Ecommerce Platforms – Compared
It’s no secret that most everything has moved to digital. We do most of our communication with email and mobile device messaging. When we are bored, we turn to social media apps like Instagram and TikTok. Even our grocery shopping is transitioning to online orders and curbside pickups.
Whether you are on the side of the individuals who think our reliance on technology is great or the side who think it will be our downfall, you have to admit that starting an electronic commercial business (eCommerce) might be a good idea.
However, as with any new business, there are several different business models you can choose to follow. Among those models, there are also several eCommerce platforms that you will need to choose from. Knowing which platform best suits your business is crucial if you wish to cash in on this digital era.
This article will highlight a few of the most notable eCommerce platforms available to you today in hopes of helping your decision become more manageable. These eCommerce platforms will be compared by how easy they are to use, their features, and their price. Any other notable highlights or issues will be listed, as well.
What Is an eCommerce Platform?
An eCommerce platform is the CMS (content management system) and the commerce engine websites your business will use to manage its cataloged products. You will also use them to register purchases and manage your relationship with online retailers. In short, an eCommerce platform will allow you to meet your customers in the right place to increase your business’s success. Some of the top eCommerce Platforms of 2022 include:
Ease of use is by far this platform’s biggest strength. While most other platforms are of the variety in which you must download and install software, BigCommerce has a simple start-up process of registering for the services online. All you need is the usual email, username, and password. Then you are ready to start reaping the benefits of this platform. Once you are in, all the tools you will need will be easily accessible in the dashboard.
Designs available and features are truly this platform’s weaknesses. Users can choose from a few nicely designed themes for free. However, if you decide to go with a more elegant or fancy design, you might spend $100+. As it lacks a few features like one-click selling, BigCommerce still delivers a solid product for both large retail brands and smaller companies looking to expand.
BigCommerce has a relatively high-cost range as compared to the others. Subscriptions will cost you from $29.95 to $249.95 per month. There is even an enterprise-level plan for $900+ per month.
The biggest strength, even more so than BigCommerce, is the ease of use. Like BigCommerce, Shopify is not a separate software you must download and install. You will only need an email, password, and the name of your store to sign-up. Then you will be guided through the rest of the process with simple questions to let the platform know exactly what your business is and where you are.
The dashboard is more user-friendly than BigCommerce and offers a unique way to list your store. This platform allows you to add more stores as you grow onto the same dashboard. Most entrepreneurs see this as a significant feature if they are trying to expand to multiple stores or product lines.
Where BigCommerce lacks the one-click feature, Shopify provides. While this is a dream come true for most companies, the lack of free themes might outweigh that. Shopify also offers a POS (point of sale) feature that lets your physical storefront accept payments from the mobile app. With only about ten free themes, you will look to pay anywhere from $100 to $180 if you want something different. That is a hefty price tag for a theme. However, it might be worth it if you are trying to outshine your competitors.
Shopify offers a limited, bare-bones package for only $9.99 per month. However, depending on your business, you could pay anywhere from $29 to $299 per month.
While Shopify doesn’t have many weaknesses, its SEO (search engine optimization) is its most significant disadvantage. This is potentially a big flaw because SEO generates your traffic from sites like Google, Bing, or Yahoo. They also will charge fees if you are not using their Shopify Payment method.
The greatest thing about WooCommerce is that it is just a WordPress plugin. It is super simple to launch and use if you currently use a WordPress website. This is software, which means downloading and installing are a necessity. The dashboard and usage are not as straightforward as Shopify.
Most of your eCommerce tools tend to get lost among the tools of WordPress. If you are familiar with WordPress, you should not have any problem finding the new tools among the old. If not, then after working through the platform a few times, you should become familiar with it and find it just as easy to use as any other platform.
WooCommerce offers features such as one-click selling and many other add-on features that work with WordPress. However, you will need to download and possibly buy many extensions to do what you need to do.
The only downfall that could be mentioned, if you think it is a downfall, in WooCommerce is that it must be paired with a WordPress site. If you are not already a WordPress user, you must get a WordPress website setup which could take some time to learn. The good news is that many online tutorials and WordPress experts on the world-wide-web can simplify this task.
WooCommerce is free software with only a yearly subscription cost of $100. There are also no fees incurred from transactions. The only downside is that your annual cost will grow with the extensions and add-ons you will almost definitely have to purchase.
Wix eCommerce has come a long way in the realm of electronic commerce platforms. It has become effortless to set up software that can compete with others. However, Wix will take some time for you to get to know the functions. Once you work with it and adjust to its functions, you will find no problem navigating and operating with this platform.
Wix eCommerce also comes with many great free designs to choose from when setting up your site. Free is always a good word to use when comparing different products. With 72 free themes, Wix offers multiple channel integration, abandoned cart recovery, and print-on-demand capabilities.
Wix eCommerce costs will range from $204 to $420 per year.
There you have it! Those are 4 of the best eCommerce platforms available to you today. Is your company already operating with WordPress, or are you looking to start from scratch? Every company will have different starting points and needs. While each platform reviewed has its upsides and downfalls, it is up to you to decide which one would benefit your company the most.
Need Help Getting Started?
Maennche Virtual CMO has the experience and resources to help you quickly start your own eCommerce website. These dedicated shopping portals are always open, even when your brick-and-mortar store isn’t. Our team can help create an eCommerce website design or integrate eCommerce functionality into your existing website to drive conversions and get your products in front of your target audiences online.
With over two decades of in-the-trenches marketing experience, Matthew Maennche’s views on developing and supporting a successful business are fundamentally different from the norm. As a developer and strategist, Maennche has helped thousands of businesses of all sizes, both domestic and international, take their organizations to the next level.
Matthew also spends time giving back to the local business community as a volunteer, mentor, and leader for the local chapter of SCORE.