The Best Platforms for Your First E-commerce Store
Whether you are starting a new business, or building an online presence for your offline establishment, you will need to make that all important decision to choose an e-commerce platform which would be right for you and your business. Doing so can be a bit trickier than the newcomer may think because there are quite a few little details that you should consider before committing to any particular platform. In order to make sure that you make an informed choice instead of giving in to marketing gimmicks, we have listed the best e-commerce site builders in business today.
When a single company holds roughly one-fourth of the entire market share in the world, you know that you are dealing with the big fish. Targeted mainly towards the big boys, Magento is particularly suitable for large enterprise-grade businesses, rather than small startups.
- Community version is free
- User experience is great
- Being open source, it’s perfect for ample customizations
- Free social commerce extensions
- Excellent support
- A helpful and vast online community
- Resource library is filled with demos, tips and tutorials to help you manage and grow your site
- Steep pricing for the Enterprise version (starts at $20,000/year)
- In spite of virtually unlimited possibilities, customization can be complex
- Too costly for small businesses to consider
Unlike Magento, BigCommerce has something for businesses of every size. The best part about BigCommerce is the fact that the system is easy to use and access for just about anybody. You don’t need to know coding to use their platform because they have so many built-in tools to take care of that.
- An extensive list of built-in features and tools for everything
- They charge no transaction fee for the sales you make
- Free themes work and flow just as well as the paid ones.
- Their platform is designed to provide one of the best mobile experiences in the business for your users
- The customer support is quite good
- There is no lack of tutorials, resources and guides to help the new store owners
- Easy integration with Google Shopping, eBay and social media sites like Facebook
- Reasonable fee structure
- The number of free themes have been increased as compared to earlier, but there’s still not enough
With over 377,500 e-commerce sites using the company’s service, Shopify is one of the biggest names in the game. Meant especially for businesses that do not rely too much on customizations and for beginners who would rather stick with a tried and tested methodology for the time being, Shopify could be a good choice.
- Huge community and 24×7 support
- Fee structure is affordable for even the smallest of startups
- Vast collection of themes; both free and paid
- Thousands of plugins and extensions available at the store
- Mobile applications for the store owner to manage his/her site on the go
- The entire system is designed to handle modern smartphone transactions seamlessly
- Direct selling on Facebook
- Most apps are not free and that includes even some basic ones that should be
- They will charge you a transaction fee on every sale to force you into using Shopify Payment
- The “Liquid” coding language isn’t open source so customization is an expensive affair
In spite of their respective pros and cons, these are the top three e-commerce sites at the moment. If the store which you are planning to open isn’t necessarily a particularly big one, it’s very hard to recommend Shopify over BigCommerce. Magento on the other hand, is the best choice if your business has the size and you have the budget to afford their services.