As the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic continues to alter the way we live our lives, it'd be right to assume that the implications of this might last well into the decade. The way we knew life has changed and how. In the corporate world, things have been pretty grim for the last few months. It has become challenging for businesses to keep their financial wheels turning during this period, looking for survival strategies daily.
One of the responses that we have all seen is that many businesses have shifted to online models. According to Bluecore's Covid-19 Retail Trends report, the number of first-time purchases in North America placed through e-commerce sites belonging to traditional chain stores grew by 119% compared to April last year. A study by the Chinese government shows that e-commerce accounts for nearly 30% of all content live-streamed in China, outperforming sports broadcasting, and live concerts at 23.5% and 16.6%, respectively.
Seeing how online shopping is rising in popularity, especially household goods and groceries, a lot of traditional industries are now considering the e-Commerce route. According to a study by Adobe's Digital Economy Index, eCommerce in the USA has jumped 49% in April, compared to March, with online groceries driving this increase in sales.
So if you are a business owner, it would be an excellent idea for you to consider setting up an e-commerce platform now, but how does one choose the best platform to build an e-commerce website? We have put together this list of top recommendations of platforms that can help develop eCommerce websites.
Your stunning website is a click away- a promise they make and stand by. A website building platform that is perfect for beginners, Wix is a great place to create an aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly e-commerce website. Wix allows you to build SEO friendly websites that are easy to customize, and even has special packages for e-commerce websites. Some of the features include SEO tools, 500+ templates, mobile optimization, chatbots, multiple payments, and global shipping options. Plus, all of the e-commerce solutions have unlimited bandwidth, $300 in advertising vouchers, a free domain for one year, and visitor analytics.
The fact that all online payments on the Wix store are 100% commission free earns this site brownie points. We're trying to say that by choosing to build an e-commerce website with Wix, you can save a lot of tax money!
A Business Basic package starts at $23 per month and goes up to $500 per month for an enterprise. They offer a full refund within 14 days of signing up.
One of the most popular e-commerce platforms in the global market, Squarespace is a great bet for all those in the creative field. Building a website is more comfortable than on other platforms since it has eCommerce functionality built directly into its plans. If you're aiming for a website that is modern, sleek, visually appealing, Squarespace comes highly recommended.
It's convenient to design, and each page in the website can be easily customized thanks to the intuitive and highly-responsive drag and drop builder. The award-winning templates at Squarespace are customizable for mobile use. Squarespace has built-in SEO tools, analytics, and blogging tools. If you wish to install a third-party app, basic knowledge of coding would be needed.
The Business plan starts at $18 per month and goes up to $40 per month for larger enterprises.
BigCommerce comes highly recommended for building an e-commerce website for brands that wish to leverage sales through different channels. If you've been in the market for a long time and are available on other platforms like Amazon, building an online sales funnel is more comfortable with BigCommerce thanks to their dashboard, which allows you to update the product information in one place. In fact, BigCommerce is specifically designed to help more massive e-commerce sites sell quickly. BigCommerce is versatile and has B2B specific features that include customer groups, quote management, multi-channel selling, bulk pricing rates, and custom price lists.
The best part is that every plan on this platform comes with the option to sell on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Google Shopping, eBay, Amazon, and POS. The standard package starts at $30 per month and goes up to $250 per month.
One of the most popular website building platforms for e-commerce, Shopify is a robust platform that is not only super convenient to use but easily customizable too! The popularity of Shopify has been growing impressively, and why not? This web-based CMS comes with everything that you'd need to build an online store, and you can sign up, choose a theme and upload a product all under 15min! Over 70 themes that are easy to customize, an app store, and a built-in payment gateway make Shopify one of the most preferred platforms for e-commerce websites. In case you wish to go in for another payment gateway, you can choose any since they're all easily integrated with Shopify. Through Shopify, you can also conduct marketing campaigns through Facebook, Google, Instagram, and more.
Shopify also offers web hosting, unlimited email forwarding, unlimited bandwidth, a content delivery network for optimal performance, SEO tools, mobile optimization, and analytics. A basic plan will cost you $29 per month, while the advanced package costs $299 per month.
If you're an experienced developer and store owner, 3D Cart is a website building platform that we suggest you try. It's not an easy platform to use, which is why beginners will not enjoy their experience with this platform. 3D Cart is one of the best site builders for SEO readiness, offers over 50 themes, and supports over 100 payment processors. With 3D Cart expect features like web hosting, mobile-optimization, API access, unlimited bandwidth, no transaction fee, and a built-in blog. You can also set up newsletters to keep your customers engaged.
The basic package starts at $9.50 per month and goes up to $114.50 per month. You can cancel at any time and even offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Best suited for entrepreneurs and small business owners, Weebly is a popular website builder that is also one of the most affordable platforms in the market. Weebly is the best platform for small and local businesses to consider and offers tools for SEO, emails, site analytics, shipping, inventory, and much more. The drag and drop site builder allows you to create your online store with minimal effort and no coding. You can accept payments with popular gateways like PayPal, Stripe, and Square. Since Square powers Weebly, it's easy to integrate the Square POS with your online sales system.
The initial business plan starts at $12 per month and goes up to $38 per month.
If you're looking to build an e-commerce platform to sell on social media, Ecwid is what you should consider. Ecwid is easy to use and allows you to manage multiple channels and cross-sell on all of them, but it is the social media selling feature that truly stands out. If Facebook Marketplace and Instagram Shop are on your mind, Ecwid could give your brand a massive boost in traffic. With Ecwid, you can sync products to social media and can customize it to fit your needs. Ecwid is mobile friendly and easily embeds into an existing website on Wix, Weebly, Joomla, Squarespace, Tumblr, or Blogger.
The basic plan starts at $15 per month and goes up to $99 per month.
WooCommerce is not an all-in-one e-commerce platform; instead, it is a plugin that has been made for WordPress. Even after this slight difference from the other mainstream platforms, WooCommerce has seen nearly 80 million downloads to date, quickly making it one of the top e-commerce building platforms. It is a platform that comes highly recommended for content-based websites.
WooCommerce enables a basic WordPress website to turn into an e-commerce store. It is as simple as installing any other WordPress plugin- as long as your domain and hosting are set up, WooCommerce is absolutely free of charge! Easy to customize and with over 300 extensions, WooCommerce allows you to integrate payment processors, subscription tools, and store management features on the WordPress site.
CoreCommerce is the only platform available that focuses specifically on small and medium-sized businesses. Easy to customize and use, this platform comes with no transaction fees, free shared SSL, automatic updates, simple setup, and access to hundreds of themes. It also helps you manage your inventory and track data. If you have a brick-and-mortar store, this eCommerce software has a point-of-sale service that enables you to manage your online and physical sales all in one system. You can also directly add CoreCommerce to an existing WordPress site. The websites are mobile-friendly too.
The basic plan starts at $40 per month and can go up to $200 for larger companies.
Gumroad is a website building platform that is preferred by bloggers, writers, and artists. It is a platform to showcase skills as well as a marketplace for creators. Gumroad combines simple eCommerce features with audience-building software, analytics, and even offline payment processing. Expect features like personalized product landing pages, email importing, automatic order updates, analytics access, sales tax support, pre-order support, checkout support, social media support, and more. It's an easy to use platform that helps customize every page, including the checkout pages too! Gumroad accepts all major credit cards, and the good part is that the company processes all of your payments via a proprietary payment gateway rather than a pre-built solution like Stripe.
With Gumroad, you can sell products to different countries and sell different versions of a single product on the same page! Gumroad also makes it easy to ensure that people aren't accessing your content without your permission. The best is yet to come- Not only can you deliver high-quality downloads to your customers through online sites and simple payment systems, but you can also use Gumroad to manage physical products.
There are two types of memberships. One is free, and the other is the Professional or Premium account priced at $10 per month.
Ecommerce is expected to double by 2023 to more than $6.5 billion nearly. In APAC, e-commerce grew 25% last year, topping $2.27 trillion. These are just some of the numbers which prove that e-commerce is here to stay, especially now that people might think twice before venturing out to malls and offline stores. Whatever the need of the hour is, a good marketer adapts to meet the customer. If 2020 and beyond calls for eCommerce, you know what you have to do! If you're looking for an all-in-one solution for building an eCommerce site, we hope this list of the best platform choices helped you make your decision.