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Let’s recap what we’ve covered about starting a website for your Silhouette Cameo business. First, we went over basic web lingo, then I cautioned you about using a WYSIWYG website builder to start your website. Today, let’s talk about ecommerce platforms.
I think using an ecommerce platform is a good option for starting a website for your Silhouette Cameo business. There are several ecommerce platforms available including 3D Cart, Big Commerce, Big Cartel, Indie Made, Made Freshly, Shopify, Squarespace, Store Envy, Ultra Cart, Volusion, plus a few more. All of these sites are considered hosted solutions. This means that your website hosting is included – and you’ll only need to pay your monthly fee to the ecommerce platform. The monthly fees vary greatly from free to a portion of your sales to a few hundred dollars per month, plus payment processing fees. Like the fees, the features will also vary greatly from one platform to another. So what should you look for in an ecommerce platform?
Things to look for in an ecommerce platform for your Silhouette Cameo business website:
- Cost per month of the platform, be sure to ask about any additional fees.
- The features that they offer; compared to what you want your website to do.
- What forms of payments you can accept. Are you limited to only Paypal or Stripe?
- The support available if you have a problem – do they offer phone support, live chat, or email only support?
- The number of products you can have. Some ecommerce platforms limit the number of items you can sell, while others have unlimited products.
- The templates they offer. While some ecommerce platforms have a lot of templates you can use with your store, others have a limited amount. If you don’t want to use a template they provide, how much will it cost you to hire a designer?
- Reviews from current customers.
I’ve mentioned Shopify before on Cutting for Business, mainly because it is one of the leading ecommerce platforms, with the most amount of features, for a reasonable price per month. I have worked inside Shopify before and the design of the store admin area is user friendly – and there is plenty of help available if you get stuck along the way. I am confident in recommending Shopify as a way for a beginner to start a webstore for their Silhouette Cameo business if they are looking to get it set up quickly. Plus, Shopify has some awesome features like the ability to build a store that displays on your Facebook page (read the post here or see my demo store here) and the ability to offer Buyable Pins on Pinterest (see information on that here).
The last solution to starting your own website is called a self-hosted solution. This requires setting up a website and installing a store. While a little more time intensive at the beginning, I ultimately think it is the best way to go – and the most cost effective because you eliminate the monthly ecommerce platform fees. To not overload everyone with too much information today, I’ll be covering a popular and beginner-friendly solution tomorrow on the blog.
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