ecommerce site with companion app solutions

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by patent10021, Aug 1, 2015.

  1. patent10021, Aug 1, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2015

    patent10021 macrumors 68030


    Apr 23, 2004
    I'm looking to set up an ecommerce site with companion app.

    It's for a friend so I could code both or even simply set up Shopify or WP solution giving them full control.

    Shopify looks pretty good. They also have purchasable themes they may like. What other solutions are there? Would WP be better since you can choose your ecommerce type? It seems everything is ready to go with Shopify. You can even just use their ecommerce backend if you want. They have an API too so I could use that for to develop the app.

    It seems like it's still fairly convoluted in 2015 to set up an online store and have the app update automatically unless you have an extensive backend and database set up so that's why Shopify looks enticing. They even have POS solutions.

    Ideally I'd love to set up an ecommerce site totally autonomously then just with an API tie in to the app.
  2. -pete- macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2011
    I've deployed a couple of Shopify stores and they're really pretty good.

    The back end is user friendly for the clients, their sales tracking etc seemed really good and you could probably get a decent mobile theme for comparatively cheap which could take over the role of your companion app without having to pay for costly apple developer licences and even let you sell to those dirty android users :) The only issue is that integrations / extensions can get a little costly, even something relatively simple like adding sales can add an extra $10 a month to your bill.

    There are some alternatives though, you might want to check out:
    For managed solutions (like Shopify)
    BigCartel (for smaller shops)

    For self hosted (you run it on your hosting)
    WordPress + WooCommerce (for smaller shops)
    Open Cart
    Magento EE (for bigger shops)

    Even these days there is a reasonable amount of work that goes into a store, yes you could just buy a template from somewhere but they can be tricky to manipulate if you don't know what you are doing.

    If you have the budget getting in touch with a local development agency might be a good move, they should have the expertise to guide you through the process and get everything up and running with minimal fuss.
  3. tomek.piatek macrumors newbie


    Jan 29, 2014
    New Zealand
    I can highly recommend Shopify. I am a desktop and web software developer and after some initial research (this is almost 3-4 years ago now I think) I quickly came to the conclusion that it's just not worth developing a custom e-commerce system any more. Unless of course your client is willing to pay you in which case go for it.

    Shopify is very powerful and their API is very rich and mature. I have even developed a glue system which interfaces between my client's Stock Management/POS system and Shopify so that when items are sold in real life stock numbers get adjusted on the web site.

    We've also set up Shopify to send all sorts of dispatch notices etc to make the work of the actual store employees easier when fulfilling orders.

    Also, even though there is only a finite number of themes on offer there is a burgeoning and vibrant Shopify-centric ecosystem out there with many designers and developer actively developing new themes and add-ons, some of which are very powerful and would take a single developer weeks of full time work to fully develop into production ready state as a product that can be sold.

    As a developer you can easily apply for Shopify's Developer Account and user their and your own tools to customise your client's on-line store.

    It's a great system.


    I am not affiliated in any way with Shopify, I just really like their work, it gels with my mind, I guess it's because I'm also a Ruby on Rails developer.
  4. fabulousrice macrumors newbie


    Aug 19, 2015

    I've used Prestashop in the past. It's free, and the people there are really useful... it's extremely full-featured.
    Maybe try a couple of free demos and see what you like the best?

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