6 e-Commerce Platforms to Set up Your Online Store

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Are you thinking of selling items online, but have no idea how to get started? It probably seems easy enough, since so many Singaporeans are selling things online. But with so many ecommerce platforms available to you, you’re bound to get puzzled about which platform to choose. If you’re feeling this way, read on for a quick 101 on the topic.

Your best options if you’re looking to create your own website

1. Shopify

Shopify enables you to sell your goods and services on their website, on social media or at physical store.

With the ability to customise the look and feel of your store, you can let your personality shine through how you brand your store. Sounds fabulous, right?

Make this happen by choosing any template from the platform. You don’t need any design expertise for building an online store. All you need to do is create a domain name and choose your layout and colours.

Pros of using Shopify:

  • No transaction fees
  • You can choose from over 200 themes and applications, allowing you to customize your brand and make it personal.
  • Top-notch updating process. Every update that you make on Shopify, will reflect on all your websites automatically.
  • Shopify is certified Level 1 PCI DSS compliant – means your data and your customers’ is super secure
    Packed with lots of features

Cons of using Shopify:

  • If you’re just trying out and you’re not sure if your products will do well, it might be hard to justify the recurring cost to use Shopify.
  • Marketing and branding to reach out to customers will have to be done on your own.

Here’s what it’ll cost you to create your brand using Shopify: 

Nothing for 2 weeks. You can try Shopify for 14 days at no charge and without having to give your credit card information.
After 2 weeks, you can choose a monthly plan depending on how your business is growing. The prices start from S$9 – S$29 for a basic package, $79 for a more comprehensive package and $299 for an advanced package.

If you’re convinced that Shopify is a good fit for your online store, you can start your 14 day free trial here.

Read also: Starting a Business? Here’s What You Need to Know About Setting up a Business Bank Account

2. WooCommerce

This is a global e-commerce platform for WordPress that is very popular around the world. Thousands of WordPress themes are integrated with WooCommerce, meaning that your store can easily be an extension of your website, without looking out of place.

You can create an account for free! Just get started by signing up with a WordPress.com account.

Pros of using WooCommerce:

  • It will not cost you anything to build your brand on WooCommerce. As it is based on a WordPress platform, you will not have to pay anything to download WooCommerce.
  • WooCommerce comes with a host of comprehensive features that are called ‘extensions’. These extensions are categorized under 10 different categories such as payments, marketing, shipping, etc. Some extensions are available free of charge while others are paid.
  • It’s a complete package – you can build your website, a store within your website and integrate your blog, all under the same platform.

Cons of using WooCommerce:

  • If your knowledge of WordPress is limited, making the best use of this platform can be challenging. You won’t get a good use of these extensive features and you might need to pay a developer to effectively make your website for you.
  • Marketing and branding to reach out to customers will have to be done on your own.
    WooCommerce will not be responsible for the security on your website. The onus to maintain and offer a secure platform to your customers will be on you.
  • You will have to pay for hosting and domain.

Here’s what it’ll cost you to create your brand using WooCommerce:

  • Nothing to build your website. WooCommerce is free.
  • Paid extensions start from $29 and up to $299.

Get started with WooCommerce here.

Commission-based marketplaces

3. Qoo10

Qoo10 is extremely popular among all Singaporeans as it sells a mixed range of goods. It has all kinds of products including fashion for men and women, sports goods, electronic gadgets, home products, beauty products and even food!

When you want to trade your products on this platform, you will have to register as a seller on the site. Choose a theme for your store and make it look catchy and attractive with nice visuals.

The good thing about selling on Qoo10 is that you’re going to be part of a larger site, meaning you can ride on the traffic being brought in from the rest of the sellers.

Pros of using Qoo10:

  • You get to take advantage of the large user base that Qoo10 has.
  • Registering as a seller and getting listed on Qoo10 is free.

Cons of using Qoo10:

  • High transaction fees. Depending on your seller status (Normal/Good/Power) and your seller grade (how much you sell is divided into ‘Under S$200, ‘Over S$200 but under S$500’ and ‘Over S$500’), you can be charged anywhere from 7% to 12% on your total transaction amount.
  • Because the listing is free, there is also a lot of competition. Your listing may not necessarily be on the first page. The buyer may have to scroll down and navigate the website to get to your listings.
  • Consumers in such marketplaces may tend to be more focused on getting the cheapest prices, rather than buying from a particular seller.
  • If you register on the Singapore website, then you can only sell in Singapore and no other marketplaces such as Malaysia, Hong Kong, Indonesia etc. You will have to register and create your listing separately to sell on other Qoo10 marketplaces.

Here’s what it’ll cost you to sell your products on Qoo10:

  • Registration is free.
  • If you’re a ‘Normal Seller’, your service fee will range between 10% and 12% of your total transaction amount.
  • If you’re a ‘Good Seller’, your service fee will range between 8% and 10% of your total transaction amount.
  • If you’re a ‘Power Seller’, your service fee will range between 7% and 9% of your total transaction amount.

Set up your online store with Qoo10 here.

4. Redmart

Redmart is the first online grocer in Singapore. The website is known for its amazing layout and user-friendly features. This has enabled customers to have a great online shopping experience for buying all kinds of groceries such as fresh vegetables, fruits, processed foods, frozen foods, pet care goods, and lots more.

If you are looking to sell such goods, Redmart is the best place for you! The site is also planning to include more types of products on their website.

Pros of using Redmart:

  • Opening a seller’s account with Redmart is free.
  • You get to enjoy access to their customer pool, as well as take advantage of their delivery service.
  • You don’t have to worry about the complexities of managing a website on your own

Cons of using Redmart:

  • As Redmart primarily sells grocery, there are still many customers who are skeptical about the freshness of the products, especially regarding refrigeration. Therefore, gaining customer trust could still pose a challenge as many still prefer stepping out to the nearest grocery store.

Set up your online store with Redmart here.

Related: 5 of the Best Online Grocery Stores in Singapore

5. Lazada

Does your team design distinctive apparels for women and men? Does your firm specialise in creating home décor with a vintage theme? Or are you an electronics seller hoping to sell your products online?

Sell your products on Lazada’s marketplace and reach consumers in Singapore and around the region. If you’ve not tried Lazada yourself, you should! The website offers a wide range of products such as fashion products, toys, electronics, personal care products, furniture, etc.

Lazada is the ultimate haven for you to sell as the site’s selling process is very simple. You will first have to sign up and upload relevant documents. Next, you will have to activate your Lazada Seller Centre account, and you’re an official Lazada seller!

You can watch tutorials or sign up for coaching to receive the right guidance to market and promote your goods. With around 55,000 active sellers in the community, you won’t have to be alone if you face challenges in your selling journey!

Pros of using Lazada:

  • You will have access to one of the largest customer bases as Lazada is a recognized brand. They have a customer base of 560 million.
  • Simple to use, and you don’t have to worry about managing your own site
  • Wide variety of items that you can sell on Lazada without looking out of place

Cons of using Lazada:

  • There are 55,000 active sellers on the platform, so, your brand could be lost.
  • They charge a high commission of up to 13% of your transaction amount. The commission varies depending on the category and product sold.

Set up your online store with Lazada here.

Marketplace, without the commision

6. Carousell

In Singapore, you will definitely hear someone say “Sell it on Carousell.” Carousell is a supercool app that allows you to buy and sell goods effortlessly. This is a great place to sell both new and used goods. You can download this app on your phone and sell your items away to anyone else with the app.

Sign up is free and putting your item up for sale is incredibly simple. All you need to do is take a few photos of your item, fill in a description and details about price and pick up, and you’re ready to go! You will need to give a clear description of the items that you want to sell.

Pros of using Carousell:

  • Whether you are a novice or an experienced seller, it is extremely easy to sell on this platform. You can list your items within seconds by taking pictures and filling out some simple details.
  • In-chat application so you can directly communicate and securely with your buyers.
  • You can get feedback from your buyers.

Cons of using Carousell:

  • Many sellers have reported issues with buyers who have either tried to scam them or flaked out after the item has been sold. You need to be careful about who you are selling to.

Here’s what it’ll cost you to create your brand using Carousell:

  • Carousell is free to use for all buyers and sellers. All you need to do is download the app and start selling.

Set up your online store with Carousell by following the simple steps here.

Read also: 8 Things You Should Always Buy Used to Save Money

It’s time to kick-start the sales of your online store now! Have a great selling experience on these e-commerce platforms!

If you think we missed out on a site that you think is great, let us know on Facebook.

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