When we embark on a new business venture, the vast majority of us need to keep costs down during the first few years. Profits during this period tend to be lower than when the business is established and fully matured, therefore is important to make sure you aren’t spending a small fortune on the day-to-day running of your new start-up when you can least afford it.
The ecommerce industry has seen massive growth over recent years, so the opportunity for new players to succeed in this market is attractive. On the other hand, competition is fierce, and most entrepreneurs, especially in this industry, are not independently wealthy and aren’t backed by venture capitalists.
Therefore, success for new ecommerce businesses depends on entrepreneurs’ ability to cut costs and maximize revenue in a manner that doesn’t drastically compromise growth opportunities or the customer experience.
Finding the best deal on a hosting service, for example, might be a good idea, but only if it doesn’t mean your website will be so slow that high-intent visitors will get frustrated and bounce out. Following up on abandoned shopping carts, moreover, is a great conversion booster, but only if the messaging isn’t too pushy.
One key area in which being frugal doesn’t necessarily mean cutting corners, though, is with the platform you select to build and host your ecommerce site.
While you may be able to find a development agency that says they can build you a custom ecommerce site without spending much, you’re probably better off doing the job yourself, using a hosted ecommerce website building platform.
Let’s take a look at some of the most important reasons why.
Simplicity to Aid Efficiency
With so many options available these days, many ecommerce website builders support the features you need to start a streamlined online retail business, all under one roof. In the past, many of us had to source our domains, web building tools, shopping cart solutions and server space separately, making the whole process seem like an arduous and difficult task.
Now, with packages built for each and every particular need your company could require, the whole process is really quite simple. And let’s face it – when starting out in any business, we all need a little simplicity. There are so many aspects of a business that requires our attention, and with a limited workforce (sometimes literally just ourselves), time is of the essence. Having a website that is easy to design, amend, and keep running is a boon that many entrepreneurs of yesteryear were simply not privy to.
There is also the added bonus of having plenty of stats and data at your fingertips to see what is working well on your site, and what isn’t. With all this functionality now available, running an ecommerce website is not the uphill struggle that it once was.
Unique Services for Unique Businesses
The wonderful thing about the array of services on offer, is that each one can cater to a different business in a way that others cannot. Some offer a far more graphically prevalent way of displaying their content, some have a multitude of useful integrations with other services, while others are more centred around complex stock management, such as those that deal well with dropshipping.
Depending on your particular needs, one of these services will provide you with the perfect platform upon which to sell your products and promote your brand. There are obviously different ways for you to trade online, other than on your own website, but the drawbacks associated with them will probably make you feel that in the current climate, having your own site is a must.
For those who sell products on large ecommerce sites such as Amazon and Alibaba exclusively, you are only ever a step or two away from having your trade route cut off, and your entire business plan thrown out of the window. Many merchants can fall foul of the rules imposed by these sites (either intentionally or unintentionally), and if that happens, it can sink smaller businesses completely. Because of this, caution is advised when you put all your trust in trading through one platform.
Trading in brick and mortar stores, while more stable in some aspects than using the aforementioned digital marketplaces, is slowly declining in popularity. The sensible solution to this is to build your own market destination, and be your own decision-maker.
Finally, having your own website allows you to control your own brand in its entirety, and aids you in your endeavour to get that brand pushed up in search engine rankings. A constantly changing site will make you far more visible for potential customers than either selling exclusively on other platforms, or simply selling in stores.
With so much business now focusing on online sales, the latter option is generally unadvisable, while the former means you are at the behest of others. Neither will help your brand reach the potential possible from having a modern, responsive website of your own.
Of course, you could turn to traditional advertising to push your brand, and while it is not a bad idea to push online ads through various platforms and services, this does incur an additional cost. You may well, and probably should, look to advertise. But using your site to gain leverage in search engine optimization is another clear benefit for the frugal entrepreneur, who may need to avoid spending too much money on advertising in the first few years, and using modern website builders will help you do just that.
Having a decent looking, easy to manage and data-rich website is crucial for modern businesses — it would just be foolish for businesses to ignore the importance of having a good, easy to use website.
Setting one up is relatively cheap and it provides extremely useful information on what is working well for your business and what isn’t, while also boosting awareness of your brand.
If you haven’t already decided on which website builder to use when creating your website, there is no better time than right now.