More and more people are shopping online whether out of convenience or necessity. As a retail business owner, you may realize that having an eCommerce website is becoming imperative, but you just don’t know where to start. Here at Root & Roam Creative Studio, we have extensive experience in both building and maintaining successful, intuitive eCommerce sites. Throughout the years, we’ve compiled a list of the most important aspects to consider at the onset of the build.
There are a multitude of eCommerce specific hosting platforms available. Choosing the one that best suits your needs can seem daunting. Platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce are all inclusive content management systems built specifically for selling products online. They are powerful, user friendly, and easy to maintain. Both of these options will handle your hosting and security certificates, as well as the technical aspects of running an online store. For a Shopify or BigCommerce plan, you will pay a monthly fee ranging from $29.99 to $299.99 depending on the needs of your business.
On the other hand, another popular eCommerce option is to build on WordPress using WooCommerce. Both WordPress and WooCommerce are open source software meaning they are 100% free to use. However, this is not an all inclusive solution. If you opt to go with WordPress using WooCommerce, you will need to acquire hosting and security certificates separately. (Don’t worry… we can help with that!) With a reputable hosting company, this will set you back, on average, about $20-$25 per month.
Root & Roam Creative Studio has many years worth of working in both types of platforms. While we love the ease of use and customer support provided by companies like Shopify, we have found that WordPress using WooCommerce allows for much more flexibility in design. While there are pros and cons about each of these options, we do not prefer one over the other. The ultimate decision in which route to take depends entirely on the needs of our clients. We are happy to talk with you about your vision and goals for your eCommerce site and help point you in the right direction!
ECOMMERCE SITES BUILT BY ROOT & ROAM CREATIVE STUDIO
One of the biggest variables in choosing the right platform is the design of your website. How do you want it to look? How do you want it to feel? If this is a brand new venture for you, the sky is the limit! You are essentially creating your brand right here and right now. It is important to research your target demographic and the competition. With this in mind, you’ll begin to create a brand vision and personality. This will guide you towards your color palette, font selections, and overall mood of your brand and website.
If you have an existing brick and mortar store, and you’re looking to take it online, this process looks a little different. Many of your brand elements have already been chosen. It’s important to keep consistency across all mediums – whether it be a storefront, website, social media, or print advertising – in an effort to build brand awareness.
When the basic feel of your website is determined, it’s time to explore what elements you really like/dislike when visiting a website (examples include parallax elements, full width images, contact forms, videos, Instagram feeds, etc.). What special functionality would you like to include such as wishlists, recurring subscriptions, bundling options, etc.? Visualizing how you want your site to look and function plays a large factor in which platform to choose.
It is crucial to consider how you want to ship (and charge for shipping) at the onset of the site build. Do you want to offer real life calculation by carrier based on weight, size, and destination, flat rate shipping based on order total, free shipping, local pickup, or something entirely different? Each platform offers standard methods of shipping and calculating shipping, and those standards vary from platform to platform. By determining your shipping policy upfront, we can better direct you to the platform that will work best for your business.
With all of that said, we don’t expect you to work through this alone! It’s a lot… we know! Our expert team is here to walk you through the process step by step helping to decipher your needs, vision, and goals. We offer all-inclusive e-commerce packages customized to the specific needs of your business. We will provide you with all the essentials you need to begin bringing your products and services to your customers while making the process straightforward and simple for both you and your customers. You’ll be able to start selling immediately, and we’ll be there to help make sure the process is safe and simple for you and your customers alike.