ecommerce in 2020

Ecommerce in 2020: Best platforms to get started

Ecommerce in 2020 is becoming the number 1 go-to business practice as our world has become transformed by the COVID-19 pandemic. With traditional forms of business disrupted, ecommerce has risen exponentially. Latin America especially is experiencing a boom in ecommerce this year as easier online payment options have become available in many countries.  

ecommerce in 2020

Photo by Mark König on Unsplash

Ecommerce on the rise in 2020

In the early months of the pandemic, businesses scrambled to move online. The internet has kept us all connected during these long months of social distancing as we flooded into the virtual sphere for school, work, and social life. Without the power of technology, life would have come to a screeching halt. Luckily, most businesses have been able to continue virtually. Businesses that may not have ever considered having an online platform were forced to embrace this alternative, and now there’s no turning back. While traditional retail sales have experienced a significant decline this year, “ecommerce has seen a 129% year-over-year growth” in the U.S. and Canada since April and global ecommerce sales are expected to reach $4.2 trillion by the end of this year.

If you’re a business owner who’s not yet on the interwebs or you’re looking to start an online business venture during this time, here’s what you need to know about ecommerce in 2020, the top ecommerce platforms, and how to get started.  

Diving into the world of ecommerce 

Ecommerce in 2020 is definitely growing more than ever before, but it’s not as easy as just creating a website and expecting the cash to start magically flowing in. It takes work and with more and more businesses turning to ecommerce, the competition is also growing. 

The first step to launching a successful ecommerce venture is to choose your platform. There are tons of different online shops to choose from to host your business and each offers different features. 

Finding the platform that works best for your business is a crucial first step, so read on below for the top 5 leading platforms for ecommerce in 2020. 

You might be interested: Best use of PPP and other financing strategies for Latina business owners

Top 5 Ecommerce Platforms in 2020 

1. Shopify

Shopify is considered one of the best overall ecommerce platforms for small businesses. Shopify provides small businesses with all the tools they need to compete with top retailers while also providing POS software to manage both in-store and online sales. Shopify’s pricing starts at $29/per month with their basic plan. Upgrades however will be more costly, with their standard plan starting at $79/per month, and Advanced Shopify priced at $299/per month. 

One major perk Shopify offers however is its ability to integrate with other marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay. Users can also sell their products via Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest through Shopify, allowing businesses to reach even more customers.

2. Square 

If you’re tight on funds, Square might be the place for you as you can join completely free with its standard plan. Square offers built-in credit card processing and paid subscriptions for more advanced features, but you need not subscribe to a monthly plan to get started. Simply use their website builder to create your site. Square also allows you to sell an unlimited number of products under its free plan. 

If you’re interested in advanced features, Square is still significantly cheaper than competitors, with their Professional plan starting at just $12/month, Performance plan at $26/month, and Premium plan at $72/month. 

3. WooCommerce

For WordPress websites, WooCommerce is the place to go. It’s also completely free! WooCommerce is an open-source plugin that runs on WordPress, which is also free.

However, WooCommerce has a steeper learning curve. Its a bit more complicated to set up and maintain than the more user-friendly Square or Shopify. WooCommerce also offers limited customer support options. But if you’re tech-savvy or willing to learn, WooCommerce is a powerful tool that offers many of the same features as Shopify at no cost and with more customization options. 

4. Squarespace

Squarespace is best for artists, creatives, and boutiques. It’s ideal for the solo entrepreneur who doesn’t have a lot of time to learn more advanced systems like Shopify and WooCommerce. Squarespace offers simplicity paired with top-notch quality. Its sites are designed to look modern and trendy and it’s pricing is a bit cheaper than other competitors starting at $18/month. 

Squarespaces’ key features include a user-friendly trendy website builder, inventory management, multi-channel selling through Instagram and Facebook, marketing tools, analytics, and customer support. 

5. Wix 

If you’re all about aesthetics and design, Wix might be the place for you as it offers total freedom when it comes to design. Wix, like Squarespace, is a much simpler and affordable option starting at $23/month for their Business Basic plan. Wix’s standout feature is their ‘drag-and-drop’ website builder. Every aspect of your site can be edited by clicking and dragging, from text to photos, shapes, and buttons. Most competitors like Square, Shopify, and Squarespace offer templates that can be customized but are limited. With Wix, there is complete control in web-design. You also get many of the same tools as competitors with multi-channel selling on social media and Etsy, basic analytic and sales report tools, email marketing tools, and 24/7 customer support. 

7 Biggest blogging mistakes and how to fix them

When most people think of blogging, they think it’s just something people do as a hobby. But blogging can also  become a lucrative business in itself, if you’re doing it right! Starting a blog can be a great way to promote your business and share your expertise with your audience, while earning money in the process. However, creating a successful blog takes a bit more work than  simply writing blog posts and you might just be making some of the biggest blogging mistakes without even knowing it! 

Read on to learn top 7 biggest blogging mistakes newbies (and even seasoned bloggers) often make and how to fix them!  

You might be interested: 5 Steps to increase your blog traffic through Pinterest

Top 7 biggest blogging mistakes and how to fix them 

1. Failing to collect emails 

When many first-time bloggers start out, they don’t think to collect emails from their readers. You might not have anything to sell at the time and may think “What’s the point?” However if you later end up starting a business through your blog or want to sell or promote a product, having a mailing list of potential customers to market to will be invaluable. 

Collecting emails from readers is also a great way to keep your blog traffic flow consistent. When you make a new post, readers can be notified via email and be pushed toward your content instead of waiting for them to remember to check your blog. 

Setting up a mailing list will also help you track how your readers interact with your content so you can better gauge what resonates with them. 

Solution: One tactic to get people to sign up for your mailing list is  to offer something in return for free, usually some type of digital content relevant to your blog’s area of focus. So for instance if you’re a healthy food blog you may offer a free meal plan schedule in a PDF when readers sign up for your mailing list. 

2. Writing too formally 

Photo by Kari Shea on Unsplash

Another one of the biggest blogging mistakes writers make is writing too formally in your posts. Using complicated language and jargon can easily turn off potential readers, especially if the language you use doesn’t match the content of your blog. For instance, you’d probably expect some complicated words if you were reading a science or tech blog, but you probably don’t want to over-complicate things if you’re blogging about lifestyle. 

As someone with a background in academic writing, I so get this one! You may have been taught in school that formal writing is the only “acceptable” way to write, but the online world is much different from academics. You’re allowed to use contractions. You’re allowed to have a sense of humor! 

Solution: Just don’t overthink it. Try to keep your posts fun and casual. Write as if you’re speaking to a good friend. It’ll make your tone feel more authentic and engaging to readers. 

3. Not posting consistently 

Building a successful blog takes time. You need to build up a loyal audience and part of that process requires posting consistently. If you only post a few blog posts and then nothing for months, many readers will tune out and forget about you. The key is to keep them coming back! 

Solution: Set up some type of schedule or calendar where you can keep track of your past and upcoming posts and keep it consistent. There are many programs you can use to help you set up a calendar such as Coschedule, or you can even use a regular old calendar or make a spreadsheet. 

4. Writing with no clear direction

Every blog post needs a focus. Another biggest blogging mistake is bouncing from topic to topic in your posts. Blog posts that ramble on and on with no clear focus are sure to have readers clicking away. Having a focus topic for each post is especially important if you’re trying to rank on search engines through the use of SEO.

Photo by Merakist on Unsplash

Solution: Setting a keyword is one easy way to draw in your focus so you’re not just writing aimlessly about whatever pops into your head. Another tip to keep your blog post on track is to make an outline and use subheadings to keep everything flowing in order.  

5. Relying solely on personal anecdote

Personal anecdotes are incredibly common in the blogging world and many first time bloggers are prone to make their blog posts all about themselves and their personal experiences. This is fine for a personal blog, but if you’re blogging as a business it can be a turn off readers. 

Solution: By all means don’t completely cut out the personal anecdotes, but try to scale them back and back your thoughts and opinions with reliable research and data. 

6.  Using duplicate Google analytics plugins

New bloggers might be tempted to download tons of plugins, thinking they’ll help your blog. However this can actually cause the opposite. Having too many plugins can bog down your site, causing it to slow down. Plus, a lot of plugin functions are redundant, especially blog analytic plugins.

Photo by Carlos Muza on Unsplash

When you have more than one Google Analytics plugin, you end up with inaccurate analytics. This can be especially harmful when working with networks or brands, who will often ask for your analytics to know your audience reach. 

Solution: Keep it simple when it comes to plugins. Only use what you really need, and make sure to check for duplicates and plugins that share the same function. 

7. Writing short articles 

Lastly, one of the biggest blogging mistakes is writing articles that are too short. Many bloggers think shorter articles will be more successful since a reader will likely read through the entire post. Many SEO plugins also will say that a 300-word blog post is enough to rank in search engines. However research has found that the optimal blog post length is closer to 1,600 words–quite a bit more than 300! 

Solution: When writing blog posts, try to pick topics that you can really delve into. Add subheadings and related keywords to lengthen your posts and dive deeper into the subject. You can also include quotes and excerpts from others, research and data, or anecdotes and testimonials depending on your post’s topic! 

Keeping these mistakes in mind when crafting your blog posts will help you on your way to success!