Commerce has taken the world by storm the past couple of decades. From the giants like eBay and Amazon, to even the smaller companies, it has been nothing short of success. Revitalising the shopping and retail industry, eCommerce has had a big impact on how we buy our products.
From the perspective of someone outside the industry, eCommerce can seem like a difficult field to get into. There are many different platforms to choose from, with a range of different plugins, and getting this stage right is key.
If you are looking to get involved with eCommerce, it is important to know the basics of how the websites work and which platforms are perfect for you. Getting this stage right will prepare you for the future and get you ready for the success that your website will have.
Why Choosing the Right Platform Matters
There are a range of different website-platforms to host your eCommerce site. It is important that you choose the right one as they all have different features that can dictate the success of your website.
You need to take time to consider all the different platforms and decide which one would work the best for your eCommerce website. Consider all the options available and which features they offer would benefit your eCommerce business. Choosing the right platform is essential for growth and optimization.
The Different eCommerce Platforms
As mentioned above, there is a range of different platforms that are available to use. Take a look at some of our favourite ones here and consider some of the features that they offer and how they could benefit your website.
If you are involved in eCommerce, then you should know about Shopify. This is one of the most well known platforms available for eCommerce websites. It is easy to use and to set up, and there will be no issues with hosting the website, which Shopify offers itself.
It also offers a visually appealing online store that you can add to your eCommerce website, including a variety of templates and different designs that you can edit yourself. It is a secure platform that is reliable and a staple platform in the eCommerce world.
WordPress is a website builder that has been around for years now. WooCommerce is a plugin for WordPress, turning your website into an eCommerce store. It is a free plugin (along with WordPress) and open source – making it easy to edit and make changes.
It is compatible with all WordPress themes, and has a growing community of users who frequently create new plugins, help others etc. 3.3 million websites currently use WooCommerce, making it one of the most used website plugins.
This is a new, UK-based eCommerce website platform with an affordable price and an easy-to-use UI. Users are given many eCommerce features after an easy setup, and with a range of themes and plugins, this is a great platform to use.
There is also an “Evolution Mode”, which is a feature that scans your website for broken links, old banners etc and notifies you if something is wrong, making things a lot easier than having to manually audit through your eCommerce website.
This is another platform with a huge community. With it being open-source, this brings a lot of design and web developers involved. There are multiple customisation options, with a range of different extensions that you can download from the Magento Marketplace.
The community version of Magento is also free, making it a great starting platform for beginners with large inventories and great for experienced eCommerce developers as the open source code makes it an attractive platform.
Which Platform is Best for Your Business
To find out the answer to this, you need to ask yourself a few questions about your business first:
Are you experienced with eCommerce?
How much time and money are you willing to invest into your eCommerce website?
Do you want your website to be built easily?
Decide from this if you are wanting to go with an easier, user friendly platform, or more of an intermediate, experts platform more focused on the code.
How to Decide Which Platform to Use
You need to make a decision on which platform is the best for your eCommerce website and which features would benefit you the most. WooCommerce and Magento are good choices for beginners considering they’re free and open source. If you’re starting with a large product library and aren’t afraid of getting your hands dirty they can be a good-fit solution. However, if you are looking to add rocket fuel to your eCommerce using a dedicated platform, then Shopify or EKM may be a better choice for you.
If you have a history of web development or design, then the open source platforms would work for you, as the option of editing and changing around code would be there. Magento can be overwhelming if you aren’t used to heavy lifting in the website ‘backend’.
Regardless of the platform you choose, these are all great platforms which are designed specifically to benefit your eCommerce website.
Our Platform Recommendations
We believe that for beginners, Shopify is one of the best platforms that you can use. If you are not too familiar with website development and want to get stuck in with eCommerce, Shopify is one of the easiest ways you can do this.
From the user-friendly interface to the automatic updates, you won’t be disappointed with Shopify. The only downside is that there is a price tag that comes with this, however it is worth it for what you get out of using it, especially for beginners.
WooCommerce for WordPress is a good option too that we recommend, however if you are not 100% familiar with the behind-the-scenes of website development then you may struggle. That being said, this plugin is free, open source and has a large community of people willing to help you.
Ready to Choose?
Hopefully this blog has given you the information that is needed for you to choose your eCommerce website platform. If not, we are here to help. If you have any specific questions or need any assistance, feel free to contact us.