E-Commerce

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We’re living through strange times. The high street may still be a place to shop, but many businesses are turning to
e-commerce more than ever to sell their products online.

There’s nothing new with e-commerce. It’s been with us for many years. However, the number of businesses turning to selling online in the wake of Coronavirus has shot up. Businesses have realised that with the uncertainty of Coronavirus, they need to not just be able to sell in a physical shop, but also online.

Websites by Dave Parker can help you get your e-commerce store up and running as part of your web design. From a few products to many products, I can help you start selling online in a matter of weeks. It’s a fantastic way to drive revenue with new customers, making it easy for them to shop for your products at a time that suits them.

Websites by Dave Parker recommends two types of e-commerce platforms that can be easily integrated into your WordPress website. Choose a free platform, or a paid platform, both offering different levels of functionality.

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a well known, well respected
e-commerce plugin in the WordPress community. It has been around for many years. The base plugin which drives the online store is free of charge for all users, and comes packed with a wide range of features that suit most businesses that are on a budget. WooCommerce also has additional paid extensions to grow the scope of your online business, such as subscription based products and services.

The one downside to using WooCommerce is when it comes to backups. It is not easily possible to have just the store element of your website backed up in the base WooCommerce plugin. In the event of a major problem with your website which requires a restore (for example, you have made changes to your website and have caused it to stop functioning, requiring a restore from a previous day), any orders placed after the date of the restore will be lost. Whilst it is possible most of the time for me to roll-back changes to pages that have gone wrong without needing a full site restore, this is something to bear in mind. To get around this problem, some people choose to purchase JetPack’s backup solution which does allow, in the most part, for partial restores and preservation of order data. However, this costs around £180.00 (plus VAT). If your online e-commerce store is mission critical, it’s worth bearing these limitations in mind.

And finally, to ensure the WooCommerce store is functional and easy to use for your customers, I highly recommend using the OceanWP theme for your WordPress website. The use of this theme framework allows me to build e-commerce stores with functionality such as ‘Quick View’ and styling elements to make your store look professional. OceanWP costs an additional £30 per year.

Ecwid

Ecwid is one of the most recognised e-commerce platforms on the market today. Their e-commerce platforms power many brands.

Whilst not a free option, like WooCommerce, Ecwid does offer for most small businesses an extra layer of protection and security when it comes to selling online. Unlike WooCommerce, Ecwid is hosted on a proprietary system external from your WordPress website. However, to your end customer, it will look and feel just like it’s being hosted on your website. Ecwid provides many tools to embed the e-commerce solution into your website, including the use of a WordPress specific plugin.

One of the great benefits of using Ecwid is that it is not part of your website build. This means that the data such as products and orders is totally separate. In the event that your website needs to be restored following a problem (using the example again of you making changes to your website which has caused it to stop working), you won’t lose any data, including products and orders. Ecwid also provides an app which you can install on your phone to manage and track orders from customers. For some small businesses, this is seen as a huge selling point, especially if you’re not always at your computer when an order comes in.

Ecwid offers a range of plans depending on the number of products you wish to sell and the features you need for your online e-c0mmerce shop.

Once you have set up your Ecwid account, I can help assist you with getting your store on your website so as you can start accepting online orders.

To find out more about Ecwid, including features, pricing and how to sign up head on over to their website.

Start Your E-Commerce Store Today!

If you need any further advice on the design of your new e-commerce website or advice on which of the two platforms to choose based on your business requirements, please get in touch with me to discuss options. I will help you decide which is the best platform for you to choose, based on your individual business needs and requirements.