Table Of Contents:
- What is an Online Store?
- What is E-commerce?
- Why Set Up an Online Store?
- Here are some of the advantages of physical stores over online stores:
- Here are some of the advantages of online stores over physical stores:
- What is Lazada?
- What is Shopee?
- What are Pros and Cons of Selling on Lazada and Shopee?
- Pros of selling in Lazada and Shopee:
- Cons of selling in Lazada and Shopee:
- What is a Shopify Store?
- What are the Pros and Cons of Having a Shopify Store?
- Pros of having a Shopify Store:
- Ease of Use
- Secure & Reliable
- Customer Support
- App Integrations
- SEO & Marketing Tools
- Abandoned Cart Recovery
- Easy Payment
- Cons of having a Shopify Store:
- How is Shopify Different From Lazada and Shopee?
What is an Online Store?
An online store is a form of electronic commerce wherein customers can directly buy goods or services from a seller over the internet. The customer may have to visit a seller's web store or shopping apps like Lazada and Shopee. By visiting these kinds of stores, you will have the comfort of shopping from anywhere at any time. It removes the hassle of going to a physical store to buy your needs or wants since your orders will be delivered to you wherever you want.
Since the customer won't have to visit the physical stores to make a purchase, online stores give the customer more options for choosing the right product for their need. Imagine having access to entire product lists of different stores while just sitting on your couch. Because of that, unlike going to physical stores, the customer can see more products from an online store. The customer won't have to explore that much in your store since you can advertise products that they might want or need by using advertisements that would most likely end up with the customer buying that product if it is appropriately endorsed.
What is E-commerce?
E-commerce or electronic commerce means buying or selling products or services over the internet. Nowadays, this is very common among physical stores to also make an online store so they can get more reach and possibly more sales.
A physical store's sales will be significantly affected by the store location, the population in that area, and the wants and needs of those people. By having an online store, these things won't matter anymore since the whole online web is your store location. As a result, the seller can target customers even if they are furthest away.
Why Set Up an Online Store?
Having an online store has a lot of advantages to it. If you already have a physical store and have been experiencing difficulties in sales, setting up an online store might be able to help. If you don't have a physical store and are still starting up a business, you might want to consider some points to know if your business is suitable for the online market.
If you are still starting a business, think about your target market. If you want to interact with customers, for example, maybe you want to ensure that the customer gets the right product or service for them, you might want to consider starting your business with a physical store for the meantime.
Here are some of the advantages of physical stores over online stores:
Customers can see the product
There are a lot of people who want to make sure that you are really selling the product that they want. Most of the time, the potential buyer will want to see the product with their eyes before buying it to make sure that they will be paying for nothing. In online businesses, the potential buyers can only see the product images and descriptions, and scammers can quickly fabricate these with ease. In online businesses, the customer can always return the product if it does not satisfy them. Meanwhile, in physical stores, the customer can verify that the product is what they want.
Customers can feel the product
In a physical store, the potential buyer can, of course, feel the product, aside from the fact that they can see the merchandise and verify that the product exists. They can further examine the product, for example, if it is sturdy enough, or big enough. They can test the product if it works fine. In an online store, they can never do those things mentioned. If you're newly starting your business, you may want to get the customer's trust first. Making sure that the product they get is what they really want or need. Giving this option will surely win the trust of the customer. By doing this, you are increasing the chances of them buying again from your store.
Customer can trust you easily
Because the potential buyer can touch and see your products, you are raising the chances of your customer to end up trusting you. It, of course, will help you get more return customers and more sales. You can do this in your online stores by creating promos and discount prices, but the trust made by seeing and touching the product is a different thing.
Potential buyers can always choose physical stores over online stores in terms of loyalty and trust, but that doesn’t mean that an online store can’t achieve that as well. In doing so, you will have to provide detailed information that the potential buyer needs and also customer support for in case they have more questions about the information that you may have missed out while posting your product.
Here are some of the advantages of online stores over physical stores:
Having an online store means that the entire online population is a possible market. Your sales will not anymore depend on who comes to your location but to who visits your online store. You will also be able to reach more people for advertisements which would probably result in having more people visiting your online store and eventually more sales. The competition in the online market will then be based on how you present your product, how much effort you make to be seen, and what you do to be seen.
Having more reach, of course, means that you can get more customers. You will raise the chances of people knowing that your store exists, and because your store exists online, they can immediately get to you with just one click. Having more visitors will, of course, significantly affect how many sales you make given that you present your products accurately and that you are an entertaining seller.
In starting a physical store, you have to consider your business location. You will have to base your business niche on what the population wants or needs so that you can get sales. In an online store, you have a higher number of target audiences, which is the whole web, and that leaves you with more options on what you can sell.
In opening an online store, you won't have to make a fancy building, unlike physical stores. You can have a creative and well-designed online store and not have any actual structure for your business at all. From that, as a starting business owner, you will save yourself from spending money on structures.
For physical stores, you eventually have to close your store and open up in hours that your target customers will be active and most likely to come by your store. It makes it hard for those rare but equally essential customers that want to go to your store at their own time, and this might be at your closing hours. In an online store, your store is always open to everyone. It means that a customer can buy from you anytime they want and they don't even have to get out from the comfort of their homes.
Having a physical store versus an online store has its advantages for each. A physical store can get the customer's trust easily while an online store can get more visitors easily. It doesn't mean that either can't be done by the other. It always depends on the business owner's preference and priorities in targeting their audience and marketing their products.
Being in the blossoming of the technological era, eventually, the online world will be full of stores. If you don't take the risk of putting your business in an online store, you may get higher chances of being left out by online stores when the time comes. Plus, having an online store for your business has its undeniable advantages more than just having a physical store. You can always have a physical store and an online store for your business.
Creating an online store varies on your preferences. You might want to create your e-commerce website or sign up as a store in online marketplaces such as Lazada and Shopee. You can choose which is more appealing or more suited for your business.
What is Lazada?
Lazada is an online marketplace that has gathered more than a million sellers to sell to millions of consumers. They are the pioneer of the e-commerce ecosystem in Southeast Asia. Lazada is available in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. A seller can sign up to Lazada with a few requirements and sell their products, and Lazada will take care of the things like Payments, Shipping, and Returns.
A seller in Lazada can sign up in two ways - the regular Marketplace and the "LazMall." The Marketplace is for anyone that wants to be a seller while LazMall is for registered brand owners or authorized distributors. While Marketplace gives free access to seller tools and campaigns, LazMall has exclusive campaigns and additional seller tools that give the seller a boosted product search ranking.
What is Shopee?
Shopee is another fast-rising marketplace in Southeast Asia. They are present in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, and they are also in Taiwan. Shopee provides the right tools to support sellers. A seller can get more exposure by participating in campaigns and promotions.
Shopee has made sure of the buyers' satisfaction buy their Shopee Guarantee wherein they hold the payments to the sellers until the buyer receives the products. Unlike Lazada's LazMall option, Shopee only has only one common way to sell, which offers zero registration, listing, and commission fees, this is similar to Lazada's default Marketplace option.
What are Pros and Cons of Selling on Lazada and Shopee?
While Lazada and Shopee offer a lot of good deals for its sellers and customers, like other online marketplaces, it comes with a few disadvantages. Here are some of the pros and cons.
Pros of selling in Lazada and Shopee:
Being a seller in Lazada or Shopee automatically lets you have a chance to tap into their massive online presence. These marketplaces have been existing for a while, and they somehow have created a name and trust. With this said, being a seller in these online marketplaces means that your audience is the whole audience that these online marketplaces have gathered through their years. If you want to increase sales in your store, you will have to do good in how you present your products and how you serve your customers. You will have to aim to get the people to trust your store, and they would most likely come back to you for their future purchases.
Having high traffic in the marketplace means that you can also get that traffic to visit your store. If you are just a starting seller on these online marketplaces, the people won't search for your specific store. Instead, they will be searching for products that might be listed in your store. You will then be discovered, and the rest is your job to earn their trust. Being a seller in these online marketplaces doesn't just mean that you need to have sales, and that's it. You have to focus on making a sale and make those customers come back. The increase in sales should follow right after, since by doing so, you are building the customers' trust. The customers can rate your products and your services. It will help you get more visitors because good ratings mean more trust, and trust is an essential aspect that every online seller should aim for.
Shipping and Logistics
By selling in these online marketplaces, you benefit from their fast and reliable shipping and logistics. Both Lazada and Shopee will take care of shipping your products to their buyers. It also comes with a return policy.
Cons of selling in Lazada and Shopee:
Lazada and Shopee don't ask for registration fees. Both of these online marketplaces have options that don't require you to pay them commission fees. Lazada currently has its LazMall that offers boosted search ranking results, but it obliges the sellers to pay 5% commission fees to the products sold. Knowing that it already exists, even if there is still a no-payment option for both online marketplaces, both of these may eventually require its sellers to pay for commission fees.
There are some limitations to being a seller in these online marketplaces. Since you are just availing of their services, you don't have the complete control of how your store works nor the transactions and shipping. Lazada and Shopee both have international websites. They are both existing mostly in Southeast Asia. However, you may not be able to sell your products outside the country that you signed up. If you want to sell to another country, you will have to signup in that country as another business. These marketplaces don't exist to help your business solely. They might help your business grow, but they more focused on growing their business. That's why they are more focused on their customers' satisfaction more than they are with their sellers. As a seller, since you are just a store owner, not the actual marketplace owner, you can only make use of their tools and features. You have less control over how your stores look and how you can present your products. Since Lazada and Shopee take care of the shipping and logistics, you will have no power over that part. You can monitor the progress and current status of a customer's order, but you won't have full control over that aspect.
Being a seller in online marketplaces is advantageous if you want to and know how to tap into their massive online presence. However, this doesn't mean that they are the only options. If you want full control over your online store, you might consider opening up an online store website of your own, like Shopify.
What is a Shopify Store?
Shopify is an e-commerce platform wherein anyone can set up an online store and sell their products and services. It is now the leading commerce platform for all businesses. It covers selling online, social media, in-store, or anywhere.
Shopify is a software service subscription that offers to create a website and use their shopping cart solutions so that you can sell, ship, and manage your products. You can create and customize your online store to whatever you want your store would look like.
Here are some Retailers in the Philippines that are using Shopify:
What are the Pros and Cons of Having a Shopify Store?
Shopify is one of the most recommended e-commerce platforms in the online market today. It has a lot of features that can help sellers build their online stores and let them customize it to their preferences. However, it doesn't mean that it's a perfect platform. Here are some pros and cons you may want to consider.
Pros of having a Shopify Store:
Ease of Use
Shopify has a vast library of themes. You can choose one from the themes and set up easily using their user-friendly admin interface. There are also a lot of video guides and tutorials on the Shopify site.
Shopify is seller-friendly. It means that you can create your online store on your own. You don't need to have any technical expertise. Shopify will provide all software and hosting.
Secure & Reliable
You will be dealing with sensitive customer information. You will have to make sure that your store is secure and always online. Shopify takes care of all the server maintenance and upgrades so that you can keep your store available always. You can enable SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Certificates to encrypt data and pass it through a secure connection. Shopify will also take care of the PCI compliance for your store. It is to make sure that your customers can get secure transactions with you when dealing with credit cards.
Shopify is serious about customer support. They are available for you to contact 24/7. Even if you are running your business solo, you can still have support from Shopify in running your online business through this feature.
Most of the online shoppers today are shopping from their mobile devices. You won't' have to worry too much about how your website's mobile view will look since if you're using the Shopify themes, you will also have a mobile-optimized website. It means that your store will always look great on all devices.
You can choose from Shopify's massive pool of themes. All of them are mobile-responsive. You can also customize your store even more by editing the code. It means that you can customize your store into whatever you want.
Shopify has many amazing functions. Most of them come from apps that you can install and use in your store. To some extent, you won't have to edit your code if there is an available app for you to use in that aspect. Shopify Apps can help you with almost anything, including design, marketing, and accounting.
SEO & Marketing Tools
You will have to build an online presence for yourself. The app store will help you with that. You can make use of the apps to help you with marketing and even SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Using SEO & Marketing apps, the sellers can raise their ranks higher in search results so you can make more sales. You also have access to advanced analytics so you can examine and determine how you can improve your business.
Abandoned Cart Recovery
A customer can visit your store and not buy anything. Sometimes, they add products to cart and not checkout. Shopify helps you target those potential buyers using Shopify's features and apps. What happens is when a potential customer abandons a cart, They will automatically be sent emails and follow-ups on their cart content. It reminds them of their added products so they can proceed to checkout. Abandoned Cart Recovery is a neat feature that can potentially help you to get more revenue.
Shopify comes with dozens of payment gateways. You can link your store to payment options that your customers might use. It will encourage them to buy from you if they can pay quickly for the products they want.
Cons of having a Shopify Store:
Shopify fees may get confusing. In many ways, Shopify does better pricing transparency and overall value than competitors. However, you need to watch out for your expenses, or you might end up spending more than you need. You will, of course, have to pay for the monthly Shopify subscription fees. Next, you have additional fees to pay for your platform transaction fees. Carefully examine the payment options and find which is cheaper for you. You might also get to pay for your credit card fees. You might pay more if you use 3rd party processors, so it is recommended that you use Shopify's integrated features so you can get cheaper costs. Lastly, there are some apps or add-ons that are paid. As much as possible, try to look for apps that are free to use or have lower prices.
Shopify can be easy to use. That is very true if you are content with the massive pool of available themes that Shopify can offer. However, if you're into making your online store customized folly, you might end up having to edit code for your store. It might not be very easy if you are not an expert in this field. You might want to hire some expert for that since tweaking the code may destroy your store's design, functions, and security if not done correctly.
Since you are making your own online store, unlike online marketplaces, you will not be backed up by some huge companies. You will have to do your own marketing for your business. You will need to do SEO and marketing so you can get visitors to your online store. There are, fortunately, apps and add-ons that can help you raise your SEO and number of visitors.
f you've signed up for Shopify and you ever decide on moving your store to a different platform, it will never be smooth. The process will be intricate. You will need to plan for the future of your business before choosing Shopify as your e-commerce platform.
Setting up your online store might have some possible hardships at first. You will not be able to make money right away, not just because you still have to do your own marketing, but also because Shopify has their step by step process in setting up your online store. The steps aren't necessarily complicated, but you will have to be patient before you can start earning money.
How is Shopify Different From Lazada and Shopee?
By selling in Lazada and Shopee, you are tapping into their massive online presence but for a possible price of paying for the commission fees and the limitations of being just a store owner in an online marketplace that focuses on the customers more than its sellers.
A Shopify Store, on the other hand, is yours. You get to customize everything, including marketing campaigns. It might not be straightforward for some parts, but in return, you will be able to decide your brand and how you want the visitors to see your brand.
Whether which is better depends on the seller's preference. If you want to take it easy, you can always signup for online marketplaces like Lazada and Shopee. However, if you're thinking about going big and growing your brand, maybe Shopify is right for you. Each of these e-commerce options has its advantages and disadvantages, which do you think is right for your business?