There are so many opportunities for startups today that one can feel overwhelmed regarding how to get started. However, if you are planning to start an online store, then ecommerce could be the likely solution to help you set up a virtual space. WooCommerce, Shopify, Volusion, and BigCommerce are some of the top ecommerce platforms today that help startups open full-featured online stores.
That being said, engaging in ecommerce activity is not really a necessity, especially if you want your startup to be involved in other online ventures. At the same time, an ecommerce website is not as easy as it sounds, and focusing too much on selling and marketing may lead you to compromise on networking, data storage capacity, and personally identifiable information (PII) of consumers.
The Case For
If you are planning on opening a full-feature store on the internet, then ecommerce is the most practical solution to your needs. By full-feature, we mean a store that has product categories, descriptions with images, virtual shopping carts, safe and secure checkout, various payments gateways, shipment methods, and much more. In other words, you must first have your bases covered in terms of merchandising and shipment to actually start an ecommerce store.
Remember that if you plan on running a full-feature store, you will have to have a promotional strategy for existing and potential customers. This could include flash sales, super deals, coupon codes, and more. Ali Express, the leading ecommerce platform today, is a great example of promotional success as the store has Super Deals running for different products at different times of the day.
The Case Against
If your startup is focused on custom made products, is service based, or is a maker of original things, then an ecommerce solution won’t really be practical for you. In this case, you can set up a website and integrate online shopping features that enable consumers to buy from your website directly.
For example, if you provide custom t-shirts in Adelaide, then your goal should be to set up a website with a web application that allows users to create t-shirt designs, choose colors and size, and make payments. In this case, an ecommerce store may not be able to provide this functionality without increasing your startup costs.
Similarly, if your startup is going to be focused more on content and less on selling, creating a website will do wonders. This way, your website can be content-based while also providing visitors with the convenience of shopping from your online store.
There is a fine line between an ecommerce site and a website with an online store. Ecommerce is certainly the way to go if you plan on selling products from various brands and manufacturers. However, if you are a maker of original and custom products, then an online store will be more effective in helping you manage orders and shipments conveniently, since the process will be time consuming. At the end of the day, it entirely depends on the business model you wish to establish!