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Finding the right ecommerce platform
Our last blog Why now is the time to set your retail business up online with ecommerce looked at 3 of the main reasons for moving or expanding your retail business online, or improving your existing ecommerce offering: round the clock trading, an expansive customer base, and sharpening that all-important competitive edge.
Smart business owners in 2020 must adopt ‘new normals’ in the way they trade
Are you getting ready to adapt to the decreasing public footfall to stores amidst COVID-19 uncertainty… and the increasing momentum in online consumer behaviour?
With nearly two thirds* of shoppers planning to keep reaching for their virtual shopping baskets and Paypal wallets even after the lockdown measures end – everyone wants to know how to set up an ecommerce business.
This process involves three broad stages:
- Finding the right ecommerce platform
- Driving traffic to your online store
- Achieving first rate fulfilment
In today’s blog, we’ll be looking at ecommerce platforms.
Which ecommerce platform is right for you?
Moving towards online trading means choosing an ecommerce platform that supports a clean and easy customer journey. But you also want one that suits your needs as a business; your brand identity, future aspirations, and level of technical knowledge.
There are loads of ecommerce platforms out there to choose from, but 3 of the leading systems for retailers are:
Here’s a quick summary of the top 3 ecommerce platforms and why they might work for you. However, we do recommend you visit the websites of each of these to find out more. Most of them boast an extensive range of facts, figures, guides and tools to help you make a well-informed decision.
If you’re a keen bean but a bit of a ‘technophobe’…
Shopify which is about as user-friendly as they get. Maybe that’s why it’s one of the most popular ecommerce platforms in the world and suitable for a wide variety of products, from fresh food to fine fashion.
Their help centre offers you an initial setup guide, featuring step-by-step tutorials for the main tasks you need to complete before you start selling. There’s even a setup checklist to track your progress. It’s fast, simple, and you don’t need any major technical skills (…phew).
If you’re a technical wizard and/or looking for something customisable…
WooCommerce is a customisable, open-source ecommerce platform built on WordPress. It’s designed for integration with a WordPress site, free to install (minus the transaction fee) and you can really go wild with their range of themes and plug-ins, to “build exactly the ecommerce website you want”, as they ‘say on the tin’.
There’s no one to hold your hand with this one though, so unless you’re familiar with WordPress and have the time and technical skills to create an online store yourself, you will need to enlist the help of web design or digital marketing agency such as Dolia Design.
If your goals are as BIG as your list of SKUs…
So, you’re anticipating major growth – both in terms of orders and your product range – in which case you’ll need an ecommerce site that you can scale up, pronto.
Magento is ideal for fast-growing small businesses. It’s scope and scalability means it can cater for massive brands such as the online store for Liverpool FC, Jaguar Land Rover, Nestle Nespresso and Barbour.
This flexible ecommerce platform offers lots of customisation and has the power to handle thousands of SKUs and orders every day. Options include a free, self-hosted, open source site, or an enterprise version which you will pay Magento to host for you.
The cost and time involved in setting up a Magento site will be a major consideration – and perhaps not suitable for smaller companies.
Whichever platform you choose, Fullers speaks the same language
Choosing Fullers to fulfil your orders means our warehouse management system will seamlessly integrate with the ecommerce software you’re using, facilitating smooth ordering and delivery for everyone who shops with you.
Swift communication is everything in a successful online retail experience. Integrated systems are a fundamental part of that. With us, you’ll know exactly when an order has been placed, picked, packed and dispatched – and so will your customers.
Your stock levels will be updated in real time, so you can manage manufacturing to meet demand in a cost-effective way. No nasty inventory surprises, disappointed customers, or bad reviews.
Fullers Logistics also links up with the UK’s leading and most trusted couriers: Royal Mail, DPD, Hermes, TNT, UK Mail and Air Business. This means you can partner with your preferred courier to get the best delivery rates to your destinations.
If we’re doing our job as fulfilment experts right, your customers won’t know we exist. But behind the scenes we’ll be picking, packing and dispatching your products in precisely the way that you need and expect – and in a way that keeps them returning to your ecommerce site, time and time again.
The next part of this series will explore how to drive traffic to your online store, and - last but definitely not least - we’ll also be shining a light on how to achieve first rate fulfilment.
Talk to Fullers Logistics about how we can help you on your ecommerce journey.
Contact us by filling out our contact form.
*This data taken from GlobalData’s survey of 2,000 nationally representative UK respondents conducted in May 2020