Best Ecommerce Solutions

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.

What’s the top eCommerce platform for smaller companies?

An eCommerce platform is arguably essentially the most essential aspect with the on the net retail knowledge. Whilst any offered web site may well refer to it as a shopping cart, a basket, or even a bag, no eCommerce website can succeed – and even function – with out some sort of checkout remedy.

It can be tough, expensive as well as outright not possible for many organizations to properly implement these options in-house. This presents an issue that such organizations need to overcome in an effort to do enterprise at even a fundamental level.

Thankfully, there are various efficient and very affordable eCommerce solutions readily available to retailers these days. Of these, Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce are amongst the most well-known, the easiest to work with, as well as the easiest to implement.

Each and every of those platforms has its personal strengths and weaknesses, so you’ll want to function out that is the proper fit for your small business, your solutions, and your customers.
What do persons look for in an online purchasing encounter?

It can be tough to pin down what people want from their on the web buying practical experience, for the reason that people today are a diverse bunch. Considering the fact that no two companies (even direct competitors) have identical customer profiles, this implies that no two enterprises are catering to identical groups of people.

Though insights are out there, it is actually not possible to say conclusively that customers want x, y, or z from their on-line buying encounter.

Nevertheless, data from a selection of sources (which include Soasta, The Wharton School, Upstream Commerce, and CIO), suggests that consumers are mainly on the lookout for these key features:

  • Speedy and uncomplicated navigation
  • Mobile and cross-channel capabilities
  • A customized shopping expertise
  • Fascinating and appealing retailer design and style
  • Friendly, polite and beneficial customer support
  • Comfort and discretion

Of course, various of those points are certainly not genuinely affected by your decision of eCommerce answer. Having said that, it truly is worth maintaining these variables in thoughts any time you make any eCommerce design choices. You must contemplate speed, ease of use and responsive capability when deciding which eCommerce remedy is ideal for you.
Shopify

Perhaps one of the most widely recognized and most well known eCommerce remedy, Shopify describes itself as “an eCommerce platform created for you personally.” In accordance with eCommerce Platforms:

“Shopify will be the clear winner in terms of what persons are searching and how several persons are showing interest.”

Shopify delivers a array of advantages, including automatic taxes, shipping prices and support for several languages. Utilizing Shopify also allows you to offer you absolutely free shipping, and accept a array of main credit cards, including:

  • American Express
  • Uncover
  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • And more

Automatic retargeting

Shopify also assists you prevent purchasing cart abandonment by providing built-in assistance for abandoned checkout recovery. Shopify will automatically send out emails to consumers who add solutions to their carts devoid of shopping for them, saving you time and potentially avoiding loss of enterprise.

Nonetheless, there is far more to getting the proper eCommerce answer than merely deciding on by far the most common 1. You will discover a wide selection of things that should be considered, and although you will find compelling motives to use Shopify, you’ll find some things you ought to be conscious of.

Fees can add up – specifically in case you use add-ons

As Jeremy Wong at Web page Builder Professional points out, the main downsides of Shopify are that though the basic plans are inexpensive, their transaction charges along with other charges can add up and become high-priced, and all that customization can be tough for the uninitiated.

Shopify charges as significantly as 2% on each and every transaction, based on your program. Also, costs are charged on credit card transactions, for further apps you could possibly need to have to integrate into your online shop, and for many other ‘non-standard’ options beyond the regular monthly fee of $14-$179 which you spend upfront.

Similarly, when Shopify is desirable out on the box and may be customized using a variety of eye-catching themes, creating changes to the code may be challenging. This really is largely for the reason that Shopify utilizes its own coding language, Liquid, as opposed to a thing more widely known or open source.

Excellent for smaller sized businesses

For many users nonetheless, the positives of Shopify will outweigh the negatives. Shopify is perfect for smaller organizations and new start-ups, together with current retail businesses who’re taking their 1st steps into the globe of eCommerce.

Magento – Endless potential for customization

Out with the box, Magento can provide you with an attractive and productive buying and checkout solution. The principle strength that Magento brings towards the table, when we evaluate it with rivals for example Shopify, is the fact that it really is nearly endlessly customizable.. This really is specifically beneficial for retailers that sell uncommon or one of a kind items, which may need to have to be broken down into categories other web-sites could possibly not use.

This strength, nonetheless, also points us to Magento’s principal weakness – it is tougher for inexperienced customers to successfully implement it.

Demands some technical know-how

Again, the cost of this can be with regards to usability. Magento has a much steeper studying curve than the other options we are hunting at, and customers normally discover that they have to have at the very least some expertise of coding languages as a way to make by far the most of it.

Magento’s open supply nature, even so, can occasionally turn this weakness into strength. On their own web page, Magento boasts that “with Magento, you get more than 150,000 innovators at your disposal”. Since modifications and customizations other customers make are often shared on the web, you may copy and implement them yourself, totally free.

Nonetheless, this requires a minimum of a minimal knowledge of coding, a standard familiarity with the interface and an investment of time is also important. Searching for the ideal solution from Magento’s “army of innovators” just isn’t constantly quick and easy.

Numerous possibilities for payment

Magento allows customers to offer you their buyers a wide array of payment possibilities by integrating with existing solutions like Authorize.net and PayPal. As Catalin Zorzini at eCommerce Platforms explains:

“Magento offers one-click payments, guest checkouts and shipping to other addresses, if required. You are able to even setup a ‘bill me later’ program to help out your consumers and finance the purchases.”

Like Shopify, Magneto delivers a array of plans and pricing. The Magento Community Edition, as an example, is entirely cost-free to make use of. While this version has fewer functions than the paid variants, it truly is still highly customizable. It could also be used to implement a fully functional eCommerce and checkout expertise with a minimal cost.

Most effective suited for companies with technical knowledge

Adelina Tuca at CodeinWP suggests that Magento is very best suited to “big organizations and enterprises”. Having said that, we would argue that it can be not a lot the size from the business enterprise that determines regardless of whether Magento is suitable for you. Rather, it truly is the level of technical information obtainable to you.

Magento could be the least user-friendly on the eCommerce options we looked. Setting up the buying cart itself continues to be somewhat simple. However, operating the on the internet retailer as a complete calls for no less than a standard degree of technical understanding, along with the time investment to research and experiment with customizations.

For that reason, Magento is greatest suited to organizations who have (or are prepared to employ) expert internet improvement employees.
WooCommerce

Developed for WordPress

In contrast to the other eCommerce solutions we’ve looked at, WooCommerce is made and created particularly to add eCommerce capabilities to an current WordPress web page. Provided the recognition and ease-of-use in the WordPress platform, for a lot of businesses WooCommerce can very easily be added to your existing webpage.

WooCommerce is usually a totally no cost plugin for WordPress, as opposed to a standalone CMS like Magento. This tends to make it uncomplicated for you to add an online retailer and checkout facility for your existing web site.

For this reason, WooCommerce is often a great way for a tiny organization to transform their current site into an eCommerce platform. Although other eCommerce solutions like Shopify could be added to an existing website, it is actually a great deal, considerably much easier to complete with WooCommerce, so extended as your new or existing web page is constructed on WordPress.

Very simple and effortless integration

Unlike Shopify, WooCommerce integrates with all the current theme of your WordPress web page. This suggests that you will discover no fancy built-in themes on offer (except for those offered by WordPress, naturally).

On the other hand, this indicates that your eCommerce platform will fit virtually seamlessly into any web site you currently have up and operating.

Dependent on WordPress

Definitely, the important downside to all of this is that should you don’t currently possess a WordPress website, you will require to set a single up. As a result it might be a lot easier, cheaper, and less time consuming to not use WooCommerce.

The cost of hosting can add up

A further downside is that WordPress does not offer you totally free hosting, so you will need to have that taken care of a just before you can implement your WooCommerce eCommerce option, although it can be carried out somewhat rapidly and simply.

The one particular other important downside to WooCommerce is the fact that it doesn’t present all of the added functionality that the other eCommerce options need to present. It has fewer “out of the box” tools and capabilities than Shopify, and lacks the endless customizability of Magento.

Best for businesses that use WordPress

WooCommerce is ideal for any company that currently features a WordPress website. It’s also a fantastic fit for businesses whose tech professionals are acquainted with WordPress. This means that WooCommerce is most effective suited to smaller sized organizations and new start-ups.
In summary

Each on the major eCommerce options have their very own strengths and weaknesses. While they may be all useful, none of them is an effortless “one size fits all” answer that may perform for every single enterprise.

Need Help Understanding WordPress? Try These Tips!

Most bloggers know about WordPress. But, the fact remains that far too many individuals lack an understanding of the many amazing things this tool can actually do. This information should rectify the situation, giving you valuable tips about WordPress.

Be sure to add an author biography to each blog post on boards where many bloggers are posting. In this way, each blogger gets proper credit and it is easier for readers to know who posted what at a glance. Furthermore, readers will tend to stay on your page if they can get all the information they need in one place.

Remember to make your sidebar as concise and clean as possible. You don’t want it to be full of 100 links, ads and buttons. Instead, only put what is important in your sidebar and, if you need more links, put them into submenus which appear when the user mouses over your main menu.

Keep your permalinks clean and understandable. That means you should look at the permalink box every time you put up a new post. Does the title in the URL make sense? Does it help from an SEO standpoint? If not, click on it and alter it until it is perfect.

Be sure to learn all you can before you even install WordPress. Plan in advance so that you can be ready for anything. Learn about SEO, content creation, and how WordPress can best be used to your advantage.

Create a members only section to your website to make it more exclusive to the people who visit your site on a daily basis. This will allow them to actively engage in discussions with other members who have the same level of intensity. This will develop a solid bond between your top visitors.

Be sure to take special characters out of your blog post’s URLs. When search engines attempt to spider your website, these will give them problems, so get rid of them. Attempt to keep your URLs simple for visitors as well.

Many people are responding to video blogs, so consider this option. Video blogging is not only becoming more popular, it is also becoming much easier to use. WordPress, in its current version, makes the use of video blogging easy. This can really increase traffic by drawing those who are less inclined to read.

Titles and targeted descriptions drive traffic to your site. These are likely the first things visitors see when discovering your site from an Internet search. That also makes them the most important. Check out Scribe, which is an SEO software that gives you power on your site. You can get more visitors by editing these things.

If you want to have a landing page as the front page of your site, you will first need to create a “home” page and then a second page for your blog. Next, go into Reading Settings and click the static page radio button. Choose your home page for the front page and your blog page for the posts page.

Most modern bloggers have tried WordPress at least once. Even bloggers who have used WordPress for some time may not fully understand all of its capabilities. Hopefully, this article has shown you that you won’t fail with this great platform and that you can use it to your advantage.