If you are looking to make your footprint on the online world by opening an eCommerce store, it might be difficult to make the decision of which platform you will use to serve your customers online. In this article, we’ll be looking at the four most common eCommerce platforms and outlining their pros and cons. At the end, you will have your perfect eCommerce solution. So let’s begin!
Magento is the superstar of eCommerce platforms. According to builtWith, over half a million online shops are built using Magento.
Its Community Edition is completely open source and free. This version is usually suited for most online businesses, but if you are after a more robust solution, they also offer an Enterprise Edition at $15 000/year. This means that Magento is able to scale as you scale.
If it’s features that you’re after, Magento has a huge collection of free and paid plugins that you can add to your site. That means a huge deal of customisation in terms of functionality.
Not only are your options limitless for functionality, but you’ll be able to make your site stand out with a fully customisable design. Your website will definitely be able to stand out and align your site with your brand.
The flexibility of Magento does come at an expected cost of a higher complexity, with a higher financial investment (for its build and hosting), longer timeline, and the requirement of a specialist team.
However, if you’re after a robust and highly customisable platform to build your eCommerce site, you will quickly realise your return on investment.
Shopify is the perfect eCommerce solution for a business that is just dipping their toes in the eCommerce space. It has everything you need to operate a simple store-front and get an online cash flow.
Cost Effective to Set Up
If you’ve got simple products to sell, Shopify may be the perfect solution for you. It is pretty much a hassle free setup process if you do not require much in the customisation department. You will have your eCommerce store up and running in no time.
Hosted with Shopify
Hosting can sometimes be a confusing mess to work out. Unlike many other eCommerce solutions, Shopify offers web hosting for your store. With all their packages, all sites can be hosted with unlimited bandwidth, fast speeds and security.
Hit and Miss Customisation
Although Shopify is quite flexible in terms of design, it may be a little difficult to have more complicated functionalities integrated and change existing functionalities. If you’re after customisation, you will definitely need some Shopify specialists.
In order to continue using Shopify, businesses will need to pay a monthly fee, with 3 different tiers depending on the size of your store. Over time, these costs add up, especially if you require more premium features.
Woocommerce is WordPress’ answer to an eCommerce solution. It is a very promising up-and-coming platform in the eCommerce space.
Customisation and Flexibility
Thanks mostly to the open-source community, there have been significant developments in additional plugins and features to allow for vast customisations. However, some may need one-time payments to unlock. Design is also quite flexible, so your brand’s image can shine through your store as well. But, as with all customisation, it may be difficult to do them yourself without a strong technical team.
Intuitive Backend Management
Since it is directly integrated with WordPress, it uses the same backend system that is incredibly easy to use. You’ll be able to easily organise and update your inventory, prices and content. This means less time navigating through a complicated website backend and more time focused on business growth.
Not eCommerce Focused
At its core, WordPress is a content management system, so Woocommerce is really just an extension of its fundamental purpose of delivering flexible content. This is why it’s the perfect solution for businesses who already have a WordPress site or those who are looking to also build a comprehensive content side to the business.
Robust and reliable are two words that you would use to describe the Drupal Commerce platform. Similarly to Woocommerce, Drupal Commerce integrates directly with the open-source Drupal CMS. If you have a website that already uses the Drupal backend, or you’re looking to use an advanced CMS, this may be the eCommerce platform you are looking for.
Customisation in Design and Functionality
As stated previously, Drupal is an incredibly robust eCommerce platform. This means that you’ll be able to customise your store to a great degree, without compromising quality in design or functionality. You will need the help of Drupal specialists, who can tell you what’s possible and what’s not, but if you can think it, it probably can happen.
Customisation may be Costly
Like other platforms, customisation means enlisting the services of a design and technical team that can implement the customisations and flexibilities you desire for your store. However, with any investment in your business, if you have your customers’ experience at the forefront, you’ll get your return in no time.
That was a lot of information, but we’ve prepared a little summary chart that contains the highlights of the eCommerce solutions discussed.
Download the PDF here.
If you would like some further information about which eCommerce platform is perfect for you, or you’re ready to hire some eCommerce specialists, contact us! We are a dedicated team of eCommerce website designers and designers and can help you get started.