If you are thinking about launching an online store to sell products, you need to consider the e-commerce platform you are going to set your store up with first. The trends in digital marketing and e-commerce are fast changing. The advent of cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence, analytics, mobile commerce etc is changing the face of how merchants sell online. In the days to come, only the most up-to-date and technology-oriented e-commerce stores will survive, at least that is what the trends seem to suggest. You need to compare different e-commerce platforms and decide on the one that is most suitable for your kind of business in terms of emerging trends and technology. To that effect, a comparison between the features offered by some popular e-commerce platforms is warranted.
This Canada-based online store builder is one of the most comprehensive e-commerce platforms across the world. It has a strong focus on emerging trends in e-commerce through social and mobile commerce. It boasts of powerful additive features like Social Shopping whereby customers need not leave social media platforms to buy products from your online store. You can integrate your Shopify store with your Facebook account and thereby use your Facebook page as an e-commerce store. However, a big problem with this platform is that if you don’t use its own payment system, you need to pay a transaction fee for every transaction. Shopify offers many useful plugins and extensions, though you may need to pay for some of them. Shopify’s App store features a large collection of plugins and apps from both Shopify and third-party developers that can increase the capabilities of your e-commerce store multifold. It augurs well for users that Shopify has 10 free templates each of which is distinctly different from the other. However, if they don’t serve your purpose, you can easily customize the templates with the help of “Liquid,” its own coding language. It has a number of plans depending on the business volume, number of users, number of products etc. You can get the basic package for $29 a month and the most advanced package at $299 a month. Shopify is perfect for e-commerce ventures that want to get off the ground quickly and have a long-term vision for their online venture.
It is an open source software used by online businesses to set up online shops. It is reliable and scalable and is among the most popular e-commerce platforms among big businesses. However, it is not for everyone. Either you need to be a programmer or you need to have a team of programmers to help you get the site off the ground. Moreover, despite being an open source software, the enterprise version of this platform may cost you about $20,000/year. It does support a large volume of products, sellers, and buyers. Overall, it is the right choice for enterprise-grade online businesses.
BigCommerce is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms around the world. The advantage of this platform is that it is suitable for all online businesses irrespective of size. It also has some built-in features which are pretty useful for those with no coding or programming ability. However, it lacks the ability to integrate various sales channels. BigCommerce also does not offer much in terms of free themes. However, it offers a number of premium themes. It also offers plenty of options to customize your store and give it a unique identity. Overall, you can build a full-fledged store without facing any technical hurdles. Remember as much as we love to know and learn all about these platforms we also recommend doing a digital detox on time to time basis.
WooCommerce is an open source software available as a free WordPress plugin. It is reputed in the world of e-commerce platforms as a highly customizable platform. It boasts of a secure payment gateway along with a shopping cart maker. If you swear by WordPress, WooCommerce may be your forte. However, you need additional plugins if you want to start a multi-vendor store. You can install WooCommerce for free since it is an open source software available for free along with WordPress. However, you need to pay to integrate the shopping cart with the rest of the system. Moreover, you really need to be good at working with WordPress. Otherwise, it is no use using WooCommerce. You can customize the templates only when you are adept at coding on WordPress. The other problem with this platform is that it slows down as the number of products and customers increases. Overall, if you are a fan of WordPress websites, deal with only a few selected products and don’t expect a large number of buyers or sellers, you can go for it.