The Best eCommerce Platforms you Should Consider

The Best eCommerce Platforms you Should Consider

When your online commerce business starts, it could be complicated to choose between the best eCommerce platforms out there. There’s no point doing eCommerce if you don’t have a spot-on website to manage your merchandise, catering to the customer traffic, and optimizing your store’s overall performance. 

Sounds like a lot of hard work, doesn’t it? 

While a bang-on website copy does the major part of attracting sales, the web layout and configuration is another detail you need to put your money in. 

If you’re a small business that has just started, building a perfect website is a major plight. There’s a reason why we categorize businesses into big or small. The small ones in their infancy stages want to take baby steps into the colossal world of eCommerce and countless websites operating likewise. They cannot afford highly skilled website developers who are likely to gobble up a huge chunk of their total budget. They need something more economical without skimping on quality.

For that purpose, read on to know the best eCommerce platforms you can use to amp up your small business in a cut-throat competition with the bigger ones. 

WooCommerce

WooCommerce Logo

As an eCommerce plugin for websites using WordPress as its interface. It helps entrepreneurs create an excellent website that is as similar to the conception of expert web developers as anything.

In fact, around 3.3 million active sites are using this plugin to operate their online stores. In other words, WooCommece is the most popular eCommerce platform.

As a small business, it is the answer to your dreams. From arranging icons, styles to fonts, and layout, it closely resembles the kingpins of the eCommerce market.

Before we look at its benefits in detail, you can go and check out Porter and York to get an idea of how a WooCommerce plugin works – to-the-point, simple, and detailed.

Zero Dollar Spent

It isn’t popular amongst small and medium-sized businesses for nothing. Where some plugins require you to pay a subscription charge, WooCommerce is completely free to use. 

Working on a budget is tough, especially when you’re new to it and don’t want to spend a lot on something that isn’t guaranteed to give a mighty turnover. As a beginner, every cent spent is of great consequence.

You have to capitalize on the few resources that you have until you start making enough to purchase premium versions and their add-ons. Up till then, a free eCommerce plugin is exactly what you need. 

WordPress Benefits 

For those of you who have ever used WordPress or are familiar with the working of the interface, you would know how amazing features it has to optimize your website. WooCommerce, as an integrated plugin of WordPress, enjoys all the premium benefits and features in exactly the same way you use an ordinary WordPress site. 

Versatile

The plugin allows businesses to sell all kinds of merchandise, unlike Amazon, where you cannot sell pets, houses, or guns.

As long as the product you trade is lawful, WooCommerce has no restrictions whatsoever. It allows instant access via downloading of items and is the perfect eCommerce builder of an affiliate marketing model.

Thoughtful Analytics 

Besides a good-looking, easy-to-use eCommerce website, and stellar web copy for SEO, the other important tool for success is monitoring the analytics. WooCommerce has its own analytics page, which provides valuable information about your visitors to determine what is wrong or what to improve (should your store underperform with sales). Within the free version, you get to check the metrics for free too!

PrestaShop

PrestaShop Logo

This is another open-source eCommerce solution for small-scale merchants. It has a broad array of add-on features and supports around 0.125 million online stores worldwide. Let’s delve into its details. 

User-Friendly 

The user interface of PrestaShop is easy to use. Even if you do not have any technical knowledge of running an e-store, you can easily learn with PrestaShop. 

The custom designs, layout, and more than 2500 plugins further simplify the user experience. This also adds up to user-friendly customization. Adding or deleting items, personalizing specific areas, and altering existing options make PrestaShop another very flexible eCommerce web builder. 

Limited scalability

Unlike WooCommerce, you might consider changing your platform once your small-scale business makes it big. This is because PrestaShop has limited scalability. It is not the ideal choice for big eCommerce businesses due to its unprofessional design or inability to uphold expansion. 

When on a low budget, though, PrestaShop has everything going for it to help you climb up the success ladder. 

Shopify

Shopify Logo

The other most-used, leading eCommerce platform for small to medium-sized businesses is Shopify

Besides ease-of-use and SEO options, there are other perks of Shopify which help you optimize your e-store, should you be able to afford it.

10 free theme templates

Shopify makes it the popular choice for big and small businesses because the platform has various storefront themes categorized into respective industries. 

Although the free ones are only 10 in number, you can pay a one-time fee to use the other templates. From Food & Beverages to Shoes & Accessories, business-owners can easily design their stores in visually pleasing and relevant thematic styles. 

Assisting Apps 

The powerful e-store builder has over 1200 assisting apps to optimize your eCommerce trade. These apps help you organize your accounts without having to manually insert the data, or worse, hire an expert to do so. 

While these integrated plugin apps require a monthly subscription fee, rest assured you can forget about the transaction details or the associated costs of an accountant. 

Limited Functionality 

Shopify is not a self-hosting platform. As a  result, it comes with access to numerous functional and custom options, just like PrestaShop. 

With limited, free components, it is perfect for tech-novices who wouldn’t want to be bogged down by technology as they start their venture. 

However, for better functionality and theme customization that is relevant to manage big-scale businesses, Shopify may not exactly qualify. 

BigCommerce

BigCommerce Logo

This one is another name popular amongst the eCommerce whizzes, and for good reasons. It is used by countless brands to expand to large-scale online trading and has proven its versatility in helping small businesses grow their sales overnight. 

Security

BigCommerce is big on the secured performance of your website. It has optimal hosting and security features with unlimited bandwidth, SSL certificate, and various domain names to keep your e-store as personal as it can get. 

This keeps business owners safe in the knowledge that their online brand is in premium protection from server hacks. Plus, customers coming to transact on your website with confidential data can do so without feeling vulnerable. 

Omni-channel feature 

The next best thing about BigCommerce is its facility to enable multi-channel selling of your store. Users can connect their brands to other marketing outlets, such as social media, online marketplaces, or physical stores. 

This does not only expands your outreach enormously but is a convenient tool to access all your outlets from one, easy-to-use platform. 

Customization

BigCommerce has great customization options and theme templates to choose from that make your website easily eye-grabbing. 

However, there are only seven free templates for all users. Accessing the rest of the templates requires you to pay a fee. As a small business owner saving up on every dollar of your budget, that might not be the best option. 

Sales Threshold 

Supposedly, if a small business decides to invest in gaining better features on BigCommerce, the annual sales threshold bars the way. 

A standard plan costs only $30/month – clearly affordable – but it’s eligible for businesses making up to $50,000 per year. Their other plans, Plus and Pro, are allotted for fixed thresholds that you upgrade to automatically once your business hits the mark. 

Magento

Magento Logo

The last to our list, Magento, is one of the best eCommerce platforms elevating the digital experience of small merchant traders. 

Broad set of features 

Magento is famous for its breadth of features that other eCommerce platforms lack. It allows users to select different prices for different products and even for a different section of customers. 

Multiple VIPS, community-oriented features, multiple languages, and multiple currencies make Magento a top-pick. 

Operates on mobile

Online retailing makes a mobile-friendly interface pertinent to the seamless operating of a business. Magento is a platform that is mobile-friendly for customers and owners alike. 

However, the community (free) version of Magento has a slow loading time, which makes tweaking or doing customizations time-consuming. 

Switching to another platform is also difficult as Magento takes a lot of time to transfer the data. 

Pricing

Small business owners can develop their e-stores from the free community version of Magento. Many retailers are making up a famous community using it as their eCommerce platform, thereby creating a forum for resources and support should you have any problems. 

However, the Enterprise and Premium versions are a tad bit pricier for small businesses to afford, which cuts down on their features and customizing options. 

Conclusion

In the ever-growing eCommerce industry, a professionally designed and customer-friendly website is imperative, especially if you’re a small-scale business owner looking to expand your trade. 

The above-listed platforms are some of our top picks that will help non-tech savvy business owners, on a budget, get their share of online sales. 

Each and every platform is beneficial in one way or the other. However, my personal favorite is WooCommerce. It is the most user-friendly platform I have come across and also comes with a lot of tutorials. The fact that you can start small and scale your business up, makes it a great choice.

Also, as a small business owner, you could be astonished by the vast content about eCommerce and how to start your store. However, the huge community and documentation of WooCommerce make the process very easy to assimilate.

Meanwhile, you can check our Website Building Plans for small business owners to begin with the right steps toward your success.

What do you need to run a business online?

What do you need to run a business online?

This is a common question every business owner has, and it’s a simple question. In fact, the complications appears when you begin to research what you really need to put your business online.

I will show you some steps further, so you can follow them to begin giving your business an online presence. Some of these steps are simple and others maybe you will need professional assistance to accomplish them.

What problem do you solve?

What's your why? What problem do you solve?
Think in your WHY

This is the first step to run your business successfully everywhere and will keep you focus the whole journey of running your business. Also the online presence is attached to this question because your why will give the prospects and customers the satisfaction of use your services or products. When they reach your Website or your Social Media profiles they need to feel that your business can solve their problem, and you must fill that gap showing your solution.

So, think why you created your business. What gap do you fill? What problem do you solve? And let them know about it.

Build your Business Website

Design your Website
Design your Website

A Website is a must have for a business, it’s your storefront on internet and design it well really imply some knowledge about SEO, HTML, CSS, Javascript and more. But it’s hasn’t to be so hard, there are simple solutions that help you have a Website in no time and running.

To build a website you will need two key things:

  • a Domain name, and
  • a Hosting solution.

Your Domain name

A Domain name is very important because is the address to find your business on internet like a physical address is. In other words, the only way that prospects and customers can arrive to your website is through a domain name. So, write down your possible domain names similarly to your business name. For example, for a bakery business which the name is “Rose Bakery”, the domain should be similar like “rosebakery.com” or “therosebakery.com”.

To find and buy your Domain name you can use our tools for it.

The Hosting solution

Hosting is the way to store your Website on a server or a computer so that it can be accessed over the Internet. Then, you can find Hosting solutions to serve your Website.

We have several solutions to help you stand up based on your needs. Go to Business Hosting to buy one that works for you. We recommend use the basic and upgrade later when your business shows a great growing.

The Business Website

Build a Website is easier nowadays because the technology has improved so much these years to facilitate the building process. For that reason, there are many tools and solutions out there to accomplish this and you should use what it’s easier for you and your business online.

However, those tools require some basic knowledge and you will need to learn it if you’re not a top-notch on the matter. Therefore, we offer a Website Building Service to help your business website be up and running very fast. Sometimes you are focus on your business process and build a Website by your own is time consuming.

These advices are worth to keep in mind:

  • Choose one or two plain fonts on a white background.
  • Make your navigation clear and simple, and the same on every page.
  • Only use graphics, audio or video if they enhance your message.
  • Include an opt-in offer so you can collect e-mail addresses.
  • Make it easy to buy — no more than two clicks between potential customer and checkout.
  • Your website is your online storefront, so make it customer-friendly.

Build your Social Media Profiles

Social Media to expand your visibility
Social Media on your business is primordial

People use internet everyday to find information and Social Media represents 42% of the population of the world using it, equal to 3.8 billion active users daily. Consequently, your business should be taking note of this and must be visible on Social Media.

The use of Social Media will give you more traffic and better search engine rankings. In addition, it will generate more customer Engagement and Brand Awareness creating some loyalty to your business and more accessible.

What you should do:

  1. Open at least 2 Social Media business accounts. We recommend Facebook and Instagram to beguin because they are the most widely used. But, you need to do your research based on your business industry.
  2. Create free expert content like articles, videos or any other content that people will find useful on your website and post it to your Social Media profiles.
  3. Include a “Send to Friends” button on your content to spread it organically.

You will get more readers and people engaged with these steps but you need to do it constantly to grow your audience and expand your business. It’s a hard work but well rewarded.

We can help you accelerate your Social Media Management by using our service.

What’s next?

While you’re running your business and making it profitable you will need some tools to help you stand out of the crowd. So, focus on your processes and your customers. Keep it simple always, that will help you grow your business online.

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