e-commerce platform(s) that one would opt for would be decided on a number of factors such as, functionality, reliability, usage, as well as cost. When it comes to any e-commerce platform, they are either hosted by the company or you are able to self-host the online store yourself. The difference between the two is that being hosted by the company means they’re basically going to host your store for you while self-hosted means they will provide the software to you but you have to pay a monthly fee. Shopify is one of the leading e-commerce platform is a hosted program. The reason why Shopify easily out shines their competition is how they implemented add on apps. Just like your smartphone, Shopify has many apps that you can download or even install on your own store. These apps can vary in what they do but they usually introduce more functions to the store and even further the default to a more advance type of page. Their entire app process is way more advanced than their competition, which enables more consumers to be interested in their eCommerce.
The prices for Shopify are also quite reasonable, it starts with “Shopify Lite” at $9. This Lite plan represents one of the cheapest ways to be able to start selling online under a hosted solution, which is very outstanding. While Shopify Lite is the cheapest plan, there are more expensive plans such as the “Advanced Shopify”. There are key features when using Shopify, while they do vary depending on the type of plan that you had picked but the features are so. You can sell physical or digital goods, in categories of your own discord, all of the Shopify plans from $29 and up provide this. You have a wide variety of themes to use, it has an integration with PayPal, so it’s easy to pay with PayPal. Another important feature is that there is good search engine optimization commonly known as SEO. I say this is the most important because your online store wouldn’t come up to consumers if they are using search engines because you had not added any good keywords commonly used. This platform has built over 365k individual online stores. Although Shopify is considered one of the best, there are plenty more ecommerce who are coming for their tails.
Another e-commerce platform is Woo Commerce, a plugin that sits on top of a WordPress site. It has numerous options such as shipping calculators, subscription models. A viable solution for many online shoppers!
Big commerce is another ecommerce platform that is well known and commonly used today. Big commerce has many features that are also as interesting as Shopify. You can set up your store on Facebook and sell the products from their directly. The store from Facebook is fully synchronized with Big commerce which is pretty neat. Facebook isn’t the only place you could set up your store, you could set them up in EBay, Google Shopping and a whole range of other sites. Even though Shopify’s apps were more well known since they had more advanced types of apps, Big commerce doesn’t have the second best ratings and reviews for nothing. While Big commerce already provides you with a lot of comprehensive and cools tools to use for your store, you are able to obtain additional apps to make the experience and store more complex and better looking for the consumers. The apps themselves are not created by Big commerce but by a third party developer that see’s the app to be beneficial in many ways and wants to share them. While these apps are great, you don’t necessarily need them. They will just help push your business to the next level. You don’t have to be a computer genius to be able to use Big commerce, it is user friendly and guides you through, as you keep on using the ecommerce you’ll eventually find a rhythm and enjoy it. This is something I had not mentioned on Shopify but Big commerce has mobiles features. You are able to switch your store to mobile theme so consumers could be able to buy from their phones, tablets or any other type of mobile device. If you ever have a problem, you’ll have to call Big commerce support team, their support team is a 24/7 customer support so they could assist you anytime and anywhere.
While Shopify and Big commerce are found to be at the top for web developers ,the third best e-commerce platform that used in 2017 would be Volusion, its not used as often as the other two names but could get the job done just aswell. The themes that Volusion makes are very nice but they could range from $50-$800. Volusion had about 360 themes in total, 277 of those themes are paid for while the rest of them are free. Volusion has a unique feature when it comes to customer service. You are able to live chat, being able to live chat is quite efficient since its very fast to ask multiple questions and even being able to pull up the problem and being helped right there and then. They also do tickets but the ticket process takes a day for you to get a response. Volusion hasn’t always been one of the big 3. In 2005-2009 they were not known at all, they started to pick it up in 2011 when the online scene started to develop. The reason they weren’t as known back in 2005 is because, goes to the store itself and buying the items was the thing. Nowadays it’s the thing of the past, everyone mostly shops online. To give an example of this, would have to be black Friday. In the mid 2000’s during black Friday everyone had went to the malls to acquire what they wanted but now everyone doesn’t bother to go to the malls since you could easily buy it online with the same discount. The pricing of Volusion is probably the reason on why it is well known. They have 4 plans, ranging of prices of $15-$135. The $15-dollar plan has only 100 products to choose from, the mobile commerce and even the Facebook store. While the premium plan is $135 and has an unlimited amount of products, a dedicated account manager and priority support. Out of all of the perks that comes with this plan, priority support is the best, if an issue occurs instead of waiting hours or days you’ll probably get a call back in a couple of minutes. Volusion shows a lot of promise in getting closer to the top contenders in commerce’s but lacks in themes and high pricing.
The next best e-commerce platform is called WIX. Out of all of the other ecommerce WIX is by far the cheapest but the cheaper it is might not be the best to customize your online store. The price is $14 for an ecommerce and other types of perks cost more money, like priority support. Since WIX is another hosted ecommerce speed does matter since its on their server. “Professionals at Wix are in charge of making sure your site stays fast”. This statement makes things more reliable so consumers don’t have to struggle due to poor speeds. As I had read in plenty of reviews, WIX’s site configurations and Onboarding are supposedly the best within the industry of ecommerce. “When they talk about drag and drop, they literally mean you drag and drop elements wherever you want them”.
There are many e-commerce platforms to choose from. Shopify gives great perks and the standard pricing is great, the $29 is the most commonly used plan and has what you need to get started on any online store. WooCommerce would probably be the easiest plugin to set up on an existing WordPress platform. Bigcommerce is my second pick since it showed a feature I had not seen on Shopify which is make your online store on a different site such, Facebook, EBay etc. WIX is my third while Volusion is my fourth since, WIX prices are very cheap with quite a few benefits while Volusions prices are quite expensive. Overall choosing the right e-commerce platform would be depend on the web developer as well as the web development process.
Note: A full stack website developer will be able to configure, design and develop an eCommerce website as opposed to just a front end or back end developer.
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