SO i had a question from a client and i decided to make the answer into my latest post check it out:
“Marc can you send us your top two or three retail store suggestions you recommend we move too? Be it yahoo, google. etc.”
be prepared this is a long answer … lol, but a well thought out one as i feel yall deserved some education on the topic
In working with eCommerce and analyzing different types of eCommerce software and services, there are some different things to take into account when choosing a service or software.
Services like Yahoo! Stores, Google Ecommerce and Paypal are all great starting points to test out the waters and get a feel for your market. These services have some nice features and definitely get a person or company comfortable with selling online. The services offer some great tracking and reports making order management fairly simple. They typically charge a per month fee to utilize their software AND transaction based fees for every transaction, some service based models slightly differ but are mostly that.
One of the biggest disadvantages of service based solutions is that the visitor leaves your current website to complete the transaction, This is more often than not a result of loss in sales. If the user has to gain a “paypal account” or a “google ecommerce account” in order to complete your purchase they may not complete the purchase at all and abandon the cart. If the process is seamless, the user stays on your site, is shown it is a secure transaction and they can use the payment method of their choice they are 50% more likely to complete the purchase than if you as the merchant use a specific payment method that they may not have or want to engage in such as google or paypal.
Though services like this are a great starting point as they(yahoo, paypal, google, etc) make it quite easy to integrate out of the box, they are highly limited in what you can do with them and way more costly in the long run. They are also only customizable to a point as far as look, feel and functionality. Sure, You can change some color schemes and graphics, have logo control and change some various styling points, but when it comes to standing out and really catching the eye of your audience, the tools that are offered are extremely limited.
The easiest analogy is service vs software based solutions. The difference here is much like the difference between renting a home and owning one. You can paint the walls but you cant remove walls, knock down the bathroom and put a gameroom there like you could if you owned the place.
With software based solutions you pay a developer a fee to setup the software and run it on your site and then you ONLY pay the per transaction fees on going (and website hosting of course). Thats it, you own it run, it and it can be modified at any time to do any number of different things. We have developed countless stores like this over the years, heres a few from recently:
Not only can the look and feel be changed and modified as needed but the entire store software can be customized to fit YOUR Brands’ needs. Out of the box typical features include things like: specific sales reports, customer statistics and inventory can be tracked, promotional codes (i.e. “enter FB20 on your next purchase and receive 20% off your purchase!”). All these can easily be created by you the owner with ease and literally a ton more , I could go on and on.
The ability to add on new features and tools can be developed and custom built for any variety of reasons that the store owner sees fit from affiliate sales integration to custom shipping tools automation that automatically print out FEDEX and or UPS labels once the order is made to specifc offering suggestions during checkout based on their cart selections(i.e. “i see you purchased a tales 2012 ticket, did you consider a program, t-shirt or spirited dinner”).
All of these types of features are well within your reach using a software based system and are not at all an option when using 3prd party service based systems.
to wrap up and answer the question … “do i recommend yahoo, google or paypal stores”
No. I recommend you OWN your store solution, build onto your website (or create a new one)and keep the revenue stream in house instead of paying a landlord!
I hope this helps in making your decision ! let me know if i can answer any questions!