E-Commerce Platform

E-Commerce Platform
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An e-commerce platform is a software or website that enables the purchasing and selling of goods and services via the Internet. Today’s forward-thinking businesses leverage cloud-based e-commerce platforms rather than hosting their own solutions in-house. This is more affordable and straightforward to adopt, and with a reputable supplier, it also implies increased security and availability.

Find now the best e-commerce platform with which your online business can grow. The right e-commerce platform is the key to success! But how do you find the e-commerce platform that best suits you and your online shop? The size of your online shop, the industry and your budget play an important role. The good news: the most important and well-known e-commerce applications are usually compatible with all of these platforms presented.

List of essential technological factors to consider while selecting an e-commerce platform

1.Expandability

No two online stores look alike, so a flexible but controlled environment is required.¬†Most e-commerce platforms offer the necessary functions to start a basic online shop ‚Äúout-of-the-box‚ÄĚ.¬†Still, there may be times when you need to add new features like support for additional payment and shipping methods. The software supplier may provide pre-built integrations that can be used to solve this issue. In order to integrate popular third-party solutions, our favorite e-commerce platforms, Episerver and commerce tools, both include several plugins and extensions.

2. pricing

While the price of an e-commerce software solution shouldn’t be the only thing you should consider, it is something that will make your choice. Make sure you find a pricing structure that makes sense for your budget. It’s also helpful to see if there are multiple pricing options that you can access as your business grows.

3.  Scalability

Every e-commerce company hopes to be successful enough that it can expand its operations by serving more customers or by increasing its product inventory.¬†It is important that you consider your long-term goals when choosing a platform. However, be suspicious of claims being made by an increase in the number of legacy software providers whose product names include the term “cloud.” Even if they claim to be cloud-based, they are frequently using legacy software that lacks the scalability of native SaaS solutions like commerce tools. To quickly assess a vendor’s adaptability and scalability, simply request a test instance of the program and observe how long or short it takes to deploy – it should take hours, not days.

4. Compatibility

Web apps (pwas) and native apps for IOS to enable outstanding digital shopping experiences on any mobile device. In addition, the extensive apis make it easy to integrate your online shopping experience or your product catalog with just about any other platform or solution. True modern e-commerce platforms are not simply web-based, in the sense that they function like any other website and should be viewable in any browser on any device. You should also be able to serve other channels such as mobile devices, point-of-sale devices, and, in some cases, print.

5.Internationalization

One of the most major benefits of internet trading is that companies of all sizes may reach global markets without significantly increasing their operating costs. If you wish to target foreign markets, you must select a platform that is easily adaptable to international operations. The basic aspects of international e-commerce include support for multiple languages, currencies, and different tax rules. Local time zone support can also help by eliminating ambiguity in order tracking. Last but not least, the regions or countries you serve may also offer different product catalogs, depending on local availability or sometimes legal restrictions.

6.Support

Many e-commerce platform providers offer a fully managed service that includes technical maintenance and 24/7 customer support. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offers also offer full cost transparency in the form of a previously agreed monthly fee. Some platforms offer additional support in the form of workshops and other training to help teams use the platform.

Choose a platform provider whose vision aligns with your own. Review the vendor to make sure they have a solid track record of meeting their service level agreements (SLAs). Whenever something goes wrong you need to be able to resolve the problem as soon as possible. Look out for providers who offer 24-hour emergency support through a variety of channels such as email, phone, and web chat.

7.Reporting

One of the greatest advantages of e-commerce, like any other digital activity, is that it creates a huge amount of valuable data.¬†But to make good use of this data, it’s important to have an easy and intuitive way to keep track of the key metrics by translating the data into useful insights

Best e-commerce platform

All of the above-mentioned characteristics have been taken into consideration, as well as additional “extras” that we believe make the platform particularly appealing to our team.

1.WooCommerce

Particularly suitable for: WordPress users

WooCommerce is the most straightforward sales choice for businesses wishing to integrate an established e-commerce system into their WordPress site. WooCommerce isn’t a stand-alone site builder; instead, it integrates with the WordPress environment, making it incredibly user-friendly. You shouldn’t have any issues with WooCommerce if you already know how to utilize WordPress.

WooCommerce, as a member of the WordPress ecosystem, is compatible with a broad number of add-ons and integrations. You’ll get email marketing and social media sales tools, as well as one-click upsells and shipping estimates. However, if you are unfamiliar with coding, you may require the assistance of an expert to complete the setup.

Key features:

  • Integration of WordPress content
  • Pre-installed payment gateways
  • Local tax calculations
  • Robust security
  • Unlimited products, images and users
  • Over 400 official expansions
  • Unrestricted customization
  • Built-in blogging
  • Products can be displayed on any page
  • Good SEO
  • You can add affiliate products

What are the advantages of WooCommerce?

  • First class selection of design templates
  • Large, helpful community
  • Free basic software
  • Flexible and customizable
  • Good SEO

What are the disadvantages of WooCommerce?

  • The CMS and setup can be challenging for users with limited technical knowledge
  • No central customer support
  • A plugin is required for the legal security of your WooCommerce online shop in Germany
  • Additional web hosting and security costs

2.Shopify

The Shopify e-commerce platform is simple to use, highly adaptable, and extremely cost-effective. This e-commerce platform allows you to simply develop and improve your online shop with over 2,400 premium apps and a comprehensive range of SEO and marketing tools. Shopify works effectively with a variety of different e-commerce and social media platforms.

Key features:

  • User friendly
  • Highly customizable
  • Hosting included
  • Robust security
  • Over 100 payment gateways
  • Over 2,400 paid apps
  • Solid inventory management
  • Multichannel integration
  • Cart recovery
  • Automatic shipping rates from shipping service providers such as UPS, USPS and FedEx.
  • Strong SEO functionality

What are the benefits of Shopify?

  • User friendly
  • Good value for money
  • Free hosting
  • Well suited for drop shipping
  • Wide range of free templates
  • Good app offer

What are the disadvantages of Shopify?

  • Transaction fees for third-party gateways
  • Limited to three options per product (you can still create up to 100 variants)
  • No integration with MailChimp
  • Some areas of the CMS, such as user-defined fields, are not very easy to use.

3.Magento

Magento is a highly effective open source e-commerce platform. The use of Magento Open Source is free, although there are certain additional charges, such as hosting. The e-commerce platform is incredibly adaptable and functional. However, several technical steps must be taken before you can launch your online store.

Although Magento Open Source is free, as an online retailer you should carefully check the additional costs for this e-commerce platform. Do you have no technical knowledge? Then the support of programmers or designers can be expensive. Magento also incurs costs for hosting, the purchase of a domain name and extensions, as well as ongoing costs for support and maintenance.

Would you like extended functionalities for your online business? Then the paid version Magento Commerce is a good solution.

What are the advantages of Magento?

  • High flexibility
  • Free open source version
  • Wide range of functions
  • Good support from the community

What are the disadvantages of Magento?

  • Extensions and other additional costs can be expensive with this e-commerce platform
  • The application can be demanding at the beginning
  • Since it is an open source e-commerce platform, support is not always easily accessible

4.PrestaShop

PrestaShop is a self-hosted open source e-commerce platform. You can download Prestashop for free and adapt it to your needs. This e-commerce platform is reliable and highly configurable. PrestaShop is generally easy to use, although configuring the backend does require some technical skills.

PrestaShop offers a multi-store option that allows you to connect multiple online shops with different domain names. These can be managed through a single user interface. This e-commerce platform supports the sale of both physical and digital products. With a practical combination generator, you can create product lists in many variants and set minimum quantities for certain products.

Key features:

  • Manage multiple online shops with a single installation
  • Powerful catalog management
  • Intuitive, easy to use user interface
  • One-click hosting setup
  • Strongly customizable
  • Both physical and digital products can be offered
  • Over 1,500 themes to choose from
  • Versatile, integrated marketing tools
  • Offers 75 language options
  • Good support from the user community

What are the advantages of PrestaShop?

  • User friendly
  • Highly customizable
  • Good security
  • Good marketing tools

What are the disadvantages of PrestaShop?

  • Certain elements of the CMS are not easy to use
  • Scalability rather difficult
  • No central customer support

5.Wix

Wix is a website builder with strong e-commerce capabilities. Wix gives you a lot of creative freedom. This e-commerce platform provides numerous functionalities and a large range of tools to help you construct a beautiful e-commerce business. Wix has a good free version and several paid versions to suit all budgets. Some of the best premium features come for a small extra charge and can make your website a lot better. Wix Enterprise is the most comprehensive offer on this e-commerce platform and meets high standards.

Key features:

  • Over 500 designs
  • Rich media design capabilities
  • Simple and intuitive to use
  • Drag and drop content editor
  • Free and reliable web hosting
  • Highly customizable
  • Personalized Google mailbox
  • Live chat
  • Unlimited number of pages

What are the benefits of Wix?

  • Intuitive drag and drop interface
  • Good selection of design templates
  • Lots of useful functions
  • Good marketing functions

What are the disadvantages of Wix?

  • Limited reporting and analysis
  • Your website cannot be transferred if you switch to another e-commerce platform
  • Your website is not transferable from one template to another.