So, you've you want to open an online store. You have a brand, inventory, and a business model. Now, it's time to decide which ecommerce platform you'll use to sell your products. There are countless platforms out there for ecommerce, and which one is right or wrong ultimately depends on your business and customers. Here are four leading platforms to consider — with the overviews to help you weight the good and the bad of each one.
Based in Canada, Shopify is a popular shopping platform focused on mobile and social ecommerce, allowing your customers to order from you while on the go and without leaving their favorite social media platform.
The Pros: An easy-to-use solution suitable for newbies to ecommerce business, Shopify can be set up quickly, looks great, performs fast and is budget-friendly, with packages starting at only $29 a month. It has a wide variety of themes to choose from, and is compatible with lot of apps that let you monitor inventory, manage shipping, launch retargeting campaigns and more.
The Cons: The biggest downside to using Shopify is the transaction fee tacked on if you use a third-party merchant account or ecommerce payment provider instead of their in-house solution powered by Stripe. Many useful extensions require an additional investment. Additionally, if you don't know how to work with "Liquid," its proprietary coding language, you'll have to pay for customization.
Owned by Adobe, Magento is an open-source ecommerce platform known for being reliable and scalable that counts large companies such as Coca-Cola, HP, Canon and Burger King as customers.
The Pros: A feature-rich, modular platform made to grow with your business, Magento has tons of extension that allow for detailed customization, and is available in a hosted version, which can be rented, or a self-hosted setup. Its basic version is free.
The Cons: While Magento is the right choice for big businesses with very high-volume ecommerce stores, most small and mid-sized businesses will find its complicated setup, expensive price tags and highly technical programming requirements daunting. An enterprise version of Magento costs a minimum of $20,000 per year.
WooCommerce no-cost, open source and easy-to-use WordPress plugin that includes a functional shopping cart with secure payment gateway that work extremely well together.
The Pros: Installing and using WooCommerce is free. It's a great option for sellers who prefer using WordPress websites and only plan to have a smaller, lower volume ecommerce site.
The Cons: You must know WordPress to use WooCommerce, which requires an additional plugin to have a multi-vendor online store. WooCommerce's greatest fault is its lack of scalability, meaning when our business, number of products and customers begins to outgrow it, WooCommerce bogs down big time.
From mom-and-pop stores to the auto giant Toyota, BigCommerce has fueled ecommerce operations of all sizes. With lots of customizable templates to choose from, good customer support and informative tutorials to walk you through using it, BigCommerce is an easy-to-use platform.
The Pros: A great platform for anyone who wants an ecommerce site packed with customizable features, BigCommerce eliminates the need for programming code, complex plugins and other technical hurdles.
The Cons: BigCommerce doesn't offer much of the support needed for multi-vendor stores like Amazon. It also lacks free themes, meaning you have to invest in a premium option.
The are no one-size-fits-all solutions that apply to every ecommerce business. Different operational models, business sizes and other nuances call for ecommerce platforms that suit your specific needs, whether you decided on having a Web developer and designer to put it all together for your or adopt a do-it-yourself approach.
Setting up and running an ecommerce website can be challenging. Let Dotlogics help you with everything from start to finish.