The widespread use of internet and the modern day advancement in the same has caught the eye of every entrepreneur. The ways of doing online business are enormous. From selling goods online as Flipkart and Amazon, selling entertainment online like Netflix to online advertisement companies like TVF, almost every sector of business has shifted to the cyber world now.
While an online business has its own perks, it is no less of a challenge to start one. As the heading of the article goes, let me focus on one of the challenges we face while starting an e-commerce business.
In the mid 2016, I was facing the same challenge while trying to create an e-commerce site for a close friend of mine, who at that time was highly enthusiastic about the e-commerce things. The concept was Kesar Kottage, an online portal for the Saffron growers of Kashmir valley. Fortunately I was successful in developing the site and up to now Kesar Kottage is doing well and is reaching to the customers and farmers likely and exponentially. The things I learned while doing all this is what i am sharing here.
If you are new to e-commerce world and have no dearth of capital, you can instantly create an e-commerce site for you with just few clicks on the sites like shopify and wix. Shopify is a platform dedicated for creating such sites and has various pricing plans to meet your e-commerce needs. The basic plan on the site may cost you around 2000 INR/month and comes with a lot of features but shortcomings too. To get a full featured e-commerce site there are other plans available but will cost you more. Now concerning Wix, the pricing plans are relatively cheaper than the Shopify. The basic plan may cost you around 500 INR/month (paid yearly). The low price on wix comes at the cost of features like data storage. On Shopify you can store as much as data as you want but on Wix the storage limit is 20GB only on basic plan.
Now if you are a person like me, who wants to create an e-commerce site with all the possible features but simultaneously is not able/willing to invest a lot of money into it, then the answer to all of your questions is WooCommerce. WooCommerce is an open source and free WordPress plugin. To make use of the plugin, you need a WordPress site first. The steps of creating one are given below:
- The first step is to get a hosting space for you. You can get the one with unlimited storage and bandwidth on the sites like HostGator or BlueHost. The average cost on a single domain with unlimited storage and bandwidth may by around 3000 INR/year.
- The next step is to install WordPress on the server space you have recently bought. This step is fairly easy and free. Almost every hosting company offers WordPress installation.
- The next step is to install WooCommerce plugin in the wordpress. This step is also fairly simple and free and a matter of few clicks
Now you are ready to go, you have created an e-commerce site with the cost of few thousand bucks/year. The another good news is that you do not need to be a programming geek in doing all this. The advantage of using WordPress is that there are thousands of free plugins that can enhance your site like any other. But if you know the basics of HTML and CSS, you can customize your site as per your choice as I did in the case of Kesar Kottage.
There is one more thing you need to remember. Whither Shopify or WooCommerce you need to register your domain first. You can get one registered on the sites like GoDaddy or NameCheap. What to choose, the choice is yours.