The platform you employ is one of the most crucial elements when beginning a new eCommerce company or renovating an old one. You want a platform that is both user-friendly and satisfies your technological requirements. You’ll also want a system that integrates with other applications, such as fulfillment and shipping software, so you can automate procedures.
Customers will engage with your platform just as much as you and your workers.
Shopify and WooCommerce are two of the most popular eCommerce systems, but others are also.
We’ll go through some of the things to think about when you decide below.
What is an eCommerce Platform?
An eCommerce platform gives you an online store that’s fully functional so that customers can go there and buy products or services.
Ecommerce platforms are available as website builder formats, which saves time. With these, you can do everything on your own using drag-and-drop features, even without a lot of technical expertise.
The three primary categories of eCommerce platforms are subscription-based, open-source, and something called headless.
A subscription-based eCommerce option offers many features to help you run your business, including options for payment gateways, tax handling, and scalability.
An open-source eCommerce platform is one that’s free, and you can install it easily. There are a lot of customizable features, but they don’t come with the customer support you get with a more expensive subscription-based solution.
Headless platforms are hosted, and they give you full control over your online store and its data. A lot of headless platforms also have features like A/B testing, so you can figure out the best ways to increase conversions. The downside of this third option is that they can be more complicated to install, and you don’t have a high level of customer support.
When you’re choosing an eCommerce platform, you want to first think about whether it’s going to be compatible with your existing site design and layout, if relevant. If not, you can use an option with website design features so that you can keep them cohesive.
The next big consideration is your level of technical know-how versus what will be needed to get a store up and running.
A third thing to think about is how much customer support you want and need, and then you also want to consider how often the platform is updated with new capabilities and features.
You should consider scalability because the goal of your business is, of course, to grow.
Other things that might become part of your decision-making include:
- Be aware of whether or not a platform limits what you can sell simultaneously. If you’re trying to test products, limiting the number of products you can offer is going to be problematic.
- There are some eCommerce platforms that charge fees on every item you sell. Others take a percentage of a sale.
- Platforms like Shopify tend to be well-suited for new and smaller businesses, while Shopify Plus and BigCommerce enterprises are more suited to larger organizations.
Shopify is one of the major platforms that started in 2004. Shopify supports hundreds of thousands of businesses today, including Google and Tesla. Technically, Shopify is a CMS similar to WordPress but designed for the creation of online stores.
The biggest upside of Shopify is that it’s user-friendly. Even if you have no programming experience, you can likely manage it.
You can have an eCommerce store live and operating in around 15 minutes with Shopify, and customizing your store is incredibly simple.
There are a lot of apps you can choose from with thousands of products, so you can import them to your store with a single click.
Shopify can integrate with social media sites, and there’s 24/7 support. Plus, it’s good in terms of SEO.
Overview of Magento
Magento CMS is divided into two categories. The first is Magento Open Source, a free content management system for self-hosted web retailers. To utilize this, you’ll need your domain name and web hosting.
Magento Commerce, which comprises Magento Open Source and Platform as a Service Hosting, is the second option (PaaS).
Magneto’s key strength is its built-in functions. One of the built-in sets of features that Magento excels at is SEO tools. These enable users to construct XML maps that include connections to all of their online store’s pages.
Several extensions and themes are available, and you can manage multiple web stores from a single admin interface.
Some consider Magento the best option for mid-sized businesses, and it is well-suited to users with some coding experience.
Overview of WooCommerce
WooCommerce is an e-commerce plugin for WordPress, so it’s not a true CMS, but it’s still rather capable.
WooCommerce is one of the most popular systems, with over 30% of all online retailers using the plugin. If you have a WordPress blog and want to sell things via it, you’ll most likely use WooCommerce.
It interacts with Google Analytics and allows you to sell physical and digital items and affiliate products.
There are premium plugins for additional capabilities, and WooCommerce items may be listed on Amazon. You can also utilize the Shopify Buy Now button to combine the benefits of both platforms.
Because WooCommerce is so frequently utilized, it has a sizable following.
The main disadvantage of WooCommerce is that it requires some code to make things appear the way you want them to, but businesses of any size can use it.
Finally, BigCommerce is a popular alternative. BigCommerce is still a very young company. BigCommerce is both a subscription-based platform and a content management system. It includes all of the functionality you’d need for an online business, yet unlike WooCommerce, you don’t have to manage or update it.
The SEO performance is great, but there is a tiny variety of free themes, and there aren’t many applications compared to the competition mentioned above.