A recent study by Mintel revealed that almost 70% of adults in the United States shop online at least once a month, with 33% of them shopping online once a week. Therefore, if you want to open an online store, this is the right moment. However, the first few decisions the owner makes are crucial: what to name the business, where to host it, and perhaps, the most difficult decision – what eCommerce platform to use.
The platform market is huge; there are literally hundreds and hundreds of options available out there. The technology is advancing quickly, the competition is growing and customers have higher expectations. Choosing an online platform for the first time, you are bound to encounter some difficulties, so here are some of the factors you need think about first.
Features and Pricing
No matter the budget you are working with, you have to examine what features different price ranges include. For example, some platforms offer discount codes at a certain price, while others do not.
Digital or Physical
What type of goods are you selling? It makes all the difference when you start thinking about stock, shipping costs, etc. Therefore, you must pick a platform what will satisfy your product’s needs.
Page Loading Time
Slow-loading pages will definitely weaken you sales. Many studies confirm this claim, for instance, Fast Company reports that one second of load time would cost Amazon over $1.5 billion in sales.
Your platform cannot work alone – if you really want to get your business going, you will have to integrate with other business solutions.
Now that you know what you are looking for, it is time to pick a couple of platforms and start experimenting with them until something clicks and you find the one that suits your unique needs. Now let us take a look at four distinctive platforms that may help you narrow down you choice.
Shopify – Selling physical goods with ease
With over 100.000 online customers worldwide, Shopify is one of the most popular platforms on the market. If you want to start selling clothes or furniture online, this would be a great solution for you. It offers a wide range of themes and also has POS physical retailers.
WooCommerce – Completely free and customizable
WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin, ideal for SMBs and medium online stores. There are several themes you could choose, but if you are familiar with WordPress, you can even design your own custom templates. In addition, it has a secure payment gateway and a great shopping cart.
Magento – Results Oriented Expertise
Magento is a platform built for results. This nifty platform is oriented on engagement, customer involvement and overall on conversions. This solution will provide you with a custom tailored solution for your shopping cart, designed for winning prospects over. Experts for Magento MindArc, recommend it as one of the best platforms.
Yo!Kart – A solution for startups
A relatively new platform, Yo!Kart is designed with early stage startups in mind. It allows you to launch your store under a hosted plan, but gives you the option of switching to a self-hosted plan after a year. The setup does not require a lot of technical knowledge and the interface is pretty intuitive.
Each platform we presented here is built to satisfy only certain business needs and goals, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. However, if you are realistic about your storefront needs, one of these four can be the right one for you. Selecting the right eCommerce platform boils down to outlining your vision and predicting how your needs may change in the next couple of years as your business continues to grow.
This blog is listed under E-Commerce Community