Which Platform to Use for Your Online Store?
Business owners interested in expanding their operation and experienced retailers looking to improve their e-commerce infrastructure all face the question, “How to create an online store for my business?”. If there was any doubt that selling online is a must for any business, the Covid-19 pandemic clarified how essential this sales channel is. We’ve recently heard Facebook’s announcement that setting up a Facebook Shop is about to get more accessible than ever. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t invest in building your brand’s e-commerce website.
With dozens of available e-commerce platforms to choose from, how can you know which is right for your business goals? We map out the options you should know:
WordPress - WooCommerce
WordPress is the most popular content management system in the world. Almost 30 million websites are built with WordPress across the globe – that’s about a third of all existing sites. With WordPress, it’s easy and free to create a website fast. No coding knowledge is necessary. WordPress also works very well as an e-commerce platform. It’s easy to manage content, update products, and manage orders. Just install the WooCommerce plugin to turn your website into a store instantly.
With WooCommerce, you can display, edit, and manage pages explicitly created for shops, like product pages, shopping cart, and payment.
WordPress is easy to work with because it allows for easy “drag and drop” design. You can install more plugins and configure your store in any way you want.
The only drawback WordPress has for e-commerce is its limitation on the number of products you can sell. 500 is the limit, so this is not suitable for large retailers with a wide selection.
Wix.com is another site-building platform that was not created specifically for e-commerce. However, it has grown to become an excellent option for small businesses that don’t have access to a web designer. Wix is especially easy to use, and the e-commerce functionality is strong enough to fulfill basic needs. There is a wide selection of templates that are likely to fit your business. Wix.com’s e-commerce functionality has most of what a company would need to start selling online. But keep in mind that it doesn’t scale as well as dedicated platforms like Shopify or Magento.
Shopify is one of the most significant players in the world for e-commerce. With Shopify, you can build and run your store without any coding, which makes it ideal for small and medium businesses. Shopify’s fast set-up and convenient use make it a good option for building your online store. Unlike WordPress, it does not limit the number of products you can offer to your clients. However, Shopify is not a free platform, and you will have to pay a monthly fee for using it as long as your store is on the air.
Magento is an open-source e-commerce platform, which means it’s flexible and adjustable. It’s an excellent option for building virtual shops and works great for medium and large retailers. Many large online stores are based on the Magento infrastructure.
Magento’s most significant advantage is the option to manage extensive inventories with thousands of products. However, you should take into account That this is a rather complex system that not anyone can master. It also has a relatively slow control panel that will require paying for a dedicated server.
This platform comes with extensive store management capabilities. It offers many tools and features, like promotions, unlimited product variants, options to handle returns, coupons, and discounts. BigCommerce also integrates well with Amazon, eBay, and social media networks. This enables you to sell across many different sales channels seamlessly.
BigCommerce is more pricy than it’s competitors, but it comes ready with all the built-in features you’ll want. While other e-commerce builders require you to use third-party apps, BigCommerce includes most of these functions for you.
As you may have already gathered, there is no single “best” e-commerce platform. Every business has a unique combination of needs, budget, and human resources. Sift through your requirements, and don’t be afraid to test and compare to see which solution works for you. Find a long term strategy that will allow you to open an online store will grow with you.