These days, setting up and running an online business can be stirring and profitable. There are myriads of e-Commerce solutions available in the market which enables the creation of any kind of virtual store. Some of the solutions help merchants to begin selling goods in minutes, while others need some more time to setup and get set for the sales process.
On the other hand, there is a buyer for every product. That’s why it is difficult to point to an evident leader amongst the independent shopping carts, CMS plugins, and API platforms for e-Commerce. Each solution has its own distinguishing features that can meet the needs of various e-merchants. At the same time, these similar functions will be ineffective and even irritating to other store owners.
An online store not only provides greater visibility to brands, but it also provides them great opportunities to capture a much wider audience. One of the challenges you may experience when you have an online business is finding the right ecommerce platform that will help your business stay ahead of the competition. Luckily, you have more than a few options on your hands.
So, let’s dig deeper and take a look at benefits and drawbacks of a few of the best e-Commerce solutions — Big Commerce, Magento, WooCommerce, and Shopify.
Magento is one of the most renowned shopping carts with around 2,00,000 active stores. Its platform provides merchants with limitless features and customizations, all without spending excessively. Also, the platform being open source can be without difficulty changed thanks to open access to the core code.
However, before choosing you must know who can really use it well? The answer - Magento is an ecommerce solution for big merchants who have numerous carts with thousands of products. You need certified Magento developers, to develop an advanced and fully-functional shopping cart. This is why this platform is usually preferred by larger businesses that can cover up the high costs with a much lower percentage of their revenue.
The cutting-edge features of Magento shopping cart are:
- It is an open source solution so e-merchants can select a hosting provider that will fulfill their business needs on their own. Make sure you first check Magento’s system requirements before picking your hosting plan as well as the provider.
- There is a restriction on a number of products or categories allowed, so this shopping cart can effortlessly manage much larger businesses.
- An attractive design can be created with one of the fully responsive and very customizable templates. However, any small changes to that template need a high level of technical abilities.
- All existing payment gateways and shipping options can be integrated into the store with the help of third party modules. PayPal and a few others are offered by default.
- Myriads of product and order management features are given by default. Moreover, bulk actions offer store owners with the facility to manage catalogs quite swiftly.
- Merchants can initiate resourceful promo campaigns with the help of Magento marketing facilities. Contemporary coupon code system is an example of a functional tool to boost sales.
- This platform can help you to get the highest search engine rankings through its advanced SEO features. Besides, there are various extensions which will expand your choices.
- Magento can be integrated with WordPress, which helps merchants' in starting a blog to help boost traffic.
The platform is free to download; though, custom development can be quite expensive. Usually, big online retailers and famous brands adopt Magento as it offers a lot of out-of-the-box features that can be strengthened with thousands of third-party modules. Furthermore, this solution provides an exclusive feature – multi-store management. Merchants can handle numerous stores with entirely different products, languages, customers, currencies, taxes rules, etc. from a single admin panel.
Another platform Shopify that powers around 100,000 live stores, is one of the easiest to use platforms to get your site up and running in a flash. If you are not familiar with coding and you don’t need scores of customizations Shopify is the right and easy way to build a store and operate it on the web. There are easy-to-use templates that enable you to personalize your store without having to write a line of code.
The cutting-edge features of Shopify shopping cart are:
- There is no need to get vexed about domain names, hosting providers, server settings, parameters, etc. Merchants can commence a store in some time without any knowledge of programming.
- There are unlimited numbers of products for all pricing plans, excluding the inexpensive Starter Plan, which enables up to 25 products.
- There are more than 100 mobile responsive design themes, and users are provided with insightful Theme Settings and advanced HTML editor for better customization. Simply choose the most suitable way to create a spectacular frontend design.
- The most well-known payment gateways and shipping options are predetermined and available out of the box.
- Interactive product and order management features proffer advanced editing and bulk actions for quick and easy inventory administration for daily management.
- Effective marketing features are also pre-built into the shopping cart and enable store owners to create coupon codes and massive promo campaigns.
- It provides proficient SEO options, so you don’t have to be anxious about low Google rankings.
- Shopify can be integrated with WordPress so merchants can without difficulty start their own blog. By posting product reviews or useful articles can boost site traffic from target customers.
Shopify is one of the simplest and most innate shopping carts on the market. If you want to start selling online, but aren’t technically sound – this is the perfect solution for you. A variety of Shopify extensions can be found in the Shopify app store, and proffer an exclusive opportunity to automate much of your business.
According to TopTenReviews, Shopify is acknowledged as one of the easiest to use platforms for e-Commerce. However, even non-technically skilled merchants can begin selling online using this shopping cart. Additionally, merchants get high priority customer support that can assist to fix any issue that might occur.
Commenced in 2011, WooCommerce is a free open source e-Commerce plugin for WordPress that is widely accepted. According to BuiltWith – Currently, the platform powers a bigger number of small sized stores compared to Magento – the renowned engine. In the year 2014, WooCommerce was named the Technology Growth Award Winner. WooCommerce offers all necessary features for selling online, including the other CMS opportunities.
The cutting-edge features of WooCommerce shopping cart are:
- It is a lightweight open source plugin with an easy installation process. Merchants can choose a hosting provider, domain name, etc. as per their business needs.
- The number of products and categories are not restricted, but the platform has a lack of high-end features to manage huge stores.
- Because WooCommerce is an open source software, there are a plethora of design themes available from the third parties. WooThemes, the plugin’s developer, also offer fully compatible and simple customizable templates.
- Fundamental shipping and payment options can be altered and augmented with the help of a dozen of 3rd party free as well as paid plugins.
- Robust product and advanced order editing features which are proffered can make day to day store management very easy.
- Coupon codes are given by default. Email marketing features, which can be incorporated with the help of plugins, can actually help boost sales.
- WordPress is recognized for its SEO friendliness, so your WooCommerce store can effortlessly get on the top of search engine results. Furthermore, numerous advanced SEO plugins can help you to attain the top search rankings.
- Retailers can also begin blogging powered by WordPress which is a big way to increase traffic. The benefit is that the store management and blogging are handled from one WP admin panel.
WooCommerce offers easiest admin panels in comparison to other open source solutions. The most common users of WooCommerce are WordPress website owners, who want to merchandise their products with least effort. However, merchants can set up the store from scratch and choose one of the responsive templates, designed particularly for WooCommerce. In addition, almost all e-Commerce features that are there for other high-end solutions can be integrated to this shopping cart with the help of available plugins.
BigCommerce is one of the leading cloud ecommerce platforms for businesses making $1 million or beyond sales each year. BigCommerce is a remarkable eCommerce platform for creating attractive, intuitive ecommerce websites that improve your brand and engage shoppers. Build a stunning site that gets results using our amazing themes or advanced customization framework.
The cutting-edge features of BigCommerce shopping cart are:
- The mobile-friendly BigCommerce stores helps in mobile commerce with responsive themes or a integral mobile store.
- From dynamic SEO tools to streamlined listings on high-traffic shopping sites, BigCommerce helps you drive more potential buyers with least effort.
- BigCommerce has inbuilt features to support marketing activities from inventory management, shipping, to accounting and more.
- There are various design options: themes, point-and-click tools, customizable CSS/HTML to create an advanced store that sells in the global marketplace.
- BigCommerce offers you with reports and analytics with detailed data to help you gauge and twist your offerings.
Bigcommerce also provides free hosting and with a variety of themes, both premium and free. Also, it proffers you the alternative to code your own theme right on the site in an exclusive HTML/CSS editor. So, one who is good at coding can personalize the design of their site. Even the customer's database provides a lot of insights pertaining to clients. So you can get to know your audience very well before pitching them.
Which eCommerce platform is right for you?
Actually, all of these are powerful and reliable eCommerce platform for retailers to choose from. Big Commerce is the best online hosted solution as it is good for SEO. It needs no startup investment but high ongoing costs. WooCommerce is best for small business owners since it requires more startup investment and less ongoing costs. Shopify is a very easy-to-use paid solution that confines some high- end features. Last, but not the least, Magento is for big clients with hundreds of carts and thousands of products with a huge budget again.
However, to make the right decision, be sure to evaluate your business needs and tech knowledge before you move ahead. Bear in mind, you can effortlessly change your eCommerce platform if you feel that your business needs another set of features to excel. Each platform is meant for different level and type of investment and budget you are planning.