How to Choose the Right Ecommerce Platform for Your Business?

There are mainly three types of e-commerce solutions in the market.

  • Open Source (Free content management system)
  • SaaS (Software as a service)
  • CaaS (Commerce as a service)

SaaS and Open-source based solutions are popular among businesses. CaaS is a growing trend regarding them. It is too a cloud-based solution like SaaS.

 

To choose the right e-commerce platform we need to consider following points:

  1. Supported systems and integration- website, blog, social media, shipping provider, etc. Does your desired eCommerce solution accommodate social media marketing such as Instagram, Facebook and does it integrate with your CRM?
  2. Payment methods and payment gateway- preferred methods, such as Visa, Mastercard or PayPal? Does the payment gateway or method, for example, Stripe or ApplePay, suit your needs as a business, and make it easy for you to access your hard-earned income?
  3. Checkout methods and security- Is it easy and safe and secure
  4. Timing. How long will it take for your business to be operational by adopting the eCommerce platform of your choice? If it is a time-sensitive deadline you are facing, such as merchandise or tickets for a specific event, can your store be online and trading successfully in time?
  5. Mobile-friendly. An absolute must! Mobile shopping, browsing, purchasing, research and decision making is always within our reach, right in our pockets. Does your eCommerce platform support the mobile experience 100%? If not, it’s not for you!
  6. Technical support. Despite the ease with which eCommerce solutions can be deployed, there is often a hitch, a glitch or a 2 am gremlin in any system, when you need an expert, like, now! What are your options in this situation? Is there 24-hour support, or support in specific time zones only? Is there telephonic support, and is it included in the package you are looking at purchasing?
  7. Search engine optimization (SEO) friendly
  1. The bigger picture and the future. Consider where you are now, and where you would like to be in the future, and whether your chosen platform can accommodate both of you! You might be looking at a small, experimental set up right now, on a shoestring budget, that could be a very different scenario in a year or two. Will it be possible to stay with the same solution provider with your projected growth?

 

9.   ON THE TYPE OF BUSINESS:

  • B2B or B2C,
  • type of scale -small, mid-market or enterprise
  • niche product/ services or mass marketing

Below is the survey and market share according to the type of business.

Ecommerce Platforms Survey and Market Share

Ecommerce Platforms Survey and Market Share 2

Ecommerce Platforms Survey and Market Share 3

Ecommerce Platforms Survey and Market Share 4

Ecommerce Platforms Survey and Market Share 5

 

Let us cover few platforms with basic features, pros-cons, pricing and the verdict.

The 7 Best Ecommerce Platforms of 2021

  • Shopify: Best Overall
  • BigCommerce: Runner-Up, Best Overall
  • Volusion: Best Budget Solution
  • Wix: Best User-Experience
  • Weebly: Best Free Platform
  • Squarespace: Best for Creatives
  • WooCommerce: Best for WordPress Sites

Source: https://www.thebalancesmb.com/

The 7 Best Ecommerce Platforms of 2021 by Google Trends

Source: Google Trends

 

Let us know more about major platforms:

Shopify 

Shopify Logo

Founded– 20

04 Type– SAS Users

Citizen, Tesla, Motorola, Adidas and L’Oréal are just some of the globally recognized brands that are currently using Shopify Plus as their dedicated B2B business solution. Shopify is also well known as one of leading eCommerce B2C platforms, powering almost a million online shops. This proven track record is hard to argue with.

Shopify is a good choice for small and medium-sized businesses. One of the most important things to remember is that Shopify is not an open-source platform and it’s written in its own language known as “Liquid”. So, customization will not be an easy option.

It is the best platform for selling purpose. If you plan to be iceberg in the region and simultaneously rely on social platform like Facebook ads or Instagram – then this is the best choice. But, if you are going to use SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Shopify is not the choice.Even, this is not the right choice if you want to develop a big online store with numerous products. Woocommerce or Big Commerce are the reliable and makes the ideal choice for your project.

Taking the comparison, Shopify is little better such as post-purchase 1-click upsells. But as a matter of fact, WordPress is an affiliated revenue model in addition to products comparing to Shopify. While Shopify is easy to build with available drag and drop option, it makes the right choice for beginners.

Shopify, unlike Magento, is a monthly subscription service also known as Saas (software as a service). Hosting is also done on Shopify’s own servers.

 

Compatibility: Inventory/Supply (Y), SEO (N), CRM (Y), Marketing (Y), Emails (Y)

ADVANTAGES

  • clean and easy to use interface
  • Good Integration, Good Customer Support, Fast Interface
  • Unparalleled fast loading time
  • Quite easy to set up
  • Numerous certified partners to help you
  • 1-Click selling
  • Allows multiple channel and social selling
  • Impeccable themes with varied designs

DISADVANTAGES

  • Ranked poorly in SEO in numerical
  • Not good with customizing the checkout process
  • Apps eventually multiply and become costly
  • Require a developer for advanced features
  • Pricey, Lack of Customization

Features

  • Insert product images, descriptions / details
  • Manage your inventory
  • Organize your products into categories
  • Discount code engine
  • Creating web pages and blogs
  • Track customer and order details
  • Accept payments from 70 different payment processors in different currencies
  • Set up customer accounts
  • Sort your customers by location, money spent
  • Manage multiple staff login
  • Unlimited product listings
  • Custom domains
  • Real-time sales statistics
  • Inventory tracking
  • AI/Personalization
  • Over 70 themes/templates available

Price:

  • ‘Shopify Lite’ – $9 per month
  • ‘Basic Shopify’ – $29 per month
  • ‘Shopify’ – $79 per month
  • ‘Advanced Shopify’ – $299 per month
  • ‘Shopify Plus’ – fees are negotiable
  • Also, charges up to 2% on each transaction if Shopify’s own payment system is not used

 

Magento

Magento logo

Founded– 2008

Type – CMS, written in PHP, Open Source

Company – Burger King, Huawei & Liverpool F.C

 

Magento offers  an easy-to-install  and  low  maintenance  product  with  good  customer  support.  However,  it does lack a few features on the integration side and can also prove to be too costly for small businesses. is considered one of the most reliable and best eCommerce platforms for online businesses. Magento is best for scalability and performance which is why it holds almost one-fourth of the e-commerce market share.

Magento’s backend is developed using advanced programming, it is solely PHP but high level. Hence it needs certified Magento developers to work on else it could gush down your time, efforts, and resource. Coding is  an integral part of the package. So, if you have a reliable app developer in Dubai or the budget for one – and want something truly customizable and powerful – Magento is an unskippable choice. You can do and undo till you get the feature-rich online store you want. This platform is considered the best e-commerce platform for enterprise-level online stores.

 

Compatibility: Inventory/Supply (Y), SEO (Y), CRM (N), Marketing (N), Emails (N)

 

ADVANTAGES

  • Robust and feature-rich
  • Strong SEO
  • 1-Click selling
  • Lots of users and community
  • Scalable and highly customizable
  • Tangible in choosing where you want to host the software
  • Friendly User Interface, Good Customer Support

 

DISADVANTAGES

  • Expensive
  • Easily Slowed Down
  • Requires Development Skills
  • Virtually no
  • Needs ample space and memory to perform well
  • On the Expensive Side, Limited Integration Capabilities

 

Features:

  • Open-source so very easy to customize
  • Over 9000+ extensions available for all sort of functionalities
  • Easy to use and manage
  • Huge online community
  • Free community version

 

Price:

  • Hosting: Depends on the package
  • Name Domain: $10
  • Magento Community Edition: Free
  • Magento Development: ~$35-$150 per hour
  • Magento Enterprise: $15,500 Per Year
  • SSL Certificate: $50 per year

 

BigCommerce

BigCommerce Logo

BigCommerce is a popular eCommerce store builder for B2B purposes, providing you with a comprehensive set of eCommerce tools out-of-the-box. You can access your audience and integrate this platform with most of the solutions required to set up a comprehensive and effective B2B eCommerce ecosystem.

The  companies using  Bigcommerce are  most  often   found   in   United   States   and   in   the   Retail  industry. Bigcommerce is most often used by companies with 10-50 employees and 1M-10M dollars in revenue.

 

Compatibility: Inventory/Supply (Y), SEO (N), CRM (Y), Marketing (Y), Emails (N)

Pros:

  • Comprehensive Solution with Solid Functionality,
  • Bigcommerce works on the same principle as Shopify but the difference is between the tools and themes both of them provide
  • Bigcommerce does not charge any fee for use of any payment

Cons:

  • Advanced Features Can Be Costly
  • Iffy Support

 

Features:

  • The ability to sell a wide range of either physical or digital goods, in categories of using shipping rates of your choosing
  • Easy Integration with Paypal and a wide range of payment gateways
  • Full content management (CMS) functionality
  • Good search engine optimization (SEO) options
  • Integration with com
  • Automated reminder emails to people who abandoned their carts at checkout
  • Discount coupons and gift vouchers as standard
  • Product review functionality
  • The ability to tweak CSS and HTML as desired
  • Professional level reporting

Price:

  • BigCommerce Standard: $29.95 per month
  • BigCommerce Plus: $79.95 per month
  • BigCommerce Pro: $249.95 per month
  • BigCommerce Enterprise: Varying Prices

 

WooCommerce

WooCommerce Logo

Wooommerce is one of the best choices for an e-commerce store and CMS (Content Management System) in the entire region and especially in the UAE. So, if you are a WordPress user or ever had used a WordPress, probably chances are you have heard about Woo-commerce while the necessary plugins are free, you need to opt for the premium version if you want to add features and extensions. Even, if you want to add further customization, you can add paid extensions for other added features. It is considered as a user-friendly platform and has a secure communication ready to help or simultaneously respond to queries.

ADVANTAGES

  • Modern and simple User
  • Clean and unforgetable experience for an e-commerce store
  • WordPress Content Management System- integrated with the worlds best
  • Built-in reliable payment
  • Total control and easy to tweak the checkout
  • Geographic location
  • Automatic Taxes are available along with user-defined tax
  • Exclusive localization
  • Entirely free and
  • One of the best lively community out
  • Built for WordPress
  • Numerous themes which can be
  • Flexibility- fits in any kind of online shop, regardless of the product
  • Security is up-to-date with optimal
  • Thousands of plugins

 

DISADVANTAGES

Specific extensions of WooCommerce Extensions require a punctual payment or even monthly fees.

Plugins also come along a cost, and if you don’t know much about what plugin you are using, it may hamper the performance.

Themes need to be purchased extra.

 

Features

  • Sell physical products, digital products, software, even affiliated products from a marketplace
  • Multiple payment gateways
  • Flexible shipping settings including free shipping
  • Tax handling on sales, and automatic tax calculations
  • Multiple product categories
  • Stock levels control
  • Geo-location support
  • Hundreds of free and paid WooCommerce extensions

WooCommerce is available free of cost and it is also open-source. You need to have a WordPress site already set up to use WooCoommerce. WooCommerce is suitable for small to medium-size businesses, but if you are looking for an enterprise-level solution this might not be a good choice. One thing to keep in mind is that WooCommerce is not out of the box solution that you can set up in one day like Shopify. WooCommerce solution can take considerable time to launch.

 

Price:

WooCommerce is free plugin.

  • Hosting for WordPress site: $10 to $15 per year
  • Name Domain: $10
  • E-commerce Theme: ~$60 (Free available)
  • SSL Certificate: $50 per year
  • Shipping Extension: ~$80
  • SEO Extension:~ $50

 

OpenCart

OpenCart Logo

OpenCart, already a well known B2C eCommerce platform, is now offering a solution for B2B activities. There is even a free version with upgrades available in the form of extensions and add-ons, which may require some technical knowhow to install. However, this is a small price to pay for such a comprehensive solution.

OpenCart is also best suited for small to medium-sized businesses. It’s out of box solution is very limited and you need to buy an extension for almost every crucial functionality. If you do not need any customization than OpenCart can work for you very nicely but as you want to integrate some specific functionality, the development cost can be a huge hurdle.

 

Compatibility: Inventory/Supply (Y), SEO (Y), CRM (Y), Marketing (Y), Emails (Y)

Pros: Easy to Use, Strong Community, Good for Small Businesses

Cons: Requires Technical Knowhow, Iffy Customer Support

 

Features:

  • Unlimited categories
  • Unlimited products and manufacturers
  • Sell digital products
  • Multi-currency supported
  • Multilingual
  • Product reviews and product ratings
  • More than 20 payment gateways
  • More than 8 shipping methods
  • Multiple tax rates
  • Weight and size shipping calculations
  • Discount coupon system
  • Backup and restore tools
  • Printable invoices
  • Sales reports

 

Price:

  • Hosting for the site: $10 to $15 per year
  • Name Domain: $10
  • E-commerce Theme: ~$50(Free available)
  • SSL Certificate: $50 per year
  • Shipping Extension: ~$100
  • SEO Extension:~ $99
  • Premium Support:~$99 per month

 

CONCLUSION:

With type of business scale and mode of business there are many factors to go for a particular E-commerce platform. Depending on the integrations, usability, support , source.

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