Adobe Muse Ecommerce - Top Options For Selling Online with Muse
Gaining a "big picture" perspective of the online store you would like to create is a great first step. Answering a few basic questions will give you an instant advantage in knowing which ecommerce options will be best suited to your needs.
- Will you be selling digital or physical goods?
- Is the store for you or for a client?
- Will you use "buy now" buttons with individual products or embed an entire store?
- How many items will you be selling?
- Do you need the store to scale up as the business grows?
- Do you need a content management system (CMS)?
DIGITAL VS. PHYSICAL GOODS
While the majority of ecommerce services discussed in this article are geared toward the sale of physical goods, many allow the sale of digital goods as well. However, If digital goods (design assets, fonts, software, ebooks, comics, music, films, etc.) are what you're planning to sell exclusively, then it is definitely advisable to use an ecommerce service that specializes in the sale of digital goods – like Gumroad or Sellfy. Both offer great services geared toward digital sales, like instant file delivery, subscriptions, donation-based payment options, and more.
Gumroad also permits the sale of certain physical goods for United States-based users, which is handy when your online comic becomes so popular, you just have to sell T shirts too.
5% + 25¢ per transaction
Sellfy promotes a "community" environment, allowing digital content creators to feel right at home. The process of incorporating Sellfy into your Muse site couldn't be easier, using our Sellfy Ecommerce Widget and our Venture Template.
5% per transaction
YOUR STORE OR YOUR CLIENT'S STORE
If you're building an online store for yourself, you will have the luxury of choosing whatever ecommerce solution that best fits your needs. When building a store for a client, it is important to gather as much information as possible about their business. How many items do they sell? How many items do they expect to be selling in 5 years? 10 years? Do they need to offer discounts, coupons, sale pricing? Do they need a shopping cart system? These are all factors that you can use to guide you to the right ecommerce product.
Possibly the biggest thing to keep in mind when working with a client on an ecommerce project is client education. When the store goes live, it should be considered very important that your client has a full understanding of how to manage their store, products, and customers. The easiest way to ensure this is to use a system with an intuitive, robust back-end. Good options here include Ecwid, Wazala, and PayPal Payments Pro. While more complex, creating a hybrid site is a clever way to combine the no-code simplicity of Muse with a powerful dedicated ecommerce system like Shopify, Big Cartel, and Magento. More on that to come...
SINGLE ITEMS & "BUY NOW" BUTTONS
If your site sells just one product or only a few products, you're probably best off going with "Buy Now" buttons or single item embed code. These options are usually the most affordable. While paying a small payment gateway fee is unavoidable (usually 2% - 3%), many companies carry "forever free" options for those selling just a few items.
For the sale of just one item, you may want to go with the most basic option available: PayPal. Probably the most widely-recognized name in ecommerce around the globe, and setup is extremely easy. By simply dropping our PayPal Custom Buttons widget into your Adobe Muse website build, you can begin accepting worldwide payments literally within minutes. A valuable feature of this widget is that you can easily create your own custom buttons to seamlessly integrate your website's branding.
While several ecommerce options discussed in sections below offer the ability to easily drop an entire store into your site, the single item option is one that allows you to retain absolute design control in your website build. You can design a main "products" page or individual product pages, and drop in as many individual single item options as you like. This process is as simple as copying the HTML code provided in your account's product area and pasting it into your Muse product page.
SINGLE ITEM EMBED
Many ecommerce companies provide single item embed options. Here's a rundown:
Celery is a great option for single item sales, and is also the obvious choice of this bunch for managing crowdfunding projects (such as Kickstarter, GoFundMe, and IndieGogo). Delayed, instant, or split payments make potentially complicated retroactive order fulfillment a breeze.
- 2% fee + Payment Gateway fees
Shopify is well-known for their powerful self-contained, hosted ecommerce service. What many don't know, however, is that it is possible to integrate a Shopify products into a Muse website. By using Shopify's "Buy Button" widget, you can grab the code needed to place single items into your site. At this time, the Buy Button widget is fairly limited in terms of customization, though we hope to see this addressed in the future. Look at the "Hybrid Options" section below for additional ways to leverage Shopify's fantastic service.
Plans start at $14 per month
Selz offers single item embed options. See "All-In-One Solutions" below for more information.
2% per transaction + Payment Gateway fees
Ecwid offers single item embed options. See "All-In-One Solutions" below for more information.
Free for up to 10 items, Paid plans start at $15 per month
Plans start at $16 per month
For those looking for the most complete and powerful Adobe Muse ecommerce solutions, this section is for you. We call these "All-In-One" because they pretty much do it all. What these options have in common is the ability to embed an entire store into your website, usually with a single piece of HTML code that can simply be copied and pasted wherever you need it. These stores are self-contained, and include a shopping cart (the Selz cart is offered as an optional add-on). Shoppers can search, filter, place products in a cart, and checkout securely - without ever leaving your site. The store can be embedded on the master page of your Adobe Muse site, or on it's own "Shop" or "Store" page.
While some design control is lost by using a pre-designed storefront, these solutions offer customization options. Additionally, with a little work, sites utilizing the single item embed options detailed in the section above can be integrated with a shopping cart from the same ecommerce service.
Possibly the single most important feature offered by these services is a fully-functional back-end. This means that you can comfortably give your client complete control of order fulfillment, customer management, product management, discounts, promotions, shipping options, and more. This content management system (CMS) allows the client to be able to adjust for example, the in-stock status or the price of an item and see these changes updated in real time on the website. The store is managed in the account area of the ecommerce service's website. These updates are done entirely outside of Muse, ensuring that the site is not inadvertently broken.
Ecwid Is a long-time favorite of the MuseThemes crew. Store management is very powerful and intuitive, and setup in Muse is a breeze with our Ecwid Ecommerce Store widget. Monthly fees are very reasonable, and include a "forever free" option. Every element of the look and feel of your Ecwid store is fully customizable through a cleverly integrated, user-accessible CSS area. Support is available for free through Ecwid's forum, and available via email and phone depending on subscription level.
Free for up to 10 items, paid plans start at $15 per month
Selz has designed their service to grow with your business. A growing selection of apps make life easy by offering custom receipts, messaging, email list building (MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, AWeber), and more.
2% fee + Payment Gateway fees
PayPal Payments Pro is a powerful, fully-featured system. While most are familiar with the basic PayPal "Buy Now" buttons, PayPal Payments Pro is offered as a complete shopping cart system carrying the biggest name in the business, worldwide. All the services you would expect in an all-in-one solution are there: inventory control, worldwide shipping options, tracking, multiple currencies, subscriptions, and more. While most options in this section offer a complete checkout experience without leaving the site, PayPal Payment Pro checkout is handled externally at PayPal.com – though the checkout page is customizable.
$30 per month + 2.9% processing fee + 30 cents per transaction
Plans start at $16 per month for 50 products
HYBRID SITE BUILDS
For larger businesses, or clients that seek a top-tier ecommerce platform, you may want to consider building a "hybrid" site. While this may seem a bit foreign to newer Muse users, this approach is commonly used in the web world. Companies such as Shopify, Big Cartel, and Magento are ecommerce systems that can scale up to any size and volume. They don't offer widgets or embed code to integrate storefronts into Muse sites, because they are dedicated, self-hosted platforms. They instead offer pre-made templates that can be customized by yourself or a developer to match the look of your Muse-built website.
The advantage of a hybrid site is the ability to tie high profile ecommerce platforms into a project that retains the no-code ease-of-use we love in Muse. Internal or external developers are generally available if any additional help is needed on the ecommerce end. Through smart linking and high quality work in Muse, a seamless user experience can be had using a combination of Muse and any of these top-tier ecommerce platforms.
Prices vary on level of service and subsciption.
HAVE CODING SKILLS?
If you have coding or development skills, there are some great choices for highly customized cart systems. Custom-built cart systems have the advantage of deep site integration, resulting in highly reliable beginning-to-end checkout without ever leaving the site. If you have a background in development, or are not opposed to working with a developer, you may want to look into these options.
FoxyCart promotes It's product as a "Master of ONE: The Cart + Checkout Flow". Their service is unrestricted in terms of integration, because it is not built into the confines of any outside framework. FoxyCart's streamlined system does not include any back-end, though it can be easily tied into your dynamic CMS of choice.
Plans start at $15 per month
2% Commission fee (collected monthly) + Payment Gateway fees
Muse + Adobe Business Catalyst. While not an absolute coding option, we would categorize using Adobe's Business Catalyst as an advanced option. Business Catalyst ecommerce modules can be set up to integrate with Muse, which allows for a customizable cart system that is connected to a reliable content management system. While this is a great idea in theory, there are a few drawbacks. Integration requires a higher-level BC hosting subscription ("webCommerce") than the standard subscription. There is no clear-cut set of "instructions" for setup. Lastly, educating a client on management of the shop's back-end can be daunting in comparison to the highly intuitive options presented elsewhere in this article.
TIME TO EMBED
Once you've decided on an ecommerce solution, you will need to embed it into your Muse website. The process is quick, simple, and requires no writing or manipulation of code – only some copying and pasting. Unless you've hand-coded your cart or have built a hybrid site, the process should be pretty much the same, regardless of the chosen ecommerce platform. The following steps will work for embedding single items, or an entire store.
First, you'll want to grab your embed code. This is usually provided when you set up your product(s).
Next, you'll want to copy the provided code, and place it into your Muse project. The "Insert HTML" command works great for this. Click "Object" on the top menu, then select "Insert HTML."
Finally, paste the code in the window that appears. Click OK.
It's that easy – you've just added a product to your website!
You will notice that the code you just pasted appears in a "container" on your Muse page. You can move, layer, and align these containers just like you would with any image or rectangle element within Muse. One thing to keep in mind is that certain attributes are already defined by the code itself. For example, a buy button's height and width is already built-in because the button is pre-designed by the ecommerce service in use – resizing the container in Muse will not affect the actual button or frame dimensions when previewed or published. Visual adjustments should be made in the product setup area on the ecommerce website.
You may also notice that once you have inserted the HTML code into Muse, the button or product image may or may not be seen as you would expect. This is normal. If you've been using widgets for a while, you are likely aware that depending on the source code, Muse does not always render code in Design mode.
Repeat the copy and paste process as many times as needed to include all of your items. Preview in browser to check for proper placement and arrangement of your items. From this point on, any changes made in your ecommerce website product area (the back-end) – such as price, options, and stock will all be updated on your Muse website in real-time!
Need to Place Code in the "Head"? No Problem!
Occasionally, you may have to place code in the "Head" of a page or website. This is often the case if a site requires unique code for both a cart and single items. This is quite easy to do in Muse.
First, copy the provided HTML code. Next, open the page you want to place the code into. This may be a single page, multiple pages, or the master page. Click "Page" on the top menu, then select "Page Properties."
Select the "Metadata" tab on top of the window that appears. Paste the code into the box titled "HTML for <head>." Click OK. That's all there is to it!
Helpful Closing Notes
Concerned with EU VAT rules compliance? Most of the options listed in this article offer easy and free EU VAT reporting. See company websites for more details.
Are you a Shoplocket user? Unfortunately, Shoplocket has chosen to shut down it's ecommerce service. This has a direct effect on users of our Shoplocket Ecommerce widget and Decor Theme. While Shoplocket stopped accepting new accounts several months ago, their ecommerce service officially shuts down Jun 30, 2015. This means that any orders beyond the aforementioned date will not be processed.
While this is very disappointing, users of Shoplocket have several options. Our Ecwid Ecommerce Store widget is quick and easy to set up, and also includes a single item widget option. Other options for very similar single item integration would include Selz and Celery.
Referenced Ecommerce Options:
Big Cartel: https://www.bigcartel.com
Paypal Custom Buttons: http://www.muse-themes.com/products/paypal-custom-buttons
Paypal Payments Pro: https://www.paypal.com/webapps/mpp/paypal-payments-pro
Shopify Buy Button: https://apps.shopify.com/shopify-widgets
* Any product images or sample prices seen in this article are used for demonstration purposes only.
Great write-up and very useful info. Now Muse isn’t so limited when it comes to e-commerce after seeing all these options. Thanks for sharing all this info!!
Awesome post guys, thanks so much!!!
You can try www.sneakpick.co which works similar to Shoplocket.
There is a reason Muse Themes is the best in the business. Great article! We definitely need more articles like this to help educate us.
OH MY GOSH! THANK YOU!!
I’ve been wading through the murky waters of eCom for Muse. What a mess. In 10 minutes of reading, I now have a much clearer understanding than I did in 3 weeks of digging on the web.
I am just wanting to use SquareUp myself… I have used it for our store and love their service…. Widget needed!
Hi i want a widget where i can generate payment bills and to send as PDF to client!!!Please help i any one has any hint!! no matter if its not free :)