It is always difficult making a decision on what website to sell your products on. As there are so many different platforms to choose from, it is confusing to know what platform works best for you and your business. Today I'll talk about the most commonly used website platforms and who they are best suited to.
First up is Etsy!
Etsy is great for businesses who already have a large customer base and a significant following on social media.
I'm not sure about you, but I generally see most handmade craft starters select Etsy to sell their items on. It is easy to setup, simple to add a listing and you don't have to spend long working on your shopfront. Sounds pretty great, doesn't it? Did you know that Etsy is one of the world's largest handmade platforms with over 1.6 million people selling on it? Not only that, there are over 35 million products listed on Etsy right now, 35 MILLION! So can you imagine how hard it is for someone to see a couple of your product listings within those 35 million products and then make a purchase? It is a pretty small statistic!
To make sales on Etsy, you need almost all potential customers to be referrers from your social media. Then, once you build those sales up from social media referrers, your product listings will begin to display higher in pages and go up in ranks, until you are receiving sales from people who haven't been referrers from social media.
Each product listing on Etsy costs you $0.20 and they expire after every 4 months. If the product sells out and you want to increase the quantity, you have to pay another $0.20. Etsy also charges a 3.5% transaction fee on the sale price (excluding postage).
So it sounds like in some parts that I am being a negative nancy about Etsy, I promise you I am not. It is a wonderful and very user-friendly platform but can be a little difficult for new businesses wanting sales. If you have enough interest from potential customers, then I would recommend you open an Etsy store.
Next up, Bigcartel!
Bigcartel is great for users who need to be cost efficient, don't have a ginormous selection of products and are not too computer savvy. Bigcartel is one step up from Etsy because you have to set the website up yourself! Design the home page, product listings, themes... You have a little more freedom. It is very simple to sign up (like all web sites these days!), and you have choices of different plans to sign up and pay for.
One part of Bigcartel that I'm not too keen on is that you have to upgrade your account if you want to list over 5 products, 25 products, 100 products or up to 300 products. So having to worry about that as well as being on top of your business can be a little inconvenient. But, the highest plan fee you pay for Bigcartel is not even meeting the lowest price of Shopify's plan price. So again, Bigcartel is great if you do not want to spend a large sum of money on a website, only want to design a few pages and do not have a truckload of products to list!
Let's move onto Shopify...
Okay, Shopify is moving up the difficulty ladder. It takes a while to really understand what is happening behind the scenes in admin when you are setting up. When you add a page and information within it, it doesn't magically appear on your website. Instead, you have to go to the navigation menu and manually enter the page into where you want it (header, footer menu, collections menu, etc.). Or when you add a product, it won't show up until it is in a collection and the collection menu is added into navigation... Sounds really confusing, doesn't it? But it's okay! Shopify has a 24/7 hour support messaging system which is a LIFESAVER. It isn't an email exchange that takes forever to reply to, you are literally texting a support member on your computer and they know the answers to all of your questions and how to do/fix/change things.
Due to the involved software, Shopify charges a little more. The cheapest plan is about $35 AUD per month. You can also pay for a 1, 2 or 3-year plan and get a discounted price.
In my opinion, Shopify is the BEST! The makers of this program have thought of everything business owners want and have just executed it perfectly. I personally could not recommend it more.
If you need help, I offer an exclusive onboarding service to help you navigate through Shopify. I can help set it up for you, list your products, even write product descriptions for you! If you are interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out further information.
I hope this post helps you decide what website to put your products on, or maybe what website to upgrade to.
Have a fabulous week.