Best Ecommerce Platform to Choose in 2016
If you are planning to sell your product from a website, then the first and most obvious question that will come into your mind – Which is the best eCommerce platform or most appropriate eCommerce platform for your business?
You may not want the opportunity to give the best online launch to your product by choosing an inappropriate platform so it becomes very important to do some research first and analyze to know more about different options available. It may take some time, but it worth.
Based on the changing technology, competition between different available platforms and requirement of eCommerce users, it’s not easy to answer that which is best eCommerce platform for a particular user.
There are so many options available. Most of the time users prefer to go with the trending resources like Shopify, Bigcommerce or Magento. Shopify is the most popular among all available eCommerce platforms, though, its true. You can see the Google trends graph below to compare between these platforms.
Clearly, Shopify is the winner. Let’s talk about all of these platforms and some other platforms as well which are not in trends but definitely growing their customer base very fast.
1 – Shopify:
We are adding this at the first position because of several positives with this platform. Shopify is the easiest to use, faster, and the most reliable eCommerce platform available these days. Shopify is really a frontrunner in keeping the platform updated as per changing needs of Ecommerce businesses and the reliable payment gateways it offers.
Shopify is also best due to the kind of support they provide to customers. Most of the ecommerce users are not so technical and always need assistance in running the store so a good customer support plays a vital role in this. Shopify’s support team is easily available anytime you need and resolves your issues online quickly.
We have seen that support is a major thing that other platforms are lacking. Many customers switch to Shopify just because of poor support by other platforms.
Besides support, Shopify provides several apps to enhance your store features which can be integrated without much technical knowledge. It also provides an easy to use admin section from where you can easily manage your store content, products, orders etc.
It provides all important SEO features like editing your page meta tags, generating XML sitemap to submit it to search engines etc. That makes your site SEO ready.
Shopify has 3 pricing structures which they update recently. Pricing is $29, $79 and $299 for basic, premium and advanced plans respectively. All 3 plans have different features and offerings so customers can choose based on their needs. If you are a startup and just launching your store, you can go with the basic plan and if you want to launch a store on the large scale and expect much traffic and sales, you can go for higher plans.
Basic plan is for startups who don’t want to invest a fortune initially as we can understand the budget is always a constraint while launching and online business. You have to save money for marketing and other stuff as well. You can upgrade anytime, though.
Transaction fee: This is an important factor to consider while selecting your platform. Shopify has 0% transaction fee offering if you select their Shopify payments payment method, but in that payment method, you will get STRIPE payment gateway for credit card processing and it charges around 2% transaction fee, and that might be an expensive deal for the store owner. Check transaction fee on all platforms, as its important.
You should also check the discussion n this forum on Shopify:
2 – Zoey Commerce:
Zoey, a Magento based eCommerce platform.
Most of the ecommerce users or new customers havent heard about this platform and not many online blogs had mentioned about this awesome platform. We have tested it, used it and applied for some client’s websites and results were amazing. Its a fully featured hosted ecommerce platform, based on Magento. Yes, it uses core features of Magento and provides you a platform with drag n drop interface to create your ecommerce store.
It provides many features builtin for which you may have to use third party apps in Shopify or other ecommerce platforms. Its a ready package for your website that you dont have to buy any third party apps for enhancing or adding any feature. Everything is built in that you can use easily.
Drag n drop interface allows you to customize the site as per your requirement so you can try it on your own before hiring any professional for that.
It provides you order management, multiple payment gateways, shipping methods, an integrated blog and many other features that you expect to have in an ecommerce platform. You can check more about their pricing and features here: https://www.zoey.com/pricing
You can create a free trial account on the store to see the features they provide. It provides a free trial for 14 days.
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3 – Bigcommerce:
Bigcommerce is also one of the most popular eCommerce platform available online. This is the second most popular hosted platform after Shopify. The overall interface of admin panel is similar to Shopify and it offers most of the features that Shopify provides. The difference is that it provides a few more features than Shopify and those are very important features.
We have been using Bigcommerce from years and it provides so many features which are really important for the standard eCommerce website.
A: Product Options: Bigcommerce provides the flexibility to add several product variants in your products if your products come into many different size, color, material and other variants. If you own a large store and have a large inventory of products then its important feature to have so many variants. Shopify lacks here that it provides only 3 variants to be added and it ends with a total number of variants by 100. You cannot add more than 100 variants. So Bigcommerce is definitely a winner here in terms of features.
B: Abandoned Cart Recovery: Bigcommerce and Shopify both have this feature that the system sends an email to the customers who add products to cart but do not complete the purchase. Abandoned cart feature is arguably the most important feature for every eCommerce website and allows to recover 15% of lost sales as per the different surveys and analysis.
The major difference between Shopify’s abandoned cart system and Bigcommerce’s abandoned cart system is that, Shopify send only 1 email to users who abandoned their cart and Bigcommerce allows you to send 3 emails. You can schedule these emails as per requirement so possibility of recovery is more in Bigcommerce. Bigcommerce wins over Shopify in this feature. Its an important feature for websites with high traffic.
Other than that, Shopify and Bigcommerce offers almost similar features and payment structures. You can select either platform based on your needs but we recommend Shopify over Bigcommerce.
4 – Woocommerce:
All the above-listed ecommerce platforms are hosted platforms where you dont have to buy hosting, no need to worry about site security, down time, support etc. If you want to go with some self-hosted platforms like WordPress, or you were already using WordPress cms and want to integrate ecommerce into it instead of redoing the whole site into other platforms, then you can go with Woocommerce.
Woocommerce is the most popular and widely used Ecommerce plugin for WordPress that integrates eCommerce features to your WordPress based website. Woocommerce has all the features that’s needed for a standard eCommerce website like payment gateways, shipping methods, inventory management, product variants, order management and many more.
Woocommerce is a Free plugin that you can use, but if you want to integrate some features that are not available in the plugin, then you can also buy those add-ons for a small fee.
If you are just starting your eCommerce business then you can go for Woocommerce easily. Later you can upgrade to other platforms but its good for a start.
5 – Magento:
Magento was purely built for Ecommerce websites. Whether you want to launch a small scale store or a large ecommerce store, Magento is one of the best platform available in self-hosted ecommerce platforms list. People are using Magento from years and it has evolved over the years in terms of features and user experience.
Magento still holds top position among Best Ecommerce Platforms available. You can still compare it to Shopify and other big names in the list. There is no fee to use Magento, you can download it and use it for your website. You may have to hire a professional web developer or company to do your website in Magento as its not that easy like Shopify or other platforms.
Although there are so many templates available online which you can use, but still hiring a professional to setup your site is a wise decision.
Check some of the key features of Magento below:
You can also download this pdf file Magento Full Features List to see a complete list of features provided by Magento.
You might not have heard about this platform but its another hosted eCommerce platform that you can go for. We have worked on this platform last year and found that the features provided are really good. It has everything that you need in an E-commerce system like, easy to use admin, product filters, shopping cart, multiple payment gateways and so on.
What makes it different is that they don’t charge any transaction fee or cut in your sales. Its just the payment gateway provider who may charge a transaction fee but the platform doesn’t charge any fee.
It also has a fully featured product filter system that you can use on your category page to provide a better filter for products. You can use filters like color, size, manufacturer and so on.
For design, you can choose from 150 themes that they provide with their subscription. You can either choose from the themes available or you can customize any theme on your own by using their drag n drop theme designer system. Its an easy to use interface, you can try it.
Pricing structure that ekmpowershop offers is a bit cheaper than other platforms but its not much different. Check their pricing structure below:
I hope you will like this article and found some good ecommerce platforms that you have not heard before. Share your views in comment box below, we will happy to discuss with you.
There is no single Ecommerce platform which fulfills the requirements of every user. Every platform has some pros and cons as well. Each of these platforms were designed to cater the needs of some particular segment of users so you can check their features, pricing and usability and select as per your requirement.
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