Choosing an ecommerce platform is like choosing a phone plan, each player makes it hard for you to compare pricing and features and you end up giving up picking the most famous one. My goal here is to help you take a rational decision.
A self-hosted eCommerce platform means you own the system, so you have unlimited control over it. While this might sound appealing, I must stress that owning the system also means you own all the technical burdens associated with such a system. From server maintenance & optimization, security, backup, custom development, & more, a self-hosted eCommerce system almost always requires a significant volume of active work and associated expenses.
Choosing a new eCommerce platform can be a daunting experience. Aside from the cost and time involved, you and your team likely have many questions to answer. What’s the best platform for your business ? What’s the most cost effective? What trends should we pay attention to and which ones should we ignore? These are just some of the broad-based questions that will (and should) come up in discussions about replatforming.
A B2B eCommerce platform can provide you with the knowledge you need to make the right decisions about your business. Common reports on sales, buyers and inventory can be easily generated with one-click, helping you to identify key insights in real time that drive smart decision making.
In the ecommerce platform context, having a site that looks good and functions well often means that you have a site you can control and customize. This, by the way, is also where mobile optimization comes in. There is a direct relationship between the ability to customize a site and the ability to mobile optimize that site.
The Magento ecommerce platform serves more than 200,000 merchants around the world , and those merchants are supported by a global community of solution partners, merchants, forum moderators and developers. There are enormous amounts of support, from online forums to ‘meetup’ groups for anyone affiliated with the platform. With this large of a community, you can almost be 100% sure you’ll never be left in the dark.
Magento is the #1 ecommerce platform for the Alexa top one million sites. Magento seems to be a favorite among many top fashion brands and this in large part is due to a few unique features they provide.
As the largest single eCommerce platform, Magento is a big target for hackers. There have been multiple system vulnerabilities discovered, reported and exploited by global hackers. 2015 was not a good year for Magento in terms of security, although they have been quick to patch weak points once the vulnerabilities are discovered. We have been using Web Application Firewalls (WAF’s) from the company Sucuri to help mitigate some of the risks. We have also been working with merchants on PCI compliance issues.
Also remember that the ecommerce platform is just one part of what it takes to sell online. A new online store needs product photos, product descriptions, text for the about page, a payment gateway, and much more.
Before you choose a new eCommerce platform, it’s critical to, again, understand that the platform must align with your business goals and success metrics. Even if you have prior experience with a specific platform or software suite, your eCommerce efforts could seriously derail if the platform doesn’t meet your predefined goals.
Selling online requires an ecommerce platform. Fortunately, for entrepreneurs there are many good ecommerce solutions available. Selecting which one to use can be a matter of choosing the best option for a particular ecommerce business.
TomatoCart is another free ecommerce platform. And just like Prestashop and AgoraCart it also comes packed with loads of features as standard. It has unlimited categories and can handle all sort of items including downloads and other virtual products. It is also easily customizable and comes with several payment methods and shipping options. And it is easy to use so on first look it appears just as good as Prestashop and Agoracart.
When you look at the various eCommerce platform market share it is apparent that there are some front runners that command a solid chunk of the market. Although there are only a few that dominate, it does not mean this is an accurate portrayal of the market and the ever-changing trends. There are a lot more intricacies involved and I will try and cover them all to give you a better idea of what the eCommerce platform market share looks like in terms of its distribution and trends.
WooCommerce is a very popular solution but it is not really an eCommerce platform, but rather a plugin that extends any site to a eCommerce one. The major advantage of running your eCommerce platform is that you can customize your online store the way you want it. Similarly, since it’s built on a CMS, it’s easier to create relevant content, making SEO so much easier. Various dedicated plugins are available to use advanced marketing and analytical strategies to increase your eCommerce success.
CRM capabilities embedded in an Ecommerce platform are greater than the sum of the two separate products. While the technology challenges presented when integrating standalone CRM and Ecommerce can be daunting, finding a vendor that offers both capabilities natively integrated will multiply your returns.