Standing out from the plethora of competitors in the online retail industry is no easy walk in the park. First and foremost, you are met with several eCommerce platforms to choose from. This isn’t as easy as one would think – since there are many factors involved – from understanding your own business requirements and then choosing the solution that best reflects those goals.
The foundation on which your eCommerce website will stand is a crucial phase that every software development company pays special attention to and ensures the best possible solution for your business and for your customers. If we could list down some of the top contenders, then they are:
Contrary to the famous misconception of Shopify being the dominating eCommerce platform – it actually isn’t true. According to statistics served by BuiltWith after covering one million websites and the platforms they are built upon in 2018, it is actually WooCommerce that takes the lead. Here’s a graphical representation of the statistics gathered.
From a business point of view
If we go into the market share details to get a close look at the platforms and their performance within the market – then the numbers speak for themselves.
According to the data gathered from digitalinformationworld, WooCommerce sits at 29.1% and has the highest market share by domain. Similarly, Squareshare is placed on the second spot with 18.5% and Shopify coming at third with 181,371 market share. These first three spots allow you to make a better decision for your online store. However, just because they are the widely used and preferred platforms, does not mean that you should just choose one of the three without considering what they offer in-depth.
Before we start speaking on the top 6 eCommerce platforms for you to have a better understanding of your best options out there for your business – Let’s go through the basics to solidify your understanding of what exactly is an eCommerce platform and its benefits?
What is an eCommerce platform?
In simpler terms, an eCommerce platform is a dedicated software package that enables businesses to build, run, and manage their online store with complete ease. Moreover, these eCommerce platforms apart from online store management, also allow marketing, sales, and other operational efforts to be handled from their software solution.
What are the benefits of an eCommerce Platform?
There are a plethora of benefits that do not come at a cheap price, but they are worth it as they provide user-friendly options to easily manage your entire online store including all web pages with as simple as drag and drop options.
If we could jot down some of the benefits for you to have insight; then they are as follows:
- Easy creation of e-shop interfaces
- High website performance
- Advanced security measures
- Low operational cost
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Customer support and services
Let’s Begin Shall We?
Right off the bat, you should know that WooCommerce is an open-source eCommerce platform and a dedicated WordPress plugin. Apart from this, it also holds the title for being the best solution out there in terms of usability and a whopping 29.1% market share compared to all eCommerce solution with Shopify taking the third spot.
This particular software solution is scalable with the growth of the business, making it the most desirable and sorted eCommerce software solution out there. So much so, that majority of the clients that are looking for online store development services actually settle for WooCommerce development.
A great WooCommerce development plan allows users to create robust eCommerce business at a low cost and budget.
Let’s look at the many features it provides an average user equipping every non-tech savvy individual (or a group) to handle their online store like a pro.
- Extensive range of additional themes
- Easy splitting of products into categories
- Buy button is customizable
- You get to customize your store according to your location
- Product ratings and reviews
- Easily embed products on the website’s pages through easy shortcodes
- Order and Customer information management
On the selling front, WooCommerce makes it easy for you to handle the marketing side of things with supportive features like:
- Add affiliate products directly on to your store
- A wide range of shipping options including ‘free shipping’
- Unlimited product variations
- Tax options
Zooming in on the advantages of WooCommerce to give you the final call on what it has to offer you –we come down to the following:
Advantages of WooCommerce
- Free of Cost: Following a freemium model, WooCommerce is free software and is cost-effective even when you have to pay for additional features.
- Flexible: With plenty of themes, the ability to add infinite product lists, and provide multiple payment options among other things makes it one of the most flexible eCommerce platforms available.
- Professional and organized: WooCommerce is a tool that provides well-organized tools and functionalities that instills a sense of professionalism and trust within the users.
- A plethora of customization options: As mentioned in the second advantage – ‘flexible’- WooCommerce has a huge collection of themes that enable anyone to customize their store according to the changing business demand and scale. You can even hire professional UI/UX designers for this job to give a professional yet unique look to your online store.
- Secure and robust: Since with shopping carts and an online store with data comes security issues; WooCommerce addresses them by providing a secure online transaction gateway through constant updation and maintenance.
- WooCommerce SEO: Search engine optimization is an integral section of any eCommerce store and with WordPress’s plugins, WooCommerce SEO has become a piece of cake! With built-in functionalities for SEO, a store can easily fulfill their SEO needs.
- Large and active community: WooCommerce has a large community that supports the platform and provides assistance to others through meetups, hackathons, and much more.
- Mobile responsive and friendly.
Now that you are clear on what WooCommerce brings to the table, let’s move on to the globally known eCommerce giant platform – Spotify.
As we mentioned above, that usually Shopify is perceived as the reigning platform within the eCommerce realm. It isn’t too far from the truth, as Shopify secures the 3rd spot in the market shares and continually observes tremendous growth over the years.
With an easy drag and drop website builder provided by Shopify and a huge range of pre-made themes available among many other features makes it one of the best choices for anyone looking to set their business online.
So, let’s dive into the many functionalities Shopify provides (Store and Product management in particular):
- Advanced inventory tracking
- Organization of products with filters
- Product variations that include colors, various sizes, and much more
- Product-specific meta tags
- Mobile commerce ready
- Complete blogging platform
- Abandoned checkout recovery
- Nearly 100 payment gateways
- Free shipping offers
- Guest checkout option
- Easy drop shipping business setup
- Social media integration
And much much more. Read all about the offerings here.
Advantages of Shopify
- Visually attractive and professional online store creation: With professional templates at your disposal, you can create visually attractive and unique stores online.
- Easy setup: Shopify doesn’t have a complicated setup and every non-techie individual can set this eCommerce platform with ease. The admin interface is user-friendly and easy to understand as well.
- Security and reliability: When dealing with online stores, security is one of the biggest concerns and Shopify ensures maximum reliability in this area.
- Integrated marketing tools: Shopify is a complete eCommerce software solution that enables online store creation, its management, and its marketing as well through effective marketing tools like custom gift cards, discount coupons, email marketing, and much more.
- SEO support.
- Mobile responsiveness.
Magento is an established open-source eCommerce platform that is a perfect choice for entrepreneurs looking to set up their online shop. Magento is definitely not for beginners and requires outsourcing of your store’s development to a reliable software development company.
This specific platform offers two options for you to choose from.
- Magento Open-source: Magento Open Source is the free version that can be downloaded, customized, and even self-hosted. It was formerly called Magento Community. It is excellent for all small-scale businesses. Moreover, Open Source Magento comes with a vast range of extensions and themes supported by its large community
- Magento Commerce: The former two versions Magento Enterprise and Magento Enterprise Cloud have been combined, giving us Magento Commerce. It is a premium version that comes with a yearly subscription fee; which includes cloud-hosting. Additional features and perks that come with the paid version involve advanced marketing features, customer reward programs, and 24/7 technical support.
Now coming towards a few among many features Magento brings to you, includes:
- Drag and drop functionality for page and product page builder
- Customer segmentation and personalization
- Instant purchases
And many more.
Advantages of Magento
- Feature-packed platform: Magento has much to offer that will satisfy the most demanding of requirements.
- Customizable design and functionality: However, do note that you require technical knowledge in order to make the changes you need.
- Flexible Content Management: Magento 2 provides some great advantages, that include intuitive content management.
- Faster Loading: Again, Magento 2 improves the speed of your website by a large margin. Considering loading time is a crucial aspect in determining the success or failure of a website. Google indicated that 50% of users abandon sites that take longer than 3 seconds to load.
- Advanced Reporting: One of the integral components that are required to keep the eCommerce store running is having the right reports. These reports give insight into orders, customers, and products. These insights, data, and metrics help you take your business forward through smart decisions.
That’s a Wrap!
Although there are other eCommerce platforms for you to look into, we decided to stick with the top three that we think can truly help your e-store get started. If you are struggling to make the best decision for your online business venture, then our experts at KoderLabs can help you set your vision in the right direction – one that is in line with your long-term goals.