How to Choose the Right eCommerce Platform for Your Business in 2022

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How to Choose the Right eCommerce Platform for Your Business in 2022

The slightest doubt if businesses should sell online or not is now completely dismissed due to the Covid breakout a couple of years back. Today willingly or unwillingly, businesses have been compelled to take the online route.

Having an eCommerce store is not a choice anymore but a necessity owing to the consumers’ changed mindset.

To survive in today’s highly competitive market, you need to adopt new business ways. The sooner, the better. Your competitors will do it anyway.

Since an eCommerce website is essential, what becomes even more important is choosing the right eCommerce platform for your business.

To be clear right at the beginning, never pick a platform based on its popularity.

To build your eCommerce store, you can choose from various eCommerce platforms. First, however, you will need to decide which one is best for your company and suits your business model, working style, user expectations, and other factors.

To help choose the best eCommerce platform, you need a trusted eCommerce website development company. Then, take the outlined methods and apply them to your hunt for a new solution.

How to get started with finding the right eCommerce platform?

Three essential things you need to do before starting your hunt for the ideal eCommerce platform for your business.

a. Finalize your requirements

Make a road map for your hunt. Outline your company’s current state and future goals. What are the current features of your website?

Put them on paper and compare (or better) the capabilities of the option you choose.

Next, consider your company’s long-term goals. Do you intend to open additional stores or markets? Are you planning to provide more fulfillment options? Do you own a brick-and-mortar store already and want to branch online?

Everyone’s needs are different, and so is the solution. However, it would help if you had a solution to help your company function seamlessly and grow over time with changing customer demands and market trends.

Your requirements checklist should include the following:

● The design needs: this can have your preferred color choices, themes, navigation & customization options, search bar, banners, and overall layout of the webpages. By default, the platform should offer mobile-friendly functionality, ensuring it is on your consideration list.

● Integrations: this includes ERP, CRM integration, payment gateway with multiple options, accounting software, and others.

● Inventory and catalog management: how do you want your catalog managed? What is the type of inventory? Do you sell bundles or individual products? What about variants? Do you want to offer customization options to the end-user? Mention stuff like these under this section.

● Customer and order management: this should include features based on the relationship you want to have with your customers, such as query resolution chatbots, built-in email integration for marketing, loyalty program functionality, wallet integration, and others.

● Security & privacy: this includes the security and privacy standards you want in your eCommerce platform and encryption tactics and certifications.

● Scalability: how easy is it to scale apps with your eCommerce platform? What about the traffic volume? How much can it handle?

b. Fix a budget

Next comes the budget. Decide how much money you’re willing to put into your eCommerce platform.

When planning your budget, keep in mind the costs of installing a new solution. Consider expenditures such as maintenance, advice, and set-up and the obvious costs such as licenses and development.

Here are some things to consider while planning your budget.

1. Design & development costs
2. Hosting charges
3. eCommerce platform charges
4. Transaction fees
5. Maintenance expense

C. Explore eCommerce platforms

Once you have decided your requirements and considered the probable costs involved, it’s time to explore the eCommerce platforms available in the market. By doing the first two steps, you’d be clear about which platform to choose while browsing them.

1. Shopify:

Shopify is certainly the first name that comes to mind when talking about the top eCommerce platforms.

It is a SaaS eCommerce platform that can handle everything from scratch, so you don’t have to worry about security, payments, shipping, maintenance, or upgrades. Instead, you can concentrate solely on expanding your business and devising strategies that impress and engage customers.

Is a free trial available? – YES

Premium – 3 plans, Basic, Shopify & Advanced, starts at $29 per month. Shopify Plus, for enterprise-level stores, is also available.

Who should use it? – recommended for small business owners or starting up stores with 100 or fewer SKUs.

2. BigCommerce

Another well-known SaaS eCommerce platform very similar to Shopify is BigCommerce. It requires no technical experience to get started.

It supports both traditional eCommerce and headless commerce. In addition, it offers a classic eCommerce experience where you choose a theme and develop your online store using BigCommerce.

With the headless method, you can essentially utilize BigCommerce to power your store’s backend while customizing the frontend experience with whatever code stack you choose, including specialized WordPress and Drupal plugins.

Is a free trial available? – YES

Premium – 3 plans, Standard, Plus & Pro, starts at $29.95 per month. The Enterprise version is also available.

Who should use it? – recommended for small and medium scale businesses and new online store builders.

3. Squarespace

Another famous eCommerce platform is Squarespace. It is a wonderful alternative for adding eCommerce capabilities to a website.

Squarespace is particularly popular among creatives, so you’ll notice many people selling things similar to those seen on Etsy. With that said, nothing is preventing you from using Squarespace in other fields. You can explore this platform’s opportunities and take advantage of them according to your specific needs.

Is a free trial available? – YES

Premium – 4 plans, Personal, Business, Commerce (Basic), Commerce (Advanced), starts at $19 per month. The Enterprise version is also available.

Who should use it? – recommended for small business owners and companies.

4. Wix

Wix is a well-known website builder that can be used to create any form of a website, including an online store.

Suppose you want to add eCommerce functionality to a website as a supplement rather than as the primary focus. In that case, this multifunctional platform should be preferable because you can design your site with Wix and then add eCommerce features as needed.

While it is a hosted website builder, it does a decent job of providing code tools and APIs so you can personalize your store if necessary.

Is a free trial available? – YES

Premium – 4 plans, VIP (with priority support), Unlimited (for entrepreneurs & freelancers), Combo (for personal use), Connect Domain (very basic). Enterprise and business VIP plans are also available.

Who should use it? – it is an intelligent website builder for beginners and starters with eCommerce functionality.

5. WooCommerce

WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce platform, even surpassing Shopify, considering the entire pool of eCommerce websites on the Internet.

WooCommerce is not a standalone SaaS tool like others on this list, but it is built on open-source WordPress software.

Is a free trial available? – YES, It is free to use.

Who should use it? – beginners or bloggers who launch their online store.

Choose the eCommerce platform based on your requirements, budget, and knowledge.

No single platform can suit the purpose of every single online store owner. Therefore, you need to scrutinize the platforms based on your needs, pocket-size, usage, and knowledge.

Though we have made a few recommendations below that could help you decide.

  • Do you want to start from scratch and have zero technical knowledge?

Use Shopify.

  • Do you want to own a flexible eCommerce store?

Use WooCommerce.

  • Are you a small business, start-up, blogger, or casual online store owner?

Use any of these – Shopify, Squarespace, Wix.

  • Do you want to target international customers?

Use Shopify or WooCommerce.

  • Do you want to sell through multiple channels and make a B2B marketplace?

Use BigCommerce or WooCommerce.

  • For headless commerce

Use BigCommerce.

Final thoughts

After all the research, it’s essential to get in touch with eCommerce consultants to attain clarity of thoughts. Explore some good consultants to start right.

Also, contact the sales team of the eCommerce platforms you have shortlisted based on your requirements, budget, and our above-mentioned recommendations. Discuss with them, and evaluate pricing, timelines, and other aspects before making the final choice.

You can always ask for a demo or trial.

Though selecting the right eCommerce platform might take a lot of your time and effort, it will be worth it, considering it will enable you to grow and scale your business, improve sales, and streamline operations.

How to Choose the Right eCommerce Platform for Your Business in 2022