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E-Commerce Platforms, Hosting, Blog Theme, Logo, Domain Name & SSL, Storage, Analytics

 

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There are exact steps & key points I used for multiple clients & my own store to go from $0 to over $1,000,000 in online sales in less than 24 months (while having limited budgets & resources)

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I. E-Commerce Software / Platforms

3600 people typed on desktops and 4400 on mobile “E-Commerce Platforms” in Google last months in the USA. People selling E-Commerce solutions pay up to $20 per ONE click to advertise their products online, so the competition is tremendous. E-Commerce platforms’ companies hire the best sales talent who make you buy, lose money and then regret, go to another provider and then to another wasting time and money, but gaining experience.

Let’s make it simple here. There are small, medium-sized and large retailers. If you are a large retailer (selling 20million +) and you need to know which solution is the best for your business, please email me at info@onlineboutiquesmba.com, and I’ll consult you.

Here we are going to talk about small and medium size Fashion, Accessories, Beauty, Decor, Gifts or any other Lifestyle online stores.

There are three options I recommend: Shopify, BigCommerce, and Magento.

Shopify and BigCommerce have pretty much the similar pricing and functionality, and they are both great out of the box solutions for beginners and professionals. The main differences are

1. SHOPIFY

SHOPIFY is better for people who are looking for ease to create the stylish looking store without or with the minimum help of a professional developer.

Basic, $29 per month is ok to start if you are just launching your site, have extremely limited budgets or not that serious about your business.

– Abandoned Cart recovery is available for $79 per month plan. This one is the most critical feature, in my opinion, because 87% of shoppers abandon carts and without this function, you will be losing lots of money. Also, if you want to have professional reports and boost your customer base with digital or physical Gift Cards, this options is for you.

If you sell $5K per month or more, I suggest Advanced Plan because you will have advanced report builder which is must to have for your planning and business development. Plus, your customers will appreciate FedEx and UPS pre-calculated shipping rates at the checkout (it will lead to better customer retention rates)

FOR 14 DAYS SHOPIFY FREE TRIAL, CLICK HERE 

2. BIGCOMMERCE

BIGCOMMERCE is your ideal choice if you sell on eBay, Amazon, Facebook, Pinterest, Google Shopping and need product rating and reviews. It is more complicated to integrate, so most likely you will need the help of professional developer (unless you are super technical). 

– The same as Shopify, $29 per month, Standard plan is a right way to start if you are just launching, have super small budgets or not that serious about your business.

– The Abandoned cart saver begins at $79 per month, Plus Plan and this is the essential feature, in my opinion. Tons of money are sitting in shopping carts that your customers abandon (87% of shoppers drop their carts after shopping). This feature will make you dozens of times more money than you will make going with the Standard plan. Also, you will receive another incredible feature – customers groups & segmentation (significant for your email retention marketing).

If you sell  $5K per month or more, you should choose Pro version because you will have Google customers reviews (which is must to have going toward 2020), product advanced filtering (your custom product fields can be used as filters, so your customers can find a product they want faster). Also, you can bring over SSL that you bought from another provider (and the more secure your store, the more customers will be willing to shop).

FOR 15 DAYS BIGCOMMERCE FREE, NO CREDIT CARD TRIAL, CLICK HERE

 

3. MAGENTO

MAGENTO is my most favorite and the most professional way to go. While working a lot with both Shopify and BigCommerce, I always used Magento for my preferred clients.

Magento might seem more complicated in the beginning because it requires strategist, graphic designer and developer involved, but at the end of the day it will end up being cheaper and more functional.

If you sell less than 10 million per year, you need Free Magento downloadable community version.

Your strategist should create a wireframe; a graphic designer will make a color palette, branded fonts, look & feel and web developer will code it for you.
Magento comes with a super professional look, well-organized categories, advanced reporting and many other professional build-in options. Any category offers lots of choices that lead to fantastic user experience and sales increase.

WANT SOMEONE TO BUILD IT FOR YOU?
If you want to hire an expert to create your Magento web store for you, I highly recommend Magento superstar who I worked with since 2006.

CHECK OUT THE DETAILS HERE

 

II. YOUR LOGO

Your logo is the primary branding asset for your company, so you should take it seriously. Branding is how people to perceive you, so you want to do your best with it.

You should choose one of three routes

1. FIVERR.COM

FIVERR.COM – if you are just starting out, and have neither graphic designer nor budget, you should use this site. Just go to Graphic Design Logo Design at the upper left corner and find someone affordable with excellent ratings. Make sure you study her portfolio and read reviews.

You will be surprised; you can get a beautiful, stylish logo for much cheaper than from a graphic designer. Just make sure that you are not looking for super cheap one because you’ll get what you are paying for.

TO ORDER LOGO DESIGN FROM FIVERR.COM CLICK HERE

2. THELOGOCOMPANY.NET

THELOGOCOMPANY.NET is my most recommended resource is to order your logo from the logo company. It’s always a great idea go to an expert. For just $199 you will receive an incredible deal for professional looking logo

– A team of five designer

– Unlimited redraws

– Unlimited revision rounds

– Five initial design ideas

– Your own project manager

– master file + full copyright ownership

ORDER YOUR LOGO DESIGN FROM THELOGOCOMPANY.NET  – CLICK HERE

3. GRAPHIC DESIGNER

If you have a graphic designer who knows your business, knows how to create a logo and who will not overcharge you, then take this route. Just make sure you negotiate per project, not per hour because logo creation is a time-consuming process and can take lots of time for multiple adjustments and re-design.

III. WEB HOSTING FOR YOUR E-COMMERCE PLATFORM & BLOG

In simple words, if e-Commerce Platform is your online storefront than hosting is “virtual piece of land” where your store will locate.

1. SHOPIFY & BIGCOMMERCE WEB HOSTING

For Shopify & Bigcommerce customers there are great news, you can get hosting from both companies directly! They provide with fantastic, dedicated web hosting.

FOR SHOPIFY FREE TRIAL CLICK HERE
FOR BIGCOMMERCE FREE TRIAL CLICK HERE

 

2.  MAGENTO WEB HOSTING

I use Nexcess hosting for my Magento store, and I recommended it to all my Magento clients. It’s inexpensive (for the quality and for the store hosting), and super reliable. Nexcess is Platinum Magento partner with a one-click install, 24/7 support, and a price $19.95 per month. I recommend it for small and medium-size businesses.

FOR NEXCESS FOR MAGENTO HOSTING CLICK HERE 

3. WOOCOMMERCE WEB HOSTING 

AND 

4. ANY WORDPRESS THEME/SITE WEB HOSTING

If your store is made with WordPress –  I recommend three following options:

BLUEHOST is my favorite hosting EVER! – Simple to use, reliable and just trustworthy, with fast customer service. I use Bluehost for two of my online properties.

FOR $3.95 PER MONTH BLUEHOST WEB HOSTING CLICK HERE

WPEngine is elite WordPress WebHosting– if you want premier, top of the line webhost, then use WPEngine. It is no cheap, but it’s worse it because it’s super fast, never ever down and has a superior support – you can reach live person 24/7 literally in a matter of seconds. (This site you are at now (vkecom.com) is hosted with WPEngine – and I’m pleased with my choice).

SAVE 20% OFF YOUR FIRST PAYMENT WITH CODE WPE20OFF

HOSTGATOR is my next option for any WordPress site is. It is also very reliable but cheaper.

For HOSTGATOR WEB HOSTING CLICK HERE

So far we are talking about WordPress, let’s talk about your WordPress Blog Theme.

IV. BLOG THEMES FOR YOUR BUSINESS

Each eCommerce Platform offers build-in blog solution. However, I believe in keeping blog and your store on separate platforms and hostings, while being connected. I’m a big fan of separating all online properties, so I keep all my sites on different platforms, hostings, themes, and email providers. It is something I learned to do in my 15+ years of E-commerce career. There are multiple reasons for that, and this is the subject for a separate article.

There are two choices I would like to recommend

1. CONVERSION CATS WORDPRESS THEME

This site, https://vkecom.com is made on CONVERSION CATS.
Even if you are a complete newbie, you can create your blog in a few days – this theme has an unbelievable support (sometimes they answer in minutes, they provide comprehensive tutorials (both video and text), and literally walk you step by step holding your hand. I’ve seen dozens of WordPress themes, but this one is the easiest, the most comprehensive and so far my favorite one! I use it myself (together with WPEngine hosting) and I highly recommend it to others.

TO GET CONVERSIONCATS THEME FOR YOUR BLOG CLICK HERE 

2. MOJO MARKETPLACE

If you want to be appear more fashionable and creative, and have more choices – go to Mojo Marketplace – Themes – WordPress Themes and then pick a theme that is suitable for your store. I recommend choosing a Premium theme because I don’t believe in cheap web tools. YI don’t use them myself and don’t recommend it to others. Your blog is the online face of your brand, and it must look presentable and professional. 

TO FIND THEME AT MOJO MARKETPLACE CLICK HERE

V. GOOGLE ANALYTICS – YOUR STORE’S X-RAY

If your business does not bring ROI – RETURN ON INVESTMENT, it is not a business, but a hobby and Google Analytics is an essential tool to determine your business’ ROI

Google Analytics is a MUST HAVE FREE TOOL (you probably have to pay your developer to set it up). Even if your store has built-in analytics, you still need Google Analytics because without them you will fly blind and your business can’t afford it.

There are tons of articles on the topic why you need GA, but I’ll highlight a few key points.

1. See in REAL-Time who is visiting your site (which part of it, where people are coming from etc.)

2.  Determine from where your visitors came from in any timeframe, which devices they use, who referred them (another site, social media, advertisement campaign, etc.)

3. Understand what your customers buy, what is store’s conversion rate, how much each sale cost to YOU etc.

If you still don’t have Google Analytics, sign for them with your Gmail account (IT’S ABSOLUTELY FREE)  and start tracking your store performance ASAP!

SIGN FOR GOOGLE ANALYTICS HERE