Although Covid-19 has caused massive disruptions in the regular retail sectors, sales for online businesses have skyrocketed – Etsy CEO Josh Silverman reported that “sales on Etsy were up 79% year over year in the month of April” which is an astonishing amount and it just goes to show how much of a market there is for selling crafts online.
If you’re just starting out online it can be hard to get your head around the options to set up an online shop, a lot of people head straight to Etsy which is a great place to start but it’s important not to put all your eggs in one basket. If your business takes off you don’t want your entire livelihood at someone else’s mercy, which is why it’s so important to have your own website.
A lot of people are scared to make the leap to a self-hosted shop because they think it’s hard to set up but what if I told you that setting up your own online shop on your own domain was even easier than setting it up on Etsy? What if I also then told you that it could be done in under an hour?
Let me introduce you to your new business building tool – SimpleShop.com
What is Simple Shop?
SimpleShop is a simple eCommerce platform designed to give you the easiest and simplest way to build a beautiful online shop as quickly as possible. You don’t any technical skills as they’ve done all the hard work for you. You get access to a variety of themes and an easy to navigate dashboard meaning you can get a fully functional site set-up within literal minutes.
What makes them even better is that they are super affordable, you start with a 14-day free trial so that you can get to grips with the system and after that it’s only £9 a month with no limits on sales volume/product listings, no contracts and no commission – meaning that your profits stay in your pocket.
Just how simple is SimpleShop?
SO amazingly simple! I’ve tried out the site myself and I can 100% say that I prefer it over the Etsy interface – you can find everything you are looking for on the main dashboard page, you don’t have to be clicking under different tabs and screens to find something. The set-up ‘wizard’ or walkthrough is thorough enough that you can have a product launched on a fully functioning, and nice-looking, website within half an hour.
How to set up an online shop
I’ll take you through the first few screens of the SimpleShop set up to show you just how easy it is…
Step 1 – Register for your free 14-day trial by clicking the ‘Start free trial’ button at the top of the SimpleShop.com homepage.
Step 2 – Select a theme – there are a range of themes to choose from on this page, all of them are eye-catching and clean looking (this is important as you don’t want your site design to distract people from looking at your products) I like ‘Apex’ personally as it gives you a section for product categories ‘above the fold‘ on the page meaning people can go straight to area of your shop that they want without having to scroll down the page.
Step 3 – Create your account – this is where you can name your shop, don’t panic about this step too much as you can always change it later and add your own domain.
Step 4 – Now we’re into our dashboard – I really like this screen, it couldn’t be an easier way to walk you through the process of setting up an online shop AND it even gives you an idea of how long it takes to complete each step – even if you wanted to add 10 items to your shop before you launched you could still get it set-up in under 30mins. Each step has an advanced settings tab that you can use to add further details but again, that’s something you can come back to at a later time, the main point of this set-up wizard is to get your online shop set-up properly and quickly.
Step 5 – Adding products – These screens are laid out really plainly making it easy to add a product and relevant info. There are also some great option toggles, such as adding a downloadable product or a subscription-based product, which is what makes this platform so much versatile that a lot of others. The final steps after adding your products are to set up shipping rates and how you’ll get paid. Once that’s all chosen you are good to go – In less than half an hour you’ve just created a fully-functional online shop!
Would I recommend SimpleShop?
Yes, if you are looking to set up an online shop to sell your items then I would absolutely suggest using SimpleShop, it is by far the most simple eCommerce platform I have come across. It’s such a good tool, especially for the price, and it really does do all the hard work for you.