Whether you’re taking your first steps to set up an online store, or you’re looking to expand your bricks and mortar store to the digital market, this short guide will walk you through everything you need to know about starting an online shop.
The good news is that building an online store has never been easier with ecommerce platforms such as Shopify and WordPress plugins such as WooCommerce.
Which ecommerce platform is right for you?
When starting an online shop for the first time, it can be difficult to work out which platform will be the best for your business. There are two types of ecommerce platforms – hosted shop platforms which are a combination of a website and ecommerce rolled into one, and shopping cart plugins which you can add to an existing website.
Below we explain the difference between these platforms in greater detail:
Hosted shop platforms
These companies offer great shopping experiences, and easy to manage platforms where you can upload your product information, take online payments and charge shipping, create vouchers, discounts and sales. They integrate well with the big social media sites like Facebook and Instagram so you can market your products directly on your social media pages.
They charge a monthly fee, which varies depending on your requirements, and you can use various payment systems such as Paypal, Stripe, or your own bank Merchant facility.
You have to pay the monthly fee regardless of whether you sell anything, and your website on Shopify ONLY exists whilst you have a shopify account, so if you decide to use a different sales method or stop selling online, you can’t transfer your website to another host.
It is important to remember though that platforms such as Shopify are firstly a shopping cart software, and secondly a website, so there is less flexibility in design than if you have a WordPress website with WooCommerce shopping cart installed.
WordPress Shopping Cart Plugins
WordPress is a very easy to use free software platform that currently powers almost 40% of the world’s websites.
This software has thousands of “plug-ins” or “add ons” created by independent developers, both free and paid versions, which allow you to adapt your website design to suit literally any kind of use.
For e-commerce, the number one choice for WordPress is the WooCommerce plug-in. This adds a shopping cart function to your existing website design, so you can have a website and a shopping cart. If you decide you no longer want the shopping cart, you can simply disable WooCommerce and hide any links to it, and your website functions as a standalone showcase of your work and services.
Set up your online shop in 4 easy steps:
- Decide what products to sell
- Identify your target market
- Build your online store
- Advertise and market your web store
Let Easyaz do the hard work for you!
We can create an online store for you, including design, adding categories and products, setting up the payment systems and training you on how to manage your online store. We can also assist with online marketing