E-commerce is one of our specialities.  Below we provide a bit more information on what is involved in setting up a shop.

Key to success

There are a couple of things we feel make a big difference in e-commerce:

  • good product photography
  • smart and easy product editing
  • smart product categories
  • clear pricing, including delivery costs
  • ability to purchase goods without an account
  • smart sale processing systems

To consider

To set up an e-commerce website you will need to consider questions like these:


  1. What are your product?
  2. How do you group your products? (e.g. by size, colour, brand, etc.)
  3. Do you have products with variants / variations (e.g. S / M / L or Blue / Red / Green)?
  4. Do you require a product search?
  5. What other features do your products have (e.g. weight, size, SKU, etc... etc...)
  6. Are there any legal requirements around the items you are selling (e.g. alcohol sales or, for example, for second-hand goods you need to have a register of items sold)? 
  7. Do you have high quality photos of your merchandise? 
  8. Can customers rate / review your products? 


  1. How do you price your products (e.g. what currency do you use?, do you change your prices a lot?)
  2. Do you have specials or discounts?
  3. Do you have discount coupons available?
  4. Are there any combination products with their own pricing (e.g. remote controlled car + batteries)?
  5. Do you offer any other form of price variation? 


  1. Can you run out of stock?
  2. Does your e-commerce site need to know about stock levels?
  3. Do you require a minimum / maximum number of units for purchase?


  1. Do customers need to login to purchase your products?
  2. What information do you require from customers
  3. Do you allow for a separate delivery and billing address?
  4. Is there a minimum / maximum that people can buy?


  1. Do you allow anyone in the world to buy your products?
  2. Do you allow customers to set up login accounts?
  3. Would you like to remind customers about abandoned carts?
  4. Do customers have personalised pricing? 


  1. What do you charge for delivery?
  2. Do you base delivery on (a) fixed fee (b) weight (c) delivery location (d) size (e) total order cost; or a combination of two or more of these?
  3. What are your delivery times / regulations?
  4. Where do you deliver?
  5. Do you require any delivery provided as download (e.g. if you sell software)?


  1. Do you charge GST?
  2. Are you up-to-date on how to charge GST for overseas customers?
  3. Are your invoices proper tax invoices?


  1. What sort of payment do you accept on your website (e.g. Paypal / credit card / bank transfer / etc...)?
  2. Who is your credit card payment taker (e.g. Windcave / Stripe / Paypal)?
  3. How does your selected credit card payment taker work with your bank?
  4. What sort of compliance is required to start taking credit card payments?
  5. Would you like your customers to enter their credit card details on your site or on a third-party page?

order processing

  1. What steps do you go through after an order is placed?
  2. What emails would you like to go to the customer once an order is placed (e.g. invoice / receipt / delivery update / feedback)?
  3. What happens if their payment did not go through?
  4. What else needs to happen once order is confirmed (payment received)? 


  1. What would you like to know about customers?
  2. What would you like to know about your sales?


  1. Does your shop integrate with any other websites you may have?
  2. Would you like to integrate with social media?
  3. Do you envisage any other integrations with other software (e.g. stock control / xero / myob / crm / trademe / etc.)?



We like to build e-commerce sites in Silverstripe (our speciality CMS) and Shopify. Below is a comparison of the two systems.


  Shopify Silverstripe
  • ready from day one;
  • limited development costs;
  • extensive online help available;
  • used by millions;
  • thousands of plugins available;
  • can handle 1000+ transactions a day, with ease;
  • transaction costs;
  • seamless integration with Silverstripe website;
  • customise as you see fit;
  • no ongoing licensing costs;
  • you own your own data;
  • you are not dependent on Shopify policy (changes);
  • ongoing license fees;
  • transaction costs;
  • hard to seamlessly integrate with your other site;
  • needs to follow the Shopify template to some degree, especially in the checkout section;
  • customisations are harder and more expensive to build;
  • Shopify has access to your data;
  • costs can be high for large volume / high customisation sites;
  • development time;
  • need for (ongoing) review and testing;
  • very little online help;
  • used by few;
  • few plugins available;
  • ongoing maintenance and upgrade costs;
  • unlikely to handle 1000s of transactions a day without extensive customisations;


To set up the most basic shop without frills takes one to two days.  After that, we can work with you to add any customisations you may require, as you see fit, and your budget allows. 

Please contact us to get an obligation free quote.



{ This page was last updated 12 months ago. Copyright Sunny Side Up Ltd. }