Does your website really need eCommerce features and how do you get started?
According to Hosting Facts, over 1.9 billion people will buy something online this year and in the United States alone, more than half of the population would rather shop online than step into a physical store, a trend that is bound to increase in the coming years.
A decade ago, only larger brands were brave enough to set up and run an online store but today, there are thousands of niche stores competing alongside these eCommerce giants. It seems like there’s a new online store popping up every other month and if you’re new to the world of eCommerce, you may be wondering whether your business is being left behind by not embracing this trend.
Just because countless other businesses are doing something doesn’t mean you should follow suit.
Setting up an online store isn’t overly complicated but there are a few business considerations that you will need to look at before you give your developer the go ahead.
To begin with, do you currently sell products that are suited to online shopping? If you have a relatively long sales cycle, eCommerce is not something that you should pursue. Then there are other considerations such as tax implications – do they make sense for your business?
Know that there is absolutely nothing wrong with running a traditional business. There are other ways to embrace the world of digital that doesn’t require you to add eCommerce functionality to your website.
If you’ve decided that eCommerce is the next step for your business, there are some key things to consider when evaluating eCommerce platforms:
These are only the basic requirements and depending on how extensive you want your store setup to be, you may want to look at other functions such as shipping and invoicing.
While there are a number of eCommerce platforms available on the market today, two tend to stand out more than most: WooCommerce and Spotify. Let’s look at some of the differences between these platforms.
Shopify is well known for its ease of use and doesn’t require you to install anything to get started. Setting up payments is usually an intimidating part of the eCommerce process but Shopify really simplifies it.
Unfortunately, Shopify doesn’t give you full control over everything and your upgrade options are limited to the plan you’ve chosen. Another downside is that your costs can add up quite quickly once the transaction and add-on fees start rolling in.
WooCommerce is a platform that gives you greater control of your site and it doesn’t cost as much to get set up.
In terms of downsides, WooCommerce will take some time to get used to as you’ll need to learn how to navigate it before you can process orders at the speed of light. You will also need to maintain the software to ensure that your site is always running on the latest version.
If you want a more hands-free option and don’t mind a higher cost, go with Shopify. If affordability is important to you and you prefer to have more control, WooCommerce is the ideal fit.
There has never been a better time to dive into the world of eCommerce, especially as the demand for convenient shopping experiences continue to rise. If eCommerce is suited to your business model and you want to cater to the evolving needs of your customers, make 2019 the year that you turn your website into an online store.