Home » What are my options for setting up an online store?

What are my options for setting up an online store?

Short answer?

Get a PayPal button!

paypal_logoAssuming you already have a website, adding a standard-account PayPal button can be a simple solution for basic transactions and invoice payments. PayPal is considered safe and legit by most online shoppers.

For a more robust online store (with shipping, invoicing and tax options) consider a PayPal Business account.

  • Upside: A free standard account is a simple, small scale do-it-yourself solution.
  • Downside: No real check-out or shopping cart functionality without an upgrade to a business account.

Cost: Free. A Standard account allows you to accept Visa, MC, AMEX… etc. No monthly fees.

Add $10/mnth for customized check-out (Advanced account) -or- $35/mnth for the Pro package!  Fee details.

Transaction fees: 2.9% plus .30 per transaction.

WooCommerce

woocommerceIf you already have a website running on WordPress, setting up a store, invoicing and shipping options can be done pretty quickly (with a little WordPress knowledge – or – the help of a Freelance website manager).

  • Upside: It’s “free” and it’s all yours! The store, the software, everything is on your site.
  • Downside: Regular maintenance and updates are required to keep things running smoothly and securely.

Cost: WooCommerce is a free plugin, however special shipping, invoicing or taxation add-ons can cost anywhere from $19-$129.

Transaction fees: Regular credit card fees apply depending on which payment method you choose (example: Paypal  = 2.9% plus .30 per transaction).

Try Shopify!

shopify-defaultYou don’t even need an existing website. You build your online store from the templates available and you’re ready to sell. Shopify will even register and setup your domain name. Shipping and tax options are built-in.

  • Upside: Easy to use. Built-in POS.
  • Downside: Cost. Less flexibility.

Cost: $29/mnth (for a Standard account). Shopify is pay-as-you-go, so you can cancel anytime.

Transaction fees:  2.9% plus .30 for credit card transactions (2.7% for in-person transactions).

Ecwid

ecommerce-plugins-ecwidTake a look at Ecwid  (pronounced as “eck-wid”, short for “e-commerce widgets”) to instantly add a store to your existing website. Ecwid ingrates really well with WordPress, Joomla and Wix. Store pages (shop, cart, check-out) are created inside your own site. Ecwid also integrates well with your Facebook page.

  • Upside: Ease of use. Lots of built-in invoicing, shipping and taxation options.
  • Downside: Cost.

Cost: A starter “Venture” account (up to 100 products) is $15/mnth (plus 12.50/mnth paid yearly).

Transaction fees: None.


Things to THINK about…

  • Start small. Start with just a few items and grow your store over time.
  • Don’t just sell. Your store should offer more than just your products, you should also provide information about your products, how-to videos, customer reviews and comments (and even a blog).
  • Just having a store won’t bring customers, you will need to advertise (Facebook, Google, YouTube… etc).
  • Be descriptive about your products to improve SEO. Search engines read words not pictures.
  • Hire someone (like a freelance website manager) to keep your store secure and manage updates.
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3 comments

  1. Jonathan says:

    Greetings! Quick question that’s entirely off topic.
    Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly?

    My website looks weird when viewing from my apple iphone.
    I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to correct this issue.
    If you have any recommendations, please share.
    Many thanks! http://Www.bigdaddysorlando.com/

    • Mike Benny says:

      Hi Jonathan,

      Glad to help! I see your website is using the Homestead Sitebuilder, and you’re right it doesn’t look very good on mobile devices.

      I don’t know very much about Homestead, but you would think in 2019 they would have more responsive templates for mobile devices.

      My recommendation would be to move your website to a WordPress theme (either with your current host or a new WordPress friendly host like Siteground). Pretty much any WordPress theme you find will be responsive to mobile, tablet and PC. Themeforest (https://themeforest.net/category/wordpress) has hundreds of responsive themes to choose from and I can arrange from WordPress hosting (https://freelancewebsitemanager.com/hosting/) if you need a hand with that. If you have any more questions, just reply to this thread or contact me directly at mike@freelancewebsitemanager.com

  2. Dave says:

    Good day! I simply would like to give you a huge thumbs up for
    your great information you’ve got here on this post. I’ll be coming back to your website for more
    soon.

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