Solutions for online entrepreneurs

Online shopping can’t be easier for now. You can look at the catalogs, zoom in-and-out the image to look details and see different colors and options. There are more things you can do when shopping online.

This sounds easy as a consumer, but now I am thinking in the shoes of new online entrepreneur. I wonder who can build the website for me? what about design and integrity of the website and my brand? All the editing and updating are a problem. Also, payment system can be a big burden for new online business starter.

This post will be about Shopify.com and Optimizely.com for people who are new to online stores.

Shopify

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According to Shopify, over 70,000 online stores powered by Shopify with over 100 templates. There are tons of online stores, but 70,000 customers sound reliable and versed in terms of online store builder. So, what they do is from designing your website, they take care of order and payment process and allow to analyze all the data for measurement.

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One of things I liked about this service provide was that I can play with the system with 14-day limit. I signed up to see how I can build my website, but I was impressed by the questions that I had to fill out as well as tasted how e-commerce sites are built. Especially, with the well-structured building process, there’s a less chance that I miss something for the website. Shopify actually can help me not only designing the website but also build structure for my online store. As I play with the system, I even though that I could start a business.

Like I said that the company tries to give a holistic solution from the building to the analysis, the company also wants to help its clients to be successful in the marketing field. It provides SEO friendly services like linking up the picture of the latest product or new design of the website to the search engine by automatically generating sitemaps.xml. Since Shopify has teamed up with Google, website owners can receive $100 when they spend $25 in advertising on a new AdWords account. This seems very strategic and clever. Shopify encourages its clients to push, hidden meaning that higher traffic toward clients’ websites can make Shopify more stronger brand.

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I also like the fact that it provides mobile service with responsive design. As smartphone is the device that people can’t live with, smarphones and table PCs are important driver for the sales. Shopify understands the current online ecosystem and helps its clients to create more and better opportunities.

So, Shopify is a great source to start your website. However, if you are a big brand, you wouldn’t go with Shopify. Even though Shopify provides many templates and customizable features, there might be some limits  such as logistics control and international business foundation. (if you are selling your product to all over the world)

Optimizely

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Tracking, measurement and analyzing the result is as important as setting up a website with good design. If you can’t provide what customers want, you will loose them after all.  Optimizely can be a solution for online entrepreneurs who haven’t yielded success or want to expand their pie. (of course this service has been used by big companies like Starbucks). Like business does offline, understanding them, observing their behavior and leading them to the conversion point can be happened online.

How can they do? one of examples is A/B test. A/B test is running two types of variations -could be creatives, location of link and so on- and make the website more optimized. Whichever generates higher click thru rate, conversion rate, or anything else will be your next move.

Website’s look, location of links, messages and creatives are not decided website manager’s guts. It actually requires measurement and analysis. Action for a possibility to make the website better, stronger, and more powerful should be conducted now.

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Optimizely gives 30-day trial. You can simply type in your website at the home menu, then it will show you this dashboard that you can play with variations. Of course, you will need to further details for more serious experiments.

My conclusion

Shopify and Optimizely, both look strong presence in terms of their fields. If I plan to have an online website, I would use the two solutions because I am new and not technician.

What I would do, if I were Shopify, is to initiate A/B testing more more intricate analysis solution like Optimizely. Shopify does provide “advanced store statistics.” Although I am not sure how detailed data will be given, eventually people would need more sophisticated solution to analyze the website to improve it.

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