Are you struggling to find the perfect eCommerce solution for your small business?
You are not the only one to get confused by the many different online selling options available these days! Do you need your own website to sell your products, should you use one of the many marketing platforms or maybe a plugin? By now most of us have heard of Shopify and BigCommerce, but there might be a better option available.
Take a look at the following scenario I received from a craft making friend:
I’m working on launching an online handmade jewelry business and I’m trying to figure out what platform I should use to sell. I know Etsy is easy and cost-effective, but I’ve also heard that competition is tough and word of mouth marketing is less effective since customers often say “I bought this on Etsy” vs your specific store.
I have a WordPress blog that I’ve designed about two years ago and am pretty happy with. I’m trying to determine if I should use a WordPress e-commerce plug-in or a fully hosted solution like Shopify, BigCommerce or Magento Go in addition to or instead of Etsy. Would love any thoughts on the pros and cons of each or things to consider in making this decision!
It’s usually best to keep it simple, especially if you have a very small budget to work with.
If you’re looking for a WordPress plugin I’d check out Jigoshop – it’s a well established e-commerce platform that combines broad functionality, easy migration options and professional support packages. They offer a free plugin with optional extensions and you can also upgrade to buy premium themes which can be easily customized. Many of the themes are responsive which is crucial for eCommerce since a lot of people use their smart phones to shop.
Etsy is a great starting point for craft sellers, there is a marginal fee but only after you make a sale. You need to keep in mind that you are on someone else’s platform and you will have to abide by their rules and regulations. If you are fine with that, then the most important part of standing out from the rest of the sellers on Etsy is to have high quality pictures, make use of keywords and take the time to interact with everyone else on the site.
Learn how to sell things online:
Take a look at this article Tips for the Hobbyist to sell Crafts on Etsy, I wrote this for our bottle crafts community blog a while ago. It offers very useful tips for the hobbyist to sell your crafts on Etsy.
Important factors to consider when looking for an e-commerce solution:
- Easy to customize
- White-label (on your own domain, no co-branding)
- SEO optimized
- Payment gateways like PayPal
- Coupon abilities
- Shipping estimates
- Mobile accessible
The best eCommerce solution for a small business might be this shopping cart alternative from Shopping Cart Elite.
Shopping Cart Elite was originally built for a real eCommerce business (2001-2006) that generated over $4M per year in online sales. That business was sold in 2006, and Shopping Cart Elite was born. They bring years of eCommerce experience as well as the development of their dream eCommerce platform to the table.
Besides the standard features like an easy drap & drop page builder, SEO, analytics, marketplace management, CRN, automation and social integration this e-commerce solutions also offers features like TEA (Threat Engagement Analytics).
A free add-on that gives you the ability to track your visitor’s mouse movement. Mouse and keyboard clicks on your website allow you to better understand your shoppers behaviors. Shopping Cart Elite offers a 14 day trial with plans starting at only $29/month.
Additional Shopping Cart Elite Features:
- Customizable Cloud Templates
- Custom design
- Custom mega menu
- Rotating banners
- Mobile friendly
- Fast product entry
- Intelligent live chat
- Smart search
- Order management
- Lead scoring and discovery
- BIN management
- Inventory alerts
- Smart packaging
- Smart shipping
- PCI compliance
- Hacker safe
- Dedicated SSL certificate
- 100 payment gateways
- and many more…
In the end the best eCommerce solution depends on how much time, effort and money you are willing to invest.
If you truly want to build a business that will generate you income for years to come than you want to keep the following statement by Igor Soshkin, co-founder and CEO of Shopping Cart Elite, in mind “Customers who are looking at the price and investment of Shopping Cart Elite in comparison to a cheaper option are looking through the wrong end of the telescope. Instead of trying to shave off the cost of their monthly fee as well as the initial setup, they should concentrate on getting more sales results from actually using Shopping Cart Elite. That is where the leverage is, I don’t know of one company that got rich by underpaying for software that drives the core of their business. Pay peanuts and you get vaporware software with monkeys on customer support.”
Remember, you always get what you pay for!
Do you have any experience with eCommerce or do you have questions? Please leave your comments below.