There are many platforms out there that are widely available to run your businesses online. Here are some of the popular ecommerce platforms out there:
All platforms will try to sell that they are better than other platforms. Of course, one has to sell somehow. You don’t really know how well they suit your business until you really try it because some features they hold run better than others. For example, Wix.com has recently added ecommerce features to its platform. Wix has always been designed as a web hosting and building platform. For them to take on ecommerce is a big challenge. This means that they do not have the comprehensive features needed to meet all of the logistics requirements. It lacks integrations and marketing features as well. Squarespace is similar to Wix. Squarespace has a niche market for artists and creators. The ecommerce on Squarespace is limited and simple.
I have personally used Shopify, WooCommerce, OpenCart, and Wix. In my opinion, Shopify is definitely the best of the three. Shopify can hold and organize a lot of the products and their variations. It has a lot of great apps you can build to your site. Some may be free and some may be costly. Again it depends on your needs. Shopify has a buy-button feature, where you can create HTML code to give to your client. Your client can embed it into the website. When a customer visits your client’s website and places an order. The order will go directly to you. This is ideal for those who provide dropshipping services. One of my favorite features on Shopify is shipping. It’s integrated with your orders. You can create a shipping label as you fulfill an order. As soon as you print the shipping label, your customer receives an email along with a tracking number. You never really have to worry about emailing your customers to let them know about shipping and the tracking numbers. It is also nice that you can integrate with majors carriers such as FedEx, UPS, and DHL (for international shipping.)
The common resistance I’ve seen from start-up and business owners is the fees. News flash, all platforms have fees except for WooCommerce. WooCommerce does not have its own gateway payment. WooCommerce has PayPal and stripe integration. Regardless, PayPal and Stripe have fees as well. There is no way you can avoid fees unless you use cash or check. I recommend when you price your goods or services, it’s important to factor in fees to your retail pricing.
All platforms have a subscription plan. Yes, it may seem intimidating, but it really beneficial to your business because it’s like having a physical storefront. Instead of shelling out thousands of dollars in rent, you only spend a fraction of a cost. That’s why it’s important to budget well to ensure you can cover the subscription cost. All expenses you made for the business can be written off on your taxes. Taxes – that’s for another time. Fortunately, most platforms offer a free trial you can experiment to see if it fits your business. If the time runs out, you can always contact their customer service and see if they can extend the trial.
The bottom line is there is no “The One” platform that can fit all businesses. I strongly recommend to give it a try and see if it fits yours. I leave you with a good article that has full details and analytics of the platforms available out there. https://www.ecommerceceo.com/ecommerce-platforms/
ASL version of the blog is available here at this link.