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What would you do if you had an additional $1,500 per day?
You can easily create an online shop that generates this kind of revenue with a little bit of effort and the right platform.
Shilpi Yadav's example is a great one. She quit her job and started an online clothing shop based on her Indian heritage.
The brand is now making more than half a billion dollars per year, which averages around $1,500 per person, despite all the risks.
Shopify is one of the most popular ecommerce platforms. She created her online store with Shopify. There are many options available depending on your needs.
The most important thing that stands in your way of your own success story worth $500k is choosing the right ecommerce platform for your store.
This post will discuss the main factors to consider when choosing the right platform to suit your needs. Next, we'll look at seven top choices available today.
#1 – Wix Review – The Best for Flexibility & Customization
Wix is an excellent choice if you are looking for an affordable, flexible ecommerce platform. Wix is known for its drag-and-drop interface that allows you to design anything you want.
You don't have to code your website. Instead, you can use visual building tools to create the site you desire.
Wix also offers access to over 500+ pre-built templates and many customization options. You can also create pages completely from scratch.
Wix templates are great for creating an online store. Instead of messing with settings, plug your products into a framework which will look great every time.
Visitors to your store will believe you spent hours getting such a professional appearance, but Wix takes only minutes.
They also offer a mobile app that allows you to manage and make changes from anywhere in the globe.
Wix also offers a variety of marketing tools, including emails, Facebook ads and social media posts, all accessible from your account dashboard. Even better, you can sell directly through social media.
The ecommerce plans they offer include powerful features like:
- Support for 90+ languages and local currencies
- 250+ Apps to Add Extra Functionality to Your Site
- There are no additional transaction fees
- Custom product pages
- Shipping and taxes worldwide
- Discounts and coupons
- Advanced filtering and sorting
- Collections of products
- You can customize your checkout
- Recurring payments
You can also upgrade to an ecommerce package if you already have Wix.
Wix offers four plans for ecommerce that allow you to create online shops of various sizes.
- Business Basic — $23/month
- Business Unlimited — $27/month
- Business VIP — $49/month
- Pricing for Enterprises
If you are a small business or have special design needs, this is a great option. BigCommerce and Shopify are better options if you need to order large quantities of products or a wide range of products.
Get Wix today for free.
#2 – Squarespace Review – The Best Ecommerce Platform For Creatives
Squarespace is a well-known website builder. However, their higher-tier plans include ecommerce functionality.
Although the templates are easy to use, you can create unique shopping experiences for your customers by using them.
Other platforms that are easy to use have a limited range of capabilities. Squarespace offers a lot more creative freedom.
To find the one that you like most, install and customize multiple templates at once. It takes only a few clicks to switch between templates.
Squarespace has many ecommerce features that go beyond beautiful templates.
- Subscriptions, digital products and in-person compatibility
- Automatic tax calculation using built-in tax tools
- Gift cards and discount codes
- Recovery of abandoned carts
- Mobile-optimized checkout
- Mobile store management
- Rich product listings
- Capability to view quickly
- Inventory management
- Real-time shipping estimates
Squarespace also integrates with many popular social media and email marketing platforms, so you can market and sell your products like a pro.
They offer excellent customer service that is available 24/7/365 to answer all your questions and assist you in getting things setup the way you want.
Squarespace offers three plans for ecommerce:
- Business — $18/month + 3% transaction fee
- Basic Commerce — $26 per Month + 0% transaction fees
- Advanced Commerce — $40 per Month + 0% Transaction Fees
You'll find a Personal plan starting at $12 per month when you look through their pricing options. This plan is ideal if your goal is to create a website. However, it does not include any ecommerce features so it won't work for setting up an online shop.
You can also get an enterprise plan, a dedicated account manager, and priority technical support.
While the Business plan does offer ecommerce capabilities I recommend starting with Basic Commerce. This plan is the most affordable and has no transaction fees. It also includes essential features such as customer accounts, ecommerce analytics, and customer accounts.
Squarespace offers more information and a way to get started.
#3 – Bluehost Review – The Best WooCommerce Store Setup
WooCommerce is my favorite. I love WooCommerce. Fortunately, WordPress is easy enough for me to install, customize and manage it on my WordPress site.
However, I know of many people who prefer not to have this responsibility. This could be because they aren't familiar with WordPress plugins or simply don't have the time to manage WooCommerce.
Bluehost understands that too. That's why they have a simple, turnkey solution for getting WooCommerce stores up and running in no-time.
Bluehost's WooCommerce package includes a helpful guided store creation, as well:
- Security features: Jetpack and SSL built-in
- Unlimitless product listings
- Payment processing
- Customer reviews
- Coupon codes
- Manual order creation
- CodeGuard Backup Basic is available for one year without any additional charges. Daily site backups are possible.
The Standard Plan includes all of this. It protects all information, including login credentials and credit card numbers, from hackers. Bluehost is easy to use. However, it can be more difficult if your host does not manage SSL certificates.
Bluehost has chosen the 20 most important plugins for WooCommerce stores. This is what I find to be the best. This saves you the time and effort of searching for and installing plugins yourself.They are included with no additional charge.
This is huge. These plugins can be as much as $200 per installation.
You can also upgrade to the Premium plan, and get:
- Online appointment scheduling
- Ecommerce subscription-based
- Advanced product customization
- Management of local taxes
- No cost domain privacy
- CodeGuard Backup Basic is included free of charge
Pricing is determined based upon your initial term commitment. You can choose from monthly billing, a one year contract or a three year contract.
Standard plans start at $12.95/month with a 3-year commitment. Premium plans start at $24.95/month.
Both plans renew at the standard month-to-month rate after the term is completed–$29.95/month for Standard and $49.95/month for Premium.
Bluehost is the best place to start a WooCommerce shop.
#4 – BigCommerce Review – The Best Medium to Large Stores
BigCommerce is an all in one ecommerce website builder designed for large online shops. This ecommerce platform offers advanced features that allow you to manage large volumes of products and multiple products.
They are a small player in the industry, with a customer base of more than 100,000 stores, including big names like SkullCandy and Ben & Jerry's.
However, this doesn't mean that the platform is less powerful.
BigCommerce plans offer powerful and industry-leading features such as:
- Customers accounts allow for quicker checkouts
- Mobile-optimized checkout
- Recovery of abandoned carts
- Google AMP, Akamai
- Advanced product filters
- Discount codes and coupons
- Advanced inventory management
- Customer groups for personalized shopping
- 65+ payment gateways available with no additional transaction fees
- Shipment management built-in
All plans come with unlimited files storage, bandwidth, and staff accounts.
You can also choose from 12 mobile-responsive templates or a paid template to make sure your online store stands out from the rest.
BigCommerce offers four plans with a free 15-day trial.
- Standard — $29.95/month, with a limit of $50,000 in annual sales
- Plus: $79.95/month, $180,000 annual sales limit
- Pro — $299.95/month, with a $400,000 annual limit
- Pricing for Enterprises
BigCommerce is not the right choice for an online store if you are just starting out. It's a great choice if your business is established or you plan to sell large volumes.
#5 – Shopify Review – The Best All-In One Ecommerce Platform
Shopify is an all in one ecommerce website builder. It powers over one million online shops, making it one the most popular options on this list.
It is not as customizable as Wix. It's specifically designed to host online shops, so it has more advanced ecommerce capabilities. It's also easy to use and offers just the right amount of flexibility.
It is also extremely versatile and can power everything from small to large stores to all sizes. Shopify plans offer access to an amazing suite of ecommerce features including:
- Point of sale for brick and mortar shops
- Real-time carrier shipping rates
- Recovery of abandoned checkout
- 100 different payment gateways
- Automated tax calculation
- Profiles and customer accounts
- Fulfillment centers
- Advanced inventory management
- Unlimitted products
- Analytics in-depth
You can also create beautiful, functional ecommerce stores without needing to start from scratch with 70+ themes (nine are free). Or, you can just write one line of code.
This is combined with the award-winning 24/7/365 customer service and you get an outstanding ecommerce platform.
Shopify offers five plans to businesses of any size, including:
- Shopify Lite — $9 per month
- Basic Shopify — $29/month
- Shopify — $79 per month
- Advanced Shopify — $299 per Month
- Shopify Plus — custom pricing
Shopify Lite can be used to embed products or “buy” buttons on an existing website. It doesn't include the full-featured website builder.
Shopify uses its own payment processor. They charge between 2.4% and 2.9% plus $0.30, depending on which plan you choose. You may also be charged additional fees (0.5%-2%) if you use another payment processor such as Square or PayPal.
#6 – WooCommerce Review – The Best WordPress Websites
These are all-in one website builders. WooCommerce is not. It is a WordPress plugin that adds ecommerce functionality for existing WordPress sites.
WooCommerce powers around 30% of online stores today. It's also one of the most downloaded ecommerce platforms with over 80 million downloads.
NoteIf you don't have a WordPress site, I wouldn't recommend it. Instead, stick to an all-in one ecommerce platform.
WooCommerce plugin is lightweight and adds ecommerce features like online payments, configurable shipping options and product listings. To use it, you must have an existing website. It's an excellent option for those who already use WordPress.
It features powerful ecommerce features such as:
- Extensions for plugins to improve functionality
- Rest APIs allow developers to create custom platforms
- Numerous tutorials and documentation
- 140 regional payment gateways
- Subscriptions and deposits support
- Automated tax calculation
- Shipping rates in real-time
- Mobile apps for iOS and Android
- Capability to produce physical and digital products
- There are endless product variations
- Forum for public support
The best part? It's completely free to download, install and use. It's free to download, install, and use for life.
Some extensions may not be free, so make sure you are aware of that before you begin digging.
WordPress is a powerful tool that allows you to customize almost anything. WooCommerce is truly limitless.
It's not the most intuitive or user-friendly ecommerce platform. If you don't know WordPress well enough, I wouldn't recommend it.
#7 – OpenCart Review – The Best Digital Products Selling Platform
OpenCart, a similar open-source ecommerce platform to WooCommerce, is another. It's not restricted to WordPress websites. To use it, you will need an existing website.
OpenCart is used by over 300,000 online shops to sell products in all sizes and shapes online. It's also very easy to set it up. Most web hosting companies provide one-click installation.
Note:This route is only recommended if your website is already up and running.
You can sell any product, but the simple interface and free price tag make it an excellent choice for digital products. This will allow you to make more money from your online business.
It's free forever, so there is no monthly cost.
OpenCart has a wide range of powerful ecommerce features.
- Administration dashboard that is simple and central
- Access controls and advanced user roles
- Multiple stores can be managed from one dashboard
- There are many product variations and variables available.
- Integral rewards and management system for affiliates
- Coupons and discounts
- Unlimitted products
- One-click digital downloads
- Ratings and product information
- 36 payment methods with built-in payments
- Recurring payments
You can also add any functionality to the marketplace with over 13,000 themes and modules. This includes service integrations and conversion modules.
OpenCart extensions may not be free. For more advanced capabilities, you may need to pay.
They don't offer free support at the moment.
You can pay for dedicated support if you don't find the answer you are looking for in their community forum. For $99 per site, or $99 for a single fix, dedicated support is available.
#8 – Ecwid Review – The Best to Integrate With Your Current Platform
Ecwid, like WooCommerce and OpenCart, is an ecommerce platform that you can integrate with any existing platform.
It can integrate with platforms such as Wix, WordPress and Squarespace. Ecwid is a great choice if you have an existing website and wish to add ecommerce functionality.
If you're looking to build a website from scratch, they offer an all-in one ecommerce website creator. There are other website builders that you can use.
Ecwid is recommended only if you are looking to integrate ecommerce on your existing site.
The ecommerce platform offers a variety of features such as:
- Multi-channel selling (social media, marketplaces, in-person, etc.)
- Email marketing and advertising integrated
- Order management and inventory centralization
- There are no transaction fees
- Fully responsive designs
- Integrations with POS built-in
- Customers accounts allow for simple checkout
- Shipping rate calculator in real-time
- Variations of Poduct
- Digital product capabilities
- There are 40 payment options
You can't manage your shop from your website dashboard. This is the biggest problem. Instead, you will need to log into Ecwid. You will need to manage two accounts.
The good news is that the plan can be used to test it before you make any investment.
You can only have ten products on the free plan, so upgrade if you require more. Ecwid offers three paid plans:
- Venture — $15/month (upto 100 products)
- $35/month for business (up to 2,500 products).
- Unlimited — $99/month (unlimited Products)
This price is for monthly payments. The price will be slightly lower if you're willing to sign a long-term contract.
You might be more successful as a standalone store builder with the help of other options, such as Shopify and Wix.
Ecwid can be used to create an ecommerce store if you have a website.
Here's What I Did to Find the Best Ecommerce Platform
The right ecommerce platform is dependent on many factors, including your level of experience, your customization needs, and the products you are selling.
It can be overwhelming to pick the right platform because there are so many options.
You might start by making a list of your requirements and the features that you require. The following criteria will help you narrow down your options.
Comparison of digital and physical products
Digital products are a growing market. Digital products are generating tons of money for new businesses. These include online courses, music, art and podcasts.
Selling and delivering digital products to people is not the same thing as delivering physical products to their doorsteps.
Shopify is an excellent option if you are looking to sell digital products. However, some ecommerce platforms may not allow digital products. Before you decide which product you want to sell, it is important to fully understand the differences.
What are the steps to get your ecommerce website up and running?
There are many ways to deploy your platform, depending on where you're at the moment and where you want it to go.
Integrating an online store is better than creating a new website on a different platform if you have a website. You can build on what you already have. This use-case is perfect for OpenCart.
WooCommerce plugin can be used to add ecommerce functionality to WordPress sites. This plugin is easy to install and manage.
You will need a website builder if you are starting from scratch.
Squarespace and Wix make sense in this instance. You get everything you need at an affordable price.
Important aspects of day-today ecommerce management include order management, product creation, tracking orders and dashboard navigation.
You want a platform that is easy to use and maintain on a daily basis. It shouldn't be difficult to create new products or check the status of an existing order.
It is all about finding the perfect balance between flexibility, customization, ease of use. It is more difficult to manage a platform that can do more.
Choose a platform that allows you to do your job efficiently and doesn't limit your options.
Capabilities in Design
Wix is one of the few ecommerce website builders that allows you to drag and drop. This means that there are many customization options. You can create it if you can think it. However, this freedom can make the platform more difficult.
The integration of other platforms into your site allows you to keep the same look and feel as your website, but with very few customization options. This is great for some users.
Others may desire more control.
Simple designs and easy-to-use interfaces are better for beginners than design flexibility.
Design is important if your brand or physical store has been established. This will allow you to create a consistent aesthetic across all touch points.
Advanced Ecommerce Features
Are you interested in being able to offer discounts and accept payments via different payment processors. Perhaps you would like to remind visitors when they leave your website and add something to their cart.
Maybe you are interested in creating customer profiles or analyzing advanced analytics.
You can also use advanced ecommerce features such as:
- Integrations for email marketing
- Recurring payments and memberships
- Discount codes and gift cards
- Payment plans or partial payments
- Fulfillment and shipping management
- Variations in product
- Categories of products
Consider what you really need and what you would like to have. You can then narrow down your choices by using your list.
It's refreshing to find an ecommerce platform that does exactly what you want. After trying dozens of options over the years I am confident in my selection of the best options.
- Wix – The best for flexibility and customization
- Squarespace – The best ecommerce platform to support creatives
- Bluehost – The best for WooCommerce store setups
- BigCommerce – Great for medium-sized to large stores
- Shopify – The best all-in-one ecommerce platform
- WooCommerce – Best for WordPress Websites
- OpenCart – Best for selling digital products
- Ecwid – The best for integration with your existing platform
Wix is my #1 recommendation to most users. Wix is great for all levels of experience. It's also easy to use, customizable, and inexpensive. Squarespace is an excellent alternative to Wix if you don't like the flexibility of Wix.
BigCommerce and Shopify are great options for large-scale stores.
But, if you have a website already, WooCommerce or OpenCart are great options depending on what you need.
Bluehost's WooCommerce Online Stores are a great choice if you have a WordPress website and need an easier way to create your WooCommerce store.
By: Neil Patel
Title: Best Ecommerce Platforms
Sourced From: neilpatel.com/blog/best-ecommerce-platforms/
Published Date: Fri, 13 Aug 2021 19:00:00 +0000