Of course Amazon.com, Kmart and other global and national brands are
growing and will continue to flourish online. However, I do not hear
much about shopping carts and ecommerce in the small business world
anymore. Of course sales are happening, but so much of the focus and
hype is on….you guessed it…social media.
Having said this eCommerce is alive and well.
Ecommerce company BigCommerce is doing pretty well and co-founder Mitchell Harper gives some insight in the following Q&A.
There are a lot of web and ecommerce hosting companies on the market. What differentiates them?
There are definitely lots of web and ecommerce hosting companies,
but BigCommerce is the only ecommerce marketing platform that allows
businesses to not only sell online but also to drive an enormous amount
of traffic to their online stores using built-in marketing tools to
rank on search engines like Google and Bing with expert search engine
You can also advertise on Google AdWords, Yahoo Search Marketing,
Google Products (formerly Froogle) with a few clicks. Also with our
soon-to-be-released version 6 you’ll be able to sell on eBay,
Shopzilla, Shopping.com, Beso, MySimon and PriceGrabber.
The real challenge with ecommerce is getting people to your online
store, not necessarily setting up the store, so that’s why BigCommerce
is now the fastest growing ecommerce platform in the world.
With the growth of blogs and many business owners using Typad and WordPress, is the need for a traditional web host still there?
If we’re speaking in the context of ecommerce or selling online then
most definitely. Content should be used to effectively frame what
you’re selling. For example, if you sell funny t-shirts then you need a
blog which you update every few days with pictures of funny t-shirts
from around the Internet or with stories about how your t-shirts are
designed or made. Even better would be a regular video blog which you
record and post to YouTube (for the viral effect) *and* to your site’s
blog as a reason for people to come back or bookmark you.
The good news is that ecommerce software like BigCommerce also has
blogging software built-in, so instead of setting up a separate
Wordpress blog and trying to link it to your online store, you can use
the built-in blogging options to create new posts and have them show up
on your BigCommerce home page.
Is BigCommerce a web host or ecommerce service? I think both…right?
BigCommerce is a hosted ecommerce platform that lets you a) setup an
online store with all of the features of Amazon.com and b) publish
content such as web pages, contact forms, blogs, menus and frequently
asked questions. It’s a true all-in-one offering for anyone who wants
to sell online and drive traffic to their new BigCommerce online store.
What role does PayPal play in the small business ecommerce
area, compared to you and other hosts such as Yahoo, GoDaddy,
Register.com and Network Solutions?
PayPal is one of many options for collecting payments online. While
PayPal by itself is a good way to sell basic products online (by adding
a “Buy Now” button to your web site), it falls short when you need an
integrated checkout experience and the ability to track inventory.
Compared to Yahoo, GoDaddy and others who offer basic ecommerce
software, PayPal doesn’t give you the ability to setup a full online
store – you can simply accept payment and then the rest of the
transaction is left up to the business owner to process manually, such
as sending the invoice, shipping the package, assigning a UPS tracking
BigCommerce takes offerings from Yahoo and GoDaddy one step further
to offer business owners an all-in-one offering. PayPal is one of over
50 payment gateways supported by BigCommerce and it can be integrated
into your store’s checkout with literally 5 clicks and in 30 seconds.
The benefits to your customers are immense – they can complete the
entire order in your BigCommerce store without every leaving, and you
can process the order from your BigCommerce control panel in just a few
What are some top 10 (or less or more) best practices that you’ve seen work for your customers to increase their sales?