Choosing an eCommerce Management Platform
If you’re planning to launch an e-commerce business, you must think through many things to ensure that you put your best foot forward. Choosing the right e-commerce platform will be one of the most crucial decisions. Many opt for the platform that allows them to create an e-commerce store in the shortest possible time, but that’s not the right way to go about it, as this decision will have implications for the years to come.
This blog post will talk about four of the most popular e-commerce platforms: Shopify, Wix, WooCommerce, and Magento. There might not be much to separate them from afar, but the devil is in the details. Let’s see and compare various aspects of these platforms to arrive at an informed choice to build the e-commerce store that you wish to. Let’s get started!
The Role of E-Commerce Platforms
An eCommerce Platform is an end-to-end software solution that allows online sellers to build and manage their entire business in one place. These platforms include website builder, accounting and inventory management systems, customer support infrastructure, etc.
The immense rise in online shopping has brought millions of businesses online. Even brick-and-mortar stores that had nothing to do with the virtual world have adapted to changing times. But here comes a big problem. Many of these business owners are not tech-savvy and need a user-friendly way to manage their stores. That’s what an e-commerce platform offers.
Below are the main functionalities that an e-commerce platform offers:
- Design options
- Inventory & accounts management system
- Payment processing
- Promotion opportunities
- Data consolidation
Top E-Commerce Platforms
Now that you’ve got a rough idea about e-commerce platforms, let’s understand four of the most popular e-commerce platforms.
WooCommerce is an open-source WordPress plugin that allows businesses to convert WordPress websites into online stores. It’s an ideal solution for small-scale businesses as it offers easy-to-use WordPress development tools that will enable you to modify your store. It comes with essential security features such as PCI compliance and SSL encryption to keep your e-commerce store safe.
One of the most significant advantages of using WooCommerce is hiring a WordPress development company to expand your site’s capabilities. Whether it’s marketing, scheduling, shipping, or any other aspect, you can add to your site to cater to the changing business requirements.
- WordPress website
- Great flexibility
- 100% customization
- Across the board plugins
- WooCommerce Support Forum
- Robust security
- Suitable for scaling
- Limited to WordPress
- An additional cost of plugins and development
Shopify is among the most popular e-commerce platforms on the planet. With a 32% market share, it’s the most popular e-commerce platform in the US. Shopify allows you to build an online store quickly and easily using numerous available templates. You can modify these templates to fit your store’s needs or even create your design—ost well-known eCommerce platforms around the globe.
You don’t need any technical or design knowledge to build an e-commerce store using Shopify. It’s a complete CMS that gives you the capability to control the design and functionality that your website stores. You can manage your store using Shopify mobile application as well.
Shopify would work fine for small e-commerce stores that require limited functionalities. However, you’ll need to hire Shopify developers to expand your store’s capabilities.
- Easy to use
- A vast set of themes to choose from
- Shopify plugins
- Robust 24/7 support
- Payment encryption
- Speed & security
- Responsive and SEO-friendly
- Integration with multiple apps
- Difficult to customize themes without technical knowledge
- Inflexible migration facility
Magento is among the most widely used eCommerce platforms used around the globe. Although it’s pretty different from the above three platforms due to its flexibility, its long list of advantages makes it one of the most sought-after e-commerce platforms. Unless you know Magento development, you’ll need to hire developers to help you build your store.
Built on PHP, Magento provides an adaptable, all-in-one e-commerce solution. Merchants can customize the functions of their sites. They can use this open-source platform to create the best user experiences.
The launch of Magento 2 has taken Magento’s adoption to unprecedented heights, helping many companies to come up with more efficient e-commerce strategies for eCommerce companies. Fortune 500 companies such as Nike, Ford, and Cannon rely on Magento for their websites.
The first version of the platform was released in 2008 by Varien.Inc. Since then, Magento has become one of the biggest eCommerce platforms. In May of 2018, the company was purchased by Adobe for $1.68 billion.
- Offers great customization
- An extensive list of features
- Community support
- Mobile & SEO friendly
- Requires coding for customization
- Costly development – not suitable for small business owners
- Time-taking development
4. Wix E-commerce
Wix is one of the first names on the lips when building websites without technical knowledge. Its drag and drop interface has been the main reason behind it. Wix E-commerce carries this legacy by making it super-easy to create an online store. Currently, it occupies a 14% market share in the US.
Wix allows you to design your website according to your preferences. You can pick an existing template and modify it to reflect how you’d like to. You can keep adding features to improve its performance as your store grows.
The websites you build with Wix are mobile-friendly. Plus, you can also use their mobile editor to customize your website.
- Huge template collection
- Wix App Market to add functionality
- In-built SEO optimization
- Zero sales fees or commission requirements
- Good customer support
- Creative freedom for design
- High Google page speed score
- Premium plans for a single site
- Non-transferrable site
- Wix branding if you choose the free plan
- No stock management alerts
- Not built for scale
Conclusion: Which E-Commerce Platform is Right for You?
As we saw, each of the four platforms has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Thus, there’s no such thing as “the best” e-commerce platform. You need to find the ‘right’ one’ that fits your future needs and resources.
If you have a small business, don’t have programming resources, and aren’t planning to rank shortly, platforms such as Shopify, WooCommerce, and Wix would work like a charm. There’s not much difference in features like SEO, mobile-friendliness, security, etc. What you need to consider are your experience, expertise, and scale.
However, it becomes a different ball game when you want to build a scalable e-commerce store that will cater to thousands of customers every day. Not only you’ll need to go with a high-end platform such as Magento, but you’ll also need to back it with a robust infrastructure so that it performs at an optimal level.