What are the best services for making a retail site? Do I need to pick between stack and snippet?

I’ve got some requests to make sites which also have store component to them. None of the sites I’ve made have any retail aspect to them so I am starting these projects with no experience.

One person brought up using Shopify and the other person had no preference at all. He might not have know all the details in a similar way that I don’t. The closest think I’ve set up was a PayPal donation link but that wasn’t linked up for the customer to get anything for their donation. Setting up PayPal was a bit complicated for me so I hope some of these other services are a bit better.

My question is two part. Is there a best service for small one person companies who have a small product line? (for an example one of these people just wants to sell his two self published books with the possibility of more down the road.)

The second question is do some of these services just insert a little code on the page via an HTML snippet? What is the best way to do that? A snippet or dedicated stack?

I can see there were some videos about RW and Ecwid that were added a long time ago but I have no idea what Ecwid is. Do I use that alongside a service like Shopify? I am glad that the first of these stores will only have two products so that it keeps things a bit simple.

There are a couple of solutions you could work with.
Ecwid is a good shopping cart solution you may want to also look into Sitelok.

Ecwid would be a good choice for that first store I think and the free version lets you sell up to five products. It’s also all-in-one so you don’t need Shopify or anything like that.

You set the store up in Ecwid and then follow the instructions here (https://support.ecwid.com/hc/en-us/articles/207100109-Selling-on-RapidWeaver-with-Ecwid) to add the store to your project.


Give Cartloom a go :wink:

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Ecwid sounds really good for what he needs. Looks like it services very small shops like his well and seems to work best for people who sell physical items rather then digital goods where they then start taking a cut of the profits.

Does it provide flexibility to work inside of a custom Foundry design? In other words is it pretty independent from requiring a specific theme?

@yabdab That looks like a great stack too and I think I might use it for the bigger more complex store. One of these businesses currently uses Square to take appointments. Would it integrate with Square or be in additional to it? He is trying to expand his business from services to also selling physical goods.

I am guessing that Square doesn’t provide online sale of as much as they in store purchases?

Hey @KipV ,

Ecwid can be integrated into RapidWeaver in three ways:

1. Using the official Ecwid plugin
Don’t use this. The plugin only adds a page type (nothing else) and doesn’t work with blank themes like the Foundry theme. The store needs to be on its own page and you can only use the built-in navigation of a theme (as a Stacks based nav can’t be displayed on the store page). There are ways around this of course (like using a PHP include or something like the Portal stack by Weaver’s Space), but it’s cumbersome.

2. Using snippets
Only use this if you’re into long nights of fiddling around with CSS, as the snippets ignore your project’s markup. It’s not fun, but at least it’s free.

3. Using the third party EcwidPro stacks by Axyn Technology
These stack will earn their money ($70) back on the very first project you use them on, as they take away the need of fiddling with CSS. Simply drop the required stack onto the page, enter your store ID and set up the look. and feel of the store using the stack’s settings. You can include parts of the store on pages that also hold other stacks, or build a separate store page that will still show your stacks based navigation.

Ecwid is fine for small stores, but everything you add costs money. The really useful features are missing from the free and entry level paid tier (you’ll need one of the two expensive tiers to be realistic).

Also, if you don’t use the provided store page and go with snippets or the EcwidPro stacks instead, the products and categories will not be included into your sitemap.xml - so Google won’t find them unless you manually maintain sitemap.xml (which is undoable if you often include new products, and undoable for non-tech savvy clients either).

I eventually gave up offering Ecwid to new clients because of this.

I do recommend you look into VibraCart Pro though - it’s quite good and allows far going customisation.


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Here’s an example of a very simple Ecwid shop used inside Foundry.

It is helpful to see one in use like this. The site I will be working on will likely have an even smaller shop then those of this painter with only two items. Being an author is more of a secondary job for him as he makes his money being a teacher and his shop will just be one small part of one page.

@Heroic_Nonsense I see the justification of spending the extra money to get the job done quickly and easily. I’m all for that as a person who is trying to get several sites done at the same time. As I keep moving into more retail sites, especially when I get to the more complicated ones, I’ll likely have many different e-commerce solutions at the ready.

Here’s another example (in Dutch, sorry) that I built using the Axyn stacks, Foundry and Alloy:

The owner has recently downgraded their Ecwid sub to the free tier if i’m not mistaken, so some features may be missing.

All text is editable by the owner in Alloy.


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It is good to know that even the basic level can be pretty capable. I would say this clears up what I need for this project and what I will likely use in the future.

I would recommend Foundation Box’s Mercury Project. It comes with Vibralogix’s Vibracart PRO and with some tinkering creates an awesome site. You will need to purchase Weaver Space’s Foundation 6 and YourHead’s Stacks 5 plugin but is well worth it. I set up my gallery store fairly quickly and added a plugin to allow a visiter to create a wishlist. Check it out. If you are not interested in such an involved set up, I recommend Yabdab’s PaySnap 3 that I used before updating my website with Mercury. All of these products are from committed, professional and responsive developers.

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Good to know, right now I’m using Foundry 3 but I’ll keep PaySnap in mind, thanks!