In the previous segment, we went over some reasons why opening an eCommerce website may be beneficial to you. If you feel a project like that is something you want to learn more about, keep reading and get one step closer to being a business owner.
Now that you have a better idea of what it takes to embark on this type of project, let’s move forward and explore different tools to find the one that is right for you! It’s important to consider the following things before choosing the right platform for your online shop to know exactly what type of store best suits you:
TYPE OF STORE / PRODUCTS
What field do I know best?
It’s a good idea to stick to what you know. It’s important that you are familiar with your array of products and understand their value. You will only be able to successfully sell your products if you believe in them and are an expert in the field. Opening an e-store can be a big investment and is not the best time to exploring a field you don’t know much about.
What kind of products will I be selling?
Most platforms are designed for the sale of material objects that are going to be shipped out to the client; however, there is still the option of non-material products such as e-books, apps, or even online web services which can be sold on ebay. Get creative with your product selection!
How big do I want my store to be?
Some store platforms are designed for a large variety of products in large quantities, while others cater to smaller businesses with fewer products. It’s important to keep this in mind, and think about whether or not you would want to expand your store in the future.
PLATFORM OF STORE
Now let’s take a quick step back because you may still be wondering what a platform is.
An eCommerce platform is the software that will help you get your site organised and provide you with all the online features you will need such as the layout for your products, customizable options like browsing filters, and even sorting products by even size colour. Let’s take a look at some of the best ones on the web today:
Hosted eCommerce platforms are the easiest choice for web rookies. You can sign up and create your store online based on a monthly subscription or a price per posted product. This is the easiest option because they require no back-end development, simply a branding strategy and products. Here are some great websites to look into if you feel this is the right option for you.
- Shopify / Wix / GoDaddy Store / – Monthly subscription based store.
- Ebay / Etsy / Amazon / – Price per item and commission base store.
Another approach, for those willing to take on a bigger project would be to build your own, private website. This will require a lot more time and effort, perhaps even the help of a professional web developer; however, it has infinitely more options for you. Having your own site comes with many benefits such as custom store policies, possibility of placing ads, more control and professionalism in your layout and just plain freedom. The following two platforms are worth looking in to if you are looking to take your online shop to the next level.
- WordPress – Easy to maintain, great for small quantity products, setup may require professional assistance
- Magento – Professional Ecommerce platform with lots of option, requires a developer who is familiar with, great for complex variables, great for large quantity inventories
In the next segment, we will go in the direction of store identity and branding, stay tuned for tips and tricks you can use to get noticed on the web!
If you have any questions or would like more information on certain aspects, let us know in the comments and we will be sure to incorporate those concerns in the last part of the series.
This segment brought to you by our contributor Itsik Romano. Itsik Romano is the creative director and founder of Definite Image Productions Inc., a Montreal (West Island) creative studio that specialized in web development, graphic design and online marketing.