The Pitfalls of Free Open Source Ecommerce Systems

PitfallsWhen you’re in the initial planning phases of setting up an ecommerce site, selecting a platform is a daunting challenge. There are dozens of software solutions out there. Going through each one’s benefits and features is a timely, painstaking exercise. One key factor in choosing an ecommerce system is price. Package pricing is generally based around business size, and some platforms are designed to work specifically with enterprise companies. And then you have your free open source ecommerce solutions. If you’re in a small startup business, the word “FREE” is going to catch your attention. “I get to put my products on the web for free? What could possibly go wrong?” Actually, a lot can.

Support and Hosting

One of the main problems with choosing a free ecommerce platform is that you are mostly on your own when it comes to running and hosting it. Sure, a number of open source ecommerce systems boast having active communities full of development support. In most instances, however, these developers are not going to hold your hand as you go through all your problems. Say that you’re gearing up for the holiday season and something breaks. One of the few things you can do in this case is submit a post to the ecommerce system’s community forum, pray for the best, and hit F5 a bunch of times. It’s worth noting that some open source platforms offer support at a price. This may prove expensive in the long run since some lock you into contracts, while others charge a costly rate per each incident. Continue reading The Pitfalls of Free Open Source Ecommerce Systems

How Etsy is Turning Your Hobby Into a Business

Art Fair Sausolito 1968

Have you heard about this site, called “Etsy”, and wondered what the heck an “Etsy” was? Also, why is this becoming a word known by most of your friends and family on Facebook? It’s no accident or mistake. Nope. The truth is that the word “Etsy” is not a word at all! It was made up! A designer word. Designed to be memorable – ala Google. And, the truth about this word – err, this business –  is that it is an efficiently pleasurable way to share your creations and vintage items with the world, and make some money while you’re at it! You’re probably wondering, however, “Hmmm, how does this Etsy work? And, how can I monetize my hobbies, be it through Etsy, or otherwise?” Continue reading How Etsy is Turning Your Hobby Into a Business

Examples of Three Successful Lifestyle Entrepreneurs

EntrepreneursSo you’ve heard the term ‘lifestyle entrepreneur’ and you’re intrigued. It sounds great, right? Location independence, financial independence and the ability to create something that has impact on the world, whilst living on your own terms. Who wouldn’t want those things?

Dealing with doubts

However, maybe the doubt has begun to creep in. You mentioned it to a few of your friends, or maybe your partner or family, and they just stared at you like you were talking in the Klingon tongue. Or worse, maybe they told you that it was a pipe-dream or unrealistic goal. Continue reading Examples of Three Successful Lifestyle Entrepreneurs

Ecommerce Battle: Shopify or Magento. Who wins? – Ecommerce Rules

Shopify vs. Magento

Which platform to choose for your online store is one of the biggest and most important decisions you will make as an ecommerce entrepreneur. The choice isn’t easy, because no one solution is perfect for every store owner. Let’s see how two of the most popular options compare.

Let The Battle Commence!

Imagine for a moment that the various ecommerce platforms are gladiators competing against each other to represent you, the king or queen of your domain, in your quest to dominate your market niche.

Stepping into the arena today to try to win your trust and business are Shopify and Magento. Continue reading Ecommerce Battle: Shopify or Magento. Who wins? – Ecommerce Rules

5 Shopify Plugins That Every Ecommerce Store Should Start With

Shopify

So you’ve finally taken the plunge and decided to set up your own online store using Shopify. Smart choice!

Shopify is known as one of the best ecommerce solutions thanks to its ease of use and reliability. What’s more, with 50,000 storefronts created in 7 years using the service (TechCrunch), you can be sure that you’re not alone. Sure, that means more competition, but it also means that there are existing options for pretty much any feature you would want to add to your online store.

Plugged In and Ready to Go?

With Shopify’s built-in features and customizable design, you can get started tweaking your store’s theme and adding products for sale right away. There are even built in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) features and the ability to add Google Analytics to your site in order to track user behavior and traffic trends. Continue reading 5 Shopify Plugins That Every Ecommerce Store Should Start With

Why eBay is No Longer the Best Place for Ecommerce – Ecommerce Rules

Ebay Ecommerce

Remember when eBay first started gaining momentum in the mid 90’s, at the height of the dot-com boom, and people flocked by the hundreds to the site to place bids on obscure, niche, and sometimes downright weird items––like jesus-imprinted toast?

With its wild popularity, eBay quickly became the go-to source for online sellers looking to make profit without the overhead costs that come with a physical storefront. The site moved from selling rare or unusual items to everyday staples such as brand name clothing, sporting event tickets, and movie fan paraphernalia. With its original auction function, eBay meant scoring major discounts and deals for consumers, pulling in bargain hunters in droves.

But with rising fees, competition, and better options for ecommerce platforms, eBay, as it stands today, just isn’t the best option for online stores anymore. Here are 3 reasons why eBay is no longer the best solution for ecommerce and startup entrepreneurs. Continue reading Why eBay is No Longer the Best Place for Ecommerce – Ecommerce Rules

To Open Source, or Not to Open Source, That is the Question

to open source or not to open source

When developing any website, be it a simple blog, an interactive fan page for a band you follow, or an online store – one must at some point decide whether to develop the site utilizing a content management system (CMS) or develop a site from scratch using an open source platform.

Your decision will greatly affect the speed at which you launch, the design of your site, and the features available to your site.  I’m not an engineer and I don’t plan to build a huge engineering team to manage my online stores, so I always use pre-existing, template based platforms such as Shopify to launch my store quickly and get to profitability fast.  Although I stay away from open source platforms, that are many pros to using them as well.

We’ll explore both below, and answer the question, “To Open Source, or Not to Open Source?”

Continue reading To Open Source, or Not to Open Source, That is the Question

How to Choose an Ecommerce Platform for your New Online Store

which ecommerce platform to choose

There is certainly no shortage of options when it comes to choosing an Ecommerce platform for your new online store.  At Ecommerce Rules, our goal is to help you sift through the great number of Ecommerce solutions you might find via search engine, by narrowing the focus to four of the most commonly selected options and providing excellent information which will help you to either select one of these four Ecommerce platforms, or to have the ability to analyze other options in similar fashion and, ultimately, make the right choice.

Here is a breakdown of the most commonly used ecommerce platforms, the pros and cons, and who is best suited to use these platforms.

Continue reading How to Choose an Ecommerce Platform for your New Online Store