Alongside the rapid growth of eCommerce has come a slew of eCommerce platforms which enable regular people like you and me to make our own modern, powerful and intuitive online stores and start selling our products. In the last few years, virtually all aspects of eCommerce have transformed and evolved. From AI and digital wallets to cross-platform and mobile integrations, these changes have made it all the more viable and attractive for new people to enter the market, and the best eCommerce platforms incorporate all these.
Because there is such a huge amount of choice when it comes to setting up an eCommerce store, it can be hard figuring out where to get started. Unfortunately, this is a decision you and you only can make.
With developments in eCommerce taking place each day with the likes of artificial intelligence, analytics, and social media, you have to choose a platform or website that consistently remains ahead of the curve with these things.
The 4 Best eCommerce Platforms for Start-Ups
Here are some of the top eCommerce platforms today and how they differ from one another in terms of their features, strengths and weaknesses.
First up is Shopify, the internet’s best-known eCommerce platform which powers hundreds of thousands of stores all round the world. If you are looking for a solution where you can build your website with ease, integrate it with third-party applications, process payments and scale your operations up and down as necessary, Shopify may be right for you.
If you’re at a beginner level and want a convenient eCommerce solution, then there is a lot you can benefit from with Shopify. It’s easy to use and their pricing starts at $29 per month.
2. eBay, Etsy and Other Selling Websites
If you want to simply sell your products and market them without having to put in legwork behind the scenes, selling them on the likes of eBay and Etsy is a viable solution. Many people have made successful businesses through these platforms, however, you do have to forego some control… for example, you can customize the site to your liking.
It is worth keeping in mind that eBay and Etsy, and most other sites like this, charge per-sale fees which can cost a lot more than maintaining your own store through your own website or an eCommerce platform.
3. WordPress and WooCommerce
Although WordPress is a platform and piece of software for blogging, there is a powerful plugin called WooCommerce which can turn a WordPress blog into a full-scale online store. It comes with its own secure payment gateway, but you can add others such as PayPal too, and it is fully open-source, meaning you can play around under the hood if you know what you’re doing.
If you’ve got a pre-existing WordPress blog then turning it into your online store could be the best solution for you, especially if you like the idea of a fully-fledged and open-source plugin which is just as good as any eCommerce platform.
This was released all the way back in 2008 and is another open-source solution which acts as an eCommerce web platform. The main bonus with Magento is that it can be scaled up to virtually any level and this has made it one of the most popular players in the market today. Lots of big brands such as Burger King and Huawei have built their online stores and websites through Magento.
You do need quite a bit of programming knowhow in-order to use Magento and make it work for you. In addition to this, the enterprise-level version (which you will need unless you want to run a very basic store) costs as much as $20,000 per year.
Which is the Best eCommerce Platform for Me?
Like I said above, that is totally down to your unique situation. What works for one person will not work for you. I personally like Shopify and think it’s a great place to get started It offers all the features and functionality which you get through the likes of eBay and Etsy with the customization and scalability which you can expect through WooCommerce and even Magento. The best eCommerce platform comes down to what you need it for.
If I were starting my own eCommerce store, we would definitely choose Shopify over anything else. The decision, however, is yours.