When it comes to starting an online store, there are many things that need to be taken into consideration. It is very important to take all the right steps and perform an extensive research before opting for a particular e-commerce platform. Choosing a platform for an online store is crucial for its success, since it is the key element that powers the e-commerce site.
But, where to start? The competition among various e-commerce platforms is very harsh and there are a lot to choose from. However, if you are considering starting your own online store, it is essential to choose an online platform that suits you the best in all possible aspects. For starters, there are 2 basic types of online e-commerce platforms – hosted and self-hosted. For example, a hosted platform runs on someone else’s server, which means that you have to log into the given website if you want to make changes to your site. On the other hand, self-hosted platform is software you run for yourself on your own server. In order to decide which platform to use, here is the analysis of the few most popular e-commerce platforms which can possibly help you choose the best one for yourself.
1:- Shopify (Hosted)
Shopify is by far the most popular e-commerce platform out there. Aside from being the easiest to use as well as the cheapest, it is specially designed for small businesses that are building the name for themselves. As for the monthly price, it ranges from $9 up to $179. As far as the usage is concerned, it has a very easy setup, with a pretty visible dashboard for quickly adding products, altering the look of your site and many more. Adding a new product is pretty easy, with visible fields for titles, prices, descriptions, etc. In addition, every empty field is explained, removing all doubts if there are some!
It has a very fast loading speed, great mobile friendliness and 24/7 customer support via chat, email or phone. Most importantly, it offers hundreds of templates for customization of your own site and many options to choose from. To be honest, it reminds us of those gleaming online game sites such as Mr. Green Roulette Game with a stylish design and many features to choose from.
2:- Big Commerce (Hosted)
Big Commerce is in many ways similar to Shopify since it also offers a clear dashboard area and straightforward directions for creating a site. Coding options are available, with design features being pretty handy. A monthly price ranges from $30 to $199, which is a bit more than what Shopify charges, but for that price you’ll be able to have an access to many more features and customizations. It’s very easy to setup, with no web design skills required, and it offers great customer service support along with video guides. Also, it has a fast loading speed, capacity to scale, high mobile friendliness and offers you the chance to have your own domain name.
3:- WooComerce (Self Hosted)
WooComerce is a WordPress plugin and it’s intended for small businesses which are looking for easy ways of usage and many features to choose from. The installation of this platform costs nothing at all, but you should be aware that some fees are going to be charged later on during the process of customization. For people who are familiar with using WordPress, navigating this platform will not be a problem. It has high mobile friendliness, good shopping cart, it’s self-hosted which makes it customizable, but loading speed sometimes tends to slow down. Also, it has the capacity to handle big installs and there are many plugins, extensions and features to choose from.
4:- Magneto (Self Hosted)
Magneto is a great option for serious, professional retailors who are looking to customize a high-end online store. A huge advantage of Magneto is that it can be completely free (Magneto Community) or up to around $18k per year (within the service of Magneto Enterprise). However, it is a much more complex platform than the others mentioned above, so it requires the help of a professional programmer to develop, design and customize the platform. It has a high level of security, it’s perfect for large businesses, but sometimes tends to have delayed loading speed, as well as trouble with mobile friendliness. Also worth mentioning is that it has the options of multi-language, multi-currency, multiple wish lists and it offers everything you would possibly need in order to create a high-end e-commerce site.
Starting your own online store is not entirely easy. But, with the extensive help of e-commerce platforms, you can get a long way and make your business a very successful one. In order to choose a platform that completely suits you, make sure to set your priorities, analyze smartly each and every one of them and get to work!