The Best Ecommerce Platform for Small Businesses
We’re often asked by small business owners who are interested in starting an online store, “Which ecommerce platform is the best for small businesses?” With so many choices available today, the decision isn’t always easy. While every business has its own unique set of needs for their online store, much of the time, Shopify is the best choice for small to medium size ecommerce ventures.
Shopify excels in the two most important areas for start-up online stores. The platform is easy to use and the cost is low. The other important thing to consider is that Shopify is easy to scale up as your business grows. Even some of the largest ecommerce sites use Shopify’s platform. Knowing that you’ll never out-grow the system and need to make a major change down the road is always comforting.
Shopify has a starter plan that costs only $14/mo. They also have a Basic plan for $29/month, a Professional plan for $79/month, and their Unlimited plan is a very reasonable $179/mo. All of their plans have a free 14 day trial period to get you started.
Other costs will include buying your domain name (about $10) and the design and development of your website. If you’re a technically savvy individual, Shopify does offer website templates you can use. There are a few free templates, but most will cost between $100 and $200.
If you need to hire a professional to do the design and development work for your site, the costs can easily top $10,000. Depending upon how many items you want to sell in your store, CFG Media can build your ecommerce site for as little as $1,000. One of the big benefits to having us build your site is we will use our expertise to make sure your site is optimized to generate traffic and convert that traffic into sales. We can also consult with you on how to market your store online.
Shopify is not just a shopping cart, but it’s also a content management system. Much like WordPress for bloggers, Shopify’s CMS was designed for users who have no knowledge of website coding. Their editors are what-you-see-is-what-you-get style editors, which are very user friendly.
Shopify also has a tremendous variety of apps you can plug into your site. The apps can help you with sales ,marketing, accounting, inventory management, financial and tax reporting, search engine optimization, customer service, tracking, and testing, etc. Pretty much anything you’d like your site to do, they can provide.
Magento VS Shopify
Magento is the most popular self-hosted ecommerce platform being used today. If you compare Magento to Shopify, you’ll find that you can develop successful ecommerce businesses, of any size, on either of the two platforms. The real decision between the two comes down to whether you want a hosted (Shopify) or a self-hosted (Magento) solution. There are definite pluses and minuses to both options. To help clarify what each on has to offer, below is an infographic courtesy of mofluid.com that does a great job of comparing the two.
Shopify will allow you to start an online store on a shoestring budget…as long as you’re fairly tech savvy and are willing to roll up your sleeves to do the work.
However, if your budget allows, there can be big benefits to hiring a Shopify expert to help with the process. Shopify has a list of professionals available (along with their fees) on their website. If you compare their fees to ours, you’ll find that you can hire a much more reasonable priced professional, who will help you maximize your store’s profits, by calling us at (816) 506-2107.
**Here is a link to a few examples of ecommerce websites we’ve built…some of which are built on Shopify’s platform.
Want to try Shopify free for 30 days to see what you think? CLICK HERE