A case study in finding the best eCommerce solution for your client

Previously I talked about the factors to consider when choosing an eCommerce platform for your project. Today I want to cover a few projects we’ve done for clients and the solutions we’ve chosen.

Example client projects:

The following are examples of real client projects along with the solution we chose for each situation.

  1. First, we have a small online clothing retailer who’s just starting with online commerce. She has a product that targets a niche and will likely want to do a lot of promotion via social media and blogging.

  2. Next, we have an existing online retailer who currently has a store selling physical and subscription based products. They have plans to grow and expand quite a bit in the future.

  3. Finally, we have a non-profit who wants to accept donations on their website. They want to enable both one-time and recurring donations.

Small Clothing Retailer

For the small clothing retailer who wants to promote things heavily with blogging and social media, we chose WooCommerce, which is a plugin for WordPress. This adds all the usual eCommerce features you’d expect (shopping cart, inventory tracking, shipping, payment gateways, etc) while integrating very well with WordPress. We were able to very quickly add a blog to their site while showcasing their products through WooCommerce. We also integrated UPS shipping for live rates.

Existing Retailer with Subscriptions

For the existing retailer who sells physical products as well as subscription based products, we chose Magento. There were a few key features of Magento that lead to that decision.

The first was the ability to sell physical products on a subscription basis. There are a variety of ways to accomplish this, but we ended up choosing the Subscribe Pro service to enable the exact features they needed.

Secondly, we chose Magento because it allowed us to easily build out multiple stores within their main site. We can have retail, business, and wholesale focused stores all within the same Magento installation.

Finally, Magento provides a solid foundation for them to grow in the future. Even though this client isn’t ‘enterprise’ level right now, at some point they may grow to that point. Since they’re already running on Magento, they’ll be able to scale up much much easier than if they needed to migrate from one cart solution to another (migrating websites is hard enough but when you’re trying to migrate an eCommerce site – that’s incredibly difficult).

Non-profit wanting to accept donations

For the non-profit wanting to accept donations, we chose a combination of Gravity Forms and Paypal. This allowed us to create a form where they could accept donations – either recurring or one-time donations, in a user friendly way for visitors. We’ve also used this technique with Stripe for the payment processing, which allows people to pay directly on the site itself, instead of paying through Paypal.

There are literally hundreds of ways to enable commerce on the web, but the solutions above highlight some of our favorite setups.

What solutions do you prefer?


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