We run a web store as part of our operation, with any profits from the store flowing into our programs We recently launched with a new web store, and it has been up and running for two weeks. The transition from our old store to our new one has been pretty smooth. We didn’t write much in the way of actual programming code..we just lease a bunch of it from cloud-based vendors including Shopify, Brightpearl. and various add-on vendors. Well, that’s not entirely true; our web wizard has spent days and weeks working on the html templates for the shop. and I’ve been working on the back-end APIs to integrate the Brightpearl Inventory/CMS with our warehouse system, UPS Worldship.
The front end of our web store is hosted with Shopify. Sales that are made through the web store are passed through to Brightpearl. Along the way we charge credit cards through Authorize.net, and have implemented a number of custom plugins or “apps” to modify both the Shopify store, and the Brightpearl application, notably from ShipRobot and Bold Apps.
The store took some time to get up and running. We had originally contracted with an outside consulting firm. After it became clear that they weren’t smarter than we are, we brought the implementation in-house, and worked directly with our cloud vendors at Shopify and Brightpearl.
One of the trade-offs of cloud-based computing is that an application of any complexity can easily rely on code from multiple providers, so that some of the time saved in not coding, is spent on “vendor management”. We have good relationships with our vendors, all of whom have provided timely tech and implementation support.
We replaced a system that used a web site hosted by a local programmer which fed the MOM Mail Order Manager program. Although we launched with a full suite of capability that matched our original specification, it is very feasible to launch a less elaborate site with Shopify, and add functionality as your needs grow.