Product Name: Tictail
Price: $0 $40 monthly
Free Trial: Yes
Guided Tour: No
Tictail provides a free solution to anyone looking to create an online storefront quickly, easily and for no money upfront. If you want to create a real business online, Tictail is not for you. It lacks everything you need to be successful and competitive online. But hey, it’s free!
What I Liked
Tictail is a store building option with features that make it free to use along with being able to have unlimited products and bandwidth. There are no monthly fees and you are not charged transaction fees.
You can have more than one store on Tictail. You just use a different email address for each store. A benefit of this can be to offer one store for your own country and another of the same store for international countries.
To start selling with Tictail you follow a few steps like entering your preferred payment method, email, then your shipping preferences and you're ready to open your store.
The interface is simplistic and colorful. It gives you just a few options that guide you easily around to all the things you need to do. You can add products, check on orders, change shipping details, and upload apps all from one screen. In this aspect, Tictail is very easy to use and intuitive to your needs.
What I Didn't Like
Tictail’s price is definitely intriguing, but “Free” comes at a cost – that cost is functionality. Tictail is extremely limited in every way. Designing a unique store with competitive marketing strategies is simply impossible.
Tictail’s Apps are extra services you can add to your store if you want things like email signup forms, social media buttons, live chat, analytics, discount codes and custom domains. Individual apps range from free, to $20 a month.
Some apps, such as custom domains, email signups and analytics are must-haves for anyone serious about making money. To create a ‘barebones’ storefront that makes any money the Tictail apps will run you about $40 a month. (this is how I came up with my price above, in the intro.)
Keep in mind, this is a bare minimum. Your store will require much more than that, and will likely cost you a couple hundred per month in apps alone.
Marketing and Optimization
Because the online marketing industry is so tough these days you need to be able to compete, if you want to make money. With Tictail’s stores you have no way to do that.
Tictail stores lack the basic optimization requirements for search engines like Google to index them. If you can’t receive visitors from Google you’re at a huge disadvantage and your store will struggle.
Lack of Customization
The complete lack of customization is probably the most aggravating thing about Tictail. To sum it up quickly, Tictail allows you to customize your store about as much as FaceBook lets you customize your page. There’s almost nothing you can do, outside of colors and a few apps.
The layout of your store depends on the template you choose and since there’s not many, you’re almost certain to be unhappy with what you get. With less than twenty templates to choose from, and all of them looking basically the same, chances of creating an eye catching storefront don’t exist.
You cannot customize your store’s navigation at all. You only have the option to add pages, or remove them. You can’t change the order or the placement of them on the site.
Product variations are a hassle as well. You can only add one variation per product, so if you have two variations (like colors and sizes) you have to upload each one as a separate product. Tictail recommends using the title to show customers different product variations like, “Red Nike high tops size 10”. That’s just crazy!
Tictail doesn't connect to live shipping carrier prices, which automatically adjust to your shipping weight and other variables. Shipping options are limited to the same price for every item in your store. So if you have different shipping prices for different products, you have to include shipping in, with the price of your product.
This means you have to create at least two different stores for each market – one with shipping rates for international deliveries and one for domestic options. Obviously this can be a huge hassle that can easily cost you lots of money (and time) in the long run.
Customer Checkout Experience
A customer can't remove items from their cart or change the quantity, without backing out of the checkout. The process takes some figuring out and may cause customers to leave your store a little frustrated. Once that happens, you’ve permanently lost them.
Although their checkout is secure, you can't customize the Tictail cart. The checkout process is unbrandable and bland. All customers see is a big gray page, a price and the product image. Since they are about to spend hard-earned money with you, they want to feel safe and comfortable.
Tictail’s purchase page is the worst possible experience.
Having a central place to gather and drive your customers is essential, especially for an online storefront. With Tictail you can’t do that. You have an option to add an external blog, from places like Tumblr or Blogger but that’s pointless.
External blogs ruin conversion rates (sales), lack consistency and create unnecessary work. Your blog is how you provide a sense of value to potential customers – you can’t do that on a platform that you don’t own.
With Tictail, you only have access to a “Help Center” when you need support. The help center is nothing more than a series searchable of documents they’ve put together to answer the most common questions.
While the help center is helpful, it’s not support. When your store crashes, images break, and refunds are needed – searching through a database of “Help Articles” isn’t exactly the best way to spend your time.
What makes Tictail Different?
Tictail being free makes it an appealing option over some other builders. The simplicity might appeal to you don't have a lot of confusing product details and a large inventory. It is the true simplicity offered at Tictail.com that makes them unique.
Who Is Tictail For?
This is a online store builder that allows you to create a very simple storefront. If you only want to sell a few products every now and then and have a small inventory Tictail might be a good choice for you. However, there are so many other options available with more features that cost less in the long term, that I can’t see why anyone would ever use Tictail.
This ecommerce platform didn't score too well, but there are other amazing ones out there that I've reviewed. My favorites so far are Big Commerce (92/100), Shopify (91/100), and Volusion (90/100). They all have different features, so check them out and see which one fits your goals best.
Tictail Versus Affiliate Marketing
Although Tictail offers a platform to get started with an online store, it lacks the things necessary for your success. Even if they added some of the basics like support, marketing features and customization they’d still be missing the mark.
See, with Tictail you have to sell physical products. That means you have to either invent, patent, or purchase products to sell. There are some major disadvantages to that.
Depending on what the product is, you might have special storage needs suchs as refrigerators or freezers. If you don’t need that you’d still have to find some type of storage to keep the products dry and in good condition. That means buying storage units, a warehouse or, at the very least, cluttering your home with all of it.
Insurance is an absolute must if you’re selling physical products. You need to protect them from theft, acts of God and accidents. Operating without insurance is a mistake you’ll only make once. After that you’ll be too broke to own a business ever again, plus you’ll be harder to insure.
With affiliate marketing you don’t need anything like that. All you need is a website, which I can give you right now, for free. With Affiliate marketing you get to sell other people’s products.
Walmart, Amazon, and every business you can think of uses affiliates to sell their products online. So if you’ve ever been at a store and thought, “I bet they make a killin’ off that thing”, well so can you.
Affiliate marketing is like sales only you don’t pressure people into buying stuff. Instead, all you have to do is provide good information and the sales will come as a result of that.
Being an affiliate has been great. I’ve been doing it for several years now and I love it. If you want to be an affiliate marketer I recommend you learn from the same people I did. You can join the community to get live support 24 hours a day 7 days a week, 2 free websites and all the information and training you need to get started.