Ecommerce / Selling Online
Selling your business’ product or service online used to be a huge nightmare just as little as a few years ago. If you were not tech-savvy or a qualified web developer then there were a whole host of challenges that could act as barriers to entering the Ecommerce arena. Things like comparing and applying for payment gateways, purchasing and ordering SSL certificates, not to mention buying or developing on your own some sort of store software that could handle inventories, link to shipping carriers etc.
Eventually numerous plugin developers and various types of applications began chipping away at the most complex Ecommerce issues and making online stores something that someone with a little time invested – could reasonably afford and adequately tackle. I’m thinking of a number of WordPress plugins like Shopp, WooCommerce, WP Ecommerce, Jigoshop and others. I think of these and many others as paving the way to progress in the Ecommerce industry.
We made use of these for some of our clients and they really were an improvement over what had been available up until that point. But they still had a number of challenges associated with them. They still required SSL certificates (and that required other things like a dedicated IP address. That sometimes cost more money and time going back and forth with a hosting provider), they still sometimes had inventory systems that were confusing to learn or difficult to understand. They still were often inflexible and had limitations of all sorts.
But the Ecommerce market has grown by leaps and bounds in the last 5 or 6 years and more and more there were developers and platforms that recognized the massive number of non-technical users who wanted to sell something – even just one item in that global shopping center called the Internet. So the focus it seems in the last few years has been on creating platforms where non-technical users need less and less in the way of certificates, dedicated IP addresses, lighting-fast hosting solutions or knowing the ins and outs of payment gateways, security risks etc.
Now, services like Shopify allow people with virtually no technical understanding of the challenges of Ecommerce to simply signup, pay a subscription fee (based on their needs and volume of product they plan to sell), and with a few theme option checkboxes and basic banking info – small business owners can be off to the races – selling their products or services in a global marketplace.
The trade-off of course with these types of products is less control and more direct costs. But for non-technical users who just want to be able to sell their business’ products or services – these trade-offs are well worth it – atleast in the beginning. It’s up to you as a business-owner to examine your costs and profit margins and decide what represents the best value going forward.
We’ve had the opportunity here at OmniOnline to use numerous various Ecommerce solutions. Everything from custom developed stores from years back to simple PayPal Buy Buttons, to WordPress plugins like Shopp or Jigoshop and more recently all-in-one solutions like Shopify. If you are a business owner who wants to get your products into the largest “selling space” in the world – then ecommerce is your solution. You should contact us and see how we can help with very affordable options.
The great thing is that you now have options. Just a few years ago you may have been looking at a $20,000 minimum price tag for a web developer to setup a respectable Ecommerce store for you. Whereas now you can do it yourself and have a simple, yet professional and adequate Ecommerce solution for as little as $50. Those two options really shouldn’t be compared like that, that’s not exactly comparing apples to apples. But the point of this article is to widen your understanding of what is available out there and the scope of how costs and barriers to enter the Ecommerce industry have changed dramatically in the last 5 years.
If you’d like help moving forward with any of the options I’ve outlined above then we’re always available and happy to help. Give us a call at our Regina Office at 306-586-6118 or head to our Contact Us page and contact us online.