Most publishers generate revenue through digital subscriptions and eBook sales. In recent years, a need to diversify the revenue strategies has garnered the attention of many content creators and publishers. eCommerce platforms have emerged as an incredible income stream consequently.
For this reason, more and more publishers feel drawn towards eCommerce websites as an important revenue strategy. In the United States, the eCommerce space grew by 15%, responsible for nearly $3 trillion global web sales in 2018 alone. (Source)
That said, building an eCommerce website is cumbersome for someone who does not have extensive coding experience. As a publisher, you can get started with eCommerce platforms that offer plug-and-play templates and kickstart your own eCommerce store within no time!
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One can never miss Shopify while naming the best eCommerce platforms for publishers. Creating web pages using its simple yet powerful editor is as convenient as it gets. Besides, you can have zero coding experience and yet set up your eCommerce store on Shopify in a jiffy.
As a publisher, you can get started with the basic plan, which would cost you $29 a month. In that, you get all the features of an online store, POS for accounts, 24/7 support, free SSL certifications, manual order creation, different sales channels, gift cards, and abandoned cart recovery.
You will also be charged a 2% transaction fee in this basic plan which is good enough to get you going for a few months. Once you start making enough profits on your eBooks, online magazines, etc., you can always upgrade your plan later on.
Leading publishers such as Penguin use Shopify Plus that can handle massive traffic, offer automated workflows and international eCommerce capabilities.
The crucial features of Shopify Plus are explained below:
- Compliance cloud: Delving into overseas regulations is nerve-wracking. With Shopify Plus, you can ensure compliance with regional specifications.
- Payment Gateways: Thanks to over 100 payment gateways, your readers across the world will not face any problem while placing their order. With multi-language support and various currencies available on this platform, both domestic and international customers will have a pleasing experience.
- Automated workflows: You can automate several workflows on Shopify Plus. For instance, you can automate the workflow needed to re-order the inventory or follow up with readers who may have received a damaged item.
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BigCommerce is loaded with attractive features and built-in tools. Multi-channel integration and built-in advanced SEO are two such examples. If you already have an eBook store, you can easily integrate it with BigCommerce.
It’s a noteworthy choice among many eCommerce platforms for publishers. Besides, you get 24/7 support in all plans offered by BigCommerce. The standard plan will cost you $29.95 per month, which is comparable to Shopify. Through this eCommerce platform, you can easily start with product reviews and a built-in blog section.
Moreover, with the help of SEO, your eBooks have a better chance of getting discovered online. Thanks to the sync inventory feature of BigCommerce, you can also integrate digital marketplaces with your store.
You also get a 15-day free trial on this platform.
Other key features of BigCommerce include:
- Side-by-side product comparison: Mostly used by large businesses, this feature allows users to arrive at a decision quickly.
- Sync inventory: BigCommerce lets you sync inventory with digital and social marketplaces, thereby increasing your reach.
If you want to build custom extensions on your online store, you need to choose an open-source eCommerce platform. WooCommerce has an easily customizable eStore. However, to get started with WooCommerce, publishers need to have a WordPress hosting account, SSL certificate, and a domain name.
With just a few clicks, you can integrate your WooCommerce store with the WordPress site. Hence, publishers who prefer using WordPress should go for WooCommerce. Besides, they have in-house WordPress experts to help you at every step during the integration.
But being a self-hosted platform, most of the updates are handled by publishers. Hence, WooCommerce may not be ideal for beginners, but experienced publishers with coding knowledge can surely give it a go.
Apart from that, WooCommerce has:
- In-built payment processing option
- SEO to promote your store
- Local customization in terms of language and currency
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If you don’t understand the know-how of developing an eCommerce website, Volusion is a great option for you. One of the most striking features of this eCommerce platform is that it has more than 50 payment gateways.
Another noteworthy feature is their analytics tools. Publishers can get started with a personal plan that costs $29 a month. Besides, you get 11 free templates with Volusion. Even though this eCommerce platform does not have an exhaustive list of features, you won’t be charged any transaction fees.
However, they do charge roughly $7/GB for bandwidth fees. If you are doubtful, you can always start a 14-day free trial.
Other striking features of Volusion include:
- Deal of the day: You don’t need an extension for this. It helps drive sales and grab the attention of readers
- SEO features: Rank your eCommerce store on Google and sell more eBooks than ever
- VZoom: With this feature, readers can zoom into your eBooks for a better look
- Store management: Whenever your inventory runs out, you get an alert. Besides, you get custom reports making store management a little more convenient
This ends the exhaustive list of eCommerce platforms for publishers along with their features.
How to Build an eBook Store
In a nutshell
There are few factors you need to take into account before choosing an eCommerce platform for publishers. First off, if you don’t have extensive coding experience, platforms such as Volusion and Shopify are great for you.
On the other hand, if you can customize your online store without much help, you can go for WooCommerce. Just remember, you should have a WordPress site for it. BigCommerce is also a good choice if you can tweak the CSS and HTML of the online store.
Irrespective of which platform you choose, all of them are comparable in terms of prices and plans. By choosing any of these best eCommerce platforms in the list, your eBook store can be set up in no time!
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