I provide professional eCommerce web design services but even my team and I no longer code our online eCommerce portals anymore. Today it is simply easier and faster for most people to just use an eCommerce solution and without (dare I say) the service from a web design agency.
We have tried and tested every eCommerce platform so you don’t have to. Having thoroughly tested all of the top eCommerce platforms mentioned in this piece, we reiterate our strong recommendation that you make a short-list of 2 or 3 of the best eCommerce platform providers and then take each of them on a free trial basis to see which you feel most comfortable with.
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Let’s face it, you may have products and services that are just waiting to be the next ‘must have’ item out there, but without the best eCommerce platform on which to market and sell them from you are not going to realise your brands true potential.
Fear not! Below we will take an in-depth look at what the top eCommerce platforms can offer and why selecting the right one for your business really can be a game changer.
‘Majority rule’ should be seen as a factor when it comes to what is the best eCommerce platform available for your business needs, but it should certainly not be looked upon as the ‘be-all and end-all’ of your decision making.
Rather than just looking at which platforms have most users you should take a host of other considerations into account. This is because by understanding which platforms currently attracted the most subscribers it gives a starting point for eCommerce platforms comparison.
The most popular eCommerce platforms are obviously getting things right in terms of being the best platform to sell online and research data as to why is freely available in terms of claims that they offer the best business leverage for your business.
We will go into a variety of things for you to consider later in the article to help with your decision making, this will include a section on what we see as the top 10 eCommerce platforms, but first here are the current most popular eCommerce platforms globally according to a 2018 Statista paper.
In 2018, Shopify was the biggest name in the e-commerce platform market, accounting for 23 percent of total market share. The market’s other major competitors include WooCommerce Checkout, Wix Stores, and Squarespace Commerce, each of which boasts a market share of at least ten percent.
Choosing the best platform to sell online means you should find a solution that meets all immediate requirements, but it must also give flexibility in order to meet the growing needs of an increased customer base and continual expansion of your business.
When looking at the most popular eCommerce platforms, each will have functions that make them a stand-out choice for individual businesses. This is why it is important to have a clear understanding of what is offered as well as where your priorities lie. By doing so will help you decide what is the best eCommerce platform for your business.
One of the first rules of business you should put in place and adhere to is that you cannot be everything to everyone. Although this is a worthy thought, the truth is that it will be self-defeating and the reality is that you will end up being not very much to anyone!
It is important that you have clear business goals regarding the product(s) or service you are offering. By achieving this it will give brand clarity and allow you to major on the audience you intend to target.
One of these goals is having a clear vision of what your business wants in terms of the best platform to sell online. This choice will not be the same for all businesses due to the fact that individual priorities and preferences vary.
You also need to bear in mind your physical location. The reason for saying this is that what may be seen as ideal eCommerce platforms UK centric may not necessarily be best for those in other global locations.
Here are 5 things to bear in mind when considering the top eCommerce platforms and which will best suit your individual business needs:
It makes very good business sense to read-up and understand what the most popular eCommerce platforms have to offer. This will add to your knowledge and aid decision making through the review of eCommerce platforms comparison data.
Bearing in mind what was discussed in the ‘what to look for in the best platform to sell online’ section above, you should have priorities in mind when it comes to what you see as the essential ingredients required to help decide on what is the best eCommerce platform for your business.
There is little doubt that these priorities will overlap and interweave, but in terms of eCommerce platform comparisons keep an eye out for such things as:
Are you confronted with a maze of options only a tech guru can work through?
When looking at eCommerce platforms comparison charts you will find a wide-ranging difference on templates & designs available. For most there will be a generic design to suit their business, but if you have a specific requirement make sure that this can be achieved. Then consider what comes ‘out-of-the-box’, as well as how flexible and easy to use these features are. The best eCommerce platforms should have their own active apps store. They should also offer comprehensive 3rd-party add-ons that give a good choice of tools for you to take advantage of.
It stands to reason that the top eCommerce platforms should also offer ‘extras’ that help retain your existing customer base as well as attracting new visitors to your online offering. These should include tools that allow you to implement or create such things as:
Before we look at the best eCommerce platform for SEO and what key SEO tools you should have access to, it should be said that no matter which of the top 10 eCommerce platforms you choose, SEO advantage will be best leveraged by availing of a well-respected, professional and proven digital marketing agency. The reason for saying this is that good SEO is an art and it is only with the benefit of best practice SEO that you will achieve the exposure your brand deserves.
The reality is that the best eCommerce platform for SEO depends on your SEO ability. If you do not have the relevant skill to maximise SEO practices then appoint a company that does. This will allow you to get on with what you do best; running your business.
When choosing the best platform to sell online you must place a high priority on the level of customer support offered. Do bear in mind that this will vary dependent upon your chosen price plan. It is also vital that prompt, efficient and informative help is available when you need it.
Not just initial costs for the price plan that currently suits, but upgrade costs and such things as domain name/hosting costs where applicable.
The devil is in the detail. When investigating which is the best eCommerce platform for your specific requirements you will find that each one has a base offering. This can best be described as ‘essential eCommerce features’ and means they offer a feature set which is vital for fluid, manageable and productive online stores.
This is where the devil is in the detail. What one business owner may see as the best platform to sell online does not necessarily translate to others with different needs
You need to focus on niche factors that are important to you and your business. As you will see in our conclusion, we recommend whittling down your choice and then taking each of these for a free ‘test-drive’ to see which suits you, your business and your style of operation.
This is because each have their benefits and dependent upon your specific needs, one is sure to fit more smoothly into the way you operate. Such analysis and testing will be the cornerstone that ensures your online business not only gets off to a solid start, but is given the ability to grow as brand recognition increases.
The important thing to remember is that you should match your specific requirements to what these top eCommerce platforms offer. By doing so you will quickly understand which is most appropriate for your business needs.
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It would do you no harm whatsoever to trial 3 to help with your final decision. This is because it is a decision that should in no shape or form be rushed.
Because choosing the best eCommerce platform for your personal needs and business goals is such an important decision you need to carry out in-depth analysis and reviews.
It will help tremendously to make a list of things you feel are essential for your business. This should be continuously added to the greater your overall understanding of the top eCommerce platforms becomes.
We have mentioned it a couple of times, but, in truth it cannot be stated strongly enough.
When choosing the best eCommerce platform for your business, whittle down your list and then take a free trial of the top contenders.
As well as helping you make this extremely important decision, you will have full peace of mind in terms of how thoroughly your selection process has been.
That’s all for now. We hope you have enjoyed this best eCommerce platform article and have gleaned some useful information on the best eCommerce platforms for small business solutions out there. Please do keep an eye out for our future articles as we have lots of information relating to online services offered coming soon.