Comparing 4 of the Best E-commerce Platforms On the Planet
E-commerce has grown substantially over the last few years and it certainly won’t be slowing down anytime soon. Statistics In 2015 showed that e-commerce sales in the US were growing by 10% annually and worldwide sales were growing by 19%.
For business owners, e-commerce has the advantage of being able to reach more customers both in their own country and globally. Shoppers love e-commerce too! It saves time and money by not having to drive to the store to do their shopping. Surprisingly, the older generation is embracing online shopping as enthusiastically as the younger consumer.
So, if you want to set up an online store, whether you’re a current business owner or want to venture into drop-shipping, you’ll need to find an e-commerce platform that allows you to accept orders and payments from your customers.
Fortunately, there are a number of options available which we’ll look at now.
Shopify incorporates simple design with 12 free templates which are customizable. It’s one of the most popular e-commerce platforms used by online store owners. Shopify has four different monthly packages starting from $29 for a basic e-commerce store.
This platform supports over 50 payment gateways however it does charge transaction fees for third-party gateways. It also allows you to sell on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. There are also plenty of apps available to extend the functionality of the basic package but these usually come at a monthly cost.
Shopify is very easy to set up and customer service support is available 24/7 through email, live chat and phone.
Wix offers more than 500 different templates plus a variety of interactive tools. It’s not only an e-commerce platform but allows for blog articles as well which is great for SEO purposes. Wix is free for a basic package but this only allows limited access to its essential features. Premium packages start from $4.08 per month.
What impressed us the most in this WIX review is the super easy to use Drag and Drop builder with video tutorials guiding you in the setup process. A Wix website comes with free hosting, free stock images, site analysis and SEO wizard. It does not charge transaction fees on payments. You can also integrate Google analytics and there are many other apps you can add for further functionality.
The main benefit of WooCommerce is that it is a free plugin for WordPress so if you’re already familiar with WordPress sites, WooCommerce is a breeze to install and work with. It comes with preinstalled payment gateways and integrates well with the most popular payment processors.
Stock management is super easy with this plugin and it offers lots of customization in product set up as well as store design and layout. It also allows you to create coupons for both sales promotions and regular customer rewards. There are plenty of comprehensive tutorials available as well as full customer service support.
Magento is an open-source software platform so you can use it as is or customize it according to your particular needs. It’s ideal for medium to large businesses with its extensive array of available features. This platform is totally mobile responsive and allows for easy order management. It also allows for easy import of stock inventory and is SEO optimized to boost traffic to your store.
Magento is more suited to business owners who have some tech knowledge so that you can customize it to suit your business needs. It does have a basic free option but if you need more features, pricing plans can be more expensive than the other e-commerce platform options.
Both Wix and Shopify are easy platforms to get you started with your e-commerce store. They are both relatively inexpensive to set up and offer all the features that are required for a successful online store. If you’re familiar with WordPress however, WooCommerce is definitely a good option to start with. It’s free and also has enough features to set up a successful online business.