E-commerce is a worldwide affair now. Today, most progressive businesses and services looking to expand beyond physical territories are looking to adopt online commerce facilities to extend their reach in their segment. The users are equally showing more interest and are increasingly depending on online stores for their every day buying needs.
The market ecosystem and technological growth have grown in response to this and accelerated the growth of e-commerce in all market segments and user categories. This has been a reason many e-commerce platforms and resource options have emerged into the scene and opened up a glut of options to choose from.
With time, this is only going up and increasing businesses’ difficulty to choose the right platform and service option for them. Only when you compare these on different factors like utility, features, accessibility, ease-of-use, price, benefits, tech compliance, support, and scalability, you know what’s just right for you and what fits in your requirement well.
Before you start building your store, you need to choose from the best combination of these factors and traits. You can do this by going with a feature summary and corresponding ratings based on different service criteria, resource options, and performance parameters.
Here’s how these top e-commerce platforms compare against each other on different utility and value factors and their characteristic pros and cons.
Design & Themes3.7
Ease of Use4.7
Design & Themes4.2
Ease of Use4.8
Design & Themes4.5
Ease of Use4.1
Design & Themes4.4
Ease of Use3.1
Design & Themes3.5
Ease of Use2.3
Design & Themes3.3
Ease of Use3.1
These ratings are based on cumulative user response, studying over 1000 reviews and aggregated demarcations across different research platforms and e-commerce forums. These are served by normalised performance values and statistical scores based on the hyper-collated data and references through various review sources. This takes in a collective average and value metrics of features, functionality, security, scalability, user-friendliness, accessibility, the scope of integration, community support, and design options.
Let’s compare all these platforms to look at their service profiles and reading through their value offerings and feature-set in detail. This will get you a more in-depth perspective and understanding of which e-commerce technology brings you a better fit of solution serving your requirements and preferences of e-commerce development and support the best.
BigCommerce is built on a robust product search framework, making this e-commerce development platform the most favourite solution for an online retailer dealing in a segregated range of products. This is also an excellent platform for looking for a transition from a brick-and-mortar store to a tech-integrated omnichannel e-commerce setup.
The versatile theming and functional integration options on BigCommerce make it a fine choice for any service niche and business vertical.
BigCommerce development comes quite handy for developers as it allows you to customise online shops going with a vast selection of shopping templates. So, it can be easily handled by those without typical coding experience. Which viably contributes to saving a lot of time and grave dependency on hard-core programming skills.
Apart from all these astounding possibilities offered by the platform, you get the support of a vast community of designers and developers. This allows you to get a free hand at developing just anything with the assurance of support with anything you need any type of help and assistance.
You can get access to the platform at a minimum cost of 29.95/month. This access can be clubbed with schemes on offer available in the form of gift cards, checkout codes, and offer coupons.
Like its name, the platform stands out to be one big and vast option to go with e-commerce development.
Shopify has gained huge popularity with small businesses and e-retailers in recent years. The main reason is building a complete store and launching it without any development knowledge or technical help.
The platform requires minimal configurations and is extremely easy to setup. This is where anyone with a fundamental knowledge of web technology or e-commerce development can get the website up and work.
Shopify is one of the smartest choices if you do not have access to development resources. It can easily be one of the most resourceful options for multiple channels and social selling. Apart from this, you get many design and integration choices to build a web interface to serve your users best. A professional Shopify Developer can help you with this.
With Shopify, you can get nicely optimised and light-weight stores that allow you flexible options for tweaking through features and adding new functionalities and interfacing options to expand and improve your offerings.
Towards the downsides, you can only select from 10 free themes as of now. For the rest of them, you need to pay from $100 to $180.
A major letdown is an SEO. Shopify doesn’t provide much help with SEO and has shown weaker performance with page rankings. It is one of the reasons this platform may get turned down by users over other platforms like WooCommerce and BigCommerce.
Also, you have to pay a transactional fee if you do not use Shopify Payments.
Wix has registered incessant growth in recent years, and its e-commerce features have evolved expansively over time. Wix offers multi-channel integration, in-built dropship support, abandoned cart recovery, and print-on-demand capabilities.
Undoubtedly, the platform has impressed many businesses and has been a driving force for solopreneurs and small players looking to find their way through e-commerce.
Wix allows you to build and grow your e-commerce business, creating an all-inclusive shopping experience for your users from storefront to checkout.
It is loaded with 500+ professional templates and offers access to an extensive media library to get you enough design interface development options.
The platform offers a varied range of customisation and API options to keep you all-equipped to build vast ERP and fulfilment services.
In the initial years, Wix had substantial issues with SEO. With time they were able to deal with the Search Engine Optimization compliance gaps. But, still, till date, this service doesn’t hold a good reputation in that respect.
In all, it is a flexible and easy-to-use e-commerce solution and is an excellent option to build a small visually-driven website—a perfect option for local stores and artists. But, not that good for bigger websites, though. As it can’t smoothly hold complex site structures and navigation menus.
So, suppose your requirements run over volumes of product and category pages, and you need to serve bigger structural arrangements and attend more users. In that case, it is better to go with options like Magento and Weebly. You can choose to go with Wix choosing three levels of plans ranging between $23 to $49 per month.
WooCommerce is an e-commerce development framework from WordPress that is a wonderful facility to run e-commerce and affiliate sites under one roof. Built on a typical content-driven platform, WooCommerce can be worked out to build just any website into a full-fledged e-commerce store.
There are easily accessible extensions and plug-ins available for virtually everything that gets your e-commerce entity functioning taking a full-fledged selling perspective. With WooCommerce, you can integrate a dynamic set of modules and features for referral, shipment tracking, coupon codes, user ratings, payment gateway, email marketing, social media, and 1-click selling.
The setup can get a bit of a task for first-time users. But that can be dealt with easily with the help of tutorial videos and tech resources available in abundance with WooCommerce. The real problem can be the scalability that you may confront as you plan to expand your site further with more products. And this can ruin your plans to extend your product range and cater to more traffic with time.
In connection to this, in some cases, users’ slowing down has been reported by users, which may destroy the site’s functional capacity at one end and user experience at the other.
On the positive side, it is a user-friendly platform and a breeze of a thing to be handled by WordPress users, which is a vast community.
Many free themes, plugins, tools, and extensions make it a great option over other platforms. Over that the huge international WooCommerce community gets you access to a highly empowering support forum to get you help and assistance with just everything and anything around the platform.
WooCommerce charges on setup or operational fees. But if you purchase a paid theme, you have to pay anywhere around $20 to $100 per year. However, there is a transaction value and order-based percentage cut for WooCommerce payment gateway (2.9% + $0.30). The hosting amount could vary from $135 to $1000.
PrestaShop is one of the time-tested e-commerce facilities powering online stores since 2007. With a wide array of user-friendly features and development resources, it can be easily considered one of the most supportive platforms for developers, growing to offer to empower integration and service options with time.
The opensource platform has over 1000 store themes, and 500+ e-com features currently on the panel with more regularly added to the platform.
PrestaShop can be accessed in free and paid variants. So, the basic program that allows you to build your shop and run it in its entirety is all available for free. However, access to the premium set of features, hosting, certificates, and other value enhancements can be only availed through the paid version. Also, you have to pay for a few modules and themes that fall in the reserved-access category. The majority of basic add-ons individually cost you around $30 to $50. While more sophisticated ones are priced at $80-$100.
One of the major advantages of using PrestaShop is, it has a simple and intuitive dashboard that is easy to comprehend and go about. You can also get help with getting used to the platform through the elaborative onboarding video guide it takes you through.
PrestaShop allows you to appoint and activate most of the modules with one click. With this, you can get addons and plugins for Search Engine Optimization, Cross-selling, Social Integration, Payment, Cross-selling, and In-app promotions working on your e-commerce store with great ease.
Magento is one of the most celebrated full-feature alliances for online commerce projects. It held about 30% of the total market share in 2018. Ever-improved features, vast community-allied support, innovative developer tools, deep-tech architecture, and a broad set of functionalities make Magento a go-to platform for big e-commerce projects.
It is considered and opted for by top businesses which are meant to go with superior e-commerce technology that offers robust security and support besides offering a comprehensive solution built on inventive features and functionalities.
Magento has been the power behind thousands of top platforms that belong to leading brands (Ford, Liverpool, Procter & Gamble, etc.) and high-selling entities in different verticals.
Magento offers online merchants with high-end operative choices and great functional control to present, promote, and execute better online selling.
You have some of the best e-commerce development companies working on this platform. With a crew of veteran online e-commerce experts who have great command at building and managing high-end e-commerce. So, as you go with Magento, you get the service from the best industry professionals who started in the segment up early.
Magento has a vast serving community and has its marketplace to get you to buy themes and extensions. If you are using it limitedly, you can use it mostly for free. But if it is a large enterprise-level engagement, the annual licensing fee can run in thousands of dollars. However, this can be partially covered with regular coupon offers and upsell subscriptions available in some form or other.
Which is the Best Platform for Your Business
As you have looked through and compared the pluses and the downsides of all the leading e-commerce platforms, you know no one platform has everything to get you that one perfect solution.
If BigCommerce offers flexible and free development options, you get better lay-user customisation support with Wix and Shopify. While Magento and PrestaShop are the most suggested platforms for enterprise-level projects – for the robust development framework and expert community support working behind them. While WooCommerce offers a 100% customisable framework support and excellent search engine optimisation value. On the pricing front, they all have different slabs and options for pricing that vary differently for hosting, payment, theme, functional add-on, and other servicing factors.
This is just the gist of it, and there’s a lot of difference at ground level. And you only get to experience it as you spend sometime around them seeking your piece of solution using features and support offered by them.
Options for Small Businesses
At a broad level, the best platforms suggested categorically for small businesses are BigCommerce, Wix, and WooCommerce. These platforms never bind you to pay for most of the solution and are easily customisable without getting core technical support. Also, you have a lot of free integration and up-gradation support available from these open-source platforms.
Options for Startups
For newly founded startups, you need more marketing inputs, tech-integration help, and design and SEO support. You get more of it with newer platforms that know how new-age innovative startups work and how to comply with their crunch timelines and budget-critical challenges. This is well responded to by e-commerce development frameworks like Shopify and WooCommerce designed to serve agile operations and niche category business models that are typically represented by startups.
Option for B2B and Big Enterprises
Suppose it is a well-establish business dealing in B2B or you need to take your recognised brand online is an excellent way with a robust technology base and the best of scalable offerings. In that case, you get the most value through seasoned platforms like Magento. The most notable factors include extensive functionality support, customer segmentation, smart inventory management, content staging, and great scalability support. With this, you get a rapidly shifting buyer-driven community alliance that keeps you ahead in your game of enterprise e-commerce.
These all the different perspectives and traits of e-commerce offered by different platforms in various combinations of offerings at different rendering capacities and service options. While you look at this comparison, try to identify and evaluate features and resources connected with your needs and preferences of online commerce. Here, you should always define your e-commerce goals and seek expert opinion and support from a company that provides e-commerce development and e-commerce optimisation services. This gets you to select the right e-commerce facility for you and make the most of your plan with e-commerce going with the right platform!
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