Expert views on Popular eCommerce Platforms and factors for consideration:
The leaping waves of digital transformation have impelled every eCommerce business sector to maintain a spectacular eCommerce website with a bag full of stunning features that could make the online shopping experience much simple and easier. Having too many choices can also ruin the platform experience. Therefore, making clear outlines with business requirements and picking up the right eCommerce development company is highly necessary. In fact, it is the primary step of tremendous success for any kind of business. Before browsing the eCommerce platform for your website development, it is suggested to identify your requirements like number of products you want to sell, types of products, are they digital or physical, scalability, features, etc. and depending upon the needs, choose the best platform.
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Laura Fuentes Operator of Infinity Dish says,
- Shopify Shopify is my first for its all-round performance. It’s incredibly user-friendly and I particularly enjoy the innovative inventory management system that lets you organize large numbers of products without losing track of everything. My biggest issue with the platform is that it doesn’t automatically reformat its content if you switch themes on your website, which can add costly time onto your work day.
- WooCommerce WooCommerce is fantastic value for money, given that it’s free and most of the add-ons are also very reasonably priced. The downside of WooCommerce is that it’s less beginner-friendly, given it’s open-source nature. You need to be more adept at Wordpress and third-party hosting than the other automated options.
- BigCommerce BigCommerce provides the most comprehensive data reports, so it’s ideal if you’re a statistics junkie. It’s really helpful for larger companies who are looking for a detailed and thorough overview of their selling patterns. BigCommerce is targeted largely at bigger companies, so I wouldn’t recommend it for SMEs. It is also the most tech-jargon heavy out of the options, so should probably be reserved for businesses with a dedicated tech department.
Angelo Frisina Founder & CEO of Sunlight Media LLC says,
- WooCommerce Advantages: Highly customizable and intuitive. Disadvantages: Requires on-going updates & maintenance.
- Shopify Advantages: No software or plugin maintenance required. Disadvantages: Customization options are limited.
- BigCommerce Advantages: Ability to synch & sell on multiple websites such as eBay, Amazon & Facebook. Disadvantages: Expensive & limited apps.
- nopCommerce Advantages: Includes free multi-vendor/ drop-shipping feature. Disadvantages: Expensive hosting. It requires a VPS machine with at least 4GB RAM and duel core process to run it.
- Magento Advantages: Highly customizable. Thousands of free apps available and online support is easy to find. Disadvantages: Hosting & maintenance can be expensive. Requires experienced developers for updates, customization & maintenance.
Jennifer Willy Editor of Etia says,
Shopify is a software that you pay for using the SaaS model. With Shopify, eCommerce business owners and merchants can create a website and use an in-built shopping cart solution to sell both digital and physical products to customers around the world. It comes with a bare minimum theme but designers and developers can work on it by creating a store with rich UI and exceptional UX. You can add and customize your products by filling in details like a title, description, price, and vendor.
You can also add a domain where you can either purchase a domain from Shopify or from somewhere else. You can also test your order system before jumping into selling online by going to the Admin section. The payment tab allows you to select from dozens of payment processors such as Stripe and Authorize.net. and activate your Payment Gateway. (ecommerce-platforms).
Bryan Osima CEO of Uvietech Software Solutions Inc. says,
When setting up an ecommerce store on any specific platform there are several factors you want to consider.
Those include: Features and capabilities, cost, ease of use, as well as ease of customization and maintenance.
Additionally, you want to factor in deployment options (do you deploy this on your own server, install it as a plugin or do you have it hosted on a platform that doesn't belong to you.
The final point also determines who ultimately owns the infrastructure on which your digital storefront is housed
WooCommerce is a plugin that provides ecommerce functionality as an extension to the popular WordPress content management system (CMS). It's a relatively easy and cost effective way for smaller businesses to quickly and cost effectively integrate ecommerce capabilities with existing websites they already have on a WordPress CMS.
- Advantage It’s fairly easy to setup and works on one of the most widely used CMS platforms, Wordpress. For website owners who want to incorporate Ecommerce functionality into their websites, it's easy to install the plugin and use it and set up is not too challenging.
- Disadvantage It only works on Wordpress as a plugin. If you're using another CMS overall, you can't use WooCommerce.
- USP Easy plugin integration for the most widely used content management system in the world. Low barrier to entry.
Shopify is a hosted ecommerce platform, which in the most basic sense means that you rent your store and it's hosted by the company, Shopify, that provides the service.
Dependent on the complexity of the store front, it's also a relatively easy way to get an ecommerce presence up quickly. Costs can vary but for many small business owners it can be a relatively inexpensive and accessible option to get a store online quickly.
- Advantage Very easy set up process, quick templates and you could have a store in a short amount of time.
- Disadvantage A major disadvantage is that you really don't own your store, as this is a hosted platform. Other disadvantages are that the template options are not too extensive, and also at any point in time, for any reason, Shopify at their discretion could decide to remove your store. So there's a big trade off in ownership of your storefront when you go with this option.
- USP Easy set up for people who don't want to bother about setting up their own servers and installing their own ecommerce system
- Big commerce
Big commerce is another hosted ecommerce platform where you're provided builders and tools to get your store up quickly, and your store is hosted for you. They do focus more on the higher end, big business market, so it might not be the most cost effective option for smaller businesses.
- Advantage Robust set of tools and infrastructure to build a world class ecommerce store that provides multi-channel integration across social media and more.
- Disadvantage Higher price point, not the easiest tool sets to use, and also like with shopify you don't own your storefront. You only rent space, and ultimately control rests with the platform provider.
- USP Robust enterprise hosted ecommerce platform for big business that want to do even bigger business
NopCommerce is an open source ecommerce platform. It comes with a robust set of features and. However, it is built solely for the Windows Hosting Environment and based on Microsoft technologies. So it's ideal for hosting environments that run on ASP.NET.
- Advantage A dedicated Ecommerce solution for Windows hosted environments.
- Disadvantage Works only on Windows hosted environments.
- USP Open source ecommerce system for Microsoft hosting server environments
Magento is full fledge Content management system built primarily for eCommerce. It's provided by adobe and comes with two flavours of products. One an open source (free) version and an enterprise (paid) version
Both have very robust toolsets and for all intents and purposes are identical. The difference largely lies in the fact that with the paid route, you get professional support from the makers.
- Advantage Being a system that was built from the ground up for ecommerce, it comes with a lot of advanced tools and functionality to handle every aspect of your ecommerce store out of the box. Also, being open source software you can install it on your own servers and use as you wish.
- Disadvantage It is a very sophisticated product and there's quite a learning curve to get the most use out of it.
- USP Robust enterprise-grade open source ecommerce software system that you can own, manage and use as you wish.
Guillem Hernandez Key Account manager of CRISP Studio says,
After working with many clients across various business categories; I can't stress enough on the flexibility of 'Integrations and Plugins' for an eCommerce platform. This is really a deal-breaker or a deal-maker.
For running a flawless business, you'll need several integrations including accounting, rewards system, an integrated email marketing system, and so-on. Hence your chosen eCommerce platform should have the flexibility to support these plug-ins/integrations when the need arises.
This takes me to the second part of your query. I am a big Shopify fan, as it has the most flawless and hassle-free integration system. You got plugins for almost every business need, that are not only easy to set up but there are enough Shopify experts in the market to help along the way.
Shopify app store has thousands of plugins that can literally be termed as Shopify's treasure trove. You can add reviews, loyalty programs, customer wish lists, get in-depth analytics, print labels and packing slips, integrate with accounting software, shipping programs, and social media sites. The last one gives you the power to extend your sales efforts to social media channels with some easy steps."
Your eCommerce store should support plugins and integrations, and Shopify offers the best flexibility in this arena.