The way we shop has seen a drastic change with the rise of the internet. E-commerce giants like Amazon and Ebay have made shopping a simple process that can be completed within the comforts of your home. What does this mean for small businesses?
While the competition is much higher, e-commerce gives businesses the opportunity to sell their products to a wider audience. When choosing an online sales platform there are a number of key factors to consider such as your product, budget, human resources and time, to name a few. While an online store is a good option for a t-shirt seller with excellent digital marketing skills, a handmade jewelry seller with limited marketing knowledge would be better off selling his wares on Etsy, where his products are more likely to be found easily.
In this post, I have reviewed 6 platforms that small businesses can look at when planning on expanding to online platforms, with a breakdown of key costs and requirements.
Selling on Amazon is a good choice for individuals or businesses who are just starting out and want minimal investment. However, competition is high and sellers need to strictly adhere to Amazon guidelines. To sell on Amazon, sellers pay a monthly subscription fee of £25 and a 15% referral fee.
Similar to Amazon, selling on eBay is an option for businesses with minimal investment. Selling on eBay is cheaper than Amazon. Sellers can list 50 items /month for free and then are charged $0.30/listing. Additionally, sellers pay a 10% final value fee.
Etsy is a brilliant place to sell your handmade and vintage items. Extremely affordable, Etsy charges 14p to list an item and Etsy will take a 3.5% commission of the total selling price, not including shipping costs or PayPal fees.
Kong is for anyone who wants to sell online for free. No monthly fees and no additional transaction fees. Unlimited products and storage and a free default theme. Sellers can use Kong’s free sub-domain or connect a domain for free.
Shopify provides everything you need from end to end to set up to start selling your products. The basic Shopify plan costs $29 a month, the average plan is $79 a month, and advanced plan costs $299 a month. Consider costs for any additional apps that you may want to add to your Shopify Store.
If you already run your website on WordPress and are looking to add an online store, WooCommerce is an excellent choice as this platform seamlessly integrates commerce with content. Woo Commerce can be used to sell anything from physical products to digital downloads and subscriptions and even appointments, making it suitable for all businesses. WooCommerce can be run only on WordPress and users need at least a basic understanding of WordPress before being able to effectively use WooCommerce.
Read my post on Shopify vs WooCommerce here