Updated: May 21, 2020
About 97% of consumers actively seek out local businesses and products online before making a purchase decision. If there was any doubt about marketing online before, right now is the time! Over half of America’s population, 67%, shop online.
Even if we go back to like how things were before, there is going to be a new “normal” way of living. Due to the current circumstances, people are learning to utilize online platforms. Regardless of whether people are buying items, learning new skills, or video chatting, everyone is beginning to realize how essential the online world really is! Now is the time to take the next step in your business and start taking advantage of these online platforms. Lucky for you, we can help and soon you will discover that going online can not only be easy but fun!
Before we explain the basics to start making a succesful business online, you will need to understand that it is beneficial to have multiple platforms. Apart from having your own website, social media can create an easier and deeper way to connect with your audience. You can communicate with customers in real time more easily than through a webpage chat. Trust us, this last part is really important when handling complaints. You have the potential to create loyal customers regardless of their initial experience. When you take an interest in your customers feedback, you are showing them that you care. People value this and will revert their negative thinking.
*Tik Tok is an evolving platform that has become a must if you want to reach a wider audience, just as you could in the golden age of Facebook and Instagram.
Another conversion example is, perhaps your business’ main audience comes from LinkedIn. You can direct that traffic to your website and obtain new customers by enlisting them into your mailing list. This does not mean that you should leave Facebook, Instagram or Tik Tok aside! Those channels provide the perfect way to create an interactive gallery, portraying your work and overall journey as a brand.
No matter what products or services your brand provides, you must showcase it. Even if you have your own webpage, it is so much cheaper (uhmm, I'm sorry, more rentable... cuff cuff) to invest on advertising and less time consuming to do it through social media than through Google ads.
Now, how do you convert your business online? You don’t need to be a young influencer or a computer genius to create your own web page. The first step is to think about the functions that you want...
Is it going to be for selling a product or a service?
Do you need your customers to be able to pay online?
Are you going to use it as a portfolio and a way to create leads?
If you decide build it yourself, these are the vital questions you need to think about in order to choose the correct web creator. The best options for e-commerce (retail) are Shopify and Magento. Wix and WordPress could also work, we will talk about this in more detail later on. Of course, the best choice by far will always be to hire a professional to do it. Besides the amount of time you will save from building your page and figuring out how to do so, a professional will be able to make your site even more interactive with additional plug-ins. In addition, having someone build your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is key. This will enable your webpage to reach more people from any search engine and also to have custom made structure of your website, not one predetermined.
All platforms have their ups and downs. For example, corporations typically decide to work within WordPress and Magento because of its flexibility. However, with this flexibility comes complexity. While you can edit just about anything, you will need advanced technical knowledge to make adjustments. Alternatively, you can always hire a skilled developer.
What about the other ones, are they good enough? Not only are they easier to build and modify, they are the best option in regards to saving time and headache. Plus, they are extremely user friendly for you and your audience. To be honest, WordPress and Magento are great if you have a big company, more money flowing in or you are a professional that wants to start selling pages. If that applies to you, you can focus more on the little details with those two options. This particular guide is intended for entrepreneurs in need of, which is why we are only covering the use of Wix and Shopify.
WIX vs. Shopify
Here you will be able to decide what kind of website you want to build and rank higher on Google. While Wix is first and foremost a website builder like WordPress, Shopify is a dedicated heavyweight in the world of e-commerce. Both are “what you see, is what you get" type of website builders. You can drag and drop paragraphs, pictures, slideshows, shopping cart buttons, and more anywhere on your web page. You can also resize anything with a few simple clicks. Let’s take a deeper look and see which one would be the best for your business’ needs.
Both Wix and Shopify allow you to sell multiple products online, similarly to Amazon. You can create an inventory full of everything from digital products and services to physical items and service products. Both options come with a wide variety of free and paid templates to get you started. They're also equally easy to use, with user-friendly builders to help you launch your website in no time. Overall, Shopify is more geared towards helping you to sell.
Wix e-commerce features are relatively advanced, but don’t compare to the pure e-commerce platform of Shopify. Wix e-commerce is normally for people who want a website that’s capable of selling the odd product here and there. It’s not recommended for full-blown online stores.
Essentially, with Wix, you will need an application to sell your service products. Meanwhile, Shopify requires third-party integration in order for it to sell digital products. The good news is that you can access apps for everything from email marketing to digital sales on either one with ease. This is in thanks to the app marketplace.
First impressions count. The more surprising and captivating the appearance of your products, the more your sales figures will increase. Luckily, Shopify provides you with everything you need to make your products look amazing. You can add an unlimited number of items to your e-commerce store in real time and even implement variants of different items with too. However, you will need to add some plugin options to get basic business tools like product zoom and video.
You also have the ability to make your products shine through a Wix store. Like some of the other leading tools, like BigCommerce, you can use the built-in video functionality to enhance the customer experience, and there is access to various product zoom features. Besides selling with Wix has more out of the box options to make your website dtand out.
Shopify takes the lead on this one. Covering almost every area with payment solutions, with over 100 different payment gateways to choose from. You can even access more advanced Shopify features like Shopify payments, which eliminates transaction fees.
Wix also supports a variety of traditional backend payment options, including PayPal and Stripe (we use this for invoices). However, it is missing some of the options Shopify offers. Additionally, Shopify allows you to set tax rules and shipping rates for each product, Wix does not. You also do not receive global shipping payments. In 2018, Wix brought new payment customization options to its tools so that you can design a distinctive and easy-to-use payment system for your e-commerce website. Despite all of this, Wix is missing several of the options which Shopify offers.
Apps and Features
It takes more than a basic domain name and point of sale technology to run a successful online store. Integrating apps with your store builder can make it easier for you to drive more sales from your target audience.
Shopify App Store comes with all pricing plans and gives you the freedom to grow your store as you see fit. You can add drop shipping, product reviews, and customer conversions.
On the other hand, Wix can't match Shopify when it comes to specific e-commerce apps. However, WIX App Store is packed with great integrations overall if you are looking to do more than just selling. For example, Wix makes creating beautiful blogs as easy as possible. Meanwhile, Shopify doesn't work very well in the blogging area, without built-in analytics or search functionality.
Search engine optimization (SEO) settings are built into WIX and Shopify, so it's hard to find a winner. Basically, you can let systems create metadata automatically or you can write it yourself. Each of these systems ping search engines when new content is created.
Seo is a pretty essential tool for any website builder. Fortunately, both Shopify and Wix make it easy to add SEO to your site. You can add and edit different meta titles and descriptions with both tools, and customize your URL slugs to classify.
Pros and Cons
Exceptional range of e-commerce features, including abandoned cart recovery on every plan.
Excellent support for clients who need additional guidance.
Brilliant knowledge base with tons of community support.
Hundreds of payment options to choose from
Endless integrations with everything from social media to drop shipping tools.
Easy to use with an excellent interface.
SEO optimized Shopify store.
Sometimes it can get a little expensive.
Premium themes and extras are added .
It’s mainly only for E-commerce.
Very easy for beginners to use.
Hundreds of templates to choose from.
Immersive checkout experience
Access to more applications like ECwid.
Excellent customer service.
Easy SEO configuration.
Just enough for small businesses.
Not much extensibility.
WIX is designed for developers who are intimidated by a messy interface and heavy coding responsibilities. It provides useful templates, plug-ins, and a decent drag-and-drop editor to help your pages look professional without much design experience. A part of this easy to use section also caters to more experienced developers and anyone who wants some sort of customization for their store. WIX also has the capability of creating blogs and includes other cool features, it’s selling functions however, can be a little basic. Shopify on the other hand is designed for online stores only, it can't be beat in terms of being user friendly when selling directly from your website. Loading products, managing inventory, and managing customers is all fairly simple.