When looking for an eCommerce platform to handle your store, you could be forgiven for being overwhelmed by the number of options. There are plenty of different platforms currently on the market, all with different pricing, features and capabilities.
This makes choosing the right eCommerce platform for your store a tough decision. How do you know which web design and development platform will offer all of the features your store needs at a reasonable and transparent price?
Not only that, but how can you be sure that your chosen platform will scale with your business as it grows and continue to adopt new technologies as they become available?
We’ve put together this overview of the top eCommerce platforms right now, to help you choose the right one for your business.
Shopify has experienced a meteoric rise to the top of the eCommerce platform charts. It’s currently rated the top platform on ecommerce-platforms.com and recently surpassed industry stalwart Magento as the most popular platform in terms of search traffic.
Shopify take care of hosting, SSL certificates and the rest of the technical set-up, so you don’t need to be a coding expert to get started with Shopify. Their pricing structure is also very simple, so there are no hidden fees and you can easily plan the costs into your forecasts.
A great advantage to choosing Shopify, is the Shopify app store. Apps allow you to add extra functionality to your store such as recurring payments. This means anything you find missing from Shopify can usually be fixed with an app.
Shopify’s interface is also very easy to use, so accessing all of your sales data, building reports and adding products is all a breeze.
Not only that, but an incredible community has grown around the platform. There’s a wealth of Shopify developers and creatives out there and they regularly get together at Shopify’s ‘Meetup’ events to share ideas. In fact, we hosted a meetup in Leeds recently and we’re also Shopify Experts!
As mentioned above, Magento has been in the eCommerce business for a long time. Since being originally released in 2008, it has been a front runner in the eCommerce market. Many see their longevity as trust-worthy; others see the platform as outdated.
Nowadays, Magento offers various different versions, depending on the size of your store. All of these are self-hosted, meaning you’ll have to handle all of the hosting, SSL and other technical aspects yourself.
The Magento interface is far less user friendly than some other platforms on this list, and it requires plenty of time and technical knowledge to set up. However, once you’re up and running, you’ll benefit from a good set of features and plenty of options for customisation.
Customer support for Magento can be quite difficult to access. However, a large developer community exists around the platform, so there’s plenty of 3rd party help available if you understand tech or have a web developer on hand.
Generally, Magento is a robust and adaptable platform that should be able to cope with your store. Just be sure to get the advice of a professional on which version would be the best option.
BigCommerce offers plenty of features and a pretty easy-to-navigate interface. You’ll find everything you’d expect from an eCommerce platform, with add-ons to further enhance functionality.
There’s also a good selection of themes available for those looking to customise rather than create a custom store design. This means set-up is simpler and quicker than many other platforms.
There are some similarities between BigCommerce and Shopify, however, one way in which the platforms differ is pricing. BigCommerce’s pricing structure is more complex than Shopify’s and is not all that transparent. There have even been stories of BigCommerce increasing pricing for successful stores.
In general, BigCommerce is a solid choice of platform that should fit most growing stores. Just be sure to fully research the prices you’ll be paying.