Guide to Choose the Right E-commerce Platform For Small Business Owners
Today building an eCommerce store is the best way for a business to flourish and expand and this is extremely true in case of small businesses. Majority of the business owners have some skill-set but they are not sure about where to start from when it comes to building a website.
Choosing the right eCommerce platform will be the most important decision you will be taking in terms of your business. As per BigCommerce, it is said that 96% of the Americans have at least made a single online purchase in their lifetime. This means that more people are now getting comfortable with this setup and so the future of the retail business is eCommerce.
So now the question arises like which platform to choose from? Should the business go for Magento, Shopify, WooCommerce or BigCommerce? Should they try to build their own eCommerce store or take the help of a friend who has little knowledge in coding or go for a web development company completely?
In short, just follow this article for all you wanted to know about eCommerce.
What we have to recommend is:
If you are planning to build your eCommerce store with fewer technical capabilities choose Shopify. It comes with themes, plugins and also has built-in tutorials. Shopify offers you everything that you need to setup your online business and is called as ‘one-stop shop’.
If you wish to have more of technical capabilities for your online store and want out of the box capabilities that the Shopify store has to offer you then we would recommend you to go for WooCommerce. When it comes to being an eCommerce platform, WooCommerce offers you better number of plugins for you to use and is robust in nature. However, you need to keep in mind that when it comes to customizing the store and fulfilling the coding requirements WooCommerce can be more of a challenging solution.
If you are looking for an eCommerce platform which can help you have completely customizable eCommerce store, you should go for NopCommerce. Today more than 27,000 businesses believe in nopCommerce and have accepted it as their eCommerce solution. When it comes to customizing the online store as per your needs, Shopify and WooCommerce will be not be able to be fair with you like NopCommerce. Especially for .NET developers NopCommerce proves to be a brilliant option for developing eCommerce store.
If you are set to build your eCommerce store, follow these steps to get started.
Start with a theme
Your identity will be reflected throughout the online store by the theme you choose. The website’s look, feel and style will be controlled by themes. Instead of paying huge to a developer in order to customize your online store you can better choose a theme and add products and images into it.
You can consider this process as shifting to a new home. In this manner you will not have to work to build a home from the scratch but you will still have the work of moving all the furniture and things to the new home, arrange them, decorate it and make it good enough to live. Every eCommerce platform that you will choose will have a set of themes to offer and you can choose from it. Some of such themes are completely free while you will have to pay for the others. In short, this depends on the theme you choose to have for your online store.
Choose a Platform
If you are planning to have an eCommerce store not with much extra work but with great design and excellent customer service, you can plan to go for Shopify. Shopify is considered as the most popular eCommerce platform by e-commerce-platforms.com. With Shopify you can have 20 free templates and 120 paid templates to use.
The best thing about using Shopify is that the online store will be hosted and supported by the platform itself and so in case you have any issue you just have to contact them back instead of looking for a development company or an another host.
The drawback of choosing Shopify free template is that you may end up finding another eCommerce store which looks very much similar to yours when it comes to the overall look and feel. Compared to the free versions, paid ones can help your online store to stand out somewhat compared to others. Another downside of using Shopify is that during the checkout process you will be redirected away from the domain name. Again when you use Shopify you cannot customize the checkout page and you will have to use what Shopify offers you. A number of eCommerce business owners find this to be a disadvantage for sure.
Even if you are not well versed with the development side you can still have your Shopify site build and running. The 24*7 technical support service offered by the Shopify can help you handle the technical issues to a certain level but then again, this service comes at a fee. Shopify comes with a number of plugins which can be used in your online store. For example, you can have a plugin for adding color switch in case the product you sell is available in different colors.
If you are looking for an option where you can have an online store launched in no time with less work then Shopify is your option. If your store is getting bigger and you need more customization involved, just be cautious about using Shopify as it will come with limitations.
WooCommerce is an open source plugin which is used for WordPress sites. If you wish to have more work on your site and need complex customization then WooCommerce can be the best option. The term Open Source means you will be able to make unlimited modifications in your store freely. In case of a closed platform just like Shopify, you can only make modification to an extent to which Shopify allows you to do so. With time the business grows and so there will raise the need to add in new features and expands the online store and with WooCommerce you will be able to enjoy this flexibility.
Suppose you want your online store to make delivery on important dates like Valentine’s Day or Christmas then by using the plugin of WooCommerce you will be able to have your shipping page with a calendar added and then choose the specific date on which you plan to make the delivery. This means with WooCommerce plugin improving customer experience with online shopping becomes easy. If you want this feature added then choosing Shopify will not be a good option.
Through WordPress themes, WooCommerce lets you have thousands of designs available for the store. If you choose WooCommerce there is very thin chance that you will encounter the same exact design again. Again, many businesses are well aware of WordPress, which makes it easy to choose WooCommerce for online store development.
You get to have complete control of your data with WooCommerce. With Shopify, the platform will control the data for you as you will be redirected away from the domain during the checkout process.
When you plan to go for eCommerce development you should rather think about choosing right eCommerce development company. At the primary level choosing WooCommerce and Shopify is recommended and based on your eCommerce store needs and business type, they can fit into your needs. Again, like said before, if you are more focused on customization choosing NopCommerce can be better. Most importantly, when you plan to have your eCommerce store build, you should take some time to write a Word Document and list down all the things you expect to have in the store. When you plan to start development you should give this list to the developers so that they have an idea about what you expect out of the final product. With things clear and transparent between you and the development team, you will be able to save enough money and time in the long run. For the developers, they will be able to put their experience to use and carry out seamless development.
- NopCommerce Development