e-commerce provider for an EU based startup


I am starting a software company located in the European Union. I wrote a B2B product that is in beta test at the moment. Based on my market research and analysis I expect to make 50% of sales in USA, 30% in EU and the rest in other parts of the world.

Which e-commerce provider would you suggest for me? Is it better if I use an EU based provider like ShareIt or is the location of the e-commerce provider not important?



asked Dec 31 '09 at 23:06
106 points

3 Answers


It's not clear whether you're looking for a provider to just process payments for you, or whether you're also looking for someone to handle registration and fulfilment. It's worth considering them separately:

I'm assuming you are going to accept credit cards directly (i.e. not via a paypal account or one of the other proxy channels). This means you have to follow these steps:

  1. Apply for a credit card Merchant Account (either with your current bank or another in your country). It's typically difficult to get one from a different country.
  2. Find a Payment Processor and supports the bank of your merchant account (authorize.net are the big one in the US, realexpayments and sagepay are two I know in Europe).

Then, you need a storefront solution that supports your payment processor (there are lots to choose from, examples are shopify and oxcommerce).

Finally, you may need a solution to handle license key generation and user registrations. I'd recommend looking at Shine because it's free (http://clickontyler.com/blog/2009/08/shine-an-indie-mac-dashboard/ ) although I haven't tried it myself.

My hunch is that it's best to keep away from the all-in-one solutions like ShareIt - they look pretty pricey to me and it'll be hard to move later.

answered Jan 1 '10 at 01:54
Denis Hennessy
1,363 points
  • +1, Except: Stay away from osCommerce if you want to stay mentally sane. Go for MagentoCommerce (http://www.magentocommerce.com) instead or, since you only sell one product at the moment, you could go with a custom solution. Also, getting a merchant account is expensive... maybe you would want to consider a solution like Paypal until sales pick up ;) – Olivier Lalonde 14 years ago
  • Denis, Thank you very much for the detailed information. All-in-one solutions are a pricey but are much more simple to implement at the moment. Why do you think it would be hard to move from ShareIt and others like them? – Branko 14 years ago
  • Moving from a payment provider is easy - new customers simply use the new provider. However, moving from whoever generates the license keys is much harder (because you have existing customers to service). Running this stuff yourself (using Shine or something similar) is really not that hard. – Denis Hennessy 14 years ago


You may want to take a look at FastSpring E-Commerce. There is support for multi-currency transactions, foreign language order pages, global tax collection, wiring vendor funds overseas, etc.

Hope that helps.

answered Jan 1 '10 at 07:14
61 points
  • FastSpring looks almost like what I am looking for. I think my customers will want to get an invoice and pay by bank/wire transfer. I worked in IT departments and don't remember a single case when we bought software with credit cards or PayPal. We allways sent an internal order to a purchase department that than sent a PO to a supplier and payed after receiving an invoice. I've checked FastSpring testimonials and all of them offer B2C software that can be bought only with a credit card or PayPal. – Branko 14 years ago


Stay away from any and all services that Digital River owns. We had been mostly happy with element 5 (which also owned share-it!), but in a couple of years after the DR acquisition the quality of their service has degraded so substantially that we had to start looking for alternatives.

FastSpring is good, but IMHO not B2B ready yet. As of today (Jan 01, 2010), they don't accept wire transfers and have no written quote request automation in place. They promised to have those features available soon, so I sincerely hope this paragraph will be outdated.

Of the newcomers, cleverbridge also looks interesting, but I am so allergic to .NET that I am yet to give my demo account a shot (their control panel is a .NET desktop app, and they say many of its features are absent in the Web admin interface.)

answered Jan 1 '10 at 20:28
Dmitry Leskov
606 points
  • I have heard about DR service and client support quality. That's why I am looking for alternatives. Do you have a link to cloudscape? – Branko 14 years ago
  • Sorry, "cloudscape" have somehow popped in my head instead of "cleverbridge". Had to add the link to my answer (and verify it!) It's http://www.cleverbridge.com/Dmitry Leskov 14 years ago
  • I'll check them. Thank you Dmitry. – Branko 14 years ago

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