Which ECommerce Platform to Choose in 2020
There are a lot of ECom platforms to chose from, and some may react to my definition of ECom platform in this post. But if you like me have a design to sell, it's no difference really if you sell it in your own store and use a POD-partner or if you sell it in someone else's store and just get paid for the design.
There is a wide variety of platforms where the main difference is how much control you have of your customers. We start with the one with the most control.
WooCommerce is basically a plugin for Wordpress. As such you have full control over everything. You can make the store a part of a blog and you can integrate to lots of other platforms and solutions. WooCommerce is perfect if you have coding skills, if you don't you will still have lots of opportunities but you are going to pay for lots of modules.
Shopify is a nice blend between a WooCommerce Store where you have control over everything and a place of commerce like Etsy.
When you open a Shopify Store you get the opportunity to create a store that looks exactly like you would like it to look like. But it will cost you. The base cost is only $29 per month for the basic package, but if you want something like optimized product images or able to change store currency automatically, these extras will come with an extra cost. A frustrating additional cost for owners of Print On Demand stores is that 3rd party shipping calculations only comes with the most expensive package. I personally like Shopify, which is the platform on which this blog is written, and I especially like the ability to expand the shop with add-ons.
On Shopify, you are responsible for driving your own traffic which can be costly if you don't have a big customer base already.
Etsy is a platform that is specialized for creators of for example jewelry but can also be used by Print On Demand store owners. Etsy has a low financial threshold as you don't pay any monthly fee. Instead, you pay a small fee of $0.20 for every listing which is active for 4 months plus a 5% transaction fee per sale.
You can integrate Etsy with print labs like Printful and Printify, but there are not many other integrations to chose from. There are no direct integrations to any CRM-systems, but you get all customer information in the order confirmation, so you can enter them manually to your system of choice.
Spreadshirt and others like it
There are many shores that work more or less exactly the same. The idea is that you upload your designs and get a commission whenever they are sold. Because there is no fee and you don't drive traffic to the store, the commission is not great.
On Spreadshirt, you can create your own storefront where you are able to drive traffic and get a bigger commission.
So which should you choose?
This is a very hard question to give an answer that fits everyone. If you are starting a Print On Demand store, I would recommend starting with Etsy. It's a good place to try out your designs without costing too much money. If you plan on starting an Ali Express Dropshipping store you can't choose Etsy as they only allow products where you have been part of the design or manufacturing yourself.
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