E-Commerce Platforms Compared

What may seem unapproachable or unattainable a few years ago is now at a close reach of our hands. Yes! I am talking about the rise and popularity of e-commerce.

If you’re still finding it hard to trust the e-commerce sector, here is a statistic to back your doubts. 

According to the survey done in 2022 by eMarketer, it is estimated that e-commerce will surpass 5 trillion dollars in sales globally. Now, isn’t that amazing? Remarkably, it is going to grow its global sales up to 7 billion dollars by 2025.

So, if you are an established merchant or an underdog thinking about venturing into the e-commerce sector, There are a few things to look into and learn before you move to an online business.

You will have to look into the best e-commerce platforms that will help you in the long-term growth of your business.

But first, what is an e-commerce platform to begin with? An e-commerce platform is a software application. So, this software will help any business owner manage the company’s online activities, such as the business website, sales, and marketing.

Here are some features to ensure you how good the e-commerce platform you pick is:

  • It helps the customers of your business to get the required type of products they might be searching for quickly.
  • Rightly serving you with the service for the cost you paid for installation and software maintenance.
  • Making sure that the employees are met with everything needed for the implementation of sales and marketing plans.
  • Feature such as shipping-inclusive software is a necessity for any business online.
  • The running of the software shouldn’t be too complicated for the users. Ease of use is another feature to consider.
  • A good customer management feature is a sure sign of good e-commerce software. Features such as a solid customer account for the customers, a wish list, and an order summary are a must.

Another important fact to know about e-commerce platforms is that every e-commerce software falls under two categories.

  1. Self-hosted: When the e-commerce platform is self-hosted, it means that you are your own navigator. Although a little hassle is included in this type, it also rightly ensures full control over your security, privacy, scalability, and overall management.
  2. Cloud-based: When the e-commerce platform is cloud-based, it means the whole maintenance and management of your website is done by the software provider. So here, you don’t have to worry about the personal hassle of managing the flow of your business online, but you won’t have full control and access like in the case of self-hosted platforms.

So yes, the choice is on the merchants as to how the company or the business website is handled. Both of these two categories come with their own pros and cons.

In this section of the article, we will be delving into some of the most chosen and merchants’ favorite e-commerce platforms globally.

  1. Wix: Wix is a website builder that allows you to build any basic website freely. However, in order to use their e-commerce website-building features, you will have to go for the paid plan. WIX stands firm with its motto, “One platform, infinite possibilities. The pricing for using WIX website building features starts from 27 dollars. Facebook and Instagram are two integrated social media channels for sales, but a third-party Ecwid app is required to make sales via social media channels. The lack of the WIX platform is that it has limitations on inventory management features, which many product-based businesses will need.
  2. Shopify: With Shopify, you can build your website as a merchant from the comfort of your house. Shopify offers you free trials for beginners to make your online website with 100 themes to choose from. As your business grows, Shopify will expand your sales potential. Shopify offers the best inventory features that any merchant will need for the online business. You can opt for a three-month paid plan for just 1 dollar per month. With more understanding and rapid business growth, the merchant can choose Shopify as a full-fledged platform to help expand the business at 29 dollars per month when paid annually. Shopify has integrated Facebook, Instagram, Walmart, Google, eBay, Amazon, and Marketplace as sales channels. 
  3. BigCommerce: As its name rightfully suggests, BigCommerce is typically built for enterprise-level companies with high-scale sales and a bigger volume of trades. This is also the reason why many small business merchants do not opt for BigCommerce software for their lack of ease and flexibility. But, BigCommerce is management that is fully hosted for big businesses. The pricing starts from 29 dollars per month when it is paid annually. The integrated sales channels are Amazon, Instagram, eBay, Etsy, Walmart, Facebook, and Google Shopping.
  4. Adobe Commerce: Formerly known as Magento, it is a platform mainly for developers, and it supports custom designs. However, Adobe Commerce does not keep the box tool, and it requires a technical grip to manage the site and get the most out of this e-commerce software platform. The pricing is custom pricing, and Amazon is their integrated sales channel.
  5. Squarespace: It is a SaaS (Software as a service) provider with built-in convenience for content creators and entrepreneurs to showcase art through visuals. So, if you are a creative looking for a software platform, Squarespace can be of much help and can even contribute to your art sales by capturing viewers and followers. However, Squarespace has limited technical support and a very insignificant app marketplace.
  6. OpenCart: A free, open-source e-commerce platform to create and manage many stores on a single dashboard showcasing scales of sales, customer summaries, etc. OpenCart is self-hosted and free but has limited features for marketing. OpenCart has not yet integrated any sales channels.
  7. WooCommerce: An open-source platform that is free for WordPress, the blogging platform. Basically, WooCommerce converts the WordPress content into a complete store with price listings, carts, and checkouts for products you wish to sell online. However, this e-commerce platform is limited to WordPress and requires the merchants to handle many extensions.

As the world of e-commerce evolves, aren’t you ready as an established merchant or even someone waiting to experience a business venture to scale the world of online business? 

May your business increase as much as e-commerce grows in popularity and efficiency.