Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Wazala: create an online shop in 15 minutes


I usually do not talk about commercial products, but I think that in this case, some of you might find Wazala really intriguing. Wazala is an e-commerce solution easy to embed in your site, without the hassle of writing code or - let me say - of re-inventing the wheel. It is ready made and suitable for small to medium online shops.
When I found Wazala's site, what impressed me as a start was the overall look and design of the system. It is clear that Wazala's creators have put to use technologies like jQuery, to give it a really appealing feel in terms of visual effect. In addition to that, the usability of the virtual store is clear and effective, while simple actions like browsing the products and getting in depth information is fast and very intuitive.
I believe that, considering how simple is the complete embedding processes (from sign-in to complete site integration), anyone could become an online seller. You basically can choose from different shop sizes (starting from a free and limited store to a large and complete version), with monthly or annual fees suitable for mostly any need. I found the free option a great marketing move, because you can test and trial the service and see if it fits your requirements.

Wanna sell something?
Let's see the features of Wazala. First of all, you can embed, in any existing web site, your Wazala store that will appear as a small but effective super-imposed button. Unobtrusive but clear, the button will give your visitors access to the store. Through the catalog, you can sell physical and digital products receiving payments via PayPal and Google Checkout. As a seller, you can easily manage inventories and check your shop activities through the admin dashboard. The store is highly customizable, letting you decide the overall look of it, the products images and description. Add to that a localisation system (15 languages to choose from) and the possibility to offer coupons or discount to your customers.
In terms of service provided, you can obviously updgrade or downgrade the store version (and the fee accordingly) and there are no per transaction charges.

Considering what I say here, you might wonder if there is something that I don't like in Wazala. Well, I consider it extremely appealing and easy to use, very well made in terms of look and feel and for what I can see, very well designed in terms of coding. Is there a downside? Well, if you think that I usually don't like ready-made stuff and that I do like to develop my own application, Wazala is something to use when creating a customized e-commerce system is not cost effective, compared to Wazala annual fees. Consider that an e-commerce system usually is not something highly customizable, and that basically they all have the same characteristics (catalog, shopping cart, check-out and so on). I wonder if - as I said before - re-inventing the wheel might end up in a waste of time.
Another downside could be the price. It is true that you can find free e-commerce systems around the web, but again, could the embedding process end up in a waste of time and effort, and ultimately being not cost effective?
I can't answer this question for you. But when deciding what system to use, just think about it.

P.S. Just to be clear, I would like you to notice that I am not connected to Wazala in any way. I do not participate to their affilate program and I do not have any kind of interest in it.

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