The retail heavyweight fight between Amazon and Wal-Mart has been going on for more than a decade now.
Wal-Mart seemed to be the untouchable giant, but Amazon has been gaining ground as consumers change their spending habits and make more purchases online every year.
If you're a retail company that's been sitting back as a spectator, there's no need to pick sides. You can have the best of both worlds. An ecommerce storefront can be set up with ease and then you can start drumming up online sales in no time.
Affordable eCommerce Solutions
Unless you have a customized storefront in mind, you won't need to spend thousands on your website, or integrating ecommerce functionality. You have many turn-key options that will allow you to get set up quickly. Here's a list of some of the best alternatives out there:
- ResourceNation.com -- Not sure what you need? Choose from one of our hand-picked vendors allows you to find the one will be best for your budget and business. Get started with ecommerce, today!
- Magento.com -- This is a free open-source ecommerce solution -- the equivalent of WordPress, but for online stores. You can find premade store templates or you can have your own customized. Because of the popularity and large size of the community, you'll find many plugins, such as inventory management software and online catalogs, to improve your store.
- BigCommerce.com -- This is a paid ecommerce service that sets up your online store instantly. All you have to do is pick a store template, create a payment gateway, and upload your products.
- Wordpress Plugins -- Wordpress is the most popular website CMS because of its flexibility and ease of use. There are several shopping cart plugins that allow your site to function as an online store.
Using Amazon, TheFind.com, and eBay
You can utilize current storefront solutions, piggy-backing off the trust those brands already have.
- Amazon -- This is the most trusted online retail brand, which goes a long way with someone using their credit card online. You can list up to 40 items for free, but you have to pay $0.99 per sale + other selling fees. Search engines often show Amazon listings in the search results, so you'll benefit from the additional traffic.
- TheFind.com -- This is a product search engine that's gaining popularity. You simply list and verify your store with their search engine and your products can then be found by searching customers.
- eBay -- This may seem old-fashioned (as far as the Internet goes), but many people still use eBay to buy products. Do your research to see if your type of product sells well -- check current bids and competition. Seller feedback is key with eBay.
The best thing a retailer can do is to get their products in front of buyers when they're looking for them; timing is everything. This is where conversion rates can be extremely important. Google and Bing know this and capitalize on placing relevant product ads for relevant searches. This is a Pay-Per-Click model, so you'll want to get the best ROI by targeting specific products and optimizing your store for conversion.
Don't Get Left Behind
Whether it's a physical storefront, an online store, or Amazon -- these are all simply vehicles to connect with prospective buyers. Don't get left behind in the ecommerce space, it's too important and too easy to ignore. All the solutions I mentioned are either free or require minimal investment. Do your homework and figure out which approach will work best for you. Happy retailing!