Geeks2U Promise
We guarantee you'll love our fast, friendly service - or we'll refund your money.  
133,572 Happy Customers & Counting
Need tech support?
1300 769 448
Extended hours, 7 days a week
Home  /  geekspeak  /  Why you should read the fine print before building your online store

Why you should read the fine print before building your online store

It’s easy to get a basic ecommerce site up and running, but make sure you understand exactly what you’re signing up for.

Launching an online store is a big step for any business, but you don’t actually need to know anything about building websites – not if you’re happy to sign up for a turnkey ecommerce package. They’ll take care of everything, from the website to the payment gateway, and then hand you the keys. All you really need to do is upload photos of your wares and slap on a price tag.

You can sign up for a basic ecommerce service for a few bucks per month, but in return you’ll get a no-frills, one-size-fits-all website with cookie cutter page templates. This might not bother you if you’re starting small on a tight budget, but you still need to pay close attention to what’s happening behind the scenes.

Turnkey solutions generally trade flexibility for convenience. There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as you understand what you’re trading away and what you’re locking yourself into. Some budget ecommerce services lure you in with dirt-cheap deals knowing full well that you’ll have no choice but to upgrade. Don’t shop on price alone, especially if you’ll be forced to pay more down the track or scrap your site and start again elsewhere.

Some ecommerce services expect a slice of each sale, which is a price you might be prepared to pay, but they can also place restrictions on your store depending on the plan you sign up for. Some will limit the number of items you can list on your store, while others will limit how many items you can sell each month.

Keep this in mind – as soon as your site takes off you’ll have no choice but to upgrade to a more expensive monthly plan or else watch lost sales go begging.

Also pay particular attention to merchant facilities and logistics such as order fulfilment. You might get stung with more fees for each sale, with no freedom to switch to other providers in search of a better deal on transaction fees or delivery costs.

It’s important to think ahead. Can the site and backend services scale as your business grows? Is it mobile-friendly? Do you have access to analytics to help better understand your customers? Is there support for advanced features like discount codes or a customer loyalty program?

What you really need to know is whether you will be forced to start again from scratch in a few years when the service no longer meets your needs.

If you’re unhappy with your ecommerce provider, or you’ve simply outgrown it, what happens when you want to walk away? Can you export your sales data and customer lists? Do they retain control over your domain name and email address? In other words, can they hold your business to ransom?

These are the kinds of questions you need to ask before you sign on the dotted line. Don’t just consider whether an ecommerce provider is the right choice for your business right now, ask if it will be the right choice in 12 months or five years. Building an ecommerce website is a long-term investment, so don’t get talked into a quick sale.

Share

Recent News

Generally speaking, when there’s an important update for your notebook, it’s a decent idea to install it. It may not be an update that makes an immediate obvious new feature available. Instead it may work behind the scenes to add layers of security, fix bugs or improve general performance. It’s why for the most part… More 

Samsung has long pitched its “Note” line of larger smartphones as being perfect for folks with a productivity focus for their smartphone work. A few years ago, it introduced a specific desktop dock for its Note and Galaxy S class phones, the DeX dock. Drop a qualifying Samsung phone into a DeX dock, and what… More 

For most of us, buying a new laptop is a matter of expediency, not outright tech desire. We’ll make do for as long as possible on an older system until it simply isn’t economical — or sometimes feasible — to continue working with it or repairing it. When that happens, market figures suggest that most… More 

Apple recently made some pretty large changes to its line of MacBook laptops. In recent years there’s been an array of choices, from the very small “MacBook” through the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro lines. Some of these had the newer butterfly keyboards and Apple’s own Touch Bar sensor, while others didn’t. If you didn’t… More