Is it time to finally get around to setting up that online store?

If you are taking this as your opportunity to build an online store, there are a few options available. You may find some free platforms, these are generally carts that require you to host the website on a server yourself and that generally requires a lot of development work to build the website. To save time, let’s just go over the main options.

But wait. Before you dive in it’s probably a good idea to map out your process on paper backwards:

  • Shipping – how do you plan to get the goods from your door to their door – costing this in a way that works for the shopping cart is critical.
  • E-commerce – “the shopping cart” has to be super easy for customers to use otherwise that final sale conversion might be left in limbo and you will end up with a lot of unfinished carts.
  • Website – some of these are integrated into the e-commerce platform which is a bonus.

The critical thing is to find out if the options you choose can be integrated so that the information flows from one to the other without you having to get involved. Any human involvement may cause errors and will slow things down. If you are having trouble choosing between some options just google a “versus” of the two and you will be inundated with video or lists of the pros and cons. E.g. “Shopify vs WooCommerce”.


WEBSITES AND ECOMMERCE


WORDPRESS and WooCommerce
WordPress is an excellent website platform for a variety of websites. From blogging to e-commerce to business and portfolio websites, WordPress is a versatile content management system (CMS). Many famous blogs, news outlets, music sites, Fortune 500 companies are using WordPress.
WooCommerce is a free plugin for WordPress. It lets you turn a basic website into a website with a shop. WordPress can’t do that by itself. If you install and activate the WooCommerce plugin you can add products, a shopping cart and a checkout. It’s the most popular e-Commerce plugin for WordPress.

WIX
Wix is an intuitive beginner-friendly website builder, it is easy to set up and begin selling your products, too. They offer over 500 website themes to choose from and setup is easy. They also support payment processing with the major processors, making it easier to start take orders soon. 

SquareSpace 
As far as website builders go, SquareSpace is a little more complex than WIX. Their complexity isn’t a bad thing, though. In fact, many consider SquareSpace to be the best drag-and-drop website builder for ecommerce. Whether you want to start listing your products online for ecommerce orders or add an Order Online button for your restaurant, Squarespace gives robust options for selling food from your website. If you want to start a blog as well, SquareSpace’s blog builder is intuitive and clean.  

Shopify
Unlike SquareSpace and Wix, Shopify is built expressly for selling online. If you are looking for a specialized place to sell, Shopify is an industry-standard for shopping carts. You can build a professional store quickly and efficiently and connect just about any payment processor you want. They also offer native shipping options and notifications that let you manage everything within your Shopify admin panel. So, if you want to take a little more time to set up a webstore, then Shopify can be a good option for listing and selling your products. Check out the free trial https://www.shopify.com.au/free-trial trusted by over 1,000,000+ merchants


SHIPPING

While you just may be having this website as a way of organizing and coordinating your in-store pickup orders until your physical location’s business picks up again, shipping may soon become important. Shipping may seem complicated, but it can be quite simple.  The main options are:

SENDLE 
Sendle has an easy to understand flat rate shipping for a range of parcel sizes. Sendle is an Australian-based company that provides courier services locally within the country and internationally. Sendle position themselves as an affordable alternative to Australia Post. They don’t actually own any vehicles or processing facilities, instead acting as broker between customers and smaller courier firms like Fastway and CouriersPlease.
Integrating your eCommerce store with Sendle is a great way to streamline your parcel booking process, saving you time and money so you can focus on doing the things you’re best at. It has integrations with Shopify, eBay, and WooCommerce.

AUSPOST
To compete with Sendle AusPost have introduced flat rate postage to make it easier for you to send parcels. Your postage rates will depend on whether you’re using our packaging or your own.
They also have Apps and API integration with some platforms. Check out their info about how they support e-commerce. https://auspost.com.au/business/ecommerce

PACK&SEND 
PACK & SEND Live is a flexible, scalable and fully integrated eCommerce shipping platform. It offers automatic despatch, status tracking and consignment document and shipping label generation. These automated processes reduce your overheads, saving you processing time and money. To find out if PACK & SEND Live is right for you, go to the Live shipping technology product page.