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An analogous era required store owners to have a physical place to sell their goods and services. Customers needed a brick-and-mortar store, a stand along the side of the road or the back of a truck to get what they wanted. In the digital age, goods and services are bought and sold with a few keystrokes or screen swipes. Every time you order something online or download a movie through your favorite streaming service, it’s an ecommerce store.

There are so many opportunities to sell online. There are long-standing sites like Ebay and markets like Amazon or Facebook. There are also many e-commerce platforms that enhance such reseller experiences and even make it possible to “build” full online stores that are easy to build and run as a blog.

There are platforms for artists who sell work at craft fairs. There are business solutions for multi-point brands. There are e-commerce solutions for online-only stores as well as those that have online stores, plus physical locations. You can sell your own products, avoid inventory and sales numbers through a wholesaler, or set up a marketing affiliate. If it can be sold, there is an e-commerce solution to selling it.

Here are some things to consider when looking at eCommerce platforms:

Ecommerce Features

charge: Ecommerce costs can range from free to thousands of dollars, depending on the size of your business. Most sites allow you to try them for free without using a credit card. Buy features carefully to make sure you really need what you end up paying for, and be sure to consider all the costs like hosting, extensions, and other add-ons.

SEO / URL structure: This is important because people can’t buy your store if they can’t find it. Being able to customize a URL with your name and products will make it easier for you to optimize your search engine, making your store easier. Some platforms offer enhanced SEO tools in their plans.

scalability: Not every online store starts small and stays small. It is important for e-commerce platforms to grow with their online clients. Also, some online stores need more than a basic ecommerce solution. Find a platform that won’t push you or make you plan that isn’t right for you.

Mobile friendly: More than 125 million US consumers own smartphones according to eCommerce designer OuterBox. More than 60 percent of smartphone users have purchased something using their phones. It is imperative that any online store has a responsive design as most sales will come through that mobile device.

speed: If you sell physical products, you’ll want to fill your online store with lots of pictures and event videos. You don’t want buyers to have to wait for these pictures or videos to load. A slow-loading page will cost you sales.

UX: There are two users to consider here: One is the store owner. The other is the customer. Most platforms make it easy to build stores with little programming experience. Once a story is active, it should be easy to navigate with features that will help you filter your product search.

Software integration: Some platforms are easy to use right now, allowing you to drop shopping buttons on social media channels like Pinterest or have plugins that work with your existing WordPress sites. The ability to add tools and applications – some free, some paid – is appealing to those who can’t be coders.

With that in mind, here are our picks for some of the best eCommerce platforms available today.

Winner – Best Best Small Business Ecommerce Platform: Sign Up

There are many great options available when considering an ecommerce platform, but Shopify seems to provide the most for small businesses striving to be something more. Because what small company plans to stay small forever?

Shopify can be one stop shop builder. Generate your domain name with Shopify’s free tool. Design your company logo on their website. Find products to sell through seller relationships. Get product shots through their free photo library. You can even buy an existing online store.

Shopify offers a 14-day free trial, which you can start without a credit card. You don’t even have to choose a plan, just sign up and start building a store. Prices start with a $ 9 / month “Lite” plan that allows you to sell by adding a “buy” button to your existing blog, website or Facebook page. You can talk to your customers online, track orders, and send invoices. The Lite program even allows you to personally accept in-app payments at a point of sale.

Plans are $ 29, $ 79 and $ 299, and each comes with additional features. There is also an enterprise-level solution for large retailers that starts around $ 2000 a month. All plans come with unlimited file storage, unlimited product offering, hosting, security, abandoned shopping cart recovery and 24/7 support. As plan prices increase, so do features.

Winner – Best Ecommerce Platform for Startups: Wix

You may be better known than Wix as a free website builder, but its e-commerce plans are solid for the entrepreneur running an online business. Plans start at $ 17 a month, and if you pay them a year, they come with a free domain, $ 300 in vouchers and apps that will enhance your search and allow you to create forms on your site. The most expensive plan is $ 25 a month. It comes with phone support, service ticket support, and an overview of your website’s UI and SEO. Startup businesses value free stuff and help.

Like most platforms, Wix allows the sale of physical and digital products. There are booking features that allow customers to schedule or sign up for classes. Wix Music lets you create a customizable music player, sell digital downloads, and track sales and performance statistics. If you have a restaurant, you can book orders for online delivery or delivery, accept reservations, and email reminders to guests. So it’s not just shops.

Winner – Best Cell Phone Ecommerce Platform: Square Space

The templates of every ecommerce platform are running well on mobile, but Squarespace takes special care to make the user experience superior when viewed on a mobile device. Each template design has a unique mobile experience that suits the overall style of the store. This is automatic, but can be disabled in Website Manager.

Images can sometimes be problematic, but Square space uses a “responsive image uploader” that generates multiple scaled versions of each uploaded image. The site then detects which device is being used to view the site and loads the appropriate image for optimal viewing. It even works for Apple devices with Retina displays.

The responsibility does not end in the pictures. The overall layout, graphs and graphics of the site have been optimized to allow viewing on mobile devices. Even email addresses are optimized, so marketing campaigns make good playback on smartphones and tablets.

Winner – Best Ecommerce Platform for Merchants: Magento

Magento is the best e-commerce platform for merchants who are established, successful and ready to sell their online game sales. As you browse the company network, you can see that some of the world’s largest brands are using the platform to power their online stores. It’s impressive, but it can be a little scary.

Although the platform software is free to download, the developer needs to do something really impressive and uniquely branded. Magento has relationships with a range of partners who can work with you to help you create an online store that works seamlessly with your physical location.

Magento is very selective over developers, which allows you to add tools to your open source platform. These tools work seamlessly with your brick and mortar stores. Customers can order online and pick up at your store. Inventory control takes place in real time. Keep in mind that these are enterprise-level solutions. There is one free theme for designing your online store. Other topics start at $ 29 and go up to $ 500. Extensions can cost thousands of dollars, but they can power your accounting, content, customer support, marketing, payments, security, reporting, shipping, optimization, etc.

Winner – Best E-commerce Platform for Software Integration: WooCommerce

WooCommerce is an e-commerce solution built on WordPress, which is also software that runs more than a quarter of the Internet. Being built on top of an incredibly popular content management system, it is pretty easy to shop with your content.

Just as you add plugins to your WordPress blog, WooCommerce has plugins for the e-commerce site. The open-source platform has almost 300 official extensions in its store covering payments, shipping, marketing and accounting. Because the platform is WordPress-based, these extensions are as simple as clicking on a box. Some payment or shipping solutions come with an additional cost.

Storefront is a free theme for WooCommerce that has several variations that should be tailored to your store. But just like WordPress, Storefront is customizable and you are only limited by your pass-through codes.

Just like WordPress, you need to find your own hosting solution for your WooCommerce site. This means that there is an additional cost of hosting as well as domain registration, which is part of the delivery with other eCommerce solutions.

More ecommerce solutions for small businesses

The differences between some of these e-commerce platforms were small. For most, the emphasis was on the simple. Each of these platforms provides the opportunity to establish a unique identity. Almost all offered free trials with no credit card and little barriers to entry. But the more you are willing to spend, the more tools you can have in your arsenal.

The Big Cartel: This is a niche platform for artists who sell their works. Plans begin with the free sale of up to five products on the Big Cartel website. You get your own domain, analytics and order tracking starting at $ 10 per month for 25 products. Sell ​​100 products for $ 20 a month and 300 for $ 30 a month. But it really applies to art.

GCommerce at: This platform is almost phenomenal. He steps up to Shopify and even beats him by offering unlimited staff accounts. However, each plan has an annual sales threshold and if you exceed it, you are forced into a more expensive plan.

SCommerce: This is another open source e-commerce platform. This means that you can download it for free, but you are responsible for finding your own hosting solution. There are thousands of free extensions and you can create an amazing website if you have the coding codes.

OpenCart: This is OSCommerce’s better dressed brother. It’s also an open source site, and there are a number of different design themes that let you dress up the store. It’s best to have a relatively solid coding background. This platform has limited capabilities and limited topics, but it is a very affordable and viable option for someone just starting out.

Volusion: This platform is an alternative to Shopify but has often been criticized for hidden fees. Eventually, he stopped filling out SSL certificates and stopped charging for bandwidth. Instead, it now charges transaction fees.

weebly: This is a nice online store for beginners. The user login area would make it even nicer.

Our methodology

Cost, scalability and mobile responsiveness have all played a key role in determining our winners. We tracked each site, reviewed the sites built on the platform, referenced developers and designers, and read customer reviews. We then compared the features, advantages and disadvantages of the services and, of course, considered the price. We have kept in mind the effort it takes to build, maintain, and hopefully be able to grow a successful online store.

None of this was perfect, but everyone has something to offer regardless of place in the ecommerce lifecycle.

Posted: August 22, 2018

Thanks for visiting our site. As a way of saying "thanks" here's a FREE course on how to make $688 a day online using FREE methods: 

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