I'm admittedly new to software development, but I've picked up a lot over the months. My question has to do with the site I'm building. I have several products that can be sold as is, but there is an option for the buyer to also click through and change the design according to different specs. Is there a way to connect that to an online part supplier? I have one that would be interested in setting up a contract to supply our parts directly.
Are you a marketplace or are you a consumer facing product? Are you B2B or B2C? D2C or wholesale? Tons of platforms, Shopify, Woo, Magento out there, but you have to build middleware for your specific application for most of them. Can you expand on your ask?
You can set up an API to interface with them directly, or you can even just write some code to send them an email with the specs. I'd ask / research to see what options the supplier has.
Yes, there are LOTS of WordPress plugins for this. Shopify is also easy to set up for someone who is technically inclined. Make sure it's done right and properly tested, though, so you don't find out the hard way.
More specifics would help.
What type of parts are going to be changed? Do you just swap out some standard components, or do you design new components for the customer?
Here are some options:
If you are swapping out standard components, Octopart is a global library of all the major (~200) electronic parts suppliers. They provide an API, and you can use the information the customer finds via Octopart to send them to the website of the appropriate supplier.
If you want standard mechanical components and raw materials, McMaster-Carr provides a limited API for searching their site.
If you want to submit designs for new components, Xometry has an API for submitting quotes for fabrication of all-new 3D parts, using automated machining, injection molding, or 3D printing, as appropriate.
If you just want to build more specialized features in an online store, Shopify has a wide range of capabilities, as do other commerce website builders who compete with Shopify.
Thanks everyone. While doing research for market validation for robotics, I found that there are those out there that want to design their own robotic arm and it's not necessarily the building of it that's the problem. Designing it is intimidating. So I decided to create something that helped with this.
By giving the user options the chance to answer questions about length needed and how much weight it would lift, the user would get recommendations based on how much torque a motor has, as well as gearboxes, power supplies, etc. or even offer entire kits to buy.
While working through this, I realized I can do this with lots of different projects. I've been working on getting my project certified with Arrow.com where most of the parts would be purchased from and I might possibly get flash funding from them as well.
The problem is I'm relatively new to software development, so I don't really know what tools I should use to develop it. While it's something I could probably learn to do, a little direction would help. Anyway, that's as specific as I can get. I hope that makes sense,
I am currently working with new tech designed to deal with all this. Now folks are working between like 10 -12 different apps and social systems. I am now working with a new company about to go live called IMI.co..... They are looking to change how folks work in several lines... Production/Marketing/Distribution/Social Media... if you would like I can connect you with their key person. This will be the one stop interface to all other systems out there.
You are asking questions that your CTO should answer. Yes, it is API, yes, you can use 3rd party products, yes, it can be that way or other way.
But my advice - get your CTO. If you can't, get at least some advisor
API is probably the best solution.