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Starting my very first website?

Discussion in 'E-Commerce' started by ping, May 29, 2012.

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    ping

    ping Senior Lab Tech

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    Good afternoon all.

    I have been on eBay for quite a while now, and I am averaging sales turnover of around £800-£1000 a week. I have a lot of repeat customers, with my emphasis on a great service, great communication, and items fully described with individual pictures. I offer a no quibble money back return, and have many, many repeat customers that buy product after product.

    My current business model is not a traditional one in any sense. I buy from eBay and sell back on eBay, often with margins reaching 60%. Therefore a large percentage of my products are used items.

    I do also source some products from wholesalers, and suppliers, and although I enjoy this, and prefer this method, the margins are not great, but realise I am going to have to concentrate on this more from an ecommerce store perspective.

    I have been toying with the idea of my own ecommerce store for a while now, and have finally taken the decision to go for it. By august/september 2012, I hope to have a fully loaded ecommerce store live, which will work in conjunction with my eBay store for the initial traffic.

    This months fees for eBay was £312, and looking back, over the last 6 months alone, I have generated £1300 in fees for ebay. For this reason, I believe an ecommerce store would be more cost effective, and more of the profit would be mine, and not eBays. I would be looking to get my repeat customers from my eBay store and into my ecommerce store in the first instance.

    Before anyone points it out, I realise eBay is a superb platform with millions of potential customers and potential exposure, but I now feel i need to branch out.

    During the time from now until late February, when I hope to pay someone to complete a store for me, I am going to redraft a business plan, and make all the necessary arrangements to ensure I am confident enough and equipped to go into such a venture. I will have around £1200 budget for this to complete. The only one major stumbling block is:

    I have no experience whatsover of ecommerce stores, how they work, what costs are involved, editing new products into the store, hosting or anything like that. terms like CubeCart, this cart, that cart mean nothing to me. Hosting and domain registration, Search engine optimization everything to do with it I have very little understanding of it.

    This is where you come in, and I hope to draw attention of some of the more experienced people on these forums.

    My questions:

    1) Can anyone recommend any books or literature that is in depth, and explains the inner workings of an online ecommerce store? Or indeed, any links that would help me?

    2) Is my budget sufficient to buy and have someone build a website from scratch, including a domain, and hosting?

    3) What knowledge of coding do i need if any? For instance, how easy is it to upload new products to your site? This is what worries me the most.

    4) I will be primarily looking at using Paypal as the only payment option, but what are the most cost effective, efficient and safe modes of taking card payments online, and their costs? Again links appreciated.

    5) What are the running costs of a website per month.

    As you can see from my questions, I have an enormous amount to learn, but am willing to do that in the time I have stated.

    Any advice, guidance, links will, as usual, be greatly appreciated. I will not jump into this cold, before anyone points out I am not experienced, or if my budget is not up to scratch etc, if I am not ready by late February, then I will simply delay it for another 6 months or so, or until I feel I am ready.

    Cheers,
    Rick.
     
  2.  
    AntMercer

    AntMercer Applicant

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    Hey Rick, An interesting thread I was reading this morning might help : http://www.ukbusinesslabs.co.uk/for...raphy-print/8580-how-build-great-website.html - interesting stuff in the reply's as well. They're obviously the experts on here! There's links to useful Open Source services like Wordpress (and for E-commerce OpenCart - Open Source Shopping Cart Solution)

    Regards easiness of building a site: well, I built mine (using wordpress) and I only had to learn a bit of code on the way

    Best of luck with it,

    Ant
     
  3.  
    BDW

    BDW Guest

    Use Google and save the book money.

    Yes.

    If you are having someone else build the site for you then you don't need to know anything about coding. If they use one of the popular open source carts that are available it will have an administration interface where all the work is done on the products, prices, images, shipping costs, etc. all you need is the ability to use it and since you are already familiar with eBay this should not be a problem.

    There are lots of resources that compare payment methods online. You should be able to find them with Google but here's one ... Accepting online payments | Business Link

    There are no significant running costs. A domain name should cost you about £5 per annum and hosting can be had from about £30 per annum. If your shop became extremely popular and it developed lots of traffic you may have to upgrade your server, which could cost you significantly more but that is a problem you could look forward to facing. :)

    The only other running costs would be support from your website designer if and when you require it but this is not normally a necessity.
     
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    DDAFIRE

    DDAFIRE Applicant

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    Agree totally with ^^^

    I'm far from an online marketing expert, but personally I would;

    Run both ebay store and website in tandem - As you said, trying to send as many people as you can from ebay to your site.

    Set up pay per click campain for new site (make sure that you have the ability to capture emails and generate a list) using profits from Ebay store.

    Promote your site everywhere - see here

    Maybe have a feed to google shopping.

    Work out which keywords are profitable from PPC campaign and optimise your site for them via SEO.

    Send out news letters to aforementioned email addresses to try and get as much repeat business as possible.

    Good luck with the new business venture.
     
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    Conceptstore

    Conceptstore Graduate

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    TandemSolutions

    TandemSolutions Freshman

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    You could get a web design company to do this for you, simple ecommerce site can range from £1500-£5000
     
  7.  
    BDW

    BDW Guest

    Actually you should be able to get it done for less than that. Our standard charge is around £1200 for an ecommerce website.

    .
     
  8.  
    TandemSolutions

    TandemSolutions Freshman

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    This is just an example, our web guys are the ones that spec it all out and price it.

    Here are some stats for one of our e-commerce websites
    82,769 Visits
    357,930 Page views
     
  9.  
    ping

    ping Senior Lab Tech

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    Cheers guys for the info so far my favourite website is

    1.SportsDirect.com - Trainers, Football Boots, Football Shirts, Running Shoes

    What i like about sports direct is it is just so easy for you to pick what you want then straight to checkout and i like the sort by drop down box where it lets you pick Price(low to high) or (high to low) also saving high to low can more be added to a box like this like newest items etc and the way you can get it to display 25 items or 100 items on 1 page can you get it to display more if i wanted
    What cart does sports direct use and if i wanted my website to do similar how easy would it be to achieve
     
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    paulfeakins

    paulfeakins Graduate

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    OpenCart has some printed books devoted to it but to be honest, I think it's far simpler to get the hang of listing products on almost any platform other than eBay so I don't think you'd need the books. Here's a link to one anyway:
    Introduction

    Yes, as long as you didn't need too much in the way of bespoke designs and custom features.

    None really but knowing basic HTML wouldn't hurt.

    If you're selling good volumes on ebay with PayPal already then the other gateways probably won't be able to compete because you can use the same account on your shop and you should have already qualified for volume discounts.

    Yes as above - not significant.
     
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    PayPoint.net

    PayPoint.net Freshman

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    Hi there

    You can see a range of payment providers and their costs on the paymentbrain.co.uk website. Good comparison site which is pretty up to date.

    You can also find a list of accredited payment service providers on the Visa / MasterCard approved lists.

    Many payment providers also offer a certain amount of monthly free transactions (For an example of pricing we offer a hosted payment gateway for internet payments for £19 per month which includes 1400 free transactions per quarter - anything above this is then 10p per transaction).

    Siobhan

     
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    ebaypowerguru

    ebaypowerguru Freshman

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    1) Can anyone recommend any books or literature that is in depth, and explains the inner workings of an online ecommerce store? Or indeed, any links that would help me?

    Just search the internet, more wealth of knowledge than most books.

    2) Is my budget sufficient to buy and have someone build a website from scratch, including a domain, and hosting?

    £1200 is a very healthly budget - most of it will probably be spent on building the website, as domain is less than £10 a year, hosting less than £7 a month

    3) What knowledge of coding do i need if any? For instance, how easy is it to upload new products to your site? This is what worries me the most.

    Very, very, very easy. Especially with carts such as Zen, Cubecart, Opencart etc.

    4) I will be primarily looking at using Paypal as the only payment option, but what are the most cost effective, efficient and safe modes of taking card payments online, and their costs? Again links appreciated.

    Yes. Paypal offer a way to let customers pay by credit card on your site, with the customers never having to leave your website. There is a £20 month fee for this.

    5) What are the running costs of a website per month.

    As mentioned above, hostings is the main runnning cost

    Hope this helps!
     
    Mark likes this.
  13.  
    Mark

    Mark Moderator Staff Member

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    OP ~ how's it going?
     
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    appkodes

    appkodes Freshman

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