Which e-commerce platform is right for your business?
Opening your own e-commerce website is a big step to make, but one that can be highly rewarding and lucrative. If you are just starting out with your business, or if you are already in operation and are looking to update your website, then choosing the right e-commerce platform is one of the biggest decisions you can make.
There are a lot of different platforms out there for you to choose from, so to help you decide which one is most suitable for your needs, I’ve taken a look at the 5 most common…
Shopify is one of the most well-known e-commerce websites in the world and it’s a highly customizable design makes it incredibly easy for businesses of all sizes to use. The platform also lets you create your own domain name; helping to give your business a more professional look.
With lots of free or paid templates, getting started can be quite easy but these typically do not meet the requirements of many businesses. This means that potential sales fall through the cracks and customers are known to be put off by the generic look and feel of a website. It is possible to create your own custom design – although this often requires a skilled web developer.
Etsy: This online marketplace is built to showcase original, handmade items and its focus is on small product ranges means you are likely to enjoy higher traffic and a more captive user base. They also offer users with various marketing tools to help raise the profile of their business even further.
That said, there is a growing number of similar businesses opening up on Etsy which is driving competition up and reducing the chances of getting your products seen. The platform is also quite limited in terms of design meaning your website will look similar to many others.
In recent years, Wix has grown to become a very popular website design tool for businesses and it currently plays host to over 160 million different websites. It features many different templates and is relatively straight forward to use – which is why it has become so popular with startups and small businesses.
However there are a number of negative aspects to the platform too. Whilst the templated designs are attractive, you are stuck with the one you choose – so if you want to refresh your website at a later date it means having to start from scratch. The backend and editing area can often be quite slow to load and interact with, whilst you can also only have one person logged in at a time, which can be a little frustrating if you have more than one person looking to update the site.
When it comes to e-commerce, Amazon is the one of the biggest players in the world and covers almost every product available. This means that millions of potential customers visit the site every day, so companies that are able to maximise their appearance can reap big benefits.
However because it is so big, companies will be facing a lot of competition from the very start. The company also places quite a large fee on every product sold, meaning you might not be earning as much as you could through other platforms.
When it comes to Content Management Systems, WordPress is the biggest platform in the world and is a popular choice for businesses both small and large. It comes with a huge array of design and customization options and also offers a very simple interface with which to update your product collections.
Although it is quite simple to create a basic site, to build a truly functional and beautiful website to showcase your company does require the skills of a professional developer. It is also important to remember the platform is not an e-commerce site initially, but their WooCommerce plugin is highly intuitive and easy to use.