If your small business endeavor involves a basic online store that showcases only a handful of specialized products, then opt for a hosted e-commerce software solution. With built-in management and customization tools, you can run your Web-based store with a bare minimum of IT know-how. As you grow your site, a hosted e-commerce platform enables you to upgrade to get the features that you need for your thriving online business. Consider the following four awesome e-commerce platform options and handy tools for your DIY store.
WooCommerce is an easy-to-use e-commerce platform for selling both physical and digital products. The software platform is equipped with productivity-boosting extensions and scalability features for expanding your DIY business into a much larger online store.
If you are using WordPress to create your website, then choosing WooCommerce as your e-commerce software platform makes a lot of sense because it is already integrated into WordPress. Loading a product to your online store through WooCommerce is as simple as modifying your CMS blog post in WordPress. WooCommerce is free, does not lock you into a contract, and does not limit your options by imposing dependence on proprietary software.
Starting at a basic $29 monthly plan for unlimited products and 1GB of file storage space, the popular Shopify e-commerce platform helps you to easily manage and grow your DIY online store. It offers many themes and customization tools for designing the look of your site. Shopify also comes with numerous apps for handling your inventory, dealing with product shipment logistics, and launching your various marketing campaigns.
At a starting price of $19.99 per month, which includes more than fifty store templates and support for up to 100 products, 3dcart helps you put up your e-commerce operation on a shoestring budget. 3dcart offers a richly featured e-commerce cart that enables social media sharing and is linked to Google Analytics, which lets you keep track of the effectiveness of your marketing strategy. It also triggers emails based on user actions and allows the automatic deployment of product reviews. 3dcart’s payment options include Amazon Payments, Google Checkout, and PayPal.
After trying out the free trial version of Webs, you can upgrade to its business-friendly Pro plan priced at $16.50 per month. The Pro plan gives you unlimited and password-protected webpages, unlimited file storage, a mobile website version, and access to professionally designed website themes. Webs’ intuitive interface helps you set up your online store fast, easily manage your inventory, and offer several payment options to your customers.
All in all, your choice of e-commerce software solution depends on your business needs and your projected goals. For example, if you treat your internet-based boutique solely as a weekend hobby or you only intend to sell a few products at a time, then opt for a cheap, simple, and functional e-commerce platform as opposed to a powerful, richly featured, open-source online store software solution. If you focus heavily on marketing to mobile consumers, for instance, then look for a software vendor that has a proven track record of delivering mobile-friendly marketing apps and tools. Decide according to your long-term business goals. That way you don’t end up paying for a highly sophisticated e-commerce platform whose advanced features you cannot take full advantage of in your small online store.