Have you been thinking of making the most of eCommerce for your business? Hold on! Don’t rush into it. While eCommerce is great for business, you need to choose the right eCommerce platform. It has to be intuitive, user-friendly, and cater to your needs. This will make it hassle-free for your team too.
Choosing the right e-commerce platform = ease of use = a productive team = a well-thought-out customer experience = repeating business.
Your customer, who may be shopping in their pajamas, wants this to be a seamless experience. If it’s difficult, wouldn’t they rather just go to a store? To create this experience, you need the right eCommerce platform to back you. Be a smart entrepreneur and make this decision wisely.
We’ll help you with a list of the top 10 eCommerce platforms, so you don’t have to spend hours on Google (or even go to the mysterious second page!) to understand each one. Yeah, we’re the wing people you need. Phew.
What are eCommerce Platforms?
We’ll not give you the usual definition because you can Google that! Duh!
eCommerce platforms are like virtual storefronts for your business, except they’re open 24/7, don’t require a team of mannequins, and won’t give you weird looks if you start talking to them.
They’re what every business needs in a world where almost everything is online. Whether you’re selling handicrafts or cool gadgets that Gen Z will not stop talking about, they’re a must. They are to your business what Alfred was to Batman.
There are different types of eCommerce, which include:
- Business-to-consumer (B2C)
- Business-to-business (B2B)
- Consumer-to-consumer (C2C)
- Consumer-to-business (C2B)
- Business-to-government (B2G)
- Consumer-to-government (C2G)
- Mobile commerce (M-commerce)
- Social commerce
Why Should You Go for eCommerce?
Hopping on the eCommerce bandwagon is a no-brainer. You’re online 24×7, everything is automated, you can sell globally without leaving your couch, and above all, you can make more money! Let’s talk numbers.
- Consumers are doing more than 50% of their shopping online.
- 79% of shoppers shop online at least once a month.
- The US eCommerce market is expected to reach $1.1 trillion in sales in 2023.
- North America is the second-largest retail eCommerce market, only second to Asia-Pacific.
How e-Commerce Platforms Can Create Brand Awareness?
An e-commerce platform can be a valuable tool for creating brand awareness. By optimizing your platform for search engines, integrating with social media, partnering with influencers, creating engaging content, and using email marketing, you can establish your brand as a trusted authority in your industry and increase your visibility among your target audience. You can also make a promotional video and promote your store online. By combining these tactics, you can create a powerful e-commerce platform that helps you in promoting brand recognition and drives sales over the long term.
How to Choose the Right eCommerce Platform For You?
Doing a comparative analysis of the eCommerce platforms you’re interested in will help you make an informed decision. Else, these are the main features you can look for while making a choice:
- Define your organization’s demands and objectives. What do you need? How much customization is required?
- Study the customization and usability choices. When you scale, this will become important
- Consider your company’s size and scope. eCommerce platforms that are ideal for small businesses may be free or cheaper
- Analyze the capabilities and characteristics of the platform–are the features dated or latest? What can it do?
- Evaluate the compliance and security measures for the platform
- Verify the accessibility and quickness of customer support, aim for 24×7 support
- Learn in detail about the platform’s pricing model and related expenses; try out the free version first
- Check for resources and applications that can be integrated
- Check out the platform’s ratings and reviews from users; that’s where you’ll find the real stuff
- Think about the platform’s adaptability and scalability for the future expansion of your business
- Check what SEO tools it offers because SEO rules when it comes to discoverability and website performance.
Quick eCommerce joke break:
“Whenever I joke about online shopping,
I always make sure it’s guaranteed delivery.”
The Top 10 eCommerce Platforms and Their Pros and Cons
Popular, reliable, and user-friendly, Shopify is the go-to eCommerce platform for entrepreneurs who want to build an online store without a lot of hassle.
- It has an easy-to-use interface, even for the ones who have no tech knowledge
- It has a robust app store that comes in handy for most businesses
- Above all, it has 24/7 support with prompt responses
- The high transaction fees might put some business owners off
- It doesn’t have that many customization options
This one has been raved about for its simplicity. It’s essentially a WordPress plugin that turns any website into an online store in no time.
- It’s free to use
- It’s highly customizable (a big win!)
- It integrates with popular payment gateways, which is a big relief
- Using it requires some technical know-how
- Since it’s a plugin and heavy, it could slow down your website
This feature-rich eCommerce platform has been around for a while. It’s ideal for large businesses or businesses that are hoping to scale quickly.
- Easily scalable, should your business grow faster than you anticipated
- Highly customizable, which is a big pro
- It can support more than one storefront, which makes it easy to manage
- It’s difficult to learn and requires a lot of training
- It has a high investment cost
A 21st-century eCommerce platform that’s cloud-based and built for fast-growing entrepreneurial ventures.
- User-friendly interface, good for everyone
- Quick resolution through great customer support
- Zero transaction fees
- Limited customization options
- High pricing for large businesses might not make it a practical choice.
Squarespace is fundamentally a website builder but comes with an in-built eCommerce functionality.
- It has easy-to-use built-in templates that are attractively designed
- It has a user-friendly interface
- It’s known for its customer support.
- The high transaction fees might leave a dent in your pocket
- The eCommerce features are limited, which might be good for a start but might pose a challenge later
A famous website builder that comes with an eCommerce functionality, making it great for small businesses.
- The interface is easy to use, and your entire team can learn quickly
- The pricing is affordable
- It has eye-grabbing templates, which might be just what your eCommerce store needs
- Limited customization options
- The transaction fees are high compared to a few other eCommerce platforms
Shopaccino is an alternative e-commerce platform that provides unique features, such as social selling and integrated chat support, which are suitable for small businesses.
- It gives you access to various themes and templates.
- It allows you to sell their products across multiple channels, such as social media platforms, marketplaces, and websites.
- It offers flexible pricing plans with no transaction fees.
- Limited third-party integration (if future updates don’t roll out)
- Limited marketing features compared to other e-commerce platforms.
AbanteCart is an open-source eCommerce platform based on PHP ideal for micro, small, and medium-sized businesses.
- It has a simple and intuitive interface that makes it easy to set up and use, even for those without technical skills.
- It offers a range of customization options, including various themes and templates that can be modified to fit the specific needs of the business.
- AbanteCart is available in multiple languages, making it accessible to a wider audience.
- It offers various features that can help businesses optimize their online stores for search engines, such as URL structure, meta tags, and sitemap.
- It offers limited third-party integration compared to other e-commerce platforms.
- AbanteCart has limited payment gateway support, which may limit the payment options available to customers.
Formerly known as 3D Cart, it has a free end-to-end plan for businesses based in the United States.
- Excellent SEO that makes discoverability easy
- It’s robust and free (for most)
- It has SEO, domain name registration, and sales tracking among its rich features
- It might not be the best option if you have heavy traffic on your online store
- The interface may be confusing for many
- The customer support is sub-par
A simple website builder for businesses who don’t want a lot of frills and want to get started immediately.
- It has an easy drag-and-drop website builder
- It also has a logo maker
- It offers a host of AI tools for eCommerce
- You have the option to choose the free version to begin with
- The free version has limited functionality.
- The customization options are also not that many.
Quick eCommerce joke break:
“I told my grandpa that Amazon is the best place for shopping.
He just called me from Brazil.”
The Departing Kick
We’ll tell you the story of Denise Woodard.
Denise started her own packaged goods company after she couldn’t find healthy snacks for her daughter, who had various food allergies. After she founded her company, she was rejected by 86 investors!
Once she secured investment, she built a Shopify store, and that’s when her business took off. For her, it was about choosing the right eCommerce platform tailored to her needs. And that had made all the difference.
We hope the top 10 eCommerce platforms featured in this article help you find the right fit for your business and make you soar. We also hope we helped you chuckle a bit here and there because you also need to have fun while doing business!
PJ has a background in management consulting and software development. At DesignBro, he combines both. Personal favorite brand of PJ is Jeep.