To reach the most valuable leads for your small business in 2022, you must invest in online presence. Thousands of people are searching and looking at websites like yours every day – it’s time that we put ours on display! Investing now will help us attract more interested prospects who may convert into buying clients when they come across our site by accident or through links from other sites.
More than $1.7 trillion in sales were made within two years of March 2020, with digital tools and services used by consumers to get what they need quickly (and simply). US shoppers spent an unprecedented amount during this time frame- nearly 600 billion dollars more when compared against before couple periods ago! This is because many people are turning towards buying things online rather than visiting stores closeby; as such businesses had no choice but adapt accordingly so that these new behaviors.
The ecommerce industry is booming, and it’s not surprising that companies are struggling to keep up. With $1 trillion worth of annual spending projected by 2022 (a new record), there has never been more demand on platforms like Amazon or Shopify—which means you need a good one if your business isn’t already established! In this tutorial we’ll explore what makes an effective system for generating sales with minimal effort; identify some common pitfalls users fall into when using these services as well as ways they can avoid them themselves; determine which specific software might be best suited towards running your online store from start-to finish without any hassle whatsoever.
What is an ecommerce platform?
An ecommerce platform is a software that allows businesses to create and manage their own online stores. These platforms provide businesses with a variety of features, such as the ability to add products, process payments, and manage customer data. They also provide businesses with a range of templates and designs that they can use to create their store, as well as tools to help them optimize their online presence.
Why Should You Use an eCommerce Platform?
The first way to create an eCommerce site is by hiring a web developer, but this can be expensive. The second option requires you have technical knowledge and plenty of time on your hands as well which might not always apply when launching new businesses . However ,there’s one last method that makes it easy for beginners: using platforms like Shopify or Big Commerce! These tools allow people without any experience whatsoever in coding online stores quickly enough–and help generate more profit from their business too thanks matcha tea pure benefits !”
The two main types of eCommerce platforms are SaaS and open-source. For those who want a user friendly website builder with hosting, domain name registration & SSL certificate services all in one package; there’s simply no better way than using an All In One Platform like Shopify or Bigcommerce (depending on what you’re looking to promote). On the other hand if we go down this route where users have complete control over their online store from start up phase through update management without any help needed then PrestaShop would be ideal!
E-commerce platforms are great for beginners because they give you more control over your site’s appearance and functionality. You can choose from hosting plans tailored to fit any budget, tweak the technology so it better reflects what works best with how people use websites these days (especially mobile devices), while also taking care of all those pesky technical aspects that come into play when running an online business!
Types of ecommerce platforms
An eCommerce platform, often known as an e-commerce software system, is a computer software that allows online enterprises to operate and manage their website, sales, and day-to-day operations. nThere are three primary sorts of e-commerce solutions on the market.
- Open Source (Free content management system)
- SaaS (Software as a service)
- CaaS (Commerce as a service)
Businesses prefer SaaS and open-source software, which are both growing trends. CaaS is a growing trend among them. It’s also a cloud-based technology like SaaS.
Ecommerce Solutions: a Short Overview
The first eCommerce transaction was an electronic fund transfer that took place among banks using a secure private network. In the late 1970s, electronic data interchange (EDI) allowed companies to exchange business documents through the internet.
Ecommerce or Electronic Commerce refers to businesses conducting activities using computer networks. The late 1970 and early 1980 saw the rise of popular electronic mail services that enabled fast and cheap online communication.
During the 1980s and early 1990s, different electronic technologies were created for simple collaboration. Finally, in the 1990s, the World Wide Web allowed for smooth and inexpensive digital communication. It also made it feasible for businesses of all sizes to conduct a variety of business activities.
Ecommerce has three key features:
- Technical (Networks, telecommunication, and security etc.)
- Legal (Information privacy, intellectual property, and taxation)
- Business (Marketing, supply chain management, and payment etc.)
Even though it may seem easy today, online shopping was not always this way. In fact, e-commerce only became possible after the internet was made available to the public in 1991. Amazon.com is one of the first US companies to start selling products online, and since then, thousands more businesses – including well-known brands – have followed suit.
The convenience, security , efficiency , and user-friendliness of online shopping has allowed for its phenomenal growth.
The e-commerce sector has a long and illustrious history, having first appeared in the mid-1970s. With new technologies, inventions, and nearly every sort of company entering the internet market every day, it continues to expand. E-commerce is no longer simply an alternative source of revenue; it’s a proven platform that any firm may use to get special attention.
Why Big Brands Use eCommerce Platform?
Any business may not be able to ignore the importance of a strong internet presence. To maintain a real-time connection, communicate with a new demographic, or simply keep themselves informed, many businesses now rely on the online platform.
Check out some of the most important reasons and advantages to help you decide.
- An easy way to reach, connect and communicate with the consumers
- The flexible way to reach new customers
- Starting, managing and developing aren’t the matter to worry about
- Scalability and customization are the two ultimate advantages
- Easy to build with awesome security
- Options to form members-only areas
- Outstanding feedback at low budget
- Efficiency to promote and ensure business growth
- Finally, it’s a demand of time. Anyone could just fall behind if ignores it!
From recent estimations, global e-commerce sales are projected to reach a whopping 7.4 trillion dollars by 2025. This only affirms that e-commerce is truly a growing and profitable industry to be in.
Choosing The Best Ecommerce Platform for Small Business
The right ecommerce platform is like finding the perfect physical address for your brick-andmortar store. There are many factors to consider, from site reputation and customer support when launching a business online through an open source website builder with user friendly back end where you can experiment on inventory management or abandoned cart recovery systems among others – all while choosing between various web hosts that will provide hosting services specific only towards each individual retailer’s needs!
It can be difficult for beginners to find the best eCommerce platform. Some platforms come with plenty of built-in features, but others may not have all that much in terms or customization options and support services after you purchase them (unless they’re partsale). If your business requires more advanced tools like these then it would probably make sense switch over from open source software–but before doing this there are some important factors worth considering first!
Top Considerations for Ecommerce Platforms
- Price/Budget: Although there are many factors to consider when choosing an ecommerce solution, as a small business owner, price is likely to be a primary concern. Fortunately, there are many affordable options available on the market today. Most open-source platforms and hosted systems offer free versions that you can try before making a purchase.
- Back end tools: When it comes to running an online shop, what kind of support do you need? The best platform could feature anything from access to WordPress plugins and support for CSS, SKUs, or even app management systems for mobile devices. Having back end access to content management tools and inventory management is important too.
- Scalability: It’s possible that you’ll go through multiple stages of business, from start-up to growth. Because you’re currently running a small firm, it’s natural to think that your company will always be this way. You may need support for limitless items, new payment choices, and even digital product selling as your organization grows. Make sure the technology you’re using can scale effectively with a minimal learning curve.
- Speed and performance: If your website doesn’t load quickly, no one will be interested in purchasing your goods. Even if you have a large number of items on your site, make sure you can keep the performance of it with good hosting and no matter how many plugins, add-ons, and other features you employ.
- Ease of use: If you want an eCommerce platform that’s easy to use, look for a drag-and-drop builder and comprehensive back-end documentation. However, it’s important to keep in mind that open source solutions are often more difficult to use than hosted platforms.
- User experience: You need a pleasant experience when constructing your store. However, you must also think about how your consumers will feel. Is it possible to provide a variety of payment options? Is it simple to use your shopping cart? How easy is it to maneuver around your online store?
- Marketing tools: Some ecommerce platforms come with tools that can help you attract new customers and keep your existing ones. These tools can include abandoned cart recovery, SEO tools, email marketing systems, and more. Having a good content management system and marketing tools can improve your bottom line.
- Customization: The more open a platform is, the more customizable it is. However, you may usually modify the appearance of your online shop by utilizing real-time editors and themes in most cases. Take a look at what kinds of customization possibilities exist.
What is the best ecommerce platform?
The answer is straightforward.
The best ecommerce platform is the one that lets you sell your products online without any hassle.
There are hundreds of ecommerce platforms to choose from, and each one has its own set of features that are appropriate for various kinds of enterprises. However, to keep you from getting caught in analysis paralysis, we’ve put up a list of the top-rated ecommerce platforms below. We hope that our advice will help you make an informed decision in no time.
Not sure which eCommerce platform to choose for your business? Check out our list of the 16 best options for 2022.
Shopify is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms, with nearly 4 million live websites currently using it. According to BuiltWith, the platform is highly versatile supporting any kind of business imaginable; from B2B and B2C, online and offline, side hustle stores to large enterprises.
Shopify – One of the best ecommerce platforms at the moment
Shopify distinguishes itself from other platforms by virtue of the broad set of features and tools it offers for each business function, including setting up an online store, multi-channel selling, order management, shipping and fulfillment , marketing automation , payment processing , etc. Shopify also has a financial assistance program called “Shopify Capital” to help merchants get funding more promptly!
The Shopify platform is a one-stop shop for ecommerce. Under the guise of being an all-in-one commerce platform, Shopify claims that it’s not an exaggeration. As a result, we chose to leave certain aspects out of this post so that we could remain impartial. To learn more about this topic, please click here to visit their main landing page. But if you want more than that, read on:
- All Shopify free tools: Shopify’s collection of free tools to assist you in starting and operating your business.
- Shopify drag-and-drop website builder: You can quickly build an online store without writing any code.
- Multi-channel selling: You can sell your products or services online on social media platforms and marketplaces, as well as offline.
- Shopify POS system: manage selling in-person and run your brick-and-mortar stores
- Shopify Shipping: Get up to 88% off USPS, UPS, and DHL rates by using FedEx’s fast-forward shipping.
- Shopify Market: This is a great strategy to sell internationally from a single site.
- Shopify Fulfillment: You can focus on developing your business rather than fulfilling orders. It’s much like Amazon FBA, but without any storage fees if you sell items within six months.
- Shopify Payments: support for over 100 payment gateways with no transaction fees
- Shopify Balance: A simplified alternative to a standard bank account. While spending on expanding your business, you may earn rewards and cashback while being paid much quicker.
- Shopify Flow: Create workflows to automate your businesses. Extremely useful during big shopping days.
- There are many other tools available
Shopify is a great platform to start your business on because you can build it any way that works best for yourself. However, with so many apps and plug-ins available through the Shopify App Store (over 7500!),you may find some features aren’t enough or convenient enough when running an actual live store in real life though! That’s where Partner Program comes into play – there are experts who have built businesses around this system with tons of experience behind them ready help make sure everything goes smoothly from beginning till end . With such comprehensive tools at hand, any business can succeed with Shopify as their eCommerce platform.
Shopify is the easiest way to start selling online
Shopify is one of the most reliable and dependable ecommerce platforms with a strong community of millions of entrepreneurs worldwide. If you have any questions or run into any problems, chances are high that you will be able to find the answer by searching online. And if not, Shopify’s customer support team is available 24/7 to help resolve any issues.
Shopify offers five pricing options for businesses of different sizes. The Starter plan is only 5$ per month, allowing you to sell on existing websites and social media apps with their app store like Facebook or Instagram (or any other platform). On the other hand there’s Shopif Plus-the enterprise package which starts at around 2000$, giving your business unlimited capabilities; it can be affordable if not downright cheap when compared against competitors’ goods/services!
Shopify offers a free trial for all new accounts
If you’re stuck on choosing Shopify, this article will give you a detailed breakdown of the pros and cons as well as illuminate who will benefit most from using it.
- A completely hosted solution with level 1 PCI-DSS compliance and an SSL certificate
- store an unlimited amount of items, use as much bandwidth as you want, have an infinite number of products
- Quick loading times
- Shopify is the most user-friendly platform. Shopify understands how to make commerce more efficient and easier for everyone.
- Can be easily adapted to support the growth of any business.
- Themes that are both elegant and flexible
- The blog CMS is built-in, along with marketing tools and capabilities.
- This app store has over 7,500 apps, so you’re sure to find what you need.
- Free educational tools available to assist businesses in launching and growing their enterprises.
- Some essential features are quite limited, therefore you’ll ultimately need to purchase additional applications from the Shopify App Store. That’s unavoidable if you want to develop your business using Shopify. It’s similar to having a WordPress website and then requiring you to use plugins.
Note: This is actually an excellent thing because it allows the professionals to take care of things so that you may focus on selling. On the Shopify App Store, you will find a variety of best-in-class solutions provided by knowledgeable Shopify specialists. They get their hands dirty so that you don’t have to.
- The following are some of the Shopify Payments transaction costs: if you utilize a payment gateway outside of Shopify Payments. Fortunately, Shopify Payments accepts all major payments methods and there are no costs for manual payment options (cash, money orders, bank transfers, etc.)
- It’s not that difficult to change the front end. However, if you want to modify the back end, things are a little different. Deep customization frequently necessitates coding skills, the purchase of an app, or the use of a Shopify partner (a genuine problem with Shopify Plus – the business plan).
Why choose Shopify over other platforms?
Though Shopify is not the only ecommerce platform, it does offer some of the best tools and features for selling online. If you’re considering other options, BigCommerce might be a good choice; however, please keep in mind that it has a bit of learning curve and is more suitable for businesses that are growing or enterprise level (more information on this below.) Magento is highly flexible but requires advanced coding expertise–it’s just too complicated for beginners. When looking at all three platforms side by side,’ Shopify beats out these two platforms because its interface is easy to use yet provides robust commerce features .
Shopify is a great ecommerce solution if you want to sell your products online. However, Wix and Squarespace have some limitations when it comes down designing an effective store with all the necessary features for customers who are looking forward purchasing something from them – which usually happens in most cases during website development processes.
WooCommerce relies heavily on third party plugins that can sometimes become out of date or contain bugs making your site unstable; meanwhile Shopifys built-in tools offer more stability because they’re constantly being improved upon by their team so there will never be any interruption
Why Shopify may not be the right choice for you
By definition, Shopify is a hosted solution. As a result, if you want a bespoke solution or full control over your online business’s every aspect, consider using a self-hosted, open-source ecommerce platform like Magento. That said, if you still want to utilize Shopify, the company plan – Shopify Plus – might alleviate some of the pain.
If you want the best of both worlds – SaaS solutions with open-source platform flexibility – then BigCommerce may be a more suitable option than Shopify. We’ll give you more details about BigCommerce in the next section, so just keep reading.
The two things we’ve mentioned above are mostly for established businesses with a decent number of sales. If you just started selling or have a small business, there’s no need to worry about that! However–you may want consider the cost-of running your company on Shopify if it is in its early stages because so far everything seems reasonable priced but remember this platform isn’t cheap either and installing apps can add up quickly especially when considering all those features they provide by default which make life easier as well additional tools available through partnerships like Facebook ads campaigns management etc.
So, who is Shopify best for?
Shopify is a fantastic option for those who are new to starting a business. Shopify has everything you’ll need to get started in ecommerce, and it’s one of the most user-friendly platforms available. You’ll also get access to Shopify Learn – a library of free learning modules from experienced individuals that will teach you how to run your company effectively.
Shopify is the ideal platform for those who want to focus on selling instead of dealing with complex technical details. If you’re interested in starting a dropshipping or print-on-demand store, Shopify is definitely the way to go. In fact, “Shopify dropshipping” has become a popular term in itself. Manydropshipping experts also recommend Shopify as their first choice when it comes to platforms.
If you own a small or medium business, Shopify is without doubt the best ecommerce platform for you. And if you have large retail businesses with multiple sales channels, Shopify may still be a great fit–POS system can help manage your brick-and-mortar stores while integrating smoothly with online sale channels to give shoppers seamlessness. Moreover, use of Shopify Fulfillment will save time on fulfillment process so that more focus can be placed on making sales.
Anyway, there’s no way to tell whether Shopify is the best ecommerce platform for you unless you try it. Shopify provides a risk-free 14-day free trial for new businesses (no credit card required, cancel at any time), and you can get started here. If you have any questions throughout the free trial, please search Google for a fast answer or contact the Shopify Support team for more specialized assistance. They also have a Youtube channel with over 100 lessons on how to use them.
If you’re looking for an ecommerce platform that is both open source and SaaS, BigCommerce should be at the top of your list. The world-renowned platform provides a balanced solution between the customizability of open source platforms and the hassle-free nature of SaaS options – not to mention it comes with a low total cost of ownership. Additionally, its highly flexible APIs allows businesses to adapt easily as they scale and grow.
BigCommerce has the pros of both SaaS and open-source platforms
If you have a long-standing business with a history of software and technology, you know how useful it would be to keep everything in one place. And that’s where BigCommerce shines. The Pro plan gives you 60,000 API calls per hour, while the Enterprise plan offers unlimited! The platform is capable of processing up to 400 API requests each second, which is pretty incredible. Here’s where you can learn more about BigCommerce APIs.
BigCommerce is also one of the most feature-rich ecommerce platforms. Unlike Shopify, though, its built-in features give you considerably more freedom and customizability, so you don’t have to rely on plugins or third-party applications as much. As an example, take SEO functions. BigCommerce provides extensive control over your URL structure, metadata editing, rich result optimization, robot.txt file editing, and so on.
Not only can BigCommerce handle large catalogs with ease, but its bulk editor tool is a lifesaver if you have mass inventory and orders. In addition, BigCommerce allows for up to 600 SKUs/variants per product- way more than the average store needs. That’s why we said earlier that BigCommerce is perfect for fast-growing businesses and enterprises.
BigCommerce offers a rich set of features to power different types of business
BigCommerce is the only ecommerce platform that offers professional reporting on all plans. This sets them apart from their competitors, who only offer basic analytic tools on entry-level subscription plans.
A really great feature of BigCommerce is that it doesn’t charge any transaction fees. Even though there is a credit card fee to the payment provider, this ecommerce platform has no additional charges. Although initially complex due to all its features, once you get the hang of things it’s actually quite easy and fast to use. This is thanks in part to the helpful guiding documents and support team that BigCommerce offers its users. If you want more details, read this comprehensive BigCommerce review to learn everything about it before making your decision.
BigCommerce has two types of subscription plans: BigCommerce Essentials and BigCommerce Enterprise. The former is for small businesses while the latter if for large-scale businesses. Both versions’ pricing structures are similar to Shopify’s.
To ensure you select the right plan for your business,BigCommerce offers a way to switch between them by clicking on the tab above its site header.
Two versions of BigCommerce: BigCommerce Enterprise and BigCommerce Essentials
You may get a free trial of BigCommerce Essentials for 15 days, and you can try it out here. Meanwhile, if you have a big business and want to use BigCommerce Enterprise, fill out the form here and they will contact you for a bespoke solution. Sneak peek: You could be eligible for a free trial that goes on for months!
- An open SaaS platform that allows you to customize at ease
- Rich built-in features
- Complex inventory and order management
- Industry-leading APIs
- No transaction fees
- BigCommerce’s Essential plan has a yearly sales limit. Your account will be automatically upgraded to a higher plan once you reach the specified level. Check out their pricing page and look for the “Online sales per year” column. This is a small cost that is well worth it in the long term if you’re making many sales every year.
- BigCommerce’s user interface is straight-forward to navigate; however, its complex embedded functions might present a challenge for novice users. Additionally, it might be too complicated for very small businesses.
- No native POS system
- Many of the themes appear to be identical, and they could use some redesigning.
Why choose BigCommerce over other ecommerce platforms?
Although BigCommerce and Shopify are close competitors, their pricing structures differ quite a bit. While Shopify’s third-party apps cover more aspects of running a business, they lack the power and effectiveness that BigCommerce’s built-in features provide. Therefore, you’ll likely spend less on plugins withBigCommerce. Additionally, if you’re into the technical side of ecommerce businesses, then Big Commerce gives provides much more flexibility thanShopify does in terms of customization options.
BigCommerce and Magento are both well-known for their flexibility and ease of use. BigCommerce, unlike Magento, does not force you to maintain the system in order to avoid wasting time and money on things that really count: sales growth. In addition, while Magento has a higher total cost of ownership over time, it is significantly more difficult to use than BigCommerce.
Why BigCommerce may not be the right choice for you
BigCommerce has many great capabilities that some people find appealing, but others might not. These features are perfect for a small company or boutique. And sometimes too much of something can be bad. It might make ecommerce more challenging rather than simpler for novices which is why we don’t suggest BigCommerce to those who have just begun selling.
Shopify is frequently a better option than BigCommerce for most small companies. And it’s not just my opinion; the amount speaks for itself. While the two platforms are comparable rivals, and they’re both well-known in business, Shopify has millions of users while BigCommerce has only over 60,000. That does not imply that Shopify is superior to BigCommerce; rather, it reveals that they attract different sorts of consumers. The number of first-time entrepreneurs, single merchants, and mom-and-pop operations always vastly exceeds that of established enterprises.
BigCommerce is advertising its Enterprise Edition to firms that might be interested in the product. The Enterprise Edition includes automated inventory management, sophisticated reporting and analytics, and integrated marketing automation. Why does the default version on a company’s website appear to be BigCommerce Essentials rather than BigCommerce Enterprise? I’m guessing you know why now.
So, who is BigCommerce best for?
In a nutshell, BigCommerce is most advantageous for large businesses.
Corporations and rapidly expanding enterprises gain the most fromBigCommerce’s versatile APIs. For your convenience, I’ll leave BigCommerce’s landing page below so you can explore their API use cases more thoroughly.
Large shops with thousands of items or businesses that are making a lot of sales might benefit from being able to handle big inventories and orders. If you’re looking for headless ecommerce, BigCommerce may be the solution. nBigCommerce offers a headless ecommerce solution here.
BigCommerce is a platform that supports businesses such as B2B, B2C, and D2C. The software also allows for omnichannel and international commerce.
If you want to see what BigCommerce can do for your company specifically, I recommend arranging a demo with them and starting your free trial today.
WooCommerce is a versatile plugin that allows users to turn their WordPress sites into online stores. In addition to being free, WooCommerce also offers paid features and integrations to streamline the functionality of the shopping cart. You can find more information about WooCommerce in our detailed review.
Although WooCommerce has its benefits such as being easy to customize and PCI compliant, it’s not the best option if you plan on expanding your business. The lack of customization options can be limiting, and it doesn’t handle large quantities of themes, plugins, or products well.
Beware of anything you install that could reduce the performance of your store. Make sure to choose a hosting environment that can handle the amount of traffic you expect.
4. Adobe Commerce (formerly Magento)
Magento (owned by Adobe) is a widely used eCommerce platform globally. Despite its reputation for being complicated, it has many advantages which make it one of the best platforms out there. Furthermore, Magento 2 was recently released and has elevated the platform even further, causing many providers to create more efficient solutions specifically tailored to B2B eCommerce businesses.
Some great benefits of using Magento include:
- Versatile content management: The backend and content management interface allow store owners to build and customize features on their online stores on the fly, in a “what you see is what you get” fashion.
- Mobile-friendly configuration: The Magento user interface and shopping cart design are responsive to smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices.
- Advanced search engine optimization: It allows online retailers to rank higher in search engines like Google, Bing, and others.
- Sturdy and spacious: The platform can handle a website with up to 500,000 products and 80,000 orders per hour.
- Flexible third-party integrations: MailChimp, Google Shopping, and other third-party apps can be integrated more effectively with Magento.
- Customizable security permissions: Magento provides you with unparalleled security, including multiple levels of customizable permissions and internal access controls.
- Save time and money: While the basic edition of Magento is free, the enterprise version costs around $20,000 per year. If your brand is new to eCommerce and not very tech-savvy, it may be risky to choose Magento. However, as long as you have enough capacity to run your business on this platform and can grow along with it, Magento could be a good choice for you.
Wix is one of the most simple-to-use eCommerce platforms, with simple alternatives to create a complete website using serverless computing and no-fuss coding. It’s ideal for new online businesses with inexpensive costs and 72 free themes. You have complete control over your store’s design.
Wix provides a mobile-optimized version of your store that benefits both you and your customers. To tailor the mobile interface, use Mobile Editor. If you want to enhance your SEO performance, fill out a few questions about your website, location, and keywords.
You may effortlessly gather leads, develop customer relationships, and take payments right from your website using Wix. The lack of essential selling tools, on the other hand, makes the platform unsuitable for fast-growing or large-scale internet enterprises.
Volusion is a one-stop shop for all your eCommerce needs. With its intuitive functionality and handy features, you can build an online store with the click of button on this platform! The variety in navigation styles means no matter how simple or complex your site’s design might be – there’ll always something that fits perfectly into place without feeling too cramped out like other platforms may do when given similar designs from different designers/creative teams who work at various companies throughout time.
Volusion also has features that will help you expand your business. You may easily monitor and manage all of your metadata using Volusion’s powerful SEO tools to maintain your sites, products, and categories SEO-friendly.
The ability to connect with people outside of your website is beneficial for increasing exposure and attracting leads. Furthermore, report capabilities enable you to examine everything that occurred on your store, from abandoned carts to active ones, as well as product and category views.
7. Shift4Shop (formerly 3dcart)
3dcart (now Shift4Shop) has been serving over 22,000 internet companies with customers including PCMag since its debut to the public in 2001. They have some useful characteristics such as limitless storage and no transaction costs. You may also utilize their POS, which supports multi-channel selling. In 2021, Shift4Shop rebranded itself.
Despite being older than they are and while Shift4Shop doesn’t do as well as BigCommerce or Shopify, it’s easy to see why. It isn’t for beginners. Despite the fact that there is a decent onboarding video when you log into your dashboard, the whole process is difficult to comprehend; the builder isn’t particularly beautiful.
The templates they offer are more industrial in feel, but they seem to be old. Customizing the store also takes a long time to learn and get used to due to the absence of drag-and-drop capabilities. Fortunately, there is a community of developers who will help with theme development and other modifications.
I think one of the most appealing aspects of Shift4Shop is their advanced shipping solutions; you don’t need an API for them. Another advantageShift4Shop has over Shopify is that it doesn’t restrict the volume of sales you can bring in on each plan. The lowest-priced plan, which costs $19 per month, allows up to 50k in sales. Even though Shopify includes abandoned cart saver as a core feature, I still believe Shift4Shop offers more value overall because it has more features out of the box than does Shopify.
- Better blog feature than other SaaS ecommerce
- Supports all the integrations you would need
- Great business user management tools (email, QuickBooks, inventory, etc.)
- Templates are inline with trends, but never at the cutting edge
- Negative feedback on customer support
- Potential issues upgrading
- Not for beginners
Prestashop is a powerful, open-source eCommerce solution that provides everything you need to build an online store and grow your business. Over 300,000 merchants around the world use Prestashop, and it’s freely accessible and downloadable. You will just have to pay for hosting costs, an SSL certificate, and anything else similar.
Prestashop comes with a variety of professional-looking and sleek themes that you may use to develop your website. It does not restrict your creativity or inspiration when it comes to creating your own website. Those themes may be altered to fit your own style and taste, allowing you to personalize your online on your own terms.
Furthermore, there are a plethora of add-ons and modules that may help you enhance your online store’s performance. You can keep track of your products, orders, client relationship, and more in real time. You may locate the ideal modules for your business using the PrestaHero Modules Marketplace like as PrestaHero.
Any blogger can easily begin using Shopify to write articles and share them on social media to increase traffic. There are no limits to your website’s potential success when you use Shopify- you can present your store in multiple languages and currencies, making it easy to sell products to customers all over the world.
Dropshipping is a fantastic opportunity to introduce your customers to new products and services that they may not be aware of. Furthermore, you can quickly scale up your business with a few clicks using dropshipping with Prestashop.
Optimal free ecommerce solution
Photo courtesy of: OpenCart
OpenCart is a free and open-source ecommerce platform that’s highly modifiable and simple to set up. The software allows you to establish and manage numerous businesses, as well as provide a strong dashboard with important data such as sales and repeat buyers. OpenCart comes with over 13,000 modules and themes from which to build your own website, along with numerous connections for connecting your applications.
- Open sourced and highlight customizable
- Hundreds of integrations
- The platform is free
- Low ongoing development costs
- Limited built-in marketing and sales features
- Not the fastest platform
- Self-hosted, so you’ll control hosting, development, and maintenance
Most affordable for small businesses
With Weebly, you can build a store without the technical expertise. You don’t have to pay for hosting or any design services since it’s all built in-app with ads that pop up every now and then as well as customizing your domain name if needed at first signup – however this comes at no extra cost once purchasing their basic plan which currently starts around $30 per year (plus taxes).
- Simple and easy-to-use editor
- Mobile app
- Fast site speeds
- Customizable themes
- Limited blogging tools
- Offline photo editing
- Better support costs more
11. Ecwid — popular for adding a store to an existing website
Created in 2009, Ecwid operates similarly to other ecommerce platforms by allowing users to generate product catalogs and insert the required information for each item. You can also establish shipping rates, receive payments, etc. with Ecwid without having to download any software on your computer. However, where Ecwid shines against its competitors is that it wasn’t engineered to be a stand-alone store; rather, its construction lets you integrate a store into an already existing website or online platform.
- Add ecommerce to any website in minutes.
- Sell products on international marketplaces.
- Automatic tax rates and support for multiple currencies.
- Responsive design with plugins and apps for integration.
- “Instant site” option gets your store up and running quickly.
There are limitations with Ecwid’s tiered plans that can be frustrating if you choose one of their cheaper options, such as no phone support or product variants when using the free or entry-level plans. Its SEO features also need improvement. You cannot change product URLs or create redirects in Ecwid, and you can’t access any SEO features in the free version. You also aren’t able to create AMP versions of product pages using Ecwid.
12. Squarespace — popular for WYSIWYG editing
Squarespace is the ultimate all in one platform for entrepreneurs, designers and coders alike. Their beautiful designs make them stand out among other platforms while their easy-to use features allow users without any coding knowledge to create professional websites that fit your personal style perfectly!
You can choose from tons of great templates or build something unique based on what you need – whether it’s eCommerce store design skills with Shopify Plus plan integrated into squarespace census template, creating landing pages perfect just after sending over some content.
13. Zyro — popular for AI-powered ecommerce
When you’re looking for an easy way to build and deploy websites, without sacrificing site design quality or performance but with a fast process that is focused on providing value in both freelancers’ stores as well as small-to midsize businesses (SMBs), then look into what Zyro has going for them. With templates customized based off pre existing designs provided by their AI engine which can be quickly adjusted according your needs – this website builder provides great features at minimal costs while still being able through customization options allow users access everything they need from start up marketing campaigns all the way down content management system capabilities so no matter how.
- Zyro is popular for AI-powered ecommerce because it offers a lot of features and functionality that businesses need to be successful online.
- It’s easy to get started with, includes a variety of templates, and has no upfront costs.
- It’s easy to use, so businesses can get up and running quickly.
- It’s scalable, so businesses can grow their online presence as their needs change.
- It’s reliable, so businesses can trust that their online store will always be up and running.
- Zyro is not as customizable as Shopify
- There have been complaints about the customer service
- It can be difficult to make changes to your store
- AI functionality, the inability to easily access real-time — and real — support capabilities can be an obstacle to deploying a well-designed website.
- For enterprise businesses, Zyro doesn’t provide all the resources necessary to handle a large traffic volume.
14. Sellfy — popular for digital businesses
If you’re an individual or business owner who needs an easy solution for building, deploying, and managing your website, then look no further than Sellfy. With our platform, you can sell physical and digital products directly to consumers via your business website as well as through social media sites such as Facebook and YouTube.
Besides being an all-in-one ecommerce solution, Sellfy also allows you to integrate your payment processing. With its built in marketing tools and analytics, it’s perfect for entrepreneurs seeking a streamlined website experience. What’s more, it offer a free two-week trial of its service with no credit card required!
Sellfy was created with the help of musicians and other content creators, since it caters to those that heavily utilize online media such as digital music, books, and video files.
- Sellfy is a platform that makes it easy for digital-based businesses to sell their products.
- Sellfy is a platform that makes it easy to set up and maintain a shop.
- It’s a comprehensive platform that provides essential tools for running an ecommerce business.
- Sellfy is not as customizable as other platforms
- Sellfy can be difficult to use for beginners
- Sellfy does not have many features
- The website’s plan and payment options are limited.
- The platform is not suitable for businesses that want to scale up
- Sellfy’s pricing is high compared to other options for the same functionality.
If you’re looking for an ecommerce platform that is customizable, user-friendly, and packed with features, Sellfy might not be the right fit for your business. However, if you’re willing to put in the time to learn the platform and are okay with a few limitations, Sellfy could be a good option for you.
15. Square — popular for mobile payment processing
In 2009, Square launched as a point-of-sale system and was the first to enable mobile payments. Today, Square offers everything from ecommerce to payroll to recurring payments through virtual terminals with the option of several applications. While this mobile payment processing solution may not be ideal for every business model, it does offer a lot of advantages — especially if you want consistent pricing and dependability.
- Square provides flat-rate pricing with no monthly fees.
- It is excellent for low-volume ecommerce merchants and has great features.
- Square offers affordable card chip readers,
- There are various online tools for selling items, as well as the option to pay in installments.
- Square is not a great fit for enterprise companies with large transactions.
- Its fraud prevention approach can be difficult for small businesses that need consistent access to their funds.
- It is not suitable for high-risk businesses.
16. Salesforce Commerce Cloud (formerly Demandware, Inc)
Salesforce is recognized for its CRM solutions. The firm claims to be the world’s first CRM solution with Einstein AI, which aims to help you strengthen your customer relationship and expand across the globe. Commerce Cloud, formerly known as Demandware, is a cloud-based eCommerce platform designed specifically for both B2C and B2B companies. It’s part of the Salesforce product family. As a result, it incorporates numerous other CRM and marketing services, allowing you to develop your business while also maintaining excellent client relationships.
Furthermore, Salesforce Commerce Cloud has a wide range of capabilities, including order management, commerce personalization with AI, globalization solutions for international firms, and more.
Salesforce is a great choice for large companies who experience high volumes of traffic and sales, but it’s not the best option for small brands or businesses just starting to sell online. This is because Salesforce requires a high price and complex technology that some smaller businesses may not be able to meet.
What is a platform?
A platform is a business model that creates value by enabling exchanges between different groups, usually customers and producers. Platforms establish communities and markets where users can interact with each other and transact through network effects. The shift to digital technology in commerce has changed how we do business, opening up new possibilities for businesses.
If you want to take advantage of this situation, you need to apply digital and technology in selling products. Because of that, online stores are gradually taking the place of brick and mortar stores.
Brands try hard to find success with their first online store, but they often don’t get the results they expect. One big mistake they make is partnering up with the wrong eCommerce platform.
In short, an eCommerce platform is the key to any business’ online presence. The software provides retailers with a space to sell their products and services while also building a brand identity.
Backend software such as accounting, order management, inventory management, and customer service platforms are critical for any online business–not just eCommerce sites. Although it’s possible to use disparate software solutions to get the same effect, this is quite inefficient and will cause your website more down time due to required maintenance.
Fortunately, a new breed of business software is emerging that combines all necessary commerce and business features into a single platform. When it comes to the eCommerce platform, the term “platform design” is important to grasp. It’s more than just a technical issue. It deals with issues such as planning and developing functions for the entire company operation. It generates value for consumers as well as stores by providing a network around them. Keep in mind that an eCommerce platform is more than simply a piece of technology.
A platform has four core functions:
- Audience building
- Providing core tools and services
- Setting rules and standards
8 Key features of an eCommerce platform
Different platforms provide various features. There are so many different platforms out there with a variety of features and capabilities that it might be intimidating. Among the plethora of options, keep in mind that most eCommerce platforms integrate fundamental business operations to give comprehensive insight throughout your company and ultimately satisfy the most demanding clients. This is sometimes difficult to determine which eCommerce software will provide the functionality you need, or whether it will still be cost-effective as your store grows.
The following features are important to consider when choosing an eCommerce platform:
- Run on a single, unified platform: An eCommerce platform should provide accounting, POS, inventory and order management, marketing, customer service, financials and merchandising on a cloud-based platform.
- Offer a complete customer view: A great eCommerce platform will ensure that each customer has a cohesive and consistent experience while they are interacting with your brand. They should be able to view all interactions and transactions in a single location, regardless of the touchpoint or channel they use.
- Intelligent order management: The goal is to make it easy for customers to buy, receive, and return products. manage orders in one place for the most efficiency and profitability. Keeping track of inventory in real-time across all company channels and units makes it easier to forecast needs and prevent stockouts.
- Provide superior customer experiences: Choose a platform that provides customers with responsive, kind, personalized, and rewarding mobile, web, and in-store experiences if you want to make your store stand out and live up to customer expectations.
- Support bottomless expansion: support multiple business models, brands, channels, locations, currencies, and languages on the same platforms.
- Site security: If you are new to store ownership, terms like “PCI compliance” or “eCommerce SSL certificates” might be confusing. However, you will become familiar with them soon enough. Choose a platform that offers an SSL certificate and PCI compliance in order to secure your store and the customer data it contains.
There are several additional security solutions available on different platforms. These packages should be chosen based on your needs, the future requirements of your business, and your budget.
- Easy to create content: To ensure that your store comes up high in Google searches, you should look for platforms that make it easy to create strong supporting content. This involves being able to easily create new pages and contact forms, as well as publishing existing content on your store.
If you want a platform with an famed reputation for reliability, think about using a content management system (CMS).
- Highly dedicated support and document: If you experience difficulties with your platform provider, don’t hesitate to contact them. Many businesses provide assistance in a variety of ways, including email, live chat, ticket support, and direct phone calls. Choose the one that works best for you then call your platform provider if you have any issues with the platform.
Furthermore, explore their comprehensive library of documents and tutorials, such as user guides, FAQs, how-to blog posts, and knowledge base posts. Chances are you’ll find solutions to your questions without ever having to contact the providers.
Why are eCommerce platforms important to brands?
Consider a house with no solid foundation; it’s much like an eCommerce site without a solid platform. An eCommerce platform not only helps, but it also enables the development of an online store. Simply said, any online retail company requires an eCommerce platform to succeed.
People tended to visit physical locations in the 19th century to facilitate transactions. Now, decades later, platforms have been established to enable value transfers from decentralized networks of people using connected technology and the Internet revolution.
The platform has grown a lot, and the ability to enable value exchanges is now better than ever. eCommerce platforms are hosted on-premise or in the cloud and they guarantee the scalability and security protection of your data. They also offer operational benefits and business tools like:
- A product management suite
- Search capabilities
- Personalize sales and services to your prefers
By customizing your product information to fit your online business needs on eCommerce platforms, you are not only making life easier for store owners but also customers.
There are various eCommerce platforms to select from, each with its own set of benefits and pricing. When it comes to building your website, consider the following factors carefully:
- The platform you choose must ensure your website is constantly updated and managed
- Choose a good web hosting
- Intuitive and seamless payment processors and shopping cart
- Good for customer service and user experience
- Ensure security for your site and customers’ data
Make sure to put careful thought into the initial setup of your website, especially its foundation.
Bevirtual will help you design and build a stunning ecommerce site for your small business, customized to fit your brand.
A well-designed website can go a long way in helping your ecommerce business grow. If you want to expand your online presence and generate quality leads for your website, you’ll need to invest in its design. Over the course of 25 years, Bevirtual has created attractive websites for our clients.
We’re a digital marketing company that doesn’t just design websites–we bring 450+ experts to create a campaign tailored for your small business that delivers results.
At Bevirtual, we specialize in creating campaigns that help our clients grow their businesses. In the past few years alone, we’ve driven more than $323M in sales and over 7.8 million leads for our clients.
Don’t just take our word for it – check out our client testimonials to see what they have to say about the work we’ve done for them!
Start building your ecommerce website today!
If you’re ready to start building your ecommerce website, contact us online, or call us today at (800) 604-2526!
We’re excited to chat with you soon!
Ecommerce platform FAQ
Let’s answer some basic questions that might assist you as you get started with an ecommerce platform.
What is an ecommerce website?
An ecommerce website is an online business that allows consumers to make purchases, arrange for delivery, and pay for them. Ecommerce websites are important since they allow customers to shop as they would in a physical store without the need of a live assistant.
Which is the best platform for eCommerce?
If you’re looking for the best features to use when selling online, Shopify is your answer. With Oberlo built in, it’s perfect for dropshipping brands too!
What is the easiest ecommerce platform?
Most ecommerce platforms are designed to make the process as simple and straightforward as possible, which is why most online store creation requires more expertise than building a regular website. Shopify, Wix, and Squarespace are some of the simplest ecommerce platforms for novices.
Which is the right option for beginners?
Those who are new to website design should give GoDaddy or Wix a try. If you want something even easier to use, go with SquareSpace. Just keep in mind that opting for simplicity sometimes means you can’t take advantage of more complex features sets.
What’s the cheapest ecommerce platform?
Both price and ease of use are important considerations for newcomers and solopreneurs when selecting an ecommerce platform. WooCommerce (if your website is already on WordPress), Wix, and Squarespace are the most affordable ecommerce platforms. Keep in mind that lower pricing usually comes with restrictions, but if your requirements are simple, they may be ideal choices to explore.
Ecommerce is currently on a hot streak. Businesses must be prepared with a solution that enhances their brand while also meeting customer expectations in order to maintain competitiveness in the market.
Can I sell online for free?
Yes! Square Online offers a free plan that enables you to sell online. Big Cartel is an ecommerce platform with no transaction costs, so you can sell your items completely free of charge on it. It also doesn’t charge any fees itself, so if you use a payment processor like PayPal or Stripe, the only fee you will pay is to them directly.
What is the cheapest eCommerce site builder?
Various well-known eCommerce platforms come with free trial periods so customers can test a product before commit to buying it. Some open-source services, like Square and PrestaShop, don’t charge anything for use. However, if you go that route, keep in mind that you’ll need to pay separately for hosting and other advanced features not included in the base package. For an affordable premimum website builder option try Weebly .
Which has the most design options?
When it comes to customizing your website, open-source website builders generally provide you a wider range of possibilities. Weebly is an excellent platform for creativity, while Volusion is also fantastic. Squarespace appears to be the most user-friendly of the bunch, although.
What Is the Fastest eCommerce Platform?
Shopify is often the quickest-loading eCommerce platform, according to our tests. Magento and Prestashop are also quick platforms, but WooCommerce takes longer to load overall.
What’s the best ecommerce platform for enterprise companie
Adobe Commerce and BigCommerce are both excellent choices if you have a large business or your ecommerce needs are at an enterprise level. Adobe Commerce, on the other hand, has a more secure online payment system, more robust site management tools, and an infinite number of features owing to its vast library of extensions. Adobe Commerce is the leader in Digital Commerce 360’s Top 1000 online retailers for Europe and Latin America for the tenth year running, as well as the Top 500 Guides for Europe and Latin America.
Can I change ecommerce platforms easily?
To move your online business to another platform with ease, you’ll need the ability to bulk export and import your items. Shopify, BigCommerce, Weebly, Squarespace, Zyro, Big Cartel, GoDaddy and 3dcart all have this capability. It may be more difficult if you’re using a different online store builder or a self-hosted system.
Is Shopify free to use?
While Shopify isn’t free to use, it does provide a 14-day trial. Furthermore, Basic Shopify only costs $29 per month (together with additional 2% fees if you don’t subscribe to Shopify Payments.) Regardless, if consumers pay by credit card, you will have to pay more. The higher levels (Shopify and Advanced Shopify) do cost more, but they are generally only required after you are generating enough money to cover the fees. You may as well utilize the basic version now while you’re at it.
Is Shopify the next Amazon?
If we’re being technical, Amazon and Shopify offer different services. The only way that Shopify could become the next Amazon is if their shares took off in the stock market similarly to eCommerce giant. Essentially, Shopify is a tool you can use to make an eCommerce site; though they do host stores, you still run your own website. Stores on the Amazon Marketplace are just leasing space on the Amazon website– meaning Amazon has complete control over whether or not you continue selling there..
What is the difference between ecommerce websites built on platforms such as Shopify, Squarespace and Big Cartel and ones built from scratch?
If you’re looking to start an online store, ecommerce platforms provide a helpful base template with themes, features, apps and support all included. If you choose to build your website from scratch instead, be aware that it will require extensive coding knowledge or expensive developer costs for customization and flexibility.
What ecommerce platform has the best bulk product import feature?
With over 1,000 items on sale, you’ll want to make sure that your store is set up correctly the first time. For example, Shopify and BigCommerce have outstanding bulk import capabilities. You may export and import your products using a CSV spreadsheet or database. Non-ecommerce site builders such as Weebly and Squarespace also include bulk product importing functionality.
What about WordPress and Magento? Should I consider them?
Both WordPress.org and Magento are open-source self-hosted platforms. They’re fantastic alternatives if you have a lot of computer expertise. You’ll be solely responsible for things like domain registration and hosting, but it might be less expensive in the long run. It all boils down to your requirements, technical knowledge, and available time.
What are some of the top ecommerce marketplace platforms (other than Amazon, eBay and Alibaba)?
Although Amazon has a strong foothold in most of the western world, Mercado Libre is the most popular marketplace across much of South America. Another important market where Schibsted is frequently used is Scandinavia.
Is it better to sell on an ecommerce only platform or a website builder? What’s the difference?
If your website’s only goal is to sell, you should go with an ecommerce-only platform like Shopify or BigCommerce. People who don’t trade online are the main users of website builders. If you just want to offer a few items on the side, site builders like Wix and Squarespace are excellent choices.