Five Ecommerce Platforms to Power Up Your Online Business

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Five Ecommerce Platforms to Power Up Your Online Business

Thu, 08/09/2018 - 10:10
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Yes, there are Ecommerce services and solutions available that requires little to no coding, and within minutes you can be all set and ready to start selling.

Selling online has become a norm, from physical products to digital content. Selling on marketplaces like eBay and Amazon is becoming more accessible than ever before. But these intermediaries will have the utmost control over what you can sell and how. Moreover, these platforms can throw you out at any moment. And, they will not be accountable to you in any way when things go south. So, Be cautious.

If your products are more unorthodox and require different selling environment then setting up your own e-commerce site is ideal. Moreover, having own site brings you more control and once you build a loyal customer base, you will become more profitable. Also, you would not need to pay the extra fees that a marketplace charges you on per sale basis.

All that being said, an SSL certificate is highly essential when running an e-commerce site. Having an SSL certificate provides robust security and boosts customer confidence. Nowadays, you need to secure all pages of the website, from product info pages to check out and payment collection pages. Google is also taking SSL in the consideration for giving the ranking boost to the sites. So, you must use an SSL as per website requirement. For example, if you want to secure more than one page and those pages are subdomains of the main domain then Comodo PositiveSSL Wildcard will remain the best.

Apart from security, the pages should be responsive, mobile friendly, and should not take more than two seconds to load. Also, keep in mind, the faster the checkout process, the lesser the abandoned carts you see. Ideally, the checkout process should not take more than 7 seconds.

If you go back ten years, it would have been challenging to set up your online shop. But these days, there are services and solutions available that requires little to no coding, and within minutes you can be all set and ready to start selling.

Let’s see some of the best e-commerce platforms that can help you.

Shopify

With Shopify, you can set up your online store within minutes. Everything from hosting and security will be handled by the Shopify. The plans start from as low as 29 USD per month. And it is very beginner friendly. All the plans include unlimited product listing and file storage, a website and a blog, unlimited bandwidth, 24/7 support etc.

Pros:

  • Beginner friendly
  • Pre-built templates are available. So, you don’t have to design anything.
  • Shopify itself can handle the payments
  • Well optimized for desktops, mobiles, and tablets
  • SEO friendly
  • A lot of add-ons available that offer great customization

Cons:

  • If you do not choose to use Shopify Payments, you need to pay extra transaction processing fee to Shopify. Mind that this would be extra to what your payment gateway would charge.
  • Though it is most unlikely that you need to touch the code, Shopify uses an in-house coding language called Liquid, which is not so popular. That makes it difficult to make any changes on source code level.

WooCommerce

It is a massively popular e-commerce tool. And WooCommerce works exceptionally well with WordPress. So, if you have already bought a WordPress hosting service, and with almost no expenses you can use WooCommerce that integrates with WordPress as a plugin.

Pros:

  • Free to use
  • Supports PayPal and Stripe
  • Large community
  • Frequent updates

Cons:

  • Support available is limited
  • Additional extensions will cost more
  • Hosting and security must be handled separately
  • Some WordPress themes won’t be compatible with WooCommerce

BigCommerce

BigCommerce is also a hosted e-commerce platform. So, the upgrades and maintenance will be taken care of by the BigCommerce itself. And, it has a good Admin panel that would be easy to work with.

All BigCommerce hosted plans come with unlimited staff accounts, which is not the same case with Shopify, and sitewide real-time shipping quotes, and unlimited product listing, storage, bandwidth.

Pros:

  • Good customer support
  • No extra transaction fees
  • Abandoned cart saver
  • Good reporting tools
  • Easy to create custom fields

Cons:

  • There are certain revenue limits on each plan. In the basic plan, if you cross over 50k USD in annual sales, you have to pay extra.
  • Very limited free themes available

Magento

It is an open source e-commerce platform. Although the Basic Community version is free, the Enterprise edition costs upwards of $15,000.

Magento is available as Hosted and Self-hosted service. If you choose to self-host, things like maintenance, site-reliability has to be taken care of by you. The choice really depends on your needs.

And, Magento is more suited for large companies with high sales and traffic. Larger organizations like Burger King and Samsung are using Magento.

Pros:

  • Highly scalable
  • Multi-lingual support
  • Built-in SEO Features
  • Site management features

Cons:

  • Not suitable for beginners
  • Needs technical support which can cost a lot
  • Customizations can be time-consuming

Volusion

Volusion is also an all-in-one managed e-commerce platform. Plans start with as low as 15 USD per month, but with only a few features. And in the basic plan, you can only list 100 products with only 1GB of bandwidth and limited online support. If you are testing your ideas, this could be an attractive option.

Moreover, You have to pay extra annual fees if you want to make the payment processing happen on your own domain. Keeping the additional cost aside, it would make up better customer experience.

Pros:

  • Great for entry-level merchants
  • Intuitive dashboard
  • No extra transaction fees on any plans

Cons:

  • Limited bandwidth
  • Paid themes are very costly

Conclusion

You must do the necessary research based on your requirements before picking out an e-commerce platform. And, later as your online store grows big, it would become painful and costly to move out to another platform.

Also, be careful when you want to choose self-hosted platforms like Magento. Here, you always bare the risk of something going wrong. With all-in-one services like Shopify, the site would fast and reliable, and you will not come across any issues with the hosting side of the things.

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