Internet has become a universal source for chatting, advertising and business making. The concept of ecommerce has appeared long ago, but its wide implementation became possible due to online space invention. Nowadays ecommerce makes it possible to change all the processes happening in modern business, integrating them into whole. Consumers can search, order and pay for the goods using Internet and share the opinion about services and products with other users.
Ecommerce marketing platforms were designed for business owners not to create their online shop from the beginning. In fact, it is a ready-made ecosystem where all you need is to add your products and change some settings.
Vast majorities of platforms offer free version that will suit for a small online shop, while huge projects will require money because non-paid versions are limited in functions. Variety of platforms is enormous and before choosing one, we recommend to answer some questions:
What do you sell?
You can both deal with physical products that can be sent by post or with a courier. Also, you can offer electronic goods that can be downloaded: music, books, software etc.
Is your assortment expected to be big?
It means, you should understand whether you will specialize in some niche or you will have a great variety with categories and subcategories.
What functionality you are going to offer?
Are you going to sell by one item or clients can add different goods to their carts? Also, think about option to refer to similar or relevant goods. By doing so, you will advertise something more to your client that can be suitable according to his choice. What about sales, special prices and special deals?
Do you need registered users?
Here we are talking about signing up to your shop. It seems to be obvious that registered clients is your chance to contact them again by email or sms and attract them back to your shop. But, on the other hand, your conversion rate can be a bit less in this case, as there will be a lot of lazy users to perform all necessary actions.
How will you accept payment?
It will be very convenient for buyers to be able to pay by card. You can apply to such services as PayPal, Qiwi or any other that are popular in your country.
If you want to receive money directly, you will need to have Internet Merchant Account in your local bank. No third-party will be implemented, but it is the most expensive realization as high conversion will be taken for each rate.
What about delivery?
It is the idea you should obligatory think of. It will be good to offer several variants for clients to have their orders. If you sell the product to another country, option of tracking will be also very important.
E-commerce marketing platforms can be divided into 3 groups:
Its using means monthly or annual fee that covers hosting siting, system use and technical support. Of course, such scheme means some limitations at least in hosting type, but you will receive quick and prompt advice from technicians.
- open source,
They are absolutely free what is their advantage and a big problem at the same time. You will choose the hosting you like and deal with all tunings, because there will be only a short instruction available. Such variant can be especially difficult for sellers who are far from technical world.
- hosted shopping carts.
Here you will install what you like (CMS) and choose the most preferable hosting. Functionality of shopping cart and order making will be on top of them. All payments will be made through website of the platform, so security becomes their task.
Simple googling will offer you big amount of variants, starting from Shopify and Ecwid to many others. You should consider points of convenience and readiness to invest some money, as they can be in direct relations whether you are going everything on your own or hire somebody who will do donkey work for you.