Morning Flight Experimental
Posted: 2 October 2012
What if we were to introduce a product that would make it easier for small print shops to open a store on the internet? With shelves for niche products, and a checkout counter so people could order them?
Recently we decided to evaluate some of the biggest shopping carts to see how suitable they are for small to medium size companies. Along the way, we installed (and are paying for) live stores from two of them - Bigcommerce and Magento Go - that we're now using as demos and sandboxes.
Here is what we found: Internet shopping sites are both cheaper to buy and much harder to maintain than we expected. Our Bigcommerce "Bronze" plan costs us just $24.95 a month for up to 100 products, with a 10% discount when signing up for a year. Our "Get Going" subscription from Magento Go is even less expensive at $15.00 per month, with the same 100-product limit.
Both plans include hosting, and neither Bigcommerce nor Magento Go charge transaction fees. While 100 products are enough for a demo store, realistically you'd want to upgrade to the 500 products you get with the $39.95/month "Silver" plan from Bigcommerce, or the $25.00/month "Going Places" plan from Magento Go.
So why aren't more small print shops selling on the Internet? Which, at the very least, would free up time because buyers could get a quick quote without human intervention? The answer is simple: Because it's difficult and time consuming. We're taking a hard look to see if we can fix that.