Starting an eCommerce business is tricky, but going for the right platform for your business is even tougher. It’s a significant choice that will affect your future endeavor and business plan in the long run. Many companies use the platform selection process as the cornerstone of their operations. According to a report posted by imarc, eCommerce reached a value of US$ 13 trillion in 2021. In 2022-2027, It is further expected that the market is more likely to reach US$ 55.6 Trillion, growing at a CAGR of 27.4%.
Building an eCommerce website may not be so difficult right now, but with the wrong eCommerce platform, your business will suffer quickly. So, it is becomes important to know the top ecommerce platforms for your business. Creating and running an eCommerce site has never been easier or more lucrative. Every industry can benefit from the best eCommerce platforms. Frequently encountered problems like inventory size or sales volume no longer exist when you choose the right one for your eCommerce business.
In this article, we’ll showcase the top 5 eCommerce platforms and highlight certain features of the ideal platform.
What is an eCommerce Platform?
The term ecommerce platform refers to software that enables online buying and selling. It enables vendors to control digital sales, marketing, and virtual assets from a single platform. Ecommerce platform solutions come in a variety of forms, and each form offers particular advantages and disadvantages.
An online retailer is fundamentally built on an eCommerce platform. An eCommerce platform is a piece of software used by companies to set up, host, and control their online shops. The platform offers tools that enable business owners to create branded online storefronts where they can advertise and sell their goods and services.
Typically, an eCommerce platform is a company concept that generates value by enabling interactions between diverse parties, typically bringing buyers and sellers together. Through the use of network effects, platforms build communities and markets where users can engage and do business. The transition to digital and advanced technology in commerce has altered how we conduct business and created resources as well as opportunities for entrepreneurs.
Why your business needs one?
Due to the pandemic, online purchasing is at an all-time high and is expected to continue growing over the next few years. The sheer volume of people using the internet to browse is sufficient evidence of its strength. It acts as a channel for a variety of activities, including social networking, research, and, obviously, business.
With businesses increasingly replacing their brick-and-mortar location with online ones, looking for a robust enterprise solution, or just starting a business from scratch, the right eCommerce software will make a huge difference to your profitability and stability.
eCommerce platforms are an essential part of any online operation, irrespective of whether your company is B2B or B2C, because they allow you to share and sell products to a large audience online. You can streamline your company’s interactions with clients, customers, and employees by using an eCommerce platform.
Types of eCommerce platforms
An eCommerce platform’s goal is to make it possible for you to operate a fully functional online store where clients may buy your goods and services.
Ecommerce systems come in a variety of shapes and sizes. A lot of them are available in website builder formats, which can help you save a ton of time. Your website builder can offer you the choice to complete everything on your own with little assistance or it can have drag-and-drop features that make developing websites simple.
Software-as-a-service (SaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and on-premises e-commerce platforms are the three primary categories. The delivery of e-commerce solutions via the Internet is done via both SaaS and PaaS systems. SaaS systems, such as Shopify, simply involve software. They are known as PaaS platforms once they include hardware as well. Although various platforms provide various functionalities. You can feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of platforms and features available.
Always keep in mind that a typical eCommerce platform gives you the ability to unify fundamental business operations so that you may get comprehensive visibility throughout your organization and, ultimately, satisfy the pickiest clients.
It might be challenging to choose which eCommerce platforms can provide the function you need while remaining affordable given the scalability of your site. While narrowing down the best one solely depends on your business requirements, However, one needs to consider certain crucial aspects.
Key features to look for while browsing for an eCommerce platform for your business
You can depend on the following qualities when selecting a successful eCommerce platform:
- Operate on a single, integrated platform: A cloud-based eCommerce platform should include natively integrated eCommerce, accounting, point of sale (POS), inventory, and order management, marketing, customer care, financial, and merchandising services.
- Support: A solid eCommerce platform should provide consistent experiences, targeted marketing, and first-rate customer support. This ensures that they provide a whole picture of the customer. Across all touchpoints and channels, a single view should contain every consumer interaction and transaction.
- Efficient order management: provide the easiest possible means for customers to order, receive, and return goods. To increase profitability, centralize the order management process. It is ideal for your company’s supply chain to have a single view of the inventory across all channels and units.
- Deliver exceptional customer experiences: If you want to distinguish your store and meet customers’ expectations, adopt a platform that enables responsive, amiable, personalized, and rewarding mobile, web, and in-store experiences for customers.
- Support limitless expansion: On the same platforms, fully support various business models, brands, channels, locations, currencies, and languages.
- Website security: If you’re a brand-new online retailer, phrases like “PCI compliance” or “eCommerce SSL certificates” may leave you scratching your head. But you’ll get used to them quite quickly. In order to ensure the security of your store and the client data it holds, pick a platform that offers an SSL certificate and PCI compliance.
Keeping the above factors in mind, let us now move on to the top 5 eCommerce platforms available in the market today.
Top 5 eCommerce Platforms to Choose From
Many operational and customer-facing operations are integrated by modern eCommerce platforms. They offer a variety of services, including financial accounting, order and inventory management, analytics and reporting, and customer service.
Shopify is one of the most widely used eCommerce platforms across the globe. It is a web application with numerous available templates that enables you to quickly and easily construct an online store. You can modify those templates to better suit your online retailer’s requirements or create the visual style of your own store.
Shopify gives you the ability to control the operation and design of your online store by offering a complete CMS. The ability to manage your store on Shopify’s mobile apps is yet another excellent feature. The platform is entirely responsive, allowing users to access it from either a desktop or a mobile device and easily track, manage, and adjust their store from any location.
Because Shopify accepts a wide variety of credit cards, you won’t have to worry about payment conflicts in your store. Additionally, Shopify boasts level 1 PCI compliance and 256-bit SSL encryption for security, so you can be sure that your customers and your store’s data are protected.
It’s a practical and effective method for business people who frequently need to work while on the go. Shopify is the greatest platform for selling because of this, among other things. However, it’s not that easy to stand out among the thousands of other sellers on Shopify, thus all successful businesses collaborate with product retouching services to entice customers with high-quality images.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud
For its CRM offerings, Salesforce has a solid reputation. With the world’s first CRM equipped with Einstein AI, the company promises to help you expand and deepen your relationships with clients.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud, formerly known as Demandware, is a cloud-based eCommerce platform designed for both B2C and B2B merchants. It belongs to the Salesforce product family. As a result, it incorporates numerous additional CRM and marketing features, enabling you to simultaneously grow your business and cultivate strong client relationships.
Moreover, Salesforce Commerce Cloud provides other capabilities including AI-powered commerce personalization, order management, globalization solutions for firms operating internationally, and additional solutions organized by business type, needs, industry, and function.
Salesforce can handle enormous amounts of visitors and sales, but because of its expensive cost and difficult technical requirements, it is not suited for small brands or newcomers to online selling.
Magento is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms in the world. Despite its reputation for being highly sophisticated, this platform has several advantages that make it deserving of being at the top of this list. Furthermore, the release of Magento 2 has elevated the platform and accelerated the development of more powerful B2B eCommerce solutions from several providers.
Numerous tools for analytics, monitoring, and conversion optimization are included with Magento e-commerce. OOP and MVC architecture are both supported by Magento, which is wonderful for web developers but not so great for non-techies. Users without the in-depth technical knowledge needed to adapt Magento and scale their e-commerce stores efficiently may find it difficult. However, Magento might prove to be a fantastic online store platform for your organization if you do have the necessary technical know-how.
Magento eCommerce offers the following notable advantages:
- Content management: Store owners may quickly construct and modify features for their online stores thanks to the backbend’s compliance with the “what you see is what you get” principle and the content management interface.
- Mobile device responsiveness: The user interface and shopping cart designs for Magento are optimized for use on smartphones, tablets, and other portable devices.
- SEO effectiveness: With SEO effectiveness, online retailers have a greater chance to rank highly on search engines like Google, Bing, and others.
- Robust and scalable: The platform allows for a site to have up to 500,000 products and can process 80,000 orders per hour.
- Third-party integrations: Magento makes it easier for your online stores to connect to third-party modules or programmes like MailChimp, Google Shopping, and others.
- Customizable security rights: Magento enables you to set up different tiers of security permissions, manage internal access, and protect the security of your website.
- Time and money-saving: Magento is open-source and has a number of custom extensions that users can share. You may control several eCommerce businesses with different languages and different currencies by using a single instance of Magento.
With an ever-increasing usage rate, WooCommerce constantly ranks among the top 5 eCommerce platforms. Additionally, the platform frequently adds and refreshes new features. As it will be simple to configure, this open-source platform is the perfect choice for small firms with WordPress development resources. WooCommerce guarantees PCI compliance and encrypts connections between your customers and your server with its secure payment processor.
WooCommerce is a simple, free-to-use plugin for WordPress, the most widely used content management system (CMS) in the modern digital world, which contributes to its success. Additionally, the WooCommerce platform enables you to effectively scale your online store with little to no difficulty. WooCommerce hosting is also easily accessible to enhance the functionality of your store. Also available from Cloudways is the WooCommerce Starter Bundle. The WooCommerce Starter Bundle allows you 1-click integration for a number of the most well-liked plugins, including:
- Kadence Email Designer
- Stripe checkout
- Paypal gateway
- Field Editor
- Coupon Shortcodes
- Shipping & Tax
- Google Analytics
- Cart Abandonment Recovery
For those looking to launch their stores rapidly and effectively, WooCommerce is the best option. The versatility WooCommerce provides for your eCommerce product page SEO makes it an excellent choice as well.
BigCommerce platform is renowned for having extremely flexible APIs and a low total cost of ownership. With a wide range of features and settings, BigCommerce offers you a complete set of eCommerce tools. With the majority of the necessary solutions in the eCommerce ecosystem, it enables your business to integrate right out of the box.
This platform can be used by companies that cater to both B2B and B2C consumers because it makes it simpler to build different pricing lists or catalogs for various customer groups.
BigCommerce has a steeper learning curve than some other software-as-a-service platforms because of how complicated its built-in functionalities are. The well-designed and thorough instruction manuals, as well as the support staff of BigCommerce, make it still possible for a new brand to swiftly learn about and utilize this platform. For a complete overview of what this website builder can do and how it can help your E-store, read this BigCommerce review.
In a nutshell, it can be said that various eCommerce platforms provide varying features and services. Obviously, having so many options make it challenging to choose. Among the few that need to be considered is that the platform you select must guarantee that your website is handled and updated continuously, is beneficial for user experience and client service, and ensure the security of your website and clients’ data.
But no matter whatever platform you use, the most important thing is to clearly describe your e-commerce website’s goals like size, revenue, and growth plans, know what you specifically need from your eCommerce website, and thoroughly research the features of each e-commerce platform before making your final decision. Hope this article helps you make the right choice for your online store.
But if you still can’t make a decision, we would be glad to help. Get expert advice at Webuters about the most suitable eCommerce platforms for your business to scale digitally.