In this article I just fist want to mention what the differences between these three entities are. A lot of my clients get confused between these three formats, which causes misinterpretation of what functionality is available to them.
Firstly, an eBay shop:
This is part of the eBay marketplace where all of your listings on eBay can be collectively viewed. You can make this look very much like a website (like the guys from creativebay.co.uk) but it is definitely NOT a website. You have 2 ‘marketplaces’ under the eBay umbrella. Core Listings which get a larger proportion of traffic and seemingly cheaper ‘shop’ listings which do not form part of the eBay main search and depend very much on core listings to bring in traffic. Within an eBay store you have custom pages, categories and promotional boxes. With a shop on the eBay marketplace, search engine optimisation is done for you by eBay and your have instant traffic.
A website can be custom built to any specification and purpose, as long as your budget allows. Websites need optimisation and maintenance usually by your design company to insure the security and smooth running of the site. As long as you are willing to pay for it (Some full e-commerce websites have been fabled to cost around Â£7000) a website can be built to perform any task and tick any box. Currently toast making websites are not available; you will always have to do that yourself. Get a toaster.
Storefronts are commonly part of a bigger picture, but have certain limitations with functionality with regards to a custom built website which is built solely for your purpose. Two ‘storefronts’ that spring to mind belong as extra functionality to a complete e-commerce solution. Channeladvisor and Marketworks are both auction and shopping feed inventory based order management systems which have the added benefit of a storefront to showcase your product.
Functionality will always differ greatly. For example, Channeladvisor provides a matrix inventory (product with dropdowns) whereas a Marketworks storefront does not. A storefront is part of a complete solution that you can market and treat as a website, but you will need to check with your provider if the particular storefront will give you the functionality you need.
A Marketworks Storefront http://www.findingking.com
A Channeladvisor Storefront http://www.bling-bling-online.co.uk
These guys also have matching eBay dealings:
Whatever you choose to sell your product please check testimonials of the stability of the sites and services and make sure you can attract a suitable amount of traffic. If you pay Â£7000 for a kick ass fully functional website but you have no buyer traffic…..well don’t make the mistake many have already!