue.
- Automated 'out of stock' notice once the final item sells.
- Site must be easy for them to maintain.
- Site starting with around 40 products.

Having thought about a solution for a little while, I can see that it would be best to use a database to store product details including stock level. However this idea presents a problem for the user to be able to update stock level themselves as they are not familiar with SQL at all. I am having some trouble finding decent content management software that would allow the client to add new product lines to the site with their very limited HTML skills.

So here is my question. Is the client expecting too much? They are only a small/new business and as such aren't looking to pay too much for site development.

If you can give me any tips on managing customer expectations or point me in the direction of a solution for this problem, then I will be most grateful.

Thanks

Rob

domedia
05-02-2006, 08:43 PM
Hi Rob and welcome to the forums :)
I don't think the client is expecting too much. You should be looking for a commercial ecommerce solution, not a content managment solution. The only ecommerce solutions I've been involved with have used propietary software developed here and not for sale, so I can't help you with recommendations.

Anyone else?

RobG
05-02-2006, 08:52 PM
Hi domedia,

Thanks for the warm welcome and information.

Can I ask, does the software developed at your company allow the client to add/modify/delete products on their website? If so, how easy is it for them to do? Would you be able to point me towards a site using this software on the net?

Many thanks.

Rob

domedia
05-02-2006, 09:00 PM
Can I ask, does the software developed at your company allow the client to add/modify/delete products on their website? If so, how easy is it for them to do? Very, very easy. They can modify categories, update images and text, price, manage registrered users, email blasts etc all from their own administration part of their website. It's not rare in todays ecommerce applications.
Would you be able to point me towards a site using this software on the net? Nope, sorry, since I have little/no experience using them, but I'm sure someone here will be able to give some kind of recommendation.

dthomsen8
05-02-2006, 10:10 PM
Hi domedia,

Thanks for the warm welcome and information.

Can I ask, does the software developed at your company allow the client to add/modify/delete products on their website? If so, how easy is it for them to do? Would you be able to point me towards a site using this software on the net?

Many web hosting companies have ecommerce software packages included with their larger hosting packages. I don't have any experience with actually using such a package, however. Writing your own package is unwise and risky, who knows what you might miss in doing it?

If you are doubtful about what hosting company/ecommerce package to use, you can ask the various hosting companies for their clients who are happy with their services.

ramandeep
05-02-2006, 10:29 PM
My suggestion will be use an opensource ecommerce system, there are
many you can use
1) Oscommerce
2) Zencart
3) Cubecart

All are very stable products and have all the functions you mentioned.

The frontend can be customized as you want, i have implemented them over 2 dozen sites and never got any problem. Use any of them and if you get stuck anywhere shout up here.
:lol:

RobG
05-02-2006, 11:00 PM
Hi ramandeep,

Thanks for the excellent advice. I shall check out those opensource systems and see how it goes.

Cheers

Rob

davidj
05-03-2006, 08:51 AM
there is also actinic which comes with a price but does give a bit of peace of mind

you will be up and running in minutes with this

you should be able to build in the cost of the shop into your fee

http://www.actinic.com