Taru M. Updated : July 23, 2022
With worldwide retail online sales increasing from 3.5 trillion US Dollars in 2019 to 5.5 trillion US Dollars in 2022, we can well imagine the popularity of eCommerce Platforms. Online shopping was always popular among the tech-savvy and shopaholic people, as people love going through the latest fashion, checking out the new collections, adding favourites to their wishlist/cart, etc. The world had seen a tremendous change in the past two years when the whole world was living in fear, locked inside their homes. Medicines, food, grocery, clothes, vegetables, and almost everything reached the consumer’s doorstep at a button click.
The main thing is that every eCommerce services provider has different plugins, features, pricing, interface, etc., that may suit one and might not go with another seller.
2. Choosing an eCommerce platform
3. Top eCommerce Platforms
Some aspects like security, speed, design, mobile-friendly play an essential role while shortlisting from the top eCommerce sites for your online store. Important factors or salient features to choose an eCommerce platform are as follows:
Cost of the platform: What is the cost of the platform or service to start an online store? Does it include web hosting, or will you need to purchase it separately?
Site scalability: Is the site scalable? With a growing business, will the platform be able to perform well?
Mobile friendly: Is the platform mobile friendly? This point is crucial as most buyers indulge in online activities through their mobile phones.
SEO: Search Engine Optimization of the site is equally important. If the platform does not provide appropriate SEO tools, it is useless even if you make the best of the sites if it doesn’t reach your targeted audience.
Integration with other software and other applications: Check the feasibility of whether the site integrates with other software and applications or not.
Payment options: Since payment is one of the most prominent factors, it is crucial to understand whether the platform provides ample payment options.
Specific eCommerce websites do not require any significant technical skills; hence many people get their hands laid on developing a shopping site on their own. Whereas you can see how a trial performs on other sites, it is always better to take professional help from an eCommerce website development company.
We have listed out the Top 5 eCommerce platforms for small business owners globally in 2022
It is complicated to shortlist one eCommerce platform as every platform has different versions, excellent features, and certain shortcomings; hence one can pick according to the need and budget. We have collaborated on the list of the top 5 eCommerce sites and their pros and cons.
WooCommerce by WordPress is preferred the most as the best eCommerce platform worldwide by both non-tech-savvy individuals and website design and development services providers. Moreover, it makes up more than 30 per cent of the websites built globally, according to the statistics, so it is really important to choose a relevant and renowned WooCommerce development company if you want to make custom eCommerce Stores for your business.
Pros and cons of WooCommerce
1. Open and accessible: It is free and open-source.
2. Powered by WordPress: The plugin WooCommerce is provided by WordPress website, making it easy and flexible to use
3. Secured and customizable: This platform offers a free SSL certificate to keep your site safe and secure. Also, one can customize it according to what is required.
4. Free themes and plugins: One gets hundreds of free themes and plugins to choose from the library. But this is also a disadvantage as adding more plugins slows down the site speed.
5. Cost-effective: Though one has to buy some excellent features and extensions in WooCommerce, it is the perfect eCommerce platform for small business owners.
Second, on our list is Shopify. A complete eCommerce solutions provider, Shopify development is also quite popular for online shop creation. You may customize it as per your business objective, company’s size, and customer.
1. Lacks flexibility: Shopify is a robust platform that helps you build your online store if you run a small or medium-sized business but still, it lacks the flexibility of managing larger stores.
2. Very few free themes available: When one keeps their e-commerce store development project cost-effective, spending on themes does not make sense. Shopify provides very few free themes as compared to other free platforms available.
3. Useful plugins: Shipping, inventory, customers care, and accounts become easy with a variety of useful Shopify plugins, but the plugins that make this platform better than others are payable.
4. Paid features: Shopify is not the cheapest available platform but transparent. Their payment gateways, some other third-party apps and SEO features are paid.
Founded in 2006, Wix has reached almost 110 million users worldwide and claims to be the largest eCommerce platform of 2021.
Pros and Cons of Wix
1. Wix websites are fast: Wix websites deliver high-speed performance and are resilient.
2. Almost 800 great looking templates: Wix offers the maximum number of template options compared to its competitors – Squarespace, Shopify or BigCommerce. Provides a wide range of templates to choose from that are unlike other platforms attractive looking options.
3. Wix offers three types of site creation: Using Artificial Design Intelligence – answer a few questions and let ADI create a site for you); Editor – drag and drop the elements you want and have better control on your website) or Velo by Wix (unlike the other two, it provides access to the codes, database, and API).
4. Good with limited budget projects: If you are a small business with a limited budget, this is for you! Best eCommerce platform for small business.
BigCommerce is another popular eCommerce platform provider pre-hosted that lets retail business owners create online stores for selling. It is not free. You need to pay monthly fees to use BigCommerce software.
Pros and Cons of BigCommerce
1. Pre-hosted: you don’t have to buy web hosting services separately. It is also a big drawback that if BigCommerce shuts down, you will have to shift your store to some other platform.
2. Making it easy for people with no tech knowledge: Helping less tech-savvy people set up their online stores. One gets to choose from a range of customizable templates and themes. Few good themes are available to pick, but a range of paid themes and templates.
3. Accessibility freedom: Access your shopping portal from anywhere; you just need to access the internet.
4. Paid service: One can take a trial plan and switch to any paid account according to one’s use and budget. The available programs are – BigCommerce Standard, BigCommerce Plus, BigCommerce Pro, and BigCommerce Enterprise.
Squarespace is also one of the commonly used eCommerce services today by different businesses in a couple of years. Though providing everything from themes to template designs, features, and plugins, Squarespace is limited in customizing its features according to your needs.
Pros and Cons of Squarespace
1. Limited customization: Though providing everything from themes to template designs, features and plugins still, Squarespace is limited in customizing its features according to your need.
2. Expensive: Squarespace is famous, but it is not cost-effective; instead, it is a little expensive as the platform also charges you on the number of pages and exceeds the number of products.
3. Weak support: Third-party apps, plugins and extensions support are missing.
4. SEO: Search Engine Optimization marketing is done at a basic level, which is inappropriate for running a business site.
So finally, you have chosen your kind of eCommerce service provider and successfully launched your online retail store through any of the platforms mentioned above. Now your business will grow in reach, and the volume of visitors on your site and business will both increase. You will not continue with the same platform, and you will have to explore the options from the Enterprise eCommerce platform. You can choose whether to handle all the development operations in-house or outsource.
Here is a definite guide that you can read while choosing an eCommerce development company for your business.
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For over 18 years, Taru M. is a successful technology entrepreneur by profession and a tech enthusiast by spirit. She takes pride in offering expertise in her domain to business people's success across the globe. As a business woman and technology expert, she manages to keep her balance along with her family responsibilities. She did her masters in computers, and her work delivery shows the expertise of her education. Connect with her via Linkedin profile to know more about her exciting personality
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