The e-commerce revolution is sweeping hard. And it is a good thing. So many people have become self-made millionaires simply by using eCommerce to overcome the barrier of reaching a wider audience which many brick and mortar businesses cannot scale.
There are two options that most business consider. One is using an online marketplace or your own self hosted eCommerce platform using VoguePay.
Let’s look at the two options critically.
Platforms and SaaS solutions like Shopify, Konga, etsy and Amazon are online marketplace platforms that make it easy for SMEs to launch online stores in matters of hours. They have greatly reduced the barrier to entry for SMEs to start selling online.
One of the big reasons that people use them is because these multi million dollar marketplaces have spent a lot of money to develop the infrastructure you can simply leverage to reach a vast audience and enjoy the trust and traffic they have built without you having to pay for them.
But these may be where it all the perks end. There may be hidden costs, maintenance fees, lack of flexibility of the templates and other issues that may evolve as your business begin to see big traction. Another key issue is that since you are building your business on a third-party platform, you might be subjected to unfavourable terms in the long run as other people indicated here and here.
One of the major challenges with these online marketplace solution is that you can not use them to build your own brand. In fact, you have zero brand equity. Take for example, if you sell on these marketplaces, the online reference to your brand are so minute that it is not noticeable.
Secondly, it is difficult to have repeat customers as you might not have access to your customer base of buyers. If you have your own store, you could have their numbers and email, and make them repeat customers; here you lost that control.
In contrast, let’s look at self-hosted eCommerce platforms (built on/with support with VoguePay)
Self hosted platforms.
Self-hosted platform means you are in charge of your technology stack and are willing to handle every bit of your store. This sounds daunting to some, but if you know a bit of code you can do it yourself (or outsource it). There are so many options which you can use to set up your ecommerce site; from open-source platforms like WordPress, Joomla etc as well as PHP framework.
The good news is that VoguePay integrates seamlessly with all the platforms. The biggest issues for most SMEs who want to handle their own eCommerce in-house is payment. That is where VoguePay comes in with its robust infrastructure to support your ecommerce needs.
You can do this in 3 ways.
Simple Free shopping cart platform:
Let’s imagine that you have free websites on Tumblr, Wix, WordPress.org or Blogspot and you have products, service or stuffs you want to quickly sell off. You do not need to worry about setting up a complicated eCommerce solution as you can set one up using VoguePay’s free shopping cart tool.
You simply insert your product information and generate the shopping cart code which you can insert to your website in HTML format.
Here is a simple guide (on our FAQ page) showing how to set up a free ecommerce website or free shopping cart on VoguePay.
Use third-party platforms and connect via VoguePay’s plugins and extensions.
VoguePay supports several third-party eCommerce platforms like Joomla, WordPress, IceCube etc. simply, use any of the plugins or extension in the product directly to integrate VoguePay to your preferred solution.
Hard-code your eCommerce solution.
Some developers prefer starting things from scratch, so instead of using custom solutions for their ecommerce website design, they choose to write the codes by themselves as this will help them have full control of their eCommerce sites. In that case, our easy-to-use API documentation makes it easy to integrate with your development framework.
Whichever option you take, you can plug in to VoguePay to launch a fully function eCommerce store of your own. Register a FREE account now to test drive our solution.