In the "gig economy" many of us are leaning towards creating multiple streams of revenue. Whether you are a "brick and mortar" store that wants to expand your sales online, a working or stay-at-home parent with a talent for creating physical or digital products that you want to sell, or a hobbyist who just wants to put your products online, we can help you create a customized, beautiful, functional, scale-able eCommerce store that will grow with you and achieve your sales needs now and into the future.
Where Do You Begin?
Ugh! We've been there. The process of selling online seems like a never-ending nightmare of false starts and stops. Should you sell on Amazon or Etsy? Should you create a Shopify store? Perhaps Wix or Squarespace? WordPress and WooCommerce? Pretty soon all of these questions start to outweigh the joy that made you want to open an online storefront in the first place!
Let Us Help You!
We've been doing this for what seems like forever. We've sold and helped sell everything from downloadable music and video to clothing, concert tickets and reservations. There are a lot of moving parts to selling anything online and going it alone can be a spiderweb of missteps, each one costing more than the next. This isn't our first rodeo and we're here to help you through it.
What To Avoid
We've been called snobs in the past when it comes to our preferences in content management systems and we're proud of that distinction. The truth is, we've used them all and the winner by far on all fronts is usually WordPress. This list is by no means a slight to anyone already using any of these services or currently undertaking one of these activities. We've either been down these rabbit holes or know someone who has. All we have to say here is "buyer beware".
While it is a fantastic selling platform, Shopify is filled with hidden expenses, Shopify is a marketer's nightmare with poor SEO and Social Media capabilities unless you pay out the nose monthly for special integrations. We think it should be called "Stopify".
Just because your friend has a camera doesn't mean they are a professional product photographer. Either spend the money on an experienced photographer or spend the money on the camera and take some classes. We're not joking.
If a company contacts you via a contact form claiming they can give you the world, chances are they can't; and they are going to rip you off. They'll sell you vampiric SEO, useless leads... you name it. Stick with someone you trust. We hope that's us!
Also filled with hidden expenses, many of Wix's themes aren't mobile friendly and some even still use "Flash", which hasn't been accepted by major browsers for years. Wix is a rabbit hole of proprietary code that can't keep up with W3C standards.
We've seen worse, but all-in-all you'll be left wanting for more when it's time to scale up to be more than an amateur website. Like Wix, it's filled with hidden expenses to do basic things on the platform. That's good money that could be spent on proper professional development.
Yes, there are rabbit holes in WordPress too! Many specialized themes can leave you wanting for more while giving you a load of things you don't and will never need. We specialize in Divi for WordPress, a multi-use framework that can be molded to fit your needs without bogging you down.
Our Favorite Platforms
Now that we've scared you with Reverend "Doom and Gloom's" list of warnings, we'd like to share with you some WONDERFUL ways to sell your products online. Just like anything in life worth doing, there is some effort involved in these platforms (some more than others), but if you do your homework and follow the multitude of free resources available, the results are worth it. As always, we're happy to set any of these up for you because, that's kind of what we do...
Our favorite of favorites is WooCommerce, the most popular eCommerce plugin for WordPress. It doesn't matter what you are trying to sell, this platform can handle it. It integrates with nearly every type of payment processor on the market and can even sync up with your Amazon, Etsy, or your current POS system! Why do we love WooCommerce? SEO, Social Media Marketing, full control, unlimited resources, and almost endless customization possibilities.
Technically, Forminator is not meant to be an eCommerce platform, but the truth is, it can be used as one with its Stripe and PayPal integrations. We've used a ton of these form-builder plugins but this one comes with all the bells and whistles in one package (almost, recurring subscription payments require a free add-on). But for the lean and mean eCommerce website, this is a great way to get sales out there and the integrations are amazing. Automated Google Sheets anyone? Yes Please!
Do you have a nonprofit organization and are looking for a great platform to accept donations that also has built in reporting and can be customized to the teeth? GiveWP is one of our favorites for this kind of thing. We've used it with clients since 2020 and it never ceases to amaze us. Whenever our client asks for a function, we are either pleasantly surprised to see that it already exists or the good people at GiveWP have provided the function in a short amount of time. It's super and it's duper!
Do you run a live performance venue, music festival, heck... any kind of venue? VenuePilot, the brainchild of entrepreneur, Justin Kantor, is hands down our favorite ticketing and venue management system. It's kind of ridiculous how good this system is, actually. From event management to ticketing, budgeting, check-in, website display, WP integration... to who knows what they'll add, this platform is the winner on all fronts for live performance venues.
If you or someone in your family hand-makes the items you are trying to sell, then Etsy is a perfect fit! You don't have to make the items from scratch either. If you purchase a product and modify it by hand then you qualify to sell on Etsy. The community here is great, the fees are nominal and the SEO capabilities are wonderful. We consider Etsy to be a great way to train yourself to be an SEO without even knowing it.
We know, if you own a brick and mortar store, Amazon probably seems like your worst enemy. But did you know that you can list items in your brick and mortar store on Amazon and sell direct to your customers? You'd be surprised at how well this can work for you. If you are a small enough seller, you won't even need to have barcodes and the fees to sell with Amazon are pretty reasonable. As an individual who only sells online, the ease of the system makes selling on Amazon a no-brainer.