Eighty3 - Creative Solutions

Your guide to choosing the right eCommerce platform for you

Find Your Fit

Being baffled by choice is actually a thing. The more choice we have, the more challenging it becomes to make a decision. That said, a one size fits all approach is never a good way forward either… A hat that will fit you and your kids? Maybe not. Eighty3 are a dynamic creative agency in the heart of the West Midlands, we aim to create a customer-centric eCommerce store that is a perfect fit for our clients. We have been around the block a few times and are passionate about finding the right solution for you.

Selecting the right eCommerce platform for your business.

When there is so much to choose from, and you don’t know which option is right for you, making a decision can be overwhelming. For us, there are so many eCommerce businesses out there, each with a unique USP, it would be tough to recommend specific platforms for each type of business. Although we’re in the West Midlands, we provide eCommerce stores for customers nationwide, whatever sector they’re in. So, we’ve put together this blog to give you a bit of direction, and rather than telling you which is most suitable for you; we want to help you work it out. After all, you know your business best.

There’s no business like your business.

Only you know the strengths of your business and its potential future direction. By taking this knowledge into account, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision about which eCommerce platform to choose.

So, what do you want out of your e-commerce website? Yes, you want to sell stuff, but how much stuff do you want to sell? Do you have a wide product range, or are you selling niche items to a particular market? What time and (money!) do you have available? Do you want to make “loadsa cash” and fast, or are you happy to gently pootle along? And finally, what are your website-building capabilities?

Little Or Large?

Whether you’re selling handbags, gladrags, pet accessories or all three, if you have an extensive product range, you’ll need a content management system that can handle complexity. One that can manipulate your catalogue and your data so you can successfully manage everything and analyse sales too. If this is you, consider platforms such as Shopify and BigCommerce, which provide the essential management facilities for those with sizeable stock.

If you’re offering fewer products or artisanal crafts that are niche and perhaps bespoke, the above platforms would be like having a McLaren F1 racing car to drive to the corner shop. Wix and Big Cartel are alternatives that may be more suited. Small is beautiful.

Not big or small? If you’re an “in-betweenie” and fancy a happy medium, then WooCommerce is for you. WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that’s free to use and easy to set up. Its flexibility means you can create a site that will fit your needs precisely and will support your business expansion, too.

Money makes the world go ‘round

We don’t believe that, by the way, but indeed, you’ll need some of the stuff to get access to certain eCommerce platforms. Some will charge you for hosting and take a commission on any sales you make; others are available free of charge with no commission either.

Think about how much money you have to play with initially, how quickly you’ll have capital behind you and what your business plans are. Is it worth investing in something that will cost you if you don’t intend to reach a massive turnover? Free sites that charge no commission include WooCommerce, Prestashop and Big Cartel, though just be aware that any payment gateways you use may charge you. The likes of Shopify, BigCommerce and Wix charge monthly fees. Shopify charges commission.

Do you have a head for sites?

Websites, that is! So here’s an upfront question: how good are your computing skills? We’re all computer savvy nowadays, but some waaay more than others, and that’s fine; if you have the time to learn how to use a new platform, great! If you fancy a challenge, platforms like Magento and Prestashop require more skill to set up and manage. If you don’t have the skill or the time, can you afford to get someone else to design, build and manage it for you?

eCommerce Store Setup Made Easy

However, if time is short and you don’t have the resources available or the desire for a challenge, go for simple and easy to use. By choosing a platform that you can build yourself without any headaches, you’re less likely to procrastinate but instead, get it done. Check out Wix and Squarespace if you need a fast fix. That said, you should be mindful that these platforms may not grow with you. Their limited functionality could become problematic if you’re planning on expansion in the future.

SEO

In an age where everything is measurable, and competition is fierce, improving your chances of success is vital. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for eCommerce is much more involved than regular websites and blogs, but getting it right means you’re more “findable” by search engines and, therefore, by your customers. Whether you take the time or spend the money to get it right is dependent on your overall goals, but the easier it is to find you and your products, the greater the chances of better sales.

Final words.

When choosing the right eCommerce store for you, consider the different stages to buying an item that your client will go through to make their purchase. What processes do you want in place to make this as easy and pain-free as possible for them? Similarly, what capabilities do you need from your platform to achieve your perfect online shop? Bringing all these ideas together into one solution will point you to the best platform for you.

We hope after reading this that you’re less at a loss for which platform to choose. If you want further advice, we’d love to hear from you. Based in the West Midlands, we’ve worked in eCommerce web design for various sectors for many years, and we’d love to help! Get in touch by phone, email or our social media channels. Thanks for reading.

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