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

Top 15 Shopify Themes for Fashion Ecommerce Stores

Shopify Themes

Many burgeoning fashion designers and ecommerce entrants narrow their focus on their clothes, products, and styling, and often forget about the framework that will display their hard work––the ecommerce website theme and layout that, if done well, will ultimately serve as the final push, encouraging buyers to commit and make purchases. A beautifully laid out website sets the ambience of an online store and just like shoppers choose to shop at a brick-and-mortar store because they like the organization, visual display, and aesthetic of physical shelving and merchandising, so too will online consumers notice the layout of your ecommerce store. This is why doing your research and picking the best theme for your website is key to the success of your online store––it is arguably as important as the very clothes you’re selling (because who wants to shop at a messy, disorganized, and visually displeasing store!). Continue reading Top 15 Shopify Themes for Fashion Ecommerce Stores

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

5 Reasons People Love Shopify – Ecommerce Rules

Why People Love Shopify

Shopify is a simple shopping cart solution for your ecommerce business: with Shopify, you face no concerns over hosting your shopping cart, maintaining servers, or presenting your brand and your inventory to potential customers. Moreover, Shopify has auxiliary apps available to you to assist in the entire ecommerce process from inventory management to shipping to customer contact management. In this post, we will explore five reasons why people love Shopify, and what you need to know about its advantages.

1. Shopify Is Easy to Use

The number one reason Shopify is great: Shopify takes care of the coding and web-hosting issues you face on your ecommerce site. This means you do not need technical expertise to launch an online store with Shopify–you just need inventory. Shopify exemplifies KISS–Keep It Simple Stupid–allowing entrepreneurs to focus on their business, and not on the technical nuts and bolts of website and shopping cart management. Continue reading 5 Reasons People Love Shopify – Ecommerce Rules

How to Increase Your Ecommerce Site Speed

How to Increase Your Ecommerce Site Speed

Gone are the days of dial-up, that clinking, whirling, buzzing sound that followed the dial tone to let you know your website was loading––your consumers expect your website to load quickly. A fast loading, functional ecommerce site means your customers are more likely to stay on your site and click around; they’ll only browse your products if they appear within reasonable time––and reasonable time, nowadays, means fast.

Amazon found that for every 100 milliseconds––or a mere tenth of a second––delay in loading a website, 1% of sales are loss. And did you know the faster your ecommerce website loads, the higher Google will rank your site in search results? Conduct a test to see how long it takes for your entire website to load from start to finish as it stands right now. Try using a speed test site like Pingdom Tools.

According to a Forrester study, the average consumer expects a page to load within 2 seconds or less, any more than 3 and they’ll navigate away from it––likely to a rival site in hopes of finding quicker loading. Not to mention with the present day proliferation of online ecommerces, visitors hold your company’s credibility and quality to your website’s performance.

Luckily, there are surefire ways to increase your ecommerce site speed and ensure your store and its product images are available to customers fast. Here are ways to make your ecommerce website load quicker. Continue reading How to Increase Your Ecommerce Site Speed

Selecting The Best Products To Sell On Your Ecommerce Store

Ecommerce

Unless you are Overstock, Rakuten (formerly Buy.com), eBay, Amazon, or even Walmart, the odds are low that you are going to be able to effectively stock, sell and ship nearly every consumer product known to mankind. The fact is that most ecommerce stores aren’t equipped to handle the traffic or the shear number of products (or SKU’s). Additionally, the disparity between the cash-on-hand is likely not even close to these leaders of the ecommerce world.

For example, consider the following scenario: If Amazon is going to sell 100,000 SKU’s, and an average of 100’s of each SKU world-wide each day, compared to the number of transactions at your store each day – who is going to pay more for the transactions or shipping? Aside from the difficulty in determining what to sell, minute details such as transactional and shipping costs, become the bane of existence for startup ecommerce stores and cumulatively can be the difference between success and failure. Continue reading Selecting The Best Products To Sell On Your Ecommerce Store

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