What is E-commerce?
In the present era, businesses are moving towards digitization. All business activities such as buying and selling products and services are done online through the internet and the term given to that is electronic commerce or e-commerce.
How to Choose the Best E-Commerce Platform?
Selecting the best online sale storefront or an e-commerce platform is a crucial step. This can either make or break your business’s online presence.
Before taking the big decision, we suggest you have a look at our in-depth research of Market’s 9 best e-commerce platforms comparison.
So, without wasting time let’s dive in!
Top 9 E-Commerce Platforms
- Big Cartel
- Wix eCommerce
Shopify – Top E-Commerce Platform for Large Businesses.
If you are a newbie to the digital world and looking for a professional yet easy to use online sales platform for your business, then Shopify is the best e-commerce platform for you.
Shopify is a public software as a Service (SaaS) eCommerce platform. It is popular in both small and large businesses and brands. It provides multiple payment gateways with great analytic reports on your sale and store activity.
After registration, Shopify gives you a 14-day free trial to understand and see how its features can help you. Pricing plans are always upgradeable and you can add enjoy more with every up-gradation.
Shopify offers 3 plans:
1) Basic plan starting from $29/month
a. It includes all the basic features for starting a new business.
b. 2 accounts i.e. maximum two members can get access to the Shopify admin and Shopify POS at a time.
2) The Shopify plan starts from $79/month.
a. It includes everything you need for growing your business online presence.
b. 5 accounts i.e. a maximum of five members can get access to the Shopify admin and Shopify POS at a time.
3) Advanced Shopify plan starts from $299/month
a. It includes all advanced features for scaling your e-commerce business.
b. 15 accounts i.e. a maximum of fifteen members can get access to the Shopify admin and Shopify POS at a time.
WooCommerce – It’s Free!
If you are using WordPress for your storefront, then WooCommerce is a big yes! It’s an open-source plugin for WordPress websites.
WooCommerce enhances your online business with paid extensions, integrations, and themes for your web storefront. Besides premium themes, like WordPress, WooCommerce also offers several free themes.
Various payment options are available from major credit cards to integrations with Stripe, PayPal, etc. WooCommerce also gives the facility to sign up for its payment gateway with no setup charges or monthly fees.
WooCommerce itself is a free plugin but it has additional paid features and extensions Plus there is a hosting fee which is approx. $100/year and believe me it’s very economical.
Squarespace – High quality with aesthetics.
It is also software as a Service (SaaS) provider platform. They are well known for their contribution towards the creative community and their eCommerce platform was created by a need from that community for a fine and simple cart to sell items.
It offers built-in tools that support bloggers, small businesses, and artists. Payment integration includes G Suite and PayPal. It also has SEO tools and eCommerce functions with easy integration of social media sites. You don’t need to be a coding pro to use Squarespace, but a little technical knowledge will make a big difference.
Squarespace offers both monthly and annual plans, but the yearly plans come with a free domain for one year.
Their transaction fees only apply to the Business plan which is 3%. While credit card processing fees still apply to all plans.
Magento – Open source, for small businesses and developers.
If you own a small business and want to digitalize it then Magento is an amazing tool to build your online store.
It is a fully mobile-friendly open-source platform. It is among the most scalable platforms in the eCommerce market. It gives lots of freedom with a rich content management system for products and other features to its users. It also offers e-Commerce extensions through Magento Marketplace.
Magento is a free open source for developers but its paid version is expensive plus its interface is not good for new users.
BigCommerce – Subscription-based.
BigCommerce is a cloud-based e-commerce platform. This platform offers plans for small businesses and start-ups. It has built-in features and 100% (SEO) control across the board than its competitors.
This platform strictly focuses on learning and helping users. you can learn how to build your successful online storefront. There is BigCommerce University with in-depth videos and how-to guides. It helps the new user build right into his own store’s dashboard. There is a setup wizard, along with an autoresponder readily available as well as online consultants who respond to your questions promptly.
The standard pricing plan starts with $29.95/month and followed by plus $79.95/month to pro $299.95/month. Also BigCommerce gives a 15-day free trial. No doubt its pricing plans are expensive due to which it is losing popularity among other e-commerce platforms.
OpenCart – Easy to use, open-source.
OpenCart is an easy to use open source e-commerce platform. It has many built-in features with an extensive library of free extensions.
It’s a mobile-responsive platform, with free as well as paid themes. OpenCart offers 36 integrated payment gateways. It has free community support.
OpenCart has an amazing multilingual feature that is you can incorporate multiple languages into your storefront. It gives freedom of customization with this service, which allows you to note product names and service features in multi-languages. No matter how small or large your business is, this unique feature makes you become a global force for e-commerce with less effort.
Building your storefront with OpenCart makes you realize one of its biggest problems that is the creation of duplicate pages. In simple words, as you go through the design process, the same page on your website or store has several different URLs. This leads to poor results in your current SEO campaign and forces you to deal with canonization at a coding level to prevent your link equity from spreading. This is a great drawback for newcomers and even pro users don’t want this headache.
It offers various plans for small businesses, freelancers, and mid-market merchants so, if you are starting up new business OpenCart will be a great choice for you.
PrestaShop – Freemium Open Source
Many mid-size to large-size businesses worldwide are using PrestaShop. It’s an open-source shopping cart solution available in multi-languages. Installation of a payment gateway can also be done various integration methods which include free options as well, such as Skrill, etc.
PrestaShop doesn’t cost much in setup. Although add on modules and hosting may come at a steep price.
Big Cartel – For small businesses.
Big Cartel is for small business owners like bands, clothing designers, jewelry makers, crafters, and artists. This platform is easy to use but has limited features. If you have a large product catalog, then Big Cartel won’t fill your needs.
Big Cartel is such a small business-friendly platform that it never takes a transaction fee for sales processed on your site, which allows you to have more money in the pocket.
Big Cartel offers 4 pricing plans:
Free plan for 5 products only with one image.
9.99/month for 50 products with 5 images per product.
19.99/month for 50 products with 5 images per product.
29.99/month for 50 products with 5 images per product.
Wix eCommerce – Drag and Drop interface.
Wix is similar to Squarespace and it’s best known for easy website set up. Drag and drop interface makes it easy in use for new users. It offers competitive pricing and free themes.
Entrepreneurs and other small business owners often use Wix. The platform provides a solution for both beginners and experts.
Wix eCommerce offers Basic, Unlimited, and VIP business plans start from $23, $27, and $49 respectively.
Basic plans accept payments both online and offline. Wix Unlimited business plan is for bigger online stores with a lot of traffic. This plan includes email campaigns whereas, the Wix VIP business plan gives more features and storage.
WIT AND WISDOM
While choosing the best electronic commerce or e-commerce platform for your online web store, you have both choices that are free and paid. It’s lucrative of course to go for the free and open-source platforms but before that, you have to check what you need? and also your experience level in the digital world. If you don’t have any experience, it’s best to go with free and user-friendly platforms. Open source platforms are free but you need to pay for different extensions and integrations.
Paid versions are for giants and flourish businesses and keep in mind that not every feature is available from the start in paid versions it’s like your bill keeps increasing with every value-added service. So, after buying paid versions of e-commerce platforms do consider your requirements before upgrading your plan.
From the above-detailed review of features and price comparison between best e-commerce platforms, Shopify is the most popular and well known in the market. Shopify gives you amazing experience and user-friendly content management system CMS plus this platform is for everyone be it newbie or pro. So, Shopify is highly recommended for your online business presence.
For WordPress site users WooCommerce is the best choice with its customize feature. You can add as many features via installing third-party plugins.