What Ecommerce Platform Should You Use?
In our blog posts we have been looking at online stores – whether or not your business should have one and what logistics you need to consider in your planning. The next consideration is which ecommerce platform best suits your needs.
Selling via an online store does not always mean that you need to have your own hosted website. Sometimes all you need is the shop front.
Take a look at some of these ecommerce platforms.
Shopify tells us that “Our platform lets users easily and quickly create their own online store, without all the technical work involved in developing their own website, or the huge expense of having someone else build it. Merchants can use Shopify to manage all aspects of their shops: uploading products, customising the design, accepting credit cards, and viewing their incoming orders and completed transactions.”
The site is simple to use, with a choice of templates available which you don’t need technical skills to use and adapt. It has a built in shopping cart which allows you to take credit card payments securely.
Shopify also helps you with your SEO, and allows you to offer discount vouchers and gift cards.
Squarespace is different to Shopify. Squarespace is a simple website builder which uses drag and drop technology to help you create your layout. What it also offers is a really great choice of tools for your ecommerce store. Squarespace’s ecommerce functions are integrated with all their templates so they are easy to use. It offers an inventory control system as well as the opportunity to sell physical and digital products. The payment system integrates with Stripe which processes payments into your bank account. Squarespace also integrates with MailChimp so you can build and market to your database.
Other alternatives include Magento, which is an open source software system. If you have a website built in WordPress and need to add an ecommerce component, take a look at WooCommerce (free) or Ecwid which is quite affordable.
Before you commit to anything, work out what you need your store to be able to do. Write a list of requirements and then tick them off as you compare your alternatives.
There is an ecommerce platform which will work for you. Just take your time to find it.