How to choose your E-commerce platform?
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Last year there was over eight-hundred-billion dollars in E-commerce sales end. And because of everything that’s been happening on E-commerce sales have been growing like crazy, last year they grew by 40%. They went through 12% two years ago to go to 16% last year and they’re going to keep growing.
The thing that’s really interesting about the statistic is there’s still so much room for commerce to grow.
So if you think E-commerce is the future, this is the perfect time to build an online store.
So let’s start with shop with Shopify. Let’s go over the pros and the cons. And this is probably the most popular E-commerce platform for successful Ecommerce entrepreneurs now. This isn’t overall the most popular platform. We will be talking about Woo-Commerce later which is actually the most popular platform. But Shopify seems to be the most popular platform among successful economies entrepreneurs. A lot of friends that I know in this space 99% of them are using shopify to build their own online store.
Pros of Shopify.
There’s a lot of really good reasons for that one of which is that it’s built from the ground up with E-commerce in mind unlike some of the other platforms. We will be talking about later.
From the beginning Shopify was about selling things online they also have a ton of apps plug ins in integrations so it makes it really easy if you want to connect other services or if there’s something that Shopify doesn’t have out of the box, you can add an app for some kind of integration and pretty much get your store to do just about anything you want. They also have beautiful templates and it’s really quick and easy to set up.
Cons of Shopify.
But there are some pretty big cons with Shopify as well.
The biggest one being at $29.9/ month. It’s a little bit pricey. This price is actually pretty standard for professional E-commerce platforms, but there are cheaper options later in this article that we’re going to be talking about. But of the good things about Shopofy is they do have a 14-day free trial, I’ll put a link up here. (www.shopify.com)
But if you’re looking for a cheaper option stay tuned
Squarespace is great if you want to build a beautiful website, but it’s not the best website for creating an online store. If you are a band or a podcast and an online store is not the main feature of your website, then squarespace might be a really good option but from the ground up SquareSpace was built to make beautiful websites, not so much for the economies functionality. So if you are looking to be a professional the E-commerce seller, I would stay away from Squarespace.
Next up is Godaddy.
Do not use go daddy to build your e-commerce website.
It’s overpriced and honestly I think they just trick a lot of people. It’s a good place to go buy a domain name, but i think they trick a lot of people to upgrade and host a website with them, and then host their Ecommerce site with them. Do not go with go daddy for your online store.
Wix is another one of those websites i highly recommend avoiding.
It’s not built for E-commerce. Yes, they added an e-commerce functionality to it and it’s it’s a good website builder if you want to build a general website i actually think there’s better options out there. But it’s just okay and it seems like a lot of middle aged people tend to get tricked into using this to build their website and add on e-commerce functionality.
Big cartel is another platform that a lot of people are talking about. And the big pro with big cartel is it’s free. That’s the only really big pro in my opinion and something to keep in mind. It’s free for the first five products that you add. And big cartel is made for artists and makers, that’s their whole slogan. So i think if you’re an artist and you’re trying to sell one-off pieces of art or different things like that, then big cartel might be a really good option. But if you’re looking to sell your product and you’re really looking to build an Ecommerce store, I honestly just don’t think they have enough features. But i will say it’s pretty easy to make a simple small store and since your first five products are free, you can always test this one out, but i personally would never recommend this. Because they just don’t have enough integrations, enough apps and enough features for you to be able to scale your business, but for artists and makers, big cartel might be a good option.
Another platform that a lotta people asking about is bigcommerce. Big commerce used to be pretty decent. They have a lot of really good built in features, but one of the big cons with big commerce IS they have selling limits. If you sell more than $50,000 in a year, they start charging you extra fees which is bonkers to me. I don’t want to have to pay more because my business is doing well that just doesn’t make any sense.
And in full honesty big commerce is these same price as Shopify but i think Shopify is way better. Now before we talked about Woo-commerce which is the most popular e-commerce platform out there.
Though not necessarily the best in commerce platform out there we do have to talk about magento.
Magento is one of those economic platforms that used to be really popular and the good thing about magento is it fully customizable but that’s really the only pro for magento.
The negative side of magento is it’s very technical, very hard to work with, and you’re going to nned tohire a designer.
I don’t know any commerce entrepreneurs that are still using magenta. I think it was something that used to be a good platform but it’s just not that good of a platform anymore.
And that brings us to woo commerce. Now we still have three more platforms amazon etsy and ebay, and to be honest with you, I think WooCommerce is actually a really good platform, not the first pro for Woo-commerce is that it’s free (kind of).
Now the truth is it’s a free plugin to wordpress now to get hosting for a wordpress website does actually costs some money. But it’s relatively inexpensive at around 5-6 dollars a month. i will recommend site round for E-commerce hosting and there is a link there for you to know more.
So the first pro is that it’s free. The next pro is that it’s the most popular E-commerce platform so there is a lot of plug-ins, but the reason it’s the most popular commerce platform is because it’s free.
WooCommerce VS Shopify.
I still think it’s easier to set up a shopify website because they already got a hosting for you. All you need to do is choose the template and upload your products.
But if you really want your website to look good and perform a lot of functions, you’re probably going to need to hire a designer or research by youself to do some more of the technical stuff. Another issue with WooCommerce that it’s very piecemeal meaning if you want added functionality you’re going to have to pay for it. You have to pay for all the different apps and addons. so even though it’s free, costs do add up very quickly and another con with Woocommerce is there can be security issue, seems to be way more security issues with Woo-commerce websites than shopify websites. And this is because all the different apps and all the different integrations are a lot more vulnerable on a wordpress website than they are with Shopify. But still, overall, woo commerce is a great platform.
Amazon. ebay and etsy.
And we quickly go over the last three e-commerce platforms amazon ebay and etsy.
Pros of Amazon. ebay and etsy.
Now the pros with all these is they already have a lot of customers. When you’re building your own website, it’s actually very tough to get customers to your website. But the benefit of ebay amazon and etsy is they already have people that are going to their website every day. And so if you list your products on any of these platforms. You’re more likely to get sales cause people are already there looking for your product.
Cons of Amazon. ebay and etsy.
But for cons for these platforms they do usually have high fees to sell. Amazon they take 15% and even a little bit more if you use the FBA program.
And for ebay and etsy, the fees vary but it’s a decent chunk of your profit. They can also kick you off of their platform at any time. And that’s the downside of selling on amazon ebay or etsy. It’s not your website. It’s not your platform. You’re playing in someone elses sandbox and if they want to kick you out they can.
But I will say out of these three platforms, Amazon is by far the most powerful. Amazon made up 50% of all E-commerce sales last year. Amazon has a $1,600,000,000,00 company and they have millions upon, millions of customers and here’s the crazy thing, out of every sale that happens on Amazon two-thirds of them 66% are made by third party sellers that people like you and me selling on the amazon platform. Amazon FBA is one of the best ways I know to build a legitimate passive income business because the thing with amazon FBA is you send any products are trying to sell into the amazon warehouse and when you get a sale, they pick it, pack it and ship it out for you, meaning you can be traveling the world or doing whatever you want. You don’t have to be doing the shipping yourself.
Which of these platforms should you use?
There are so many choice there, so which of these platforms should you use?
Should you go with amazon or should you build your own website?
My answer is do both. I think amazon is a great place to start and you can leverage all the opportunity there. But you’re still going to want to build your own website cause there’s always a chance that amazon takes you off. And even if amazon doesn’t ever kick you off it’s just good to have an extra source of income, so that brings us to the whole point of this article which E-commerce platform should you use?
And if I had to narrow down to just two it would be either shopify or woo-commerce. And they both have their own pros and cons, and which one you should use really depends about how serious you are going to be about your online store. I’d say if you’re looking to do over$10,000 dollars a month in sales. Go with shopify. They are way more professional and it’s way easier to set up, they have way more apps and integrations and overall. It’s just a really good platform. You really do get what you pay for.
but on the other side Woocommerce is great if money is tight, if you maybe just want to build an online store just to test it out and you’re not sure how serious you are going to be. And the truth is you can always upgrade to shopify later. And woocommerce is a relatively beginner friendly platform but you may need to learn a little bit of html, css to really get the full capabilities out of it and as i mentioned with Woocommerce, you do have to pay for hosting.
And if you’re still unsure about woocommerce or shopify which one you should use Pls check this video.
It goes into depth and it’ll help you decide which of these platforms is best for you.
But my biggest piece of advice is get started today. This is such a prime opportunity to start an online store. People are starting to shop more and more online and if you have a product that you want to sell, you should get on it right now to enjoy the journey.