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Choosing an eCommerce Platform

From the moment online shopping became an option, consumer behavior has been shifting towards digitized service. Part of the reason is that mobile devices empower unlimited shopping, disregarding time and place. 

The future of retail is online retail, according to ongoing data. The number of retailers who are ditching the traditional brick-and-mortar selling model and scaling up their online presence is growing. According to Statista, the global share of e-retail sales is predicted to increase by 17.5% by 2021, and the eCommerce market is expected to hit a $4.5 trillion mark. 

If you are launching an eCommerce project, you will face many important decisions, but choosing the right software and eCommerce provider are two of the most essential.

Choose wisely: Consider every aspect of your business

Every business is unique. When building your enterprise, you must always consider your individual needs and objectives. 

  • Define your presence. Should you sell on a marketplace or an eCommerce platform —  or both?
  • Consider the type of products you sell and the market you want to reach. If you sell 10 products, your business model will be much different than if you are selling 300 products. 
  • Are you a startup or an established business?
  • What is your budget?

These and many other factors must be taken into account when choosing the best eCommerce platform for your business.

Choosing the best eCommerce platform for startups and small- to medium-sized enterprises

Choosing an eCommerce Platform 2

At the start of your venture, your budget will be most likely be limited, and you will statistically face a high risk of failure. Because of this, you might consider working from a free or low-cost eCommerce platform. At the same time, however, you should prepare for success and growth.

The affordable plans of the most popular e-platforms like Shopify allow you to test the waters of online retail at a minimum cost. They typically offer enough features for you get started with no technical knowledge required. With dozens of attractive templates to choose from, a professional site can come together quickly. As you grow, you can either customize the platform – at a price – or move to a different one as you gain online retail experience and a larger budget. 

The Magento Open Source platform is another highly acclaimed option for small businesses that are just getting started. It is more suitable for advanced users,  however, so it is more practical if you are working with an experienced developer (or have the skills yourself). There are many useful features on Magento Open Source, but Shopify or a similar framework is better suited for those with minimal technical training.

What are the best eCommerce options for medium to large businesses?

Choosing an eCommerce Platform 3

Stakes rise when you own a medium- or large-sized business. There is greater pressure to manage your inventory and keep up with your competition. 

As your business grows, you may come to a point where several storefronts need to run via a single dashboard. In that case, you will require a platform that can handle higher sales volumes and overall expansion. Because of its flexibility, Magento is considered the best solution for businesses that are planning to scale.

Magento caters to organizations over individual retailers and shop. It is popular among many big brands, including:

  • Nike
  • Samsung
  • Burger King
  • Ford 

Magento offers a vast variety of branding options and features for enterprise sellers including tools for campaigns, the ability to offer discount codes and coupons, bundled pricing, unlimited product listing, managing recurring payments and subscriptions, and many more. It is also considered more SEO-friendly than other eCommerce platforms, which helps customers find you. 

Magento works with different currencies and payment gateways support multiple languages and have endless possibilities for customization. All of these features come at a price, though. The enterprise edition of Magento can cost upwards of tens of thousands of dollars.

In short, effectively configuring a Magento store requires coding and developer resources and is barely suitable for companies with smaller product catalogues and shallower pockets. But if you have the financial resources to build a feature-packed online store that is reliable and scalable, Magento is top-of-class.

Don’t miss our next post, where we break down some of the specific features of each platform.