E-commerce is striving, there’s no doubt about it. It’s growing very fast, and it’s currently on about 20% of growth, while online trade market takes around 10% to 11.5%. All sales for 2017 have exceeded $2.3 billion, and that’s why quite a lot of software development companies have focused on developing and setting up flexible and reliable platforms for e-commerce businesses. If running an e-commerce business is something you’re aiming for, you should understand which platforms are best for you.
The proper CMS should be a backbone of any serious e-commerce business, so, we’ve examined some of the online shop hosting platforms and CMS systems in order to help you find the best one for your business for the following year. Keep in mind that there are loads of different platforms, but we’ve focused on some of the most popular ones. There’s a lot to learn about these platforms, and they all have their pros and cons, so, without further ado, let’s get straight to it.
Quite a lot of online stores are using Magento as their CMS platform. This platform is based on an open source technology, and although it’s one of the most commonly used platforms, it’s also one of the most expensive ones. It allows quite a lot of flexibility and it has quite a lot of very useful features like SEO, content management, marketing tools and even catalog management. Mostly used as a platform for medium and larger businesses, Magento is an amazing tool for online stores. There isn’t a lot to say about Magento that hasn’t already been said or confirmed in practice, so this platform remains one of the best ones for the coming year.
- Amazing security options;
- Abundance of skilled developers with experience;
- It can be scaled up and adapted with ease;
- Quite a lot of available plugins;
- Advanced attribute management for improved sales and marketing;
- Highly customizable in almost every aspect.
- Lower website loading speed;
- Higher server performance is necessary;
- Takes a lot of time to set up;
- It’s a lot more expensive than other platforms;
- It has the least intuitive UI of most commonly used platforms.
This e-commerce platform is extremely easy-to-use and it represents somewhat of an all-in-one solution for online stores looking for good CMS. 3D Cart offers different pricing plans, so even though this platform is way smaller from giants like Shopify or BigCommerce, they are up to par with them when it comes to pricing. There are 5 different pricing plans: Startup Plan, which offers basic features like SEO tools, store building, gift certificates and so on, but is limited to 500 products and sales under $10,000; There’s Basic Plan, which is more expensive but it has no limitations or restrictions and is a bit more expensive; A Plus Plan offers features like store credits, CRM system, email marketing and product comparisons. It costs significantly higher, but is still one of the more affordable solutions; Pro Plan offers even more features, like autoresponder campaigns, automation, loyalty programs and many more; Enterprise Plan offers unlimited staff accounts, a dedicated technical manager, and big brand customization. With so much to offer for small, medium and large businesses, this platform is a great place for your online store in 2018.
- Extremely intuitive and user-friendly;
- There are no transaction fees;
- Quite a lot of conversion-optimized templates;
- More than 160 payment options;
- Unlimited bandwidth (except for startup pricing plans);
- Built-in marketing tools.
- Quite a lot of free templates look ordinary;
- It has the weakest SEO capabilities, compared to competition;
- Admin dashboard can be hard to learn.
Quite a lot of businesses these days are based on WordPress. WordPress has proven to be one of the best solutions for businesses of all sizes, and SEO experts from GWM have praised how WordPress has changed the online world we know today. With that in mind, WooCommerce is probably one of the best platform solutions for all businesses based on WordPress. WooCommerce runs on WordPress CSM platform and is basically a very powerful plugin for creating e-commerce businesses. It’s incredibly easy to manage and it’s quite available, with loads of various templates or themes for different customization. This platform is great, but we have to mention that it was hacked a few years ago, with hackers taking information from users’ credit cards. This problem was fixed and it didn’t happen again, but it’s a mark on, otherwise great platform. It could be that in the following year, WooCommerce is going to evolve, so if your online store is founded on WordPress basis, this platform may be just what you need.
- Very easy-to-use, with amazing features;
- Countless free themes and templates;
- Quite a lot of skilled professionals available;
- Built-in blogging features;
- Automates taxation.
- Works with WordPress websites exclusively;
- It has no advanced marketing features, which are otherwise available;
- It’s costly to build a store with all features;
- Very poor scaling options.
Definitely one of the most popular e-commerce platforms in the world, Shopify exists for more than 11 years. There are more than 500,000 active stores running on Shopify, and they’re creating more than $46 billion in sales. Shopify also offers different pricing plans, and it provides online stores with amazing features. It allows you to create beautiful stores and some features such as Shopify email automation that can really help you out with your newsletters and email leads. If you’re looking for a serious platform that has proven its worth, then Shopify is the place for your online store in the following year.
- Built-in blogging engine;
- Numerous free and paid themes and templates;
- 24/7 support via phone, chat or email;
- Very affordable pricing plans;
- Offers a high variety of pricing methods, including PayPal, BitCoin, Apple Pay and Amazon Pay ;
- You need more expensive plans for most of the reports;
- Shopify charges between 0.5% and 2% for customers who aren’t using Shopify payments;
- It doesn’t automatically crop images, so you have to do it manually, while it’s being uploaded;
- It has a complicated management interface;
Wrapping It Up
There are quite a lot of platforms to choose from, and these 4 are just some of the most popular ones, ones we’ve analyzed in a more detailed fashion. When it comes to picking the best one – it’s virtually impossible. All of these platforms have quite a lot to offer, and only you can decide which one suits your needs in the best possible way. With some careful planning, you could start this New Year with a brand new e-commerce business.
Bio: David Koller is a passionate blogger and copywriter for Media Gurus, mainly interested in SEO and Digital Marketing.
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