|eCommerce and Selling via Magento |
I am exploring Magento and different CMS's out there. I looked through several website however, I can't figure out how the whole eCommerce business works.
1) Do most personal sites (sites managed by 1-2 people) have a warehouse/store and only use their site to get orders? And then they ship the product themselves?
2) Or do they use 3rd party websites such as Amazon, CafePress and popular sites listed here (http://mashable.com/2009/09/05/sell-products-online/) to automatically manufacture and ship?
I am trying to create a site which links the products to stores I create through sites like CafePress/MyStore
What are most people doing? Are they buying products on sale and then storing and reselling online?
Can someone please explain the basics?
I would appreciate your help.
Get a good book on ecommerce, because the answers to your question, would fill many books.
Here is the Cliff (Cole's) notes version, with most of the pages missing:
You need an niche market. One with little competition but good demand. Find a distributor that will drop ship for you. Avoid Amazon, if you are successful, they will buy bulk and undercut you. Magento is a pig to deal with, especially starting out, go with an integrated solution such as shopify. Prepare to fail. Learn from your mistakes, repeat until successful
I have 1 employee for my business which is a highly competitive niche and have even narrowed down to a segment within our niche. We have 2 websites and sell on multiple 3rd party sites (ebay, Amazon, etc). The business we get from 3rd party sites dwarfs what we can from our own website. I just don't think we have enough resources to do our own marketing well (we are more IT folks by training)and it is difficult to keep your websites up to date. We have tried to outsource the marketing but have not found a good way to do this yet.
We do our own fulfillment and keep inventory. This is a strong point for us. We used to have a brick and mortar/warehouse but didn't fully utilize it. Now, we just use climate controlled storage and ship out of our homes. Very low overhead. We wrote our own software but synchronize inventory across marketplaces and websites. We wrote our own shipping software but went back to Shipworks as it was just more efficient. Best of luck.
I've been doing ecommerce on a modest scale for six years. I finally launched a much bigger site (6000 sku's) developed using Magento.
Magento is much more complicated than what I'm accustomed to. Fortunately I've had the assistance of a friend who knows Magento inside and out.
The site looks good and functions well.
My products range from a couple of dollars to a couple thousand dollars. There's no way I could afford to stock that.
Everything is drop-shipped. I'm even able to download the daily inventory from my distributor and update quantities in Magento (thanks to a program my friend created). The distributor puts a packing slip in the boxes with my company name on it. I'm able to compete with some of the biggest names in my niche, in terms of price, service and selection.
The hardest thing is getting known. Even though I've been doing this for six years, starting a new site means starting over almost unknown.
I would caution you if you're going to have someone build your site to research them carefully. I paid $8000 to have my site built. The developers promised the world. When they got that last of four installment payments, they put my site on the back burner. I had to have my friend do a lot of work, and I had to figure out a lot myself. When I started getting into the guts of Magento, I realized that the developers just put a nice design on a standard Magento framework. They didn't even test the site. When I did, I had to make some repairs in CSS and other areas. I should take them to court.
I don't know if the above is of any use to you.
thank you very much guys. I would like to hear more and learn from your experience.
I am currently doing lots of research and for the first time I'm actually planning things out on paper.
It's good to know that I don't have to store inventory. I learned that there are many websites that do that for you.
I dont think I need magento to start and could use more simple software however, in order to compete I am thinking to use the best of everything (domains, host, design, software etc...) right from the begining.
So currently I am still reading, learning and doing research.
any other tips and advice?