Whether you are starting a new business or expanding your existing business online, one big decision you have to take is choosing eCommerce or e-marketplace platforms.
Selecting the right eCommerce platform will ensure your business’s growth in the long term.
But this decision should not be taken in any hurry, it needs proper planning and research.
You are going to invest your heart and soul in your online business in terms of your time, money, and resources and you shouldn’t waste these by getting the platform right the very first time.
Let’s dive deep into eCommerce platforms, and what factors to consider before selecting one for your small business.
What is an eCommerce Platform?
An eCommerce platform is an online software that is used by online businesses to manage their sales operations.
In recent years eCommerce has emerged as the biggest growth driver for small businesses entering the online world.
An eCommerce platform enables a business to integrate feature which allows the exchange of goods or products with money.
When you go for a traditional approach you have to launch your own website, get a standalone eCommerce software, and integrate an extensive setup that will demand a great technical team.
This will need money resources and a lot of time and effort compare to an eCommerce platform.
If you want a scalable and sustainable solution then you should select an eCommerce platform for your business.
An eCommerce platform is where a single seller is going to set up his business and start selling his products.
The business owns the inventory, and basically, everything is the same as standalone in addition to some extra fee charges by the eCommerce platform.
No other business or brand can sell their products on the platform.
Why should small businesses use the eCommerce platform?
Starting an eCommerce business from scratch or even expanding your brick-and-mortar store online, you need a perfect solution that will allow your business a space to grow, scale, and bring stability.
An eCommerce platform is going to give you a set of features that will allow the smooth functioning of your business reducing the chance of error.
It is a cost-effective solution in comparison to choosing to build a standalone online business from scratch.
Essential features of an eCommerce software:
- A single unified platform- It will provide one platform where all the tools needed are integrated which you can apply in your business quite easily. Some of the tools needed are for inventory management, marketing, managing orders, merchandising, customer service, and many more.
- Provide a 360° customer view- Provides all customer activities and interactions with your brand, and delivers consistent and superiors cross-channel experience.
- Manage orders smartly- Show proper estimates of all the purchases and also set expectations of new sales, returns, for both online and offline stores.
- Great customer experience- eCommerce platforms are built not only to benefit businesses but also for the advantage of customers. It delivers great functionalities to provide a great customer experience.
- Support business growth and scalability- If you want to grow your business or even scale or expand it can provide opportunities to deploy sites for multiple business models, countries, currencies, and languages.
Best eCommerce platforms options
Big Commerce is an amazing eCommerce platform providing a variety of simple and advanced business features.
It is a great choice for larger businesses and provides flexible and scalable solutions.
The pricing starts with $29.95 to $299.95 per month. The platform also allows custom pricing based on your business needs.
BigCommerce provides some advanced functionality that is difficult to find in any other platform.
- Custom fields
- Manually specified prices in different currencies.
- Ability to create wishlists.
- Prebuilt integration with WordPress
- Multiple options display types.
- Flexible and scalable.
- Great if you want to implement multi-channel selling.
- Amazing theme design options.
- Good choice if you are going to implement make your SEO game strong.
- Can get expensive.
- Sometimes provides inconsistent speed.
- Cart abandonment isn’t on the entry plan.
Shopify is the best online selling platform. Shopify is the most preferred choice for businesses that dropship uses Facebook Ads and Instagram marketing to drive sales.
Shopify is a great choice for small businesses, but if your marketing strategy has SEO and also going to build a large store then prefer BigCommerce.
The platform is very simple to use and easy to set up. Anyone can set up an entire store within a few hours.
The pricing range of Shopify is $29 to $299 per month and it provides 14 days of the trial period where you can set up your store and test if it is working for you or not.
Why Shopify? More than one million businesses have chosen the platform to sell their products online. Shopify has been able to generate over $135 billion USD in sales to date.
- Simple and easy to use.
- Fast to set up the entire store.
- 1-Click selling.
- Provides experts and certified partners to help you whenever you got stuck.
- Variety of paid and unpaid themes.
- Not good for implementing SEO in your marketing strategy.
- The checkout process does not allow much customization.
- For advanced features, you will need a developer.