When you are getting started with ecommerce, the possibilities can seem immense. There are so many different ways to sell online today, it is hard to know where your products have the most potential. Established stores such as Amazon and eBay can provide immediate interest in your products and possibly even result in sales within the first few days. However, an on-site shopping cart provides the long-term growth and potential that most businesses today are looking for. Below, you will find the full extent of your options for ecommerce and the various ways that you can utilize them to their full potential.
What are my options for ecommerce?
Amazon and eBay present the best opportunity for immediate revenue with little effort. However, these sites are highly competitive and if you aren’t the manufacturer or at least sourcing your products directly from one, you will have a hard time competing.
On-Site Shopping Cart
Starting an ecommerce business with an on-site shopping cart is a smart move. Businesses today need to be generating their own traffic and not relying on a third party like Amazon. It’s perfectly fine to use a fulfillment service but if your business gets its orders from Amazon alone, what would happen if this revenue source disappeared? An on-site shopping cart allows you to use digital marketing to drive traffic and grow your business.
There are numerous options when it comes to launching an online store with your own website. Among the self-hosted and open source options, popular choices include:
WooCommerce for WordPress – WordPress is a powerful CMS and by using the WooCommerce plugin, it can become a full-fledged shopping cart.
Magento – Magento is the most popular open source shopping cart. It is free and provides highly advanced features.
OpenCart – OpenCart is another open source shopping cart solution, coded in PHP and design to be free.
PrestaShop – PrestaShop is free ecommerce software that you can use to sell hundreds to thousands of products from.
Many businesses choose shopping carts that are already hosted and ready to use. This eliminates the need to buy web hosting or deal with errors and issues that could otherwise be fixed by going with a company that provides everything under one roof. Top choices for hosted shopping cart platforms include:
Shopify – This is a secure shopping cart solution with a 14 day free trial. It costs just $29 per month to begin an online store with Shopify and the software allows for unlimited products and file storage.
BigCommerce – This shopping cart solution costs $29.95 per month for stores with under $50,000 per year in online sales volume. It allows for unlimited products and file storage but their pricing model is a bit confusing.
InfusionSoft – InfusionSoft is a CRM with its own shopping cart software. InfusionSoft’s Storefront integrates seamlessly into their CRM tools and provides a complete solution with payment processing, order forms and after sales service automation.
Storefront – Started in 1996 Storefront was originally released as an on-site shopping cart platform and today is being revised as a hosted solution because of the benefits hosted shopping carts have for merchants.
Amazon is a great place to be selling your products. The fees are very reasonable and if you utilize their Fulfillment by Amazon service, your products will qualify for free shipping on orders over $35 and free two-day shipping for Prime members. This alone can make your items more likely to sell. Not to mention, Fulfillment by Amazon works for sales outside the system too. While free shipping won’t be available on outside sales, the fulfillment service can be integrated into your on-site shopping cart rather easily and that makes for a streamlined shipping process that is hassle free.
EBay has taken a hit recently due to their high fees and increased hassle on sellers. However, consumers still go to eBay to find the lowest deals and if you can compete with other sellers, there is opportunity to earn big here. EBay stores sell dozens of products a day and by having a store, you’re not investing much for the traffic and sales potential that it provides.
Marketing an ecommerce Business
To drive traffic and grow as an ecommerce business, digital marketing is a must. As a key component to your success, online marketing is accomplished through many different channels:
There are a variety of options for ecommerce and making the right decision is crucial to starting a successful ecommerce business. To learn more about starting an online business in ecommerce, please contact us.