Building Your
Ecommerce Website

Launching an online store, also known as an ecommerce website, is an exciting venture for any business owner. These days, having a virtual storefront can help bring in revenue, with less overhead costs than a brick-and-mortar and better access to the global marketplace. The revenue generated from ecommerce websites around the world is in the trillions, and in Canada there was $39 billion in online shopping sales in 2019.

Your ecommerce site, when built right, should become your best employee. It will work 24/7 to help turn your investment into daily sales by targeting:

  • Customer growth – shipping to customers nationally, or internationally, means casting a wider net to catch the attention of target audiences you haven’t met yet.
  • Increased profits – whether you have a brick-and-mortar or not, an ecommerce site will open up a new revenue stream for your business.
  • Ongoing Leads – when paired with SEO content and strategies your site can get seen by those searching for your products and services online. This is called organic traffic, and means you’ll be driving eyeballs to your website without additional marketing.

Best Ecommerce
Platforms

At Alpha Strategy, we work with two e-commerce platforms, Shopify and WooCommerce for WordPress. We chose to specialize in these because in our opinion they are the best for most businesses in that they provide the easiest user experience, the most value, and are highly flexible to growth. Below is our breakdown of the pros and cons of both.

SHOPIFY WEBSITES

We are a Shopify partner and work with our web design clients to build new Shopify sites (you do also have the option of integrating “buy now” functionality into an existing WordPress website for a low-key online store). Given that its customizable, affordable and offers a smooth user experience it’s not surprising there were 218 million orders made through Shopify within the last 12 months.

PROS

  • Very easy to use and upload products
  • Easy inventory management
  • Most stores can get started on the basic plan for $29/month USD
  • Pricing plan includes the SSL certificate, hosting and security costs
  • Great support
  • Lots of great themes to choose from
  • SEO friendly

CONS

  • Not a ton of options for page layouts with Shopify, which can necessitate extra help from a designer/developer to customize the page structure as needed
  • Currently some products are restricted on Shopify including firearms, cannabis and CBD.

wordpress ecommerce

According to Hosting Tribunal over 28% of all online stores use WooCommerce. It is the WordPress ecommerce functionality that was built specifically for the platform making it highly effective, efficient, and convenient for WordPress users seeking online shop functionality.

PROS

  • Free to use, open-source software
  • WooCommerce can be used with many different WordPress themes
  • Highly customizable shop and page design and by adding features using plugins (free and paid)
  • Simple to do basic setup
  • Great for stores that need unique functionality such as connecting to your stores POS system for inventory tracking
  • Extremely comprehensive SEO functionality through the Yoast plugin
  • You own your data

CONS

  • WordPress does have a bit of a learning curve and it can take some time to get used to working on the backend
  • Takes a good deal more time to set up and test WooCommerce stores
  • Additional costs for hosting, SSL certificate, maintenance, security and backups

How We’ll Help You Set-Up
Your E-Commerce Business

As ecommerce business consultants, web designers, and developers, we have the knowledge and expertise to help make your vision a reality.

We are happy to assist as much or as little as you need, whether you’re looking for a collaboration and strategizing session to plan your store and website architecture or you need some custom photography to make your site pop off the page.

We can set up and implement:

  • Custom graphics like hero banners, or collection banners
  • Theme and store development
  • Shipping, taxes, payment options and account administration
  • Set-up of multichannel marketing on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.
  • Custom page development & design
  • Product uploads
  • Customized products, cart and checkout pages
  • Set-up of additional app or plugin integrations (special functionality requirements for things like storewide promos, sales and discounts)
  • Custom plugins and integrations
  • Integration of shipping, taxes, payment options & account administration
  • Set-up multichannel marketing on Facebook, Instagram, etc.
Questions about how you can start your own online store, or what solutions might work best for the challenges your business is facing?