Top 7 eCommerce Platforms List: Fundamentals & Advantages Of Using A Web Based E-Commerce Store

Top 7 eCommerce Platforms List: Fundamentals & Advantages Of Using A Web Based E-Commerce Store
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Setting up your first e-commerce website can be a daunting task, due to the fact that there are a huge amount of different things that you need to think about. There are the questions of which products to include, how to market the site and which e-commerce company to use, but the biggest question facing people is how to design a site that both appeals to people visually and also provides the highest conversion rates for people visiting your site. There are a number of different things to think about when designing a site and below are just a few of them…

The first thing to think about when designing a site is the purpose that it is to serve. Obviously for an e-commerce site the main purpose is to sell products, but you still need to decide on how you will sell them. Will you push certain products on the homepage as they have the highest profit margins? Will you provide links on different pages that go to items that could be bought in conjunction with something else? Will you use your homepage to advertise all the deals that are currently on at your store? All of these questions – plus many more – need to be answered before you even begin designing. Having a vision for your site is extremely important.


The aesthetic look of your site is also incredibly important, as it will reflect on the professionalism of your business and therefore influence people when they are trying to work out whether you can be trusted. You have probably stumbled on to a number of sites that look like they have been hastily put together, before clicking away instantly and not even considering their products, however good they are. Spend a long time getting the design to look professional and trustworthy – after all, once you have got the layout perfect, you will never have to do it again!

Ease of use is the final factor that must be considered when designing an e-commerce site. You could have the world’s best looking store but if people aren’t able to navigate around it then they will quickly leave, frustrated that they couldn’t find exactly what they were looking for. Try to include lots of clear links to products and to have a prominent menu, as well as perhaps having a search feature as well. If people can quickly click a link and find what they want, they are more likely to make an impulse buy and therefore generate your business money!

These are just three of the biggest considerations to make when designing your e-commerce store, but they are by far the most important. You should essentially treat your website in the same way that you would a brick and mortar shop – keep it looking good, make sure that people can find what they want and promote all of the best points in a place that is easy to see. If you follow these three points then you will be well on your way to online success!

Advantages:

E-commerce has come a long way since the beginning of the internet, with a huge amount of purchases being made every day online by people throughout the world. It has allowed previously small businesses to reach a worldwide audience and has ensured that consumers are able to get their hands on anything that they want, regardless of how obscure it might be. Setting up an e-commerce solution on your website is not easy though and there is one question that everyone will be asked at some point – should you use a web-based e-commerce solution or a get a bespoke solution built instead?
The fact is that web based e-commerce solutions are the best way to go for nearly every single new business online, for a number of different reasons. But what are the three biggest reasons why people opt for a web based e-commerce solution?

Without doubt the main reason that people choose web based e-commerce solutions is due to the fact that they cost a lot less than a bespoke solution. This isn’t because they are any worse though – it is simply down to economics. A bespoke e-commerce solution is only sold to one person, therefore meaning that it has to be expensive in order to make it worthwhile. A web based e-commerce solution is sold to many different people; therefore the price can be a lot lower in order for the designer to make a profit. When starting a business keeping costs down is essential, so a web based e-commerce solution will be perfect.

Another reason why many people opt for a web based e-commerce solution is time – they simply don’t want to be waiting around for ages while the developer makes their very own bespoke solution. With a web based solution, the product is already there and once purchased can be used almost instantly. Time spent waiting for anything on a website to be finished is time that could otherwise be used for getting the website to start making money, after all!

Another advantage in many peoples’ eyes is the fact that a web based e-commerce solution is something that has already been tested. This therefore means that there is no chance of it going wrong when implemented and damaging the business – something that would be disastrous should the business only just be starting up. A bespoke e-commerce solution will often take a number of attempts to get right and often have a number of false starts, as developers look to iron out any problems that the solution has.

The final reason for people using a web based e-commerce solution is that it is something that can have any problems quickly rectified, often by the company that provides the solution. This means that any down time will be kept to an absolute minimum and that business will not be interrupted. With a bespoke e-commerce solution, if is often only the original developer who has the knowledge to make any fixes and who is to say that they will be available to do the work whenever they are asked to?


3DCART

3DCart are a company who offer a complete e-commerce system to webmasters all over the world. Their services are in fact used by hundreds of thousands of different people, all of whom love the chance to buy and sell goods in a simple, yet effective, manner. In fact, this customer loyalty has led to them becoming one of the preeminent operators in the e-commerce industry – an industry that has a number of different competitors.

The secret to the success of 3DCart is the fact that they bring an approach geared towards large businesses, but have packaged it in a way that small businesses can find useful. This means that smaller businesses no longer have to put up with unreliable and second rate e-commerce solutions; in fact, with 3DCart they get all of the best aspects of e-commerce without the often heavy price tag! So what are the best features that 3DCart offer and how much should you expect to pay if you want to use their services?

Perhaps the best feature of 3DCart is the fact that they offer a full solution when it comes to building your e-commerce site – a solution that encompasses design, implementation and marketing. Webmasters of any level will find their store templates really easy to use and will see that they can get their store up and running in a matter of days, although the length of time really is dependent on the amount of products that are going to be listed on the site. The resulting site is then incredibly easy to upload to the net and business can begin as soon as possible.

Marketing is an extremely important part of any business and 3DCart assists you with this throughout the process, mainly by using a highly effective technique called search engine optimization. This technique will ensure that your site appears near the top of Google’s rankings for specific keywords and that your site gets a steady stream of customers throughout the year, therefore meaning there is a much greater chance of making sales.

3DCart also offers one of the most comprehensive and secure order processing features of any e-commerce provider, with a number of different facets that add up to create something that is award winning. Not only do they provide a quick and simple checkout service for people to use when purchasing their items, but they also offer support for dropshippers, password restricted discounts, management of wholesale supplies and they are even able to monitor stock levels for you. Essentially, they do everything that you could possible want from an e-commerce company!

There are a number of different price plans for those looking to use 3DCart, but before signing up to any of them it is important to take advantage of their 15 day free trial first. This will let you see whether the service is right for you and therefore allow you to make an educated decision about whether to sign up. Those that do sign up will find packages ranging from $13.68 per month through to $164.88 per month, with three other packages in between, allowing you to choose the best package to fit your business.

  • Gorgeous, Modern Store Design
  • Smooth, Customizable Checkout
  • Full Product and Category Management
  • Inventory Control
  • Easy-to-Use Order Management System
  • Robust Shipping Tools
  • Versatile Promotion and Coupon System
  • Multichannel Selling
  • Full Suite of Marketing and SEO tools
  • Abandoned Cart Recovery Tools
  • Use All Your Favorite Business Software
  • Customer’s information protected
  • Tons of Payment options
  • Supports All Industries

VOLUSION

Volusion market themselves as being the easiest way to sell online and as being an all in one e-commerce solution for anyone looking to open up an online store. While these claims might seem to be rather grand ones to make, the fact is that they are true in many ways, as Volusion are a company that any new online store should definitely try out! With the fact that they currently power over 30,000 different stores online at the moment, it is clear to see that they are certainly doing something right and keeping their customers happy!

Volusion offer a huge amount of different features to those looking to open up a new online store, all of which will help to ensure that their new business venture goes off without a hitch. When using Volusion you won’t only get a store that has everything you could possibly need, but you will also get a store that you can be proud of – a store that looks like it has been designed by a professional web designer. This is possible due to the high quality templates that Volusion supply and these are all extremely easy to use, ensuring that your site will also be up and running in absolutely no time.

Volusion also provide invaluable marketing solutions to all those that use their services. It is all very well and good having a store with the best products and the best design, but if people can’t find it then there is no point in it being there – it simply won’t make money. Volusion provide a number of advanced search engine optimization tools to use that will drive traffic to your site, as well as provide a number of tools to monitor the behavior of visitors to your site. This will allow you to adapt your marketing techniques to further increase conversion rates on the site.

In these days of increased mobile activity, Volusion have not forgotten that it is incredibly important for a site to have a mobile presence. They have also included a number of tools for use with social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, therefore meaning that you can take advantage of this highly important platform. Social networks and mobile devices are the future of online business, therefore meaning that it is essential for your site to embrace them as soon as is possible.

Volusion offer everyone the chance to try their services out for free, so that they can gauge whether the services offered are right for them.

Price:

  • Personal: $29/mo
  • Professional: $79/mo
  • Business: $299/mo
  • Custom

BIGCOMMERCE

BigCommerce bills itself as the “easiest way to sell online” and this claim has a number of different factors to back it up. Even some of the largest names in the world of technology echo high praise for the company, with one saying that it “powers everything related to an online storefront”. So, what are the features that make this e-commerce solution so effective and what companies will benefit from the services offered the most?

One of the most impressive elements of BigCommerce is that it allows both experienced and new online sellers to create the perfect storefront. Beginners can use the point and click options to piece together a site that not only looks professional, but which also works perfectly as well, while more seasoned e-commerce sellers can access HTML and CSS to modify anything that they like in the software, using wither the file editor provided or FTP. This flexibility means that anyone can feel comfortable purchasing this solution and that they can even improve on their store as their knowledge of the industry grows.

BigCommerce possibly provides the largest amount of help for sellers when it comes to marketing than any other e-commerce solution on the market. Perhaps the most important and useful of these is the automated email marketing that they provide, which essentially does the entire after sale promotional work for you. This means that if someone makes a purchase, they will receive preset emails at custom intervals, which can contain anything from product information through to coupons.

Another area of marketing that BigCommerce helps massively with is getting the website some brand awareness, and it does this through two different ways. The first of these – and the most effective – is that it will automatically submit your products to the various price comparison sites out there, such as PriceGrabber, Shopping.com and Shopzilla. This means that when people search for this item on Google, your site will appear alongside all the other major retailers in the listings. BigCommerce will also help you to sell and market on Facebook, which although not as effective as other forms of selling will still give you a bit of extra turnover per month.

When it comes to the main advantage that BigCommerce has over the competition though, the main talking point is without doubt the mobile commerce solutions that it offers. With the rise of smartphones and the proliferation of 3G networks throughout the world, more and more people are shopping while away from their home. BigCommerce will help any business capitalize on this new craze by having support for iPhones, Android phones, iPads, BlackBerry and Palm Pre devices. This means that people can simply log onto the site and after just a few clicks, they will have bought something from your store!

The points mentioned above are just a small selection of the different features that this e-commerce software provides – there are so many more. SEO services, Google tools, eBay compatibility… There are more to mention in one review alone. There is a comprehensive rundown of all of the services on the website though, so for further information you should take a look there.

The pricing of BigCommerce varies from $29.95 per month to $249.95 per month, depending on the package that you choose. They also offer a 15 day free trial so you can experience the service before deciding whether it is for you or not.

Storefront Design:

  • Theme Customization
  • Checkout Customization
  • Mobile Optimization
  • Preview Before Publishing
  • WordPress Integration

Storefront Conversion:

  • Coupons & Discounts
  • Site Speed
  • Merchandising
  • Digital Wallets
  • SEO
  • Faceted Search

Cross-channel Commerce:

  • Marketplaces
  • Social Commerce
  • Brick & Mortar
  • Multi-Storefront

B2B:

  • Customer Groups
  • Price Lists
  • Bulk Pricing
  • Purchase Orders
  • Punch Out
  • Quote Management
  • B2B Payment
  • Advanced Search
  • APIs

International:

  • Localized Payments
  • Multi-Language
  • Cross-Border Fulfillment
  • Global CDN
  • Offices Around the World

SHOPIFY

Shopify is the best ecommerce platform that has everything you need to sell online, on social media, or in person.

  • Start —your business journey
  • Sell —everywhere
  • Market —your business
  • Manage —everything

Pricing:

  • Basic Shopify (All the basics for starting a new business): $29/mo
  • Shopify (Everything you need for a growing business): $79/mo
  • Advanced Shopify (Advanced features for scaling your business): $299/mo
  • Shopify Plus (Specialized features and support for larger brands): 2,000+/mo

MAGENTO

Magento empowers thousands of retailers and brands with the best eCommerce platforms and flexible cloud solutions to rapidly innovate and grow.

Solutions:

  • Small Business
  • Mid-Market / Enterprise
  • B2B
  • Global Expansion
  • Omnichannel
  • Digital Transformation
  • Mobile Commerce
  • Migrate to Magento Commerce 2

Features & Benefits:

  • Meaningful Commerce Experiences
  • Seamless Shopping Everywhere
  • Intelligent & Efficient Operations
  • Operate with Confidence

YO-KART

Launch multivendor marketplace with powerful eCommerce platform. Yo!Kart shopping cart software helps SMEs to develop advanced feature-rich custom eCommerce store.

Design Features:

  • Responsive Design
  • Display Featured Products
  • Separate Seller/Buyer Dashboard
  • Theme Management
  • Fully Customized Design

Product Management Features:

  • Product Catalog System
  • Import/Export Feature
  • Tax Management
  • Favorite Products
  • Track Inventory
  • Easy Product addition
  • Product Review Management
  • Rewards & Discounts
  • Easy Checkout

Ecommerce Features:

  • Customer Order Management
  • User Management
  • Database Backup
  • Multi Lingual Functionality
  • Multivendor Ecommerce
  • Discount Coupon Management
  • CMS
  • Multi-Currency Functionality
  • ShipStation Integration

Pricing:

Yo!Kart Version 7 Packages

  • GoQuick V7: $999
  • GoCustom Lite V7: $2999
  • GoCustom V7: $5999

Yo!Kart Version 8 Packages

  • GoQuick V8: $1299
  • GoCustom Lite V8: $3999
  • GoCustom V8: $6999

SQUARESPACE

Squarespace is the all-in-one solution for anyone looking to create a beautiful website. Domains, eCommerce, hosting, galleries, analytics, and 24/7 support all included.

  • Mobile Optimized: Great On Every Device
  • E-Commerce: Sell Unlimited Products
  • Shopping On Instagram: Make More Sales
  • Email Campaigns: Drive Engagement
  • Shipping Options: Fulfill Orders Faster
  • Analytics: Optimize Your Business

Pricing:

  • Basic $26/mo
  • Advanced 40/mo

KIBOCOMMERCE

Kibo provides cloud commerce solutions you can count on. eCommerce, Order Management, Personalization, and Mobile Point-of-Commerce (mPOC) for ecommerce.

  • Build your site with the most powerful SaaS eCommerce platform
  • Advanced Cloud Platform
  • Mobile First Design. Always
  • Uncompromised Performance & Results
  • Smarter Inventory Management
  • Engaging Customer Experiences

Pricing:

  • Individual