Saturday, September 11, 2021
In August (2021), I began researching how new commerce initiatives are being adopted. I wanted to understand how independent retailers are using services like PayPal Here and PayPal Zettle. See this post.
Pop up shops are becoming very popular and owners are using their card readers to handle their (POS) transactions. Listed below, several Youtube videos I watched to get an idea of how these Popup Shops work.
I researched Artsy Ki's (last video) online shop which showed how she used her online presence to help drive sales.
No, I am not planning a pop up shop, however I did want to learn more about software support services or advertising I might offer retailers who are thinking of- or actually working in this area.
- Researched where and how to setup an online shop.
- OpenCart- self hosted option selected.
- OSCommerce self hosted option.
- Shopify shop- (hosted on their site) and similar sites researched. Cost factors an issue. Most who use these types of services, do not have the time to come up to speed in terms of the software skills required to maintain a self hosted shop.
- Because I chose a self hosted service (OpenCart), I had to use the drop shipper's API resource to link my shop's products to the service's products. So I also had to come up to speed on the use of the API. Automated linkage was provided for shops hosted on eBay, Shopify, WooCommerce, SquareSpace, etc.
- Registered a new domain, wired-shops.com. Cost $10.74 per year. wiredshops.com was available, however cost was well over $4000. (As of 9/11/21, visitors may access the site, however the PayPal hookup is set to the sandbox account). I was lying in bed early, Tuesday morning (Septemeber 7th, 2021), and decided on a site name wiredshops.com. Half an hour later, I had wired-shops.com registered. I used to provide web hosting services, the reason it was easy for me to register the domain so quickly. I then added the domain to qisoftware.com hosting as an addon domain for testing.
- Drop shipping services researched.
- Legal issues researched. Keep in mind, Qisoftware is a registered business entity in the state of Maryland.
- Currently, working on a Terms & Conditions statement for the shop.
- Sometime ago, I signed up to use the USPS API resource (see this QiSoftware demonstration page), so it was easy to insert the correct registration information in the OpenCart shipping module to handle shipping estimate calculations.
- Thinking about a couple of programs to write Excel and json data for import to the drop shipping service.
Below, a screen shot of the homepage of the new shop. It is still in setup mode. I liked the default template that was installed when I setup OpenCart.
Currently, I am adding more products to my shop and linking the products via the API service. I plan to make this a more automated task, however right now it is rather tedious. What is the reason drop shippers cannot automate the service for self hosted shop owners? Self hosted shops tend to have more custom mods and are inconsistent insofar as how to handle import and export data.
This has been a good learning experience for me and I feel I know a great deal more.
On Thursday, September 2, 2021, there was a major issue in my life which has been mostly handled, however the fact that I have been able to get this far with this project (during this time) surprises me, given I knew nothing about drop shipping. This is not for everyone. I want this post to show, I had a lot of pieces in place to be able to do this. This could be very expensive if the proper research is not in place.