When it comes to selling your products online, it’s now easier than ever. As long as you’ve chosen the right ecommerce platform and have the products that people need and want, there’s no stopping you from creating a successful online business.When choosing your ecommerce platform, it’s worth doing some research and making sure that you’re picking the right one for your business. In this article, we’ll be covering three ecommerce platforms for you to consider. There are pros and cons to each one, but there will likely be one that stands out for you in terms of your needs and requirements.
The beauty of ecommerce platforms is that it gives anyone and everyone, the opportunity to get there products online and selling 24/7, without needing a bricks and mortar retail location and without a big budget.
These platforms come packed with pre-made designs and features that can make setting up an online business easy. Choosing the right platform though is important, depending whether you have a current website or your starting from scratch, you have many options to research to meet your needs.
Let’s dive right in and explore the three best ecommerce platforms that could fit your needs.
Launched in 2011, it’s one of the newbies when it comes to eCommerce platforms. It’s a free plugin, that is integrated into WordPress. The combination of WordPress and WooCommerce has the benefit of being highly customisable and can be a great platform to use for someone who is new to selling online. The plugin reportedly has 82,477,514 downloads since it launched, and according to BuildWith, in January 2020, a total of 3,876,748 use the eCommerce platform.
Here are some of the Pros and Cons when considering WooCommerce:
Its a free plugin to download from the WordPress Plugin Repository.
For those with a WordPress website, it means using it can be easier than other platforms because you’re familiar with how WordPress works.
The benefits that come with using this platform is that you can pick from any WordPress theme that you want, and there are thousands of free and paid themes to choose from.
The ease of having built-in payments via Paypal and Stripe. When it comes to making sales, you want the purchasing process to be as seamless as possible (You will need a Paypal or Stripe account).
Payment options also come with the option of accepting cheques, bank transfers, and cash on delivery.
You have the ability to create unlimited products and product categories, and there are plenty of other plugins available to extend and help grow your online shop.
It is open-source software, it’s free, but you have to pay for things like hosting and the cost of the domain.
It’s also not a stand-alone e-commerce platform so you’ll need a WordPress installation to run it.
The process of setting up the shop can be time-consuming, and support is limited to forums and email.
You will have to keep up with the regular maintenance requirements that are needed to keep your online store looking good and functioning properly.
Since being established in 2004, Shopify has become a great ecommerce platform for selling products online.
Shopify is a standalone platform, so it has an advantage over WooCommerce in that regard. You don’t have to host your site somewhere else in order to be able to use this platform, as Shopify handles this for you.
It’s certainly one of the top-ranking platforms that is loved by many. One of the most impressive statistics to come from Shopify themselves is that they have contributed $183 billion in economic activity, globally.
But no ecommerce platform is perfect, here are the main pros and cons:
This platform is easy to set up and comes with lots of high-quality and sleek themes to help dress your online store.
There’s straightforward pricing for those new businesses at $29 USD per month for the most basic option.
You also have the opportunity to try the platform for free for 14 days. This can be great for those who want to trial it out first before having to spend any money. It’s also great if you’re wanting to test out multiple platforms before deciding on the best one for your business.
There’s numerous free features such as unlimited file storage, daily backups, and social media integration, which can be very advantageous when connecting your fans and followers to your online store.
The platform can be used for online and offline purposes as well as having various payment options like WooCommerce offers.
There’s great customer care services that are around the clock 24/7.
With the platform’s store templates, there’s only a number of them that are free, and they’re pretty basic. The others can be as high as $180 USD.
The advanced Shopify options start getting expensive, especially when they reach $299 USD per month.
Theme and templates are developed in Liquid, Shopify’s own Templating Language, which can have a steeper learning curve and often higher development costs.
Shopify is a closed platform. Some customisations may not be as easily managed as they can be on open source platforms like WordPress.
Founded in 2009, ECWID is a great option when you’ve got a website, and you want to add an online store to it. This platform is a tool for building your own online store and is classed as a SaaS tool (Software as a Service).
This means that you don’t own the software but pay a monthly fee instead. There’s a total of 149,898 sites in operation that use ECWID, which is considerably less than the other eCommerce platforms.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it just a different offering compared to WooCommerce and Shopify.
ECWID main advantage is that it works as a widget that gets placed on other sites, hence the name being ECWID short for E-commerce Widget.
Add easily to any existing website with a few line of code.
There’s a free plan available for ECWID, which is a great way of introducing the platform for those who’ve never used it before. This product is also a lot cheaper in comparison to the others on the market.
It supports multi-language versions of your store, and tax rates are applied automatically, meaning you don’t need to worry about that element.
The store designs are also responsive.
Phone support is only made available for those on more expensive plans.
Although multi-language is available, it requires a different app in order to do multi-currency, and you can check out in local currency either.
You can’t change product URLs, which is an issue when it comes to the SEO, and the free version doesn’t give you any access to SEO features.
These ecommerce solutions are just scrape of the surface when it comes to what’s out there.
Depending on your needs, requirements, and experience level of using the web, it’s good to do a bit of research and trial any that you can for free before making a decision.
As a general rule, for those who have a WordPress site, WooCommerce is the best solution.
When you’re business strategy is going to be heavily reliant on selling products and you don’t have a website to begin with, then Shopify is definitely something to consider.
ECWID, is a great option worth trying it out if you have an existing website and want to dip your toes into the ecommerce space.
Be sure to look at other platforms also as there might be ones that we haven’t explored on this article that might be more suitable for you.
We have helped many businesses in launching and maintaining successful online stores, so when your ready to sell online get in touch.