Migrating an online shop

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  • loool

    hello Qbners,

    my wife started a small business of selling illustration work online (i already posted some of her work in the illustration thread) and thank God so far so good, we didn't expect it to bloom this way this fast.

    She does the majority of commisions and marketing through instagram and she had an online shop - on the platform which is going down soon...

    We need to migrate the shop and we're thinking of some variants after a bit of research:

    - blogspot website

    pros: super cheap domain name to use for a year
    cons: outdated themes, lots of customizing to make the look right, shop widgets not many and a bit suspicious

    - wordpress website

    pros: themes are nicer, community is bigger for overcoming obstacles
    cons: a bit more pricey than blogspot, it seems that the shop exists but would need manual implementation, i don't trust myself with that

    - shopify

    pros: all there immediately
    cons: just way too pricey

    - etsy

    pros: see shopify
    cons: ffs you can't hide the number of sales you made, that's outrageous

    - wix

    pros: they have a store business model, nice themes out of the box
    cons: they are in the middle with the price, not so cheap but it could be done

    Can somebody who is more experienced in this field help us out a bit?
    Suggestions are more than welcome as i hit the wall on this one and i would really like to help my wife out to bloom her business more...

    instagram is nice enall but it becomes a bit messy after a lot of posts. You can't really use it instead of the shop, more like an addition to it...

    thanks a lot

  • fadein111

    Squarespace is another option but may be similar costs to Shopify.

    I run 2 Shopify stores and I am a big fan of the platform, I think it's worth the money, the back-end is great, customer service is excellent. They have done all the hard work for you.
    The dashboard gives you a lot of very useful marketing info.

    I also run a number of Woocommerce websites for clients, Woo is the probably the best Wordpress ecommerce plugin. It's good but I don't like it as much as Shopify.

    Self hosting a site plus website dev will likely end up costing a lot more than a Shopify site. Unless you feel confident doing it yourself (which isn't that hard if you have some web dev experience).

    Good luck with it all.

  • mekk0

    What is there to migrate? Content? User accounts? Orders? Products and Attributes?

    How large is the shop, does it make 1-2 orders per day or is it high traffic? How many orders did it make until now (if you're willing to tell us :-)

  • loool0

    @mekk

    the shop existed on tictail - which is sold to shopify and will stop to exist very soon, so basically everything needs to be redone, from layout to content and a new domain name...

    shop is not very large, it is closer to several orders per day than to high traffic...

    how many until now - i don't really know...it exists for 3 months only...

  • mekk0

    Does shopify offer a migration service from tictail? IMO Shopify is pretty cheap. <$100 for system, support, hosting and domain. It won't get any cheaper than this on this lvl of quality.

    Whatever you do, stay away from WooCommerce and other Wordpress E-Commerce stuff, esp. when hosting yourself. WP is too vulnerable and requires a lot of update maintenance to keep safe. When you're loosing customer data because of this it can ruin your whole life $$$.

    • any wordpress site is vulnerable if not secured and on a good host like wp-engine.
      Use SSL and security plugins. Payments handled on 3rd party servers.
      fadein11
    • but yes there are risks and it is your responsibility when self hosting.fadein11
    • I think for someone who is no developer, making WP secure and keeping it secure is too complicated and takes more time from you.mekk
    • Like, two hours of time per month spent with this crap is already more valuable than one month of Shopify or some other service..mekk
    • yep very true. I would defo recommend Shopify in that situation.fadein11
    • thanks for the answers guys, much appreciatedloool
  • loool0

    @mekk

    no it doesn't give you any discount, just tells you to migrate...

    i'm a bit confused by the prices - shopify is 29$ per month...on a yearly basis it's a bit pricey...i'm looking at this link though

    https://ecommerce-platforms.com/…

    in a calculation it varies by the amount you sell, while on the bottom of the page it says it's 29 per month...i'm a bit confused...

    • i ain't no cheap-ass but i'm checking all options and i see wix's shop is like 17 for example while doing the same thingloool
    • tictail was 9 per month...loool
    • If you want to host sth like Magento yourself, you'll pay $50 for a weak ass rootserver alone...mekk
  • mekk0

    Maybe your business is not ready to stand on it's own platform if $29/month are too much for it. Maybe you can switch to something like squarespace to showcase your products and use a platform like etsy or amazon marketplace to sell it?

    If you really see your product taking off soon and you want to make a living out of it, then invest as soon as you can in your own platform and maintain it properly from the start on. If you just have a little side gig going on, stay away from subscriptions and expensive contracts and even more stay away form hosting your own customer data and the like. If you're not ready to do so (and tbh it looks like) let the pricey legal and technical stuff be done by some big poppa somewhere else. It'll hit you hard.

  • sted0

    I can only say the same thing i did few years back when small businesses blowed up in hungary and everybody wanted a website for their prospering but small business.

    Focus on business development, only change these things if necessary, if you don't have more than 20 products on hand, direct sales on social media will be your friend.

    Only invest in assets what 100% generate back their price and aren't creating any dependency for your business.
    (that's why wix and shopify, squarespace actually sux...)

    So for a smallbusiness:
    Wordpress is free, you can get hosting for this sort of business for $20/month with a complete server, where you can run 7-8 sites like this. And you will actually own and know the system, be able to do all the little things required to sell more.

    I can give you some instructions how to set it up so that it will be secure and easy to use.

    don't suck in the marketing, put a Shopify or Squarespace logo on the footer lol.

  • hotroddy1

    shopify is pricey? if you can't cover $30/monthly in sales for the cost of using shopify than something isn't making sense in your business plan.

    Use Shopify if you want to take it seriously and plan to make a sale or two a month. It's worth the money.

  • Gnash0

    I don't think it's a coincidence that the words migrating and migraine are so similar

  • loool0

    thank you guys very much for your answers!!!

    @mekk, @hotroddy:
    i think you might have gotten the wrong impression - it's not that i can't cover 30$ monthly or that i don't want to go for it as the business isn't ready.
    The shop was on the platform which was 9$ a month and working well, then that place gets sold and is asking for 30$ a month and being the cunt that i am - i won't just accept it and pay up immediately...i'll sniff around first...

    i wanted to explore my options and see what i can go for with more experienced people from the field i'm not very familiar with...this served me well in the past, squarespace is not an option i looked at before nor i knew about tictail long before i started using it...

    as i said earlier - instagram is the primary selling point here and the online shop is only for secondary things that don't sell immediately on instagram...therefore i hesitate with 30$ per month for something like that, that's the main reason...

    @sted: i'll present the idea to my wife (it's her business after all) and hit you up if that comes up as a decision

    once again thanks a lot for reading my long question and for taking the time to answer them questions - i'm really grateful and this community never fails to provide the answers...

    • Are they closing down tictail or incorporating with shopify? I can see why shopify would leave a bad taste in your mouth after the tictail buyout.hotroddy
    • but that doesn't negate the fact its easiest platform to work with. and there is an instagram channel.hotroddy
    • woocommerce is about same price if not more after purchasing the license, hosting, etc and you have to set it up yourself which isn't as convenienthotroddy
    • and the woocommerce interface backend sucks and very datedhotroddy
    • yes they are closing it down on the 1st of april...loool
    • oh snap. on april fools. sorry bout that.hotroddy
    • you can save yourself $72 first year if you sign up as an affiliate. https://shopify.com/…hotroddy
  • hotroddy0

    I didn't realize tictail is being shutdown. Shopify must have perceived them to be a threat. I assumed they were going to keep it open and use it as another sales channel.

    I could have a bias but I'm amazed with investment in R&D. I doubt competitors are adding features as quickly.

    @loool - I'm not familiar with tictail ecosystem, let us know what you end up choosing and let us know how it compared with tictail.

  • mekk3

    How much work would any of us do for $30?

    A shitty agency will charge you $10k for a half-assed magento installation job with an ugly theme that's been badly optimized. And then you'll pay them another $1k A MONTH to do basic stuff while your hoster gets $150/mo alone just for not crashing this time again. And your payment provider gets $$$ and your lawyer does and your ERP will do so, your IT guy sets up your own exchange environment.. Welcome to "everything costs $1k minimum"-hell.

    Think again what you get for some service that does all this for you, not advertising shopify here. There's plenty of them to choose from.

    • true this, thanksloool
    • +1fadein11
    • How adobe going to fix this nightmare is beyond me.hotroddy
    • ^ they will integrate mage into CC and offer it as a shopify-like service within CC. If you want to host it yourself, go for enterprise. (Wild guess of me)mekk
    • you're right. It will be nightmare to 'shopify' magento. I bet there is a huge sunk-cost.hotroddy