The Best ecommerce platforms in 2019 For Store Owners
Moving right along, we’re going to look at the best ecommerce platforms now that you can start your business. Once you have your business model figured out, the next logical step is what ecommerce platforms you are going to use.
And again, this is for newer people, because people who are experienced, you know the ecommerce platforms and you probably already know what you want to do.You can also read on Choosing your ecommerce business models.
But, I wanted to create this post to really highlight, what’s out there right now in the marketplace, and what I believe is the best eCommerce platforms for anybody to get started regardless of the business model that you choose.
So, there’s definitely many eCommerce platforms out there. Alright!
They are definitely considered probably the top four.
These are the biggest players in the eCommerce world. They all have good platforms, they all have solutions that are a little bit different in what they offer and how they do what they do, but ,they’re all big platforms.
Shopify definitely has a lion’s share of the market right now, but bigcommerce ,WooCommerce and Magento also have their own. I know people who are loyal followers to what they do.
WooCommerce is the WordPress platform. So, people who come from a WordPress background, want to go with WooCommerce because they understand WordPress.
Also Volusion, 3d Cart, and Wix has their own eCommerce platform. Big Cartel PrestaShop does bunch of them.
But not all are created equally, that’s the most important thing to remember as a person.No matter what level you’re at, whether you have experience, whether you have your own existing retail small business already, or whether you’re brand new.
You need a platform that is going to be the easiest to use. That’s going to be the most user friendly, that’s going to have a balance and affordable.You know monthly payments versus the whatever fees that you have to pay, payment processors and you know all these types of things that also go into choosing a platform.
So, for me I have experience working in eCommerce now for a few years and I’ve used a few platforms that have a lot of experience working with a lot of other people.
So, I believe that there is a clear winner out there, the best eCommerce platform from what I’ve seen is Shopify.
Shopify is definitely that like I said they have the lion’s share of the market right now and I think that is very obviously because they have really differentiated themselves as the go-to platform for eCommerce no matter what type of eCommerce business that you’re trying to build.
Now why Shopify
I’m going to actually give you some reasons, I’m not just going to base this off of my own theory. Okay! It has a really easy unified user interface, one thing that is so important. You can’t underestimate that and an interface is what can make or break a platform.
It has to be simple to navigate, simple to use and setup. So, one of the reasons I love shopify because it’s just easy like you don’t have to be experienced, you don’t have to know technical background and coding and things like that.
Those things help but, you don’t have to know them or understand them to become a Shopify Pro, they’ve set up a very easy to understand user interface and multiple plans to choose from.
There’s a 14 days free trial on here .
So, there’s plans no matter what level you’re at in your business alright and $29 a month to operate a store that can be making thousands of dollars a month is extremely reasonable. There’s also, depending on the payment processor you use and we’ll talk about that. Shopify offers a direct integration for many of the you know like US, Canada, UK, some European countries. I’ll talk about this.
But then there’s a theme that you pay based on your transactions, but, that’s any payment processor. So, it is another thing you have to consider,what payment processor you want to use.
ecommerce platforms: Shopify Apps
One of the things that really differentiates Shopify is that, there’s hundreds of apps. Actually there’s thousands of apps, there’s over 2000 apps that are on the Shopify app marketplace.
Basically, these apps are just different things that you can install to your store, that are going to give you so much more functionality and customization to be able to really create a unique experience, increase conversions, sell better basically and sell more on your store and I think that there’s another app.
Marketplace tick really competes, simple setup, great hosting and load times. Now you know this is like the people who are super experts out there.
You understand that Shopify, is a shared hosting platform meaning all the stores that are using Shopify are all shared within the same Shopify server.
There’s a slight disadvantage to that, in the sense that you’re not controlling your own server, but in my opinion you know you don’t need to worry about. There are massive brands that are running on Shopify like Tesla, like you know RadioShack, like there are Jim shark, there’s massive brand Kylie cosmetics that are getting tons and tons of traffic and they are running just fine on Shopify shared server.
But it is important to note that if you wanted to go the route of using your own hosting then, Shopify doesn’t let you do that.
I think that Shopify support is hands down. I’m like, I had compared to any other app or software that I’ve used,they’re always there, they’re easy to chat, easy to connect, easy to get an answer even if it’s an answer you don’t like.
You know you’re always going to get an answer, you’re always going to have to be able to find somebody and they even include an hour of free tech support for any brand-new store like an hour of not even tech support – Tech support is always free, but there’s an hour of design customization for free that you can get from Shopify.
They have Shopify gurus that will help you set up your store and the support is really great. Communities and training as well, this is a big difference , because whatever you want to learn to do, you have to have support,.
You have to have a community and you don’t have to, but, it makes it a lot better, it makes it a lot better of a journey for you, a lot more inclusive.
Shopify has an amazing blog, they have case studies, they have fantastic training, like honestly really impressive stuff and there’s also a lot of communities out there that are built around people using the Shopify platform.
So, you get a lot of direct feedback and interaction and training from other people that are able to share their successes and their failures and what works for them and tips, advice that you can take direct action and apply because you’re using the same exact platform.
Right! And again it works for all business models smoothly, no matter if your dropshipping channel, Print on demand selling your own products, digital product, subscription products, like you can integrate any business model into the Shopify platform.
A few things that I want to highlight as we go through. Shopify has free professional ecommerce themes, now that’s not to say that other platforms don’t, but, I think Shopify really has some fantastic out-of-the-box plug and play themes.
I think it’s really good for getting started, having very professional clean nice-looking theme. And that’s the advantage !
You want your store to look professional and with a Shopify store setting up, been using one of their free themes, these themes don’t even cost money.You can literally have a store that was just created a week ago, that looks like a well-established, well branded, very professional store.
So, that’s a major advantage to be able to use these free themes. They also have paid themes that you can use as well if you want to get a little bit more, a little bit more customization. Now these apps aren’t all free, there are some free apps and there are paid apps, but there is something.
For everything in here, you can see their categories from finding products, different channels you can directly link with Shopify like Pinterest and Amazon and Etsy apps for your Store, apps to help you, marketing apps to help boost sales and conversions order like all these apps. You can see them all and that’s a huge advantage, because you want to be able to customize and create your brand and your store however you want.
When we get to the apps because it can be a little overwhelming, there’s so much out there and not all apps are great. Now, they all have their own review system, so you can see which ones are better than others but again this is so valuable because basically short-cutting your process to being able to build a world-class, super powerful, turbocharged store.
It’s like a difference of owning a Hyundai or owning a Ferrari, and nothing against anybody that owns a Hyundai , but there’s obviously a huge difference in the performance of those two types of machines.
It’s the same thing with your store, you want a store that’s calibrated at the maximum level of performance that it can be and with over 2500 apps in the Shopify store and there’s just like you’re going to have that high-performing machine.
Now let’s talk about some of the specifics and these are things that you should consider and you should look at when Choosing ecommerce platforms. Shopping cart, This is huge, this is where people actually check out, this is where they input their credit card to be able to make a payment.
And the shopping cart on Shopify, I just want to highlight some of these benefits because I think it’s one of the things that really helps them stand out as well. For a long time, I took it for granted how smooth their shopping cart process is but, it’s actually not as simple as they make it seem.
So, definitely they have the free SSL certificate, some platforms don’t even have that included. Shopify includes this for free and then, they can do that because it’s shared hosting. If it was not shared hosting and you have to get your own hosting you’re going to have to get your own certificate, and that’s something that’s an extra level of a little an extra layer of what you need to do.
They can integrate with a hundred different payment gateways, now a lot of payment gateways come down to what’s available in your part of the world, like I said you know for the countries like the US, Canada, United States, Germany, Japan, Singapore, or France, I believe Australia maybe, I’m not sure about Australia, but they all offer Shopify payments.
Shopify payments is Shopify’s integrated solution that works directly with stripe and allows you to just very easily set up and start processing payments. Other countries in the world, there is still over a hundred external payment gateways that you can integrate with.
Shipping Set Up
Some are better than others you know and that’s going to come down to what you choose but no matter what there should be an option for you to integrate.
You can offer free shipping, you can offer multiple tiers of shipping actually which is nice you can have shipping like you could say orders over $75 free come with free shipping or you know order three items and you get free shipping so you can completely customize and control how the shipping process works, which is really advantageous.
The online checkout store as you see comes in 50 plus languages and you can translate your store, there’re multiple apps to translate languages and so there’s a lot of functionality there, depending on who you’re selling to where in the world or if you’re selling all around the world.
ecommerce platforms: Automatic shipping rates
If you want to integrate like say you’re a small business owner or you are selling your own product and you’re going to be packaging and shipping your own product then you’re going to want to be able to integrate with one of the major carriers. So, they have that automatic integration, UPS, USPS, FedEx, DHL, that you can do.
Abandoned checkout recovery
This is a cool feature but I have a better recommendation of what you should use when it comes to abandoned carts, so we’ll talk about that in the future if you don’t know what that is yet, because you’re brand new. Don’t worry you’ll know by the end of this month.
Flexible shipping rates are like I mentioned already and automatic taxes. Again that’s nice you don’t have to worry about it, you can set your tax rules and like I’m not a tax attorney, so, I’m not even getting into that but Shopify lets you handle that kind of stuff based on your country and state if you’re if your country has States.
Being able to actually manage everything from customers to your accounts to fulfillment centers like there’s so much flexibility in here. I’m not going to go through every single point but I just want you to see that one of the other reasons I really like Shopify is just the management of what you can do.
It’s very easy to process refunds, if you need to process you can do this all right from your smartphone, which again their smartphone app is actually really good.So, you can actually watch your store set up, you can run it right from your phone.
So,as soon as an order is placed, that order is routed to your supplier and then your supplier is able to fulfill that order and then update the order in your store and tracking number. This is all happening automatically behind the scenes.
Again that’s not something to just take for granted, some platforms don’t do that.That’s really powerful and again depending on the type of business you have.
SEO & Marketing Aspect
This is an important one – the marketing and SEO. So, let’s talk about both. let’s talk about SEO. Now I will say this, the best, pretty much the undisputed best platform for SEO is WordPress. I don’t think anybody’s going to dispute me on that but Shopify is really really good.
They have a really well-built search engine optimization, just already customized right within the platform and that comes down – there’s some technical stuff about how they allow you to set your page up and you can you customize your title tags and your meta tags and all that.
Do they generate a sitemap with your products and your blogpost? Yes they do, and there are even apps that help you take it a step further if you really want to optimize and you really want to turbocharge your SEO.
This is definitely important for people that might be getting into a specific niche, because you know that can really help in the long term, SEO is a long-term game, but that can help in the long term with being able to bring organic traffic into your store, to make sales.
On the marketing side you’re able to do some really great things like discounts, you can create multiple different types of discounts, gift cards integrate directly with all the major social platforms.
And then when it comes to your products, again you have basically complete control of how you want to set up a product. Alright! When you import a product or you set up your own product, you can track inventory if you want to.
There’s multiple variations you can do, each variation you can break down by price, different weight, different SKU, however you want to do that. You can organize products by categories, multiple things here as you can see.
You can even sell digital products and again looks nice, there is an unlimited products, there’s no limit to the amount of products and within that even cooler – not only is there’s no limit to the amount of products, that all those products could have multiple variants in multiple different you know prices and lots of different images.
So, like your store can be really powerful and robust and you don’t have to worry about the hosting, you don’t have to worry about crashing or load times or that kind of stuff because like it’s just all integrated smoothly on Shopify’s existing platform server.
Which brings us to the web hosting, like we mentioned, so there’s unlimited bandwidth. That means you can have unlimited amount of visitors, even if you’re on the most basic plan you can have as many visitors as you want. Now you would probably want to upgrade to a higher plan because there’s reasons that that makes sense but it’s just nice to know that they don’t limit you on that.
You can create automatic email forwarding and then all this other stuff that’s basically just you know level one PCI compliant, you know that’s for credit cards as you can see they give you the SSL certificate.
You get instant upgrades into your store, always upright no matter what and while they have had situations in the past where there’s been downtime on the store meaning like something might have gone wrong or the server might have went down, it’s always up quickly, 24/7 monitoring.
Another important part of having the store. So, being able to have dashboard analytics, I really like this, because you can see your traffic. One of the things that they do really well is they show your – like dashboard.
You can really monitor the progress from a simple level, obviously you can get more in depth with analytics with Google Analytics and super metrics and things that you can install to really like break it down to the nitty gritty.
Which you might want to do when you get to a higher level just traffic ad spend and selling but at the most basic level it’s actually pretty advanced with you know what you can track and what you can see.
You can generate reports to see what’s selling, where it’s selling, when it’s selling, like you can see all of this stuff right within your Shopify dashboard.
How many visitors, how many returning customers, what is my purchase conversion rate, all these types of things, what is my top selling product, what is the landing page people are visiting the most. Okay! So that’s really important, that’s all built in and you’re able to see that.
Finally, looking at the pricing tiers of Shopify. So as you go up in plan, your transaction fee drops down which definitely makes sense, right like if you’re doing say when you’re starting out this is obviously where everybody starts out but when you get to say you’re doing fifty thousand dollars a month in sales, that point five percent is going to make up for the difference.
Right, so it makes sense for being here, this is definitely a nice middle ground to be yet because this includes the one main thing that this includes, it’s not included here, is this includes full reporting functions.
Now here’s the free trial link for you to be able to start, you can go here.
I hope that I gave you a really in-depth look because it is really important, and you shouldn’t just take it for granted. So that’s why I wanted to cover all of those details and hopefully by now have convinced you to that Shopify is where you should be .
So you can sign up with that free trial now or in the future when you’re ready to build your store. Let me know if there is anything that wasnt covered in this ecommerce platforms post that you think is helpful.
Which ecommerce platforms do you think i left out?