Out of my 10-year long history of working with website administration for my projects and the clients, E-commerce has to be the most complex site structure that involves multiple third-party integrations, making it unstable and unmanageable for a small team. I’ve tried everything from Magento to WooCommerce powered by WordPress, but things get messy not only at the time of integration but during live site as well. I had to move to a managed E-commerce platform like Storehippo, that offers me an all-inclusive E-commerce package for a fixed monthly subscription.
Following are some of the key reasons I am impressed with the StoreHippo!
10 Reasons Storehippo Instantly Impressed Me With Compared to My Old Self-hosted Platform
If you’re setting up your E-commerce store for the first time, an extensive amount of research and an exhaustive clerical work is needed. Selecting best hosting, finding a web developer, implementing third-party tools and services and so on. All of these efforts can go in vain when you compare your site with massive stores like Flipkart & eBay, and how innovatively they come up with ideas to keep their customer engaged.
E-commerce business is all about repeat sales, and having more number of relevant products or even more vendors who sell a variety of products. To create such setup, your team must have the technological edge that major stores offer. And this is where even an experienced team of developers or self-hosting might fail you.
StoreHippo is a platform that continually enhances the technology that powers your store and matches the global E-commerce standards for you. And all you have to focus on is selling right products to right customers by extensive marketing. The setup of a new store takes minimal time, it’s not complex, and having a drag-n-drop editor makes it a great platform to start as well as scale your E-commerce business.
2. Operating Costs
In my experience, the biggest recurring cost that occurred to us was buying a powerful hosting that doesn’t give up on increasing daily traffic. A good quality hosting with VPS can cost you around 5-8,000 INR/Month. Along with this, you will need to buy the bulk SMS service that starts Rs.10000 for 50000 SMS credits. You’ll end up sending at least 3-5 SMS per order so, you can only cater 10000 orders with that many credits. Payment gateway costs are same with Storehippo and integration is free.
But If you’re building a DIY E-commerce store, getting SMS, Shipping & Payment gateway setup can cost you at least Rs.25,000 if you’re not skilled enough.
So for a self-hosted platform adding integration, theme, SSL, and plugins can cost you at least Rs.1,00,000 one-time, and about Rs.15,000 in recurring costing for a small store and double that for the store that hosts a higher number of products. These are the costs when you do a lot of stuff yourself what we call as The Great Indian Jugaad. Agency costs will be much higher than this for similar integration.
StoreHippo subscription pricing starts at just Rs.2999 per month with zero one-time fees. Subscription fees will take care of your hosting, setup for up to 5000 products, Facebook Store, SSL, SMS, all gateway integrations & much more. Pretty good price to start your store, taste the waters with advertising and scale up to higher plan as you grow.
The prices go as high as Rs.25,000 per month with the insane amount of features a full-fledged high-earning store needs. I think the Rs.9999/month option is pretty good if you’re experienced in the industry and looking to setup a large scale of products store, build apps and have multi-seller setup for your store.
3. Hosting Issues
While hosting a decent size of the website is not a problem with shared hosting, E-commerce platforms are not suitable to get started with the shared resources. Not that we’ve tried, but if you have a good flow of traffic coming to your site, it will bottleneck your resources available on a shared server. Instead of buying VPS or unmanaged dedicated server for which I need support from web administrator team, I decided to go with StoreHippo for all my current and new clients.
StoreHippo subscription took care of all such performance hiccups and offers high-speed hosting that makes your E-commerce sites load faster and get the best of SEO juice for speed.
4. How quickly you can go live!
I remember the first website I setup with Magento took about a month to go live, and with WooCommerce it’s even slower. My speed of deployment increased with the experience, but for someone looking to create their store for the first time, setting up all the elements right takes time, and integration is extremely painful.
With StoreHippo, If I have the product content and graphics ready, I could set up a store in less than 24 hours. And no, I am not kidding. It will surely depend on the number of products you want to go live with, but with the available themes and drag and drop customization, I could make a small e-commerce site live quickly.
Here is a quick e-commerce front end I was able to set up for demo gaming website within 30 minutes.
Apart from the payment gateway of your choice, there is no integration that needs to be in place to go live with this managed E-commerce platform. StoreHippo takes care of SMS automation for order & shipment and costs nothing additional. This similar integration took us a couple of days to figure out and complete automation took even longer.
As StoreHippo stores come with the SMS, Payment & Shipping integration ready to go live, you basically do not have any integration to take care of. I would only recommend getting your preferred payment gateway account approved before you go ahead and select from the StoreHippo plans, in case you want to go live as fast as possible.
6. Variety of Themes
Your website should look and feel like a trustworthy store to buy online, especially for first-time buyers. Along with that, it should also highlight relevant offers or products in visible areas. In-self hosted platforms I was not limited to how many themes I can buy from marketplaces but it added costs every time I switch to new design.
StoreHippo monthly costs cover all the themes offered by the platform that are designed for variety of businesses from T-shirts, Jewellery, Cake Shops and even for electronics. And you’re not limited by available front-end, you can go ahead and customize any theme in any way from backgrounds, to colours, to various header and footer styles. The powerful customization will help your StoreHippo store stand out on every possible device with their responsive themes.
7. Multi-store setup
Imagine having a virtual mall, which caters multiple categories of stores for a variety of audience in single E-commerce installation. I would definitely do not reply on self-hosted platforms like Magento and WordPress for this purpose with the issues I have mentioned above running even a single store.
StoreHippo allows you to host multiple stores with completely different SKUs, and designed to showcase particular products for a certain audience or geography. You can even customize the SEO and marketing for the individual stores to make sure you target right keywords and right audience with your setup. Similar things are hard to set up and manage in existing self-hosted platforms.
8. No More Plugins!
With every feature that I wanted on my WooCommerce store, I basically have to rely on the plugins. And If I want better plugins designed by the professional company, I was shelling out money for each one of them.
StoreHippo allows almost all such features I need in the subscription pricing. You want the discount engine for your store, offer wallets and reward points for your customers, send push notifications or to offer mobile applications of your store, you won’t be needing any more plugins. Plug-ins are normally easy to install, they cost money and reduces site loading speed, whereas sites built on the StoreHippo Platform have these feature integrated, costs no extra charges and are optimized for better load times.
9. Marketing Ready
Even though I am a fan of WordPress for building SEO optimized sites, the sluggishness in the WooCommerce integration and costs, keeps me away from using that platform. StoreHippo comes with built-in SEO optimization setup that is easy to integrate even for the first time user. You can control the meta for each page and make sure the on-page SEO is top class.
Along with this StoreHippo allows you to integrate your marketing tools with the platform, and in fact lets you create user segmentation which you can target through your campaigns. This makes marketing your Ecommerce store much easier.
Whenever you buy premium managed E-commerce platform like StoreHippo, you get the best value from Support. I have worked with StoreHippo stores before which are prompt and ready to help. If you have any concern you can reach out to support for demos and problem solving both.
Support is what I as a website manager or an agency gets the biggest relief from. With StoreHippo I do not have to worry about my resources exceeding on shared hosts, or my WordPress crashing due to some plugin updates. And also one is free from the worries of putting human and financial resources to maintain these issues. This is the biggest value-add you can expect from a subscription that costs significantly less than owning your own E-commerce store on self-hosted platforms.
So above are the top 10 reasons I decided to go ahead with StoreHippo for all my E-commerce ventures. I might have been vague explaining some points above, but if you have any doubts or questions on any of the features mentioned above, feel free to comment below or reach out to me on social media at @amolwagh or at @DigitalConqueror