I am considering setting up a e-commerce store for a friend's retailing shop. What I am interested in is a solution that is easy to maintain in terms of administration (insert new products, new pictures, descriptions..) of the website and business operation (Answering clients, confirm orders, updating the stock, etc.) so that someone with no programming skills could keep the e-store running.
Would anyone recommend using wordpress for a online store? If anyone had some experience doing it, it would be nice if s/he could share it.
There are a few services that will handle everything for you when setting up an online store. I hear Shopify does a pretty good job but can be pricey. There is also SquareSpace, although it is meant more for content sites and Wordpress as you mentioned. With wordpress you will need to set up all the right plugins to get the sale part going and that may be a bit outside of your skillset as it may require some hacking.
What I would do is check out shopify or see if it fits your needs and is not too expensive, try it for a few months and if the shop takes off transition to a more cost effective solution.
I just finished building a website for a record label here in Australia using Wordpress. I would recommend using Wordpress for an online store definitely, so many things are taken care of for you already like user authentication, admin interface, media uploading and all those kinds of things.
Wordpress is a great CMS platform that has several great e-commerce extension/plugin/modules to work with. For a simple and clean site without a complex product or ordering process you could do significantly worse then deploying a solution on a Wordpress platform. Here is a good list of ten e-commerce plug-ins for the Wordpress platform.
Wordpress is at it's core a blogging program and is very simple and easy to use as a way to provide ongoing constantly updated content. If you have not already committed to using Wordpress it might be other equally supported CMS platforms to consider. Based on where you are headed there might be other CMS platforms which will provide you greater long term flexibility and scalability.
Equally important as a consideration is to find the eccomerce solution first and then build the CMS around it. For example -- choosing VirtueMart as a easy to manage store with a lot of functionality and great community support -- then Joomla would be the wrap around CMS. The result may open the door to solutions to other issues -- like the bridges to business accounting software.
I've been in this exact scenerio. My friend approached me and asked if I could build him an e-commerce solution on top of his Wordpress site for below market value.
I did it because he was my friend and it was a bit of a nightmare (Luminate Surf and Skate ) . He had a theme that didn't play nice with the best e-commerce plugin out there (WP e-Commerce ) and in my opinion, it's a hard to manage plugin. I also had to teach him how to use the back end system which isn't that intuitive.
From experience, I would recommend suggesting to your friend that he setup an online store using a service that is built for that purpose.
I've used shopify and it isn't as "user-friendly" as they claim. Yeah it's easy to edit but it's hard to truly make your own themes without some experience. I would go for woo-commerce if you're using Wordpress. Also, something to consider is Wordpress' slow loading speeds. If you are going to have a fairly large store you may want to consider some sort of CDN service.
Wordpress is far easier to use compared to Shopify, and it's hosted on your own server so you have endless options.
Read Shopping cart reviews. Review sites are very good for learning what will work. This works for me, reviews save me a lot of time.