Choosing an eCommerce platform is one of the most important decisions you will ever make for your online store.
There are hundreds of eCommerce platforms available, each with its own unique set of features. Some offer advanced functionality, others are simpler to use. There are also plenty of free eCommerce platforms available, too.
So how do you decide which eCommerce platform is right for you?
In this guide, we'll go over seven factors to consider when choosing an eCommerce platform. We'll also give you our recommendations based on these criteria.
1. Ease of Use
This is probably the first thing you think of when considering an eCommerce platform. How much does it cost? What are the requirements? Do I need any special software?
It's important to understand what you need from an eCommerce platform before you invest in one. If you don't have the technical knowledge to install and configure the system yourself, you may find yourself spending hours trying to figure things out.
Some eCommerce platforms are easier to use than others, though. For example, Shopify is a popular option due to its ease of use.
Shopify offers a wide range of tools to help you manage your inventory, customers, orders, shipping, payments, and more.
However, it doesn't include any built-in marketing tools. This means you'll have to pay for third-party services such as Facebook ads, Google Adwords, and email campaigns.
On the other hand, Magento has a steep learning curve. However, once you learn the basics, you'll be able to customize your site to fit your specific needs.
Magento comes with a number of pre-built templates, allowing you to quickly launch a website without needing to spend hours configuring everything.
2. Customization Options
When you choose an eCommerce platform, you should expect to have some level of customization.
For example, you may want to add custom fonts, change the layout of your pages, or add additional features.
Most eCommerce platforms allow you to customize your site in various ways.
Some platforms let you edit HTML code directly, while others provide visual editing tools.
Regardless of how you customize your site, you'll still need to write code to implement changes.
That said, some platforms are better suited for certain types of sites.
For example, WooCommerce is designed specifically for WordPress websites.
WooCommerce allows you to easily integrate social media accounts, track sales, and send emails.
Other platforms, such as Big Commerce, focus on providing a full suite of features for retailers.
Big Commerce provides a variety of tools to help you grow your business, including customer support, payment processing, analytics, and more.
3. Support & Training
How well supported is the platform? Will you receive training?
Many eCommerce platforms come with extensive documentation and tutorials.
However, some platforms are better at providing detailed instructions than others.
For example, Shopify provides excellent documentation and tutorials for beginners.
They also host regular webinars where you can ask questions about using the platform.
On the other side of the spectrum, Big Commerce lacks comprehensive documentation. They do offer basic tutorials, but they're limited in scope.
Additionally, there aren't any live chat sessions or phone support.
What kind of features does the platform offer? Are they useful?
Some eCommerce platforms have a lot of features, while others are focused on simplicity.
For example, Big Commerce focuses on providing a complete solution for retail businesses.
Their platform includes a shopping cart, order management, inventory tracking, reporting, and more.
On the other end of the spectrum, Shopify is simple to use.
Shopify provides a robust set of tools to help you run your online store, including a customizable storefront, product catalog, checkout flow, and more.
But it doesn't include many advanced features.
Security is always a concern when you're running an online store.
Do you trust the platform with your data? Is it PCI compliant? Can hackers access your information?
Unfortunately, no eCommerce platform is completely secure. Hackers can steal credit card numbers, passwords, and personal information.
Even if you take every precaution possible, you can't guarantee 100% security. That's why it's important to evaluate your options carefully.
Does the platform cost money? Does it require ongoing fees?
Some eCommerce systems charge monthly subscription fees. Others are free.
For example, Magento requires a yearly license fee.
However, you won't have to worry about paying extra fees after you've launched your site.
Is the platform trustworthy? Has it been around for years?
A reputable eCommerce platform will have a good reputation among users.
The company behind the platform should be responsive to user feedback and willing to address issues.
Additionally, the platform should be backed by a large community of developers.
These days, most eCommerce platforms are open source. Open source projects are collaborative communities that share their code freely.
Open-source projects tend to attract talented programmers who are passionate about improving the project.
As a result, they often produce high-quality products.
To sum up, here are the top three eCommerce platforms according to us:
Shopify is a powerful eCommerce platform that makes it easy to build beautiful stores.
With Shopify, you can create unlimited products, sell them online, and accept payments via PayPal, Stripe, and Dwolla.
Shopify also integrates seamlessly with major social networks, including Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook.
Plus, you can connect your Shopify store to external apps, such as MailChimp, Slack, Trello, and Salesforce.
Shopify is a highly flexible platform that lets you tailor your store to meet your exact needs.
2. Big Commerce
Big Commerce is a powerful eCommerce solution that helps small businesses thrive.
You get everything you need to start selling online, including a fully featured storefront, order management, inventory control, and more.
Big Commerce also supports multiple languages, currencies, and tax rates.
Plus, you get 24/7 support from a team of experts.
Magento is a leading eCommerce platform that powers thousands of successful stores.
It's known for being feature-rich, reliable, and scalable.
Magento is also very affordable. It costs just $99 per month for the standard version.
And if you upgrade to Enterprise Edition, you only pay $199 per month.
Overall, Magento is a great choice for anyone looking to build a professional online store.
Which eCommerce platform would you recommend? Let us know in the comments below!
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