The majority of platforms will state that you can sell “unlimited” products – which you can, but there will be a caveat. For example, check the amount of storage available with your choice of hosting plan. Once you exceed it, you won’t be able to add any more products without upgrading your storage. As such, if your package offers unlimited storage and unlimited products then you’re on to a winner. Some platforms – BigCommerce, for example – take a slightly different approach, basing their plans on sales rather than physical product numbers. This could work out well if you sell a lot of low-price items or a few high-ticket items.
Costs typically equate to size and features. The more storage and features you’re after, the more you’ll be paying. The best approach is to start by picking a plan that works for you now and will continue to serve your needs in the immediate future. Then have a look at what the platform has to offer if your business was to go boom. How well does it scale, and how does the price compare with other platforms? These considerations will help you make the right choice.
On the flipside, however, if you have a home or small business for which you have no plans to expand on a grand scale, then make your decision based on the best plan for your requirements today, with one eye on the next plan – just in case.
Don’t rush into a decision, because if you need to change to another platform further down the line, there could be a lot of work involved to migrate your business to another platform.
An online store is great, but it won’t bring in the sales if no-one knows it’s there. As such, take the time to check out a platform’s SEO and marketing tools before making a final decision. Good SEO is crucial to being seen by search engines, and marketing is essential to make prospective customers aware that you exist.
Selling online means you’ll need to accept online payments. While most platforms will more than likely include all the major providers, ensure you pay attention to transaction fees and find out about any extra charges.
Finally, it’s important to consider ease of use, especially if you’re new to building websites and online stores. There’s always likely to be a learning curve when taking on an ecommerce platform, but opting for user-friendly platforms such as Wix eCommerce and Square Online will ensure you take the stress out of setting up an online presence.
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