Last Updated On August 20, 2022

6 E-Commerce Platforms That Can Make Your Business Fly

6 E-Commerce Platforms That Can Make Your Business Fly
By Team TIS

“If your business is not on the internet, then your business will be out of business.” – Bill Gates.

These simple words of wisdom are quite enough to set the tone for your E-Commerce venture. As a matter of fact, being on the internet is not quite enough; the virtual world is pretty much like the real world, you could be anywhere and no one might ever find you.

So, the idea is to be where you can be seen and to make sure that people adore you when they see you. The internet of things is not an affair of the millennial crowd. Yes, your business might not cater to Gen Y but that doesn’t mean that you should not have an eCommerce website.

Even if you are running successful offline retail units, the situation may soon implore that you move online because the consumers are becoming more comfortable shopping online day by day and you do not want to disappoint them.

There are plenty of E-commerce platforms that can help you launch your business on the web but as it is said earlier, it is not enough just to be on the web. Your choice should be in accordance with your requirements and should help you create the desired experience for your existing customer base and also expand it.

You basically have three choices: hosted eCommerce platforms, open source eCommerce platforms, and hosted shopping carts.

Open Source Ecommerce Platforms

Open source platforms first became famous among CMS websites and now, these platforms have also risen in popularity in eCommerce site creation and eCommerce application development. Essentially, you can download an open-source eCommerce platform and choose where you want to host your site. This flexibility is attractive to many designers and developers. However, if you’re going to do it on your own, setting up an eCommerce site on an open source platform can be quite challenging. Further, customer support is very narrow and basically restricted to wikis and forums.

If you’re eyeing developing an eCommerce website using these versatile platforms, check out these tried-and-tested options:

1. Magento

Arguably the most popular open source platform, Magento has come up as a popular e-commerce solution for big and small enterprises alike. You can download and install it to your server for free. Magento is pretty intense on features, so much so that you need to host it continuously. It is for this reason that Magento is chosen by a majority of business owners. If you can use it to effect, your products will roll.

  • Perfect for novices with no technical knowledge and experts alike
  • User-friendly admin area to set the basic store easily
  • Highly scalable, and thus allows you to scale your store from 100 products to 1,00,000 on the go.
  • Provides you with built-in SEO support and newsletter management.
  • Allows you to receive payment through multiple gateways.
  • Optimize your site for mobile viewing.
  • Handles customer service, coupons, gifts, and more…
  • It manages your inventory and handles shipping charges.

Being loaded with so many features, Magento has certain cons too. The backend development of Magento is pretty complex and takes real expertise to manage this particular platform. Fixing things may further demand professional technical assistance.

This user-friendly e-commerce site comes for free but you can, of course, buy the enterprise version.

2. BigCommerce

BigCommerce empowers your business with plenty of great e-commerce store management features along with easy online payment facilities. All you need to do is sign up and set up your e-commerce store to your heart’s content with the countless customization features on offer.

  • Taking care of orders, managing and adding products, tracking analytics – this all is fairly easy in BigCommerce.
  • It secures your web store with top-of-the-grid security features.
  • Offers you an in-depth insight into analytics and statistics.
  • BigCommerce is well equipped to deal with sudden spikes in your traffic.
  • It integrates with PayPal and allows credit and debit card transactions and customer privacy is ensured as the checkout is done via SSL.

BigCommerce offers Standard, Plus, and Pro packages for $29.5, $79.5, and $299.5 per month respectively. While the Standard and Plus packages are fit for growing business, the Pro level subscription is great for big enterprises that deal with a lot of traffic and a large number of products. For the top features, you can go for the Enterprise package that is custom priced according to your requirements.

3. PrestaShop

Used by more than 125,000 businesses worldwide and winner of the Best Open Source Business Application Awards in 2010 and 2011, PrestaShop offers anyone who wants to develop an eCommerce website over 310 features, all for free. Some of the functionalities worth highlighting are:

  • Dynamic inventory management whether you have 10 or 1,000 products
  • Integration with eBay
  • Cross-selling of related products, hence improving the shopping experience
  • Ability to sell downloadable products
  • Superior quality stock management feature
  • Display and sell an unlimited number of products, attributes, and categories

Hosted Shopping Carts

Hosted shopping carts give you the leeway to choose your own CMS and where you want your site to be hosted. What these platforms will provide are the checkout mechanism and the shopping cart itself. Since payment will be processed from their end, they will also provide security to ensure that all transactions are safe. This is a good option if you already have a CMS in place and if your site is already hosted somewhere else.

Three notable hosted shopping carts options are:

4. 3dcart

3dcart gives you access to an advanced structured store that can handle thousands of products without any experience or site-building skills. This feature-rich e-commerce platform has powered more than 23,000 stores around the globe and offers you its services without making you spend a fortune.

  • Its unlimited storage allows you to handle a massive catalog on the go.
  • Hundreds of designs to choose from and all designs optimize for mobiles and tablets.
  • It handles order management and processing.
  • It is marketing and SEO friendly and also supports customer reviews.

You can avail of the services through Mini, Starter, Professional, Professional Plus, and Power plan packages worth $19.00, $29.00, $79.00, $129.00, and $229.00 per month respectively.

5. FoxyCart

The main feature of FoxyCart is you can customize the look and feel of the checkout process and the shopping cart to match the visual identity of your current site. While FoxyCart aims to be simple, it is still equipped with many features including:

  • Compatibility for both small and large businesses
  • Coupon codes can be used
  • Options for one-page checkout
  • Total control over tax rates and shipping charges
  • Capability to sell digital merchandise

6. Digital Product Delivery (DPD)

As its name suggests, DPD is geared towards entrepreneurs who want to sell digital goods online (although you can also sell tangible products). It has a lot of useful features which include:

  • The convenient download process for your customers
  • Buyers are given a secure link to download their purchase
  • Hosting your digital goods/files
  • Integrated with affiliate marketing
  • Mobile-friendly

Hosted Ecommerce Platforms

For a fee paid either monthly or annually, hosted eCommerce platforms will host your eCommerce website, will give you access to their eCommerce infrastructure, and will provide technical support. The only negative to using this kind of platform is you can’t choose the host you prefer. But rest assured that most of these hosted platforms have strong eCommerce systems in place. Further, these platforms are pretty secure and security is the main concern among online shoppers.

If you opt to go this route, here are a few highly suggested hosted eCommerce platforms you should check out the following:

7. Shopify

Shopify is a one-stop e-commerce solution for beginners and veterans alike. The best part is the simplicity and cost-effectiveness it offers you. It is truly multipurpose and allows you to set up a store in real-time fast. You can start selling an unlimited number of products online through Shopify in a matter of a weekend. Let us take a deeper look –

  • You get a working core platform straight away; you can obviously twist and tweak it to your liking, yet you get a well-structured shop effortlessly.
  • The platform optimizes your store for viewing on mobile or tablet.
  • Shopify integrates with Paypal; allows you to receive online and offline payments from multiple gateways. Bank transfer, cash on delivery, credit, and debit card payments- you can allow your customers complete freedom if it suits you.
  • Just change the color to match your company colors, edit the texts, and put the pictures and prices; you are all set to fly.

Buying a platform on Shopify does not drain your resources. You can avail of the basic facilities to start off with for $29, for intermediate and advanced features you need to spend $79 and $299 respectively. Most importantly, it is completely worth the expenses.

8. Volusion

Volusion is an ideal e-commerce solution to help your company with all the technical support needed to scale and grow. It has an easy-to-use interface that does not require loads of experience building e-commerce sites to get the most out of it. If you are just starting out, Volusion can be a worthy friend.

  • Volusion is pretty easy to handle and works fine even for those who have no eCommerce experience.
  • It has an amazing inventory management system.
  • Volusion helps you build a complete website, integrating both e-commerce and non-commerce parts.
  • You can choose from more than 300 responsive designs.
  • You get 24/7 support, dedicated account managers, and built-in marketing & SEO tools.
  • You can manage your store on the go through iOS, Android, and smartwatch apps.
  • It accepts payment through debit and credit cards, PayPal and Amazon Payments.
  • With advanced inventory management, secure hosting, security, and easy order processing, Volusion is quite a superstar when it comes to e-commerce development services.

The only drawback is you cannot sell unlimited products through all the subscription packages. Packages are worth $35/mo Plus $79/mo and Pro is worth $299/mo.

9. Big Cartel

Big Cartel is a great platform for the creatives like musicians, artists, and designers to sell their goods directly to the fans. It is way easier to use than most e-commerce platforms and you can get it running in a very short amount of time. While being super simple and user-friendly, Big Cartel is not as high on features as other platforms, but if it is perfect for your niche, it indeed is a great tool.

  • Big Cartel is perfect for those who are looking for a simple eCommerce store without much functionality. This works in favor of small eCommerce store owners, but might be frustrating if you are looking to base your store with 1 million products on it.
  • It tracks your inventory and manages your orders.
  • The feature-light approach of the platform is otherwise well-supported by in-built automation tools including time-sensitive discounts, pre-orders, and other functions.
  • It lets you sell in person and sell on Facebook.

You can avail of Big Cartel for free forever, provided it limits you to 5 products and cancels some features. The paid packs are expectedly cheap. You can buy the Platinum, Diamond, and Titanium platforms for $9.99, $19.99, and $29.99 respectively.

10. Highwire

This is a platform that is very similar to Shopify but is different in its own right. Develop eCommerce website using Highwire and reap the following benefits:

  • Perfect for business owners who pay a lot of attention to aesthetic creativity
  • Ease of use and convenient implementation of the eCommerce system
  • Well-crafted admin interface making it easy for business owners to manage inventories and products
  • Cross channel selling through eBay, Bonanza, and Facebook

Time for the conclusion and some borrowed wisdom

Every forward-looking business owner knows that the online retail battleground is a potent source of thousands of dollars in revenue. As such, eCommerce application development and companies who develop eCommerce websites are being sought after. This was meant to equip you with the basic knowledge before you embark on your journey to eCommerce success.

The ‘E’ in e-commerce is for anything but Easy. So, you should be willing to handle your online business venture with patience, care, and love. Understand what you need and create a vision of your desired destination and put a strong foot ahead. In short – choose your E-Commerce development service well and pour your heart into beautifying your store and perfecting your services.

By Team TIS
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