The success of your e-commerce venture largely depends on which platform you use in developing it. One of the success factors in your e-commerce website is its robustness and power. Is it capable of handling many e-commerce features such as online payment security, SEO-friendliness, and accessibility?
E-commerce has opened a lot of possibilities for businesses. Online retail is a booming business whose estimated total global sales are estimated to soar by 18.6 percent to $1.89 trillion in 2016, according to eMarketer.
Platform pros and cons
But not all online business sites are the same. Their capabilities and potentials largely depend on the platform where they have been developed.
So which among some of the most popular e-commerce platforms can provide the perfect solution to your needs as a small business? Let us weigh in.
The leader of e-commerce platforms, Magento, boasts of power unmatched by the competition. It has around 200,000 live stores running as of this writing. It is also the platform by which more than a quarter of all online businesses across the globe have been developed.
What makes Magento the global choice for e-commerce development? Let us take a look at its…
- Magento is an open-source solution with an active and thriving community of developers. This nature allows It to have a wide array of themes and extensions to pack up power in your website.
- It has limitless design potential – Any seasoned web developer and designer can transform Magento websites to eye-catching designs that cater to an optimized user experience. It also has themes that have designs that fit your e-commerce website.
- It is capable of allowing a huge number of products and categories. It can display a virtually unlimited amount of products and categories, a feature ideal for both beginning and huge enterprises.
- It boasts a wealth of product and order management features – thanks again to the Magento community; the platform has a large pool of features for many e-commerce uses.
- It has advanced marketing campaign tools such as advanced coupon code system. Giving incentives to customers is an important ingredient for the success of marketing campaigns. These tools allow merchants to enhance their marketing promos for bigger sales.
- You can add all payment gateways through third party modules aside from the default, PayPal.
- It has advanced SEO features. E-commerce experts believe Magento is unparalleled in SEO due to the wealth of extensions and support from the community.
- It can be integrated to WordPress for blogging, which is a powerful marketing component to increase traffic.
- With all Magento’s powers, it needs competent developers to get the most out of it. Being free comes with a price. This platform is highly technical and needs web professionals to make it run unless you’re a certified Magento developer or a self-taught one.
- You need to set up the website from scratch, meaning, you have to apply for web hosting, domain name, security, and other requirements yourself or through your developer.
Shopify is one of the most popular entry-level e-commerce platforms. More than 100,000 live stores use it. It has the following pros and cons:
- You can set up your e-commerce website even without developers’ help. It does the hosting, domain naming, server setting, security, etc. for you. This user-friendly quality makes Shopify the platform of choice for e-commerce startups.
- Shopify has a retail package that acts as a digital cash register for your brick-and-mortar shops. This is perfect for a unified brick-and-mortar and e-commerce experience.
- You can acquire a pre-set payment gateway, shipping options, SEO capabilities, efficient marketing features (such as discount coupons) and mobile responsive design themes out of the box.
- Just like Magento, Shopify allows an unlimited number of products for selling on your e-commerce website.
- Shopify can also be integrated with WordPress for blogging and content marketing.
- Unlike Magento, you have to pay to avail all of Shopify’s e-commerce services.
- For some businesses, Shopify’s ready-made themes and other functionalities may not be enough to address their online business requirements.
Even though it is just a WordPress plugin and a newcomer to the industry, WooCommerce has become the most popular open-source e-commerce platform for small enterprises. Like Magento, it is free to download. Check out its pros and cons:
- Seamless WordPress integration – This plug-in optimizes your WordPress website or blog to become an e-commerce site with minimal adjustments. You can also enhance your e-commerce web design by downloading native WordPress themes exclusively made for WooCommerce.
- WordPress’s SEO-friendliness is a huge factor in your site’s marketing. You can download plugins for advanced SEO from third-party sources.
- As this is an open-source platform, we can say that this is a simpler version of Magento.
- WooCommerce has limited capabilities as compared to Magento. Being a newcomer in the e-commerce industry, WooCommerce has a long way to go to match Magento’s power. For one, it cannot handle very large stores.
- Like Magento, this platform needs technically savvy people who can do the web development, web hosting, security and other requirements to kickstartane-commerce business.
Which is the best?
Each of the platforms above has its pros and cons. It all depends on your e-commerce requirements and goals as well as your technical skills and mastery. Magento might be a powerhouse in e-commerce, but it can be costly to develop or maintain it, especially for starters. While it is advisable for a start-up e-commerce venture to be developed in Shopify and WooCommerce, these platforms may not comply with your long-term goals.
Upgrading your e-commerce using another platform could be both costly and time-consuming. If your dream is to become a major e-commerce player, you need to lay your foundation on a powerful platform such as Magento. But, if all you want is to make e-commerce an extension of your business on the Internet, Shopify or WooCommerce can already suit your needs.