Start Selling Online
Who would have known that COVID would still be around nearly two years later? We are in an unfortunate and uncertain time that requires us to adapt quickly. For retail, hospitality and other business services, their usual brick and mortar stores had to shift to the online world to remain afloat. Individuals may be reconsidering the industry they want to build their careers in to ensure better job security.
The Benefits of eCommerce
We have seen a massive boom in the number of eCommerce stores, and this will continue to increase as more people turn to online selling. Below are some of the benefits to having an eCommerce store:
No time constraints – Why limit your customers to standard in-store trading hours only? Some customers find it more convenient to access your products online at any time via their computer, laptop, phone or tablet.
Real-time updates – Get your customers excited with new product launches or special deals! Providing frequent updates is vital to keep your customers engaged with your brand.
Exclusive promotions – Everyone loves a discount! Create online-only incentives to encourage your customers to spend more. Get on board with the many online shopping events that promote your brand and promotions, such as Click Frenzy, Afterpay Day and Vogue Online Shopping Night.
Online marketing – Increase your website traffic and conversion rate with targeted EDMs and Google/Facebook/Instagram advertising. The power of social media marketing is immense. Start by creating social media pages to build your brand presence, then take it to the next level with paid/promoted advertising.
Boost customer confidence – Grow your brand and trust by providing exceptional online support via live chat or emails. Customers are more likely to return and recommend your business if they receive a phenomenal customer service experience.
Understand your customer – Most website builders provide you with informative data to help you get to know your customers. Analyse data such as your most popular products, customer locations, number of active carts and more!
eCommerce Website Builders
Initiating the process of selling online can be daunting for new users. However, there are plenty of great website builders out there to make it easier. Below are five of the most popular eCommerce website builders in Australia that are currently available:
(DreamIT Host’s recommendation)
Recommended for: Full control over hosting and website.
Price: Free. (You will need hosting – DreamIT Host’s Web Hosting plans start from $4.17* per month.)
Pros: You can choose your web host, costs, payments and website features. With DreamIT Host as your chosen web host, we can optimise your website’s loading times and provide you with a free SSL Certificate that is crucial for securing your customer’s information during checkout.
Cons: WooCommerce requires WordPress, as it is a WordPress plugin.
Recommended for: All-in-one eCommerce solution with hosting, website builder and payment processing.
Price: From $29-$299USD per month (approx. $41-$418AUD per month)
Pros: Thousands of free/paid add-ons are available in the Shopify App Store, plus their customer support responds quickly.
Cons: Not the cheapest eCommerce solution with steep price rises between plans. Transactions also incur additional fees for non-Shopify payments.
Recommended for: Simple website editor for those with no experience.
Price: From $20-$38USD per month (approx. $28-$53AUD per month)
Pros: Plans are well-priced for those on a budget, and the visual editor makes creating your website quick and easy.
Cons: It can take up to 2 weeks to receive your payouts because Wix only processes payouts to your bank account on Mondays, which can further take an additional 3-5 business days to clear.
Recommended for: All-in-one eCommerce solution with hosting, website builder and online store design templates. Squarespace is popular with bloggers, photographers and creatives.
Price: $34AUD-$52AUD per month.
Pros: Setting up a visually appealing website that focuses on imagery instead of crowding the page with features is easy.
Cons: Limited flexibility and no app store for additional features. It can only connect to Google tools, social media platforms and payment providers. We don’t recommend using Squarespace for online stores with many products.
Recommended for: Tech-savvy startups that plan to expand quickly.
Price: $29.95-$269.96AUD per month.
Pros: Unlike most eCommerce website builders, BigCommerce doesn’t charge you for online transactions, so you are only required to pay the transaction fees for your chosen payment providers.
Cons: Certain features require knowledge of coding, and the website builder sometimes uses technical terms.
Online Shopping Is the New Way of the World
While many of us are sitting at home in lockdowns, we use the internet to communicate with family and friends, for entertainment and even retail therapy. Pandemic or no pandemic, customers will continue to shop online for convenience, exclusive sales, greater variety, quick price comparisons, no crowds and no pressure. Safe to say that online shopping is here to stay, so there is no better time to start your eCommerce store!