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Pros and Cons of the Top Ecommerce Platforms
When starting an online business, one of the most important decisions you will make is choosing an ecommerce platform. With the range of ecommerce options available, finding the right one for your business can be daunting. To help you choose, we’ve compiled a list of the industries best solutions, with a guide to how they can transform your business.
The online market is booming and in 2021 almost anything can be ordered with just the click of a mouse. To remain competitive today means selling online. Luckily, finding the right ecommerce platform can make setting up shop easy. At Strive Digital we take the stress out of selling online, by helping you centralise your operations and run your business your way. Get in touch today to improve the profitability and stability of your business.
WooCommerce is an open source platform and is one of the most popular ecommerce platforms worldwide. It is perfect for users in need of a simple ecommerce option as it integrates seamlessly with WordPress and is often used by starter stores, hobbyists, bloggers etc.
- Free WordPress plugin that’s easy to use
- Open source giving the user complete control, all files can be customised and modified to your requirements.
- Built in payments via Paypal and Stripe, allows for checks, bank transfers and cash on delivery payments
- Multiple other plugins are available to optimise for SEO, social media etc.
- Unlimited products and product categories
- Can sell physical and digital products
- Offers a wide variety of pre designed themes
- As an open source software it is free but you will have to pay third party websites for hosting, a domain, SLL certificate etc.
- A long set up time if you are not accustomed to using WordPress
- No central support with set up, themes, hosting etc. unlike other platforms
- Additional plugins and extensions can be costly
Shopify is a cloud based ecommerce solution that far outranks other platforms in terms of popularity. It is a stand alone software that doesn’t require outside hosting and is often used by new and experienced business owners that are looking for a powerful all in one ecommerce solution.
- Very easy to set up, perfect for beginners in that your store can be configured in a matter of minutes
- Straightforward and cost effective pricing for new businesses
- Free trial period of 14 days
- Numerous free features including unlimited file storage and social media integration
- Allows for various payment options
- Unrivalled 24/7 customer care
- Can be used online and offline
- Not all themes are free, advanced options can be costly
- Transaction fees if you opt for a payment system outside of Shopify payments
- Not as much control over your store and data as you would have with other platforms
If you own a business in a highly regulated industry with complex workflows you may want to opt for your own custom ecommerce solution. Custom ecommerce platforms are best suited to companies that require total control over their e commerce strategy and want to personalise their client experiences. Here are the pros and cons to setting up on your own.
- It allows for complete creative freedom, there are no limitations to how you design your store provided you have the time and money
- No license fees
- You have full ownership over your software and data
- You are able to adapt and make changes to your store easily
- Resource intensive, requires a lot of work and commitment of time and human resources.
- Maintenance, it could be difficult to scale your platform as your business grows
- No support, downtime and mistakes may not be fixed as quickly and easily as they would be on a vendor based solution
As sales move from in person to online, now is the right time to pick your perfect ecommerce platform. For the majority of businesses this means turning to a vendor supplied solution, however if you require more control, a customised ecommerce solution may be for you.
Your decision should ultimately be based on the features, functionality and integrations that your business requires. At Strive Digital we design and develop professional ecommerce websites that suit your business requirements and appeal to your target audience. Our ecommerce solutions ensure that your business stands out from the competition, encouraging your customers to shop with you. So if you know which platform you want or need help choosing, we can help you to start, run and grow your business. Get in touch today for a free discovery call.