For many small businesses, having a solid online presence is often the most daunting task of getting online because aside from needing a decent site, there is also the burden of merchant processing, security, inventory control, and of course processing all the information. Although over the years DIY eCommerce has declined in price and increased in quality and reliability, for many businesses turn-key solutions occasionally are a viable solution depending on what the business owner is looking for.
Although there are many platforms on the market, one platform which adds an interesting dimension to eCommerce software is Vendio, because it lets customers not just sell products through their own online store, but also Amazon, eBay, and even Facebook – all through a central control panel. By packaging analytics, hosting, search engine optimization (SEO), and various marketing tools into one bundle, vendors only need to focus on adding their inventory to get up and running. Another key feature of Vendio is their image hosting which is included with all their packages. For vendors who often sell items on eBay and Amazon, this feature is vital because it allows them to add additional images to their listings without having to pay for additional hosting on eBay’s or Amazon’s servers.
When it comes to designing a Vendio based store, users have the option of selecting a template from a wide selection of themes or having a developer create a design. Overall the template customization process is a fairly straightforward interface which allows users to customize their site through a point and click system rather than having to worry about code. While the process is a bit limited (since users are no given full customization abilities), for a business just looking to get started on the web the template route is a solid choice.
For customers who desire more than just a standard template, Vendio also allows users to tweak the code to fit their needs. Although having access to the code is helpful, Vendio like many turnkey platforms suffers from the fact that they are built on fairly proprietary (custom) systems. This aspect means that when it comes to finding a web developer to assist you, the talent pool will be significantly smaller and development costs will likely be higher due to the complexity.
In terms of pricing, Vendio is relatively reasonable with their packages which provide hosting, unlimited bandwidth, and reasonable amounts of storage. The base plan starts at $99.95/month and allows for up to 200 items and provides 2GB of storage. For companies with more inventory or greater storage needs, the middle and top plans support up to 2,500 and 5,000 items for $149.95/month and $249.95/month respectively. The plans also include support for additional Amazon and eBay handles plus extra storage.
Overall for a business starting out or looking to enhance their online presence Vendio provides a solid foundation for businesses with simple eCommerce needs – especially vendors who often list items on Amazon and eBay – the price is very reasonable considering Vendio centralizes all marketplace activity in a simple to use interface. On the other hand, for more established businesses who prefer full control over the design and architecture or who specialized inventory control, a standard eCommerce platform is likely a better option.