E-commerce is a term that encapsulates all the activities of buying and selling products and services with the help of the internet. With the advancements in technology so far, a major portion of commercial transactions happens online.
E-commerce is the fastest growing industry as it provides various advantages to buyers and sellers alike. You can shop online any time of the day and choose from a wide array of product categories. As a seller, you have access to a larger target audience without investing large sums of money in setting up huge stores.
There is a multitude of e-commerce business, commerce platforms to choose from depending on your shopping needs. Discussed below are some of the most popular e-commerce platforms in 2021.
Top 5 e-commerce platforms in 2021
Amazon is an American company that has held the leading position in e-commerce for a long time. It has simplified the process of selling and buying online to a great extent and has a presence in almost every country globally. You can buy anything from electronics to household items, books, beauty, and wellness products on the Amazon marketplace.
One of the principal reasons for Amazon’s success is because of how customer-centric it is. Customer experience is at the focal point of Amazon’s policies. For example, Amazon Prime, a subscription service offered by them, gives customers options like “Free 2-day shipping” and “Free Same-day delivery,” which is supremely convenient for customers.
Selling on Amazon has also been simplified with fulfillment options like FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) and FBM (Fulfillment by Merchant). These methods simplify operations for sellers to a great extent in shipping, storage, managing customer returns, etc.
The only thing sellers need to be wary of is Amazon’s rules, conditions, and policies. Violations of these rules are taken very seriously because they are in place to protect customers and also to ensure that selling operations are properly regulated.
Shopify is a Canadian e-commerce platform that provides people with the necessary tools to build an online store and sell offline. The tools assist in building and opening a storefront, displaying your products, and setting up payment methods, among other things.
Shopify has 3 sub-platforms within itself.
- Shopify Plus is meant for businesses that have a larger scale of operations. It has additional features on offer for reporting, more advanced customer service, and is more flexible. This makes it the right platform for billion-dollar and other fast-growing businesses like Fashion Nova, Gymshark, etc.
- Shopify Lite is ideally suited for those who already have websites but want to showcase their products on other platforms to enhance visibility and traffic. It has very standard features that let you view reports and split bills, but it doesn’t give you the option to build your own online store.
- Shopify Point of Sale (POS) is what you can use to sell products offline at physical stores. Offline can mean anything like a physical shop, trade show, pop-up store, and payments are integrated with your Apple or Android devices through the POS application.
Wix is another platform that falls under the e-commerce category, headquartered in Israel. It is similar to Shopify, but it is best suited for businesses that are smaller in size or for individual sellers. Wix allows a user to be more creative with building an online store. Especially if you are a novice, it’s a great way to embark on building your initial stores.
Wix also works out very economically with plans starting from only $23 per month, which is cheaper than other similar platforms. The important fact to remember about Wix is that it is primarily a tool for building websites which makes it easy to build online stores.
There are customization options for website templates and other builder options for a website and an all-inclusive package of graphics designs, fonts, and animations on Wix. In addition, it has tools and features for SEO so that even an inexperienced person can commence building a website ab initio.
BigCommerce is a paid service that provides businesses with the opportunity to establish online stores to sell products. It is a ‘Hosted’ e-commerce solution that implies that you will not buy web hosting since they have their own servers.
BigCommerce has different pricing plans starting from $29.95 per month and going up to $299.95 a month. It basically allows users to do everything concerned with an online store by themselves. You can manage uploading photos, create pages and discount coupons and handle everything related to order processing. You can also use a basic drag and drop feature to build your online store from scratch.
Whether it is meant for the fashion industry or health wellness products, or jewelry, BigCommerce can be customized to serve that particular category’s needs.
Magento is another well-known e-commerce platform owned by eBay. It uses open-source technology that gives online merchants the ability to enhance and build the look and content of their online store.
Anybody can download the Magento Open Source software for free but additional services like web hosting and development, maintenance of the site will all come at an extra cost. However, it is considered an extremely secure platform with good support services and features in place.
Magento’s features include those of product, category, inventory, and order management, along with marketing tools, reports, and analysis. This makes it suitable for both businesses that are small as well as large in size.
All of the platforms mentioned above are excellent to utilize if you want to step into the e-commerce world and start making money. However, if you find it overwhelming, I’d suggest taking tips from SellerApp’s detailed blog that will help you get started on the basics of e-commerce and grow your business.
Arishekar is the Head of Marketing at SellerApp and specializes in digital marketing and website keyword optimization for search engines. His areas of expertise include enhancing the organic ranking of web pages on search engines with innovative SEO strategies and online promotions.