3 most popular eCommerce platforms
During these unprecedented times, the eCommerce industry has reached its new highs. Retail eCommerce sales are expected to reach $4.9 trillion based on data published on the Shopify website. This shows that the eCommerce industry keeps growing, which makes it a highly competitive space to enter as a new small business. The number of eCommerce platforms that offer great features for business owners is also huge and this complicates the process of choosing the right one for you and your needs as a business owner.
In this article, we are going to take a look at the three most popular eCommerce platforms that currently dominate the market: Shopify, BigCommerce, and WooCommerce. You will learn what are the advantages and disadvantages of each one of them and determine which one could become the right option for your online business.
Shopify – the most popular eCommerce platform
When people talk about eCommerce, Shopify is the first that pops up in mind. It is a well-known eCommerce platform with 2 million active users and 1 million stores. People love Shopify because of its easy-to-understand setup and how it has all of the needed features for not only small businesses but also larger-scale businesses.
Shopify is great for beginners as the platform has everything needed already integrated into the platform.
- Great features (same across plans), such as abandoned cart recovery, custom discount codes, integrated marketing tools, and gift cards.
- Shipping discounts
- 14-day free trial
- Substantial discounts on shipping rates
- 73 mobile-optimized themes for your online store
- No limit on the number of products you add to your store
- Amazing 24/7 support (chat and phone support, help center, community forums)
- Custom domains
- Amazing real-time statistics and analytics
- Only two contributor accounts are available when you use the cheapest plan
- 2% commission paid separately from Shopify plan fees
- Only 9 out of 73 mobile-optimized themes are free
It is safe to say that Shopify made it very easy to create a successful online store with its intuitive interface and no-code tools. There are also many different resources available to help you start on Shopify, so definitely anyone can do that! For more advanced users, there is full access to the code of your website to enhance it on your own as well as many add-ons from different developers. That’s what makes Shopify great for beginners as well as for professionals.
Shopify’s retailers cover a huge number of different markets as there are more than 1 million businesses, which makes it a very competitive platform. But with all of the tools and add-ons offered by Shopify you can definitely make your store stand out and get many sales.
WooCommerce – a free plugin for WordPress website
WooCommerce is not a platform itself, it is an open-source plugin for the WordPress website. In order to get WooCommerce, you need to already have a WordPress website. Of course, there are many paid extensions, themes, and integrations to improve your online store. WooCommerce is mostly free, which means that you must handle everything on your own or hire a programmer. WooCommerce is definitely not like Shopify or any other eCommerce platform, but it’s one of the most popular eCommerce solutions. Almost 30% of all online retailers are using WooCommerce.
- Various payment options available (credit cards, Stripe, PayPal, WooCommerce payment)
- Inventory management, tax calculations, shipping information is in the WordPress interface
- Ability to integrate with Google Analytics
- Extensive support forum
- 30-day money-back guarantee on every purchase you make in the WooCommerce store
- 300+ extensions available in the WooCommerce store
- Requires to have a domain, hosting, WordPress account
When you have your online store it is important to have certain goals for your business and strategy to achieve them. Check out our article on building a powerful eCommerce strategy to help boost your sales.
BigCommerce – the most functional platform on the market
For the last decade, BigCommerce has been offering eCommerce solutions. BigCommerce is similar to Shopify, but it differs from it with the great number of features you will not get in Shopify. BigCommerce has many different built-in features, but you must be ready to pay accordingly. Some people might get overwhelmed by these options, but of course, generally, it is nice to have great integrations and features in your online store. BigCommerce even has more built-in features than Shopify.
The unique feature of BigCommerce is that it makes it very easy for a business owner to manage sales across multiple channels, such as social media, email. BigCommerce offers amazing solutions for wholesale shops, B2B stores as well as for WordPress users.
- Some of the best features and integrations in the industry (for example, abandoned cart feature and shipping integrations)
- Fees depend on the number of sales your business does per year
- Capabilities and features can be a bit overwhelming
- More expensive compared to Shopify and WooCommerce
BigCommerce is a great platform for those, who only start their online business as well as for those that want to take their existing online retail to the next level. It is definitely one of the best options to consider for your business as it has an outstanding reputation when it comes to loading speed, security, and performance.
All these platforms are the leading ones in the industry right now. When it comes to choosing the right platform you have to take into consideration factors, which are important for your business specifically, what are your business goals, whether you want to invest in your store or start with a free platform, etc? You can check out our latest article with great tips that will help you to make the right decision.
About the author:
Tali is a results-driven digital marketer with a track record of growing her clients’ businesses and driving revenue. Her 15 years of varied and in-depth experience has helped to make her an industry leader. And in a rapidly evolving field, she’s been able to stay several steps ahead of the mainstream trends, a significant advantage that pays huge dividends for the small–to–medium size businesses that she serves.
As the business owner at WSI Digital Path, Vaughan, she takes great pride in delivering powerful but cost-effective solutions for her clients.