What E-Commerce platform do you use?
When I first started taking sales early into the engraving business I used to just use Instagram to show off what I could make and then send PayPal invoices to anything inquiring about getting custom work or wanting what I already had made.
After doing that for a few sales, I realized I needed an online presence. Since I was familiar with Wordpress I started there. All I needed was hosting and the installation of Wordpress was free. They have a plugin you can install called Woocommerce which allows you to take sales through your website. After about a month of toying with that - it ended up being more of a pain to deal with than it was worth. Wordpress needed constant updates which was super annoying. Everything seems so sluggish and slow. A lot of work to get one product page looking and working right.
My friend told me about Shopify. At the time, they were doing a free 90 day trial which seemed pretty crazy to me. Figured I had nothing to lose by signing up and trying it out.
After playing around with the admin panel and viewing all the themes and addons available, I knew that this was far superior to Wordpress. It is more expensive, but worth it for me. Keeps a way better track of inventory and product details, plus much better analytics and reports. There's not a million addons to make your website work that scream out for an update every time you log on. Shipping is built right in and you get a great discount. Plus, people who order from you can track their packages from the site.
It also scales with the business as it grows. Meaning the high hosting package I choose, the lower the transaction fees and shipping fees become. When you reach a certain threshold, it becomes actually cheaper in the long run to upgrade your package.
It's been about a year now I have been using Shopify and I can still say I love it.
But, that doesn't mean it's the perfect platform for everyone.
What's everyone else using for their website?
Awesome! I do websites as a part of my freelance work and I was originally planning on doing Woocommerce until I read they are not PCI compliant (has to do with payment processing). So, if I wanted to add that compliance via 3rd party to take secure card payments- I'd need something like Succri. Plus you become in charge of the security and issues and Wordpress sites are so commonly hacked it's kind of scary.
I ended up going with Shopify as well. Shop still isn't up because I had to be a nerd and code it. Bought a theme and just started customizing it with code and add-ons and i'm still not happy with it.
I'm so glad you've had good experiences with them! Is your whole site run on Shopify by chance? I like your theme so much more than mine 😅
ALSO! Is it possible to password protect a collection or area? Iv'e had people request certain products I don't really want to show publically or have them a apart of my main area- but i'd love an area they can log in and order the things I make for them; such as customized goods.
@Max I am using Shopify as well, I have only had it up and running for about a month now but I am very happy with it so far.
It would be nice if Shopify built more free addons that Companies could use until they where making a decent revenue and could then buy more full featured addons but overall so far very happy with it.
@Trevor Orr Yea I agree . It seems like alot of apps cost a min of $5/mo for the basics but of course everything you need from the app is in the $25 package. I did manage to cycle through enough apps to find the ones I need and only pay an extra $30 or so a month. Only the necessities haha