The reason why online shop owners turn to building platforms online instead of hiring professionals is quite apparent. People tend to like the fact that most of the job under your control. Besides, the simplicity of using online tools just makes them so great. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how to build a store. Besides, you become a part of a broad community of other shop owners, who might give you a piece of advice on how to develop your shop. Using e-commerce platforms can be compared to renting an accommodation where the foundation has already been built for you, and your task now is to design it. Before having a look at the list of e-commerce platforms compared, let’s see what you should consider when trying to pick out the right e-commerce platform for you.
Tips For Choosing An E-Commerce Platform
- • Don’t forget about the budget. You should have your budget planned from A to Z, and you need to know that unexpected charges are not something that you should accept. That is why you should consider how much services cost since different platforms offer different prices for some features.
- • Think about the purpose. What is it you are building your online store for? Are you providing digital services or selling material products? All these may justify the choice of the platform due to the factor of convenience.
- • Hosted or self-hosted. If you feel confident about your ability to take care of the look of your store – then opt for a self-hosted platform. In this case, you will have to do all the software updates on your own or hire somebody for the job.
- • Payment. The problem with e-commerce platforms is that they offer a restricted number of payment methods. If you think that the forms of payment suggested by a particular platform may seem inconvenient – it may be a reason to reject some of the options.
It is a user-friendly hosted e-commerce platform that saves you from the responsibility of managing a website's code or thinking about other development details by yourself. Apart from a standard set of services it also offers many other features that may attract you. Here are the pros and cons of the platform:
- • Promotion. BigCommerce takes pride in its marketing tools that play the most crucial role when you are just starting out. Check out Essential Tips To Run A Successful Small Business It has plenty of features integrated to promote your store including selling your products on eBay, Facebook and other websites.
- • Uploading products. The easy-to-use system may appeal to you thanks to its convenience. If the list of your products is not very long, you can upload them manually without using any extra feature. In case it looks endless to you, BigCommerce has a function of uploading already prepared spreadsheets straight to the website.
- • Information. You can add information concerning your products, such as brands, sizes, descriptions, images, and videos – whatever you think is necessary to catch an eye of your customer.
- • Analytics. By using the analytics on the BigCommerce platform, you not to have to worry about doing constant research on your clientele and their behavior. It will give you a deeper understanding of your e-store website’s performance and guide you to the changes you need to implement.
- • How to do things. Admittedly, the Internet is packed with guides that aim at helping you integrate this or that feature. BigCommerce concentrates on showing you the light with videos, e-mails and a special series of instructions.
- • Price. The standard charge is 30 USD per month. Add this to the percent of sales, credit card fees, and extra services that are required when managing a store and you will realize that it is quite costly.
- • Editing access. This is a con of any hosted platform. By choosing BigCommerce, you won’t have much access to the code. So if you favor the freedom of handling the website, then this platform is probably not a good choice.
One more e-commerce solution is Shopify. It is perfect for those who decided to launch an online store or develop an already existing one. It is convenient for any kind of industry including art, clothing, accessories, gadgets, food, etc.
- • Template Design. The e-commerce business is always about judging the book by its cover. It means that to grab your customer’s attention you have to think about the design. The platform has a wide range of Shopify themes. Some of them are for free, while others cost about 140 USD or more.
- • App store. The website also offers applications that serve different purposes ranging from traffic optimization to shipping issues.
- • Marketing. Shopify allows you to smoothly build landing pages, which is a crucial feature of your promotion campaign. Check Landing Page Promotion Tips That Work Even though Shopify does not offer the greatest variety of marketing tips, it still takes into account all the basics, like SEO. You cannot go without editing titles, content details, and description, because they are what gets you closer to success.
- • Fees. Except for the monthly price you also pay transaction, credit card, and add-on fees.
- • Poor promotion tools. It has been said earlier that it offers some basic marketing tools, but unfortunately, that’s it. Shopify does not pay much attention to marketing, so this is not its strongest point.
The Wix ecommerce builder often gets the highest ratings for a reason. They are famous for their innovative techniques that they use to achieve higher productivity.
- • Free plan. They are not intended to do miracles and can serve only for short-term projects, which is great since in this case, you don’t have to overpay. Selecting this option you will be sure that your store will be provided with all the essentials, but if you decide to go further, you’ll need to consider paid services.
- • Easiness. You don’t need to be clued in about technical details, like when using Shopify, for example. The platform provides you with all the tools and guidelines that are necessary to build the store.
- • Artificial Intelligence. Wix introduced a design approach based on AI, which creates the whole thing from scratch after asking you all the necessary information about what you do and your store’s purposes.
- • Long-term pricing. Surely, you can use the free plan described earlier. But if you plan to go further and submerge into all the benefits of advanced options, you will have to pay. The slight problem is that even though you opt for paid services, you still cannot get rid of ads popping up every now and then from different corners.
- • Apps. Unlike the Shopify App Store, it is hard to get an app installed and fully integrated into your site.
It is not the cheapest online store builder, but it ensures professionalism in any aspect, which is why over two million entrepreneurs choose it for their businesses.
- • Brand. As one of the most established brands, it certainly considers a lot to live up to its clients’ expectations. Also, it has more resources than other companies. They can afford to hire the best professionals in the industry since they have a huge capital to better their services.
- • Affordable pricing. The pricing is reasonable as it allows to choose the lowest plan at the price of 3 USD per month, which is an excellent option for small starting businesses. More advanced plans also don’t cost a fortune and offer more features to implement.
- • Education center. Once again, as a big brand, it has a vast knowledge base that will guide you through all the difficult parts of store building. Besides, there is a Bluehost customer support representative ready to answer the questions and help you deal with the inconveniences.
- • Speed. Unlike other hosted platforms the Bluehost team do not concentrate so much on performance, which means slower speed. The problem is that by aiming at adding more and more features to the advances plans, they slow down the general performance of your Bluehost online store.
Launched in 2007, the Weebly platform has earned the trust of more than 40 million entrepreneurs in the world.
- • Simple to use. When using this platform, you don’t feel overloaded by the extra work. What is required of you is to pick and drop images and description without thinking about long manual uploading.
- • Mobile version. As it has been mentioned above, it makes the website accessible to anyone everywhere as you can browse it using your smartphone or a tablet. All the features and website navigation will be the same as in the standard version.
- • Layouts. Designing may seem like a long monotonous job for those who are pressed for time or just are not into the process of it. For such cases, there are ready-made layouts that can be designed lately to your taste.
- • Design. Simplicity is nice, but when it comes to design, it has a price to be paid. All the design options end on standard Microsoft Office options (such as page transitioning) and have a very poor color choice.
- • Customization. All you can select is a color and a style of your website. No advanced features are included.
Today launching an online store is getting easier. Online e-commerce builders compete with each other exercising their user-friendliness and convenience for a customer, which makes a choice difficult. Each platform has its advantages and disadvantages, so it’s up to you to decide which one will meet your requirements the best.
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