The world of eCommerce platforms can often be confusing given the plethora of options. With so many to choose from how do you select the one that is the best fit for you? To answer that question you will need to know a few things like the budget, design, development and desired result for your eCommerce site. While not all eCommerce platforms are created equal, knowing what you want to accomplish, how much you want to spend, and if you want to develop it yourself will help in determining which one is the best fit for you. Given the multitude of options, three very different options are reviewed below to answer your questions.
The first choice is an obvious one, although more time consuming because it is the market leading eCommerce platform that boasts over 100,000+ merchants (and is now owned by EBay). Most of the world’s largest retailers trust and use Magento; retailers like Samsung, T-Mobile, Ford, Conn’s, K-Swiss and more. Magento is a feature-rich professional open-source eCommerce software that offers the most flexibility and control over the look, content, and functionality of your online store. Magento also offers an intuitive administration interface that contains powerful marketing, merchandising and content management tools that are tailored to your unique business needs. Magento keeps SEO in mind during the development stage. Magento has also been praised for having the best technical support team, as well as a growing community of developers who are constantly improving and creating new features, extensions, and modules. Magento’s Community Edition is available as a free download under the open source OSL 3.0 license, while the premium, Magento Enterprise Edition solution, is available based on an annual subscription. For the do it yourself types, Magento doesn’t require any prior programming experience, but recommends that a professional develop your site to get the most out of the platform’s functions and analytical capabilities.
The second choice is based on how quickly and easily you want to develop your site. Big Commerce boasts over 20,000 successful online stores, and claims you can open your store within five minutes, which makes it an attractive alternative to other more complex platforms. Big Commerce allows you to sell on Facebook, EBay, and mobile platforms. Big Commerce offers over 450 features, and is web-based software with a proprietary license which ranges from $24.95 to $299.95 per month. Big Commerce also has five different versions of its software: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond. You can try Big Commerce for free for 15 days. Although Big Commerce doesn’t have a technical support team like Magento, it does have support with featured articles, webinars and video tutorials.
The third choice is based on if you want to use your existing WordPress site for eCommerce. If you have a WordPress website, the e-Commerce 22.214.171.124 plugin is a free alternative for those who want to just add eCommerce capabilities to their existing WordPress site, without the hassle of paying to design and develop a new site. The WordPress plugin has been downloaded over 1.5 million times, is easy to install, works with any standard or custom theme, and supports WordPress widgets. It is 100% customizable, has many payment options, and is SEO friendly. This plugin also has great support through video tutorials and forums.
With an assortment of eCommerce platforms to choose from, selecting one can be a guessing game at best. Once you know your budget, design, development, and desired result for your eCommerce site, you can answer the question of which platform works best for you. While this article may not cover all eCommerce platforms, now that you know a little more about these three platforms, it is up to you to make an informed decision and decide which platform works best for you.