If you’re starting an ecommerce business (or already run a business looking to grow it online), choosing the right ecommerce platform can be painfully confusing.
With a wide array of platform (and price) options out in nature, how can you make sure that the ecommerce program you choose is right for your small business?
To avoid the headaches, we’ve narrowed it down to 3 of our favorite options below:
Shopify is the “grandfather” of easy-to-use ecommerce platforms, and offers a comprehensive list of features that let you manage and grow your business, all in one place.
- Some of the best features include:
- Customizable online storefront
- Simple payment processing
- Integrated hosting
- Inventory management
- Comprehensive reporting and analytics
- Customer relationship management system (CRM)
With monthly plans ranging from $ 29 to $ 299, the platform is reasonably priced, albeit slightly more expensive.
The downsides of the platform are mainly in the payment processing fees, with additional transaction fees applied if you choose to use a payment processor alongside the special Shopify payment system.
Additionally, there are many additions available in the App Store that come with a prize that you can start collecting over time.
Overall, the Shopify platform is designed with novice users in mind, making it easy for almost anyone with basic technical knowledge to operate their ecommerce website. Shopify merchants have access to thousands of trusted third-party apps from the Shopify app store.
WooCommerce was developed to run specifically on WordPress, as a plugin, rather than as a standalone platform. This allows you to convert almost any WordPress site to a fully functional ecommerce platform, and best of all it’s free!
- Simple WordPress integration
- Basic inventory management
- Auto tax calculation
- Sales reporting
- Mobile app access
Now, while the basic WooCommerce plugin itself can be used for free on any WordPress site, be aware that it lacks a lot of add-ons for more expensive competitors. If you want to add features like Stripe Payment Processing, less common shipping options, it will cost you extra.
Overall, WooCommerce is a great option if you already have a WordPress website setup, or if you want to build your new store on the platform and want a free, easy-to-use system.
BigCommerce is another big hitter in the ecommerce space, with sky-high customers like Ford and Toyota in their wallets.
As a small business ecommerce platform, BigCommerce is a major contender for the first place, with a large portfolio of features and easy integration with multiple sales channels.
- No transaction fees
- Responsive storefront themes
- Multi-channel integration (Sell through eBay, Google, Facebook etc)
- Excellent tech support
In contrast, while it doesn’t charge transaction fees like most other platforms, BigCommerce places a “sale limit” on each of its plans instead. This means that if your store exceeds nominal sales, you are forced to upgrade your plan to fit. While this is not an unreasonable model, it is something to consider.
Overall, BigCommerce is a feature-rich platform that provides store owners with a powerful arsenal of tools at a price comparable to other major players. Their unique “no transaction fee” model can serve as cash savings for new startups!