We have been doing extensive testing on various platforms to determine what platform is best for eBay sellers to migrate to, or to start with. We have reviewed many platforms for sellers migrating from ProStores and MagentoGo with mixed results.
Most of the modestly priced contenders for multi channel eCommerce with eBay listing ability are priced at somewhere in the vicinity of 79. per month with the need for a module priced at 99. a month so you’re total is about $179 a month. Smaller boutique sellers don’t want to pay that price.We get it. There are other things more important, such as advertising and promoting websites. Why pay more than you have to.
There are also solutions that are in the range of $300 a month, and then there are those that are $700-2000 a month once you get all the bells and whistles.
So what is the affordable way of doing this?
eBay and Multi Channel eCommerce that is affordable
Now let’s look at a contender in the field – Highwire.
Highwire is a contender for those who want to sell multi channel with eBay for a few notable reasons.
- The price is right at $29.95 with no transaction fees.
- It actually syncs and works
- It has eBay listing templates that you need to make your eBay perform in sales
- It is made by Inkfrog and is a stable environment. Inkfrog has been around for years and is a well loved platform for listing to eBay.
- It has many themes and the ability to customize themes.
- Yes, I know there are other affordable solutions but do they actually work, can you set them up quickly?
- So far, so good with Highwire. We have not found any issues here.
Inventory Management for eCommerce and eBay
Another interesting note is the Inkfrog new add-ons for Shopify and coming soon for BigCommerce. Both of these platforms are good, they are robust and they are not that expensive. Notes on this add-on are:
- It syncs one way – that is it will get your Shopify or BigCommerce items into Inkfrog.
- Inkfrog is a good listing system with the ability to make nice eBay templates and hold profiles.
The other solutions for Multi Channel eCommerce – what to look for:
Support: For US eBay sellers there is another thing involved and that is support. Many of the moderately priced alternatives are based in the UK and they lag for support. In fact, in our testing we could barely get a hold a trial account with a few who require a phone call first in order to set you up. Not only that but require a phone call and make it virtually impossible for a busy seller to get on the line with them. The window for support is something like 6am to 9am which is clearly not adequate for many sellers.
Longevity and Stability: Also many of the others are less than a couple years old. Personally I could not recommend a product to my customer that is a year or two old when they have hardly hit a single holiday shopping period to really find out if the rubber can meet the road when I really need them to.
Features: We look for eBay Templates, because in order to make money in eBay you have to look professional. Those who tout a 30% conversion increase are off the charts, bordering on lies, but there is conversion increases in using eBay templates. Also we look for ability to design a webstore the way you want it, left nav, right nav, top nav, dropdown menus, featured products on home page, banners, etc. We can not please our customers if we have to offer them a compromise on design.
Inventory Management: What is the point of multi channel selling if you can not control your inventory? Sync both ways, near immediate sync not once a day inventory management.
Templates and Profiles: A large seller needs to be able to format across the entire group of listings so that when he changes one thing it changes everywhere. Large sellers can not be in there modifying thousands of listings one by one.