Online Store in 30 Minutes?

Ten years ago, I started an online store for my first business. It took me 8 months to get the website ready and geared towards online sales. It also set me back several thousand dollars. That’s not to mention the usual bugs and glitches that come with new websites. I wish I had the tools back then that are available today!

Did you know that today you can be up and running in minutes?

IT IS CRAZY yet so fabulous! We’re living in a time when you can have an online store created in virtually minutes at NO COST (at least for the duration of the trial period!)

As part of my Mega Growth with Instagram coaching program, I set up my own swimwear brand to demonstrate to my students first-hand how to grow their fashion business using Instagram. I set up the online store using Shopify within literally 30 minutes. No joke.

So what’s the catch?

There is none really given what the alternative would be. The alternative would be to visit a developer who will create a website for you from scratch (or customize existing code) and then charge you time and money for it.

But why do that when you can get set up in minutes? You get numerous design templates (based on what works!), hosting, your own custom domain, 24-7 support, integrations with payment processors so you can accept credit cards from customers, all the security required of an online store and multiple sales channels all in one place. It’s a no-brainer.

There are several highly sophisticated yet user-friendly ecommerce platforms that allow you to create a plug-and-play online store. Platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, etc..

In minutes, you can start a free trial and create a full-fledged online store with all the important high sales-conversation features that I will mention later in this article. You also get your very own custom domain (i.e. www.yourbrand.com)

The beauty of all this is that you can get started for free! Most of these platforms offer a free trial period ranging from 14-21 days.

After the trial period, the monthly fees are highly affordable. Typically, the fees come in two forms. One is a fixed monthly fee and another is per transaction. The higher the fixed monthly fee is, the lower the transaction fee and vice versa. Some platforms do not charge a fee per transaction but place a cap on the amount of sales that you can process.

Below are some fee structures provided by Shopify and BigCommerce. In all cases, the investment is far lower than the thousands of dollars required for the development of a brand new website.

Shopify

Basic Shopify Shopify Advanced Shopify
Monthly price $29 $79 $299
Transaction Rates 2.0% 1.0% 0.5%

 

BigCommerce

Standard Plus Pro
Monthly price $29.95 $79.95 $249.95
Transaction Rates None None None
Annual Online Sales $50,000 $150,000 $400,000

 

Note: The above information only covers the price structure and does not mention some features provided in each category. Also, these prices are only for information and may change so kindly refer to the actual Shopify and BigCommerce sites for prices.

The platforms typically offer numerous templates to choose from, some for free and others for a small investment ranging from one-time payment of $140-250. These templates are typically semi-customizable (i.e. you can change most of the colors and fonts). If needed, you can reach out to an expert on any of these platforms to help you customize further, although some may charge a small fee for that.

Here’s a rundown of the benefits of using these Ecommerce platforms:

Plug & Play

  • You can be up and running in minutes.
  • You get unlimited bandwidth, which means that you are not charged based on the number of visitors or traffic to your store.
  • Mobile friendly. You can access the store using your mobile whether you are a buyer or store administrator.
  • Instant upgrades. By working with Ecommerce sites like Shopify or BigCommerce, you get to automatically benefit from any upgrades and enhancements

User Friendly

  • These sites are super user friendly. They are made for people who want to get started without any technical knowledge or without the need to hire a developer.

Low Up-Front Costs

  • No upfront investment required. Affordable monthly costs.

Secure

  • Your online store includes all the security certificates and compliance procedures required of an online store that processes payments.

Excellent Support

  • 24/7 Support. You get 24-7 support for your business.
  • 99.99% uptime and 24/7 monitoring so you can be rest assured that your website is always online.

One Stop Shop

  • Single hub for all your sales channels (offline retail, POS, Facebook store, etc..)
  • Track your store analytics including visitors, sales, product performance, etc.

Numerous App Integrations

  • You can integrate with numerous apps that provide extra plug-and-play features for your website, including tools that help grow your email list and increase sales conversions!

In addition to the above, the Shopify online store checkout comes in 50+ languages.

So, what are you waiting for? If you are not selling online yet, you have no excuse. Get started now. The world is your market!

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