The New York Times reports that the mighty Wal-Mart empire is cutting back on creating quite so many brick-and-mortar stores, and concentrating a bit more on their e-commerce platform. While your business may not be quite as monolithic as Wal-Mart, you too can have your own e-commerce platform to market your products.
One nice thing about online business is that the whole quantity vs quality controversy is no longer a concern. You CAN have a great quality DIY e-commerce platform and not worry about how many, if any, brick-and-mortar locations you have. A good e-commerce site can increase your product sales when it’s done right – and who knows how to handle your product better than you? If you are a strictly hands-on business person, a DIY website could be a good match for your business plan. Also, take into account your budget. Some of these DIY builders offer basic free plans while others charge you from the get-go.
Here are some of the best DIY website builders for you to consider for your business. A note of caution: Before tying yourself to just one platform make sure you consider at least several of these site builders to find the one that best suits your business needs. A false start is always a morale killer.
Web.com is considered one of the best basic website builders for beginners. It offers a limited program that is free, and upgrades are inexpensive. Madelaine Whitmore is a patient account rep at Virginia Cancer Specialists. She affirms, “I used to be afraid to attempt creating websites for work – but with all these recent DIY Web-building sites, I can get one up and running at work in a matter of hours. Very helpful for our business!”
It takes only three steps to create a professional website with Wix.com. If you’ve been putting off setting up your own business website because you thought it was too complicated, or because you didn’t think website-building is something you needed in your wheel house, think again. Businesses without a professional-looking e-commerce site are left in the dust, and often it’s up to employees or business owners without website-building experience to create it. MBA students at schools like the University of Scranton are encouraged to learn from the get-go how to use sites like Wix.com to build websites and they find the experience of administering their own landing pages very important when they begin their own business career.
WebsiteToolTester.com gives Weebly 5.5 out of six stars in a recent review. They say the interface is well-organized so you can see at a glance what it has to offer. Text, graphics, and forms are added by drag and drop. The basic package is free, but they do include a small ad in your website’s footer.
The Better Business Bureau gives BuildYourSite.com an A+, based on positive reviews and one resolved complaint. This is not a freebie; basic is $9.95 a month. You do get a free domain name and they’ll also help you create a professional logo for free.
Mark Barger is the owner of Visual Pro Detailing, and he’s found WebHostingHub a good fit for his landing page ideas. “I needed crisp and compelling visuals,” he says. “When you’re dealing with vehicle detailing, customers want good clear examples. It was pretty easy to get a photo gallery up and running using their building site. We update photos pretty often, no problem.”
Whoever you go with for your e-commerce platform, remember this mantra of business success on the internet:
- Make it mobile friendly (2 billion consumers will have smartphones by 2016).
- Make it easy to purchase and pay online.
- Stay focused on designing your site to get the customer to take some action, especially to give you their basic information.
- Your e-commerce is only going to be as good as your customer database.