You’ve made that first step into the big world of selling online and e-commerce, but where do you start? It can be daunting with the multiple platforms and open source technologies available in the e-commerce world. We’ve created a list of our favourite e-commerce platforms and in what scenario you should use each one. So you know there is no perfect platform or technology that you should use. Every business is different and the choice available means that everyone can find what suits their goals, plans and overall business strategy. Let’s not delay any further and get into our list.

Shopify/Bigcommerce

We’ve lumped these two together as they are basically the same thing (they would probably tell you different). Shopify and Bigcommerce allow you as the business owner to pay per month and create your online shop in minutes, hours or days depending on the complexity. The great thing about these platforms is that they are user friendly and they are built for e-commerce. Every feature they have is designed to improve your ability to run a successful e-commerce store. They have a multitude of themes you can choose from to style your website. Some of the disadvantages include that you are locked into using their platform, the more you sell the more it costs you and there is a fixed monthly cost. Also if you lack the technical skills you will find it quite difficult to create some of the beautiful examples sites they show. If you have the time and some basic skills online your business can flourish using one of these platforms and it’s ideal for that business that is first starting up and looking to limit their initial costs. Both platforms also have an extensive add-on section to take your online store to the next level.

Magento

In comparison to Shopify and Bigcommerce, Magento is at the whole other end of the spectrum. Many enterprise and Fortune 500 companies run their e-commerce stores using Magento which means it has the capacity to handle a lot of products and a lot of volume, however this makes it much more complex to manage. It is popular with many businesses who want to integrate their in-store inventory with their online sales. Magento has an extensive directory of add-ons and features to power your store. To run a Magento store you should be looking to list and sell a lot of products e.g. 1000 & above. The drawbacks in using Magento is that you are likely going to need a specialised developer to build your e-commerce store which is going to cost you more from the outset. Magento is perfect for the medium sized to large sized e-commerce store.

Woocommerce

Woocommerce has made a huge dint in the e-commerce platform given the number of websites around the world that use WordPress. It is a highly customisable e-commerce plugin that can be used directly in WordPress and supercharging your website into an online store. It has loads of custom features and plugins that can enhance and extend it’s functionality meaning that is has now become the preference for many smaller to medium sized e-commerce retailers who want to retain control over the look and feel of their store without losing too much of the advanced functionality that may come with some of the other platforms. Over 14% of e-commerce websites now use E-commerce and the number is growing every year. If you are looking for something user friendly, relatively inexpensive and easy to use then Woocommerce may be the platform for you.

Confused about what e-commerce platform to use? We hope this has helped you make your decision. Let us know what your favourite platform is by commenting below.

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