Ecommerce is an industry that is definitely on the rise. According to AdWeek, ecommerce is growing at about 20 percent per year and is generating $220 billion annually worldwide. With so many ecommerce businesses online, you have to make sure that your website stands out and is easy to use. One of the first, and perhaps most important decisions you need to make for your business is which ecommerce platform to use. But how can you decide? And how much should it cost?
When searching for a platform, there’s a lot to consider. You can either choose a company that will host your store on its servers, or one that provides you with the software for you to host on your own web server. Other features you may want to consider include mobile apps, themes, 24/7 support, customizability, and cost. While you can pay as little as nothing for a platform or as much as $20 a day, the price you should pay depends on your own budget and business needs.
Here is a list of available options to get you started:
Shopify is one of the most popular enterprise ecommerce platforms out there. Business New Daily named it the best small platform overall in 2016 and Forbes recommends it to customers looking for a hosted platform. Shopify is especially attractive to those with little technological expertise in website creation, because it offers an easy-to-use web builder. Shopify has 24-hour support by phone, chat and email, built-in web design, and website hosting capabilities. For those looking to add mobile apps to their store, this platform has several different options. Best of all, Shopify starts at $1/day, making it an excellent option for new businesses starting out with a limited budget.
Perhaps you are hosting your own business website and want to showcase your own design knowhow. If so, you may want to consider Magento Enterprise which features fully customizable online stores. You can even manage multiple stores on its platform. Magento Enterprise costs about $2/day, which gives you access to its certified developers who can answer your technology questions.
If you are selling digital items, such as e-books, music subscriptions, or software, you should look into Selz. This platform has a user-friendly website builder and payment processor offering automated delivery of your product, so customers can receive their goods immediately after payment. Subscriptions to this service start at $12.99/month.
If you already know WordPress and enjoy blogging, using WooCommerce should be a breeze. WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, so it must be used with WordPress, but it is a great option if you already have a website hosted on the online publisher. It comes with many different themes, back-end integration, and online store-management tools. Basic WooCommerce is free, and advanced themes start at $79.
Shopping Cart Elite
More advanced ecommerce users should take a look at Shopping Cart Elite, which offers packages starting at about $10/day. This platform offers ERP and CRM integration, shopping cart automation, business-to-business opportunities and many different shipping tools.
ShopSite is a platform for those who want something set up fast. It has capability to sell items on sites such as Facebook or through your email newsletter. If you just need a few buttons added to your website and don’t need a lot of features, you can purchase this platform for $5.99/month. It also has a limited free option.
There are many different ecommerce platforms on the market today, which come with a variety of features at different price points. Savvy business owners know to not automatically purchase the least expensive or most expensive platform. Rather, you should compare several platforms to your own needs and budget to choose the right one for you.