eCommerce startups believe in spending a lot of money on giving away discounts and offers to add more numbers to their visitors count. They focus more on vanity metrics than sanity metrics in the race to grab VC’s attention. However, are users as satisfied as VCs? It’s a trick question to answer, but visitor conversions are the best way to get the real picture. Conversion is a journey from product search to cart and at each step, the user is dealing with the usability of the website, how fast it loads and how easy people find what they are looking for?
Speed is money and every time your site take a few extra second to load, it will cost you some visitors. Obviously, you don’t wanna that to happen and want your website to load lightening fast and a user experience allowing people to navigate to the product and helping them trust you enough to make a purchase. All that lies in the decision of choosing the right platform to build your eCommerce store.
How the eCommerce platform evolved?
Traditionally, if you are planning to start an eCommerce business, you need to purchase on-premise, standalone eCommerce software. These software are costly, not scalable,time-consuming and require extensive IT set-up with development teams working round the clock for in-house maintenance.
For which, you get only the front end components of the store, and you have to purchase additional software for accounting, order management, inventory management, marketing and customer service. Even if bundle all different software together, it is still a challenge to run them efficiently. This gave rise to the emergence of a new software that bridged the gap between the commerce and back end functionalities in a single eCommerce platform through SaaS.
What to look for in an ideal eCommerce platform?
It’s a single unified platform for eCommerce, accounting, POS, inventory and order management, marketing, merchandising, customer service and finance on a cloud-based platform.
Ideally, an eCommerce platform allows customer service reps to have a single view of a customer across all channels. This helps them in delivering consistent and personalized cross-channel experiences with targeted marketing and superior customer service.
Easy buying, fulfilling and returning purchases at both online and in-store to maximize profitability by centralizing order management and a single view of inventory across all channels and supply business units.
Delivering innovative, quick and personalized customer experiences across all touch points whether it’s mobile, the web or in-store to establish your brand creatively and exceed customer expectations.
The platform should support all types of unlimited expansion by quickly deploying business models, brand, channels, countries, and languages.
Which one is better for you?
If you are considering building an eCommerce store, chances are that you are already struggling with the plethora of options available in this space. But the market which is saturated with eCommerce platforms, it can be really taxing to find that perfect one that meets your needs. After teaming up with big daddies of eCommerce, we have prepared a list of top eCommerce platforms you can choose from.
Shopify has a wonderful user interface and that’s the reason behind it becoming one of the most popular eCommerce platforms. It has an awesome set of add-on apps to introduce new functionalities to your eCommerce store. The setup process is also much smoother than other eCommerce platforms. It’s a commercial product where you need to pay.
Although it’s really popular, it has a lot of limitations, the biggest downside being not able to customize the checkout page much. So, if you are trying to bring in your creativity into checkout page, then you don’t find a friend in Shopify. But this limitation is shared among all the hosted solutions.
Magento is the most seasoned eCommerce platform, the backbone of many big eCommerce websites. The age old experience works against it as it’s really difficult to customize and has plenty of features. Moreover, it’s user interface is not user-friendly. UX was given least important while designing the user interface of the Magento. The biggest issue with the Magento powered eCommerce Stores is the terribly slow and sluggish performance, you need to try fixing the issue every time with caching extensions and settings.
Magento is a free open source software and requires you to provide your own hosting, install, and setup. Moreover, you need to configure everything before you can actually start creating your own store, that means you require medium to the higher level of web development and programming skills.
It’s a WordPress plugin so in the nutshell you can’t work around on WooCommerce without WordPress. But the best part about the WooCommerce is its endless customizability. So adding enhancements and making changes to functionality is quite smooth and efficient. The WordPress backing ensures thousands of themes and plugins to play around. There are many advantages such as blogging on your eCommerce store is easy and doesn’t require installing an extension like Magento.
In the nutshell
The furious three offer basic store functionalities that are fairly powerful to use and maintain on an ongoing basis. Magento is free to use open source platform (and a paid enterprise edition with hosting capabilities,) but Shopify is significantly easier to setup and use compared to Magento. WooCommerce can woo you with its endless customization and WordPress plugins. What is your take on using these eCommerce platforms, let us know your thoughts for designing the best eCommerce stores.