Forum OpenACS Q&A: Yahoo Store vs. OpenACS Ecommerce?
Anyone have feedback on using Yahoo Store for this? Anyone know if you get an ssh'able account for your $40/month (plus 1.5% cut of your sales)? Comments on any other competing services?
How do these managed services compare in ease of use and power to doing it yourself with the OpenACS Ecommerce package?
Seems you can find of lots Appache + PHP + MySQL on Linux providers offering "Ecommerce enabled" hosting for $10 or $15 per month. Annoyingly, even the hosting providers that actually provide useful credit card merchant account info all seem to still purposely obscure the fact that you also have to pay someone else for credit card processing.
I suspect Yahoo Store is more of a managed application, but, given their substantially higher costs over the run of the mill PHP hosting shops, just what do you get for your money?
You folks who have done Ecommerce sites in the past, I realize most such readers here were probably doing much more sophisticated custom sites with OpenACS. But what would you recommend for the smallest, simplest, and cheapest of Ecommerce sites?
Perhaps atypically, this small ecommerce site is going to be run by people who are more or less utterly computer ignorant, but who do have a few computer-savy friends and family members whom they could occasionally call in to answer questions, give advice, or fix disasters.
And most real merchants with real stores already have a merchant account anyway, doesn't your small bakery-ownding friend accept VISA payments already? If so, the extra cost comes from the transaction fee associated with the online payment gateway (remember, no mom-and-pop ISP is going to be allowed on the internal bank network used by VISA etc).
No, this small bakery does not currently accept credit card payments at all, and never has over their many years of operation. That's my understanding anyway.
Create a page that summarizes all the items for sale, allows buyers to choose/fill quantity, automatically provides totals, and collects credit card and other data. On submit, an email is sent to the proprietor to get an order from the admin page.
The proprietor logins to an "admin" page consisting of 2 frames, 1 with instructions (how to print other frame) and a button to delete the orders. The other frame displays the order data, where each order's info is appended to the file.
Essentially, the web orders are treated like any other fax order.
This gives extra significance to a Farside cartoon by Gary Larson that shows a billboard advertising croissants and fill dirt from the same place. =)
For small businesses that don't require customizations, they will find nice templates, and they will probably appreciate the fact that they don't have to worry about much else than populating their store with content. No hosting nightmares, etc.
To start with, Wikipedia has a nice list of potential problems: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_commerce#Problems
Considering the topic, I would add these following problems (which have have been experienced by *some* Yahoo customers as well as others):
1. problems with advertising metrics "click fraud" (and billing accordingly),
2. billing nightmares (repeated attempts to cancel service --took a year),
3. problems with domain handling
4. search engine indexing issues