Continuing on our journey to set up shop, we will take a look at how to build a platform for your ecommerce activity. Setting up your own store is not that difficult, with several service providers in the market who will take care of the technical nitty-gritty’s. You can create your own online store without much sweat.
Let us review some of the service providers who specialise in building platforms.
Nationkart uses the cloud to put its customers online. It promises to build you an interactive and user friendly store, which can be adapted to any vendor. Nationkart also has an international shipping facility for a fee. It goes without saying that it also offers an android version for mobile.
Despite its questionable grammar (sprinkled liberally across every section), its portfolio appears to be fairly decent. However, the fact that it has not been able to find a decent professional to take care of its content is a sign of sloppiness. A good editor could also pitch in to clean up the extra commas and spaces. That is a problem only if you think it is.
It has a fairly straightforward pricing plan for clients with different sized money bags. Starting at Rs. 700 a month for start-ups, it goes on till Rs. 95,000 a month for corporate clients. You can pick a suitable plan based on your requirements and budget.
GoDaddy creates domains, builds websites, hosts sites on web and on WordPress, provides SSL, offers online marketing, and provides email Ids. This popular US-based service provider offers domain names from Rs. 99 to Rs. 679.
It creates websites under three heads – personal (Rs. 99), business (Rs. 379), and business plus (Rs. 549). It also offers India-specific customisable designs. The company has the reputation of being the most wallet-friendly service provider in town.
GoDaddy boasts of a 24/7 support team that you can reach out to at any point. However, users are not so sure about the usefulness of the support team.
According to Zi Yang Lai, a photographer who functions at zylai.com, “Support is the one thing that GoDaddy is not good at. They representatives do not seem to know much about web hosting. As a newbie, I learned most, if not all, about hosting, WP, SQL databases, etc. from Google or YouTube.”
“GoDaddy.com support is atrocious,” says Alberto Martinez of Rap Talk, a music website, “GoDaddy boasts world class support. But these tech support agents only seem to want to get you off the phone and not help you with any real problems.”
However, there are users who are happy with GoDaddy too, like Stella Snow of Geekly.com, a site for ‘geeks’.
She says, “Godaddy is amazing with the quality features it provides against such a low cost. I have been working with godaddy since last 3 years and I have had no problems with it! I have over 10 sites hosted by godaddy and even the domains at godaddy are so cheap!”
Off-topic, they also sell GoDaddy merchandise at their store.
Store Hippo offers to build its customers ecommerce platforms that are fast, on the cloud, mobile ready and extremely flexible to enable customization.
According to data available on the site, Store Hippo claims to provide the most popular technology among its competitors.
Image courtesy Storehippo.com
Sachin Choudhary of Medical Second Opinions (that has noted cardiologist Dr. Devi Shetty on its panel of doctors) says, “I highly recommend StoreHippo as a platform for E-Commerce and Web Development. What is noticeable is that their platform is very flexible to incorporate all the custom requirements that I had. Kudos to StoreHippo.”
Lakshmi Subramanian, founder of 64arts, an art studio, says, “It has been an excellent experience working with the Store Hippo team. They have helped me create my art store exactly to my requirements. They are easily accessible and took great interest in creating the store.”
Shopify is one of the most popular store builder. It is an international group. With a clean website that lists out different sections in a simple manner, Shopify believes in the term ‘less is more’. Its website is uncluttered, and simple text with enough spacing evenly distributed, conveys a sense of what you can expect from it as a service provider.
Shopify offers to build your store, help you manage orders, provides unlimited bandwidth, gives you the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) edge, and supports more than seventy odd international payment gateways.
Tina Roth Eisenberg, founder of tattoo studio Tattly, says, “I am seriously happy about running our store on Shopify. Powerful features and easy to set up, running an online store shouldn’t be this much fun!”
Magento provides omnichannel solutions to its clients to enable them to sell online as well as offline. The US-based company has not mentioned the rates online unlike the others, but Aditya Kumar, Product Marketer at Practo opines on Quora that Magento’s charges might be on the higher side. You can read up on some of their services here.
Brad Kuhns, Senior Manager of US-based global animal health company Zoetis says, “Being a B2B business, yet presenting a B2C experience for our customers was very important, and Magento allowed us to do that.”
Stella Ma, co-founder of Little Passports, children’s media company expresses her thoughts about Magento, “Magento gave us something pre-built, yet highly-customizable, flexible and scalable. We would not have been able to grow at the rate we have if we had stayed on the ProStores platform.”
So there you are! We have named some of the probable service providers who can help you in your journey to setting up your very own online store. As you can see, you don’t need any technical or designing knowledge; most of them make it very simple for you. Take your pick, and get set go!