Those who decide to open an online store may have a question: what ecommerce platform to select? Today, we will discover why selecting the right ecommerce platform is vitally important for an online store.
Moreover, we will provide business owners with the most popular ecommerce platforms comparison. These solutions are suitable for most types of projects in terms of functionality and characteristics.
What Is eCommerce Today?
eCommerce is on the rise. This is not surprising, because selling, buying and advertising on the Internet is much more convenient, simpler and often cheaper than offline. However, before opting for a custom ecommerce website development, it is necessary to understand how it all works and what you need to do to be successful in your ecommerce niche.
eCommerce platforms comparison shows that different solutions offer different features. All the platforms allow merchants to create a branded online store to sell their products.
However, ecommerce is not only online sales. It includes various activities:
- Retail and wholesale trade – one of the main directions of ecommerce;
- Dropshipping – selling products made by a third party online;
- Crowdfunding – a collection of funds from internet users to obtain start-up capital to bring products to the market;
- Online and offline services provision – offering the whole range of services that can be interesting to potential clients.
Now almost all types of ecommerce activities are constantly evolving. The covid pandemic and the accelerated digitalization of society have only contributed to this process. If you want to learn more about ecommerce, study this Post City article: https://www.thepostcity.com/7-things-you-didnt-know-about-ecommerce/
How To Start an eCommerce Business?
If you want to start an ecommerce activity, you need to follow three steps:
- Define a goal;
- Choose a niche;
- Develop a strategy.
By the way, we advise you to read the Post City article on the related topic “How to Make Money Online for Beginners”.
1. Define your goal
The value of your offer is the main thing to build your business on. For example, in regions without a central water supply, the well digging service will be of the highest value. But trying to work in this area in large cities is completely pointless. The demand will be practically zero.
To determine the value of an offer, you need to analyse your potential target audience. Understand its needs. Then it will become clear how to make your offer as attractive as possible.
2. Choose a niche
The profitability of ecommerce directly depends on the choice of a niche. For example, you can’t expect high income in the niche of VIP car rental service in a city with 100 000 inhabitants without tourists. But in a metropolis or a large resort city, this niche will be profitable. And competitive, as well.
3. Define the strategy and Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
A unique selling proposition is what sets you apart from your competitors. It makes your offer more profitable, all other things being equal. For example, online electronics stores usually have similar prices for products. The unique selling proposition can help them attract competitors to their exact offer and make ecommerce effective.
What Is An eCommerce Platform?
Before deciding what ecommerce platform to select for your web store, let’s figure out the meaning of this notion. An ecommerce platform is a software that allows companies to launch, host and manage their online store.
A platform for an online store can be compared to an engine for a car. Just like in cars, there are engines of different power, for example, less powerful, but economical, or more balanced. Some engines have a long service life, while others break down quickly.
The same can be said about the meaning of an ecommerce platform for an online store. It is a program, or information system, that creates, fills, modifies, and displays your website. The further promotion of the online store and, in general, your commercial promotion will depend on the reliability of the platform, its convenience and speed of work. However, to select the right solution, we recommend making a thorough ecommerce platforms comparison.
Criteria to keep in mind while comparing ecommerce platforms:
• If you are just starting out selling online, then the best option is to work with platforms that have a free version. As your business grows, you may need more advanced functionality, and then you can switch to the paid versions. They have an important advantage – technical customer support and constant updating of functionality.
• Next, you should pay attention to the simplicity of settings and administration. This will save you time;
• For a web store, accepting online payments is an absolute must, so the platform should be integrated with the most popular payment gateways;
• An important criterion is marketing. The platform you select should meet all the requirements of the sales department. For example, there should be a function of integration with CRM, creation of a loyalty program for customers, as well as the import of analytics;
• Pay attention to how optimized the platform is for search engines since the success of your sales will depend on it as well;
• Make sure the solution you select has integration with social networks and messengers. These are important and relatively free sales channels to promote your brand;
• Among the additional functionality, it is worth highlighting the level of security for tracking and blocking suspicious activity and spam. Additionally, for the successful promotion of the store, you may need to connect some extra tools and modules.
Today, the most effective platforms for selling goods are online store builders. Most often, these are paid platforms that may offer a free trial period, but after it passes, the functionality will be limited. However, these are already well-known platforms that will help you to easily attract buyers and build business processes.
What Platform To Choose: Best eCommerce Platforms Comparison
The largest market players usually order the development of online stores and other e-Commerce platforms on a turnkey basis. However, if you only start your ecommerce business activity and have a not too large-scale project, you can rely on specially created platforms. It’s easier, faster and much cheaper.
Below we suggest having a look at the most popular ecommerce platforms comparison to make an informed decision.
WooCommerce is powered by the WordPress CSM platform. Essentially, it is a plugin that allows you to create online stores. Ease of management and affordability are significant advantages. This platform offers a large number of different themes and templates.
Poor scalability is a significant problem. Therefore, they are not used in taxi applications.
It is easy enough to find a qualified WooCommerce developer. This platform will be a great solution for small web stores having up to 100 items in the catalogue. Keep in mind that several years ago WooCommerce was hacked and the details of many users’ credit cards became public. This vulnerability has been fixed but left an unpleasant mark on the history of this plugin.
WooCommerce main advantages:
- Easy management;
- A large number of free themes;
- Many qualified specialists are available.
Key disadvantages include:
- Low level of security;
- Poor scalability.
Shopify is one of the undisputed leaders in the ecommerce platforms market. The solution hosts over 75,000 online stores. This software is among the most popular systems that allow you to create your online store in just several clicks. Some even manage to launch their video hosting on it. A huge number of diverse themes makes it possible to customize the store for almost every client.
The list of key advantages:
- A large number of templates and themes available;
- Good SEO optimization;
- 24/7 online support.
The users often call the Shopify complex management interface one of its main disadvantages. You can easily solve this issue as there are many qualified Shopify developers worldwide, but you will need some extra investments.
This Post City article offers more Shopify benefits to study.
Magento is one of the most popular CMS platforms for online stores. We need to note that it is one of the most expensive and server demanding solutions, but it is worth investing in. The platform is built on open source technology and allows you to set up your online store quite flexibly. Magento has content management functions, powerful marketing tools, search engine optimization and product catalogue management. It will be a perfect solution for medium and large businesses.
Unlike the platforms mentioned above, Magento is used by world-famous companies, including Gap, Lenovo, Olympus, Samsung and others. The number of certified Magento developers grows rapidly.
Magento benefits are:
- A huge number of modules available on Magento Marketplace;
- Easy to find professional developers;
- High level of security;
- Easily scalable.
Minor drawbacks include:
- High server performance is required;
- Low site speed.
Selecting an ecommerce platform can become a real challenge. Before you start selling online, you need to analyse the existing solutions and find the one meeting your business requirements.
If you need help, NEKLO specialists are ready to provide you with professional consulting services. Contact us through the form on our website – and together we will find the solution for any of your ecommerce challenges.