The complexities of online business scare many people. So much so that someone with a great idea might decide to completely scrap it because they don’t want to mess with things like self-hosting or advanced analytics.
Simplicity has been rather popular in the tech world recently. We like to see flat website designs. People enjoy one-page configurations. The same can be said for basic mobile sites with large buttons and minimal text.
The point is, complexity isn’t always a good thing. If you run a business, or you’re planning on starting one, and would like the most basic tool for launching an online store, look into Blomming.
This uniquely named e-commerce platform (actually a combination of words like e-commerce and blogging,) is run by an Italian company.
You can purchase plans via monthly payments, but pricing looks a bit expensive. That said, users are trading in that money for the basics. They want to launch an e-commerce site without knowing anything about coding. In fact, development probably isn’t on the radar for most Blomming users. And for those willing to part with the cash, this is a reasonable trade-off.
How it Works
If you already have a website, then you’re ready to use Blomming: you’re simply going to embed its shopping cart.
Blomming caters to retail stores and blogs that already have content online. Therefore, it’s removing the need to generate a completely new website. See? Much easier.
You start by signing up. Then, you can launch a full e-commerce shopping cart, packed with all the products you plan on selling. Blomming provides a bit of code that you can add to your current website to facilitate this.
As you manage the store from one dashboard, you have the option to expand to Facebook and mobile interfaces. It’s not required, but Blomming has a simple tool for syncing your current products with a Facebook page. The same goes for your mobile selling app.
Since you already have your own website, Blomming doesn’t provide any of the hosting or domain name support. It’s a simple, secure shopping cart module without anything too fancy attached.
Blomming also supplies a community and marketplace. The community is great for chatting with other merchants, but it’s also a way to connect with companies that might want to advertise on your website.
Finally, the marketplace works similar to Amazon, where various merchants post items. Customers stop by the marketplace and have the opportunity to check out products from different vendors.
Blomming Mobile Features
As discussed, Blomming offers a few options for getting sales through mobile devices. The world of mobile e-commerce continues to grow, so it makes sense to give your customers a shopping cart experience designed to work well on their smartphones and tablets.
Blomming also offers an iOS app for managing your e-commerce options. It’s pretty much a mobile version of the marketplace. For example, you can adjust the products you’re selling, shipping profiles, and shop settings via your phone. And you can view orders and see if customers need assistance. The mobile app also connects you with other merchants and their stores.
You can find the app in the Apple store (there is no Android version).
Advertising Within the Blomming Community
Blomming is built around a community that loves to exchange ideas. However, the main purpose behind this community is to get merchants to advertise on other websites. This may sound a bit annoying at first, but it’s actually a great concept meant to pair merchants with similar products.
So, for example, let’s say you run a camping blog, and you launch an online store with some merchandise and gear for the summer. You also notice that a hunting website is in the Blomming community. Since hunters often like to camp, why not advertise on that website?
This setup not only brings merchants together, but it also allows everyone to make more money in the process.
Facebook and Website Selling
Facebook Commerce is offered through a wide variety of e-commerce platforms. It’s become similar to social sharing buttons — the presence of this feature is almost a given.
However, it’s nice to see that Blomming makes the process as straightforward as possible. You configure your online store, place it on your website, then activate it on your Facebook page. There’s no need to re-upload any of the products again.
Of course, you need to first have a Facebook business Page. Blomming adds a Shop button on that page, where your customers can browse and buy, all without having to click through to your website.
What’s great is that your customers likely spend far more time on Facebook than they would on your site. So, it makes sense to give them the purchasing option on Facebook. In addition, the Facebook chat module, not to mention the commenting system, delivers a wonderful customer support outlet for you to speak with your customers and answer any questions they may have.
What’s the Deal With the Blomming Marketplace?
Users have access to the Blomming community as well as the marketplace. In the community, merchants look for advertising opportunities. The marketplace looks more like Amazon or eBay, where anyone can stop by and search for products.
This is one of the reasons Blomming stands out as an e-commerce builder. You’re far more likely to get those first few sales when you have a marketplace to turn to. A regular self-hosted site requires a solid marketing and sales strategy to drive traffic and conversions.
Each company creates its own sales page with galleries, product descriptions, and pricing. Blomming even likes to pick out some favorite merchants in the community and highlight them in its blog and newsletter. So, you have a chance for additional visibility.
Primary Advantages: It’s Super Easy for Beginners, and You Get a Marketplace
Blomming does require you to copy over code and embed the shopping cart into your website. That’s the most complicated aspect of this e-commerce builder. But most people are going to find that Blomming expedites the process for them.
Although the support team is there to help you out, and you can find documentation through the Blomming website, beginners shouldn’t have too many problems getting comfortable with this builder. It’s sleek and simple, yet powerful enough to highlight merchandise for your fans and customers.
Furthermore, the marketplace opens up several paths for selling. New sites have trouble getting those first few sales. The marketplace may not guarantee sales for your online store, but it at least puts your products out there. You’re far more likely to convince people to buy with the marketplace, and you have full control over the branding of your store and the placement of your products.
Is It Time to Pull the Trigger?
Blomming won’t be on the radar for any medium to large-sized business. It doesn’t make sense from a scaling standpoint.
So that begs the question, who is Blomming built for?
It’s for the small-time bloggers and hobbyists who want to give monetization a shot. Maybe you have a nice set of products you can sell on your podcast or blog and need a quick way to get the store on your website. If so, this is a good fit.
Blomming provides a strong platform for selling merchandise, and that’s why we like it for musicians, bands, artists, comedians, and other creatives.
Some small businesses also might look into Blomming. A retail store already has an infrastructure for making sales from a physical store, but what about seeing how many sales can be made online?
In a sense, retail shops could use Blomming for testing the waters. Do they have what it takes to run an ecommerce store? Are customers even interested in the notion?
Overall, Blomming has some interesting and useful tools for getting novices up and running fast with e-commerce. The marketplace is a good way to elevate your products and you can even make money by selling ads to other merchants. That’s a great way to complement your merchandise sales and another reason to give Blomming a shot.