seo

5 Best E-commerce Platforms To Watch Out For Small Business

By Guest Contributor on June 25, 2019

Like many other business enterprises, you might be looking for a platform to sell your products online. Ecommerce is a great platform to reach the potential audience and increase brand awareness. As per reports, over 60% of people prefer buying products through Ecommerce platforms.

To reach this huge amount of potential consumers, it is important to invest in online business. However, just because you own an ecommerce store, doesn’t mean people will reach it. For the success of an online store, users must find it appealing, engaging and smooth to use. In order to get that happen, simply align with an ecommerce platform.

An ecommerce platform is a software application allowing a business to manage their inventory, sales and website operations. They are important because building an online store from the start is an expensive and complex job. Most of these platforms support a reliable plug-and-play solution for businesses looking to build an online store.

There are hundreds of ecommerce platforms available for enterprises, but selecting one is a challenging task. The best platform is the one that makes you comfortable while using and meets your business standards.

Selecting a platform will depend on your business needs, in addition to that many things need to consider, but a few of the most important ones are:

  • Number of products your store has
  • Type of products
  • Budget
  • Time restrictions
  • Business Scalability

For small business owners, money can be an issue. To address this issue, we have mentioned only the platforms, which are free or economical to use. Even though WordPress is highly popular, there are others also available having incredible benefits. Let’s discuss some of the platforms in the detail.

#1. WooCommerce

The WooCommerce platform is an independent software application that gets installed on the server and fully integrates with an existing E-commerce website.

WooCommerce Features:

  • Quality order and product management
  • Supports customer management with third-party plugins
  • Multiple payment options
  • Hundreds of paid and free themes available
  • Mobile-friendly
  • Proper reports on inventory and sales tracking
  • Bandwidth limited
  • Features to provide coupon codes and discounts
  • Hundreds of sales extensions available

It is available as both free and paid version, but the free WooCommerce does not come with customer support.

#2. Magento

The Magento platform is the leading ecommerce platform offering a free open-source solution for the online industry. Magento is free to use and edit as per the business requirement. It hosts numerous customization features including plugins and extensions, which can be accessed from third-party developers or from the strong community base.

Magento Features:

  • Catalog Management
  • Tools for Marketing
  • Fully SEO Centered
  • Order Management
  • Mobile Friendly
  • Support Multi-Store
  • Multilingual
  • Complete Site Management
  • Customer Service & Support
  • Order Tracking & Analytics

#3. Shopify

Shopify is very popular among startups. It’s a paid subscription-based application that requires hosting for the online store as well. It also includes a subdomain that you can link with your main domain.

Shopify Features:

  • Order, product, and customer management
  • Support multiple payment gateways
  • Support 100+ inbuilt themes
  • Feature to edit HTML and CSS directly
  • Mobile-friendly with hundreds of apps
  • No restriction on bandwidth limit
  • Sales tracking and store activity report available
  • Supports social integration to sell through multiple social sales including Facebook.
  • 24/7 customer support

Many brands opt Shopify all because of its ability to adapt to different sales channels. It also means a brand can start with an online store and later move to a brick-and-mortar store using Shopify.

#4. BigCommerce

It offers the facility of both standalone and a subscription-based platform service. It is quite similar to Shopify in operation and offers hosting services too.

BigCommerce Features:

  • Product and order management
  • Customer management
  • Mobile optimization
  • Customer groups availability
  • 40+ payment choices without any transaction charges
  • Minimal themes
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Advanced reporting on sales
  • 5,000+ presence of extensions
  • Feature to provide discounts and coupon codes
  • Flexible shipping services with instant rate calculations
  • Multi-lingual support options
  • Options for returns
  • Options to create newsletters
  • Multiple APIs present
  • Integration with social channels including eBay and Amazon

To make store owners experience engaging a large number of tools and extensions are available with BigCommerce. Check their official store to find multiple options for product promotion, email marketing and automation.

#5. OpenCart

It is the last eCommerce platform on this list. To make its use, simply install it on your ecommerce server or search a third-party to host the website. You can also opt for the cloud option that depends on the Amazon Web Services if you are uncomfortable to host the website yourself.

OpenCart Features:

  • 14-day trial
  • Product and inventory support
  • Single dashboard to control multiple stores
  • Unlimited products, categories, and order management
  • Ability to sell products digitally and physically
  • Support payment options like PayPal
  • 13,000+ themes
  • Options for product reviews and ratings
  • SSL Certification
  • Decent sales reports
  • Automatic backups
  • Thousands of available plugins and extensions
  • Recurring payments
  • Multilingual

Be aware this ecommerce platform offers dedicated customer support to cloud users only. Other users can get answers to the queries in their large community forum.

You can use an eCommerce platform to move your traditional retail business to online business for better business operations. There’s no specific answer to what is the best eCommerce platform for a small business or startup. That completely depends on you, your particular requirements, and your customers.

Conclusion:

Ecommerce platforms allow a business to grow online by implementing all the features that a customer requires. With these five platforms, you can start your traditional business online within just a few hours. The features of the online store ensure a user doesn’t require any coding knowledge to use ecommerce platforms, and you don’t need skills to implement web hosting or security. With these platforms, anyone can join the ecommerce business.

This article is contributed by Ashley Brown, Magento developer at Agento Support.

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