Like every other eCommerce business, startups have their unique characteristics and requirements. Unfortunately, most of them stumble because entrepreneurs don’t manage to address business processes and scalability adequately. Also, it is crucial to understand the true worth of eCommerce platforms and then choose the right one to support and perform complicated business functions.
Whether your business is B2B or B2C, you require an eCommerce platform to facilitate your online sales. To determine which eCommerce platform is the best for your business, you must consider factors such as business operations, customer engagement, lead generation, and website design.
In this article, I have listed the best eCommerce platforms on par with industry standards and offering the best value for money. I will also explain why having an eCommerce platform is vital for online merchants.
What is an eCommerce platform?
An eCommerce platform is a software application that online stores use to run their sales processes, marketing, fulfillment portals, and everyday operations through their website. These platforms are necessary for most businesses to sell their products online, especially regarding logistics, marketing, and fulfillment.
The best eCommerce solutions integrate business functionality and commerce into a single wholesome platform, helping online stores create engaging, relevant, and personalized shopping experiences. As a result, eCommerce platforms serve as the backbone of online retail enterprises; they support businesses and facilitate their financial growth.
Selecting the right eCommerce platform can provide an exceptionally smooth customer experience and limitless access to scalability.
Different types of eCommerce platforms
In this section, we will discuss the different kinds of eCommerce platforms available today. But, of course, the platform you need to choose depends on your business needs.
Users of open-source eCommerce platforms have full access to the source code. In other words, they can modify and customize the platform to meet their needs and go for a composable architecture approach.
These platforms provide greater control for business owners and are highly flexible. However, their flexibility makes these platforms relatively expensive and complex to set up.
SaaS (Software as a Service)
SaaS is essentially a method of delivering applications online instead of installing and maintaining them. Thus, you will free yourself from software management and maintenance hassles.
SaaS eCommerce platforms are generally purchasable on a subscription basis. As a result, online merchants can use them to save on infrastructure installation and maintenance costs. It also helps them speed up time to market and quickly scale operations.
Although SaaS platforms are relatively less flexible, they are attractive turnkey solutions for various business types, especially startups that lack big budgets or mature IT infrastructures to develop their platforms from scratch.
CaaS (Containers as a Service)
CaaS platforms help business owners (especially larger companies) put together the choicest integrations, CRMs, and platforms for a highly customizable, cloud-based eCommerce website.
CaaS shifts your computing and business data to the cloud but retains your responsibility for your front end. Thus, you get the freedom to design your store’s front end without worrying about the back-end functionality in terms of inventory management, product management, security, etc.
CaaS gives organizations the agility and flexibility required to execute fast-changing opportunities and priorities.
Factors to consider while selecting an eCommerce platform
Since leading eCommerce platforms usually offer similar functionalities, you may find it difficult to select the right one. For that purpose, you need to consider the following factors:
- Customer engagement – What inbuilt tools do you require for customer engagement?
- Growth – How big do you wish to see your store grow?
- Running costs – Do you have adequate cash flow to maintain your store?
- Service – Does the platform offer satisfactory customer service and support?
I advise you to choose a platform that offers at least the following features:
- Analytic capabilities
- Competitive Pricing
- Mobile Optimization
- SEO optimization
- Social media integration
- Solid tech support
- SSL security
- Third-party app integrations
Best eCommerce platforms in 2022
Let us now discuss some of the best eCommerce platforms available today.
Shopify is a proprietary SaaS-based eCommerce platform that is highly popular among startups due to its inventory management capabilities, secure order processing, and availability as a subscription service. Founded in 2006, it lets store owners create a multichannel shopping experience that increases brand awareness. In addition, it allows you to create a product catalog, customize your store design, set prices, and more.
You can sell almost anything through its functionality— from digital products and shippable goods to services and even dropshipping. In addition, you can run all of your store’s daily operations from its efficient admin panel.
BigCommerce is another SaaS platform that, unlike its peers, supports massive eCommerce stores with the sole intention of promoting omnichannel (online) growth. Like Shopify, it offers unlimited file storage and bandwidth and a secure SSL certificate to protect your online transactions.
Also, BigCommerce is the only cloud-hosted eCommerce platform that integrates with ShipperHQ. As a result, it is an excellent choice for businesses with extensive inventories wanting to scale quickly. As of now, it provides more than 180 mobile-responsive themes.
3. Adobe Commerce
First introduced in 2007, Adobe Commerce, aka Magento, is a leading open-source eCommerce platform that provides robust marketing, catalog-management tools, and search engine optimization (SEO). It gives startups a significant amount of control over the customization and management of their stores. It also allows merchants to create result-driven marketing campaigns and optimized content for search engines.
Magento is known for its product management capabilities and also comes with Amazon integration. Coca-Cola, Jaguar Land Rover, and Procter & Gamble are well-known retailers using it.
WooCommerce is an exclusive eCommerce platform for websites built on WordPress. It comes with great SEO capabilities and custom integrations. The plugin is free to use, and you only need to pay for hosting, domain, hosting, and further customizations.
Today, WooCommerce powers more than 99% of all WordPress stores. Its core software supports necessary eCommerce features such as inventory management, international customers, shipping cost calculations, sales tax management, etc. Also, you can augment your website with more than three hundred extensions to add extra features such as customer documentation, order tracking, and inventory management.
You can choose from a wide range of platforms depending on your eCommerce store’s size, requirements, and scalability goals. However, instead of focusing solely on the powerful features each of the platforms mentioned above offers, you must prioritize your store’s requirements and business budget above everything else. I hope this article helps you choose a great eCommerce platform for your store.
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