5 Best E-Commerce Platforms for Your Online Business
Choosing the best e-commerce platform for your online business can be quite difficult because it can either make or mar your success story. The right platform should be able to afford you everything you need for smooth sailing now and in the future.
Here are some of the best choices for your business.
BigCommerce is the best overall e-commerce platform because it makes provision for all business sizes to sell their products and run their online store on its server. Without meeting with a developer and having enough web design skills, you could own an online store. All you need as a business owner to get your store created and managed is the internet and a web browser.
BigCommerce enables a ‘software as a service’ (SaaS) platform that you pay a monthly or yearly fee to make use of. Since it runs on its own server, you spend less time getting worried about its security, web hosting, or technology which gives you more time to grow your business.
The platform comes with page builders, templates, and themes which you could customize, adapt, and edit to suit the need of your online store. Technological savvy business owners are also allowed to play around with the HTML and CSS of their online stores.
You get to choose and transact in your desired currency with a lot of payment options ranging from PayPal to the use of credit cards, and it allows you to sell directly on your social media pages.
BigCommerce allows you a 15-day free trial plan after which you will be asked to subscribe to a plan with a 10-20% discount when you subscribe yearly.
The Standard BigCommerce Plan costs about $29.95/month
The Plus BigCommerce Plan costs about $79.95/month
The Pro BigCommerce Plan costs about $299.95/month
Shopify: Most Popular for Drop-shipping
One of the best things about this e-commerce platform is that it comes with friendly solutions great for your dropshipping business. Dropshipping is a good choice when you do not have the resources to oversee your supply chains and delivery and it also helps you to stay clear of managing your inventory. When you sell an item, the order is sent directly from your supplier to the shopper.
Shopify has dropshipping apps like Oberlo, Ordoro, and Inventory source that work exclusively with them.
It allows you to set up, design, and customize your store with over 70 professional templates and gives you unlimited access to your store’s CSS and HTML. The Shopify app is available for both Android and iPhones.
Shopify guarantees your store’s security with its Level 1 PCI DSS standard. This means that the stores are fitted with tools for data encryption and protects payment transfers as well as shoppers’ credit card data.
You get a 14-day free trial at the start after which you will be asked to pay for its use.
The Shopify Lite plan starts at $9 per month.
The Basic Shopify plan starts at $29 per month.
The Shopify plan starts at $79 per month.
The Advanced Shopify plan starts at $299 per month.
The Shopify Plus plan which is negotiable costs around $2000 per month.
Wix: Best for Startups
Wix is a very common e-commerce platform especially among DIY e-retailers and small business owners. This is because it offers them fair pricing with no transaction fees. This platform has a mobile app that can be used on both Android and iPhones.
The Wix Editor, which is available in over 16 languages, makes it easy to build and designing a professional site because it gives you hundreds of templates and business tools to choose from.
With Wix Stores, online retailers get features like the abandoned cart recovery which reminds customers whenever they leave their carts unattended. The store also opens your business to a much larger market by allowing you to sell on different channels like Facebook, eBay, and Amazon.
Wix Payments handles all your online payments, refunds, and transactions.
he Payment Options for this platform include:
Business Basic – $23 per month
Business Unlimited – $27 per month
Business VIP – $49 per month
Magento: Top Free Open-Source Platform
Magento is a self-sustaining, free-of-charge open-source platform that is perfect for established business-to-business & business-to-consumer merchants of all sizes.
It allows you to customize your store as you please while giving you access to a wide range of extensions, themes, and third-party integration. The platform is supported by a growing community that accounts for about 3.1% of the top 10,000 eCommerce websites.
Magento gives customers unique shopping experiences through its Adobe cloud-hosted environment both on web and app (Android and iOS enabled).
The Magento Commerce Pro plan pricing is based on the enterprise’s annual Gross Merchandise Value and Average Order Value (AOV).
Squarespace: Best Online Website Builder
Squarespace is an all-in-one website building platform whose ease of setting up places it above other e-commerce platforms. It allows users to make use of inbuilt website templates and hover elements to create and customize webpages.
With about 113 templates that easily adapt to mobile devices, it makes it easier to sell and manage products online. It also allows users to use pre-built website templates and drag-and-drop elements to create and modify webpages.
Squarespace has 4 annual pricing plans:
Personal Plan which starts at $144
Business Plan which starts at $216
Basic Commerce Plan which starts at $312
Advanced Commerce Plan which starts at $480
5 Things Your E-commerce Platform Should Have
Customizable design templates
Well secured site
Multiple payment options and support different currencies when needed.
Enough flexibility for expansion
Good support portals.
Advantages of Using an E-commerce Platform
They are self-sustaining.
Guaranteed secure system.
No need for much technical know-how in building and managing your store.
Cost reduction in marketing and advertising
No limitations in expansion
Several payment modes
Cost Implication of Running A Store on An Ecommerce Platform
This is mainly determined by the platform chosen (e.g., Shopify, Magento, etc.), the complexity of the store, and the features (design, functionality, use of SEOs, integrations with third-party systems, and data imports) required of the platform.
Annual revenue generated by your store would also determine your choice because different platforms come with different capacities for handling revenues generated.
For small businesses, the average annual cost required starts from about $70 to about $300. For mid-size businesses, about $300 to $1000 is required. And for large enterprises, it costs more than $1000 yearly.
Your chosen e-commerce platform should be able to give you all you need for your online store to start, run smoothly, and expand after being launched.