In today’s competitive global market, ecommerce is fast becoming a vital element in the future growth of business-to-consumer (B2C) companies. With an estimated 20.1% increase in B2C sales, the total global ecommerce sales will reach $1.5 trillion (U.S.) in 2014.
A large part of this expansion is in the Asian-Pacific region where ecommerce sales are expected to overtake North American sales for the first time in 2014. With a $525.2 billion slice of the global ecommerce sales, the Asian-Pacific market is a clear opportunity for Australian businesses.
The benefits of an ecommerce site
An ecommerce site enables a business to expand into the global marketplace at minimal cost, provides access to customers not limited by geographic location and is easy to setup and manage. However, the question remains: should you opt for a generic off-the-shelf ecommerce site by a hosted service such as Shopify or Big Cartel; or invest in a customised online store that you own and manage?
The benefits of a bespoke ecommerce site
There are many benefits to developing your own online store with an experienced web developer, as opposed to using a generic template from a hosted ecommerce service, including:
- A web developer can customise your ecommerce site so that it is unique and stands out from the competition.
- The design of your site is limited only by your imagination – the selection of generic templates is limited and can result in a design that does not reflect your company’s philosophy.
- A web developer can create customised features specifically for your business that are not available with generic templates.
- Many features that exist in generic templates, such as a blog page, have limited functionality – a web developer can design the functionality of your ecommerce site to exactly match your needs.
- A generic ecommerce site involves ongoing fees for the life of the site – as opposed to a one-off fee with a web development company.
- Hosting support staff deal with hundreds of customers daily, but lack a deep understanding of your business. Compare this to your web developer who will have an intimate knowledge of your website and your business goals, and can fix any problems quickly.
- If you don’t like some of the features on a generic template you can’t simply change them, whereas a bespoke ecommerce site is created specifically to fit within your design parameters.
- Generic templates only have limited shipping and payment options, and extra fees are often payable to upgrade, whereas your customised site will have full functionality included in the costs.
- If you want face-to-face training or support, that is very unlikely to be available with a hosted ecommerce service, whereas your web development company will fully support and train you – usually face to face.
- If you decide to use a different platform in the future, it is easy to transport a customised ecommerce site – but very difficult to do this with from a hosted ecommerce service.
- With a hosted service you may not even own the website. With a bespoke ecommerce site designed by an experienced developer, you own the right outright.
For more information on a customised ecommerce site for your business, please phone (07) 3333 2932 or request a free quote now.