Ecommerce Platforms: Have Your Own Online Store

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Are you planning to create an online store? Whether you already have an established company or it’s developing it now, counting on the right ecommerce platform will help you to build your ecommerce website and manage it. 

What is an Ecommerce Platform?

If you think that to have your online store, you need to build everything from scratch, ecommerce platforms are here to show there are other simpler and more practical solutions. Because they don’t require you to create the whole infrastructure to develop a website, you don’t need to know code or design, for instance. 

Ecommerce platforms count on several features to facilitate all the processes, such as website builder, web hosting, inventory management, marketing and SEO tools, payment processing, and so on. It enables you to have control over the multiple tasks of your ecommerce on a single platform, and also include your team in it.   

Types of Ecommerce Platforms

Headless 

To understand what a headless ecommerce platform is, first, it’s necessary to know what the front-end and back-end are when it comes to a website. Basically, the front-end is the interface, the visual element, what you see, while the back-end is the behind-the-scenes, the infrastructure that enables the website to function. 

A headless ecommerce platform, different from the usual, separates the front-end from the back-end to offer more freedom and flexibility when it comes to creating and offering new shopping experiences. APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) are used to publish content, product, and banners, for example.

One thing is important to keep in mind, though, to have a headless ecommerce you will need to count on a team of developers, knowing code is essential in this case. 

Open-Source

An open-source ecommerce platform is focused on companies that are looking for an online store solution that enables them to have full access to the source code, which means they can modify it, and adjust it to their needs. This type of ecommerce platform is often required by developers and IT-heavy organizations. 

SaaS

SaaS (software as a service) ecommerce platforms are highly recommended for companies that don’t want to deal with the IT infrastructure and coding part of having an online store. It’s also a more affordable option because it doesn’t require your enterprise to hire developers or designers, for instance.

You can focus on building the pages of your online store, with an intuitive editor, counting on an online inventory to upload products and control stock. Besides, many of these platforms are partnered with shipping companies to facilitate your logistics, and some also facilitate configuring payment methods. 

Another advantage is that they will be in charge of your website security. On the other hand, a SaaS ecommerce platform doesn’t give you as much flexibility as the other options since you don’t have control over the coding. 

Ecommerce Platform: Hosted X Self-Hosted

For your website to be available online, it needs to be hosted on a server. There are ecommerce platforms, usually open-source, that don’t provide the service of hosting your website, which means you will need to take care of it, being self-hosted.  

In this case, you may hire web hosting for ecommerce and choose the best hosting plan for your online store needs. The disadvantage is having to manage one more aspect of the website maintenance while there are ecommerce platforms that already take care of that part and include web hosting on all of their plans. 

7 Best Ecommerce Platforms

1. Wix

Create your own Ecommerce with Wix today

Wix is an easy-to-use ecommerce platform, which provides web hosting services and enables you to easily customize all of your website pages using its editor, and also choosing pre-built templates. If you are starting to build your brand’s identity, you can enjoy the Wix Logo Maker, and brand name generator.

You can have more than 50.000 products in your online store, and manage your inventory and the sources from your suppliers using Wix tools. To set payments, you have the option to choose from multiple methods, including major credit card companies, PayPal, and Stripe. 

Are you thinking of selling on marketplaces and social media platforms? With Wix, you have the possibility to sell on multiple sales channels and manage everything from a unique dashboard, having a synchronized inventory. 

Wix also has SEO tools to help you rank better on search engines like Google, and sell more. Besides, it also counts on Marketing solutions, the platform creates optimized ad campaigns on Facebook and Instagram for you. 

Key features:

  • Ecommerce website builder
  • More than 500 pre-built templates
  • Logo maker
  • Business name generator
  • Wix Payments 
  • Automate your taxes
  • Sell in multiple channels
  • SEO and marketing tools

2. Shopify

Shopify's logo

One of the most famous ecommerce platforms in the world, Shopify focuses on offering you simple solutions from building your store to managing it. You can choose among more than 70 themes to start customizing your ecommerce and develop each page as you wish. 

Use the drag-and-drop store builder to change the color palette, and add your logo, images, videos, text, and other elements. You also have the option to create a new domain or use one you already have. Another important feature is that your website is going to be mobile-friendly, all of the Shopify themes have a fully responsive design. 

When it comes to setting payments and shipping, Shopify also offers unique solutions. With Shopify Payments, you can accept credit cards immediately without the need for third-party accounts. To make the shipping process simpler, you will get calculated shipping rates. Enjoy the built-in SEO features and automated marketing too. 

Key features:

  • Drag-and-drop store builder
  • Designed for mobile
  • Shopify payments
  • Comprehensive dashboard
  • Built-in SEO features
  • Automated marketing
  • Synced inventory
  • Shopify apps

3. SITE123

SITE123's logo

With SITE123, you can have your online store running with just a few steps. Use its intuitive website editor to create and customize the pages, including the home page, product categories, and each product page.

Remember to add high-quality pictures of your products and to write complete descriptions. SITE123 will help you to have a mobile-friendly website, so customers can have a great experience buying on your ecommerce site regardless of the device they are using. Besides, the platform also offers free hosting, free domain registration, and SEO tools.

Key features:

  • Website editor
  • Mobile Friendly
  • Free hosting
  • SEO tools
  • Custom Domains
  • 24/7 customer support

4. Webnode

Webnode's logo

Webnode is perfect for companies that are looking for an ecommerce platform that will not only host your website but also take care of the coding part for you. You will find multiple store templates, which were developed to help you sell and make your products stand out. They have a responsive design, which means the images will be adjusted according to the screen size.

You can offer a variety of payment options to your customers, credit cards, PayPal, Stripe, and wire transfer, for example. You also have the flexibility to set shipping options as you prefer and allow customers to track their orders. 

To analyze your website performance, Webnode provides store statistics, so you can check what needs to be improved, and identify the most profitable products, and loyal customers. 

Key features:

  • Website builder
  • Reliable hosting
  • Unlimited number of pages
  • SEO tools
  • Responsive store templates
  • Store statistics
  • Simple checkout
  • Import products in bulk

5. Shoplazza

Shoplazza's logo

Are you looking for an easy-to-use ecommerce platform that enables you to quickly have your online store? Shoplazza offers you multiple features, starting with pre-built templates that can be completely customized using the drag-and-drop editor. 

With the inventory management system, you can use the platform to keep control of the stocks. You can offer as many products as you wish on your online store, and accept multiple currencies and different payment methods.

Shoplazza even counts on more than 150 shipping partners to help you organize the delivery process. 

Key features: 

  • Pre-built templates
  • Drag-and-drop online store button
  • Inventory management system
  • Marketing tools
  • SEO tools
  • Staff accounts
  • Multiple payment options
  • Shipping partners

6. BigCommerce

BigCommerce's logo

BigCommerce offers multiple solutions for you, depending on what your company needs. When accessing its Website, you are going to find two options: Enterprise and Essentials.

BigCommerce Enterprise offers you an open SaaS ecommerce platform. It allows you to design your online store with freedom, and create a unique experience for your customers. Besides, you have the opportunity to use headless ecommerce and count on powerful analytics. 

BigCommerce Essentials is focused on companies that want an ecommerce platform that doesn’t require design or coding skills. You will be able to use professional pre-built templates and customize the storefront to add your brand’s visual identity. 

Then, you are going to find multiple features such as search engine optimization, sales channels integrations, and management tools.

Key features:

  • BigCommerce Essentials
  • BigCommerce Enterprise
  • Page builder
  • Pre-built templates
  • Check out customization
  • SEO tools
  • Management tools
  • Headless commerce

7. Ecwid

Ecwid's logo

Ecwid enables you to create a website within a few minutes and then set up your online store without requiring any coding or software installation. If you already have a website, you can also use the platform to just add an ecommerce section to it. 

Another benefit is that you can use Ecwid to sell in multiple sales channels, like Amazon, eBay, Facebook, and Instagram, and have a centralized inventory. It will make the order management processes much easier and help to avoid errors such as selling sold-out items. 

Key features:

  • Website builder
  • Sell on social media and marketplaces
  • Centralized inventory
  • More than 50 payment options

How to Choose the Best Ecommerce Platform

As you may have seen, there are several ecommerce platforms available, which leaves the doubt, which is the best one? This answer isn’t a simple one because it depends on multiple factors. 

The size and type of your business, for instance. A B2B (business to business) company has different needs than a B2C ( business to consumer), and that needs to be taken into consideration. 

If your company is highly focused on IT, probably you will prefer an open-source or headless ecommerce platform. On the other hand, if you don’t count on developers, an ecommerce platform that doesn’t demand coding expertise may be more suitable for you. 

As you navigate through the ecommerce platforms, you will see they offer a huge variety of plans and prices. It’s also needed to analyze the budget available to pay for this service, and not only that to maintain your online store running, investing in marketing strategies, products, and other resources. 

When you start looking for an ecommerce platform, pay attention to these aspects:

  • Features you need
  • Intuitive interface
  • Budget
  • Customers reviews
  • Customer support
  • Scalability
  • Integrations
  • Customization options

Choosing the Best Ecommerce Platform is Just the Beginning

Once you have selected what ecommerce platform you are going to use to build your online store, it’s time to research your target audience and competitors and study the market you are getting in. Identify your customers’ pain points and show how your products can help solve them. Focus on offering a great user and customer experience in each section of your website.

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