Choosing the right platform can make or break your ecommerce business. 2020 is only going to see more stores going online, and having all the tools to serve and attract customers is essential for staying competitive.
As more customers shop online they’ll be looking for a certain standard, and you’ll want something you and your staff can easily understand. To help you find the perfect ecommerce platform for your new business, we’ve chosen five of the best and highlighted what they do best.
WordPress runs the internet. With 30% of the web powered by it, it’s absolutely worth considering when starting a new online business. If you have any experience with CMS, chances are you’ve used WordPress. To run your ecommerce store through WordPress requires a plugin, and WooCommerce is far and away the standout choice.
WooCommerce has a sleek, modern design that anyone can pick up quickly. Ecommerce essentials come integrated, such as geo-location support, a range of product types, complete control of your checkout process and pre-installed payment gateways. WooCommerce is there is get your store off the ground instantly.
The platform comes with its limitations when you want to expand your business, so having access to an extensive range of plugins available on WordPress is a huge benefit. The built-in blog features makes developing SEO content very accessible. It’s also free to install, but be warned: what you save in cost you might lose in time finding the right plug-ins to advance your store.
WooCommerce is an adaptable platform that does its best work for industry beginners. Free to install and great for anyone with any level of web design experience. It might not be ideal for your business five years down the line, but it deserves a trial run.
Shopify is one of the most powerful ecommerce platforms available. Its accessible dashboard and extensive range of resources have made it a major name in the ecommerce industry.
This is an out-the-box solution that will get your online store running quickly. Shopify is built for beginners but has the staying power and adaptability that means it now powers more than 500,000 businesses worldwide. If you want to hand over control of the technical side to focus on the big picture, this is the platform for you.
Shopify is brimming with essential features for new businesses. Behind its clean, simple to use interface sits a full blogging platform, a selection of mobile responsive themes, POS integration and abandoned cart functionality, to name just a few. Upgrading to more extensive plans open up features such as real-time carrier shipping and professional reports.
The simplicity of Shopify is obvious, but if you’re a real novice, it’s worth knowing that you have access to hiring a qualified Shopify Expert for help. There are no design skills required to make your Shopify website look beautiful, and when it does it fully integrates with your existing sales channels such as Amazon.
With its focus on taking care of the technical side, Shopify is definitely one for beginners. If you’re experimenting with a new business in the new year there are few better choices you can make, especially when you can operate on a month-to-month basis. Definitely one to silence those worries about web hosting and installing software.
BigCommerce is a powerful platform that supports a range of business types. A jack of all trades, it offers guidance and simplicity a new business needs with the adaptability and range of tools for experts to make their own tweaks.
BigCommerce is known for its competitive price plan, packing a ton of features into an affordable package. The basics, like adding and managing products, are simple and intuitive on an easy-to-understand interface. The integrated blog gives a huge boost to your SEO. Email marketing, however, is missing without the use of an app or plugin. This is the story with BigCommerce: a great selection of features for the beginner, but a lack of business-building elements for the seasoned user.
The main benefit of BigCommerce is how out-of-the-box ready it is, with essential customer retaining features and a focus on an all-in-one dashboard that makes management of your store effortless.
BigCommerce has something for everyone, just maybe not in the same package. If you’re a beginner expect to find it easy to pick up and get your business started. However, an expert opening their newest store may find it somewhat limiting without investing in some additional features.
Squarespace is for the creative entrepreneurs among us. They boast an impressive range of users that take advantage of the excellent design and focus on small businesses. It has Keanu Reeves’ and Idris Alba’s backing, but does it have the substance to match the style?
Squarespace started life as a user-friendly website builder, and that ethos exists in its modern interpretation. Unlimited product listing at its most basic pricing plan and beautiful, award-winning designs help it to appeal to its core demographic, creative entrepreneurs looking to turn their hobby into a business. A lack of app-store or third-party features does make this a less appealing prospect to larger businesses though.
The benefits definitely come in Squarespace’s presentation and all-in-one nature. It’s easy to get going with something that looks professional and puts the visual aspects at the forefront. The dashboard is intuitive and features a number of guides for beginners.
If you haven’t been able to tell yet, this is one we suggest primarily for the solo creative entrepreneur. If you’re looking for a home to promote and sell your artistic passion then look no further than Squarespace.
Ozcart is one of lesser-known ecommerce platforms but it’s no less beneficial for people looking to start a new business in 2020.
It’s a mobile responsive and SEO informed full system solution that’s ideal for people who have a great startup idea, but need a little bit of support to realise their vision. Novice store builders will love the range of product options they have when using Ozcart to launch a business. They can create a company that’s focussed on retail, wholesale, dropshipping, or digital products – you can realise any online business idea that you have.
Ozcart has a huge amount of great features. Its sleek-looking system gives business builders the ability to control store design, merchandising, tax rates, returns, inventory, content management, SEO, marketing, and so much more. What’s abundantly clear is that the people behind Ozart have really put themselves in the shoes of aspiring entrepreneurs and taken every journey you’ll encounter when creating an ecommerce business.
Of course, it may be that you need some additional help to make your website look and work exactly how you want it to. If this is true for you then you can use Ozcart’s website personalisation service. This allows you to get assistance from a team of specialists.
With a wide range of features and support, Ozcart is a great option for people who possess a clear business idea but lack the confidence or nous to make a site that fulfils this. If you want to build a website for your company then there are few better ways of doing it than with Ozcart.
If you’re up for the challenge, Magento offers a great reward. Originally released in 2007 and recently purchased by Adobe, Magento is open-source software offered either as a free self-hosted package or as a paid cloud-hosted enterprise edition. Magento is all about customization and is unprecedented in the adaptability it offers its users.
Open Source Magento may be a cheap option, but it does miss out on some of the key features of the platform. Ecommerce essentials such as generating B2B quotes or advanced segmented marketing are only available when you move up to a paid version.
Where Magento thrives is in its flexibility. There is an array of high-quality extensions available which, coupled with the creative freedom to add your own custom extensions, make Magento a powerful asset for businesses looking to charge out the gate.
Magento is all about flexibility. It lacks official support, but there is a thriving community of developers behind the platform experimenting and available to offer advice. If you have a precise vision of how you want your ecommerce website to be, this is the platform to use.
Different online businesses have different requirements that the website must meet. Take the time to think about how your business will operate and what features you can and can’t live without on your website.