When attempting to build an online presence and sell your items to international buyers, you’ll need a number of things, including hosting, a website and some sort of ecommerce solution. Although there may be a few comprehensive solutions, it is often best to take your time and choose one that suits your business the best. Remember you’re going to need to examine your options and choose between hosted and self-hosted. In many situations, the hosted version, in which the provider hosts your site and online store, is the best option, since it offers a little more reliability, uptime and general customer support. Still, it is good to educate yourself and research each option, in order to make a more informed and better thought out decision. Below, you will discover some of your potential options.
There is an array of providers, who are willing to host and setup your ecommerce site. In general, these companies can charge anywhere from fifteen to thirty dollars a month, but they may end up saving you a little money, since you won’t have to make a purchase of two different services. This is also much more convenient, since you’re only dealing with one company, whereas self-hosting will require you to purchase two individual services. If you do a little research, you will discover that the top three providers are Shopify, Volusion, and BigCommerce.
- Shopify – This is usually the most frequent recommendation and can help you process credit cards, at a pretty fair rate. Upgrading to a more costly plan will result in a decrease of the overall credit card transaction fee. The only drawback is the limited shopping cart and checkout page designs offered. The price is also one of the most expensive, at thirty dollars a month.
- Volusion – If you’re looking for more customizable options, Volusion is definitely ideal. In fact, it offers less personalizing than Shopify. The upside to this service is the fifty-dollar a month price tag.
- BigCommerce – Most veterans of e-commerce would agree that BigCommerce is simply overpriced. Although it is certainly an upgrade over Volusion, it costs the same as Shopify, without all of the benefits. It is best to generally avoid this one.
Self-hosted ecommerce platforms may be your ideal solution, if you already own a successful website. If not, this is a much less convenient method and will cause a lot of headaches in the future. It is always easier to juggle one ball, instead of two. Still, Magento is one of the best well known and longest running. Sadly, not much has changed since the company’s origination. The system is difficult to work with and struggles to keep up in regards to performance. Those, who operate on a WordPress platform, may wish to give WooCommerce a try. However, since many companies build and design their own websites and content systems, it is difficult to fully recommend WooCommerce.
The Outsourced Options
Last, but certainly not least, you may wish to consider taking your business overseas and outsourcing. With a reliable ecommerce platform in India, you can receive the same services from the biggest suppliers in the United States, without the costly price tag. In fact, some of these providers offer better services, but still manage to pull it off, without charging prices that will deflate your overall revenue. It is highly recommend for all online businesses to consider this route.