I`ve seen a lot of business websites that seem pretty useless--either just a bunch of fancy graphics or poorly constructed or lacking useful information. I want to educate people on how they can really take advantage of the Internet to help their businesses and work with them to make their website the best it can be.
I have the beginning of a Q&A page in the do-it-yourself corner of my website services site (Effective Websites). I want to fill it out more (it only has two questions right now). So, if you would like to ask me a question about creating an effective website that I can post with the answer on my website, please ask it here. (I will post the answer here, too.)Any question related to making an effective website is fair game. If I don`t know, I`ll say so, and someone else can answer if they want. (I won`t post Q&A that someone else answers.)
I hadn`t thought about a customer database, but that would probably be helpful.
My granddad, although elderly, isn`t ready to give up the ghost yet, and also is not ready to give up his postcard collection all at once like that. (I think it`s on my grandmother`s insistence that he`s trying to reduce the collection at all!) Also, I want the experience of setting up and managing an online store, so I can help website clients with that.
I looked through several posts talking about shopping carts, but I`m not sure what would be best for my situation.
My granddad has a large (thousands) collection of antique postcards. Since he`s getting old, he wants to start selling them more quickly, but Ebay has been a little disappointing, with all its fees and customer complaints, and how you have to work at it very regularly. So I`d like to make an e-commerce website to sell the cards for him.
I have a reseller hosting account with Hostgator, so I can host the site. Hostgator offers the following shopping carts as part of their service:
My key concern for the antique postcard store is that there will only be one of many of the postcards. So when someone buys it, I would want it to be removed from the website, or at the least, be marked with "Sold Out."
Other considerations for the shopping cart/website:
--We will probably eventually have over 1,000 items on the website at any time, divided by categories.
--There will need to be a good search function.
--It would be great if new product information could be entered into a spreadsheet or simple form and then added to the database. Then I could show my granddad, sister, or other people how to add postcards to the store.
--I`m a website designer by profession, and I don`t mind having to work with code a little bit. I`ve learned a little about PHP, ASP, and MySQL, and I`d like to have a reason to learn more.
--There is no need for complex shipping calculations, since the postcards are all the same size and weight.
--There is no need to give the customer options. They will just be clicking "add to cart" or similar by the card(s) they want.
--I would want to give the store a "look" that fits the product offering.
--I don`t want this to cost much money.
(If someone wants to recommend Apple Cart, go ahead and say your piece, but I`d rather people not get into an argument on this thread like they did on another one. Apple Cart`s too expensive for me, anyway.)
My initial thought is that companies that offer services that single people might want to use won`t specifically say "Hey, single people over here! You need us!" This goes against the American cultural desire to be independent. But plenty of companies will talk about how their services or products will save you time and hassle, which is something a single person would want. It`s just indirect. To address your specific examples:
Car`s in the shop--some shops DO offer a loaner, especially the dealerships. Enterprise will pick you up from a shop and take you to rent a car. Or there are taxis.
Pet care--plenty of people are available to stop by your house and feed/walk/play with your pets while you`re away. And this isn`t just a concern for single people--married couples often go on vacation together! :D
Plumber--yeah, I think you pretty much have to wait for them. And this would be the case if you were married, too. Someone has to be there. You could ask your boss to let you telework on this day.
Travel groups--I don`t know for sure, but I bet you could find something like this online. It might be marketed toward senior citizens, though. I think this is the example of the five that seems most ripe for new ventures.
Hiring a manager--as Craig said, there are concierges. There are also maids and secretaries. And if you really want someone to be in charge of your life, make a lot of money and hire a personal assistant! :D
What you may be sensing a need for in the marketplace is a resource where all of these services were made available in one place, like a website. I could definitely see a website about making life easier for "singularities" being popular. I don`t know if any already exist.
Also, I addressed my comments to "you," but I`m not assuming that you, Karel, have all these problems. I`m just speaking generally.