In a world where almost everything has gone digital, including retail, choosing the right e-commerce solution is more important than ever. The platform you use to host and run your website can be the difference between whether you are successful or not but with so many options to choose from, it can be hard to know which is best for your business.
This article should help us compare and contrast the key players when it comes to e-commerce solutions. Here are 5 of the best e-commerce platforms:
The Ultimate Comparison of Ecommerce Solutions
One of our favourite e-commerce platforms is Shopify. It caters to businesses of all sizes no matter how big or small with flexible payment plans to suit your budget and requirements. Smaller businesses have the option to choose from Shopify Lite and Basic Shopify and upgrade as and when their business needs to with Shopify and Advanced Shopify subscription options. There is also the option to upgrade to Shopify Plus if your business grows to the size of other huge retailers on Shopify like GymShark, Kylie Skin and Tesla.
The benefits of Shopify are that pretty much anyone can set up a Shopify store without needing to have any knowledge of coding. Shopify is easy to use with an easy to navigate dashboard, 24/7 support and a variety of integrated tools and apps. Moreover, if you are having any issues with Shopify and need additional help, the Shopify Partner community is available to assist. Shopify Partners are people who have demonstrated commitment to understanding Shopify and improving Shopify stores.
Despite the fact Shopify is an excellent e-commerce platform, like anything else, it is not entirely perfect. Some downsides of Shopify include the fact that adding plugins can be difficult at times, some themes can cost extra and Shopify takes a cut from each sale made.
Another one of the most popular e-commerce solutions available is Wix. This solution was set up originally with a focus on building high-quality content-based sites. Content-based sites include blogs, photography portfolios and brochure style sites. Since then, it has developed into an eCommerce solution by integrating payment and selling features.
The reason why Wix has grown in popularity as an e-commerce platform is because it is quick and easy to set up and use. It has customisable themes meaning you don’t need a developer to set up an aesthetically pleasing storefront with its drag and drop functionality. Finally, Wix has a number of plugins and apps available to enhance its e-commerce abilities and search engine friendliness. Before posting product photos on Wix, you need to perform eCommerce image optimization to ensure that your listings will get approved.
On the flip side, however, the drag and drop functionality can be limiting and it is difficult to switch from one template to another if you fancy a redesign. The starting plan does not remove ads from your website which can affect the user experience. The main reason that we find Wix limiting when it comes to e-commerce is that there are limited payment gateways, for example, it doesn’t accept Apple Pay and it is not scalable without third-party integrations which lead to additional and hidden costs.
Next on the list of e-commerce industry is WordPress which is such a great platform, more than 40% of the web is built on it. WordPress is a very versatile platform used by all kinds of people from bloggers to small businesses to even members of the Fortune 500. WordPress can be set up and used by anyone with minimal knowledge of technology.
The benefits of using WordPress as your e-commerce platform are that it has customisable templates and blocks which allow anyone to create a business website with a sleek design without coding knowledge. Also, the WordPress website is known for being very secure which can give you and customers peace of mind when dealing with purchases and details. One of the most useful parts of WordPress is its integrated functionality tools and marketing plugins.
However, the downside of WordPress is that it is not specifically an e-commerce builder which means you may need to use a number of plugins to achieve your desired e-commerce functionality. This can also lead to issues because not all plugins are compatible. Also, the payment gateways available on WordPress are extremely limited which could lead you to have to use the likes of Shopify Lite- so some might think it’s easier to build your e-commerce store on Shopify in the first place.
Another scalable e-commerce solution is BigCommerce which makes it possible to build and optimise an online store. Like Shopify, this platform has a number of built-in features that make it possible to create a businesses website.
One of the reasons BigCommerce is so popular is because it does not have transaction fees which means you get to keep your profits from each sale. Also, it has a wide range of features already built into it which saves them time and understanding of installing add ons.
On the other hand, some of the advanced features on BigCommerce can be difficult to understand and use, meaning you may need to pay for help if you want to use them. Also, there is little variation between the themes available and they’re not very customisable. Therefore BigCommerce may not be the best e-commerce solution if you want a completely unique and creative storefront.
Last but not least is Magento, open-source software that is great for e-commerce. It has a flexible shopping system that makes it possible for merchants to easily sell online. Magento makes it possible for you to create and design a unique site that is easy to edit and most importantly is functional.
The key benefit of Magento is that it is largely customisable with a wide range of themes that can be edited without needing to know to code. Also, Magento has an excellent community that is happy to provide user support to fellow users.
The downsides of Magento are that it can be time-consuming to set up and is not very simple to use so it can be particularly difficult if you are new to setting up a website. Also, it is important to note that you need to consider the additional costs which are not included in this platform such as hosting, domain name registration, security, extensions and more. Finally, the main reason why Magento can be limiting for an e-commerce business is that it has limited payment gateways.
Overview of e-commerce solutions
Hopefully, this has given you a deeper insight into each of the popular e-commerce platforms. Ultimately, the solution you choose should be based on your business’s individual wants and needs as well as your budget, knowledge and experience when it comes to websites. Overall, our favourite e-commerce platform is Shopify due to its budget-friendly subscriptions, usability and templates. All of these factors make Shopify an excellent option for e-commerce businesses looking to build a scalable e-commerce store.