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Choosing the Right Platform for Your eCommerce Store

If you have an existing offline business, then you already have a huge advantage in that you have working processes that are bringing you revenue. You could own a hair salon and have customers coming in just to buy that haircare product they cannot find anywhere else or a retail store filled with products and are looking for ways to add new revenue streams to your business. If this sounds like you, then eCommerce could be the answer.

Global Retail eCommerce Sales 2014-2020

Source:  Statista

Let’s face it; everyone is online these days, we virtually live on our smartphones and tablets. Whether you decide to embrace digital marketing to get more customers to your bricks and mortar business or you want to transact online, the goal is the same, more customers into your business.

Deadly E-commerce Mistakes Guide

 

For anyone looking to get started in eCommerce, there are six pillars to my ultimate eCommerce domination plan, these are: People, Product, Platform, Place, Promotion and Process. When all six of these pillars are strong, you will dominate your niche and your business will grow and scale.

eCommerce Domination Plan


Business owners looking to utilize eComm to add an extra string to their bow have the product covered; they have their hair care supplies on a shelf in their salon or retail stock on the shelves and relationships with distributors and manufacturers to ensure a continuous supply. If this is not you, and you do not have the products to sell, don’t worry, there are options we can explore, and I will address this in another post. One of the first logical steps is to consider the platform we will use to sell online.

Which eCommerce Platform is Right For My Business?

 

When it comes to deciding which platform is right for your eComm business, there are many factors at play; an often quite overlooked one when starting out is scalability. It is so easy to pick a platform, and we could sit down together right now with any one of a great many eComm platforms and have you set up and selling online in a very short space of time.

However, once you have invested into a platform, it can be quite a job to migrate all of your customer and product data away, so it is worth spending some time at the planning stage to ensure the platform you choose is right for your business.

My first ever eComm website was a basic Javascript package that bolted on to an existing HTML website. It sat on a ‘cheap as chips’ shared hosting package which was fine when there were little to no orders coming through, but as soon as the traffic started to grow the site fell over because it could not handle it.

Now you might be thinking you could just tack an eComm plugin onto your current WordPress website and call it a day, right? Well, this might work if you only have a small number of products and don’t anticipate processing thousands of orders each week at any stage in the future.

You may not be thinking that far ahead but believe me, I have bootstrapped an eComm business from nothing to £4m turnover a year and it is not long before shared hosting just doesn’t cut the mustard. It can be a false economy because the slow page loading speeds and limited bandwidth can hold your business back.

The answer? Even if you only anticipate a handful of orders each week, make sure you are on the best hosting plan you can afford, then opt for the platform that can grow with your business.

Broadly speaking there are three main recommended ways to sell online:

1. Put a shopping cart onto your existing website

 

This could be a Woocommerce(eCommerce plugin for WordPress) o

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