Blogshop seems to be an unique trend booming only in Singapore and Malaysia. Perhaps, many Singaporeans or Malaysians are accustomed to browse and navigate around blogshop but certainly not me (some might agree with me on this).
Nevertheless, I can't agree more that blogshop is a good platform for individuals or first timers to get a taste on selling online. It is also good for those who are selling products like collectibles or hand-made stuffs (limited quantity per offering). In this case, customers or fans would have just subscribe to the blog feed and check out the offering whenever it is available.
In any other cases, especially when your online business is starting to grow, do consider to commit yourself into setting up a proper online store with shopping cart. In this episode, let's explore features of an online store which are not conveniently available to blogshops.
1. Manage Product
With a typical shopping cart software, you can manage all your product description and attributes via an administrative site. You get the software to alert you when you need to restock your inventory. You can also import products into the online store by bulk, which is pretty handy and convenient.
2. Shopping Cart
Yes, you can apply the PayPal shopping cart or some e-commerce plugins to the blog but it is not a layman's task. Whereas, this comes as a basic feature with a shopping cart software which enable you to easily apply discount code, calculate shipping fee seamlessly based on the product weight and so on.
3. Manage Order
This is the pivotal feature missing from blogshops. Orders are being recorded in shopping cart software instead of manually manage requests via email or phone. You can easily process order whether it has already been paid or delivery is due. You can also track the billing origin and shipping address to minimize the fraud risk.
4. Manage Customer
Customers are also being recorded once they have placed order, rather than doing it manually in a spreadsheet. You don't need to separately install a third party plugin for newsletter subscription, as it usually comes together with a shopping cart software. You can then send promotional updates to existing customers and / or subscribers for new products or festive discounts.
5. Calculate Shipping Fee
Shipping rate can be calculated on the fly based on product weight (or quantity / amount) and delivery zones. Free shipping can also be applied for order that exceeds a preset amount. This will facilitate the checkout process so that your customers wouldn't be confused on how much they have to pay in total.
6. Marketing & Promotions
With shopping cart software, you can use some of the marketing tools to promote your products, for example featured products, special deal, best sellers, new products and so on. Discount code can also be generated on promotional basis to create buzz for your e-commerce store.
It will be a tedious task to input your order data into a spreadsheet in order to generate sales reports, especially if your business is doing well. Various reports are conveniently available with shopping cart software so that you can easily find out what is your top selling products, who are your top customers and most importantly, how much money you have made!
Extra: E-Commerce Usability
Last but not least, an e-commerce online store is much more easier to use compared to blogshop. Shopping experience will definitely improve with better browsing and navigation of the site. Ordering process is facilitated too and hopefully that will convert your shoppers into customers!
Well, owning a blogshop and wish to upgrade? Head over to webShaper to setup your own branded online store for as low as RM 1 per day!
Image credit: webShaper