Top Ecommerce Platforms for Different Industries

Top Ecommerce Platforms for Different Industries

Today all you need to run a business online is to set up an Ecommerce website and decide what you’re going to sell and for how much. There is a great variety of Ecommerce sites on the market, and you should have no problem finding a platform that suits your business. In this article we’ll take a look at the best platforms for 5 of the most popular types of online businesses today.

Shopify is best for food and drink Ecommerce

Best Food and Drink Ecommerce Platform: Shopify

  • Price: $29/month to $299/month
  • Number of templates: 150+ (18 designed specifically for food and drink businesses)
  • Commission on sales: 2.4% + 30 cents – 2.9% + 30 cents

Launching a food and drink business is unique in a number of ways. Unlike an apparel store, for example, before you even go online you need to make sure to take care of a number of health considerations involving food safety. You need to follow state and local health department regulations, and if you run your foodservice business out of your home kitchen, you’ll probably need to have it inspected by local authorities. Not only that, you need to make sure to include labels and warnings for people with food allergies, as well as information for people who have religious dietary restrictions.

Before you get there though, you need to do some market research. Is there a market for your food product? Is it trendy, and if so, will it be a flash in the pan that’ll disappear in 6 months? Can you product be easily sold online and shipped?

As opposed to in a brick and mortar eatery, customers won’t be able to sample your products before purchasing. Therefore, you need to make sure the packaging is appealing and that it’s presented in a rich and attractive format.

With Shopify, users have access to well over 150 templates, including 18 that are specifically designed for online food and beverage vendors. These 18 templates cost between $140-180 each, but they provide a rich and attractive platform for selling your wares.

Shopify offers a variety of themes

Shopify themes are easy to sort and browse, including over 150 templates to choose. 

A look at the templates:

The 18 food and drink templates include themes like “local” ($160), a stripped-down, clean and attractive theme that is perfect for small local eateries. It links to your Instagram and gives information about the store’s location, hours of operation, and goods and services, without making the site look busy or cluttered.

The “Focal” theme ($160) has a grid-style that Shopify says is ideal for lifestyle and product imagery. It’s a very sound option for eateries that want to feature a series of pictures of their products, such as the Focal demo on the Shopify site, which is set up for a cookie store and shows detailed, close-up photos of one type of cookie after another. “Pacific” ($180) is a similar theme that is also geared towards stores with large inventories.

“Alchemy” ($150) is a theme suited for sites that want to run deep, large, high-resolution images across the screen. It’s better for creating depth and highlighting an overall establishment like a café rather than specific menu items.

If your eatery online sells a couple items and would like to feature large, bold imagery (say, of one of the giant donuts you sell, or the artisan gyros you carve on your food cart) of a single product, then the “Marker” theme ($160) is a great option. According to Shopify, Maker is “an editorial-inspired design made for big, bold imager.”

Does your business have a story? Do you want to have rich, immersive text and videos tell the story of your product? If so, the “Palo Alto” theme ($180) is an ideal option for businesses with a small catalog who want the space and ability to add text that leads the reader through their story and their mission, and also incorporates large homescreen videos and photos.

All themes include SEO tools, drop down navigation support, free updates, social media icons, built-style and color palettes, free stock photos, customizable content sections, and all are mobile-friendly.

On Shopify you can set up a wholesale channel which runs tiered pricing and syncs your inventory automatically. You can run the entire business off a central dashboard and create customer loyalty programs at any time.

If your online food business steps out into the real world, you’ll be able to use the Shopify point of sale (POS) to run a food cart, pop up, or other entry level offline food business.

Try Shopify Today

BigCommerce is best for apparel vendors

Best for Apparel Vendors: BigCommerce

  • Price: $29.95/month – $249.95/month and higher (enterprise package by quote)
  • Templates: 100+ (only 7 are free)
  • Transaction fees: None

Designers with a keen eye for fashion have more opportunities than ever to pursue their passion thanks to the internet.

Before you get started running an online apparel store, there are a few things to consider. First off, you need to figure out your niche and your identity. Are you making baby clothes or maternity wear? High-dollar business attire? Custom-made sneakers? See if there is a market for your designs and how you can carve out a little corner for yourself in a crowded industry.

When you launch, as a brand-new outlet you may want to offer some introductory sales and coupons to new customers to get the ball rolling. You’ll need an Ecommerce site that can accommodate this, and with BigCommerce, coupons, discounts, and gift cards are provided with every pricing plan.

BigCommerce is a highly-customizable Ecommerce platform used by both small- and medium-sized companies and clients like Cargill, a major international conglomerate. It is mobile ready and fully scalable as your business grows.

BigCommerce makes checkout easy for your customers, with a one touch PayPal plug-in and instant check-out. It can also fully integrate on eBay, Amazon, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google Shopping.

BigCommerce has several unique themes and templates

BigCommerce helps you build your online store with simple, yet beautiful, designs. 

In addition, the platform has tools to reduce shopping cart abandonment, including synchronized inventory tracking. Shipping quotes, product ratings and reviews, and professional reporting tools are standard on all accounts, and everything should stay up and running with a promised 99.9% uptime rate. Not only that, but BigCommerce won’t charge any commission on your sales.

BigCommerce can present your designs on 33 templates created specifically for fashion and jewelry, covering everything from kid’s clothing to men’s formal wear. These templates are rich and detailed, which is especially important since customers won’t be able to try the clothes on in person.

That said, only 2 of these templates are free, and the rest range in price from $145-$235.

Following your vision and dream to become a fashion designer is a big move that shouldn’t be taken lightly. With BigCommerce, you can build an online store that can turn your vision into a thriving business.

Visit BigCommerce Now

Wix is best for toymakers

Best for Toymakers:

  • Price: 2 plans that include an online store, Ecommerce at $16.50/month and VIP at $24.50/month.
  • Templates: 60 available for online stores
  • Transaction fees: No commission

You’ve got an idea for a toy that could be the next fidget spinner or Rubix cube, and now you’re trying to figure out how to get this idea to sprout wings. Basically, you’d be hard pressed to find a better option than Wix. This website builder is known for its drag-and-drop interface, as well as being one of the most user-friendly options on the market. For a small business owner setting up an online store, you probably won’t have a tech guy on hand to navigate a complicated website that requires some familiarity with coding.

While there are hundreds of templates available on Wix – one of the company’s main selling points – there are currently 60 designed for online stores.

Getting started with Wix is easy, thanks to its wide variety of templates and themes. 

There are 2 payment plans on Wix for online stores, the Ecommerce plan at $16.50/month and the VIP plan at $24.50/month. They are both essentially the same—with unlimited bandwidth and 20GB storage—but by paying extra for the VIP plan users are provided with a professional site review and 10 email campaigns a month, which could be put to good use promoting your business. In addition, Wix accommodates coupons and discounts that can be used to attract new customers.

With Wix, users can easily track their sales and manage shipping through the platform, and take advantage of PayPal integration. Wix also automatically optimizes your site for mobile devices.

The platform makes sure that all transactions are secure – and they take zero commission on any of your sales.

The Wix Ecommerce options do not automatically include Facebook integration, which is one drawback. If you want to use the world’s largest social network to make sales for your business, you’ll need to install a third-party app which can be purchased through the Wix market. The app is developed by Shopial, and costs $6.99/month. There is also a free version but it only allows you to display up to 9 items.

And while Wix is certainly user-friendly, you may run into some issues at times, which is when the 24/7 customer support will come in handy.

Start Wix Today

Volusion is best for electronics and gadgets

Best for Electronics and Gadgets: Volusion

  • Price:  $15/month (mini), $35/month (Plus), $75/month (Pro), $135/month (Premium)  
  • Templates: 49 (11 free, 38 cost $180)  
  • Transaction fees: 2.15% on credit card sales

If you’re looking to set up an online store for gadgets and sell electronics, take some time to gauge the market and act accordingly. Is there something that sets your gadgets apart from the crowd? Do they represent a vision that your company has?

Once you’ve figured out how to pitch your offerings in a crowded marketplace, take a look at Volusion as your Ecommerce base.

Like Wix, the platform has an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface that keeps you from wasting time on web design and wrangling code.

Volusion offers beautiful themes

Volusion helps you create your online store with customizable templates. 

Volusion offers 4 separate pricing plans, starting at just $15/month for the “mini” plan, up to $135/month for the premium plan. All provide online support and secure checkout, but with mini you’re limited to up to 100 products. That may be enough for a small online store just getting off the ground, but it doesn’t include ratings and reviews, newsletters, and abandoned cart reports. If you spend an extra $20/month you can move up to the Plus plan, which allows you to sell up to 1,000 products and gives you 3GB of bandwidth to keep things running smoothly. The most popular plan – Pro – runs $75/month and allows you to sell up to 10,000 items.

More importantly though, with the Pro plan includes eBay and Amazon integration, and allows phone orders, customer loyalty plans, and a dedicated account manager.

Volusion offers built-in SEO tools to help your store get noticed by customers, as well as extensive social media integrations, including with Facebook. You also have access to detailed analytics reporting, to help you keep track of your stock and your operating costs.

When it comes to customer service, with Volusion you can access their online chat 24/7, as well as a toll free number where you can speak directly to a service representative.

Try Volusion Now

Bluehost + WooCommerce is best for selling books

Best for Books: BlueHost + Woocommerce

  • Price: $13.99/month (starter), $17.99/month (Plus), $31.99/month (Pro)
  • Templates: 14 (2 free, 12 cost $39 – also works with WordPress themes)
  • Transaction fees: None, all charges processed through PayPal  

You love to read and collect books, and now you want to turn your hobby into a business.

Because there are so many online bookstores – including giants like Amazon – you should try and focus on a niche that will set you apart. You could focus on self-help books, or parenting guides, or just young adult fiction. Whatever you decide, you need to think of a way to set yourself apart from the big fish, and start collecting the inventory you need.

Once you’ve settled these issues, give WooCommerce a try. It’s an Ecommerce plugin that turns your WordPress website into an online store.

Set up is easy and you manage the store entirely from your WordPress dashboard.

The price range varies from as cheap as $13.99/month for the entry level “starter” plan, to $31.99/month for the pro plan. All come with unmetered bandwidth, customer support and SSL certificate, but that’s where the similarities end.

With the starter package, you get only 100 GB of website space, while on the other plans it is unmetered. You’re also limited in the number of domains and email accounts with the starter plan, and receive only $100 in marketing offers, as opposed to $150 for the plus package and $300 for the pro package.

Payment is built-in with PayPal and Stripe, keeping things simple. Security is also a selling point, with payment plans coming with SSL certificate and a dedicated IP.

And to help you keep track of all those book titles piling up in your garage, WooCommerce includes stock levels control, which – like everything else on the platform – you can manage from your mobile device.

Furthermore, there is a great deal of freedom with WooCommerce, because you can implement literally hundreds of WordPress plugins to customize your site as you see fit.

Try BlueHost + WooCommerce

Bottom Line

Though setting up an store online is significantly easier than a storefront, there are still many variables to consider. You have to determine your “identity” as a vendor and a brand – what are you selling, who is it for, and what sets you apart. Once you’ve laid the groundwork, finding the right Ecommerce platform for your business can play a major role in whether or not your small business dreams come true.

Ecommerce 101

What Do I Need to Know Before Launching My Online Store?

An Ecommerce website builder is a program that lets you build, customize, and run an online store. A complete Ecommerce solution and the best Ecommerce sites will come with the tools to walk you through the entire process: hosting, design, pricing and payment options, marketing tools and reports. These are the signs that you’ll be using the best Ecommerce platform available. First, consider how much you’ll sell. If you anticipate heavy traffic, a solution that offers lots of online storage space, inventory, and bandwidth is ideal.

Next, decide on the level of customization you’d like, to ensure you’ll have the best online store builder for you. Many Eshop site builders offer attractive templates ready-to-use, while others come with HTML for more seasoned web designers. Check for must-have features such as payment security and sales reports.


Also, be sure to provide enough payment and shipping options for your customers, and look closely at tools such as the ability to create discounts, loyalty programs, or gift-wrap options on your website. Not all website builders will offer the same options, and some may charge for extras. All of these considerations effect the success of your online shop and how you sell online. Finally, go with a program that is easy to use and has a solid customer support team. A well-designed builder should be simple yet effective. The less time you have to spend figuring out the program, the more time you’ll have to run your business.

Ecommerce 101

Over the past several years, Ecommerce has transformed how people buy and sell online. The Internet provides a fast and easy way for people to purchase things without having to visit an actual store. An online store can reach customers anywhere in the world. In fact, online shopping has become so popular that many vendors sell only online with no physical location. Ecommerce also facilitates the purchase of digital media such as downloadable music and movies: with no physical product, vendors can boast truly instant delivery. There are many Ecommerce companies, and it’s important to understand which of the best Ecommerce sites let your online shop flourish as you sell online.

Today’s top Ecommerce site builders take all of these factors into account for your Ecommerce website. Many programs are designed to accommodate the sale of both physical and downloadable products. In addition, online businesses are quickly evolving to face times of economic hardship by offering steeper discounts, flat-rate shipping, loyalty programs, and other perks. Many Ecommerce site builders and the best Ecommerce platform options make it easy to run promotions and keep your customers happy. Finally, although the boom in online sales has also opened a potential avenue for fraud and scams, site-builders have managed to stay ahead by offering top-of-the-line site protection and payment security to keep the online marketplace as safe as possible.

The Three S’s of Ecommerce

  1. Storage Space:
    Some Ecommerce site builders put a cap on your sales, so choose one offers you the inventory space and bandwidth to fit your needs. The best Ecommerce platform will let your online shop sell online without limitations.
  2. Safety Protocols:
    Choose a program that offers fraud protection and Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption. This is for the protection of you and your customers. SSL technology makes it possible to send online payments securely and is a must-have on all Ecommerce sites.
  3. Site Design:
    Your Ecommerce solution should have a user-friendly interface. The best Ecommerce sites and functions of each tool should be clear and it should be easy to select your desired options. A top-notch site builder will make it easy to build your online store. An extensive FAQ and customer support team can make a world of difference. Also, remember the needs of your customers. Imagine that you’re shopping your own online store. Well-designed menus, filters, and sorting options will minimize the amount of time it takes to find a product and purchase it. Consider also the “look” of your site. Many Ecommerce site builders offer professionally-designed templates that are both pleasing to the eye and can improve a customer’s overall shopping experience. Just like in a physical store, a cluttered and disorganized e shop display will leave customers frustrated and empty-handed, whereas a streamlined and enjoyable buying process will encourage purchasing.


eCommerce Trends To Watch

Monitoring eCommerce trends shouldn’t just be a hobby. Each trend needs to be analyzed and adopted in due course if it’s truly going to drive your eCommerce brand forward — otherwise, you run the serious risk of falling drastically behind your competition.

As we move into 2018, here are eighteen eCommerce trends to keep tabs on in 2018 and beyond.


[eCommerce Trend #1] Retail Will Either Evolve Or Continue To Die

eCommerce trends: Toys R Us Bankrupt

Retail is dying a slow death, simply because it’s refusing to evolve at the rate required. When your consumer only engages at a transaction level and it’s all about discounting and price then your business is primed for a takeover by the larger online players.

What To Do:

If you’re in the retail world, take steps to diversify your customer touchpoints, innovate both online and inside your physical store to retain customer loyalty — despite the might of Amazon. Speaking of which, here’s how you could compete with Amazon.


[eCommerce Trend #2] Consumers Will Drive Retail Innovation

When you know what your consumers think of you, innovation becomes easier. So expect to see brands and consumers get even closer in 2018. Kyösti Pennanen’s eBook, ‘The Initial Stages of Consumer Trust Building in E-commerce’ does a good job of explaining how and why consumers who understand the brand’s products and want to be involved in all aspects of the brand.

What To Do:

Focus on amplifying and paying attention to your customer’s voice. Take feedback often, offer up surveys and implement their ideas.


[eCommerce Trend #3] Chatbots Will Become A Standard Part of The eCommerce Toolkit

eCommerce trends: Pizza Hut FB Messenger Chatbot
(Who wants a pizza now? | Source)

Chatbots are changing the eCommerce consumer experience for the better, and that will only continue in 2018. They remove a heap of friction from the average customer journey, which is why 48 percent of consumers would rather connect with a company via live chat than any other mean of contact according to Hubspot, and 35 percent of consumers want to see more companies using chatbots according to Ubisend.

What To Do:

If you haven’t already, now is a good time to invest in a chatbot builder or an agency that can help you construct a bespoke chatbot to drive engagement, sales, and better customer support.


[eCommerce Trend #4] Manufacturers Will Engage Directly With Consumers

eCommerce Trends: Direct to consumer - Caspter

The Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) trend will continue in 2018 and beyond. Manufacturers like Unilever and Casperhave already started taking advantage of digital experience platforms, social media, and general online marketing to reach their customers directly, leaving brands in the cold.

What To Do:

If you’re a manufacturer, the road to selling directly to consumers is now shorter and more accessible than ever before. All you need to do is find the right digital experience platform — ideally as SaaS and decoupled one — and you’ve got every tool you’ll ever need.


[eCommerce Trend #5] Smart Home Assistants & Voice Recognition Systems Will Emerge As A New eCommerce Battleground

eCommerce trends: eBay and Google Home

According to eMarketer, in 2017, 35.6 million Americans used a voice-activated device at least once per month – a 128.9 percent over 2016. And if you think 2018 will bring anything but growth to that market, you need to think again.

Amazon’s Echo, Google’s Home, and Apple’s Homepod will drive the industry forward, leaving eCommerce brands with the task of moving into those new channels with voice-savvy customer experiences.

What To Do:

Launching an Alexa Skill is currently the easiest (and best) way into the smart home assistant market. A headless or decoupled digital experience platform will help you manage that new channel and any future channels that emerge.


[eCommerce Trend #6] SaaS eCommerce Platforms Will Continue Being First Choice Growth-Conscious Brands

SaaS eCommerce platforms bring speed and stability like no on-premise system ever could. SaaS eCommerce brands will continue to hone their products and add new features to keep their customers at the cutting edge of sales and marketing.

What To Do:

If you aren’t already using a SaaS eCommerce platform, now would be a good time to make the move. New channels are emerging, the landscape is changing and so the benefits of a SaaS eCommerce model have never been more alluring.


[eCommerce Trend #7] Machine Learning and AI-Assisted eCommerce Will Smooth Out Sales Funnels

Artificial intelligence will keep reducing friction in the buying process in 2018. AI-powered platforms will also start providing more targeted, personalized experiences and marketing campaigns which will drive sales online.

What To Do:

AI-based eCommerce is still in its infancy, but now is the time to familiarize yourself with the benefits of incorporating AI into your brand via chatbots and personalization campaigns.


[eCommerce Trend #8] Analytics Platforms Will Continue To Evolve

eCommerce trends: New Facebook Analytics

As new channels emerge, both new and existing analytics platforms need to be there to provide the data. Plus, in 2018, analytics platforms may move past marketing into helping with improving product development, pricing, returns.

What To Do:

If you’re still using Google Analytics alone, it may be time to upgrade and get data from other channels, as well as wider data pertaining directly to your sales funnels. After all, data feeds innovation.


[eCommerce Trend #9] Amazon Business Will Keep Winning

Amazon Business, the B2B marketplace where Amazon combines more than 30,000 sellers (not to mention itself), had $1 billion in sales in its first year and is growing 20% every month. In 2018, you can expect them to keep winning.

What To Do:

Run and hide! Only kidding — there are plenty of ways to survive in the Amazon-dominated eCommerce world. That includes going niche, building your own data sets and working on providing a truly unique shopping experience.


[eCommerce Trend #10] B2B eCommerce Growth Will Accelerate

As margins are squeezed in the B2B space, digital channels will continue to open new markets and reduce the friction in reaching target customers.

In fact, according to Forbes, Forrester estimates that B2B eCommerce will top $1.1 trillion and account for 12.1 percent of all B2B sales in the US by 2020.

What To Do:

In that same article, Gartner also forecasted that by 2018, 40 percent of B2B digital commerce sites will use price optimization algorithms to deliver product pricing dynamically. If you aren’t already doing that, your next step is clear.


[eCommerce Trend #11] Death of the Middleman

As brands figure out ways to reach their end consumer directly, the middleman will feel the pinch. The supply chain will most likely cease to exist as manufacturers find ways to engage directly, improving margins and getting closer to the consumer.

What To Do:

If you’re a middleman, it may be time to pivot out of the brokerage game, and into the sales and marketing consulting space — because your clients are going directly to market whether you like it or not.


[eCommerce Trend #12] Mobile Payments Will Increase

eCommerce trends: AfterPay in-store payment

Payment companies will standardize the approach to payments making the buying process simpler quicker and more secure. The stats show that the global mobile payment revenue from 2015 to 2019 will shoot up from $450 billion to an estimated $1 trillion+ in 2019.

What To Do:

Evaluate your payment gateways — are you ready to accept mobile payments in-store and online? If not, you know what to do.


[eCommerce Trend #13] Expect Even More Subscription Boxes

eCommerce trends: Subscription boxes company such as Blue Apron

The subscription box market has exploded in recent years, with subscription box SaaS companies sprouting up to facilitate the boom. In 2018, you can expect big players like Blue Apron and Dollar Shave Club to make big moves, as traffic to subscription service sites in January rose 18 percent, according to Hitwise. Though that’s a healthy growth, it’s well off the 56% gain registered a year earlier.

What To Do:

If subscription-based eCommerce makes sense for your brand, you could dabble in the practice by launching a subscription box that features cool add-ons or extra from your existing catalog.


[eCommerce Trend #14] Brands Will Unite To Create Larger Marketplaces

Combating the Amazon juggernaut will see competitors and complementary product players work together to create industry-specific marketplaces with access to deep product inventories.

What To Do:

If you don’t see this kind of collaboration in your own industry, perhaps you should be the instigator? But tread carefully, you’re still dealing with competitors.


[eCommerce Trend #15] Influencer Marketing Will Keep Driving Sales

eCommerce trends: micro influencers by Stanley PMI

Influencers aren’t just D-list celebrities, they have real, tangible influence. 70 percent of millennial consumers are influenced by the recommendations of their peers in buying decisions, according to an influencer marketing survey conducted by Collective Bias. The same survey revealed that 30 percent of consumers are more likely to buy a product recommended by a non-celebrity blogger.

What To Do:

Influencer marketing is still underpriced, and if you can find influencers in your niche on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter, you would be wise to invest steadily, responsibly, yet heavily.


[eCommerce Trend #16] Greater Adoption of Digital-First Expansion Strategies

Brand growth will be driven by digital-first strategies in 2018, supported by data and analytics. Brands will use digital assets to open new markets, drive focused online campaigns and find consumer cohorts that then drive bricks and mortar strategies.

What To Do:

If digital isn’t your main concern going into 2018, something is very wrong. Offline marketplaces are becoming increasingly dangerous hunting grounds, while new digital channels are giving brands the opportunity to disrupt. If you aren’t already digital-first, change your strategy.


[eCommerce Trend #17] Fulfillment Comes To The Share Economy

eCommerce trends: Uber for fulsillment
(Can someone create the Uber for fulfillment? | Source)

Here’s me truly shooting from the hip — but a gut feeling is a gut feeling. Someone is very likely to launch a shared fulfillment service in 2018, like Instacart for enterprise brands, that will disrupt the 3rd party logistics world and improve the delivery of products to the home.

What To Do:

Either wait for that service to arise and take advantage, or be the one who goes forth and makes it happen. Either way, it’s good news for online retailers and bad news for delivery and courier companies.

Shopify VS Amazon 2018

Shopify VS Amazon

Shopify and Amazon are both excellent e-Commerce solution providers. However, in June of 2015, Amazon Webstore closed its doors. When you go to now, it says that: “We’re sorry!

An error occurred when we tried to process your request. Rest assured, we’re already working on the problem and expect to resolve it shortly”.

And with that being said, we’ll be looking at Shopify and Amazon to examine some of the reasons why Shopify is a better e-Commerce solution.

By the way, guys, just so you know, you can still sell on Amazon. When we started to sell on Amazon, we didn’t create a webstore. We started as an FBA seller and we did it quite well.



For an Amazon professional account, you will need to pay $39.99 a month along with other selling fees. With a PRO account, you’d be able to customize your shipping rates for products other than books, music, videos, DVDs, software, as well as video games. You’ll also get to offer promos and gift wrap options, and the eligibility for top placement on product detail pages. An individual account, on the other hand, will have to cost you $0.99 plus other selling fees.

With Amazon, you’ll also have the option to ship your products yourself or via FBA. With FBA meaning, you send your products to one of Amazon’s FBA centers and they will ship it out for you. We use Amazon Fulfillment because it saves us a lot of time. They deal with our customers, they package the products for us, and it has boosted our sales tremendously. Always bear in mind that not everyone uses FBA and there are fees associated with it.

You need to pay referral fees for each product sold ranging from 8 – 15 %. For jewelry products, you need to pay 20%. This is just us giving you a picture. Let’s say you sold an iPod Classic for $300 and you had to give a referral fee of $24 because the fee for consumer electronics is 8%.


To start your own online store business with Shopify, it is going to cost you $29. Shopify also offers a $79 and a $179 plan if you want to take advantage of even more features. You also have to take into account that Shopify has credit card rates. When it comes to pricing, Shopify is a better option because you won’t have to worry about paying referral fees on every product sale. You can event start a free 14-day trial no CC required.

Shopify definitely offers better pricing options than Amazon. The current fee for Shopify is $29, for the basic package. However, their professional plan ($79 per year), offers more features. Lastly, for those who need a plethora of transactions for their business, you can opt for the unlimited Shopify plan that will cost you $179 per year with an additional 2% transaction fee.

Traffic and Customer Exposure

It’s without a doubt that the obvious answer in this segment is Amazon. Amazon is a well-known shopping platform. It has an incredible number of daily shoppers. No other e-commerce site can compare. When we started selling on Amazon (digital stuff), it didn’t even take me a week to get my first sale. Putting your items on Amazon is like you are exposing your products to millions of customers that you will not find anywhere. With Amazon, your traffic and customer exposure is already there for you, with Shopify you need to drive traffic to your site.


This is a no competition again. If you want to make your own brand for long term gains or for future benefits, then Amazon is your way to go. You know, people don’t go to Amazon to search for a specific online store. They go to Amazon to buy stuff. The idea here is you want people to one day to search for your business or your products on Google.

Functionality & Features

Shopify offers an easy setup and user-friendly admin interface, making it one of the most popular e-Commerce solution providers on the market today. It also provides several professionally designed themes for you to use, which are free of charge. This is one area where you were very limited with Amazon.

While the admin and customization options for Shopify are listed in English, you can still create your online store in any language that you wish. Moreover, this Shopify allows you to choose which payment gateway to use. It accepts funds in several different currencies compared to Amazon that restricts you to its chosen list of currencies only.

Another popular function of Shopify is the e-Commerce University. This provides access to thousands of articles, how-tos, and other training resources. As of this writing, more than 100,000 businesses use Shopify, showing a strong growth rate. Also, Shopify’s 24/7 in- house technical support team is second to none.

Other Shopify Features

  • Blogging feature – this is great for driving traffic to your Shopify website. It allows you to write blog posts about your products. This is a proven way to boost traffic and get more sales.
  • Facebook Store – this allows you to sell your products directly through Facebook pages.
  • Sell on Pinterest – you can now add a buy it features to your Pinterest pins.
  • Sell on Twitter – you can now sell your products directly on Twitter.
  • Shopify Apps – free and premium apps to help your Shopify site and give it a lot of different capabilities.
  • Easy to use interface
  • Business tools
  • Built-in mobile shopping cart

Customer Support

We have to admit, we love Amazon customer support and its whole community. We can’t say enough positive things about them. Just to set things straight, Amazon and Shopify are well-established companies that provide e-commerce solutions. They both offer phone, email, and chat support. Both of them have a plethora of user guides for beginners or new users. There is no true winner here and we would feel safe using either one.


Keeping your customers happy should always be your priority. It is one of the most important things you can do when operating an online store business. Shopify can help you with that. It provides the best tools to your customers in hopes of them choosing to purchase products through your Shopify store.

Unless you are getting free server administration for your online business, you are definitely saving more money with Shopify. You should also consider the time you will have to dedicate to ensure that your server is running, secure, and up-to-date with patches. And oh yeah, the Shopify apps, Shopify’s apps are pretty amazing too. You should be spending most of your time on your store and not building a store unless your store is selling the store that you are building. The costs of Amazon Web Store are your time.

Me, as an experienced project manager/business owner, I have a lot of developers on my network, and I still went with Shopify with a lightly customized theme (about 2-3 hours of work on my side) for my own e-Commerce store so I could focus more on my products and brand, and not all those technical stuff.

Also, Amazon Webstore is already closed, so you can no longer sign-up for it. In fact, they are making all of their users go to Shopify. But don’t get us wrong, you can still sell on Amazon, but it won’t be a store anymore. With Shopify , you’d get an actual professional online business or storefront.

But then again, the wisest choice is to have both Amazon and Shopify… Let us explain

For us, a wise business owner always thinks of maximizing his or her profits. And going with both will surely maximize your profits. With Amazon, it might not be your own online store, but you will get huge traffic and sales immediately. Just so you know, thousands of the big Amazon sellers have their own websites as well.

Not only are they generating sales or income from Amazon, but they are making money from people who come to their website from Google search and other search engines. You can have your own Shopify store and let Amazon FBA handle your Shopify store for you. Cool idea eh? FBA will handle all of your customers, package your products, and ship them off. These are some of the advantages of FBA.

With a solid marketing strategy and promotion in the next coming months or years, your online store business can be big. Now you have a successful professional storefront while still generating income from Amazon. The features that you’re getting from your Shopify website such as the blogging and selling on social media will help you a lot. Get them both, and you will thank yourself in the long run.

By the way, after you test out Shopify, we believe that you are going to want to stay. Don’t just take our word for it. Try it for yourself today and get a free 14 day Shopify trial – no credit card required.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

What is Affiliate Marketing? A Guide for Beginners

How many times have you tried to explain to your mum just how you managed to afford that new car, latest iPhone or a trip to Barbados despite just working part-time, only to be accused of being a closet drug dealer? If this is a frequent problem for you, you may want to hand her this article.

What is affiliate marketing?

We have a wealth of brilliant articles on our website covering the many various aspects of affiliate marketing in depth, however, for those of you who are completely new to the concept, I’m going to go back to basics and explain in detail exactly what affiliate marketing is, what it takes to succeed and how you could become a successful affiliate marketer, too.

Affiliate marketing for beginners

So, what is affiliate marketing? Well, it’s the practice of recommending a companies products or services to potential customers, generating a sale and earning a commission in return.

The process of affiliate marketing generally involves four parties: the affiliate website, the affiliate network, the advertiser and the buyer.

Many beginners find this confusing, but there’s no need. Let me explain in layman’s terms.

Affiliate Marketing Explained

The affiliate

The affiliate owns a website. That affiliate could be me, you, or that weird guy next door. Seriously, it’s not that complicated to build a website suitable for the job (although marketing that website effectively is another matter, we’ll get to that later).

The website an affiliate owns contains details (or reviews) about a product sold on the advertiser’s website. It also links to the advertiser’s product page via a special link, known as an affiliate link.

The advertiser

The advertiser could be any business which sells a product or service online. It could be John Lewis, Amazon, a car insurance company, or even your local skateboard shop if it has an online store.

The affiliate network

The affiliate network drops a tracking cookie into the buyer’s browser when they visit an advertisers website as a result of clicking an affiliate link on the affiliate’s website. They are effectively the glue which makes affiliate marketing possible, and they’re the guys who send your payment to you.

A working example of affiliate marketing in action

As this article aims to cover affiliate marketing for beginners, here’s a little example for you. So, let’s assume John is an affiliate. He has a website which is all about skateboarding. On it, he has a blog where he shares videos of his latest stunts, pictures of the parks he’s visited, and in-depth reviews of the best and worst skateboards he’s ever used. The reviews contain a deep link to the page on the advertiser’s website where the recommended skateboards can be purchased. The key to this is that the link is not a standard link such as:


But actually, its an affiliate link, which looks something more like:


So, if a visitor to John’s site decides after reading one of the many raving reviews that they really want to buy one of these skateboards right here, right now, the affiliate will be rewarded with a commission for referring the buyer to the advertiser’s site. Result!

On the other hand, they may need longer to think about it. Perhaps they’re waiting for payday, or they’re not quite sure yet whether they prefer the blue one that they also spotted while browsing around the advertiser’s site. They may go away and come back in a couple of weeks’ time, no longer able to resist the urge to blow their wages on a better board.

The great thing is, the affiliate will still be awarded commission for this sale provided the cookie placed by the affiliate network remains in the browser.

A word about cookies

In case you’re wondering, there are a couple of ways these cookies can and will disappear:

  1. If the buyer clears the cookies in their browser, either manually or using a tool such as CCleaner.
  2. If the cookie expires. Most affiliate networks work with a 30-day cookie period as standard. MoreNiche is slightly different as the vast majority of our advertisers offer lifetime cookies. (That’s not the only reason we’re great – keep reading to find out more!)

Advantages for affiliates

The advantages of the affiliate marketing business model for the affiliate are quite obvious to anyone. Having the opportunity to effectively ‘sell stock’ without having any of the costs or responsibilities of manufacturing, buying or storing it is very liberating. In addition to this, when working with a high-paying network like MoreNiche, the profit potential is enormous.

If approached correctly, this can eventually turn into an almost passive income. While it’s likely you’ll always need (and want) to keep your eye on the ball, if you can get the business bringing in a substantial income, you may be able to outsource many of the routine tasks to freelancers in the long term.

Where many people stumble, however, is in believing that success in affiliate marketing is quick and easy. It’s not. It takes many hours of learning, commitment and a willingness to adapt to bring the best out of every changing situation.

Aside from the obvious advantages of running your own business, being able to work online from anywhere at any time, and having the freedom to choose just how hard you work, there are a few other perks. Affiliates with a strong social following (also known as influencers) can expect to receive freebies from advertisers looking to boost their brand awareness.

If an affiliate’s website is generic, such as a health and beauty blog, the possibilities are endless: from beauty creams to entire pampering sets, if you can give a company enough exposure, they will be begging you to trial their products for free!

Advantages for advertisers

Many advertisers are unaware of the potential of the affiliate marketing business model for their own businesses, in fact, most small businesses have never heard of it. But imagine marketing your products only to interested people for no upfront fee. Paying only when you get results is a risk-free way of advertising that requires no marketing budget to get started. As you can imagine, this is great for any start-up business with little funding for marketing their new brand.

Not only this, but what could be better than having hundreds, if not thousands of websites promoting your product? This is the perfect way to get people talking about your products, buying your products and generally just getting your brand ‘out there’.

How much can you earn from affiliate marketing?

This is a ‘How long’s a piece of string?’ question. Your income as a beginner affiliate will depend massively on several factors:

  1. The efficiency and reliability of the affiliate network you work with.
  2. The commission levels and conversion rates of the advertisers you work with.
  3. Your level of commitment.
  4. Your depth of knowledge and willingness to learn everything about your niche in order to succeed.

Networks and commissions vary widely. New affiliates could take over a year to make their first sale, but with the correct training (which MoreNiche provides for free) and persistence, you could earn anything between $5 and $100 per sale from products on our network!

It’s easy to see how this can add up to some pretty impressive earnings. Some of our top affiliates earn in excess of $8000 per week! Who needs to be Walter White when you can earn this much legitimately, online, from anywhere in the world?

Sounds great! Shall I hand my notice in now?

No. Before you get too excited, you must understand one very important thing. Affiliate marketing for beginners can be hard. It is, after all, a business. It is not a get rich quick scheme, and no honest affiliate manager will ever tell you it is. It requires patience, perseverance and heaps of learning. Sometimes it can take years to achieve the results you really want to see, although with the help of our affiliate management team, we hope you would see them much sooner than that!

Affiliate marketing isn’t something you can just walk straight into from your day job. All affiliates we know started off doing it as a sideline, and unless you have huge reserves of money to live on, it’s likely you’ll need to do the same.

Do I need to buy an affiliate marketing for beginners guide?

The simple answer to this is no, not if you’re working with MoreNiche! We can provide you with all the training and advice you’ll need to succeed with our advertisers.

7 reasons why so many people try and fail at affiliate marketing

Too many people start out in affiliate marketing with crazy ambitions such as dreaming they will earn £20,000 in their first year and be able to quit their job after 12 months. While it’s technically possible for this to happen, it’s not typical.

Are you an expert in conversion optimisation, sales funnels, SEO, website building, copywriting and proofreading? If so, you have a better chance than most newcomers. Chances are, if you’ve only just heard about affiliate marketing, you don’t have all or even any of these skills just yet. In this case, settle down for the long haul. This is going to take some time, but you will get there – as long as you don’t give up along the way!

  1. Lack of patience is the number one reason new affiliates fail in their endeavours. Set up your site and build on it. Just an hour each day may be all you can afford to give to begin with, but be patient and give it a chance. All good things come to those who wait.
  1. Lack of quality content is another stumbling block for many new affiliates. Your generic content needs to be both highly relevant and of excellent quality. Want to promote bodybuilding products, but know nothing about bodybuilding? Hire a writer, become an expert or choose a different niche! There is no in-between.
  1. Trying to cut corners with marketing methods is a huge no-no in affiliate marketing. By cutting corners, we’re talking specifically about black hat SEO. Get banned by Google, and you’ll be spending your time building a new site. Don’t learn from your mistakes, learn right now. Blackhat SEO only ever leads to a broken site. Google will hunt you down, and it will punish you!
  1. Not promoting the right products is a common issue with newbie affiliates. Would you purchase the product you are promoting through a website? Think about it. You can advertise a Ford dealership on your website until the cows come home, but will anyone seriously purchase a brand new car via a website without visiting a garage? I don’t think so. Don’t market cars, houses, wedding venues, perfume or dogs online. Do market products people will actually buy from a website without seeing them in the flesh!
  1. Many affiliates struggle to make enough profit from the sales they make to allow them to reinvest that money into more content or marketing. Once you do find a product that people can and will buy online, make sure it offers enough commission per sale to make it worth your while. There’s little sense in promoting light bulbs for 1% profit per sale.
  1. At the same time, go for an advertiser offering a long cookie period. If those light bulbs come with a 24-hour cookie period, you’d be quite lucky to make any sales in your first year!
  1. Too much too soon. Stick to one website to begin with. Don’t get distracted by shiny new niches. This will only dilute your efforts. It’s absolutely not a waste of time to spend hours on end researching the very best niche for you to enter into. The commission, cookies, product and even the advertiser’s website all have to be excellent. The last thing you want to do is invest money in creating your own site only to send visitors to an advertiser’s site that barely converts a single sale. Would you buy from the advertiser’s site? Question everything before you spend a single penny on building your new site.

Reasons affiliates succeed

We’re often asked, what is affiliate marketing all about? Show me someone who’s actually made some money in it! Well, we have several super affiliates on our network. They now earn enough through MoreNiche to work on their affiliate websites full time. And they all have several things in common.

Our top affiliates are:

  • Passionate about their website, its visitors and their brand.
  • Concerned about whether or not their site is genuinely helpful to their audience.
  • Committed to making it work, even if that means sacrificing their free time after they get home from their day job.
  • Willing to learn anything and everything that crops up along the way which challenges their abilities.