Taking your brand online is now a crucial step in creating a lasting future for your business. When it comes to choosing the best platform for an eCommerce site that will ultimately make you money, you must think about some core ideas that drive your business. Firstly, it is vital to understand what you are selling. Seems simple, but understanding your product range and its place in the market will help to create a site that both sells your product for you, and solidifies your customer following. Secondly, understanding your audience and the brand experience you want to create for them will further solidify your choice. Finally, are you simply selling products, or do you plan to also create content to bolster your online presence?
The vast number of eCommerce platforms mainly sit under two main streams: cloud based or self-hosted. The market share for online platforms is currently Woocommerce 32% of the eCommerce market, followed by Magento (18%), OpenCart (11%), Shopify (8%) and Squarespace (2%). At Raine & Makin, we recommend Woocommerce and Shopify as key platforms to consider. The right one for your business is determined by several factors.
If creating a memorable, unique brand experience is one of your key goals, Woocommerce is a great platform to help you to customise your site and find the balance between branded design, content, and selling products. This custom designed experience can be created from the ground up across desktop, tablet, and mobile. Outside of hosting, there are no ongoing costs required once your site is built.
Some excellent features across the Woocommerce platform include paid and free eCommerce plugins which enable promotions, discounts, bundles, and shipping cost variations. Not only this, but comprehensive SEO capabilities are included and can be extended to ensure your site can be found on Google.
To create an engaging, immersive and dynamic Woocommerce site, it is best to work with design and development professionals. Doing this will maximise the capabilities of the platform and ultimately set you apart from your competitors.
If your core focus is to sell products, Shopify is a great choice for your business. Shopify templates are predominantly online stores only, with limited design, brand and content capabilities. In saying that, further design customisation can be undertaken when working with design and development professionals.
The main benefit of working on a Shopify platform is that the base system is easy to set up and you can begin selling products quickly. The platform offers additional applications (called apps) which will enable you to extend your store’s functionality. Another great benefit to Shopify is their thoroughly tested checkout and payment process. As new approaches to the checkout user experience become available, Shopify automatically updates these approaches across all sites on their platform.
It’s important to note that the initial investment is lower to build the site, however, monthly fees are ongoing. As Shopify is cloud based platform, hosting is included in your monthly subscription.
At Raine & Makin, we work with you to establish how your business can stand out from your competitors in the vast world of online shopping. We can help you communicate your values and create an engaging, rewarding experience for your customers. Working with you, we can recommend what eCommerce approach is right for your business, taking into account financial imperatives and desired outcomes. Get in touch to find out more.