The great thing about the internet is that it levels the playing field for small businesses to compete with big companies in the same market. Now anyone can set up a professional looking website without a team of graphic designers and coding professionals. Online e-commerce platforms are abundant, so which platform suits your needs best? If you’re looking to make money selling products and services online, here’s an outline of some options that might work for you.
Shopify is one of the easiest and most popular online e-commerce builders. Incorporating over 100professional and sleek design templates, both free and paid, the builder has many add-on apps that can separate your website from the thousands of others online. But, more importantly, these apps help automate the processes on your site so that order submission and payment handling are fluid. Finally, 24/7 support services mean that any questions you may have along the way will be answered quickly and efficiently.
SquareSpace is a drag and drop builder with impressive design templates that are responsive and very customizable. With SquareSpace you can build a regular website or integrate an e-commerce platform in the website with lots of options for customization, including order emails and coupons. However, in comparison to other e-commerce builders, the SquareSpace platform may not be for beginners and can take some time to understand how to properly use the tools provided. But once you get the hang of it, the outcome is certainly worth the effort. Another downside to SquareSpace is there is no option for a free builder. You can sign up for a free trial, but you will have to pay in order to continue using the service.
Etsy focuses on handmade, vintage and unique items, allowing the user to sell their original products straight to customers. It is a huge and growing online marketplace, enabling individuals to grow their brand from scratch and integrating social media straight into the platform for networking. Etsy is different from other e-commerce builders as there are limited customizing options. As well, Etsy takes a percentage of the sale price for each listing, though creating an account and page itself is free. Etsy is great for those who are not interested in creating their own website, and who are looking to sell products that fit within Etsy’s target marget.
While Weebly is lesser known than the builders previously mentioned, the platform has gotten rave reviews from users for its ease-of-use. The site planner tool takes you through the basic steps needed to ensure that the goals for your e-commerce store are met depending on what focus your website will have. Weebly has also introduced an iPad app, allowing you to add products on the go, and even enables you to download your site as a zip file if you decide to move your site to a standard hosted domain outside of the platform.
Each of these e-commerce website platforms have great aspects that make them attractive to first time sellers, looking to build a website without hiring professionals. Depending on what you’re looking for, one platform might be more suitable than the next, so take advantage of free trials to test out the each system to make sure you pick the one that works for you. Happy selling!