Starting an eCommerce business is an exciting experience because you get to choose your business name, design your logo and brand, and build your own website.
While it is easy to keep thinking about the aforementioned, deciding on your business direction and what business tools you will need is also important.
Nowadays, choosing the best online store builder is not enough. Smart entrepreneurs search for the best eCommerce platform that will work as an ecosystem of tools that seamlessly integrate, giving full control over every aspect of their business and the ability to scale as they grow.
Let’s take a look at the best eCommerce platforms and analyse all the available options for your business.
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What is an eCommerce Platform?
An eCommerce Platform is a platform that allows you to make sales and fulfil orders regardless of your customers’ location or where they prefer to shop which was enabled by building and creating an online experience.
A true eCommerce Platform is more than a tool that lets you list products and accept payments online which is different from what the majority of people think of.
A true eCommerce platform should allow you to process payments and at the same time you also give you absolute access to all the tools you need to sell online including (but not limited to!) your own online store.
It should be a complete business command centre where you control everything from inventory to marketing.
What types of eCommerce platforms are there?
To make your online store available to the public, a hosting solution is a must. Hosting stores your information on a server then lets the internet users visit your site and view all of the content.
Each website is hosted somewhere which means it has dedicated server space from a provider.
Some of the eCommerce platforms have built-in hosting while some require you to use self-hosting or open-source hosting.
Some website builders offer a hosted platform where there’ll be no more worrying about the mess of self or third-party hosting and the additional fees attached.
Exabytes eCommerce Design, for example, includes website hosting in all of their plans and all their updates are automatic and hassle-free so your website will always be up to date.
Besides, a built-in hosting will save you from problems such as downtime or bug fixing which will disturb your freedom and focus on running your business.
Self-hosted or Non-hosted eCommerce platforms require merchants to use their own server space or spend extra money to pay the rent for space from the hosting provider.
Besides, since you are responsible for website updates, maintenance and bug fixes, self-hosted eCommerce platforms will make ongoing website management complex because you will need a lot of internal resources that you can allocate elsewhere if you can do it differently.
Normally, self-hosted platforms are open source and you need to use a third party to host your website data. Third-party sourcing options charge fees and these costs can quickly add up because most of the time these hosting services segment their services’ price so those on the lowest plans don’t get much in the way of customer support.
This can leave you in difficult situations at really important times, for example, a sudden traffic boost after unexpected press coverage.
What types of eCommerce are there?
There are four types of eCommerce: B2C (business-to-consumer), B2B (business-to-business), C2B (consumer-to-business), and C2C (consumer-to-consumer).
- B2C. This refers to online selling from a business to an individual consumer. You might also hear people refer to B2C eCommerce as DTC or direct-to-consumer.
- B2B. When one business sells to another business online, it’s B2B eCommerce. These transactions include wholesale buying, when the purchasing business intends to resell at a profit, as well as for business use—things like office supplies and equipment.
- C2B. Consumers also have selling power, as seen when they sell to businesses. Typically, these transactions are less traditional. A consumer might sell their influence in the form of a featured social post, or they might offer a five-star review in exchange for money.
- C2C. Consumers can also sell to one another, a trend that has emerged with the popularity of the sharing economy. Platforms like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and eBay offer a place to facilitate C2C eCommerce.
Ultimately, the type of eCommerce business you run will help you dictate which is the best eCommerce site for that business.
What does a great eCommerce experience mean to you?
When you are picking an eCommerce platform and are too deep into the comparison, you can forget why you are picking an eCommerce platform at all.
There is no best choice for everyone but you can look for the right eCommerce platform that can give your customer the best eCommerce experience that makes shopping online feel easy.
Aside from being the best online store builder, what are the business tools those platforms offer? Usually, using a flawless integrated ecosystem that consists of your online store, payment processor, POS and even small business lender is more advantageous.
Exabytes eCommerce platform, for example, has various application integration that can help you manage every aspect of your business and help you to give a better experience towards customers and your team.
The Best Options of eCommerce platforms for 2022
Here is a review of some of the best eCommerce platforms in 2022 to help you analyse the best option for your business.
Exabytes eCommerce Design
Exabytes eCommerce is a multi-channel e-commerce platform that lets you set up an online store and sell through numerous channels like Shopee, Lazada, Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram, LINE, POS System and wholesale.
Exabytes eCommerce comes with a Free domain and hosting.
eCommerce by Exabytes will assist in the centralization of information such as product details, customer information, inventory, and order details.
Exabytes eCommerce offers apps that integrate with third-party service providers to give you even more convenience, such as a live chat app, a marketplace app, a shipping app, and more!
Visit our page to see what other Exabytes eCommerce users are doing with their stores, or listen to what other users have to say in their Success Story interviews to pick up a tip or two.
Shopify is one of the best platforms for eCommerce. It comes with complimentary tools and features for multi-channel selling so you can sell directly through your website, your retail store, social media and third-party marketplace, and anywhere suitable within those channels.
Furthermore, Shopify manages every part of your business, and you can create a complete business command centre with our best-in-class array of business tools.
Shopify Pay covers payment processing, Shopify POS manages in-person transactions, and Shopify Fulfillment can assist you to get things into the hands of your customers.
These are just a few of the many powerful tools and apps that are part of the Shopify ecosystem and work together effortlessly. You can also use our wide collection of third-party apps to enhance your Shopify experience even further.
With all of these powerful capabilities, you can start your company with minimal technical know-how and a small budget and grow it into a global online brand.
With all of these powerful features, you can start your business with little technical know-how and a small budget and grow it into a global online brand without switching platforms.
Wix is a drag-and-drop website builder that also offers web hosting and domain name registration. You can create a basic website for free, but if you want to use Wix’s eCommerce features, you’ll need to switch to a premium plan.
When it comes to eCommerce, Wix provides a few useful features. Merchants may track orders, accept online payments, sell across numerous channels, and develop abandoned cart campaigns using the platform.
However, it is missing some key aspects that are critical for product-based enterprises. Low stock alerts and other important inventory management capabilities are not available.
You’ll need a platform with more extensive inventory monitoring tools if you have more than 10 or so products. Furthermore, social commerce integrations require the use of a third-party app
BigCommerce is an eCommerce platform that is well-suited to software companies at the enterprise level. BigCommerce, like Shopify and Wix, provides web hosting and a plethora of customization choices.
You won’t be able to register your domain name through BigCommerce, so you’ll have to buy it and register it somewhere else before porting it over.
International selling, SEO tools, and multichannel selling on social and third-party marketplaces are all useful aspects. These tremendous qualities, however, bring with them a level of complexity.
Grace & Lace’s decision to leave the platform was influenced by a lack of flexibility and ease of use. It switched to Shopify Plus, Shopify’s corporate offering, to get more than just the eCommerce platform—the brand rapidly saw the value of having access to Shopify’s whole ecosystem of business tools.
Magento is a self-hosted eCommerce platform designed for developers that desire a strong, customizable solution. While this has a lot of advantages for firms that want a completely customised platform, it also has a lot of drawbacks in terms of complexity and cost.
To build out and maintain the full infrastructure yourself, you’ll need significant coding and programming expertise.
Magento also lacks the capabilities necessary to implement a multichannel strategy that is seamless.
With Magento, there’s no simple way to enable social commerce or marketplace selling, and the same is true for foreign currencies. If you want to go global, Magento might not be the right eCommerce platform for you.
Despite its awful UX, eCommerce site Character.com kept its complicated Magento site with thousands of products, dozens of integrations, and solid SEO. Magento was too restrictive and complex for the company, so it switched to Shopify.
Conversions climbed by 40%, prompting the company to switch to Shopify Plus to gain access to even more capabilities.
WooCommerce is particularly familiar to WordPress users, as it is essentially a plugin for the popular blogging platform. WooCommerce is WordPress’s answer to those who want to sell online.
WordPress is traditionally used for content-driven websites, not eCommerce, so WooCommerce is WordPress website plugin to those who have flexibility to sell and manage unlimited products.
Many of the selling capabilities are simple or rely on integrating apps because WordPress is a content management system (CMS) first and an eCommerce platform second.
While there are numerous programmes and plug-ins to choose from, the more you use, the more likely you are to break something. And, given the limited support alternatives, this isn’t always a risk worth taking.
Overall, WooCommerce’s fragility and instability make it challenging to not only create but also operate an online business. Furthermore, because it is not hosted, you will have the additional labour and expense of managing your website hosting.
It also lacks PCI compliance, putting your organisation at danger when it comes to payment processing.
Prestashop is a cost-effective open-source eCommerce platform that’s ideal for small enterprises with a technological background. PrestaShop users perform a lot of troubleshooting themselves with the help of the community because there is no built-in customer service and integrations can be hit or miss.
Inventory tracking, an online shopping cart, worldwide selling, and analytics reporting are some of the business tools and services. On your Prestashop site, you also have a lot of control over the privacy and security settings.
Overall, managing your Prestashop eCommerce site can be difficult due to third-party hosting, a plethora of untested add-ons and modules, and the time-consuming setup.
Squarespace is the next website builder with an eCommerce platform. Squarespace, like Wix, employs drag-and-drop functionality that requires minimal technical knowledge. Because both platforms are largely website builders rather than online selling platforms, adding eCommerce capability will take some work.
If you want to sell online, Squarespace will take time and patience to set up, and there are just two payment integrations. You might be able to outsource it if you have the funds.
Squarespace features good inventory tracking options once you’ve set up the eCommerce functionality. Gift certificates and subscription-based products are also available with higher-tiered plans.
You may just add the Shopify Buy Button to your Squarespace website if you don’t want to deal with the headache of the backend to turn your website into a full-fledged online store.
For only $9 per month, you can add a little embeddable code to your Squarespace site and let Shopify manage the rest. You can add an unlimited number of products and use secure checkout with over 100 different payment options with them.
You can add an unlimited number of products, use secure checkout with over 100+ payment gateways, track sales and growth trends, quickly connect orders and shipping, and receive global tax and currency support with them.
Big Cartel is a fully hosted eCommerce platform and website builder for makers, artists, and crafters, similar to those found on Etsy. Big Cartel offers customisable templates, as well as domain registration and marketing tools.
While you have complete control over the appearance and feel of your website, Big Cartel restricts merchants to five photos per product. Due to the restricted payment and interface possibilities, scaling as a multichannel business is much more difficult using this platform.
Because pricing is determined by the number of things you sell, it can quickly become quite expensive as your company and product line expand.
How do you pick the best eCommerce platform for your business?
There are a few things to consider if you’ve worked out how to launch an online business and are ready to choose which eCommerce platform is best for you.
The best eCommerce platform for you may differ from the best eCommerce platform for another merchant; you must take into account your specific business needs and objectives.
Many retailers opt for easy-to-use online stores such as Exabytes eCommerce because it is the simplest and most cost-effective online shop builder. But the decision is about more than just day-to-day use and cost. You must consider where your company is going and anticipate your future needs—and then pick a platform that can do the same.
It’s now a question of determining the optimal commerce platform—online, in-store, and everywhere in between. This necessitates the use of a best-in-class online store as well as a best-in-class set of business management tools.
Look for a platform that invests in its technology on a regular basis and keeps up with the latest trends in commerce. Your website builder has the potential to be much more than just a company platform—it can also be a vehicle for expansion.
Consider the following possibilities as you consider your options:
- I need to sell my products online, offline, and to all of my consumers, regardless of location, and accept payment for those transactions.
- My products must be delivered to my customers in the most efficient manner possible for my firm.
- To expand my business, I need to engage my existing and potential clients.
- I have to run my company on a daily basis, doing whatever it takes.
- I need to run my business on a daily basis, which includes everything from managing my money to ensuring that my plans are effective, learning new methods, and obtaining technical assistance as needed.
Be aware of the charges
While money should not be the main consideration, it is a significant one. You can get started for as little as $100, but you’ll almost certainly need to invest more than that before seeing a return on your investment, especially in the beginning.
According to findings by Shopify, the average small business owner spends around $40,000 in their first year, with only 9% of it going toward online business needs. You may make the money back or balance it with your profit margins if you have a platform that suits your business needs.
With so many other areas of your business to fund, it’s critical that you select an eCommerce platform that won’t drain your bank account while still providing you with the functionality you need to run your company and earn a profit.
Consider more than simply the setup and monthly fees when calculating prices. You’ll also want to factor in payment processing fees, integration costs, and possible customer support fees (PrestaShop, for instance). Remember that if hosting isn’t included, you’ll have to budget for it as well.
Look for a company that is a suitable fit for your business plan
There are a variety of ways to sell on the internet. You can offer physical or digital things, and other business models have also evolved. If you dropship, for example, you’ll need an eCommerce platform that can readily link in the backend to help you run your business more efficiently.
Exabytes eCommerce, for example, has a variety of apps that you can integrate into your site to make selling easier for various company types. For print-on-demand and subscription businesses, for example, Exabytes eCommerce offers tools that make it easier to run than other platforms.
A platform like Exabytes eCommerce has tons of apps you can integrate into your site to make selling easier for different business models.
There are over 100 apps that can help you run your online business thus making it easier to run on Exabytes eCommerce compared to other platforms.
Consider your long-term business objectives
Even if your company started small, you most certainly have a vision for where you want it to go in the future. Even if you don’t intend to become a global brand, these objectives are vital to consider.
At some time, you might desire to expand your firm into physical retail. POS integrations can be difficult with a limited eCommerce platform. Because your online and offline systems aren’t integrated, you risk having erroneous inventory data.
Everything is tracked and synchronised in one place with a platform like Exabytes eCommerce. As a result, you’ll always have correct inventory and sales data, and you’ll be ready to sell in person in minutes. You can also include services such as local delivery.
Many firms will require additional finance in the future. According to the research by Shopify, as many as two-thirds of entrepreneurs utilise personal resources to support their businesses in the early stages, while 23% borrow from friends and family and 21% use personal loans.
Other business funding sources, on the other hand, are less likely to jeopardise personal connections. Look for eCommerce platforms that offer aid to retailers such as #SamaSamaDigital from Exabytes.
With Exabytes, You Can Start Selling Online Right Away!
It’s never been quicker, faster, or more scalable to sell online with your own eCommerce website. Exabytes eCommerce is a multi-channel platform that allows you to sell to your consumers wherever they are: online, in person, and anywhere in between.
Don’t wait! Get in touch with our friendly and helpful specialists for a full consultation.