Minimalist Shopify for Mexico?

Hello guys!

This is my first ever post on Indie Hackers, so I'd like to use this chance to validate an alternative of Shopify oriented to SMBs.

With COVID-19, the technological breach in Mexico has been closing faster and it looks like online shopping is increasing, aside many people are willing to make some extra incomes selling stuffs on internet.

There are several options to create your own online store from scratch in Mexico/Latin America: Shopify, WooCommerce, Wix, and so on... and I feel like none of these are easy for a non-technical business owner to start.

IMHO there is an extra effort to test a product selling: create a 14-days-free account, select the right theme, write a landing page, configure many settings, and finally decide if all of these effort worth in order to upgrade to a premium account.

I've been thinking for a while in a platform with:

  • 1-step functional store creation (maybe 2-step)
  • Easy to use (owners and customers)
  • Totally free (no tricks... bye bye trials)
  • Few but practical minimalist designs
  • Very few settings to worried for
  • Low fees in case the owners want advance features (analytics, invoicing, custom domains, etc.)
  • Focused on business owners with no technical knowledge and tight budget

I was inspired by a YCombinator startup called Bikayi whom implement this kind of SaaS in India, so I'd like to receive feedback from these great community of hackers.

Thanks to all!

  1. 4

    I'd like to use this chance to validate

    I'd say validate it with your actual customers, i.e. SMBs who'd like to set up an online shop. Opinions on Indie Hackers are mostly going to be worthless for validation (not necessarily for other things).

    For validation, I recommend The Mom Test. Shitty title, awesome book.

    For minimalist store inspiration, check out https://oneitem.store.

    1. 2

      Thanks nikwen! In fact I just have a generic idea of the platform, no customers yet, I just was looking other pov to contrast the idea and see if there is a chance to spend time and resources.

      I guess the very best scenario to validate at this moment is to ask to my dev colleges and a close friend of mine with a sports supplements store.

      1. 2

        Asking other devs is not validation because they are not the people who are going to buy your solution. Actual validation only comes from people in your target demographic who are willing to put money on the line.

        I’d try to find those people online. If you can reach them, that also shows you can build some kind of distribution for your software should you go through with it.

  2. 3

    Shopify’s target audience is SMB and even though it can be overwhelming to get started on their platform, they are constantly trying to lower the barrier to entry. I am not trying to discourage you, I just feel that it’s important to recognize that Shopify is actually already doing a lot to make it easy for non-technical people to get a shop up and running quickly. So to make a platform that’s even easier to use will require a ton of work.

    Just my two cents 😀

    1. 1

      Thanks for your pov, I also believe people at Shopify are doing a great job, would be hard to beat them if they simplified the management in a few settings and change the 14-days-free trial to a totally free account

  3. 2

    Hi Mario

    I am doing something similar: https://shop.listws.com
    My main market is "bazares", they have their store up and running in a couple minutes.

    But I charge them a small monthly fee without commission, I think that if I give the service free there is less commitment involved.

    I think that there is still A LOT of room digital adoption for entrepreneurs here in Mexico.


    1. 2

      Hello! I'ts good to find new ecommerce platforms for Mexico! I already signed and I will try your service.

      Btw, why do you think it would be less commitment if you give to your audience a free service?

      1. 2

        Thank you!, I am always improving it let me know your feedback!
        For experience, I have seen that, that is one of the reasons I just offer a free trial (no free tier) for the projects that I am working on, but that it just my experience, it may vary from project to project

  4. 1

    I have remembered another platform that I currently saw, a proposal for an undertaking in Colombia called Komercia. They haven't reached Mexico yet, but it seems to me that they were already working on it.


    1. 1

      Hey coderdiaz, how are you doing?

      Yesterday I signed up and tried both applications, and I notice that Shop is like an Amazon version for Shopify, user's favorite stores are tracked in one place instead of visiting each website, so that is a totally different approach than mine.

      Komercia has the same approach of my idea, althought a store creation was really simple, handle a store for Mexico is not as good as I expect and the manager webapp is not user-friendly in my mobile - some UX bugs.

      I still believing there is a chance for a new improved e-commerce platform, don't you think?

  5. 1

    Hello Mario and welcome to indie hackers. What do you think about to https://shop.app/? Is a powerful tool powered by Shopify.

  6. 1

    If you already know that there is a need for an easy-to-setup online store, just go for it. Sounds like a good idea.

    1. 2

      Thank you MarlonManquera, I have a hunch of heart about this, but feel a little insecure at same time

  7. 1

    Se escucha bien. Soy de Honduras y muchos negocios quieren digitalizar al menos parcialmente sus operaciones y ventas pero al no tener capacidades técnicas y plata extra para pagarle a desarrolladores, no lo hacen. El concepto está muy bueno y deberías darle un test drive con algunos comercios pequeños. Mucha suerte!

    1. 1

      Gracias lemonbars, de verdad he pensado bastante en esta idea, busco opinión de emprendedores y demás hackers para contrastarla porque a veces nos cegamos tanto por la euforia que perdemos toda razón.

      De llevarla a cabo planeo tener cuenta premium gratis de por vida a los 10 primeros negocios, obviamente enfocándome en pequeñas y medianas empresas ya que como bien dices les llega a faltar el dinero para invertir o representa un riesgo alto que no desean asumir, con esta idea espero abrirles la puerta y reducir la incertidumbre.

      1. 2

        Tambien he pensado que muchas personas no tienen aceso a una compu. Pero todo el mundo tiene aceso a un Smartphone. Hacer algo como dijiste pero que sea "mobile first" y muy facil de iniciar y mantener de un Smartphone podria hacer una gran diferencia.

        1. 1

          Buenísima idea! en estos tiempos la tendencia es ser diseñar para smarthphones, muchísimas gracias por el dato.

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