A Starters Guide To E-Commerce
Shopify, Bigcommerce, and Magento are three of the largest e-commerce platforms available today. Making a decision on one of these platforms can be one of the most fundamental decisions any entrepreneur can make in the early stages. There are lots of factors that need to be weighed up including:
- ease of use
Here is a breakdown of some of the most popular e-commerce platforms.
Shopify is a template based e-commerce platform that is easy to use for users new to e-commerce. For the use of Shopify, it starts at $29 a month for the basic package up to $179 for the ultimate package with no transaction fees.
Shopify comes equipped with SEO tools, beautiful templates and a selection of analytical tools. On top of this, you also have access to automated store backups, Paypal payment options and the support of all major credit card companies.
Shopify has a selection of “apps” for your store. These apps allow you to add extra features to your site outside the standard Shopify platform. You have the selection of apps that allow you to run loyalty programs, run email automation and auto-invoice customers. That is only touching the surface of what these apps can do for your online store.
Shopify isn’t all rainbows and white picket fences. Like many other hosted e-commerce solutions. Shopify doesn’t allow much customization over the checkout page. If your ultimate goal is to make those last ditch efforts to hook customers in at check-out, then maybe Shopify isn’t the solution for you.
Bigcommerce is a template based e-commerce platform, just like Shopify. The cheapest package starts from $29.95 for the standard plan and up to $199.95 for the pro package.
The key benefits of BigCommerce are its ease of use and speed. You can set up your site’s look and feel, merchandising and everything businesswise. BigCommerce comes with a visual editor and many unique templates. With a limited knowledge of HTML, you will be able to turn your e-commerce store into a selling powerhouse.
As expected the platform comes equipped with e-commerce essentials. Managing products, enabling bulk pricing, and customizing store merchandising is a breeze. Products can effortlessly be sorted into categories creating a hierarchy for your online store.
Bigcommerce comes equipped with a great selection of marketing features. Treat your customers to daily deal, rule-based promotions and coupons for customers. Send alerts to customers that abandoned their cart to entice them to complete the transaction.
Unlike Shopify, Bigcommerce doesn’t boast the same selection of “apps” to integrate into your store. If you wish to use BigCommerce and need some custom solutions, hiring a developer may be the best option.
Magento is the most customizable and scalable e-commerce platform available. Unlike Shopify and Big Commerce, Magento is an open-source, self-hosted e-commerce solution. Magento lets you customize any aspect of your online store, ensuring an amazing customer journey.
Magento is a great option if you are looking to run a large e-commerce store. When it comes to scalability and flexibility you should look no further than Magento. The platform covers all the needs of a serious e-commerce website. Magento can seamlessly integrate with external applications such as stock control or accounting. Dealing with complex discount vouchers is simple and the reporting functionality trumps that of BigCommerce and Spotify.
The key advantage of this platform is the ultimate level of customisation. Magento can easily be adjusted for any e-commerce operation. Magneto provides a lot of resources to learn more about it to get a better understanding as to how it would suit your business.
Just like BigCommerce and Shopify, Magento offers it’s own app store called Magento Connect. Offering a large selection of paid and free solutions to connect to your site. There are a lot of low-quality extensions available, this is the downside of an open-source platform.