Design Learn To Choose Ecommerce Platforms For Your Online Print Business In 2022

Learn To Choose Ecommerce Platforms For Your Online Print Business In 2022

Por Design Culture

It is not surprising to say that your online printing business cannot thrive unless it is built on a solid foundation that can stay up-to-date with the changing technological advancements and increasing consumer demands — along with keeping data breaches at bay. An excellent eCommerce platform offers features that improve user experience, boost conversion rates, and constantly generate sales. There are several functionalities, such as easy order processing, customer service, data security, and a robust store infrastructure you would require on your digital print store. The platform must also offer integrations to help your web to print eCommerce website grow.

There are so many options available in the market that deciding the right one for your needs becomes tough. In this short guide, we will highlight the crucial things you must look for when picking the right platform for your business and the best ones available in the market.

Let us begin:

I. What to look for when choosing the platform?

1. Price

Ecommerce building platforms offer a variety of features at varying prices. You may pick one with a low flat rate or those having a transaction-based fee structure. Pricing of these platforms usually comprises a base rate, cost per transaction, and subscription charges for different apps to optimize your website. The overall cost of your web-to-print storefront could end up being much higher than if you build it with another platform.

The prices of different features would also vary among competitors. It would be best to consider the platform basis, the features you actually need, and the best price for them.

2. Themes

The design of your eCommerce store plays a vital role in delivering a good customer experience. Ecommerce platforms offer a variety of themes to choose from. You can pick from premium and paid themes to make your printing business website stand out. Some platforms offer free themes and customization options as well. You must consider the best-suited theme for your requirement and the time required in customizing each web page. Please avoid using the most common themes as they would remind your customers of other brands. Choose a design that is unique to what your printing business specializes in.

3. Features

Ecommerce platforms empower online retailers with the tools to run their businesses. Some will offer additional features such as marketing and customer support, while other functions can be substituted by apps depending on what you are looking for in your eCommerce platform. Regardless of which option best suits your needs, having familiarity with both built-in and third-party app integrations is crucial because they allow consistency between teams. Therefore, it is best to opt for a platform that allows more flexibility and customization of features as you grow your printing business online.

4. Payment options

Having a variety of payment methods on your printing eCommerce website is a great way to attract and retain more customers. Some platforms include payment services integration for digital wallets such as PayPal, Amazon Pay, Apple Pay, and Google Pay. Providing secure payment options improves your conversion rate and also builds customer trust in your brand. Integrating better payment options and addressing security concerns also allows you to sell across borders. By providing easier payment methods, you can also enjoy the benefits associated with facilitating impulse purchases for your customers and reducing cart abandonment rates.  Research shows you can lose 44% of customers if their preferred payment method is not available. You do not want to do that to your printing business, especially when starting out.

5. Technical support

As you set up your eCommerce store, you need sufficient technical support from your selected platform. Different platforms offer varying types of customer support, ranging from 24/7 support services to self-service options. Depending upon your technical capabilities, you can pick the right one. Some platforms may offer regular maintenance on a subscription basis, while others may provide technical assistance from experts at an additional cost. It would be best to focus on minimizing the downtime when investing in support services for your online print storefront because it will directly impact your bottom line.

6. Security

As an eCommerce business owner, you want to ensure that your web-to-print eCommerce website is protected from hacks and data theft. After all — you would be asking for sensitive financial information from your customers at the time of purchase. Make it a priority, therefore, when selecting the eCommerce platform builder. Pick one that offers all security features such as PCI compliance with SSL certificate encryption as well as a fraud prevention cover. It is essential as your customers trust you with their sensitive information, such as their credit card numbers and others. To comply with the legal responsibilities of your print business and build customer trust towards your company, you must safeguard their personal information. 

II. SaaS vs. Hosted: What to choose?

  • The upfront cost of ownership of a hosted platform is higher compared to a subscription-based SaaS platform. The maintenance and upgrade charges must be borne by you separately if opting for a hosted platform.
  • Standard SaaS eCommerce platforms are Level 1 PCI DSS-compliant, whereas the responsibility of ensuring the security of hosted software is yours. The initial setup, upgrades,s and ongoing maintenance to ensure security compliance is expensive.
  • SaaS platforms are developed to grow with your eCommerce business, whereas you must invest heavily in a robust infrastructure to make a hosted platform scalable.
  • Self-hosted eCommerce platforms are usually open-source that offer you complete write access to the server, however, SaaS platforms allow for only frontend customization and limit you by providing read-only access.
  • SaaS eCommerce platforms are monthly subscription-based, while you must buy a license for your hosted eCommerce platform and pay a monthly hosting fee as well. You must also pay for updates, patches, and third-party hosting services for a hosted platform, while these are covered in your subscription fee for SaaS platforms.

III. Top eCommerce platforms to choose from for your printing business

1. Shopify

It is, without a doubt, one of the most well-known eCommerce platforms across the globe. Shopify is a powerful eCommerce platform that can help you take your business from idea to profit. The intuitive interface and flexible URL structures make the platform easy to navigate. A customizable backend and frontend allow you to put together a favorable product customizer on Shopify. You can drag-and-drop elements to quickly build your Shopify store with intuitive menus and well-designed product pages. The main drawback of Shopify is its rigid URL structures that are not good for SEO and site structure, which eventually adversely impact the search rankings on Google.

2. Squarespace

It is the leading website builder for entrepreneurs who want to create their online print store but have limited technical knowledge. They provide all the tools you would need to kickstart your web-to-print storefront. The pricing is a bit higher, but it includes hosting and a lot of eCommerce features with dedicated themes. You need to drag-and-drop elements to get your digital store in place.  Their main drawback is they currently offer support for only limited payment channels such as Stripe and Paypal. Their different pricing packages also give restricted access to their features.

3. WooCommerce

It is one of the most popular eCommerce plugins for WordPress. It powers over 50% of all online stores, and its popularity can be mainly attributed to being completely free while offering a wide range of features out-of-the box for its WooCommerce product customizer. The intuitive interface makes it an attractive choice even if you are new to using website building software. The customer support, however, is challenging as it is an open-source plugin.

4. Weebly

It is an easy-to-use and competitively-priced website builder that allows you to assemble a store quickly. It offers you plenty of customizable templates that will enable you to drag-and-drop elements with ease. Their designs are responsive, and the platform also provides features like marketing campaigns, shipping calculators, and customer support.

5. Wix

It is an excellent option for smaller business owners because it has an easy drag-and-drop site builder. The platform has been around since 2006 and has helped small businesses scale. Though the platform lacks features, such as an automatic tax calculator and reminder emails for low stocks, it is easy to use for those with insufficient technical knowledge.

6. BigCommerce

It comes with the most significant number of built-in features among eCommerce building platforms. Even users with little technical knowledge can quickly put together a BigCommerce product configurator with their easy-to-use drag and drop store builder.

BigCommerce is an excellent option for building stores of any size as its templates come with a wide range of customizable features. Its standard suite includes multi-channel selling capabilities, SSL certificates, inventory tracking, and other features to help you grow your business efficiently. 

7. Magento

It is one of the oldest and most trusted eCommerce platforms out there. It offers advanced features to set up a robust Magento product designer that provides a great user experience. But the platform is not easy to use for those with limited technical knowledge.

If you are experienced in building websites and have strong technical knowledge, you can use the wide range of integrations and great blog features it offers at affordable prices. The templates, however, are not as extensive as other platforms.

8. Volusion

It has a drag and drop builder like all other eCommerce builders; however, it lacks free themes. Though an expensive option for new businesses, Volusion is popular for the intuitive dashboard and built-in multi-channel selling capabilities it offers.

The platform also does not offer SEO and blogging features, which can be a massive limitation for printing businesses looking to amplify through their content marketing initiatives.

Over to you

As a business owner, you can decide which platform will work best for your eCommerce company, depending on its goals. You must look closely at the features and pricing of each platform to pick the best one for your digital store.

Most platforms can be tailored to meet your unique products and regions where you want to sell them. So, what are you waiting for? Pick one and set up your printing store today! Drive higher sales and generate more revenues. All the best!

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