Should You Choose Running an Online Store?
Many websites resort to online commerce as a way of monetization. If your business relies on selling goods or services, having an online shop is a must. The success of your venture largely depends on the eCommerce platform it runs on. A range of modern online commerce engines allows selecting an option to fit a specific business best. For instance, WooCommerce will suit small retailers running WordPress-based online stores. Shopify will suit entrepreneurs seeking a hosted eCommerce solution. Meanwhile, PrestaShop will be a great fit for small and medium-sized businesses.
It goes without saying that a web store has to deliver the best design and functionality to make the customers convert. Using ready-made WooCommerce themes, Shopify themes or PrestaShop themes will be a wise decision if you’re building a web store on your own. If you haven’t chosen an optimum platform to suit your online business, take a closer look at Shopify. One of the reasons to choose it over other engines is TemplateMonster’s Shopify membership giving you an unprecedented chance to save up to 99% on Shopify themes.
Choosing one of the Shopify subscription plans allows you to get a fixed number of themes at a fixed price. For instance, with a 1-year subscription to a Bronze Plan, you get a total of 60 themes for only $228. This means you can test-drive of every theme suitable for your shop without any restrictions!
Pre-made eCommerce templates have thought-out layouts and are easy to customize. Also, they come supplied with a scope of features that can be added or removed when necessary. User experience is one of the factors that influence the purchasing decision. Every customer has a ‘mental model’, a picture of what a typical shopping process should be like. Landing on a web store, customers bring their mental models, expecting their shopping experience to be effective and pleasant. Having intuitive usability for an online store is crucial to allow handy navigation and fast discovery of the needed goods.
A typical e-shop has products arranged by types and categories. Product pages contain specific product descriptions, listing the specifications, prices, images and other information. Also, modern eCommerce platforms have the support of plugins and widgets, allowing them to throw in some extra functionality to improve the user experience. Customizable shopping carts, site-wide search, product filters, and various payment gateways are just a few examples.
All in all, a modern online store is a complex system with a potential for generating significant revenues. However, some small businesses resort to using Instagram as their primary marketing and sales platform. Can an Instagram business profile be as effective as a full-blown web store?
Should You Use Instagram for Business Promotion?
Instagram has become so much more than a typical social network. According to official statistic, Instagram is used by over 700 million people each month, while 80% of users follow Instagram business profiles. The native Instagram Business Tools help entrepreneurs learn more about their audience and nurture their businesses accordingly. This awesome toolkit helps businesses of any size gain recognition with their business profile find out more about followers and posts, and of course, advertise. Potential clients will be able to see the needed information in a business profile and learn your business address and contact information. Also, within an Instagram app, you will get insights and analytics on the performance of specific posts, preferable posting times, and demographic breakdown of your followers. There is an option to promote already shared posts by including a ‘Learn More’ button to reach a new audience.
Of course, all of this can be done on a website! But Instagram allows businesses to highlight advertisement pitches in a visually attractive and interactive manner. Take the Instagram stories feature, used by more than 150 million users on a daily basis. Incorporated with business insights feature, stories provide a great deal of valuable information first-hand. It will be possible for ventures using Instagram business profiles, to see the statistics on the reach, impressions, replies, and exits for an individual story within Business Tools. This will help to improve the quality of content, making it more relevant to the needs of your target audience.
Another opportunity provided to businesses by Instagram is the possibility to incorporate ads into the stories. Using a selective approach, ads in stories allow better targeting and reach capabilities to make your ads personally relevant to potential customers.
So, what is better – using an online store website or Instagram profile as your primary means for business promotion? It all depends on your social media marketing strategy. Why should you stick to only one option? Use both! In terms of SEO, a website gives you a possibility to rank in Google, Bing, or Yahoo to be found by those customers who don’t use Instagram. Undoubtedly, Instagram offers mind-blowing advertising possibilities, but is it that comfortable for doing shopping? For sure, using a typical web store which allows filtering products by types and categories, as well as provides maximum product details is a lot more comfortable! On the other hand, an endorsed Instagram post can help in raising sales of a specific product or service. As you see, the success of your online business will mainly depend on how you can combine both methods for your company specifically. Give it a try and share your experience!