What Kind of Online Platform Should You Build Your Business on?
If you want your business to succeed online, you must choose the online platform that suits your business the best. While choosing your platform, you need not consider just the features that a particular platform provides and ensure that the platform is easily scalable. Scalability is vital, along with platform flexibility and development and maintenance costs of the associated platform.
Also, consider how the platform features align with your business strategy. Suppose you have a vital SEO factor in your marketing strategy. In that case, you need to pick a platform that is particularly SEO friendly. Another example is when you have a low development budget and are thinking of asking a web or UI designer to both design and develop your site. In such cases, you want a platform that lets you build great looking e-commerce sites without knowing any coding whatsoever.
But for 99% of businesses out there, one of the following platforms should do the job satisfactorily and effectively:
WooCommerce used to be THE dominant player in the e-commerce platform market. It is still widely popular since it is based on the WordPress CMS. As experts from Zibtek.com point out, you should note that WooCommerce is a plugin rather than a platform. It is particularly suited for businesses that already have a website based on WordPress and want to set up an online store.
There are lots of things going in favor of WooCommerce, like customization options and in-built analytics features. You can seek help from the platform’s customer support team for troubleshooting. While WooCommerce itself is free, you still need to pay up for things like hosting and other costs associated with maintaining a WordPress CMS based website. The plugin requires occasional coding, but where it lacks is in scalability and wants in SEO features. If you are planning for immense business growth, WooCommerce might not be your best option.
The Shopify e-commerce platform enjoys widespread popularity among businesses, particularly those whose marketing places a lot of emphasis on social media or companies doing dropshipping. Shopify stands out from other similar e-commerce platforms by its simplicity and flexibility. Small businesses can quickly scale their operations when they use this platform. Additionally, Shopify comes with the great advantage of an almost straight learning curve. In other words, it takes zero technical and coding skills to build your online store using Shopify, thanks to the drag and drop interface that the platform sports.
Shopify further stands out by its particular focus on selling items. The great up-sell features and the ability to manage customer experiences to a great degree make it the best option for many businesses like yours. On the flip side, Shopify’s limitations become apparent when it comes to handling vast stores. You can indeed grow your store with Shopify Plus to some extent. But for businesses who already have a large retail business, Shopify isn’t the best option always.
● Big Commerce
As of the present moment, businesses usually narrow down their e-commerce platform options to BigCommerce or Shopify. BigCommerce is generally favored over Shopify if we are talking about a massive store with a similarly large number of items. The platform also scores big with its built-in SEO features, which help businesses implement their digital marketing plans, as BigCommerce reviews point out. Conversions are higher with BigCommerce as well, thanks to the one-page checkout feature it offers. But many businesses particularly feel that the one-click upsell feature would have made the platform from being a good one to the best one.
You should let your business and marketing strategy determine your choice between Shopify and BigCommerce. That latter is desirable if you want a significant amount of customizability and need a beneficial customer support service. The main drawback of BigCommerce is its high cost. Many standard features of other platforms require expensive advance plans on BigCommerce.
OpenCart is perfect for the business with a shoestring budget. Not only is the platform itself entirely free and open-source, but you can spruce up its functionality too by investing in relatively affordable add-ons. Further, many free add-ons add specific functionality to your site. Other platforms would have charged a hefty fee to let you use those features. OpenCart requires pretty solid technical and coding skills. If you don’t have a developer friend who would build your site for cheap, the development might cost you a significant sum. It is also essential to have a developer on standby. Otherwise, you might end up dealing with coding issues with yourself in case something goes wrong. And Google often doesn’t help much in this.
Open-Cart stands out by its neat SEO capabilities, ability to render your site seamlessly across devices. If you know money and want to save on development costs, this is the online business platform you want to choose.
There are usually two primary considerations that decide your choice of the online platform for your business: your coding skills and business growth expectations. While considering the latter keep in mind both sales volumes and the number of items you sell. Other vital factors are marketing suitability and how the platform aligns with UX or user experience strategy. Remember to give this decision the care and careful thought it deserves, as errors in this will prove costly.