Picking the right eCommerce platform is one of the most critical decisions that small businesses can make in this digital age. This is because mobile commerce and eCommerce are set to grow exponentially in the coming years as more people shop online.
The booming eCommerce trend shows that brands that chose the right platform have steadily grown their markets. Some have even cornered their niche. However, no two eCommerce platforms are alike, as each one has its distinct advantages and disadvantages.
To help you make the right choice for your eCommerce business, here's a quick overview of today's top platforms.
BigCommerce is one of today's top eCommerce software providers. It also hosts more than 55,000 online stores, with brands like Toyota and Martha Stewart choosing to do business on the platform.
- Pros: The platform is known for its handy built-in features, like analytics, coupons, newsletters, and shipping. It also boasts a powerful tech support service that includes educational videos and a setup wizard. Users also love the fact that BigCommerce doesn't charge any transaction fee and that all their themes, whether it's free or paid, are very responsive and adapt to give a great mobile experience.
- Cons: Choice of themes is a bit limited with BigCommerce, as the platform offers only seven free ones. But the company does have an impressive list of premium themes that allows for extensive customization.
- Best For: BigCommerce has been described as the go-to platform for those who don't have the time, inclination, or technological know-how to work around digital code.
Shopify is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms today. It's the runaway winner with regards to what people are looking for and the number of people showing interest in product online.
- Pros: The platform has a number of features going for it, including shipping rates, automatic taxes, and support for different languages. One of the platform's best features is its built-in support for abandoned carts.
- Cons: One of the biggest disadvantages of Shopify is how expensive it can be once transaction fees and the add-ons are computed. However, basic plans are very affordable, but the platform charges about 2 percent per transaction. Fees are also tacked on for credit card transactions and the additional apps that you want to integrate into your store.
- Best For: Shopify is perfect for startups and small businesses. Retail companies who have finally decided to wade into the waters of eCommerce will find this platform ideal.
Companies that already have a WordPress site will find WooCommerce to be the perfect partner. WooCommerce is a free plugin for WordPress, making it a wonderful way for small businesses to integrate an online shop and a checkout process to their existing website.
- Pros: WooCommerce's almost seamless integration with the existing theme of your WordPress site is a major draw. That means you also don't have to deal with complicated built-in themes unless it's being offered by WordPress.
- Cons: One obvious downside to this platform is its dependence on WordPress. Businesses who want to use WooCommerce also have to set up a WordPress site. Hosting is another stumbling block. The platform also lacks many of the functionalities and tools that platforms like Shopify offers.
- Best For: WooCommerce is another great solution for startups and small organizations that prefer to utilize WordPress for their main business requirements and use the platform only as a secondary function.
This platform was designed with the express purpose of assisting startups to build their eCommerce system easily. It's pricing models and features make it ideal for starting multi-vendor stores.
- Pros: Aside from being a ready-to-launch multiple vendor solution, Yokart is also mobile-friendly and has a dedicated app for markets. The platform provides detailed manuals, FAQs and video tutorials for merchants and a year's worth of free support for retail owners.
- Cons: YoKart has an unfortunate lack of third-party extensions. It also suffers from a dearth of social commerce capacities, which means that retailers cannot sell on Facebook and other social media platforms yet.
- Best For: YoKart is a great choice for stores similar to eBay and Etsy. It offers a good startup package at $250 that allows small businesses to work out their business model.
The right eCommerce platform for your business depends on the type and size of your organization, and the type of web architecture that you're already using. Factors like your tech support and expertise, budget, and product should also be considered.[Featured image via Pixabay]