Web-based trade settlement is convenient both for the business owners and the customers. The sellers don’t have to invest money into renting premises and hiring personnel, while customers are offered a rich assortment of products that are available at affordable cost. That is why, the number of online stores keeps increasing every day, contributing to the growth of business competition in the eCommerce market. A properly-built eCommerce platform matters a lot for the advancement of profitable business.
How a Successful Web Store Should Look Like
An online store is a kind of the software that makes it possible to buy and sell products in the online mode. The success and efficacy of the project depends upon the convenience of customers to shop on the web and the opportunity for the website owners to manage the resource. The following factors contribute to the increase of sales and traffic growth:
Setting up popular payment systems. The majority of users, who have ever shopped on the web, have made sure about the convenience of paying for the products online. Integration of versatile payment systems to the website makes it possible for the clients to purchase the products they need without leaving the website, which notably increases the amount of sales. Apart from that, the availability of several payment options increases the customers’ trust to the resource.
The elaborate structure of the product catalogue. The more positions the store offers, the more complicated it is for the users to find the products they need. Consequently, the structure of a website should not be limited to the categories and subcategories only. The website navigation should also make it possible to filter the products by name, manufacturer, size, color and other characteristics.
Detailed compilation of product cards. By visiting the page of a product, a customer should get its detailed characteristics. This may help the clients make the right choice and will relieve the store managers from the unnecessary calls. Product descriptions and their photos should be unique and not copied from other resources, because both the customers and search engines don’t favor plagiarism.
An offer to choose related products. If a website comes with an opportunity to offer related products, it makes sense to add a block of such items, which will serve the additional sales tool.
The use of triggers. When it comes to online marketing, triggers prove to be useful psychological methods that encourage the customers to shop at the website and buy something there. The examples of popular triggers include discount offers, free delivery of a product during the specified time interval, product exclusiveness marks, quality certificates demonstration and what not. The use of triggers should always be smart, reasonable and consequent.
Setting up an online consultant. Lots of customers try to avoid phone talks with the managers. That is why, setting up one of the online-consulting systems makes it possible to attract more potential clients and increase the sales.
Popular Tools to Create an eCommerce Website
An opportunity to implement the ideas mentioned above into real life may seem close to impossible to the inexperienced users. What’s more, many of them lack money to order custom website creation. These are the most popular reasons to give up the idea to launch an online business.
It turns out, though, that it is possible to create an online store by means of using special programs and services. The latter include numerous paid and free website management systems, such as:
- WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, which are the free platforms that make it possible to create various types of websites, including trading platforms. The functionality of an online store is realized by setting up special plugins here;
- OpenCart, Magento, PrestaShop, which are the open-code CMS meant to manage eCommerce projects. They come with integrated solutions, which can be expanded by means of using the required modules;
- PinncaleCart, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, which are the paid platforms that come with vast functionality and features required to launch powerful online stores;
- SaaS Website Builders – the easiest way to create an eCommerce website for newcomers of those who make first steps in online commerce.
Let’s have a look at the most popular and functional online store website builders now:
Shopify: #1 Website Builder Software
If you have an established business, and you’re ready to invest into your web presence, you may want to go with a specialized, eCommerce site builder like Shopify, as opposed to the ‘versatile’ DIY site builders like Weebly or Wix.
Shopify is quite expensive, but its price is reasonable.
This website builder is chock-full of advanced, eCommerce-specific features. However, don’t get caught up in the “more is better” mentality, unless you really need it. You may also take a look of our colllection of real webstores powered by Shopify.
Pros: Shopify is definitely one of the best eCommerce solutions. The platform excels at functionality, which makes it possible to create and manage eCommerce websites and sell products at the retail storefront. The service uses the Point of Sale software that allows accepting orders in the offline mode and launching several staff accounts at a time.
Business owners value an opportunity to create the receipts online, view and analyze the sales statistics, control the account balance and utilize other options that help them manage their businesses in the best way possible. The Future Publishing option is the highlight of the system. It allows publishing blog posts, products reviews and catalogue collections that are going to appear on sale in the future. Shopify is a nice eCommerce CMS, which is also optimized for mobile marketing.
Cons: The major disadvantage of the system is its cost, which is a bit higher than that of other similar platforms. If you run a small business, Shopify pricing plans may hit you on the pocket. However, if you own a medium or a large business and plan to expand it by means of launching and managing several online stores, then investing in Shopify is a reasonable solution that will eventually pay off.
Pricing: the easiest way to start selling with Shopify is to add ‘Shopify Button’ to your website. It will cost $9/mo. The other paid plans that include full set of website builder tool range from $29/mo to $299/mo.
Wix: The Easiest eCommerce Website Builder
Wix is a versatile site builder works where you create different website types: blogs, business sites, portfolios, webstores and more.
In other words, you can not only create a full-featured webstore, but also add a blog and many other extensions you can find in the Wix App Market.
Wix has lots of templates for e-store projects so you can find a website design for any taste. If you have any doubts about Wix you may see for Wix eCommerce website examples from our collection.
Pros: Wix is one of the easiest online store creating platforms. With its drag-and-drop editing options and availability of customizable templates, you can create a quality eCommerce website in less than no time. The WYSIWYG feature puts you in charge of the web creation process and it’s definitely a benefit. Who else knows how your online store should look, if not you?
Another feature that makes Wix a perfect eCommerce building tool is the availability of customizable options, such as tax management, coupons and versatile payment methods to mention a few. Wix also allows creating websites that are optimized for mobile devices.
Cons: If you need to launch a large eCommerce website, then it’s better to keep looking for a website builder that is rich in the niche specific features.
Pricing: Building a webstore with Wix will cost you $16.50/mo with annual subscription or $19.90/mo if you wish to pay monthly.
Jimdo: Perfect for Small Business
Jimdo site builder offers a robust eCommerce system powered by PayPal, Stripe or Invoice System.
Here you can build a webstore even with a free package (of course with some restrictions).
Jimdo has only four templates for webstores but you can easily customize them whatever you want. You may also take a look at real Jimdo website examples. There are some online shops amongst.
Pros: Jimdo offers a set of eCommerce functions available in terms of the free plan. This makes it possible to test some of these functions absolutely for free prior to switching to the paid plan.
There are lots of elements that can be modified and controlled when creating an online store here. They involve product display, shipping expenses and time control, product availability, an opportunity to set individual tax rates for separate products/groups of products, custom greeting, versatile payment options, e-mail checkout availability, product return and cancellation policy etc. Online stores created with Jimdo are responsive and can be viewed on mobile devices, which is a benefit for modern customers as well.
Cons: The major Jimdo disadvantage is absence of tools for further marketing product promotion. You can make use of the widgets (like MailChimp, for example), but the system will still lack the functions required to conduct marketing campaigns ( like those in Wix, for instance).
Pricing: as it was mentioned above, you may own a webstore for free, but you can sell only 5 products with the free plan. The paid package that allows you to sell an unlimited number of items will cost $20 with an annual subscription.
The quickest and the most affordable way to create an online store is a website builder. SaaS-services make it possible to develop simple and complicated projects for reasonable cost. Some of them offer the same options absolutely for free. Integrated functionality of website builders is thoroughly thought over and has all the required tools used to create successful online stores.
Apart from the convenience of use, this solution attracts business owners by the simplicity of management and an opportunity to test business niches without serious financial investments into the development of professional websites.
Considering the perspective of online trade development, the amount of users willing to create online stores is going to increase. It goes without saying that each business owner chooses the most suitable ways of business advancement, but the use of eCommerce website builders can be an ideal startup that allows moving from the base stages and up to success and profitability in future.
Run an eCommerce website? Please share your experience with us in the comments!