The Frustration of Creating an Online Store: Why Most E-Commerce Solutions Fall Short

By mark. Published April 8, 2023  

One of the biggest challenges is the lack of comprehensive features in most e-commerce solutions. As a small business owner, I want an all-in-one solution that provides me with everything I need to run my online store efficiently. However, most e-commerce platforms only provide a basic catalog to be able to sell online, which means I would need to use a combination of plugins and services to fully operate my online store.

For example, to process payments, I would need to integrate a payment gateway. While some e-commerce platforms do offer built-in payment options, they often charge extra fees and may not support all payment methods. This means I would need to integrate with a third-party payment gateway, which would add an extra layer of complexity to my store.

Similarly, if I want to offer shipping to my customers, I would need to integrate with a shipping provider. Again, some e-commerce platforms do offer built-in shipping options, but these may not be suitable for my needs. For example, if I sell heavy or bulky items, I may need to use a specialized shipping provider that can handle these items. This means I would need to integrate with a third-party shipping provider, which would add an extra layer of complexity to my store.

Another frustration is the lack of flexibility when it comes to designing my online store. While some e-commerce platforms do offer a variety of pre-designed themes and templates, these may not be suitable for my brand or products. This means I would need to hire a web designer or developer to create a custom theme for my store, which would add an extra cost.

Furthermore, many e-commerce platforms charge extra for features that are essential for running an online store. For example, some platforms charge extra for abandoned cart recovery, which is a feature that sends automated emails to customers who have left items in their cart but haven't completed their purchase. This is an essential feature for reducing cart abandonment and increasing sales, but it shouldn't be an extra cost.

The complexity and cost of setting up an online store can be overwhelming for small business owners, especially those who are just starting out. However, there are some ways to simplify the process and reduce costs.

Firstly, it's important to research e-commerce platforms thoroughly before choosing one. Look for a platform that offers comprehensive features, including built-in payment and shipping options, abandoned cart recovery, and a variety of customization options. This will help to reduce the need for extra plugins and services.

Secondly, consider the total cost of ownership when choosing an e-commerce platform. This includes not only the cost of the platform itself but also any extra plugins or services that you will need to fully operate your online store. Look for platforms that offer transparent pricing, so you know exactly what you will be paying.

Thirdly, look for platforms that offer integrations with third-party services, such as payment gateways and shipping providers. This will allow you to manage these services from a single platform, rather than having to manage them separately. It will also help to reduce the complexity of your online store.

Fourthly, if you need a custom theme for your online store, consider hiring a web designer or developer to create one for you. While this may add an extra cost, it will ensure that your store stands out and reflects your brand.

Finally, consider using open-source e-commerce platforms, such as WooCommerce and Magento. These platforms are free to use and offer a wide range of features and customization options. However, they may require more technical expertise to set up and maintain.

In conclusion, the frustration that small business owners face when trying to create an online store is understandable. The lack of comprehensive features in most e-commerce solutions means that extra plugins and services are often required.

About mark

Mark Lowe is a seasoned e-commerce and digital marketing leader with over 20 years of experience driving business growth through innovative customer relationship management strategies. Mark's experience spans leadership roles at Strategic Advantage, Capgemini, and Unisys Corp., where he spearheaded successful e-commerce initiatives, technology architecture, IT management consulting and championed the use of data-driven tactics to cultivate customer loyalty.

Mark holds a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in Computer Science from Wolverhampton University. He is a recognized thought leader in the e-commerce space, having spoken at industry conferences and sharing his expertise through published articles. Mark has also made multiple television appearances as an expert in online security.

Mark Lowe is currently an executive and active consultant with Strategic Advantage, a firm specializing in e-commerce strategy and digital marketing solutions.

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