Choose the Right eCommerce Platform for Your New Business: Ultimate Guide + Tips for Financing for Business Owners

Starting a new business and owning an online shop cross a lot of people’s minds, but it could be tricky to start from scratch. Before making your decisions, let’s take a look at the costs and potential difficulties of starting a business. Reap reveals the pros and cons of different eCommerce platforms around, with the guide to tackling your purchasing and cash flow issues!

Comparison of 4 eCommerce platforms

 ShopifyShoplineBoutirWooCommerce
PricingFrom
USD 29
From
HK$649
From HK$82.33Free
Collect payment with PayMeNoYesYesNo
Collect payment with Alipay HKYesOnly for yearly subscriptionYesPlug-in required
Collect payment with StripeNoYesYesYes
Collect payment with PayPalYesYesYesYes
Multi-currency optionsYesYesYesAdditional charge required
Language optionsYesOnly for Shopline Enterprise NoPlug-in required
Blog FeatureYesYesNoWordPress compatible

Shopify

Shopify is one of the well-known e-commerce platforms, in addition to its relatively long history in the market, many of its features are also attractive. In terms of its features, Shopify provides a comprehensive package for users, ranging from website template designs, mobile-friendliness functions, blogs, to customized HTML & CSS and email promotion functions.

Apart from that, one of the most attractive features of Shopify is its compatibility with other software and platforms. For example, users can install Google Analytics and different social media platforms on their Shopify, along with a variety of plugins. With simple and user-friendly functions, Shopify provides ultimate solutions to your online shop.

The only downside of Shopify is it is only in English, which might not be the easiest platform to get started for Hong Kongers. If you would like to display your online shop in Chinese, users will need to translate the website by yourself, which might also take some time.

Shopline

Made in Hong Kong, Shopline focuses on the Asian Market. With the Chinese interface, Shopline is considered more user-friendly and easy to get started. One of the great features of Shopline is it integrates both online and offline sales. Users can manage various stores at a time.

The built-in membership scheme is very user-friendly. With only a few steps, customers can register as members of your online store. The membership program can also be customized with different membership levels.

In addition, Shopline provides comprehensive online store features, including connecting with Google Analytics and Ad platforms, compatible with online payments and oversea sales.

PayMe for Business has also partnered up with Shopline, which users can pick PayMe as a payment option. With no limits for the transaction amount, PayMe for Business in Shopline also comes with a built-in sales report. Compared to other payment methods, PayMe for Business in Shopline is relatively lower with only a 1.5% transaction fee.

If you are a beginner in online shops and are not too familiar with online advertisements, you can also pay for Shopline’s extra service, which they can manage your online advertising. Pricing starts from HKD$2,500.

One thing you should notice would be, though Shopline is very user-friendly, the choice of website template is rather limited, with only 22 options to choose, which is not very customize-friendly.

Boutir

One of the biggest features of Boutir is you can set up your online shop with your mobile phone, meaning that users do not need to have prior experiences in coding or designing to build their own website and online store.

Like the other online platforms, Boutir has a well-built membership program, allowing store owners to understand their customers’ status and shopping habits.

Boutir also provides a built-in sales report, which gives you a bigger picture of the store’s performance and to adjust the selling strategies accordingly.

One of the cons of Boutir is its fewer choices of other extra features, like adding plug-ins and extensions, supporting multi-languages in the online store. But at a relatively affordable price, Boutir definitely provides the essentials for setting up an online store.

WooCommerce

The best feature of WooCommerce is it’s completely free, and it is compatible with the free website content management system WordPress. Users can install various plug-ins to build and customize the online store. But there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.

Compared to other eCommerce platforms with paid subscriptions, WooCommerce requires users to have the basic knowledge of building and designing websites. In addition to that, users need to pay for their own websites and domains. The built-in membership program on WooCommerce is not as comprehensive as the other paid platforms. If you know how to build your own website, and would like to try your hand at eCommerce, WooCommerce would be the best fit for you to lower the cost!

How to deal with cash flow when starting your business?

From purchasing costs, employee payroll to rents, cash is always the to-go payment method. Is there any way to get immediate cash flow other than getting loans?

THERE IS actually a simpler way. With Reap Pay, you can pay your company expenses with credit cards. Settling your cash payment with your credit cards, you don’t have to worry about cash flow emergencies.

Settling your payment with credit cards after the billing date, you can postpone the repayment up to 58 days. Unlike getting loans from banks, you don’t have to worry about getting approvals. Getting your cash flow can be as easy as swiping your credit cards!

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