Part 1: Choosing the right platform for your online store
Starting an online store doesn’t really require any advanced tech skills. That’s thanks to the countless website builders available out there. You can use any, whichever suites your taste best. This includes premium WordPress themes that include page builders (like Divi). With so many tools available, anyone can start an online store and experience success fast.
It’s a relatively simple process, but one that will nevertheless require your time and dedication. Do not expect your store-building work to take an hour, and do not expect your new store to be completely ready in a single day. There are a few steps that you have to take seriously. You’ll have to give it a bit of thought first, and act only upon clearing the necessary steps.
What is the best platform for an online store
One thing that determines the overall success of your new online store is the platform you work with. Choosing the right platform to build your store will ensure success and give you the pleasure you need to do the work needed. There are several page and store builders available that you can use. But you should really pick between the most reputable ones, for both security reasons and to reach your goals faster and easier.
You should pick a platform that’s easy to use and one that offers the flexibility you need and easily scales with your business no matter how fast you grow.
BigCommerce, Shopify, and WordPress are by far the best and easiest platforms to work with. And you can learn how to start an online store with any of them in a matter of days.
BigCommerce is a versatile and reputable site builder. It has a drag-and-drop feature, making it easy for you to design your store and give it the professional look it deserves. It’s secure and allows you to accept payments without worrying about security loopholes. The platform has great customer service that’s available to you 24/7. You also get to choose what communication method you want to reach out to their customer support team. You can contact them via email, live chat, or phone and get your issue resolved in no time.
BigCommerce integrates with reputable and large marketplaces like Amazon and allows you to sell your products on social media giants like Facebook.
It also comes with countless interesting features that are not found on other platforms and scales as your business grows.
Prices range from $29,99 per month to $299,99 per month and, in most cases, are worth it. They also offer custom pricing for larger enterprises and businesses with specific needs, should you be successful enough to need it one day.
Shopify is one of the most popular and beginner-friendly e-commerce platforms. Like BigCommerce, it also includes a drag-and-drop feature. Shopify comes with more than 70 free and premium themes you can use to build your site.
It has great customer support, a brilliant online community forum, and a knowledge base to help you find quick answers to common problems. Shopify also offers secure payment gateways for safe transactions, supports over 100 currencies, has built-in SEO and web analytics tools, and so much more.
But like BigCommerce, it’s not free.
Shopify has different packages with different features. Choose a higher plan to gain access to more advanced features and get the flexibility you need. Pricing starts from $29 per month.
If you’re on a budget though, maybe these two options are not your best bet. Remember, you’ll have to start paying before you even sell anything…
WordPress is free and it’s the best, user-friendly, and most popular CMS out there. In fact, at the time of writing, it is reported that over 40% of World Wide Web is using it. Countless business owners prefer building their online stores with WordPress and WooCommerce. The best thing about it, besides being free, is that you control absolutely every aspect of your store. You choose the themes, the functionality, everything. And if you don’t like it later, you go and change it. You’re not tied to any system regarding this.
On the other hand, while there are literally millions of free WordPress tools available (like themes and plugins), you must be aware that using only those will likely not fulfill your dreams completely. Most of these free tools are somehow limited in functionality, so to achieve certain things you’ll have to turn to some paid (premium) solutions.
Premium WordPress themes
You’ll want to use what is called a premium WordPress theme for your shop. While you can use absolutely any free theme out there, only the premium themes will fulfill the needs of a professional looking e-store. There are literally thousands available and you can spend a month checking them. The prices go as low as $20 and as high as over $5,000 for a fully custom built site if you hire a freelancer. They will all require a little getting used to but will serve your purpose. In case you want to also have some freedom for maybe building more than one store, I suggest you look at one of the best themes out there, Divi. Divi includes a complete Page Builder, as well as a Theme Builder. With a little training, you can build just about anything with it. Take a look, sign up and make use of their free offer. And the included Theme Builder is really capable of creating almost anything.
This example only apply to what I call absolutely necessary tools. Don’t misunderstand me, you don’t need them if you chose so, but your online business will be so much easier with them.
Other great eCommerce website builders worth checking are Wix, Weebly, Shift4 Shop, and Squarespace.
Other than that, the best part is that you don’t have to pay anything to use WordPress except for your domain name and web hosting.
Summary: Learn hot to start an online store
While it’s perfectly clear that ecommerce is on the rise, learning how to start an online store can be a nightmare. That’s especially true if you have little or no experience, and maybe you’re not a technical person. But for sure you’re not completely new with computers, so believe me, you can learn that too. But to learn how to build an online store, you’ll need a little money and a lot of time and dedication. You can for sure turn these around, hire a freelancer and use little time, but lots of money. It’s your choice.
Personally, I would recommend learning about it. Once you master the few most important steps, you’ll know how to set up an online store and you’ll be able to repeat that process over and over again to create multiple stores. You can do that for yourself, but you can even earn with it. Like I mentioned, even setting up a basic online store is a service that can be sold for hundreds of dollars. Who knows, maybe you’ll like the process enough to make it a career. 🙂
See the next post, where I’ll start with the most basic tasks to start an online store asap.
You can download the full report about how to start an online store by clicking the image below. It will let you download a full PDF doc that you can read at your own pace and on any device.
Posts in this series:
- #1: How to start an online store and start an ecommerce business
- #2: Choosing the perfect domain name for an online store
- #3: How to find the best WordPress hosting for your online store
- #4: Use the best ecommerce plugin for WordPress online store
- #5: Customize your online store
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