If you've ever looked into building an online store or selling online, chances are you've heard of platforms such as Shopify, Wix and Squarespace. You've also probably heard a range of pros and cons for each, yet figuring out which one is right for your business or organisation is also half the struggle.
The pros of these "Do-It-Yourself" website platforms are good - saving some costs to yourself or your business by streamlining the process. However we often hear the experience is underwhelming when you've spent months figuring out how to use the platform, developing the content and inputting products; let alone keeping your website updated.
At Domin8 Designs, we've moved more confidently into creating eCommerce websites to sell your products online.
Previously, we had two eCommerce options which included an integration with Shopify, where as now we prioritise simple eCommerce stores through Webflow's growing platform. You can read more about that below, but for now... answering a common question:
In the simplest way, eCommerce stands for electronic commerce - or selling your products or services digitally as opposed to physically in a store.
I used to think that eCommerce stores had to be huge, such as your favourite clothes or sports store, however an online store can range in size and sell as much or little as necessary.
What are some of the benefits of an eCommerce store for your Tasmanian business?
There are a few considerations when choosing what eCommerce solution works for your business and how to sell online.
The cost of the platform is a main consideration when suggesting an eCommerce option.
The nature of eCommerce websites (storing products, check out process, storing more files and pages) mean that they are going to be more expensive than a traditional websites. While some platforms may be on the cheaper end, don't discount your time and effort (and the cost of this) in getting setup and learning how to use the platform.
How big and what features your eCommerce website needs is also a key consideration.
How many products you wish to sell, what features (coupons, digital downloads etc.), what product variants and these types of questions can all help narrow down which solution is going to be best for you.
Integrations and Marketing
The link between selling through a website and social media platform like Instagram or Facebook is continually blurring.
Make sure that your eCommerce website can be integrated with your social media to ensure a clear and consistent buying experience for your visitors. Also consider your potential need for a point of sales (POS) system.
Our eCommerce solutions has been constantly evolving. While we prioritise one setup for the ease of keeping everything in a single platform, we offer some other options which are based on needs.
For businesses who want a simple, yet powerful and consistently branded eCommerce experience, we tap into Webflow's eCommerce platform.
This setup is preferable as it keeps everything within the same platform - meaning you can update your content, products and full online presence all in the same place.
The benefits of our Webflow eCommerce setup include:
These all sound great, however there are some limitations which we're open about.
Currently Webflow's eCommerce is limited in advanced features compared to something like Shopify, so we suggest another setup for businesses looking to sell online who require:
Wondering how much our eCommerce websites cost? Head here for our prices for small to medium Tasmanian stores with Webflow's eCommerce system.
As above, this setup combines the benefits of Webflow as a website editor with most of the advanced features of Shopify's eCommerce platform.
The Buy Button integration means that you can still have a seamless checkout experience - i.e. the shop and products are still on your website - but the products themselves are housed in Shopify and benefit from the platform.
What's the downside? Adding products in this setup becomes a little fiddly, so we don't recommend this for massive stores or stores that have constantly changing products.
In saying that (and as always) Domin8 Designs gives full assistance and tutorials on how to link products from Shopify to Webflow.
We don't currently have the costs for this setup specifically listed in on our eCommerce Website page, however it's similar to the 'Beginner' and 'Advanced' costs.
Combining a fully functional website with a full Shopify website means we can utilise the power of both.
AZZA Pacific have this setup because they required an advanced store (consultant pricing, lots of products etc.) but Shopify didn't easily cater for a full consultant list, newsletter hub, layout gallery etc.
This is an ideal setup for businesses who do have 30+ products and cannot operate without some advanced functionality.
Our primary hesitation with this setup is the overall cost, having to pay for a full Webflow site plan as well as a full Shopify website (and the template, plugins, addons etc.).
Another consideration is the bit of disconnect between the two, for example, different places to log in, different URL's and different processes. T
This works fine for the AZZA team who have directors that operate the website and directors that operate the shop. We bridged the gap by creating a link on the website to the shop, and vice versa, however ultimately it opens the experience up in a new window which may not be desirable.
The "Advanced" store is a general indication on our eCommerce page.
Despite COVID-19's impact on businesses in Tasmania, the benefits of an eCommerce website and selling products online continue to be proven and there's no greater time to look to sell online.
As with our core values here at Domin8 Designs, we are here to help and come up with solutions to your budget or project requirements - so invite you to get in touch if you've been considering selling your products or services online.
(We're also really happy to chat about payment options or discounts if you've experienced hardship due to Coronavirus or are in need to get selling online quickly).
If you've got any further questions, or any feedback, don't hesitate to contact Dominic today.
Thanks for reading.
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