There’s a reason Grapeseed Marketing doesn’t offer ecommerce in our digital marketing and website packages and unless you’re willing to essentially create an entirely new business, ecommerce is probably not for you. [level-members]
The main reason we don’t offer ecommerce options is because you don’t have the marketing muscle to pull it off. How well would you compete if there were 8 or 10 other wine shops right on your block? Well, the web is like that – but worse. Because there are literally thousands of sites that are no further away from your potential customers than you are. They’re a click or two away, just like you. And there a small handful that are actually closer than you are – Amazon and other giants, who do have the marketing muscle to differentiate themselves.
(We also don’t offer ecommerce because there are great tools out there if you want to make a big push into online sales. Give us a call and we can recommend great custom options.)
If your goals are more modest but you still feel there’s profits to be had from an online store, we recommend third-party ecommerce tools and marketplace storefronts.
Ecommerce solutions, like Shopify and others, do most of the heavy lifting, including PCI compliance and credit card processing integration. If you really grow your online sales, their fees will eat into your profits and you might consider alternatives, but to get started, there’s no faster, less expensive, more stress-free way to open a shop. Note that beverage alcohol isn’t always an approved product for various thard-party providers.
The marketplace storefronts, with Amazon and eBay being the largest, have the same varying regulations as the ecommerce solutions. Their big advantage is their built-in audience. The downside is the built in competition. Still, it’s worth a look if you’re interested in making a minimal investment. Don’t enter these relationships blindly, though. Marketplace rules typically favor buyers, no matter how obviously they’re scamming you, so be prepared for some fraud-related loss.
We still believe your time and creativity would be better served by building a better shop experience and using your online tools to market to your local audience. There’s plenty of local business out there for nearly all of us. Concentrate on finding it and you have a more sustainable business than the web will likely every provide.