e commerce

5 Awesome E commerce Platforms for Your Online Startup

Before the advent of Internet and E commerce in particular, having a business was all about having physical location. However, advancement in technology has changed that trend. Because People can now run online shops by sitting in the comforts of their homes. Secondly, starting a brick and mortar business was all about having large sum of initial investment. Though, working from E-Commerce platforms has minimized, in some cases, diminished the need for capital all together.

however In this blog, I aim to introduce young entrepreneurs to the world of E-Commerce Platforms. Here, you will find discussion about Top 5 E-commerce platforms for Online Startups.But I am going to compare and contrast all these platforms and the end you will be able to make a selection based on your individual needs.

1. Big Commerce

BigCommerce was launched in 2009 by two Australians; named, Eddie Machaalani and Mitchell Harper. It is Head Quartered in Texas, USA.

It has the most expensive monthly subscription on the list ($29.95/month). However, it is well rounded solution to your E-Commerce needs. BigCommerce features web hosting, design, order processing, shipping and advanced analytics.

It also comes with free SSL certification for all its packages. The SSL secures your website and protect your customers’ sensitive financial data.

Because You can also sell on eBay, Facebook, Amazon and Pinterest, by using its integration feature.But The E commerce platform also supports in-person sales and integrates with POS (point of sale) softwares like Shopkeep and Square.

Positives

  • Free SSL Certification (https)
  • Resource of how-to videos
  • Advanced Analytics Tools
  • Unlimited Product Showcasing

Negatives

  • Very Expensive
  • Less Add-ons
  • No Free Version

2. Shopify

Shopify was established in 2006 by the founders of SnowDevil, a Canadian based company. The company boosts 500,000 merchants using its platform.

however Shopify is very user-friendly and anyone can setup an online shop without any knowledge of coding. The process usually takes about minutes to get going.

There are beautiful themes available to Shopify merchants. Some of them are free, while others are paid ones. The Premium themes cost around $150 to $200.

The dashboard is intuitive and you can use it to organize your products inventories. While You can also offer discount vouchers and gifts to the customer from the same dashboard.

For integration you need to head to Shopify App .Store.Because some of shopify paid ones provide advanced functions.

Positives

  • User Friendly
  • No Coding Knowledge Needed
  • Intuitive Dashboard
  • Unlimited Product Inventory
  • Aesthetic themes

Negatives

  • Hosting is expensive than Self-Hosted Site ($13/month)
  • Advanced Integrations are Paid

3. Magento

Magento was launched in 2008 by Varien Inc, US based company, headquartered in California. It is open source shopping cart software developed by volunteer developers in PHP. Open source terminology simple means that it’s free, like WordPress CMS system.

You can install Magento by using PHP cPanel. Further, start building your store using Magento Admin Panel.

The drawback of using this Platform is that it requires extensive knowledge of Web Development technologies.But You might need to hire someone who is expert in Magento Shopping Cart.

There are advance features in Magento. However like, showing specific products to already defined audience. You can observe sales, organize products, create newsletters, manage customers and check abandoned carts, all from the Admin Panel

Positive

  • Free & Open Source
  • Flexible

Negative

  • Requires Coding Knowledge
  • Not User Friendly

4. Woo Commerce

WooCommerce is a WordPress Plugin, launched in 2011 by WooThemes.However It powers 400,000 online shops as per their data.

Though WooCommerce is completely free. However, buying domain and hosting the website costs as per BlueHost policy.

But all the E commerce platforms mentioned above, WooCommerce is by far the easiest to use and affordable. If you want to try out your ideas but don’t have even minimum investment, try WooCommerce, without spending a dime. It gives you all the basic and important features necessary to run an online store.

It supports unlimited products and related images. Because You can set product variations within a single product along with different pricing strategy.

The payment system includes Paypal, Cash on Delivery or Bank Transfer.But The shipment can be done both locally and internationally or you can give customer  location to pick the product from.

Positives

  • Free for All
  • User Friendly
  • Tons of extensions
  • Unlimited products and images
  • Awesome Customer Support

Negatives

  • Domain/Hosting Sold Separately
  • Several Extensions are expensive

5. Big Cartel

however Big Cartel is different from all the above Platforms.Because It follows minimalist approach by offering limited products for small creative business niche.

While You can sell up to five products on a store while with Bigcartel link for free (store.bigcartel.com). however To use your store URL you can upgrade to paid plans. ButThe paid plans increase maximum number of products to 300.

Big Cartel is simple and easy to setup.Because All you need to do is to add few products, set up payment and go live. But You can use the platforms website builder. From however, you can set logo, text and colors of the site. Because Themes are also available if you want to change the overall appearance of the store .

Positives

  • User Friendly
  • Reasonable pricing ($9.95/month for 25 products)
  • iOS App Available

Negatives

While it has some negatives points as well e commerce.

  • Free Version too Limited
  • Small Product Range
  • Product Customization Limited

Content Written: Waqas Khan

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