The Internet and technology advancements have changed the shape of business and marketing. More and more street-side businesses are shifting to eCommerce sites. However, those trying to enter the eCommerce are misguided about various platforms and the features offered.
There are many concerns of an online retailer, whether there are enough designs and templates, availability of up-to-date marketing tools, SSL encryption, transaction costs, etc., to make sure the business is earning money and not drained by expenses.
Even if you do not have a unique business idea in mind and want to sell some used stuff online after that decluttering session, this article will provide you with the necessary information needed to start your online business.
Before you begin selling, you need to decide whether you want to choose a hosting platform, a self-hosted site, or an established eCommerce marketplace. Yes, without getting the basic knowledge before jumping into starting a business in a rush to make money cannot produce the same yield for you as it can for a person with good homework and knowledge. So, let's get a clear understanding of some initial terms that will help you decide your business model.
When you want to step into the online business for selling stuff, you can go for building your own online store. To create your online store, you need hosting services. A lot of people think that their website will get active and market worthy just by registering a domain name. But they actually don’t understand that domain name only gives you the unique identity on the internet world as your name does in your recognition as a person, but you need to host a website to get more out of it. To make your website live and active on the internet, web hosting is essential. Registering your domain without web hosting services will serve no purpose. Web hosting is fundamentally the space you buy on a webserver to save and store your website files and documents. A web hosting company makes your ecommerce software workable for you and ready to start accessing by everybody on the web, and obviously, you need to allocate a good budget to acquire this service.
You will find the eCommerce platforms working on two types of web hosting service models; Hosted platform and self-hosted platform.
A hosted eCommerce platform, like Shopify and BigCommerce, does not give access to a lot of options that you might have on a self-hosted platform. A hosted platform provides you with a space in the online marketplace to sell your goods on that host's server. Your design and marketing options are limited, too, depending on what the site has to offer.
Shopify is one of the most widely used hosting platforms for eCommerce. According to its 2019 report, Shopify hosts over a million sellers on its site. Shopify's features are huge; for example, its basic plan, at just $29 a month, gives you a site, a blog, various marketing tools, and social media sales channels.
The best part about selling on Shopify is that there is no registration fee. On top of that, there are various themes and designs, along with marketing tools like discount codes, gift cards, and Shopify SEO, which directs traffic to your storefront.
Moreover, Shopify provides a 24/7 customer support through chat, phone, and email, and provides SSL encryption for payment getaway through credit and debit card, to ensure a smooth running of your business. However, Shopify does not allow you to download your data if you ever plan to shift to a different hosting server. There are no professional reports available for the inexpensive basic plans.
On the other side, a self-hosted platform creates new possibilities for your business, as there are more designs, themes, marketing tools, and various other features for you to use. You can customize your online store as per your choice utilizing the available features. Of course, this requires computing skills and extra money if you want to outsource it.
WooCommerce is an open-source eCommerce platform that works with WordPress. WooCommerce provides high-quality designs and themes for your site, which can be modified for mobile or web. Just like Shopify and BigCommerce, there are no transaction costs, and the software is free to download.
Since the site uses WordPress editor, there you can optimize it for search engines easily, but you might have to purchase additional add-ons and plug-ins for SEO and marketing purposes.
Unfortunately, because WooCommerce is a self-hosting solution, you still need a hosting provider to operate your WordPress site, which can be expensive. In addition to that, there is no customer support available, and neither does WooCommerce provide SSL certifications.
Most businesses prefer selling on an established online marketplace when they think about expanding their business online. This business model is pretty popular and successful due to many practical positive features. Usually, buyers prefer online shopping from the online marketplace due to the availability of countless products offered by many different buyers at one site. They can easily compare the prices and willingly pay for the high quality of the same product listed by different sellers. The established online shopping markets have a greater trust level between the buyers and sellers. The confidence of buyers in this eCommerce business model has broadened its success rate.
There are various options to choose from; however, each platform has its pros and cons.
Amazon is a globally recognized online marketplace that serves over 20 million buyers, according to their 2019 report. Amazon gives its sellers a very competitive environment, along with its fine marketing tools.
Selling on Amazon is simple because of its 24/7 customer support. A strong sense of trust with its customers has enabled sellers on Amazon to conduct a profitable business.
Despite being widely known, Amazon has a downside. The starting price for a seller’s plan is $39.99 per month, which does not include the additional cost on each item sold, thereby increase the seller’s expense.
eBay is one of the oldest eCommerce websites to exist. eBay offers its sellers a wide range of product categories that can be sold, from common items to the uncommon ones. eBay serves approximately 25 million sellers and 182 million buyers on its site. It has a larger buyer ratio than Amazon’s – making it a more attractive marketplace for sellers.
However, the cost to sell on eBay is quite different from that of its rivals. eBay charges a listing fee to every item; it is also non-refundable. Moreover, there is a "final value fee," which is charged as a percentage of the price and the shipping fee. This depends on the category and type of product being sold.
Eishops is an online eCommerce store. It fulfills the needs of small and medium-scaled businesses. Eishops is an easy-to-go site for both sellers and buyers. The SEO and marketing tools are the latest, and it makes sure your products attract the targeted audience, and your business thrives.
Eishops is similar to Amazon and eBay, but here is the catch. The platform is relatively new, and the competition is lesser than on other platforms. So, if you are looking to form an online business, this might be your best option. You might even have complete autonomy on Eishops for selling that specific product with a unique product category completely free.
Moreover, this platform does not charge a listing fee or a commission on every sale made by the sellers, unlike its rivals. It is almost like you are selling your products at Eishops for free!
In today's' competitive business market regime, there is nothing you can find for free. Eishops provides the best market promotion services to its clients for free, for which the buyers need to pay handsome amounts to their hosting platforms. Starting an online selling business with Eishops can excel in your work with an excellent customer support system and a highly professional customer service team to give 100% service satisfaction to your potential customers.
Etsy is an online market for handcrafted and vintage goods. It is perfect for artists and small-scale businesses because of its low pricing and variety of features. From handmade jewelry and clothes to antiques and home décor, Etsy has it all.
In 2017, Etsy reported that the buyers on the site spent over $3 billion. It is a growing marketplace, with over 2 million users. Etsy charges a fixed price of $0.2 for the listing of an item, and a 3.5% commission fee once the product is sold.
Facebook, Instagram are more than just social media sites; Facebook entered eCommerce a few years ago and is excelling every year, every month, every week, and literally every day. With its more than 2 billion monthly users, Facebook is one of the best eCommerce marketplaces for sellers. It offers various marketing tools and advertising campaigns at low costs to its small-scale retailers, with a high engagement ratio.
To further simplify marketing for its sellers, Facebook even partnered with Shopify and continues to grow as an eCommerce store. Although product listing on the Facebook marketplace is free, the sellers need to spend a good budget on promoting their products, which may sound an expensive way of doing business to some online retailers.
Whether you are a successful brick-and-mortar business looking to expand its market online, or a newcomer, eCommerce platforms will make your business hassle-free. Setting a business online is much more profitable because the costs of renting a space, hiring staff, and other utilities are avoidable in eCommerce. Platforms like Eishops make it even easier, as the registration costs and listing fees are zero. So, what are you waiting for? Find the hot selling products under your niche and grow your business!