Today’s Top E-Commerce Solutions: All About the Big Three
Sales make or break a business, and if your customers find it hard to buy your products, you’ll be broke sooner than you think. If you own a website that sells products, then a great e-commerce platform is a must-have if you want to stay competitive and grow.
The good news is, there are several great e-commerce platforms that offer a variety of options that you can fine-tune to fit your website perfectly.
Don’t be afraid to shop around and read as many reviews as you can when deciding on an e-commerce platform to purchase. This is a big decision for your business and you should find the one that you feel is right for you. That being said, here are a few pointers and three of the more popular platforms out there.
Prepare You Website for an E-Commerce Platform
Before you shop around, talk to your cloud computing provider to make sure you are setup to handle the traffic that — hopefully! — you will soon be hosting. Make sure that your production departments can handle the demand as well.
Once you are satisfied that you are prepared, think about what you want in an ecommerce platform. You will probably want flexible options that you can change as your business grows, including payment options, settings and fees. You should also look for a platform that has a great designer/development community. This will be very important any time you have questions that you cannot find the answer to and to keep you abreast of future changes that may affect your business, both for the good or for the bad.
Next, set a budget. Choose how much money you are willing to spend annually on a platform and stick to it. A platform that drains your cash on monthly fees will do you no good, no matter how great the platform is.
Shopify is a great starter platform that works for small businesses on a small budget. Most plans can start at under $10,000, so it won’t break the bank if you decided to to go with them.
The best part about Shopify is that it is very easy to use. In fact, you should really only go with this option if you want to do most of the work yourself. The low cost is a tradeoff for simplicity, but the platform can handle a small to modest company’s needs with ease. It is very intuitive — you need no programming experience — and it loads super fast so you won’t have any trouble keeping up with demand. There is also a wide variety of themes that you can choose so you can personalize the layout to suit your website’s style.
Shopify allows you to accept all major credit and debit cards, and is PCI compliant so you shouldn’t have any trouble receiving payments.
This platform is designed to be used with WordPress websites. WordPress one of the most popular website creation tools in the world, so chances are you may want to check Woocommerce out.
Like Shopify, Woocommerce is an affordable platform that can minimize your efforts and maximize your sales. It has all of the advantages as Shopify as well: it’s intuitive, flexible and offers a variety of layouts that you can tailor to your needs. Unlike Shopify, however, you can build a multilingual ecommerce experience for international sales. You can also accept payments in a variety of currencies.
The monthly fees can be a little more expensive than others, but, as with all WordPress products, there is a robust developer community that can answer any questions you may have.
Magento is the professional choice for e-commerce platforms. It’s used on hundreds of thousands of sites and offers even more flexibility that either of the other two choices reviewed here. There is a trade-off, though.
Magneto is meant to be used by users who are highly skilled in computer programming. This is why it provides a nearly unlimited variety of options, themes and layouts. There is no limit on the amount of categories or the number of products that you can list and you can accept any type of payment, from credit card to debit card to PayPal to money transfers.
Because of these unique features, Magneto can cost twice as much as other platforms, so make sure your company is prepared to use it.
If you’re ready for your business to make serious money over the internet, then look into these ecommerce platforms and choose the one that’s right for you.
Cameron Steele runs a web design company and often blogs about website and e-commerce topics, giving helpful information out to his current, and potential, clients.