Ecommerce platforms allow you to build your own online eCommerce business with no coding skills, a bottomless budget, or a web design degree. They come packed with designs and features that are unique to eCommerce to help in setting up your company as simple – and as profitable – as possible.
Looking for your store’s Best eCommerce platform? It is a big decision and one that will have a long-term effect on the way forward for your venture.
It’s also a difficult choice to make, with a number of different factors.
As well as building your digital storefront, you need to think, to name a few, about website hosting, inventory and shipping management, taxes, and support.
You still don’t have an unlimited cash supply under your couch. And you need to think about a budget to create your eCommerce store and keep it.
There are of course free tools out there that you can use to create your online store. Nevertheless, these do require some experience and ongoing management. This is something that the paid eCommerce platforms take care of.
There are more than 370 eCommerce sites available to companies according to G2.
A single person cannot wade through hundreds of options to find the right solution, so we took it upon ourselves to review the most popular eCommerce platforms.
Shopify is one of the best eCommerce platforms for startups and small and medium-sized companies who need to keep their hands while setting up their shop. The platform already integrates everything you need: from website design to content marketing to performance analytics. When you’ve set up the basics, updating your store with third-party plugins, or even modifying the shop code itself – is a simple matter.
It’s a well-known eCommerce platform, with more than one million stores, 2.1 million active users, and $155B+ worth of products sold on its website. Plans begin at $29. They have an in-house infrastructure for the processing of payments and major discounts on shipping rates.
Shopify gives you the option of using their Shopify Payments platform, developed in-house. What’s great about it? – is that it’s built into most major gateways from credit cards to Google Pay, Apple Pay, and so on.
They have also increased security protocols with compliance with the Level 1 PCI and a default fraud analysis. The payments can also be tracked and handled in an automated back office.
Shopify is a delight to understand thanks to its intuitive interface and tools for creating code less stores. And if you’re still stuck there are plenty of tools available to help with assistance. Basic users can choose or build one themselves from a wide range of pre-existing design templates.
Advanced users should have plenty to crow about, as Shopify also offers full application access. There is a wide range of independent developers’ add-ons and enhancements available which can expand your store’s functionality. All of this makes the difference between small and large online stores easy for Shopify.
WooCommerce is an open-source plugin for Websites based on WordPress. WooCommerce is completely free to get going, but you must already have website hosting and WordPress in place. You can also update your online store with paid extensions, integrations, and storefront themes.
Unlike WordPress, there are many free themes in WooCommerce that you can use to create your online store. Another choice is to buy premium themes to set your store apart from users with free themes.
You can set up multiple payment options, from major credit cards to Stripe, PayPal, etc. integrations. You can also subscribe to WooCommerce Payment with no setup fees or monthly fees. This allows you to accept credit or debit cards with a charge of 2.9% for each payment with the US cards. For any other cards issued outside the US, an additional 1 percent fee applies.
All inventory management, tax calculation, and management of shipping rates occur in the WordPress interface. To keep track of the results, you can integrate your WooCommerce store into Google Analytics.
WooCommerce, like most open-source eCommerce platforms, carries a steep learning curve for those who have not previously created a similar site. Although, the WooCommerce plugin is relatively straightforward to set up and install, users must use community forums and online help guides to develop their own expertise. However, once you’re up to speed, the customization and operations become much easier.
The open-source platform provided by Magento is designed for small businesses and developers. If you’re looking for a platform with the most freedom, then it’s a great builder of online stores. If you don’t have Magento experience, however, you’ll need to hire someone who does.
Magento is fully mobile-optimized, but you need to build the store up yourself with the open-source platform. This also means you have plenty of freedom for goods and other features for rich content. Further eCommerce extensions can also be obtained through Magento Marketplace. The platform is very powerful and has a library of more than 5,000 extensions but requires longer development time and a bigger budget than most of its competitors.
The platform features PCI Compliant Payment Solutions. You are in charge of setting up the payment gateways or getting a marketplace extension.
Managing an Open Source store at Magento also requires extensive expertise. The platform has built-in checkout, payment, and shipping modules but you have to set them up yourself again.
Magento is one of the market’s most powerful eCommerce platforms but at the expense of a big learning curve. No fancy drag-and-drop tools, default dashboards, or simple platform input modules. If you don’t have the budget to hire your own Magento developer, then all that you do in your Magento store will be autodidact.
Having said that, users of Open Source have access to a large, knowledgeable Magento community which can help answer questions and solve problems.
You’ve got multiple free and paid choices when choosing the best eCommerce platforms for your online store. Going with the free, open-source platforms is lucrative, but then it all depends on you. If you don’t have any programming experience, it is best to go for platforms outside the box.
Not every feature is accessible from the outset when looking at paying platforms. Consider potential additional expenses, whether you choose other improvements such as abandoned cart recovery or in-depth coverage.
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