Even though it appears as though Malaysians are shopping less, the reality is that more and more Malaysians are shifting their buying from offline to online:
This shift from offline to online shopping will likely continue. Statista estimates that e-commerce sales in Malaysia will grow by more than 20% a year between now to the year 2021.
For people who have already started their e-commerce business, this is great news. You will likely see your revenue figures go higher and higher year by year if the products you are selling continue to be in demand.
On the other hand, there are those of you who want to profit from e-commerce but have not set up your store yet.
One of the reasons you have not done so may be because you fear the unknown. You think, ‘What if I invest a lot of money into my e-commerce business and don’t make any profits?’
I understand the concern. I have been through that myself when I started my first e-commerce business in 2012.
Getting a web designer to set up your e-commerce store can cost you anything between RM1,500 – RM5,500. Your inventory can cost you another RM1,00 – RM5,000. Then, there are other costs to consider: transportation, logistics, customer service and more.
Starting an e-commerce business can easily set you back RM6,000 – RM10,000.
For people who don’t want to spend an additional few thousand RM to get someone to build their e-commerce store, they may choose to build it themselves.
But not everyone has the technical skills to build their own e-commerce store.
So what options does it leave for people with a small budget and no technical skills?
The good news is that nowadays there are more than two options to create your own e-commerce store in Malaysia. If you have a small budget and no technical skills, you can now choose the third option: build your e-commerce store with online website builders.
But first, what are website builders?
Website builders have existed for more than 10 years. In the early days, they were still not user-friendly enough for everyone to use.
But today, most website builders are made for people with zero experience with setting up a website. With website builders, you can set up a professional looking and functioning website within a few days.
But that is not the best thing yet.
The best thing is that most of them come with an affordable monthly plan you can cancel anytime. This means that you can easily use website builders to quickly and cheaply set up and test your e-commerce business ideas before sinking a lot of money into it.
There are hundreds of website builders around the world. But when your main objective is to set up an e-commerce store, you must look for website builders that are made especially for e-commerce.
These include international builders like Shopify and local ones like EasyStore.
While we will be looking at each of these companies one by one on Entrepreneur Campfire, in this post, we will look at e-commerce website builder, EasyStore.
We will be looking at the pros and cons of setting up your first e-commerce website using EasyStore. By the end of this post, you will be able to decide if you should set up your store with EasyStore.
Let’s dig in 🙂
Before we jump into the details, let’s have a brief look at the pros and cons of setting up your first e-commerce store with EasyStore vs building your own e-commerce store from scratch:
Review of: EasyStore / Use: Website builder for setting up e-commerce store quickly and cheaply
|EasyStore||Your Own E-commerce Website|
|Set Up Cost (RM)||Zero Startup Cost||RM1,500 – RM5,500|
|Technical Skills Required to Set Up||Zero Technical Skills||Basic Website Building Skills|
|Monthly Hosting Fee (RM)||Hosting Fee Included||RM25 – RM200|
|Yearly Domain Fee (RM)||RM45 – RM120||RM45 – RM120|
|Monthly Maintenance + Cost of Maintenance||EasyStore will maintain your website, you don’t need to know how to handle technical maintenance of your site; Monthly cost: RM32.5 – RM82.5||You need to handle the maintenance of your site or hire someone to help you do so; Monthly cost: RM20 – RM125 (self-maintainance), RM500 – RM1,500 (hire someone to maintain for you)|
|Ease of Product Upload||Easy||Easy|
|Ease of Payment Gateway Integration||One-click integration; no technical skills required||May have to buy app and install; some technical skills required|
|Ease of Promotion Set Up||Easy; no technical skills required||May have to buy app and install; some technical skills required|
|Availability of Blog for Content Marketing||No blog||Can integrate blog into website design|
|Flexibility for Custom Design||Cutomisations limited to options available within EasyStore||Can customize to suit your design goals.|
Summary: EasyStore is an affordable solution for people who want to start their own e-commerce business but don’t have the budget to hire someone to build a custom e-commerce site.
The purpose of this review is to help you understand what EasyStore has to offer and what their limitations are like so you can decide if you should set up your e-commerce website with EasyStore. Enjoy!
From RM32.5/month (Free trial for 14 days)
* * *
Pros of Using EasyStore to Set Up Your E-commerce Website
Let’s look at the pros of using EasyStore to set up your e-commerce store:
You can start a store for as little as RM32.5/month
If you were to build your own website, it could cost you between RM1,500 to RM5,500.
Unless you know how to set up your own website, this high cost to hire someone to build your e-commerce website could stop you from starting your e-commerce business.
But if you use a website builder like EasyStore, you can start for a lot cheaper. For roughly the price of two lattes, you can get the Basic plan for EasyStore.
You can upload up to 1,000 products with the Basic plan. This is more than enough for a small business just getting started. When your business grows, you can upgrade to Plus or Premium plan which allows you unlimited products.
The best thing about these monthly plans is that there are no contracts. You can cancel anytime.
This means you don’t have to be tied down to EasyStore if you don’t like it.
You are guided in setting up your website (no coding skills required)
One of the main concerns of setting up your own website is that you do not know how to do it.
With EasyStore, you will be guided step by step to set up your store:
Of course, there will be many more steps to complete after these three steps. But at least once you have these setup, your customer can already make a purchase from you.
All you have to do is click on the buttons and you will be brought to the pages where you can set these up.
The best thing is that you do not need to know how to code.
You can set up a clean and modern looking website quickly
EasyStore’s website templates are clean and modern looking. This makes it easy for you to set up a clean and modern looking website fast.
The best thing is that all the themes are mobile-responsive. This is important because more and more people are buying using their mobile phones.
You can easily list the same products in your store on online marketplaces
As I have mentioned before, online marketplaces can be a great place to make money online.
This means once you upload your product on EasyStore, you don’t have to repeat the same process on Lazada and 11Street.
Instead, you can sync your products so they are listed automatically. This way, you can save a lot of time and increase your sales.
You can integrate popular apps using one-click
When you set up your own store or hire someone to set it up for you, you will need to spend some effort to integrate all the services you need into your website.
This can cost time and money you may not have.
With EasyStore, app integrations are easy. All you have to do it pick from their list of apps and integrate them into your website with one click.
Since you will likely be integrating more than one app, you will save a lot of time and money with this feature.
You can choose from the 20 Payment gateways
Payment gateways allow your customers to pay you in a safe way through methods they prefer.
EasyStore offers up to 20 payment gateway options for you to choose from.
As with app integration, you can integrate a payment gateway on your website using one-click also.
The good thing is that EasyStore not only offers Malaysian-based payment gateways. You can choose from payment gateways all around the world.
Since locals will most likely prefer to use local payment gateways, this feature will benefit you especially if your target market is not only Malaysians but also people outside of Malaysia.
By giving them the option of choosing their local payment gateway, you are more likely to make a sale.
You don’t have to pay for an SSL certificate
An SSL certificate secures information sent over the web. With SSL, information such as your name and credit card number gets encrypted from one computer to another.
Why do this?
This is to prevent hackers from stealing sensitive information and using it to do something bad.
As such, SSL certificate is a must when you expect your customers to make payment to you on your website.
Normally a basic SSL certificate can cost anything between US$9/year to US$39.9/year.
However, with EasyStore, you do not have to buy your own SSL certificate. It comes with any plan you choose.
All you have to do is activate your free SSL certificate in your dashboard:
You can easily integrate your website with courier companies
When you sell online, you will need to work with courier companies to help send your products to your customers.
Since your customers are likely to be spread throughout Malaysia or the world, you will need more than one courier option.
With EasyStore, you can easily integrate more than one shipping option into your EasyStore e-commerce website.
You can easily set up discount promotions
Discounts are one of the most effective ways to drive sales.
With EasyStore, the promotion system is already set up. All you have to do is configure it inside your store:
For example, you can give your customers a 10% off in the next 30 days if they use a specific coupon code.
You can even limit the number of times the coupon can be used by adjusting the ‘Total quantity available’.
You can handle orders and track sales easily
These are basic requirements for all e-commerce websites.
In EasyStore, you can achieve both. Orders are easy to handle through the backend. Invoices are issued on purchase to the customer.
Other than that, you can also track your monthly, weekly and even hourly sales within the ‘Report’ section of your seller dashboard:
You can contact customer service using chat
One of the most important things for you if you are not experienced in setting up e-commerce stores is having people to talk to when you have a problem.
In EasyStore, customer service is easily accessible through chat on the store itself. All you have to do is start a ‘New Conversation’ and describe your problems to the customer service representative.
From my experience, they usually get back with you within 24 hours.
Cons of Setting Up Your E-commerce Store Using EasyStore
Now that we have looked at the pros of using EasyStore, let’s look at the cons:
You can’t customize the design much
As with most website builders, you can’t be very creative when you are using EasyStore.
The website templates have fixed styles and structures. You are allowed to choose between options that EasyStore gives you. But if you want to make changes outside of what is readily available, you won’t be able to do that.
For people who prefer to add many features into their e-commerce website, this will be an issue.
However, most people who are just starting out will not have this issue as a lot of the necessary features for an e-commerce website are available within EasyStore already.
You can’t add a blog for content marketing
One of the biggest drivers of traffic nowadays is through content marketing. Content marketing is best achieved through writing posts on blogs on a daily or weekly basis.
If you are planning on using content marketing with your blog, you will come across a stumbling block with EasyStore.
At the moment, EasyStore does not have the option for its users to add a blog.
This means that your content marketing efforts focus will be limited to the descriptions made of your product only. Otherwise, if you want to keep content as your main marketing effort, you have to pay for another website and hosting just to blog on.
Though so, not everyone plans to use content marketing for marketing. Some may prefer using Facebook ads, or paying for AdWords on Google.
If you do not plan on using content marketing as one of your main marketing channels, you will not have this issue.
For most beginners, this will not be a big issue as content marketing often requires much more effort and time than paid advertising.
You won’t be able to move out easily from EasyStore
Although you can cancel your plan with EasyStore anytime, you will find it difficult to move from EasyStore to another website builder or even your own website.
Like most e-commerce website builders, EasyStore does not offer you an easy solution of moving all your data from EasyStore that easily.
This means that if one day you decide you don’t like to use EasyStore anymore, you will need to redo your entire e-commerce website and import all your customer data into another platform or your own website.
However, for most beginners, this is a small problem to worry about. The most important thing is to take action.
If you do not have the budget or skills to build your own site, it is best that you start somewhere first. This way, you can also test:
- Will your products actually sell?
- Who are your customers?
- What problems are you really solving?
These are the vital information that will help you in your future businesses.
Once you have made more money online, you can consider your options once again. By then, if you find EasyStore too limiting, by then, you will be able to afford an upgrade or a migration out of EasyStore.
The Verdict: Should You Use EasyStore to Build Your E-commerce Website?
Yes and No.
Yes if you:
- Do not know how to set up an e-commerce store from scratch
- Do not have the budget to hire someone to setup an e-commerce store for you from scratch
- Have been thinking of starting your e-commerce store but don’t have few thousand RM to make one
No if you:
- Have the budget to set up your own e-commerce store
- Prefer custom design rather than using templates that look similar to other stores
- Want features that are not inside EasyStore
As you may know by now, there is no right or wrong answer. But I want you to consider this: if you start today, you may get somewhere tomorrow. But if you keep waiting
But I want you to consider this: if you start today, you may get somewhere tomorrow. But if you keep waiting for a perfect opportunity, it may not come by.
Look at your current budget and ask yourself: what can I afford today to make a big leap in my income in 30 days’ time?
If even RM39/month is too expensive, perhaps building your own website is not the best option for you. Instead, you can consider selling on online marketplaces where there is no setup fee.
Have you used EasyStore to set up your e-commerce website? What do you like or don’t like about it? Share your thoughts about EasyStore in the comments below.