Top 5 Ecommerce Platforms For Small Businesses
BY: KATE WOLWORT ON THURSDAY, JULY 05, 2018
There is always a demand to spend money in a comfortable way. Because of that eCommerce is on fire right now. With each passing day, its market share is growing larger and larger. According to the research, in 2017 online sales constituted around 13% of overall retail sales and the figure is growing with an expectation of becoming 22% by 2022. These numbers are absolutely mental. This growth means that there is no shortage of various daring small businesses and startups trying to make their mark in the business and subsequently make improve its operation. But things are not as simple as they might seem at first. In order to get through any company needs to handle the fundamentals first. According to the recent article about best eCommerce platform, eCommerce is one of those industries where each element of business operation matters and even one wrong choice can potentially derail the entire marketplace. If the platform fits the needs and goals of the company - then it is one of the building blocks to success. Believe it or not, but that is a legit challenge. There are many diverse platforms out there. All of them seemingly can fit anything. Business requirements and projected goals define what kind of eCommerce platform is best for your business. Here’s a top 5 eCommerce platforms best suiting for small businesses.
One thing that makes Magento different from the others is the balance. It is probably the most balanced eCommerce platform currently available. Magento combines reasonable customization with a diverse set of templates and relative simplicity of tweaking. Because of that, it is a good fit for small business - it can be easily reshaped according to the market performance and business goals. Magento’s biggest assent is the plugin pool. There are many things to choose from and you can construct a store that will fit your vision to a tee. And if there is no plugin you need - it is not a big deal to do one by yourself.
As for scalability, there is enough leeway for optimizations that make Magento capable of handling heavy streams of traffic without breaking into tears. Marketing toolbox is another strong point for Magento. There is a very comfortable interface with a responsive stats and convenient reporting. Everything you need to crusade for your prosperity. However, all this goodness costs a penny and if you won’t watch yourself - the maintenance budget might balloon and that would not be nice.
Shopify is the big dog of the eCommerce segment. It is probably the biggest platform currently active and for a reason. With Shopify, you don’t need to have a clue about undergoing of eCommerce and stuff - you just plug in and do your thing. Basically, Shopify is a set of templates that can make a picture any way you fit it. There are enough templates to satisfy your intentions. However, the customization features are somewhat limited and otherwise clumsy compared with the rest. But if you don’t want to be bothered with the technical stuff - Shopify is the platform of choice.
Shopify’s design is streamlined to an instinct. It is instantly accessible and incredibly easy to master. However, there is a significant minus - Shopify is expensive and that might be a major turn off.
The word that best describes BigCommerce is “odd”. It is like any other eCommerce platform in the list feature-wise, but there is something deep inside that makes it a significantly different experience. The greatest thing about BigCommerce is the scope of customization features. You can tweak a lot of stuff with its toolbox. It can be a fun pass time in its own right.
Another asset of BigCommerce is marketing tools. While you might need some additional firepower for the big picture, BigCommerce is capable of showing what is going on with the store itself and what can be improved. The problem is that while BigCommerce is really good at doing its job, it is not exactly the most accessible platform. You need to know the craft in order to make it fly. Another long-term issue that might occur is optimization - it gets cluttered and slows down over time so you need to do a clean-up and caching tweaks all the time.
Volusion is something of an old guard in the realm of eCommerce platforms. It has been here for a long time and it knows what you need and what you don’t. Volusion is well-mannered, balanced platform for those who want a no-nonsense framework with only the essential elements. Feature-wise, Volusion is not as diverse as Magento or Shopify but it prefers quality over quantity. Every plugin does its job as it should and not otherwise.
Volusion’s biggest advantage is accessibility. It is easy to operate and you won’t get lost in the dashboards. Marketing toolbox is another great asset. It provides with solid stats regarding the state of your store. While it might need additional tools for the deeper insight - it is good at showing what is good and what is not with your store. But there is one big strike against it. Volusion is expensive and that might be a roadblock.
WooCommerce is an eCommerce Platform the guerrilla way. If Shopify is a Barbie doll, wrapped and packaged - then WooCommerce is a semi-improvised makeshift eCommerce device. Basically, WooCommerce is merely a set of Wordpress plugins. But if combined right and operated correctly they can make your store a force to be reckoned with. WooCommerce is open source and that means there is very deep plugin pool. While it needs considerable programming skills to get going - it pays off by being exactly what you need at the moment.
The world of eCommerce platforms is complicated. On the surface - they all seem the same, but the deeper you go - the more differences there are. That is a part of the challenge of the choosing an eCommerce platform. The platform is a critical part of the store and the choice must be taken seriously. These eCommerce platforms are the most versatile out there, but they might be a good fit for your small businesses.
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