Tag Archives | shopify

Is Shopify Better than WooCommerce for eCommerce?

two women looking at computer discussing a project

Recently, a website platform seemed to claim responsibility for a celebrity’s online success (web traffic, voluminous sales and market domination).  But what made that celebrity’s site successful?  Was it the platform they chose?  Or was the site’s success being driven by the celebrity themselves and the brand they represent?  In all likelihood that celebrity could have used any platform and still have had a successful site. They were responsible for their own online success, and the platform had little to do with it.

Your website is an extension of who you are.  It is an expression of your vision.  It is a result of hard work and creativity. And if you have an ecommerce site, then it is also a revenue source.  If you are selling something, the website platform you choose has to have your back because you have a lot invested in, and a lot riding on, the virtual space you’ve created.  You can’t choose a platform based on what a celebrity, or any successful site, uses.  You have to dig deeper.

There are two kinds of people in the ecommerce world: those who need a website and those who already have a website.

If you need an ecommerce site, the first questions you should ask are: What is my website’s intent? What am I trying say, do, express, and accomplish?  The second questions are: What am I selling and will the platform I’m looking at support the sale of my product or service?

If you already have an ecommerce site, then you are (hopefully) regularly evaluating the platform you are using to ensure your site is being taken care of in the best possible way.  You should always be asking: Is the platform I’m using reliable and are my content and business safe?

When choosing a platform, you have many decisions to make.  Will you need ongoing support, or can you be independent?  Do you need a highly customized site, or can you use one straight “out of the box”?  Do you anticipate having high volume sales, or will your site be more specialized with less traffic?

The answers to these questions will guide you through the pros and cons of many platforms. No platform is perfect, and many might meet your needs.  But if you are selling something, whether you are new to ecommerce or have an active store, there is one overriding question that must be addressed: What are you selling?

Not all platforms are ideal for all types of ecommerce.

Platforms can be tied to specific payment gateways.  If a payment gateway decides that it does not want to support the sale of a specific product or service, then your ability to sell could be denied and your store could be closed. If you plan to do, or already doing, online sales, it is in your best interest to choose a platform whose payment gateway is reliable and flexible.

Let’s get specific.

In Shopify’s Payments Terms of Service, prohibited businesses are listed in section B5.  That’s right: prohibited businesses.  If you sell or offer anything on this list, your store will likely be closed in the near future.  And remember – this list can change at any time, which means your ecommerce venture may not be safe if you use this platform.

Here is a partial list of businesses that are currently prohibited on Shopify:

  • All cannabis related businesses and products
  • Any business selling products that claim to have health benefits
  • Travel reservation businesses
  • Timeshare services
  • Flea markets

So, what’s the alternative?  Using an open source platform like WordPress with WooCommerce.

WordPress allows users to choose from any number of payment gateways and WordPress is not held hostage by the whims and demands of those gateways. Unlike Shopify, a publicly traded company that is required to meet certain criteria from its financial partners, WordPress has no such financial obligations; WordPress clients are free to choose whatever payment gateway fits their needs.

So, if you have a cannabis business with products to sell, WordPress with WooCommerce is a platform that will support you.  If you sell vitamins or health improving products, WordPress with WooCommerce is the platform for you. Whatever your business is, WordPress will support it. This is the beauty of using an open source platform.

It’s hard work to prepare, create, and maintain a virtual business. Be sure you select a platform that offers you choice and does not limit your vision.  WordPress with WooCommerce is a platform you can trust.  It has your back.

Contact us today for more information.

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business solutions, ecommerce, how to, woocommerce, wordpress

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Three Services To Help Sell Digital Goods Online

I was recently asked by a friend how she can sell a copy of her e-book online as a PDF. If you have a similar question, and would like to sell digital goods, such as videos, photos, games, software, etc. online, read this blog to find solutions on how to do so.

Solutions for Selling Digital Goods Online

paypal1. PayPal for Digital Goods – If you’ve ever purchased anything from an e-commerce site, such as ebay, you’ve likely had to use PayPal to pay for the item you bought. PayPal for Digital Goods works in the same way, but instead of getting an item via mail, your buyers would be able to download your digital file right from your website. All you need to do would be to add the PayPal button right on your website, and individuals would be able to pay you for your item.

PayPal has a few advantages:
* Visitors pay right on your site and do not have to go to another site to pay
* Visitors have the option to make a one-time payment or purchase a subscription, if you offer one
* Excellent fraud protection
* Opportunity to sell to clients all over the world

To get started, you need to create a PayPal business account and choose either Express Checkout or Adaptive Payments products for your website. “Express Checkout allows you to sell your digital downloads to consumers with flexible payment plans, while Adaptive Payments gives you all of the benefits… {and lets you} set up various payment scenarios within your application, such as chained or parallel payments. For example, if a music producer wants to sell a playlist of songs by various musicians online, its developer can enable payment distribution to the entire set of musicians upon point of purchase,” according to PayPal.Easy Digital Downloads

2. Easy Digital Downloads – Easy Digital Downloads works with PayPal to allow you to sell e-books and other digital downloads on WordPress. The plugin developer claims that this is “the world’s easiest way to sell digital downloads through WordPress for free.” Within minutes, you can set up a default configuration to sell your items on your WordPress site. For example, if you are selling music, you have the option to sell it per song, or the entire album. If you’d like, you can customize this plugin for your specific needs; they are developer friendly, and make it easy to make changes to the code. They have 190 extensions that allow you to set up your site in any way you want, from different payment gateways to uploading to different gallery options to display your digital downloads. Furthermore, Easy Digital Downloads provides ways for you to analyze your selling and earnings data, and even to export that information to Excel or Google Docs.

3. Shopify – Shopify has teamed up with Fetch Softworks to allow you to create an online store to sell your digital goods. On your site, you can also sell tangible things, like actual books and CDs, along with the items that are available for download. The two services let you to host files on their servers, and they also work with PayPal to accept payments. Shopify provides many ways to easily set up a site, with different looks to choose from. And for beginners who have questions, they have a 24-7 Support Guru who help.sell digital goods online

Shopify offers a free 14-day trial to anyone who is interested. They charge $14.95 a month. (Insider tip: I actually had a friend call Shopify and ask for a reduction in the monthly fee, and Shopify waived it completely.)

The team at Behla Design is dedicated to creating visual experiences that effectively tell our clients’ stories while engaging, exciting, and enticing their customers. Our firm consists of the top web design and development, WordPress, search engine optimization (SEO), and copy writing professionals. Our founder, Andrew Behla, has worked in the graphic, print and web design industry for over twenty years.

For more information about making your site mobile friendly, contact Behla Design.

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ecommerce, how to

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