Setting up your ecommerce store has never been easier, what with the range of ecommerce platform options available to you. But to run a successful business online that reaps profits and loyal customers, you need to sort through these to find the best ecommerce platform to build a profitable store.
That’s the most challenging part. How do you actually select between so many ecommerce platforms? Especially when almost all of them promise roughly the same ecommerce-specific designs, characteristics and features, and claim to be the best at quickly and easily setting up a successful ecommerce store.
Well, there’s absolutely no one-size-fits-all when it comes to ecommerce platforms, as what might work best for your ecommerce store might not work for someone else’s store.You need to see which ecommerce platform would be best for your specific business and unique store needs.
Remember, an ecommerce platform is a long-term investment. What could be worse than finding out your newly customized store is slow to load products fast, costing you valuable customers, and asking you to pay additional costs for dropshipping and integrations?
Some basic requirements many of you will have include no coding hassles, no technical skills requirement and budget-friendliness. And while there are some differences between each ecommerce platform, these minor nuances can either way create major impacts for you.
With all this in mind, here’s an overview of the top 3 ecommerce platforms that we think are best for building great ecommerce stores that help you earn revenue.
According to BuiltWith Australia’s 2021 trend research, data on the top 1 million sites shows that around 34K+ websites are using Woocommerce Checkout, 24K are using Shopify, while 11K are using Magento.
For this reason, in this article, we will talk about these three most popular ecommerce platforms that have generated revenue and success for customers around the globe.
In 2017, Mark Forrester, Magnus Jepson, and Adii Pienaar decided they wanted to offer their customers the peak of functionality when it came to building a professional ecommerce storefront. And thus was born WooCommerce, a flexible open-source email ecommerce solution built on WordPress.
WooCommerce stands as the most powerful plugin facilitating the full transformation of WordPress website into beautiful, and functional ecommerce stores. It gives small to medium sized businesses the choice to build exactly the store they have perceived and desire.
We have highlighted some of the top features WooCommerce is reputed for among ecommerce store owners.
Since WooCommerce is built on WordPress, it has a super smooth user interface to conveniently manage and fulfill orders. It allows automation in calculating live shipping rates, other tax calculations, and also gives an option to print labels at home. You can effortlessly update products and inventory as well. You can even use it to develop an ecommerce store mobile app for iOS and Android.
WooCommerce supports integration with all the popular payment gateways like Stripe, Paypal, Square, Amazon Pay, Google Pay and Apple Pay. It also supports deposits and subscriptions and accepts all the major credit cards, checks, bank transfers, and cash on delivery.
WooCommerce is extremely user-friendly when it comes to choosing a hosting solution for your ecommerce store. It allows you to choose from a lot of options, unlike Shopify, which places several restrictions regarding choosing a host.
If the exhaustive list of hosting providers daunts you, you can choose Cloudways as a fast and reliable ecommerce hosting provider that offers exceptional hosting options for WooCommerce as well as Magento stores.
Cloudways WooCommerce hosting offers a reliable, fast, and scalable solution that can help you set up your ecommerce store. With Cloudways, you can choose from 5 of the best IaaS providers across the globe, and set up your store with 1-click simplicity, scalability, and ease.
Besides offering managed cloud hosting, which rids you of all hosting hassles, it offers easy migration so you can easily migrate to any other hosting provider if you ever want to do that. This kind of hosting freedom is a rare find when it comes to ecommerce platforms.
WooCommerce gives you near unlimited options. It offers hundreds of free and paid extensions to choose from for an advanced store in terms of features as well as functionality. You can benefit from marketing integrations, multi-channel and point of sale, and enhance your store according to your needs – all under one roof.
WooCommerce allows for a complete translation of your ecommerce store in 24 languages, so you can sell to a global audience and secure more sales and revenue by participating in international markets.
Secure, Affordable, and Scalable
For free security, insights, and monitoring, you can download Jetpack, a product of WooCommerce, on your store. WooCommerce is super affordable as it does not charge you beyond the initial payment. It also offers scalability and flexibility in case your orders grow and you want to expand your ecommerce store.
Magento is another popular leading ecommerce platform that is open-source. Its gross merchandise volume is a mind-blowing over $100 billion.
According to the 2017 Internet Retailer Top 1000, Europe 500, and B2B 300 lists, Magento has gained recognition among the world’s largest brands, retailers, and branded manufacturers in both B2B and B2C eCommerce industries.
As part of the Adobe Experience Cloud, Magento enhances and integrates digital and physical shopping experiences, and offers cloud-based omnichannel solutions that grant access to top-notch order management technologies and more.
In order to provide an even enhanced digital shopping experience to your ecommerce store customers, you can choose a fully managed Magento hosting platform like Cloudways for the fastest performance, and 24/7 support for your ecommerce store.
Let’s look at the best characteristics and elements behind the popularity of Magento as an ecommerce platform.
The drag-and-drop page builder, as well as the content staging and preview feature allows you to give your customers a great brand experience. The ease with which you can build your store makes for an outstanding ecommerce experience.
A variety of over 3600 extensions are available from Adobe Commerce technology providers for better functionality in terms of shipping, tax, payments, and more. You can find these extensions in the Adobe Commerce Marketplace.
For greater customization, Magento allows easy integration with third-party tools like CRM, ERP, and marketing automation tools. This further enhances its functionality and results in a much smoother shopping experience for customers.
Whether your store is B2B or B2C, or both, Magento allows for fast and easy expansion. You can have dedicated stores for your brands and centrally manage them without creating other niche commerce platforms or re-platforming.
Like Woocommerce, Magento also offers the freedom to host your ecommerce store with any hosting provider. Since Magento uses cloud-based technology, it would be best to choose a managed cloud hosting solution that specializes in Magento Hosting.
With Magento, you have an added advantage of expanding into global markets, having multiple brands and sites, and integrating with popular payment gateways and global shipping providers. It supports multiple languages so you can easily localize your store in different regions, make cross-border sales and win customer loyalty. The best part is, you can centrally manage everything with just one platform.
Shopify has recently gained quite a lot of attention from ecommerce store owners. It is an all-in-one ecommerce platform to start and run your ecommerce store. This means it offers storefront, store management, marketing and SEO, web hosting, analytics, and mobile app within the same platform. That’s everything you need to execute your idea and start selling online.
Shopify is comparatively more expensive than its counterparts because of the very same reason. It provides access to Shopify APIs and development tools so you can customize your store using its templates and tools along with other features.
However, there is one downside of using Shopify. Because everything falls under one roof, including hosting, it is rather restrictive and offers lesser flexibility in terms of scalability. Moreover, if you are just starting your ecommerce store, we don’t recommend using Shopify. It is expensive and meant for larger stores with a greater product range. You cannot scale it down to meet your budget if you are just beginning to sell.
As an all-in-one ecommerce platform, Shopify boasts plenty of valuable features.
Shopify comes with pre-made templates and its own settings, so you can quickly build your store and customize it. Even though this could mean your store might end up looking like another Shopify merchant’s, it reduces decision fatigue for you if you struggle with creativity. It also speeds up your store building process.
An advantage of using Shopify as an ecommerce platform is that it allows you to automatically receive shipping rates from shipping service providers like UPS, USPS, and FedEx. Moreover, it supports payments from Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express so your customers can easily complete their payments and checkout from your ecommerce store.
In case of cart abandonment, it will remind your prospects to complete their purchase by automatically sending them emails with links to their abandoned cart. This way you will be able to capture lost sales easily in an automated way.
The option to integrate with over a 100 external payment gateways like bitcoin, Paypal, to iDeal, and with dropshipping apps like Ordoro, Inventory Source, and eCommHub, gives store owners a variety of options to choose from when it comes to enhancing the features and functions of their ecommerce store.
Shopify offers its own web hosting, with unlimited bandwidth and a 256-bit SSL certificate for security. It even offers you to buy a domain if you really want everything in one place. However, we don’t recommend having everything combined. For security reasons, it is always better to keep your hosting and domain separate to avoid data breaches and hacking.
There are around 70+ themes to choose from when it comes to building your store on Shopify. Moreover, Shopify grants you full access to the HTML and CSS of your store, which allows for easy customization when it comes to setting up your ecommerce store. It also has its own CMS for a blog section on your ecommerce store so you can easily write and publish articles about your products for your customers to read.
When choosing an ecommerce platform to launch your store, ask yourself how big you want your store to be, how vast your product range is, and if you want to grow into multiple brands and sites. Moreover, think about your budget, where you want to sell, and how much security you will require while selling online. These questions will give you enough clarity to make the right decision. So do your homework, and choose the best ecommerce platform for your store.