Ecommerce components in Bootstrap Studio? Looking for feedback

Hey guys! We are investigating adding ecommerce components to Bootstrap Studio, and are looking for your feedback.

Here is how we envision them to work:

  1. There will be a new Ecommerce group in the Components panel. It will contain blocks like Product, Product List, Membership Login, Membership Area etc.
  2. You grab a Product component and drop it in your design.
  3. In the component options, you fill product details, price, and link a PayPal and/or a Stripe account (could be yours or your client’s).
  4. When you publish/export your site, you get a product listing with working purchase functionality. Users directly pay into your linked PayPal or Stripe account.
  5. Purchase details are delivered to your (or your client’s) email address, so you can proceed with fulfilling the order.

This will work for both physical and digital products. It will be an entirely free service, the only fees that are charged are those by PayPal or Stripe.

With these components you can build an entire online store, or add ecommerce functionality to an existing website, without having to set up Shopify or WooCommerce etc. It could be a good fit for small shops.

Is this something you would use and would like us to add to Bootstrap Studio? Or maybe we shouldn’t bother? Looking for your feedback!

10 Likes

Great Idea Martin. My big YES for this functionality. I made my first ecommerce website embedding Ecwid code in BSS. It worked ok, but loading content from any platform (Shopify, Ecwid …) slows down the website. Having ecommerce functionality in one place (BSS) will be a lot faster and easier to work.

1 Like

I think it will be a great idea as long as there is a way of being able to edit items (products) in bulk.

Feel this may be limited as no database support natively in designs.

But deffo a good option :+1:

1 Like

Also @martin how soon with this be ready as I have an e-commerce site I will be building in the coming weeks so this is perfectly timed.

Awesome idea! I too have a couple ecommerce sites that I have planned in the next couple months or so (can hold off for this if it will be a while). A few ideas/comments also:

  • I second @hackers_84 with ability to bulk/mass edit.

  • Would love to see Coupon Code ability added with ability to have limited time/date codes and always codes.

  • Would like the ability to set stock amounts with “out of stock” option attached.

  • Would love the ability to use Venmo also. This payment processor is getting a lot more widely known and is cheaper for the seller on fees as well.

  • Will the Login setup also be complete or is that something we would need to do ourselves? Since I know next to nothing about creating a store, having all the bells and whistles added for me is an awesome weight off my shoulders, but I also don’t have the knowledge for the backend code of login systems. I don’t think it is “necessary” as not all will bother with a login system, but I’m sure many will want that.

  • Will we have the ability to edit the forms? Such as membership creation, fields for information collected for purchases and so on? Basically anything that includes a form of some sort. I don’t think we “need” the ability to edit the functional areas of the store, but sometimes some products or services need more or less information than what is on a default form.

I’m sure I’ll come up with more lol. Am totally loving this idea and I am sure anyone that does any selling for themselves or customers will love it too. Being on the front end area of designing I don’t have any backend training so any help on this is most definitely appreciated!

Like the idea, wise decision.

There are various other popular ones that will also easily integrate: “Gumroad, Paddle, Snipcart, Selz”, etc. I would highly recommend “Ecwid” be included considering the so many great features it offers users.

None should really be overly difficult. You can see this other visual Bootstrap builder “Blocs App” quickly implemented various e-commerce options recently (including Ecwid) in the same / similar fashion as you are describing with simple user input options.

There are many others to possibly consider: “Podia, Sellfy, Mollie, Payhip”, etc. Simple Amazon and eBay buy buttons could be another possible consideration, though some of those are pretty easy as it is. Overall you may need to consider the geographic locations of BSS users and ensure that certain options exist that work everywhere.

So based upon that statement will there then be a live “shopping cart” included with add / remove / purchase etc? I know various of these e-commerce gateways bring that onto a site by default when you hook them within a site.

2 Likes

Thanks for the feedback! The feature is still in the planning stage, so it could be a couple of months before we have the components ready.

There are two major hurdles that we need to overcome to make the ecommerce components work:

  • Calculating taxes (sales tax in the US, VAT in the EU, with similar setups in quite a few other countries). If you have experience selling online, we would love to hear how you do it.
  • Calculating shipping fees. This applies only to physical goods of course.

Also users will need to be aware that it’s not enough to just link their PayPal and start selling. They will be liable for paying and filling taxes, this is not something Bootstrap Studio can help them with.

@hackers_84 These components are still a couple of months away, so don’t wait for them if you have urgent projects.

@jo-r After a bit of research it appears that the only way to integrate Venmo payments in a store, is if you have a Braintree account (this is like Stripe, but owned by PayPal). We probably won’t launch with Braintree but will integrate it a few months down the line.

@bss_user Thank you for the suggestions! Gumroad, Paddle, Snipcart, Selz and Ecwid are store management/ecommerce platforms, and they already have a way to let you embed their stores in your site by including JS or embedding iframes. Instead we want to go a different route with our ecommerce components. We want to integrate with payment providers directly, and let your site become the store. You can embed components like product listings, “Add to Cart” buttons, “Shopping Cart Viewer”, “Product Search” field and others. This way you have complete control on how your store functions and how it is structured by just combining different components that work great together.

2 Likes

Thanks for the feedback @martin , this feature sounds like a lofty agenda and approach. I’m really interested to see the outcome and how well things work. Hopefully when implemented it will be seamless so support tickets don’t grow exponentially for your team. :smile:

Thanks @Martin - I will patiently wait for this to be available in coming months

That will be great @Martin. Will there be better options than Stripe. They would have to be the worst merchant that I have had anything to do with. If you have accommodation they withhold heaps of money ( they say it is for possible refunds) as well as taking their due commission. There is not much money gets to the bank. Square in much better.

Cant wait for your release.

Barry

I’m all for that :+1:

If I had a client who needed a robust online storefront that could manage inventory, thousands of client accounts, have hundreds or thousands of products with numerous variables (colors, sizes, styles, imprintable areas, as well as features like file uploads, be able to compute pricing, sales tax, shipping, etc…, do reports, offers specials, coupons, etc…) I would use a dedicated, seasoned option like Magento, Shopify, Volusion, Big Commerce, etc… These platforms have been around for many years, and have already thought of virtually everything an e-commerce seller would want or need. With Magento and Woocommerce, there are third-party plug-ins that allow you to do just about anything you can think of. Even Wix and Webflow have gotten into e-commerce and offer some fairly robust features.

If I had a client that just wanted a small number of products to sell (a few dozen) and didn’t want to have customer accounts, I would encourage them to open a PayPal business account, which allows you to create products and export them as code that can be placed into any website via custom code embedding, and Paypal handles all the billing aspects for a very low rate. It sounds like the e-commerce features you’re proposing might be a good substitute option this above-described technique.

BSS would be going up against some very heavy-hitters that have been in the e-commerce game for years. Getting into the e-commerce game is a big step, and can quickly become incredibly complex, especially as BSS users will undoubtedly want more and more features. If you’ve got the resources to dedicate to this, then by all means, go for iit. It’s your software and your call. But my feeling is that if you don’t charge extra, then it’s only logical to assume that growth and development of future e-commerce features will be limited based on your team’s current workload.

1 Like

I would have to disagree fully @printninja as I’ve had the pleasure of using software for a storefront for myself and clients when CoffeeCup used to actually try to finish their software. It was a pretty good app, covered most everything except the shipping was a bit daunting as it didn’t connect to the shipping companies like most of the others do. But I’ll tell you it was a whole lot simpler to learn than things like Magento and such, and I’m one that prefers things as an app rather than an online app so it was great. Handled large and small shops with limited upkeep needed. I would highly prefer this to dealing with all those online builders and their learning curves any day. I also think they will find time to do all your changes you’ve been asking for as they go as well.

I think there is more than 1 person working on this app don’t you? I get that feeling anyways. If that’s the case, then I’m sure each of them have their particular area of expertise that they work on so they probably will all have part of the store responsibilities, but they also each cover parts of your requests as well. It’s not like one person with a mile log list, more like 5 people (just a number) with 6 block lists lol. Keep it simple, Martin has already mentioned that some of the ideas you listed would be worked on, give them time and let them spread out too.

I think this shopping cart system is an awesome idea myself. Can’t wait to check it out!

@Martin one of the things I didn’t mention in my last post is shipping. If there’s a way at all to connect the shipping to their real time shipping rates, that would be the most optimal way for everyone involved I would think. It should contain multiple ways to ship such as weight based, flat rate, local etc.
The same would apply for taxes so it will account for state, county and city taxes depending on shipping location.

1 Like

I think you misunderstood me. I’m not against there being a simple e-commerce system added to BSS. I don’t know how useful it would be for me personally. I’m simply saying there are other, less complex features, I’d rather see added first.

If there are in fact separate teams of developers working on different aspects of BSS, then my post is a non-issue.

1 Like

@martin the matter of taxes and shipping rates would need some means of storing the settings on the site.

  1. Re taxes, the developer only needs to provide the seller with the ability to enter tax rates and of course, the means of using it in the calculations. Some countries might have state/regional and federal/national taxes so the seller should be given the chance to enter them, eg, 8% state, 7% federal and these added to the price of the goods. For eg, total goods $10 + state tax $.70 + federal tax $.80. Total: $10+.80+.70 = 11.50

  2. Re shipping. There needs to be options for delivery method eg (a) air --if international or big country; (b) courier and type of service, express or a standard delivery; (c) self-pickup if offered. It is also likely that weight might be a factor and so weight ranges are needed for the shipping options, eg 1 - 5 kg/lbs (or decimals thereof); 5-9 lbs/kg and so on. There’s the option to set shipping cost by the total order, eg, over $30 free, so the option should be available for the seller to set.

There might be existing PHP scripts containing those features and only need an HTML interface. You’ll need to store sessions to remember items in the shopping cart until they’re stored in the database.

Usually tax is not calculated on shipping.

@martin, after reading your responses again I’m wondering will this feature be a hosted service like the other BSS Extras, or part of the export bundle to be self contained / hosted by users?

@starapple @baudwalker Thank you for the feedback! We’ll keep it in mind.

@printninja Some of the features you mentioned are coming, we will be developing the ecommerce components alongside improvements to Bootstrap Studio itself.

@bss_user The backend for the new components will be hosted on our servers, like our other cloud features (smartforms and bss sites).

Thanks for responding.

It appears there is a definitive platform trajectory now taking place with: sites, forms, e-commerce, mail studio, etc., with a somewhat undisclosed end goal in mind for the BSS platform. It’s interesting what’s unfolding, though it feels like subscriptions are coming. :grin:

I was thinking the same thing @bss_user.

@martin Are we looking at needing to do a subscription fee in order to utilize the shopping systems? Will we have the option to put the backend on our own servers? 2 viable questions that I should have asked sooner.

I know for myself I would prefer all the files to be on my server(s) rather than going through a 3rd party so to speak. Not that I am worried about down time, I don’t think that’s an issue, but I am worried about the possibility of fees for this service.

Doesn’t sound like self hosting will be an option @jo-r. Instead it sounds like it will be a users hosted (or BSS site extra) site talking to BSS servers, talking to payment providers. [] > … [] > … [] … <