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Tony M
29-09-2004, 05:18 PM
Hiya all,

This seams a friendly board so maybe some people can help me out.

Basically I am looking to make an online shop. I am fairly handy at IT and keen to do it myself. I have dug around and found that I need three main things to do this. An actual website with shop (no suprise there then!), a payment processor and a merchant account.

What I am looking at doing is buying some software that will help with building the shop. What I am looking for is reccomendations for software (I have heard lots being banded about), and a recommedation for payment processor. I am going to find out about merchant accounts from my bank.

Also how hard is it to get the shop talking to the payment processor and the merchant account?

thanks in advance

Tony

toddncl
29-09-2004, 06:12 PM
you could have a look at osCommerce (http://www.oscommerce.com/) and the associated forums for info on how an online store works.

Good Luck!

MINI
29-09-2004, 08:12 PM
Ive been looking into the exact same things myself these last few days (look below) and from what I can see there are 3 good programs out there:

1. OScommerce: Really easy to customise, seiretto have a demonstration of it on their site.I am going for this option.

2. Netobjects fusion pro 8: Sets you back about 130 but if you want to go for the full techie approach then this is the program for you.

3. Shop in a book. A bargain bucket programme thats very similar to OScommerce and literally has everything you need for a shop. But its not very customisable and you have no option but to pay extra for hosting from the software provider. 50 gets you the program, free hosting and registratiion on a minor search engine (suck a mint )

Concerning merchant accounts everybody is raving about world pay. It costs 100 to set up, 160 per year handling fees and they charge you 4.5% per transaction on credit card purchases. But they are really secure. I am going for this option but there is of course paypal (Everybody knows and loves them :p ) fastpay, nochex and a bank merchant account.

Regarding getting them to talk to each other, erm........cup of tea and hob nobs? :s I honestly dont know but Im having it sorted for me hopefully.

I am very surprised the hordes of hosting folks havent jumped you yet but when they do, listen to them. I did and I really benefitted!

Hope I helped!

ogun
29-09-2004, 09:03 PM
Nochex, Worldpay and Paypal are all relatively simple to integrate into an on-line shop. In fact, most "off the shelf" shops such as OSCommerce provide those integration facilities as part of the package.

Tony M
30-09-2004, 10:11 AM
Thanks for the comments.

A couple of more things. Spoke to my bank (Bank of Scotland) and they are going to provide a Internet Mechant Account. Has anyone set up an online shop using them as the merchant provider? Any problems?

Also I am maybe looking to use Actinic or EROL to build the shop part. Has anyone used either of these beofre? What was the support like?

Any recommendation for a payment processor to go with the above would be greatly recieved. I had looked at Worldpay but on site says you have to contact them if you just want payment processing and not merchant.

Thanks for everyones help.

Tony

ogun
30-09-2004, 10:26 AM
If you went with Worldpay, you wouldn't actually need an Internet Merchant Account as they act as a third party processor - basically your transactions get processed and payment goes into your own Worldpay account. The remittance from this account is then paid into your bank account (at agreed intervals - usually every 4 weeks to begin with)

Also, while some people sneer at Paypal, you might consider the millions of existing Paypal account holders who actually prefer paying via Paypal and implement this as an additional alternative at the checkout.

hirstys
30-09-2004, 10:32 AM
Actinic is an excellent piece of kit, we have built a number of commercial sites using it as its robust, tried and tested and very powerful. At least two big high street names use it to provide their ecommerce functionality.

I spoke with our designers here and apparently support is pretty good, but if you are expecting to customise it much then don't expect much assistance. They will help you to get it running, not make it look pretty, etc. Also, there are issues with using some merchant service providers and actinic so watch out for hidden fees.

Regards


James Hirst
A4 Internet ltd
0845 108 0411
www.a4internet.com

hirstys
30-09-2004, 10:32 AM
(We are actinic partners by the way so perhaps I should declare my interest)

In fact, if you are buying actinic, we might be able to do you a deal... let me know.

Regards


James Hirst
James@a4internet.com

Designer095
02-10-2004, 12:22 PM
I am a web designer and previous clients have endorsed OScommerce as the best option.

I help them out with design and look of site and they take care of the rest. If you need any creative input (logos, templates etc.) then contact me at: stonehse@fsmail.net.

hirstys
04-10-2004, 09:59 AM
OScommerce = free to use, lots of free support on the web from amateurs and the "community".

However, it suffers a little from a lack of configurability in terms of look and feel (all OS commerce stores have a similar look and feel)

If a unique identity and usability is not important to you, if you are competing on price for instance, you could do much worse.

Regards


James

burty bassitt
04-10-2004, 10:34 AM
Originally posted by hirstys
all OS commerce stores have a similar look and feel

I think this is untrue. I've seen some very nice osCommerce Stores, that look and act totally differently to "normal" osCommerce.

Original Poster: To get online quickly and easily with minimum expense, you shold consider osCommerce. There is nothing that cannot be done with it, but it is true that osCommerce has a very steep learning curve.

Netcomm UK
04-10-2004, 09:11 PM
I'd have to agree with Burty there. OsCommerce can be customized a hell of a lot from the original, you just need to spend the time playing with it or buy one of the ebooks that BB has written.

In fact, I would say OsC is more configurable than most of the Actinic catalogues I've seen.