The demand for businesses with an established online presence is increasing. People tend to rely more on online transactions rather than going to physical stores to buying the things they want and need. But, not all entrepreneurs are knowledgeable in e-commerce. Choosing the platform for your online business can be difficult when your business vision is not solid and clear.
The e-commerce platform that you will choose has a great impact on your business. Its reliability and scalability is dependent on the platform’s features and interface. Your customer satisfaction can drop or skyrocket, depending on the response of your website to their needs.
Why Use An E-commerce Platform?
E-commerce platforms provide a template for you to modify according to your business needs. These platforms are already equipped with tools that can be helpful when you first launch your business online. With a few clicks, you can offer your products and services in a place where people from all places can click and see.
Moreover, these platforms are cheaper compared to having your own website. To launch your website with your own domain, if you are not tech savvy, you have to hire a programmer to do the coding. You also have to pay for the domain and web host.
For e-commerce platforms, you can do the modifications yourself with minimal costs. You can even get some of the features for free. The platforms also provide customer service. There are people and an entire community that are ready to guide you once you get stuck or find yourself in dire need of help.
Top 4 E-commerce Platforms
There is no single platform that can cater to everyone’s need. But, there is something out there that will surely serve your needs.
Wix is a website builder that allows efficient modification and design through a drag and drop feature. It is simple to create your online store in Wix. It is beginner-friendly and there are many themes available.
You can customize everything to make the site your personal space. There are stock images also available for users to add to their site. They also provide a shopping cart feature that is essential for online businesses.
It is not entirely an e-commerce platform. But, it is an ideal solution to start with. You can also use the audience to your advantage. However, if you want advanced settings and features for your e-commerce store, Wix may not be the one for you.
Shopify is one of the most popular beginner friendly e-commerce platforms available today. In the recent years Shopify has acquired thousands of new customers and quickly became one of the leading e-commerce brands.
Shopify has exceptional customer support, so if you encounter any issues while setting up your store, you can get in touch with them 24/7 via telephone, online chat, or email. Plenty of templates and plugins are available in their marketplace. Today, the only platform that has more users than Shopify is Wix, you can learn more about these platforms here.
Volusion is also a cloud-based drag-and-drop type of website builder that allows in-page editing. The good thing about Volusion, despite being originally a website builder, already has tools especially designed for e-commere. These include loyalty programs, subscription options, product description boxes, integrated payment providers and more.
It also offers marketing options such as SEO features and social selling. They also provide customer service 24/7. However, Volusion can be a bit expensive due to their bandwidth limit. Users have to pay for additional traffic in case they run out of bandwidth.
BigCommerce is one of the most popular e-commerce software providers in the industry. It houses 55,000 online stores. It has established itself as the first choice when it comes to e-commerce. Big companies such as Toyota launched their websites through BigCommerce.
For entrepreneurs who don’t know programming, BigCommerce has got you covered. It has built-in features, a clean dashboard, and clear instructions. The settings are neatly listed in the sidebar, which are divided into sections for easy browsing. It is definitely beginner-friendly and easy to navigate.
Squarespace is similar to Wix and Volusion, it is also a website builder that can be modified through drag-and-drop. Since the boom of e-commerce, Squarespace has added more tools for marketing and dedicated their focus in being an e-commerce platform.
It has simple user interface and a clean layout. It is beginner-friendly and easy to use. There is a wide range of templates to choose from, depending on the vibe you want your online store to convey. There are e-commerce tools such as inventory management, shipping, payment methods, product variants and more. There are also marketing tools available such as SEO features and blogging.
As a small business owner, there are factors you need to consider when launching your business online. If you want to test the waters, you don’t need to spend a huge amount of money and waste a lot of time in building something temporary. Website builders are good stepping stones.
Gather feedback and suggestions from your customers if they are satisfied with the online features and transactions made within your site. Once you are settled with how your business runs online, you can transfer to another e-commerce platform that can cater to a bigger audience. You can also expand your business by having your own website.
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