The past few years have seen a dramatic shift in the way Americans shop. The brick-and-mortar world of retail is quickly losing ground to online sales. While many of those sales go to giants like Amazon, your business can fight back by also selling online. Who knows? There could even be people states away that are interested in the products or services you offer. If you’re ready to start selling online but need some help getting a website up and running, consider one of these e-commerce platforms.
When you search online for e-commerce platforms, Shopify is one of the top search results. In January, Bill Carmody, the founder and CEO of Trepoint, rated the platform as his top provider for 2018 on Inc. The industry recognizes Shopify for offering unique selling opportunities and a quick and easy setup process. A key major differentiator is the ability to sell products on social media for just $9, which brings your store one step closer to your consumers. One of the downsides, however, is that if you choose not to use Shopify Payment to collect money, you’ll be on the hook for additional transaction fees. Its proprietary coding language also means that, even if you have coding knowledge, you’ll have to pay additional money for certain types of customization.
If you are absolutely clueless when it comes to web design, consider Wix. Website Builder Expert points out that Wix has a long history of helping people from all backgrounds build websites with a tool that relies mostly on simple drag-and-drop options. Besides traditional website options, Wix does have the ability to create e-commerce sites for small businesses. Wix’s primary focus is basic site design, so if you intend to exclusively sell online or carry a large inventory, it might not be the best option for you.
Another option from Carmody’s Inc. list is WooCommerce, which is ideal if you already operate a site on the popular WordPress platform. WooCommerce is a plug-in that you can add to your site, and with basic coding knowledge it’s fairly easy to make the system fit your needs. It also comes with a secure payment gateway and a shopping cart. However, users note that adding a shopping cart to your site means you’ll need to invest more, and that the plug-in starts to hit roadblocks if you have too many products or customers. This could be a good option if you plan on limited online selling to supplement what you already do in your shop.
The world of e-commerce can seem big and confusing, but there is a niche for almost any type of business. If all of this seems too much, consider talking to a professional website developer to discuss your options.