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New Year Resolution: Add E-commerce to Your Online Presence

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Over the past year, we have witnessed significant shifts in shopping behaviors. According to Shopify, which surveyed 11 markets, 84% of consumers shopped online during the pandemic.¹

With more people staying home, it’s no surprise that online shopping became the go-to option for everything from groceries to hygiene products and other everyday essentials. People are seeking safe, convenient, and fast ways to shop.

This shift accelerated the growth of e-commerce, resulting in $794.50 billion in sales in the United States alone last year.²

It’s not just big-box stores and giants like Amazon benefiting from this boom; customers also want to support independent retailers and contribute to the local economy.

Getting Started and Scaling

If you’re looking to start or scale your product-based business, e-commerce is essential.

Choosing Your Platform

The first step is to decide which platform to use for your website. Different platforms may fit your current needs and budget, but it’s important to plan ahead for your long-term goals. Three well-known options are WooCommerce, Magento, and Shopify.

E-commerce Platform Considerations

Each platform has its pros and cons. Here are some points to consider when choosing the right one for your business.

Shopify

Pros:

  • Fast setup and easy to use
  • Offers a 14-day free trial
  • Various customer payment options
  • 24/7 customer service

Cons:

  • Limited free templates
  • Costs up to $299/month
  • Additional transaction fees for third-party payment gateways
  • Shopify has control over your store and site data
  • Additional customization is a paid feature
  • Fees to back up your website design and settings

Magento

Pros:

  • Free open-source version
  • No transaction fees
  • Unlimited number of products
  • More than 100 free themes
  • Extensive e-commerce features

Cons:

  • Customization requires technical experience; hiring a developer may be necessary
  • No 24/7 support
  • Some themes and extensions can cost upwards of $300
  • Enterprise edition starts at $22,000

WooCommerce

Pros:

  • Free plugin
  • User-friendly
  • Compatible with any WordPress theme
  • Built-in payments via PayPal and Stripe; also accepts bank transfers and cash on delivery
  • Unlimited products and categories
  • Total control over your data
  • Access to SEO optimization tools
  • Free backup options

Cons:

  • More time may be needed to set up hosting and domain for new sites
  • File storage is limited by your web host

 

Our top recommendation is WooCommerce for its ease of use, cost-effectiveness, and greater control compared to Shopify.

Multi-Channel Selling

After choosing a platform, enhance the online shopping experience for your customers by providing multiple purchase channels, such as Instagram and Facebook. Many people prefer to buy directly from the page they are on rather than being redirected to other sites. Ensure the purchasing process is as smooth and straightforward as possible.

Making Your Site User-Friendly

Whether you are new to e-commerce or have been in the space for some time, having a user-friendly site on mobile and tablet is essential. Mobile e-commerce sales are projected to reach 54% of the e-commerce industry this year.³ Missing out on this significant portion of the market is not an option.

If a site is hard to navigate, slow to load, or visually unappealing, users will leave. Test your site as a consumer would, and use online tools to view it from different devices and browsers. This helps you see what potential customers see and identify areas for improvement.

Moving Forward

With new technologies and constant industry changes, hiring a professional to guide you through the process can be beneficial. Whether you’re looking to revamp your current e-commerce website, take your brick-and-mortar store online, or start a new venture, we can help. Contact us today to get started.

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Discover your business’s online ranking, identify growth opportunities, and determine the best advertising strategies for your business. Submit a request, and we’ll analyze your case for free within three business days.

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