- March 12, 2021
The rise in online shopping has been tremendous in the last 20 years. There has also been a huge uptake in online shopping from the sheer number of lockdowns and stores closing in 2020. This has led customers to start to sell online for the first time. First-time online retailers can find it difficult to differentiate some of the options available to them. We have decided to review the best e-commerce platforms available in 2021.
Setting up a website used to be a lengthy and difficult task just 15 years ago never mind creating an online store selling products. You needed a very hefty budget to build a high-quality website whereas that is not the case today. The increased demand for online selling has led to the development of multiple different e-commerce platforms. There is a large selection of e-commerce platforms available and they all do something slightly different.
If you have done any research about platforms for selling online odds are you have come across WIX. It is a simple platform to use especially for a small business. A major benefit is how quickly WIX can be set up in order to start selling online quickly. It is a great drag and drop website builder which will strongly benefit a business that is starting out to sell online.
There are more than 500 templates to choose from on WIX to get you on the go in the digital world. Some features on WIX which are beneficial include the ability to add unlimited products and sell on social media such as Instagram and Facebook. It also provides a booking service which can be used for reservations or even selling services.
You can also offer subscriptions and have online recurring payments if you upgrade above the basic package. There is only 20GBs of storage available on the basic plan. If you are starting on selling online WIX is definitely a great starter platform. However, if your business grows quickly you will need to upgrade past the basic package. WIX is recommended for a small business trying to break into the online retail market.
Another popular e-commerce platform you have probably heard about. It is surprising if you haven’t as it is the most popular platform for the English-speaking areas. Shopify has over one million merchants using their platform. They also offer a Shopify Lite option for your website which will provide a method that allows you to process payments.
Spotify is compatible with plenty of high-quality plugins for additional features such as e-mail marketing and other options. You can really expand past the online sales and deep dive into the analytics to discover which areas you should focus on optimizing. Shopify provides live chat options and the ability to add storefronts onto some apps such as Facebook and Instagram.
Similar to WIX it also provides a drag and drop interface that is easy to use. Shopify can be matched with plug-ins such as Oberlo which is free to set up dropshipping. You also have the choice of multiple different packages which can be paid monthly or annually which will reduce the price by 10%.
WooCommerce is an e-commerce solution from WordPress. It is a free plugin that you can use to turn your website into a functioning online retailer. It is extremely easy to install the WooCommerce plugin and it is also free to download and use for the basic version of the service. There are over 400 official extensions that can be combined with WooCommerce including a wide array of themes you can select.
The e-commerce platform also comes with a built-in CMS that you can use to operate a blog. The system is very competent for managing both customers and orders. You will still need extensions for email marketing and some other features.
Magento is designed as a focus for a large business. It isn’t as easy to set up as WIX, Shopify and WooCommerce. However, you will have complete control over your site. A site developer can create a unique experience for your customers. You can also maintain server autonomy. You can use open-source software which is available for free.
Magento also trumps the other options when it comes down to SEO. As it is fully customizable you can optimize for every aspect of SEO to help you grab the top rankings. Don’t be fooled though you still have to go through the right steps. A WordPress platform that checks all the right SEO boxes will rank much higher than a Magento platform missing out on some key areas.
If you are not very technically adept using Magento will be more complicated than some of the simple drag and drop websites. Magento costs much more than your other basic options. These costs can rack up for a small business if you need a software developer to make changes on your site. Although the cost is the biggest drawback of the platform, any larger company should opt for a platform like Magento to both optimize and customize their site.
The BigCommerce platform has been around since 2009 when it was established. Their name might seem like they are only suited to big corporations. Whereas that is not the case as their personal niche is the major focus, they place on supporting businesses that are on their platform. When using BigCommerce you can opt to build your own store using the themes available and customize it to your liking or allow the designers at BigCommerce to do it for you.
BigCommerce also comes with a built-in CMS that you can use to build out your blog. You can add product reviews and ratings easily on top of the CMS. You may need to have more technical knowledge for BigCommerce compared to WIX or WooCommerce. However, they offer a much better support system to guide you through their e-commerce platform.
You have multiple different e-commerce platforms to choose in 2021. Not all of them will suit your needs depending on the size or the scope of your business. The best solution is to define the needs of your organization over a set period of time such as two years and select your platform from that information. Avoid choosing an e-commerce platform that you will outgrow in six months. At the same time, don’t select the biggest one if you can’t utilize it fully until you achieve your year three goals.
We are certain that there is an e-commerce platform available for you. Even if you don’t think any of these platforms don’t match your needs don’t worry. You can drop us a line here at Code Factory for advice on the best e-commerce platforms for your needs.