From traditional commerce to ecommerce – Part III

Selecting and comparing different e-commerce platforms.


The easiest way to set up an e-commerce site is through the help of existing online platforms for fast creation of a site to sell on internet.


This is much more convenient and less expensive. It requires less time in comparison to professional web developer’s services to create a site from scratch. 

Many e-commerce industry’s players, especially newer and smaller ones, prefer to use commercially available platforms to focus their time and resources on other business’ aspects. There are several e-commerce platforms, but here are some of the most popular:


Shopify

Shopify is considered the leading platform for setting up an e-commerce site. It serves more than 120,000 store owners. It is praised for its community support that will help you carry out previous and subsequent configuration. The plans are priced as low as $14 per month and as high as $79 per month.

Shopify is considered the best option to sell clothes, furniture and digital books.


BigCommerce

It is another cloud e-commerce platform with all-in-one service. If you are looking to expand your online store, Bigcommerce is the perfect choice.

Bigcommerce has it covered from start to finish, from creating and managing your e-commerce store to managing your content online with its integrated content management system.
You can easily start your own online store in one session!

It is not necessary to search for a hosting provider, since Bigcommerce will host your e-commerce store, as well as its security. Simply sit back and relax as your platform can handle the traffic waves that reach your website, as well as your first-line security that protects your website from first visit until your client leaves.

With its clear and intuitive interface, you can go big with your Bigcommerce ecommerce site!


Volusion

Volusion is a good choice for furniture, equipment and household items. It serves more than 50,000 store owners, including Motorola and Disney.

Volusion will help you market your product, design your site, optimize searches, marketing and order processing. It also provides services for domain name, credit card processing and fraud protection. Volusion also offers unique features such as mCommerce, Social Store Builder, loyalty rewards program and affiliate marketing.


WooCommerce

The WooCommerce plugin for WordPress is free but it is not for everyone. WooCommerce is the option for online business owners who are brave enough to want to set up an e-commerce site with their own personal touch.

WooCommerce would require your time, patience and dedication to learn how to configure it and turn it into a place you can proudly call yours. In addition, additional add-ons can help make your site even better, but these now also have additional costs.


Magento 2.0

The original Magento was available in 2008, was sold to eBay and then spun off. Magento 2.0 was launched in November 2017 and aims to help its more than 200,000 store owners improve user participation, smooth site navigation and increase conversion rates.

One of the best Magento features, it is really flexible and its developers are ready to extend functionalities to meet your specific needs.

There are a number of other e-commerce platforms available in market, but we prefer you try the others directly if you think the ones omentioned above is not right for you. But now, you know at least four e-commerce platforms, we will explain some factors to consider when choosing your e-commerce site.


Here, there are 10 factors you should consider:


1. Think about your goals.

Think about how you anticipate the business will grow and choose a platform that can serve the growing business and its requirements.


2. Consider integration.

One of the advantages of prefabricated platforms is that many of them allow integration with other technologies, as well as with social media sites. This will help increase your customer base and, ultimately, increase sales.


3. Choose what is best for your products.

Some platforms have features that are better for specific products. If your offers are limited to a specific type, you may want to consider a platform that works better for your product type.

4. Analyze the competition.

Research direct competitors and check which platforms are being used. Check what is good and bad in your e-commerce sites.This will help you decide which platform best suits your business. Your budget is important.


5. Your budget matters

Creation of an ecommerce site will undoubtedly entail costs. The choice of a platform, themes, add-ons and value-added services are added to the invoice. Make sure you choose a platform you can pay considering months when sales are not so high.


6. Evaluate hosting options

Another consideration is if you are going to be hosted or self-hosted. Would it be nice if the service you select allows you to manage your infrastructure like with Magento and WooCommerce? Or do you prefer to go with a hosted option such as Shopify and Volusion?


7. Do not forget about the server’s features.

The features in the forefront are important, but so are the backend. Make sure the company you select has backend technical characteristics that you need and use them in your company’s growth. If you do not take this decision well, you may have problems in the future.


8. Consider compatible payment and shipping options

Not all platforms allow third-party payment processors. It is better to be able to offer clients as many payment options as possible to allow them to pay. Also, consider what shipping methods are native to your platform. Clients will also appreciate fast and affordable shipping options for their purchases.


9. Support is essential

Not all platforms provide as much support to store owners as others. Especially if you are new to online retail business, support is a necessary service from a platform.


10. Never forget about security.

Security is really important for your e-commerce site. The platform you choose should provide options to help keep security of your site intact at all times.

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