• May 20, 2024

    We’re thrilled to announce the grand opening of Intergalactic Gear, your one-stop destination for Star Atlas-inspired apparel and other merch.  Intergalactic Gear is finally open for business after so much time and work.  The newest Star Atlas merch store is ready to provide you with your Star Atlas gear.  Check us out at https://intergalacticgear.com. Join Us And Embark On Your Star Atlas Adventures – From Stars To Style: Gear Up With Star Atlas Merch

  • May 12, 2024

    With the soft launch done, the next step was a real test order. I ordered the product to ship to my house in Shopify. I did the online process, and everything went great, including the payment processing. I released the order in Printful, and it sent an automatic email notification. After a few days, I got an update that the order had shipped. While awaiting delivery, I researched and figured out how to pay sales tax to my state Department of Revenue. I signed up to get shipping tracking. The United States Postal Service was delivering it. I got frequent updates. Finally, it arrived at my house. The packaging was great for protecting the mug, and the mug looked great with the Star Atlas logo.  

  • May 11, 2024

    I was ready for the soft launch of my e-commerce store.  I published the Shopify website, which made it fully accessible to anyone.  I coordinated the website navigation to have the main website and store website have the same menu items. I also created some product groups on the website to match the product types for sale eventually.  These product groups link to the store. Integrating a fully functional e-commerce store with the main website felt great.

  • May 10, 2024

    I was nearing the end of integrating and configuring all the parts of my e-commerce store. I found several checklists from Shopify and Printful. I went back through them all and finished the configuration. The final step was to test the payment system. There was a way to bypass the actual running of a purchase. I enabled that and made a purchase. It was great to see an order and get all the email confirmation. Fortunately, I realized I needed to turn off the automatic fulfillment on Printful, or a test order on Shopify would have made an actual fulfillment order. But I realized it would probably be good until everything is working that I needed to release an order manually.

  • May 9, 2024

    With the sales tax configuration mostly figured out, I wanted to fix the initial complete configuration of the Shopify store.  The first thing was to customize the Shopify theme.  I went through all the configurations of the graphic elements and the navigation.  Shopify themes using a template system for those sections. One of the sections was the product pages.  I went through and improved the product template. The other section was the checkout process.  It configured that. Finally, I updated the home page with my desired layout and style. Overall, I liked Shopify’s customization options for the selected theme.

  • May 8, 2024

    Sales tax proved to be a more complicated aspect of an e-commerce store. I knew it would be hard because each state has its own sales tax. However, the actual complication was that the manufacturer had its own sales tax regulation. So, I had to do more research into something called nexus. Nexus means you have to pay sales tax if you meet certain conditions. The outsourced manufacturer has nexus in almost all the states. But I only have nexus in my home state. The way around this is to give the manufacturer a reseller certificate. A reseller certificate says that another party will pay the sales tax. When I got my local business license, it included a reseller certificate. I submitted the reseller certificate, and it was accepted. But it only worked for my home state. I was still going to get charged sales tax in other states because […]

  • May 7, 2024

    I took a break from the behind-the-scenes configuration to work on some visible elements. The first was to create social media accounts. Since it is a crypto project, I made a Twitter/X account. I also created a Facebook account. Since I have images to promote, I created an Instagram account. I would also like a place to show videos of the products, so I made a YouTube account. To make posting social media content easier, I configured some automation. I plan to create a website blog post and have that content sent automatically to the social media accounts. Because I did not want to pay for the integration solution, I just linked to Twitter. So, when a WordPress blog is published, it will automatically be posted on Twitter. A service is monitoring the RSS feed from WordPress for new posts and will convert these to Twitter posts. Finally, I wanted […]

  • May 6, 2024

    With all the technical research done, it was time to integrate everything together. The first step was to connect the Shopify store to the Printful manufacturing. Shopify has an app system, so installing a Shopify app for Printful was easy. That handled the integration of the two systems. One exciting part of the integration was the shipping. Printful has its own shipping times because the product needs to be made first. Then, Printful ships the product to the customer, which causes a longer shipping time. However, the cool part of the integration is that the shipping times are sent from Printful to Shopify. It is a range, but still, it is automatic sync. Another significant part is that the shipping costs are also synced. This is all an incredible benefit because it is all automated. The final step of the integration was to create a Printful product and sync it […]

  • March 26, 2024

    With the e-commerce and print-on-demand solutions selected, the next step was a large amount of technical research. Shopify has an excellent online help manual and other guides. Shopify was great at having guides including to help with print-on-demand services. The majority of the research was about taxes, payment, and shipping. I also did research on how to build the store itself, like the theme and user interface. Printful also had great online help. They talked about how they handle the manufacturing process and shipping. They had a lot of information on sales taxes. They need to charge sales tax on any orders because they have “nexus” in many places. Printful also had guides on pricing since they charge directly to create and ship the prod cts. Finally, they provided guides on how to integrate with Shopify.

  • March 22, 2024

    After Shopify was set up as the e-commerce platform, the next component needed to be added was the print-on-demand service. Print-on-demand is the ability to outsource the creation of the physical products. This provides the manufacturing and shipping of the products. This means there is no inventory to store somewhere. The products are created after they are purchased. One drawback is that the time from purchase to delivery is longer. I did some research, as there are a number of print-on-demand companies. I decided to go with a company called Printful. Printful had a large selection of products and integrated with Shopify. They shipped worldwide, too. I set up an account and researched all the configurations. Printful does the shipping, so there is a lot to learn there. The biggest challenge was learning about sales tax. The laws about sales tax are very complicated because they depend on the different […]