When it comes to your online store software, you really have 2 key options to choose from.
You can either rent it or buy it.
When you rent an online store, you pay a company to take care of making sure it’s running but you have limited power in how much you can customise.
And as soon as you stop paying rent, you no longer have an online store — which includes all the work you have done on it.
On the other side when you buy your online store, you take full responsibility of running it and making sure everything is okay, which means you also enjoy complete power in how it looks and works.
And you will always have your online store with everything you have built on it to use in anyway you want or need.
As you might be able to tell by now — I am more in favour of owning your online store.
Today online stores are not just a place to find products, pay and get them shipped to you.
Online stores are becoming more interactive with quizzes, games, social media and even communities.
Why is that happening?
Because of the biggest problem for eCommerce since eCommerce started, the overpopulation problem which we go over here in more details.
But what that means to you — is that in order to stand out, acquire and retain your customers online, you want to offer more than just an online store.
And the way to do that is by owning your online store so that you are free to do whatever is needed.
Does that mean renting an online store is not suitable for anyone?
Renting your online store is great either if you are just starting out and you want to get started quickly, or your business is fine with pure eCommerce — selling online only.
You can enjoy a lot of benefits while renting, low upfront costs, almost zero technical worries and 24/7 customer support from the provider.
There are also ways to add more options and customisations on your rented online store with apps and developers creating custom solutions for you.
The problem I see with that is first, you have to pay a subscription fee usually to use the apps and second, whatever you are spending on — you are stuck with the provider forever.
Because again — you are only renting, you don’t own this property that you are improving.
Which is why I recommend all eCommerce businesses who are serious about growing their business to go for owning their online store.
Now we can cover the software you can use, which is the easy part once you have decided on your direction.
If you are renting, use Shopify — they are the leader in their segment and they are excellent at what they do.
If you are buying, use WordPress — they are also the leader in their segment and excellent at what they do.
99% of the time it’s either Shopify or WordPress, you rarely ever need to use any of the other solutions, for whatever reason that might be.