One of the crucial steps when building your store’s website is to choose the eCommerce system your site is going to host; and even if some store owners prefer to have developers creating their own platforms, truth is that pre-built eCommerce platforms are still the way to go for most merchants, with a broad range of options to choose from.

Aspects to consider prior choosing a platform

First and foremost, you need to remind yourself that there are hundreds of options available out there, even if 5-6 rank at the top. Ranging from complex systems to cheaper rates and issues with your site’s platform, the most vital questions we should ask ourselves prior engaging on an eCommerce platform are:

  • Nature of products we sell: Are they digital or physical? Stores dealing with digital products will not have many inconveniences when choosing the desired platform, however, for those who sell physical goods, there are considerable rate differences for shipping.
  • Payment Method: Not all eCommerce platforms support third-party payment processors, being PayPal the preferred way to go. Be sure to clear out if you can process your payments with PayPal without much hassle or if you are likely to require other payment methods that won’t be compatible with your selected eCommerce platform.
  • Stock Size: This depends mostly on the nature of your business, but overall you should consider this aspect for getting the best value per product sold.

Payment plans are also one crucial factor, but since you already decided to take the leap towards to building your store, you already know that such elements ought to be considered as part of the investment.

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Photo courtesy of Ruslan Burlaka

WooCommerce

One of the most appealing platforms to choose, yet with the downside that you need to know how to set it up or acquire the services of professional developers with experience in WooCommerce. It is free of any cost – ideal for providers of digital products – but you need to build your way on designing themes, developing plugins and enhancing every single aspect of the shopping experience entirely on your own.

Shopify

This platform is the way to go for those who decide to make their hobby into a business, like selling books, clothing, paintings, etc. The reason behind this is that you will not need to focus much on building the store itself but rather picking up one theme from the extensive Shopify library options, as well as addons that get along with the kind of business you have and that is all!

You will get full customer support for helping you to solve any possible inconvenience that may come across the setting up process, although those soothing options for the overwhelmed new business owner require a monthly fee that starts at $29/month, with different options for matching different needs.

Magento

As an open-source platform, developers and site owners will have access to source code when creating the shop’s website. This leads to freedom and flexibility as devs can modify its functionality to meet up with the needs of the client.

Aside from a large range of themes and templates available for this platform, we can also find advantages like a huge amount of extensions to add to the site, community support for troubleshooting any inconvenience, but also provides a SEO-friendly interface and you can manage several stores without needing to build (and maintain) different codebases for them.

Volusion

Another platform with several templates to choose from, ranging from free to premium offers; yet, you need to pay a fee in order to operate with Volusion. There are different plans offered to meet up with the needs of different budgets, the more expensive it gets, the more features you have to improve your store performance.

SEO and Marketing analysis features are included among the options given by this platform, allowing us to expand the reach of our business with ease while getting customised reports with detailed information on how sales are doing. It also provides support for Facebook Store and Mobile eCommerce needs.