It’s already very easy to become an online business owner if you have a regular internet access, but people most lack expertise or the funds to set up an online storefront. There are a handful of inexpensive options out there, and London-based ShopRocket believes that they have a solution in the form of a platform that allows prospective retailers to setup a desktop and mobile payment system with the insertion of just one line of code a few tags.
CEO and co-founder Anthony Gale tells me that the decided to create the business out of their own needs. He and co-founders Chris McCreadie and Ryan Badger previously ran a digital agency, but says that they found existing e-commerce cumbersome and lacking, so they went ahead and developed their own last year. ShopRocket remains in beta, so Gale says that they are limiting their users to a few select clients. The startup was recently announced as one of the latest investments by London-based Seedcamp, but Gale tells me that they had bootstrapped to this point.
As you would expect from this type of platform, there is a dashboard that allows sellers customize language, currency, and pretty much any other setting that they could want. Users can set their inventory levels to indicate when stock is running low, “intelligent” pickup times with discount incentives, and real-time shipping quotes, among other features.
ShopRocket has opted for a commission-based revenue model. Gale tells me that they intend to take 2% from each transaction completed through stores created (in addition to typical credit-card fees). It is an interesting decision, as they will generate revenue depending on how well their customers succeed.
Ecwid, a Russian-founded startup which allows people to set up a storefront on their website with the help of a widget, is a well-funded competitor with more than $6.5 million in funding, $5 million of which it picked up in May. Other competitors include Shopify and Magento, which both claim hundreds of thousands of users. One of the main differences between the services is in the price model, as Shopify charges $29 per month at the most basic level and a small fee in some cases. Ecwid, on the other hand, offers their service for free to users and for $15 per month (or $12.50 per month, if part of an annual subscription) after that.