At the centre of online business sits an e-commerce platform. The choice of e-commerce platform is quite critical when it comes to establishing an online store. Everyday business owners are faced with the difficult puzzle of selecting from extensive range of platforms the most viable options for their sites. This brings us to the million dollar question: If you want to start an online store today, which would be the most preferable e-Commerce platform for you?
Different merchants opt for varied e-commerce platforms depending on their personal preferences and business needs. In order to know the platform that best suits you, a closer analysis of the top 5 e-commerce is necessary.
Over the years, this e-commerce platform has risen to be one of the most reliable service providers. You can accomplish most of your objective with the user-friendly interface it presents. Shopify presents its users with incredible selections of add on apps. It has several apps which are easily downloadable and can be added to your store effortlessly. Their extensive ranges of apps are not only awesome, but also user friendly.
Nevertheless, you might want to consider slight oversights before making the ultimate choice. The platform presents a rather small check out page. For those who would want to modify their checkout pages, you might want to reconsider your options. However, this is only for the hosted plans. If you have special attachments to your checkout page, the self-hosted package will suit you.
The price ranges for Shopify are considerable. Their packages start from $29 per month onwards. Higher plans are also affordable so it all depends on your preference.
Volusion bears great resemblance to Shopify. It is a great platform for starters taking into consideration its navigability. You can generate your e-commerce website using a single template file. Volusion boasts of a responsive support team that is always up to date with customers’ issues.
Their charges are considerably low. At the rate of $15 per month, it is almost 50% more affordable than Shopify. However, you might want to consider certain facts before jumping into this cost effective option. Their platform is simple and your actions are limited when it comes to website customizations. Most notably, you might not be able to access certain information regarding the store, cart contents and basic products.
3. 3D Cart
It’s probably one of the oldest ecommerce platforms available. At a glance, you might not like the 3D cart visuals. The user interface features a junky design that might not be appealing to first time users. On closer considerations however, it is easier to realize that this is a suitable platform for beginners.
One awesome aspect is that it offers several tutorials and guides on setting up an e-commerce site. From making template choices to setting up the shipping options, this platform makes it easier for starters to find their way around it. Its drag and drop feature also gives it added advantage over other platforms. With this drag and drop functionality you can easily modify web component without the need for in-depth coding knowledge.
BigCommerce has been in existence since 2003. The team behind its continued success boasts of over 55,000 hosted e-commerce websites as of 2015. For those working out on bigger plans, BigCommerce might be a better choice. For accounts exceeding the $79.95 limit, there are no transaction fees involved. It presents itself as an affordable option for those middle sized or bigger e-commerce websites.
Additionally, it features an array of beautiful designs for customers who would love to customize their websites. They display responsive themes that are popular with many people. You can also exploit multi-channel marketing with BigCommerce. It is worth noting that this e-commerce platform does not feature a wide range of apps like Shopify. It limits you to less than 200 apps as compared to over 900 in Shopify. Additionally, their customer service is not quite reliable. Addressing the customer support issue might make them a better choice.
5. Big Cartel
This e-commerce platform provides a simple user interface for start-ups. All the design elements necessary for the initialization process are arranged on the left side. This guarantees easy access; yet another reason why it might be suitable for amateurs.
One noticeable drawback of Big Cartel is the lack of essential icons like the drag and drop editors. This makes customization of your website tricky or simply difficult. Additionally, the featured tools are less advanced. For you to customize your website with this platform therefore, coding knowledge is necessary. For those who love brilliant e-commerce sites but have limited coding experience, this might not be the best choice of platform for you.
Shopify, Volusion and BigCommerce, 3D Cart and Big Cartel are all popular e-commerce marketing platforms. The slight differences evidently do not make them so different from one another.
Nevertheless, Shopify is preferable taking into consideration their customer support base, easy navigation and wide range of apps. It also offers cost effective packages especially for the advanced plans.
BigCommerce comes next with its design rich-features. It has appealing visuals making it possible to design an attractive website from this platform.
The simple nature of Volusion betrays it, making it less preferable. It therefore comes third: Thanks to its affordable package plans.
At the fourth position sits BigCartel. The platform does not have a variety of features making it a less suitable choice for an interactive e-commerce website. In addition, its design packages are not pocket friendly so it might not be suitable for people looking for a bargain..
Lastly, their 3D cart which despite having a range of customization features is dull. The interface is not user friendly, especially for starters. An upgrade on its interface might give this platform a better reputation.
However, with all that said it is worth noting that the final decision remains yours to make.