Best Platform to Run an E-commerce Store
Hong Kong takes pride in having more than 4.5 million online shoppers. In 2018, it is reported that e-commerce penetration stood at 59.8% and it is expected to reach 72.6% in 2022. Based on these facts, it is clear that this is the right time to open an e-commerce store in the country. But before you do that, it is important to carry out extensive research to know which industry to venture into to avoid losing money.
Once you narrow down on the industry and the products to sell- the next thing that you need to do is choose a platform to run the e-commerce store. OpenCart is the best platform for this purpose. Millions of people not only in Hong Kong but across the globe use it to make their dreams of owning an online business a reality.
What is OpenCart?
OpenCart is a free and open-source e-commerce platform that makes it possible for virtually anyone who is interested in running an online store to create one and succeed. Currently, this platform powers more than 342,000 e-commerce entrepreneurs from all parts of the world and the numbers are steadily rising.
Reasons Why You Should Use OpenCart to Create Your Online Store
Ability to Create an International E-commerce Presence
One of the challenges of running a brick and mortar shop is that there is a limit on the number of customers you can reach out to. Even if you created a website, the language barrier can hinder you from selling your products and services outside your geographical location.
OpenCart solves this challenge by making it seamlessly easy for you to incorporate multiple languages into your store. It comes with superior customisation options that allows one to present product names, descriptions and services in different languages. Regardless of the current size of your business, this feature will help you scale up and get in the international e-commerce scene.
Generates Reports and Metrics
When running an online store, it is imperative to monitor its performance to know the specific areas that you need to improve on and sections that should be deleted. OpenCart does this perfectly by providing a set of reports and metrics. You can easily adjust the metrics to suit your business model and your goals. For example, you can filter the data that the site gathers and make the necessary adjustments thereby saving time and money.
The reports are presented in a user-friendly dashboard that is expertly designed to help you interpret the reports accurately. All the information that you need to make your e-commerce store will be presented to you in this dashboard.
Ease of Managing the Store
Just like the physical store, managing an online store requires special skills and expertise. OpenCart is dedicated to making the process of managing your store easy by providing more than 13,000 different themes and modules. Virtually every industry, sector, and service are presented in the platform. Everything that you need to make the store truly yours is available, you just need to select, click, and install it.
For example, you can integrate your store with different social media platforms, Amazon, and eBay without breaking a sweat.
Compatible with All Current Payment Gateways
There are hundreds of payment gateways in the world today thanks to the advancement in technology and third-generation security systems that protect consumer data. OpenCart is compatible with virtually all current and renowned payment gateways.
PayPal is one of the preferred gateways by most e-commerce stores on the platform, but you can accept payments from other options such as Amazon Payments, Sage Pay, E-Way and the list is endless.
Integrates with Many Shipping Methods
If you intend to sell physical products through an e-commerce website, you need to put into consideration the shipping options available to you. Unfortunately, most of the conventional platforms offer limited shipping options and this greatly hinders entrepreneurs from venturing into new markets especially overseas.
OpenCart resolves this problem by making it possible for users to integrate their stores with common shipping methods that are used by the major e-commerce sites such as Amazon. For example, you can decide to use the existing national postal system such as Royal Mail, USPS and Australia Post.
OpenCart also supports other shipping methods such as UPS and FedEx. With so many shipping methods available for integration to your online store, there is no limit on the amount of success that you can achieve. They will ensure that your customers receive their products in a timely manner and without spending a fortune on shipping fees. Customers will also gravitate towards your store due to the many shipping options you will be offering.
Dedicated Technical Support
Even though OpenCart is user-friendly, you may encounter challenges when setting up your store for the first time or when it’s active. Also, although OpenCart is an open-source community, you cannot rely solely on free community support to solve challenges.
The team behind OpenCart is aware of this fact and has put in place a dedicated technical support team to address all your queries. Note that this is one of the premium services but you are guaranteed timely support at any time of the day since this team works round the clock.
Access to Many Free Add-Ons
When setting up an online store, you need to be keen on how you spend your finances. OpenCart is free and this is one of the main reasons why it’s preferred by thousands of people. As you start to explore its marketplace, you will find plenty of add-ons and plugins that you can use to make the store truly yours.
For example, it is possible to create an online store and integrate multiple payment gateways without paying a penny. Most of the competitors charge users up to $100 to integrate a payment gateway into their store.
5 Key Factors to Running A Successful E-Commerce Store in Hong Kong
Choose a Clear Market Position
Competition is fierce in most of the online business niches due to the increase in the number of stores that are being opened on a daily basis. As a new online store owner in Hong Kong, it is imperative to establish a clear market position.
Since all the interactions with clients are through your website, you need to make sure that its professionally designed, user-friendly, SEO optimised, and mobile-friendly. The content should also resonate with the company’s brand message, target market, products, and pricing.
Social media campaigns and posts should present a consistent and clear brand message that aligns with your company’s desired image.
Exceptional Sales Service
The high level of personal interaction and stellar customer service is one of the main reasons why many consumers still prefer shopping in retail stores. Your e-commerce store needs to rival the retail stores by providing exceptional sales service.
A quick look at the most successful e-commerce stores in Hong Kong reveals that their sites are extremely user-friendly and product information is accessible. Focus on improving your customer service, site design, and provide sales service. Respond to clients queries promptly to avoid losing them to your competitors.
Master the Ability to Control Stock at Hand
Businesses that have adequate stock controls are able to keep track of the main selling points. This control ensures they always have sufficient supply of popular products to meet the demand in the market especially if the products are seasonal.
You should do the same – make sure that your online store has enough stock to meet the demand. You definitely do not want a customer to click on an ad, be redirected to your site, only to find the product you advertised is out of stock.
Quickly Adapt New Technology
The fast-paced e-commerce industry in Hong Kong is supported by new technologies that are released almost every week. In order to stay ahead of the curve, you need to implement these technologies quickly. New technologies such as Afterpay will give your customers peace of mind and ease the shopping process. This, will, in turn, result in an increase in sales.
Create a Loyal Customer Base
A loyal customer base will help you maintain a constant stream of income. These customers are also more likely going to pass the word about your store and the products to their friends, colleagues, and family members. With word of mouth being the most powerful form of marketing both online and offline, your Hong Kong e-commerce store will greatly benefit from such free advertising.
If you are wondering which platform to use to create an e-commerce store in Hong Kong, OpenCart is the best option available to you. The plethora of features and dedicated customer support team will ensure that you succeed. Be sure to seek professional SEO services from SEO Hero to help your store rank better and profit from the ever-ballooning e-shoppers in Hong Kong. Good luck!