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  • Post category:Marketing
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  • Post last modified:August 30, 2020

A small business is defined as a privately owned corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship that has fewer employees and less annual revenue than a corporation or regular-sized business. 

This means any business that is characterized by traits such as being privately owned, either as a partnership, sole proprietorship, having less than 10 employees and makes an annual revenue of between $10 to $10,000 can be categorized as a small business.

Nowadays the online community has several e-commerce platforms through which you can create a virtual store that you can use to effectively promote your brand to far more persons around the globe than you can ever imagine possible or that is impossible to achieve with your small business’ physical location. 

I’m sure you currently have some doubts.๐Ÿ˜ Don’t worry, I was in your shoes previously. Just come along and all your doubts will be cleared and you will thank me later for this invaluable write-up, at least… haha ๐Ÿ˜‚ 

There are some of these platforms that stand out among others for characteristics that include having an unlimited/right marketplace, best rates, best customer experience, best UX/UI, and many more.

Hello๐Ÿ‘‹ , my esteemed entrepreneur, I’m sure that you are still there. I will give you the breakdown on each of these platforms because as business consultants we believe that you should have all the cards of information which will definitely place your brand/small business at the best place where you get to choose what will best move your goals forward. Come along with me:

5. ETSY

This platform’s fees consists of;

fees:

$0.20 to list for 4 months

3.5% fee on the sale,

additional 3%-4% fee if the buyer uses Etsy payments

Etsy hosts all types of small business shops (such as from grannies making blankets in their spare time, to ultra-cool hipster zine distros and others). 

There have been a lot of comments stating that the vintage section of the site has expanded so much. So the handmade items are lost in several vintage collections. 

Pros: 

  • This platform has an unlimited number of listings.
  • Some marketing work has already been done for you. 
  • Because it’s a well-known brand name, buyers feel safer purchasing from shops hosted on a central site.
  • Rating system ensures that sellers are legitimate (if you don’t have any sales yet, this can be a con and it can make buyers wary).

Cons:

  • Shop appearance isn’t customizable at all aside from banners.
  • Due to all sellers being on one side, buyers may be distracted away from your shop and buy from another.
  • Items types sold are restricted to handmade, vintage, and supplies.
  • The platform doesn’t allow links to blogs, social media, or anywhere else online.

4. Shopify

This platform’s fees consists of;

fees: 

It starts from $29.00 per month,

no listing fee, and between 1.75% and 2.9% + $0.30 fee on each sale (the percentage fee is determined by the package the seller is using)

Shopify consists of small, medium, and even larger businesses. It’s more commercial in all these business sizes than other platforms.

Pros: 

  • You can customize your shop appearance anyhow you need it to be.
  • It allows links to social media or anywhere online that you want to link to.
  • There’s no restriction on the asset type that can be sold.
  • It provides great service for large numbers of listings with bulk handling.
  • Consist of a wide range of payment options.

Cons: 

  • It’s too expensive for most small businesses which includes handmade sellers.
  • The fee structure is more complicated than Etsy.
  • You have to do all your marketing yourself.
  • There is no rating system.

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3. BIG CARTEL

This platform’s fees consists of;

fees: 

Free for up to 5 products; $9.99 for up to 25 product; $19.99 for up to 100 product, $29.90 for up to 300 products (per month),

no listing fees or fees on sales

This is a great choice of platform for artists and zinesters.

Pros: 

  • You can customize your shop as you need it to be.
  • There is no restriction on the type of items that can be sold.
  • The platform allows links to social media, and other places online.
  • You can connect to a Facebook page to conduct direct sales from it.
  • It has a simple fee structure and the fee amount is unpredictable as it’s a flat monthly fee (this can be a con, too!).

Cons: 

  • There is a limited number of items that you can list.
  • If sales are slow or no sales at all, there will still be a monthly cost to the seller that you will have to pay to keep the shop open.
  • The responsibility of marketing is completely on you.
  • It includes no rating system.

2. TICTAIL

This platform’s fees consists of;

fees:

It’s completely free to open a store for your small business except if a buyer purchases your product through the Tictail Marketplace sometimes.

All products that you offer for sale in your shop also automatically appear in the Tictail Marketplace. There’s a 10% commission charged on sale sometimes if a buyer chooses to purchase from the Marketplace site. This depends on the circumstances. There are also fees for optional extras and apps, e.g. $5 per month for custom domain names.

Tictail runs the same model as Storenvy except for the Marketplace site. It’s run out of Sweden rather than the United States. 

It’s still late to the market when compared to others and expanding fast.

Pros: 

  • It operates the same model as Storenvy.
  • Buyers may occasionally come across your items in the Tictail Marketplace, which means you are not 100% on your own marketing-wise.

Cons: 

  • Cons are similar to that of Storenvy described below.
  •  Also, the Marketplace commission thing is complicated. As you carry out each sale, you don’t know if you’re going to be charged a commission fee or not, and 10% is quite high.

1. STORENVY

This platform’s fees consist of;

fees:

Any sale you make through the Storenvy marketplace is charged a 15% commission of the total sale (this includes shipping), and you get paid the remaining 85%. With this simple revenue model, Storenvy doesn’t get paid unless you get paid.

Just like Shopify and Big Cartel, sellers can complete their store.

Pros: 

  • You can set your shop without any financial expenses of any kind. No fees mean that you can charge customers a little less than other platforms.
  • Shop appearance can be completely customized.
  • It allows for links to social media and other online platforms etc.
  • There is no restriction on the type of product that can be sold.
  • The number of listings allowed is very generous compared to Big Cartel.

Cons: 

  • But some people have asked if it’s completely free, how do they make their money? From my findings, Storenvy offers different add-ons and apps to enhance your shop, for a monthly fee. But it isn’t clear what these add-ons and apps are. If this model isn’t financially viable in the long run they can start charging up-front fees. This happened in the past to platforms such as ArtFire that made them go out of the market.

You see they all have their terms and conditions but we’ll always tell our clients that the best way to represent your brand is to have your own website and engage actively on social media targeting locations, and persons with an interest that relates to areas within your scope of service and product line.ย 

For more exposure, these aforementioned platforms can be considered too but you must choose the one whose area/type/culture of service cons fit more with your brand’s service/product.

You can always reach out to us for more questions on free tips, guides, and also when you need services on business, marketing, finance, investment analysis, and consultation.

Cheers!

Questions; what other platforms with fair terms, effective service, and a good marketplace can you use to promote your small business online?

Thank you for reading at WealthOnPoint!

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