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Ecommerce nightmare. Need advice on setting up an online site with Adobe (Muse & BC)

Discussion in 'Website Design Forum:' started by nellipope, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. nellipope

    nellipope Member

    It should have been a simple job, sadly what was a simple website for a coffee shop has turned into a nightmare project.

    I am trying to configure an online shop and integrate it with a Muse site.

    I am going to try and keep this short and to the point. The client sells therapy, 1 hour slots of either Acupuncture, Chiropractor, Holistic medicine etc, they want the following system on their site.

    Customers browse available therapies on a website > They select date > they select a time slot > they pay for a booking.

    At first I looked at the events booking system with BC, but this didn’t work, I couldn’t work out how to configure the events booking module to have time slots. Plus a Calendar / date picker is useless as the individual therapists work very specific hours / days from month to month.

    There is third party time slot booking software, but it’s very price, and only a few offer free trial (I need to see how it will work with a Muse site first).

    Then I though SHOPPING CART!!! For instance the variables I have can easily be interchanged, for size / colour etc.

    For example:
    CATALOG: List of various therapies
    PRODUCT: Acupuncture (for example)
    ATTRIBUTE: February 28th
    OPTION: Drop down time slots available - 9am - 10am

    PAYMENT!

    I tried to configure this with BC at first (I’ve never used it, am very new to it) and I found it a little complex. Then I found Ecwid, they are brilliant, you sign up for a free account, you build the shop online then Ecwid generates the code and you simply copy and embed it within Muse. Its beautiful. Sadly to be able to use the product variation (different times slots ensuring only one is in stock) you need to upgrade to a Business account, with is quite expensive, also their support is useless, actually non-existent practically.

    So I have gone back to BC. I am slowly making progress, setting up the shop and integrating it with Muse, but I’m new to BC and my progress is slow. But it has now occurred to me that the client is just not going to be able to handle BC, they are going to take one look and run, I think it's too complicated for these clients.

    To summise:
    I need an online ‘plug and play’ shopping cart for a Muse website, that my client can understand? They will be frightened by BC
    Can anyone recommend a plug in that can be configured as above?
     
  2. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    I'm not sure a wysiwyg web builder is best practice for building an e-commerce site, as the underlying framework for e-com is pretty complex, which is why they can often cost a small fortune. If you've not got the knowledge required to code an e-commerce site for a dedicated framework such as Magento or WooCommerce, try looking at premium templates for those systems. Alternatively look at Magento Go or Shopify
     
    nellipope likes this.
  3. andybdesign

    andybdesign Active Member

    I feel your pain. It's horrible trying to get different things to work together like this. I've been there.

    I would also recommend Shopify (Ecommerce Software, Online Store Builder, Website Store Hosting Solution- Free 14 day Trial by Shopify.). It's very simple to use. I've set it up with several clients and run my own site with it: The Print Handbook Store

    They have great support, the system is really easy to use and they have an app for appointment booking – https://apps.shopify.com/bookthatapp

    It sounds like your budget is pretty tight though. Take a look at the price of Shopify. I'd recommend it though.

    I'd be happy to give you quick tour round Shopify over the phone if that would help. I've done that with lots of clients before and I'd be happy to help out a fellow designer.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
  4. Corrosive

    Corrosive Moderator Staff Member

    Why don't you try something like BookingBug Online Booking System, Scheduling and Appointment Software which should integrate into your MUSE layout with just a few lines of code? If your client isn't prepared to pay £14.95 per month so that it means you don't have to work miracles then I would seriously reconsider the job as a whole. Seems ideal for the purposes and has loads of great features (management through iPhone app etc.) We have been asked to use it on an upcoming project and I can't really see any downsides to it.

    Hope that helps.
     
    Paul Murray and nellipope like this.
  5. nellipope

    nellipope Member

    I can't thank all of you enough. I've posted this issue in a number of forums and not had any responses. I am going to put forward a proposal to the client, with a number of options including Shopify, Booking bug, Ecwid and Business Catalyst (this is going way above and beyond the call of duty, especially considering the quote given for this project). You're all right, the client is going to have to put their hand in their pocket to find a solution for this. They have a colleague who has used Birchpress Scheduler on their website, but it's Wordpress! I don't use it and given the client's design requests I don't think I will find a Wordpress theme to suit. Andy I may well take you up on your kind offer, Shopify is going to take some configuring, so I will post again if I need further help.
    Many many thanks again.
     
  6. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    Can you read/write css, html etc..? You could look at using a boilerplate template for whichever platform you decide to work from. That way the hard work is taken out of the back end and it's just the content and styling to focus on.
     

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