inspired by the bacn.com success, a new food store is in progress. it is "simple" ecommerce. portland is a foodie town and there are a number of portland suppliers for the product, which can be purchased in single units. that means inventory on hand can scale from zero on up - very-low startup risk. the focus is on a particular product made as locally as possible. there exists some stores online already, but none stand out in what i have seen so far.
the wordpress e-commerce plugin was tried and quickly discarded after struggling with things like getting an admin screen to load. a new rails project has begun with a focus on the bare minimum, fastest to market feature set imaginable. i expect the site to be online by the weekend.
stage one is 4 local products and 1 national product in the store, all available at certain portland grocery stories. a completed order will trigger an email for fulfillment (packing and shipping). the html theme will be the focus of improvement since that has such a large impact on the customer experience.
stage two, which is dependent on some amount of success from stage one, is to implement a crowdsourced local delivery scheme. a page where a list of orders that are ready for delivery can be viewed, and anyone can make a buck by picking up the package at the distribution point and taking it to its destination.
its a few days work and at the very least will be a good learning experience.