Online commerce, starting from scratch

Computers of South Dublin will help you set up the most cost-effective e-commerce solution for your business based on your answer to this question:

"What is the simplest Web presentation that will sell your product or service?"

PayPal & Google payments, Amazon on-demand publishing

"All I need are online payments, and I'm OK with another business's store front."

Neither of these solutions require a merchant account, and both are commission-based (no monthly fees) and can be set up in a short COSD consulting visit:

  • PayPal: payment buttons for web pages, web pages to generate PayPal invoicing.
  • Google Checkout: an alternative to PayPal with lower commissions, attractive to those intimidated by PayPal's popularised merchant support difficulties.

Other simple startup options, which COSD can implement quickly:

  • Amazon sales: If your product is writing, music, or film, you can prepare your work for as an e-book, paperback, or media download with CD & DVD discs on demand… see Internet publishing.
  • Joomla CMS extensions: plug-in support for web site subscriptions, paid downloads, donations & fundraising.

Hosted shopping solutions: eBay & Shopify

"I'm on a low startup budget, I'm OK with a monthly payment, and I need an implementation a nontechnical person can fully understand."

eBay shop: Gives you a branded, permanent page on eBay Ireland (see example) where you can sell your products at fixed prices.

  • Requires a PayPal account and credit card
  • Basic package is €20 / month (see prices and features)
  • No cost merchant account cost, but high commission (3.4% + €0.35)

Shopify: A hosted shopping cart that also can appear on your own web domain.  See example Shopify stores and Shopify tutorial video.

In either case, COSD will help you with the technical part of the account setup and moving your products into the store.  For Shopify, we will customise your template so it blends in with your existing web site or your new CMS Web Design.

Full online shopping design: osCmax, VirtueMart & Magento

"I am creating a web site that will drive sales of my product, so I need my online sales & online marketing material to be closely linked."

This solution is based on the business owner choosing one of two possibilities (all options below require an online merchant account):

"I need an online shopping site that I can also create some web pages on."

  • i.e.: Your web site visitors are there to buy, and an array of products will be the first thing they see. Web pages can be linked to products, but the CMS will be product-centred.
  • Solution: osCmax: an implementation of osCommerce, the long-standing open-source standard for online commerce, containing extensions for robust sales, inventory and marketing. (software itself is free)

"I need a CMS web site that also supports online shopping."

  • i.e.: Your web visitors will first see your structured sales message & online copywriting, then follow online links into your shopping system.  You will have a full-fledged Joomla CMS design.
  • Solution: VirtueMart: standard shopping cart extension for Joomla.  Slow development but lots of third-party extensions making up whatever features may be missing. (software itself is free)

Finally, the increasingly popular Magento software can either stand alone on your web site or work inside your Joomla CMS through the well-reviewed MageBridge extension.

  • Benefits: Robust and full-featured beyond any other package, main version free with enterprise support for the paid version. Placed well for expected revenue base starting at US$1 million.
  • Disadvantages: Only available for higher design budgets due to long setup time.  May require dedicated hosting for large shopping carts.
  • Contact COSD for a free email assessment of your simplest possible e-commerce solution, including a free quote for an online shopping design based on your detailed & confidential specification.
  • Read on to Educational systems