If you read our article on 2021 eCommerce trends, you already know how much it has exploded in popularity in the last couple of years. For garment-decorating businesses like yours, selling online is one of the best ways to get your brand out there and promote your upcoming sales and product releases.
But, as you know with any business tool, not every product is created equal. There are lots of different eCommerce platforms out there. Some are better than others, and some may be better suited for you than others. So, how do you know which platform is right for you? Here’s what we’ve found out after doing some research.
Knowing What’s Right For You
There’s no shortage of website hosting platforms out there. Depending on the size of your business, product specialties, budget, and more, some platforms are better than others. Before you spend your hard-earned money on an ineffective platform, we strongly recommend doing as much research as possible.
For example, if you’re a solopreneur who only specializes in a few products, you probably don’t need to purchase all the bells and whistles that usually come from platforms like WordPress. But, if you have multiple categories of products, provide international shipping or want to include other resources (like a blog), smaller platforms may be limiting.
Also, I don’t know about you, but I’m no website designer. Some platforms offer simple drag-and-drop template style design for all you tech-challenged entrepreneurs out there. But, for those of you with some web design experience, those platforms are limiting. Before choosing or switching to a platform, have a good idea of what your goals are for the next year or so and plan accordingly.
Best Drag-and-Drop Platforms
So, what are “drag-and-drop” platforms? Basically, they are template-based hosting sites that allow you to personalize a theme for your website with your colors, logos, and fonts, usually from dropdown menus.
Each theme has a pre-made layout, all you have to do is fill in space. You can easily choose stock photos or upload your own photos for a personal feel. Here are our picks for the best drag-and-drop platforms.
Shopify is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms in the industry. There are currently over 1.75 million merchants selling on Shopify, making it an industry leader for eCommerce businesses. Shopify is perfect for solopreneurs and smaller shops. It’s fairly easy to set up and easy to integrate if you own a brick-and-mortar location. Shopify has fast loading times and is easy to customize with your branding guidelines.
Ecwid is a step down from Shopify but has nice options that make it very popular in our industry for setting up customer stores that have a limited number of products. With Ecwid, you get free FOREVER. Set up your free account once, and keep it as long as you like. There are limited features to this, but again it is great for quick fundraising stores with 10 products or less. There are other affordable paid options that allow for more features and more than 10 products, so we think it is a great place to start for many decorators getting into eCommerce.
Wix is another popular eCommerce platform that has grown in popularity in the last few years. Unlike Shopify, Wix has tons of free themes and is better with SEO. Wix is also a great choice for smaller businesses, as it has a limiting storage size of 20 GB. That’s not ideal for businesses with a large inventory.
Wix is ideal for web design beginners and your site’s functionality can be customized. However, if you’re looking to advance your business’s automation features, Wix isn’t for you. Many aspects have to be set up manually and require regular maintenance.
Outside of those general eCommerce options, there are also several industry-specific options that range from simple stores to, full backend management and even design tools. These are in no particular order, just some options to look at;
No matter which platform you choose, make sure you pick the right one for your business. As you may know, eCommerce is here to stay, so picking the perfect platform is something you can’t skimp on. If you need help finding the right eCommerce platform, please contact us today!