Wherever you are right now in your ecommerce journey, we hope this post gave you some insights that you can apply in your venture. If you’re just starting out and need help picking a platform or deciding on your target audience, go back and read the section on ecommerce types and solutions. Already running a business and want to ensure your success? Read through the ecommerce stories above.
Electronic transactions have been around for quite some time in the form of Electronic Data Interchange or EDI. EDI requires each supplier and customer to set up a dedicated data link (between them), where ecommerce provides a cost-effective method for companies to set up multiple, ad-hoc links. Electronic commerce has also led to the development of electronic marketplaces where suppliers and potential customers are brought together to conduct mutually beneficial trade.
Another significant benefit of using e-commerce software is that it generates a lot of data that is used by other systems such as CRM software, accounting software, ERP systems, and supply chain and logistics suites. For instance, detailed information on sales and returns can be used to determine the profitability of the company, how to improve inventory levels, or which customers are the most profitable and which ones are not generating significant revenue.
You can see why Shopify scored top marks in this area. Features like these don’t just make running your online store possible – they make it easy and enjoyable too. Put simply, Shopify was designed to help people build an online store. That’s why it’s packed with these high quality sales features, which were specially created to support your ecommerce business.
Your first step should be to learn about what WooCommerce is and what it can do for your ecommerce site. Then, you can begin to make sense of the platform’s main features, how they work, and the steps you’ll need to take to turn your fledgling store into a successful one. This may sound like a lot of ground to cover, but if you have the patience for some upfront work, you’ll reap the rewards over the long term.
The only downside in all this is that you somehow need to get your hands on a WordPress site in the first place. And okay, I know this is not particularly a problem for you maybe, but we have to remember that WordPress can be quite confusing to a beginner, and the need to first set up a WordPress site and only then a WooCommerce store is far from intuitive.
Most of us understand how overwhelming it can be moving to a new city. Surrounded by a host of options for dining, shopping, daycare, leisure time, auto mechanics and everything else under the sun, making an educated decision on where to go involves some groundwork. So what is there to do? Many of us will turn to a new coworker or neighbor for recommendations. [More...]
Getting an online store launched on Magento from scratch is even more problematic than on WooCommerce. First off, there are two versions of Magento: the first one is the free community version (which is software that you can download and then install on a server – kind of like WordPress+WooCommerce), the second one is a hosted service (one that you can just sign up to – kind of like Shopify).
At this stage, you’ll be itching to get the store out into the World Wide Web. However, make sure you’re well prepared to measure the success of your launch – defining your key performance indicators upfront will help you track your progress and performance and fix any issues as they emerge. Other important things to take care of include setting up your social media profiles, getting the email marketing ready, installing Google Analytics, doing keyword research, defining your shipping strategy and finalizing the launch promotion plan. Yes, that’s a lot of work, but a good start is half the job done. When you complete the checklist, try running your store through the Shopify store grader to catch errors if there are any.
Because of its simplicity and ease of use, Shopify is ideal for small businesses. It’s also affordable, with Shopify Lite starting as low as $9 per month. Shopify’s themes are abundant and very aesthetically pleasing. Smaller inventories will benefit from the features and the top-rated support. Although Shopify lacks powerful blogging and content-creation capabilities, it can easily be integrated with CMS’s like WordPress (they even developed a plugin to integrate the two!).
Research from BigCommerce has found that Americans are about evenly split on online versus offline shopping, with 51% of Americans preferring e-commerce and 49% preferring physical stores. However, 67% of millennials prefer shopping online over offline. According to Forbes, 40% of millennials are also already using voice assistants to make purchases, with that number expected to surpass 50% by 2020.
Bigcommerce also has a nice library of themes for you, divided into multiple categories, and all of them responsive and fully customizable. They were developed to establish a more modern, fluid user experience, utilizing cool new merchandising features for categorization and differently sized catalogs. There are both free and paid options available, and I have to say that those free ones really are attractive-looking.