Need to set up e-commerce site

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by Enlightened1, Feb 5, 2014.

  1. Enlightened1 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2014
    #1
    Greetings, I have found lots of useful information from this site in the past, but now have a specific question that I could not find an answer to. Forgive me if a similar topic has been discussed, but it is difficult for a web-ignoramus such as myself to filter through all the topics when I don't speak your language and don't understand most of your terminology.

    I am a newly trained physician and would like to offer medical advice via an e-commerce web store. Unfortunately, as I am fresh out of training, I do not currently have the means by which to hire a web builder/designer to assist me. I can't even afford cheap right now.

    The gist is of my potential website (without getting into too many details) is that a customer, seeking medical advice, would access my site, pay a fee then send me the required documents. I would then analyze the material and send back my report via regular mail/shipping. I do not plan to have this capability initially, but possibly later, I may want to have a repository on my website whereby the customer could login and review their documents and my report(s) online. Initially, I plan to only send them their hardcopy reports.

    So, I need a website with a shopping cart for only a handful of possible charges. My research has led me to hosted shopping carts such as shopify or bigcommerce. This seems the easiest way to set up a shopping cart/website without having to worry about the myriad of hosting issues. It seems I could design the website using the templates they offer. The reason I am hesitant, however, is that these seem more aligned for people with numerous products to sell, when I would only have a few charges. Also, I would just like some reassurance from those who are more knowledgable/informed than myself.

    Of course I have glorious ambitions for the business, and could foresee this getting pretty big. In such case, would it be better to have my own website? Could I start with a hosted site/cart and then switch at a later point when I have proper funds to hire a good website builder/designer?

    Thank you so much for any help or assistance you could offer.
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    I would look towards a company that specializes in such things instead of you trying to manage it yourself.
     
  3. Enlightened1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2014
    #3

    Are you referring to one of the hosted e-commerce sites, like I mentioned above? Can you recommend a company? Thanks
     
  4. 960design macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2012
    Location:
    Destin, FL
    #4
    My thoughts first:
    The website will be your storefront. Designing one yourself may save you money today, but will scare away potential customers due to amateur look. Mixing medicine and online is a dangerous game. Also, think about the overall picture. You'd make more money treating patients instead of managing/building a site, especially e-commerce. E-commerce is not to be taken lightly.

    If you decide to push through with this look to Stripe to create quick buttons. You can basically pre-program the button with say a $100 fee on a page, $200 on another page, ect. Even this level of easy may be too difficult for you to handle safely.

    Good luck.
     
  5. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #5
    You probably didn't think through the business model.

    If the patients have the "required documents," the person already went to the doctor and can probably afford to have a real doctor to make a second opinion.

    If they don't, they have sites such as http://www.webmd.com/

    In addition, since you don't have a budget, you don't have a budget to secure the website to handle sensitive information.
     
  6. mripadmini macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2013
    #6
    its impossible to start a company that does this kind of service when you have never worked with/for a already established company that does it.
     
  7. firedept macrumors 603

    firedept

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere!
    #7
    Concentrate on being a physician first. Trying to accomplish what you want to do is going to take some knowledge of web development. Security will be a big issue, especially of what you are asking people to do with their files over the net. If you do try to tackle this on your own, I wish you luck in your endeavors.
     
  8. blaster_boy macrumors 6502

    blaster_boy

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2004
    Location:
    Belgium
    #8
    See all the above comments for why you should think twice before doing this. Putting sensitive documents on the web should be done in a way that is very secure. Make sure that you're legally covered !

    For startup and light loads, however, Dropbox might be something to look into. You can easely upload docs to a dropbox account and then share the link to the document via an url. You could also give them the wrong link by accident... so I would be very careful about doing this. Or not do this at all.

    Your first scenario is just a web-frontend and the exchange of documents and result is done via shipping / mail.

    In that case you don't need anything big. You could get away with using Wordpress + WooCommerce plugin + Paypal and/or Stripe extension to sell your services. Should not cost that much.

    Technically it's all possible. It's up to you if you want to try it out or not.
     

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