The Internet offers sellers a chance to put their products in front of millions of motivated shoppers. Retailers have dozens of different options for setting up their ecommerce branch. Some companies choose to build a single massive website that hosts all of their products in one convenient location. Others choose to stay more flexible and specialized by splitting into two, five or even ten separate storefronts. Choosing the right strategy for your business requires you to consider your goals and limitations before jumping into either form of ecommerce.
A Singular Store
Focusing on a single major website offers a number of benefits. If you host the storefront yourself, you can minimize listing and sales fees that other platforms charge, according to Chron.com. There are also no limitations on price or how much you can charge your customers for shipping or packaging. Businesses that include an offline retail component often choose this route so they can ensure their existing branding carries over to their ecommerce system.
However, setting up a freestanding storefront does come with a few extra challenges. You will need to choose a complete content management system to ensure listings are correct and function properly through the ordering process. Additional tools for handling the orders must be purchased and installed. Many ecommerce companies need to hire at least one part-time web management consultant to keep their storefronts updated and secure, according to Smashing Magazine. This could be well worth the investment if your website is effective enough to continue growing in visibility each month.
If you already have a complete ecommerce website, you can still expand to other platforms without as much work as it took to develop the original store. Working with eBay, Amazon and other popular websites can give you a chance to expand your reach very quickly. Setting up a store can take just a few weeks as you port your product listings to the platform, says eBay. Premium packages allow you to use your custom branding aesthetics on your storefront. Companies with a variety of product lines could see benefits by splitting their inventory into various niche lines, each hosted at a separate store. If you want to expand into international selling, these tools make it easy to set up new shipping options and get your products in front of people across Europe and Asia.
Each new store you open multiplies the amount of work you will need to do. The Last Drop of Ink blog says that you will need some kind of software to bring information from all of your stores into one hub. The right order management system is required to handle the challenges of a network of separate sales platforms. It’s easy to fall behind on marketing goals when you have six or ten different locations to optimize and promote. Starting on a single site or platform can make it easier to get started. You can always expand your business outward onto other marketplaces as you increase the awareness and popularity of your growing brand.
About the author:
Ted Hosford is a business software consultant with many years experience developing business software. His articles mainly appear on business software websites. Visit Ordoro.com to see their software solutions.