Retail is a seriously competitive game. Even the giants need to make use of every possible marketing advantage and every possible route to a sale. Nowadays, that includes mobile e-commerce, which is, by some distance, the platform that is seeing the fastest growth in sales and revenue.
As with all cutting-edge technologies, however, it is the big boys that have been making the most of this new retail territory, which is a shame, given the struggles many small businesses are having to cope with.
But, finally, help appears to be at hand. Dashsell, a company that has thus far concentrated on providing a simple way to list items for sale online, has now launched Shops — a beta, self-service, mobile store app builder. With plans starting from free, and with web, iOS and Android versions available, it looks ideal for the small retailer. But is this the killer platform that will open a new frontier? Or is it just another cookie-cutter app studio?
It’d be easy to levy the same accusation against the internet that the iPad has withstood ever since it was originally released: it’s only for consumption. The iPad seemed perfectly designed for reading and watching videos and social networking, not writing books and designing buildings and crafting animation and more that people do every day on PCs. It’d be obvious to say the same thing about the internet — it’s the place we go to waste time and read and watch videos of cats and update our status on Facebook.
If you’re a frequent reader of our articles at Web.AppStorm, though, you know for a fact that there’s thousands of ways to be productive and get things done online. You could write a book, or tweak photos, or paint a masterpiece, or code a new application, or design a new building, all without leaving your browser. The web’s a powerful place for collaboration, or for working on your own.
The web is also the best place to sell stuff. You can sell your old stuff you never use on eBay or Craigslist, sell a book on Amazon or an app on the App Store, or make your own online store and sell anything you make from your own site. There’s dozens of ways to easily open an online store, from Gumroad’s simple digital download eCommerce to Etsy’s simple tools to sell your handicrafts.
I personally sell a digital magazine online through the App Store and Gumroad, and my wife sells craft supplies on eBay. How about you? Do you sell stuff online, either just to get rid of older stuff or as your business? What apps do you use to help you sell online? We’d love to hear your eCommerce experience in the comments below!
Stripe is an awesome way to take payments for virtual and physical goods. For anyone tired of having to run all payments through PayPal, it’s a breath of fresh air that makes payment processing easy and cheap. However, the service doesn’t offer an easy way to sell your products to customers. And while you can always code your own web store that works with Stripe, this takes time and money that could be used towards developing the product that you’re planning to sell.
If you find yourself in a situation like I’ve written above, you’re probably a perfect candidate for Spacebox: a product manager and payment acceptor that works with Stripe. It’s one of the simplest ways to sell your products — digital and physical alike — online. (more…)
It would be fair to say that eCommerce is in a boom right now. The likes of Ebay and Amazon turn over more revenue than any high street chain you’d care to mention, and the number of independent online shops is growing hourly – the market-leading system Shopify, alone, is powering 50,000 online stores, and counting.
Despite this ever-expanding market, the range and variety of the eCommerce management software available is still relatively limited, and many services are fairly expensive from the viewpoint of a small retailer. Other than going down the Shopify route, most shopkeepers have to resort to WordPress plug-ins like WooCommerce, but neither option allows the non-coder to style their site easily.
It is, perhaps, because of this problem that Hiidef Inc. – maker of the fine, homepage creator Flavors – has produced Goodsie, a design-oriented hosted eCommerce platform. With Goodsie’s Standard package costing $14/month, this service is one of the more affordable eCommerce options available, but is Goodsie more luxury aisle or bargain bin? Time to find out.
If you’re planning on starting a new eCommerce site, there’s a ton of different tools you can use today to start selling stuff online. There’s the biggest names in eCommerce: Magento, Shopify, and OpenCart. Then, there’s the WordPress eCommerce plugins like WooCommerce, which have gotten very popular lately. There’s also a ton of smaller eCommerce solutions that you might have never heard about.
If you look for eCommerce themes on ThemeForest, the theme and site template marketplace by our parent company Envato, you’ll find that the designers there have started making themes for quite a number of different eCommerce solutions. Two that have just recently started getting popular with theme designers are Zen Cart and osCommerce. They’re both opensource eCommerce tools, powered by PHP and MySQL, and just might be what you’re looking for in your next eCommerce solution.
Let’s take a look at some of the best themes on ThemeForest for Zen Cart and osCommerce, all of which have been released in the past couple months.
We’ve previously covered Gumroad and FetchApp, two neat solutions that allow you to sell your digital audio, video, photos, art and writing from your own site or within your social networks. But just like any other category of web apps, there’s always room for more options because user needs vary so greatly from one to another.
That’s why we’re checking out Quixly. It’s a great way to sell your digital downloadables in large volumes and allows for easy management of your files and orders. Plus, you can choose to pay as you go for the bandwidth and storage space you use or host your files yourself and manage them through using Quixly. Is this the app that’ll help make you rich beyond your wildest dreams (or at least sell a few copies of your best photos)? Let’s find out!
If you’ve wanted to start an online store, there’s never been a better time to do so. Today, there’s so many different tools you could use to build a high-quality online store, you might have trouble picking which one would work best for you. From hosted options like Shopify to plugins for your WordPress blog to a dedicated eCommerce CMS, there’s options for every need.
PrestaShop is one of the emerging popular eCommerce systems that lets you make the online store you’ve always dreamed of. It’s also started to attract attention on ThemeForest, the site for themes and more from our parent company Envato. Keep reading to take a look at what PrestaShop offers and some of the best themes you can get for it to make an eCommerce site quicker than ever. (more…)
The past few years have seen a number of new solutions emerge to allow individuals and businesses get into the ecommerce game quickly and easily. From full-fledged web-based storefronts (like Shopify and Etsy) to exclusive online-only offers (like Gumroad), there’s a way to sell pretty much anything you can think of. But what if you’re looking for a way to sell stuff from your own site, without creating a separate web property?
If you have a digital product (music, video, photos, graphics, code or anything else that can be downloaded) and your own site/web property, you can sell it with FetchApp. It works with a variety of shopping carts and payment gateways and allows you to start getting paid with minimal fuss and for a reasonable price. And given that it’s used by folks like Beck and A Book Apart, you can rest assured that it gets the job done. But is it right for you? Let’s take a closer look and find out. (more…)
Magento is one of the best open-source eCommerce CMSes out there. It offers webmasters a ton of features and plenty of flexibility with which to create online stores. It’s infinitely customizable and there are plenty of great themes available to make your site look professional and welcoming to your customers.
I’ve picked out some of the very best Magento themes that you can find in the ThemeForest marketplace, the marketplace for website themes and templates run by our parent company Envato. Each of these themes is unique and can make it easier for you to design the perfect eCommerce site for your business, so let’s dive right in! (more…)
Our sponsor this week is File2Cart, a simple way to update the shopping cart software on your website with your latest products. All you’ll need to do is upload your updated spreadsheet or text file, and File2Cart will do all the rest.
After a quick signup and initial import, you can choose how you want to import your data, even specifying custom fields to work perfectly with your eCommerce setup. You can then choose exactly when you want your online store to be updated, so customers will know exactly when they’ll see new products on your site. It takes the hassle out of managing your online store!
File2Cart works with 35 of the most popular shopping cart web apps, including popular choices like Magento, OpenCart, WP eCommerce, and Shopify, so odds are it’ll work directly with the software you’re already using. And since it lets you import your product database updates in .txt, .csv, and .html formats, it’ll likely work with the ways you’re already keeping track of the products you sell. Now, you can quit worrying about updating your shopping software, and get back to selling great stuff!
Go Get It!
If you’ve been looking for a way easily update your online store with new info and products, be sure to give File2Cart a try. You can try it out with a free demo, then if it works like you want, you can start putting it to work for your business starting at $29/month.