If you are thinking of expanding your business and ready to take a step forward by building an online store, then you might have face a problem which platform to use, which is best for my business. With the global Ecommerce market’s expansion a load of eCommerce platforms have become available. Making a suitable choice is a difficult decision if you don’t have prior technical expertise.
To make it simple, there are two types of Ecommerce platforms you can choose from. One is Hosted ecommerce platforms and other is Content management system platforms commonly known as CMS system.
Hosted eCommerce platform is hosted on a server which you can directly access. It has its own benefits which include:
Lower maintenance and development Cost – Hosting is shared so the server costs are reduced effectively. There is no need of development team as coding expertise is not required at all.
Better Technical support – Highly proficient teams of technicians helps you with any of your issues.
Less Complex Work – As the back end is mostly user friendly; a non-technical user can easily access it.
Some of the most popular Hosted eCommerce platform:
Shopify is one of best e-commerce platform out there. With over 200,000 users, it is at the top of the market. It has an easy and user friendly dashboard area for easily and quickly adding products, manage site and much more. It endows you the facility to import products from previous store to Shopify with ease.
It comes with a CMS, through which you can create your web pages and blog posts. It also endows a large deal of templates and themes which give your website a gorgeous and professional look.
- Ease of access and maintenance
- Product import from previous platform
- Vast collection of professional and beautiful themes.
- 14 days free trial
- Social site integration
- Offer vast selection of Apps and add-ons
- 24/7 excellent customer support
- Slightly expensive than other e-commerce platform.
- Not multilingual
- Customization can be annoyed sometimes as technical knowledge is required
Hosting Packs: 14 day free trial period, Lite – $9/month, Basic – $29/month, Pro – $79/month, Unlimited – $179/month
It is one of the best e-commerce sites for growing businesses. It holds a largest share of online store in the market. Company claims that its customer grow twice as faster than the ecommerce industry average. It provides easy to use and stunning design framework. It also endows built in desktop and mobile previews. It offers multilevel defense and DDOS.
Coding methods are present and designing methods are available to give your store an additional boost. Cloud support is available.
- Ease of access and neat dashboard interface.
- Vast collection of templates and themes.
- Excellent uptime speed.
- Multilevel security.
- Advanced SEO search, couponing and discount search.
- Vast selection of Apps and add-ons.
- Local development using live product data
- Abandoned cart saver features
- No drag and drop functionality.
- Expensive as compared to other
Hosting Packs: 15 days free trial period, Standard – $29.95/month, Plus – $79.95/month, Enterprise – Custom price
Volusion is also a pretty known e-commerce platform in market. It claims to make four times the profit than the other competitor. It offers beautiful designs for your storefront. It also endows built in marketing, social media and SEO tools. You can optimize your content and other deeds like email and social network postings from your admin control.
The layout customization is easy but a little coding knowledge is must. You can stay connected 24/7 with iOS, android and smart watch apps.
- Ease of use and access
- Built-in recurring billing
- Automatic optimize store for mobile devices
- SEO optimization
- Built in education and services
- Inventory integration
- 24/7 technical support
- No blog setup is provided
- Only a handful of free templates are available
- Add-ons store is slightly smaller than other competitor
- Many features require higher tier plans.
Hosting Plans: 14 days free trial period, Mini – $15/month, Plus – $35/month, Pro – $75/month, Premium – $135/month
Big Cartel provides ecommerce platform for creative businesses. Its startup area is not that friendly as those of other platforms. It endows various tools, but are not that attractive, if further customization is required coding knowledge is best. It is best for artists, musicians and designer with creative ideas.
It does not endows much features like other platforms but is effective for small scale businesses.
- Cheap and effective plans
- Easy to use user interface
- Effective for small buisnesses
- Handful of templates
- Email support only
- No drag and drop functionality
Hosting plans: Gold – Free, Platinum – $9.99/month, Diamond – $19.99/month, Titanium – $29.99/month
It is a well-known ecommerce platform. It is ideal for beginners as it offers tutorial lessons and setup steps which helps you from the beginning. It is easy to design and customize an online store. It is secured and offers social and mobile commerce. Prices are pretty fine as compare to other competitors in the market.
New updates are constantly added which endows new functionality. It also offer faster time responses than before.
- Ease of access
- One stop shop built in feature include almost everything.
- Mobile and Social commerce.
- Faster response times
- Efficient store management
- Multiple payment and shipping methods
- 24/7 technical support
- No transactions fees
- Can make drag and drop editor more user friendly
- Outdated template design.
Hosting plans: 15 days free trial period, Mini – $19.99/month, Starter – $35.99/month, Professional – $65.99/month, Professional Plus – $99.99/month, Power Plan – $129.99/month
Content management system ecommerce platform are open source platforms are self-hosted platform on server which you have to purchase. Its benefits include:
Better functionality- Additional functionality can be introduced with the help of vast variety of plugins, themes and add-ons available.
Better customization- Unique or customized designs can be implemented. In today’s competitive market new enhancement and improvement are must to stay in the competition.
Some popular content management systemecommerce platforms:
OpenCart is an open source CMS platform for commerce. It offers a very easy to access back end. It endows different feature as unlimited categories, unlimited products, multi currency, Multilanguage and Product rating. It is offering 20+payements gateways and 8+ shipping methods.
- Enhanced admin privilege and functionality
- Availability of large number plugins.
- User friendly back end.
- Built in documentation
- Cost-effective plans
- Good catalog functionality and order processing
- Cache is not provided additional extension required
- Additional plugins are required for better performance
- Not easy to customizing
It is one of the best open source CMS platform for ecommerce website. Its main features include vast variety of plugins and extension offered to improve the functionality and the performance.
It is making designing and maintenance cost very effective. It also offer integration with other ecommerce platform.
- Highly functional and customizability platform
- Long list of extensions and plugins
- Tutorial and troubleshooting assistance
- Highly SEO optimized
- Highly scalable
- Language translation and currency conversion
- Enterprise edition is quite costly
- Its massive features makes it complex
- Smaller servers can cause speed and performance related issues.
Yahoo small business is rebranded as Aabaco Small Business. It is claiming $68 billion and counting in sales for retailers. It endows customized templates, which let design gorgeous websites. It offers actionable insight and recommendation for customize your store for better success. It also provide live insight, which let you monitor the customer activity in real time, even you can engage them in live chat.
They takes a step up as they rebrand their name, now provides a wide variety of tools to set up interactive storefront.
- Vast variety of templates
- Shipping integration
- SEO optimization
- Live insight and recommendation
- Apps to extend the store
- Easy customization and access
- Secured and stable service
- Slow FTP
- Problem in tech support
Hosting packs: Basic – $29/month, Professional – $79/month, Premier – $299/month
WooCommerce is a plugin of WordPress platform, used for building ecommerce websites. Various WordPress themes have default WooCommerce functionality built in. It provides various features similar to the other open source CMS platforms in the market. It is easy to use and very user friendly its admin panel is somewhat same as that of the WordPress. Some familiar with WordPress will easily work with it.
- Easy to setup
- Runs through WordPress so no additional servers are required.
- Cost effective add-ons and themes
- WordPress community support
- Easy to use, as user is familiar with WordPress functionality
- No usage without WordPress.
- Premium themes are expensive
It is second most used open source based on Drupal CMS platform. It is a ecommerce plugin of Drupal CMS platform. Integrating with Drupal it is easy to build blogs and forums. It gets a boost up through Drupal community.
- Ease of access and maintenance
- Better Documentaion
- Easy to use for people who know to use Drupal.
- Highly implementation of SEO optimization
- Enhanced blog integration and content marketing.
- Lower community support as compared to other platforms
- Cache to be clear every time
- Relies on fixed versions of jQuery
Whether you are opting for the Hosting ecommerce platform or CMS platform, consider the advantage and disadvantages of both. Consider your aim and business goal and then choose one. If you are building a large ecommerce website with hosted go for Shopify or Joomla. If you are thinking of CMS platform then Magneto is a better option.
Switching between platforms after a completely setup store is not an easy task. Don’t make haste try the trial and choose one prior moving forward. Be sure to make a good decision.