When launching an ecommerce website, you want to make sure you choose the right platform from the start. Fortunately, you have many options to choose from.
Three of the biggest are BigCommerce, Shopify and Magento. So which one is right for your store?
Here is a look at the pros and cons of each.
One of the most important things to consider when choosing an ecommerce platform is the price, and Magento starts at free. This is great if you want to try it out and see if it is right for you. Having said that, the premium plan is quite expensive, so this may not be ideal if you are just starting out.
The platform is fairly easy to use, though it is certainly not the easiest platform to get used to. As you would expect, it is fully responsive for use on mobile devices. Responsive design is more important than ever for many reasons, including your e-store’s SEO, so this is useful.
There are many useful features of Magento. The design can be customized based on templates, it integrates with a content management system, information is well organized, and the private sales feature allows you to restrict sales to certain customers. In addition, it has unlimited product attributes, which is very useful.
Overall, the platform has a professional appearance, and it provides a lot of detailed information to new users to help you get started. If you put in the time and effort to learn how to use the platform, you can use Magento to create a very professional website.
However, the layout is not as user friendly as other platforms, and it may take you a while to customize your store. This may put off owners of smaller stores, but Magento is a great option for large businesses because of all the settings and options it provides.
BigCommerce plans start at just under $30 a month, and they go up to just under $200. It is a shame that it does not have a free plan, but this might not be a problem.
As with the other platforms, it is mobile friendly. It also has a good selection of themes to choose from, including free and premium options. If you know how to code, you can create your own theme.
It has a number of marketing features built-in, and it has excellent integration with various other tools, including marketing tools and inventory management systems. It also includes payment gateways and various reports to help you run your store with greater ease.
BigCommerce provides excellent support, including live phone support, which is useful when you encounter any difficulties. It also has user-friendly admin.
Overall, it is a good option for larger stores. Perhaps you are a growing company with an ecommerce order shipping service to handle your shipping and returns, and you need a professional website to match the size of your operation. It has all the tools you need, but it is easier to use than Magento, making it a great option.
Shopify starts at $9 a month and goes up from here. It is mobile friendly, and it has an excellent selection of themes that are modern and elegant. The premium themes are especially good, and there are many to choose from. It also has a good website builder that is easy to use, and it comes with an excellent blogging platform as well as site analytics and email marketing features.
It support is excellent, and it offers live phone support when you have a pressing problem that needs resolving. It also has lots of options for marketing and SEO, which is for promoting your store. It has an intuitive admin area that is easy to use, so this also helps.
One of the really useful features of Shopify is its own payment gateway, which makes it easy to manage all your finances in one place. However, it is a bit restrictive when it comes to product attributes, having only three.
Overall, it is a good option for beginners, but it is also suitable for people with more experience. The user-friendly design makes it easy to build your store, and it has lots of settings for more experienced users.
Choose the Right Platform for Your Store
These are three of the biggest and best e-commerce platforms that you can choose from today. As you can see, they all have their strengths and weaknesses. It’s up to you to choose the platform that is most suitable for your store, and there is no right answer here.
Perhaps the best thing you can do is try them out for yourself, especially where there is a free or low-cost starter option, and you can then work out which is the most suitable for your store.
Jake Rheude is the Director of Business Development for Red Stag Fulfillment, an ecommerce fulfillment company with integrations to Magento, Shopify, and Big Commerce, as well as over 50+ additional ecommerce platforms. Check them out on LinkedIn and keep up with the latest tweets on Twitter.