Here are a few questions to debate with your team:
- If you just wanted to test our assumptions what would we look at: Shopify ($79 monthly), BigCommerce ($79 monthly), Woocommerce ($69 once plus hosting monthly), Squarespace ($40 monthly).
- If you had more complex needs or need to connect to an ERP/manufacturing system we would look at Magento or Salesforce/Demandware.
- If your organization needs to connect to SAP/Oracle than take on that level of pain.
- What if you did not have time or did not want to build an E-commerce site: Amazon ($39 monthly +fees), Ebay (10% of sale), Etsy (8% of sale +25 cents), Walmart (15% of sales for most).
- What option has the lowest ongoing costs? We see lots of debate around the setup costs of a new E-commerce system but if it costs 30% of your margin in ongoing fees it is no better than FBA by Amazon.
- On which option is it cheaper to acquire a new customer ? We are seeing some clients introducing 80%-90% of their net new customers on Amazon and then upselling them to their .com site.
- It is hard to predict the future so how easily can you cancel or change or upgrade?
- Do you need to own/manage your data (cookies, email, addresses)? Or is it better for Shopify and Amazon to help manage CALOOPA and GDPR?
- Which is better for you to build your brand on? For example, if your brand does a lot of video. Video + Shopify makes for a slow experience for users.
Each company has different needs but after serving 500+ clients we see four leaders again and again:
- Shopify - Pros: Low cost and lots of functionality through marketplace apps. Cons: Can be slow, fees for 3rd party gateways, and upgrading to Shopify Plus will run you $1,200+.
- Woocommerce - Pros: Integrates extremely well if you already have your marketing site on Wordpress, low cost, open source, self hosted (so you can make it fast/high load) and great community. Cons: Self hosted, you need a developer, can be less stable when Wordpress makes updates.
- Amazon - Pros: This is where your best customers are, conversion rates are typically double digit (12%-24%), they drive traffic for you via SEO and media. Cons: Support is horrible and confusing, you need to watch metrics and fees closely, selling fees are higher.
- Magento - Pros: You can do anything with it, open source, great community, free out of the box, now owned by Adobe. Cons: Complex, SEO is poor, needs good developers, can be more expensive to maintain over the long term.
Test and challenge your assumptions that you need to spend $250,000 dollars on a new E-commerce platform. How could you live with Shopify for $948 a year? Then you could use the rest to expose 830,173 people to your brand on Amazon for 30 cents a click. Which at low range 12% Amazon conversion rate would be an extra 99,620 new sales this year! Now that makes for a happy boss/team/year 🙂