As per recent statistics, 51% of Americans think shopping online is the best way to shop.
You must be aware of the fact that the competition in online retailing business is increasing day by day. The only factor which can make your online store stand out from your competitors is “User Experience.”
How to ensure that your store is providing excellent user experience?
You can ensure that by using the best eCommerce platform.
What is an eCommerce platform?
An eCommerce platform is a tool which helps in building, customizing and running an online store.
Online retailers are often confused with which eCommerce platform to use so that best user experience can be provided to the users and conversions can be maximized.
There are 2 main types of eCommerce platforms – hosted and self-hosted. Hosted eCommerce platform simply means you can get your store hosted on the server of the provider. Whereas, in case you are using self-hosted eCommerce platform, you get the software to manage the store, hosted on a different server.
So, now which one to go for? Hosted or self-hosted eCommerce platform?
Let’s go through the details of some hosted and self-hosted eCommerce platforms, which would help you in deciding the best one suiting for your business type.
Hosted eCommerce Platforms
Things become easier if you are using hosted eCommerce platforms but then you will be able to customize your store up to a certain extent only. Moreover, you need to pay a certain amount every year to the service provider in order to keep your store running seamlessly. To get a better understanding, below mentioned are some examples of hosted eCommerce platforms –
Shopify is considered as one of the best hosted eCommerce platforms because it has many apps which can be downloaded to improvise the functionality of an online store. It can be customized but has some limitations when it comes to changing the checkout page.
Volusion is somewhat similar to Shopify but it cannot be customized up to that extent. It is considered to be a perfect eCommerce platform for starting up in an online store as it doesn’t require any technical know-how. Moreover, it is cheaper than Shopify and so is considered by many online retailers.
Its features of efficient store management, high security, and great marketing tools make it a perfect choice for many online store owners.
BigCommerce is considered to be an all-in-one eCommerce platform preferred by many due to its high speed, security and versatile in-built features. It is quite easy to design an appealing online store using BigCommerce.
Precisely, BigCommerce just includes everything required to build a versatile online store providing the excellent user experience.
Self-hosted eCommerce Platforms
Using self-hosted eCommerce platform would be just a perfect choice if unlimited customization is required in a store. You get access to the entire source code and so you can just change anything you want as per your business logic. Here, we will discuss some self-hosted eCommerce platforms, which can answer all the relevant queries arising in your mind.
Magento is a highly renowned open source eCommerce platform used by around 250,000 online stores globally. The reason behind this? Versatile content management, ease of use and the most important – it can be highly customized as per your business requirements.
Adding to it, Magento has inbuilt SEO features which help your store in ranking on top of SERPs ultimately helping in increasing revenue. It can easily integrate with third-party extensions and provide functionality, making the store work the way you want it to.
WooCommerce is an eCommerce platform powered by WordPress. You can easily set up a store using WooCommerce and get the functionality your business demands.
It can help your online store to work professionally with highly secure features. One of the best aspects of WooCommerce is that it can be customized to a high extent. This means you get an online store which is out-of-the-box.
Prestashop has one advantage over Magento and that is it’s easy to use admin panel. It is an open source eCommerce platform which is considered as a perfect option for beginners and intermediates.
You get all the functionality you require inbuilt in a Prestashop store as the source code can be completely accessed. Whether you have 100 products or 1000 products to sell, Prestashop would work in a perfect manner.
The question still remains…..
Which One Is The Best eCommerce Platform?
If you own an online store with lot many products and require versatile functionality, you can consider one of the best self-hosted eCommerce platforms like Magento. Choosing Magento would be great but then you would require hiring developers to get your store developed and updated regularly. You can consider WooCommerce a simpler substitute of Magento which can also be a cheaper option.
On the contrary, if you are looking forward to launching an online store instantly, hosted eCommerce platform like Shopify would be a perfect choice for you.
Ultimately, choosing the best eCommerce platform depends on many factors like type of industry, number of products you are selling and above all your technical know-how and budget.
Get in touch with us for free consulting on selecting the best eCommerce platform for your online business.