Choosing the right e-commerce plan for your business

You want to reach more people, grow your business and your profits.

Online sales are growing at a huge rate. You feel like if you aren’t online then your business is missing out on a valuable opportunity, market share and money.

In this article I will show you how you can add the right type of online element to your business.

You could be a small business with a great idea. Or you could have a physical store but you need to compete with online retailers. Either way you need an easy to implement and use solution that will help you sell your goods and services online.
The problem is e-commerce is expensive to set up, difficult to run and time consuming. Right?

Not if you choose the right platform and e-commerce plan for your business.

E-commerce doesn’t have to be expensive. Nor does it have to
be a huge ‘time suck’ that takes hours of administration. You just need to choose the right method of getting your goods or service online.

You can get online and selling quickly and easily. No matter what type of business you have.

With the right type of e-commerce solution you can cut down on administration and work by connecting to the systems you already use.

Portrait of clothing store owner

In 2016, total retail sales across the globe will reach $22.049 trillion, up 6.0% from the previous year.

Like people, businesses are unique. What works for one business probably won’t work for your business. The trick is choosing the right type of e-commerce solution for your business. Different business types and plan require different solutions.

What type of business is yours?

Store with shippable products

If you already have a range of products but you need to access a bigger market or compete with online competitors then this store can be for you. This is the most common type of e-commerce store. Your products are online, people buy them and you ship them. Ideal for people with a physical, bricks and mortar store.

This type of store works well for:

  •  Food stores
  • Car parts stores
  • Computer / electronics
  • Consumer goods
portrait of the proud owner of a home improvement stores with tools in the background

Virtual products & downloadables

This store is similar to the store selling and shipping except you don’t ship your goods. You could be selling e-books, music or software. Think of the iTunes store. Someone makes a purchase and downloads an album or single track.

This type of store works well for:

  • Musicians
  • Authors
  • Artists

Appointments or Bookings

This store is a variation of a store that sells downloadable products. The product is virtual and doesn’t ship and is time based. A good match for this type of store is a booking site for a hotel or holiday home. Professionals and service companies that charge by the hour are a good match too.

This type of store works well for:

  • Holiday homes
  • Hotels
  • Hair salons
  • Beauty salons
  • Corporate training


This type of store suits ongoing services or regular goods deliveries. The product can be shippable or it could be a service that is performed. A pool valet company can charge monthly for pool cleaning services. Rubbish collection once a week. Or you can ship goods that are used on a regular basis such as socks, shaving blades or ready to cook meals.

This type of store works well for:

  • Lawn mowing
  • Pool cleaning
  • Shaving blades
  • Wine clubs
  • Stock photo sites
Man stood outside local shop

62% of smartphone users have made a purchase online using their mobile device in the last 6 months.

Membership sites

These types of websites are similar to subscription based stores but offer a little more. People might be a member to get special privileges, access knowledge or special deals. Membership sites can work with other types of e-commerce stores. The power
of membership sites is belonging. People have to feel like they below to something bigger than just a subscription service. They need to be able to connect.

This type of store works well for:

  • Business mentors
  • Exclusive clubs
  • Wine / dining clubs (again)
  • Car hire

Learning and Courses

Again this is a variant of subscriptions and memberships.
You can charge a recurring fee for access to learning materials and / or mentorship. Or the customer pays a one off fee to do a course on a particular subject.

This type of store works well for:

  • Business trainers
  • Personal trainers
  • Yoga instructors
  • Tutors
Adding e-commerce to your existing business

Business-to-business (B2B) online retailing has been significantly growing due to the accelerated migration of manufacturers and wholesalers from legacy systems to open, online platforms

Don’t just buy an off-the-shelf system that ropes you in to a big expensive contract. Consider your business model and choose a form of online selling that will compliment it.

Always research different online e-commerce solutions first. You might and what works well at the start might become restrictive when your online store grows.

WordPress together with WooCommerce is an ideal solution to almost all e-commerce needs.

It is cost effective to get started and best of all, very flexible.

WooCommerce is currently powering roughly 30% of all online stores.

How much money are you leaving on the table?
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