Effective eCommerce – on a shoestring budget

The art of shopkeeping remains largely the same - though the platform used may vary! Picture ©BBC.

The internet is awash with opportunities for the aspiring online shopkeepers amongst us…

… but with so many potential options available, which of these is the “best” eCommerce platform/marketplace for your circumstances and (perhaps most importantly) your budget?

Major Marketplaces

The undoubted “Big Fish” (nay, Kraken..!)  of the available marketplaces are of course eBay and Amazon. Both offer the immediate advantage of captive, global audiences of literally millions  of potential customers . Coupled with a with a vast array of selling tools & listing options (particularly in the case of eBay), it is easy to see why both have come to dominate the marketplace of marketplaces.

Listing your products with such platforms is not always the most suitable way to promote and hopefully sell your goods, however – and with monthly subscription fees in the region of £30 ($50) for the privilege of becoming a “Pro Seller” (on Amazon) and/or opening your own “Shop” (on eBay), such service charges can soon eat into your profit margins…

Other Options..?

Fortunately, cheaper alternatives *are* available and in my personal experience the most impressive of the current crop is Tictail.

The Tictail logo (in typically Swedish colour scheme)

Founded and based in Sweden, Tictail offers an extremely easy-to-use eCommerce system – and best of all it comes largely free of charge. No setup fees, no subscriptions – and not even a “Final Value” fee to pay when an item sells! In actual fact, the only fee(s) you need to factor in are those already taken by whichever Payment Gateway you work with (in the case of the Tictail, this will have to be PayPal, but there are plans to integrate with others in the future).

A Standalone Shop

It is important to note that Tictail is not a direct competitor of the likes of eBay and Amazon, as it is not an online “Marketplace”. Instead, Tictail offers Website owners and Developers the opportunity to open simple, highly effective, stand-alone online shops. Once setup, your shop is even hosted by Tictail too (but can be connected to a Domain Name of your choice, should you wish, for the princely sum of 1 Euro per month).

My Recently Launched Specialist Shop, Powered by TicTail (screen-shot)

Over the coming months I will be going into further detail on Tictail and the other major eCommerce platforms available to you, so stay tuned! In the meantime, please do check out my own shop which I have setup, customised and opened using the Tictail system. The shop offers a small (but growing) range of TV, Film and Video Game Soundtracks.

This personal shop is powered entirely by Tictail and even offers a built-in mobile-friendly alternate version of the pages (try it!) ~perfect for customers ordering via Smartphone or Tablet devices…

Does “Tictail” sound right for you?

So… if you have been considering launching your own online shop, but have a limited budget (or would like to dip your toe in the waters of eCommerce first, before investing further), then please get in touch, as I can help you open your own Tictail powered shop very quickly and effectively.

If you would like to see a further example of Tictail in action, check out this boutique store I setup and opened in 2013, for Savills Barbers of Sheffield.

A screen-shot from the online shop for Savills Barbers (of Sheffield)savillsbarbers.tictail.com

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  1. In the case of the shop for Savills Barbers, this particular project was turned around very quickly – with the brand-new online shop stocked and accepting orders within 48 hours of the brief coming in from the Client.

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