The modern shopper doesn’t have to visit a brick-and-mortar mall to get their shopping done. There’s no need to go through the associated stress when they could just order for their goods from the comfort of their homes, or while they’re on the go. That’s what e-commerce is about- convenience.
Nigerian consumers are growing increasingly internet savvy, and they are quite rapidly cozying up to getting their things from online stores (think about the popularity of such online retail stores as Jumia, Konga or Dealdey). If you’re going to tap into this trend as a business owner, you will need to have an online presence. After all, the convenience that it gives consumers is a potential attraction for them. It is, in fact, the future of commerce.
But how do you create an online store for your business, from which customers wherever they are, can buy your products? There are a number of e-commerce platforms you can use for your business.
Shopify makes setting up an online retail store quite easy because it has all that you require to do it. It hosts everything, so it’s not necessary to go through the tedious process of setting up a website. With it, you can customize your online store, manage numerous products and inventory, and track sales and growth trends. Shopify is great for people who have little experience with online business platforms.
Magento allows you to modify and customize your website as you want. This flexibility makes it somewhat user-friendly. It accommodates various payment methods, including PayPal. You can even operate more than one e-commerce website from one dashboard. The downside to it, however, is that you might need the assistance of a developer in setting up your store to function according to your specific desire.
Magento is widely used by online stores which have established themselves to some extent but smaller businesses also adopt it because of its flexible nature.
The great thing about WooCommerce is that it’s free to use. It’s actually a WordPress plugin- so if you already have a website that’s hosted by WordPress, you only have to install the plugin, and you’re good to go. There are no monthly fees required, and transactions carried out via this platform do not attract transaction fees. It is the perfect e-commerce platform for small businesses seeking a low-budget basis for setting up an online store. However, you will need to have a WordPress-hosted website in order to use the WooCommerce plugin.
This offers features such as inventory management, customizable website designs, integrated payment solutions, and mobile support. The cloud-based platform promises regular updates and cutting-edge features, as well as proven e-commerce templates that appeal to online shoppers. Stores can also be moved to BigCommerce from other platforms.
Volusion gives you a complete package for selling products online. It has an e-commerce site builder, SEO tools that enable you promote your business and reach out to new customers, and a payment and order processing system. You can choose design templates for your e-commerce site, either for free or at a premium. It also comes with detailed product listings, and video and image display capabilities.
So, if you run a small business and you want to have a share of the increasingly lucrative online market, you can resort to any one of these platforms. It’s up to you to decide which of the five suits your business the most. More tips will be discussed at the e-Business Fair 2017. The e-Business Fair is a platform that focuses on how internet technology can grow businesses. Click here to register for free.