As online consumer behavior evolves, e-commerce platforms have worked hard to keep pace. It’s now easier than ever for growing businesses to create a robust, sales-focused website that maximizes revenue potential and provides customers with an effortless, enjoyable shopping experience.
The result is a plethora of options business owners can choose from, ranging from simple plug-and-play e-commerce websites to sophisticated, completely customizable e-commerce technology systems. And while choice can be a good thing, it also makes it tricky to know exactly which e-commerce platform is right for your business.
To help you narrow the options, let’s look at five most-popular platforms used by both the smallest entrepreneurs and multimillion-dollar companies.
Shopify currently powers more than 325,000 active e-commerce shops and is one of the most robust all-in-one platforms available. With a focus on social commerce and mobile shopping, it boasts more than 1,500 extensions for its 100-plus templates and can even connect online stores with their Facebook pages for more sales opportunities. Fortunately, Shopify is quite easy to use and doesn’t require business owners to have a strong technical background to create an appealing, functional website.
Shopify is also budget-friendly for simple stores, with packages starting at just $29 a month. Merchants can upload an unlimited number of products and use the plugins to easily boost SEO, track social media followers and customize product lists.
Best for: E-commerce businesses of any size and technical skill level that are looking to grow.
Magento is considered a market leader, owning nearly 25% of the market share. Its open source platform makes it highly customizable; there are more than 9,000 available plugins and extensions to help users easily scale their business and completely control the look and feel of their site. Users can take advantage of features like customer segmentation, product bundling, advanced shipping and supplier management, and users can also pick their own hosting service.
Advanced security features ensure merchants are providing a secure shopping experience to customers;, while the Enterprise Edition even offers a secure payment bridge that’s PCI-DSS compliant. Help is always just a click away, with an extensive repository of online information and a large support community.
Best for: Enterprise-level merchants with a large product volume.
As one of the most popular site builders online, Wix now services more than 37 million websites. Its “What You See Is What You Get” (WYSIWYG) editor makes it simple to drag, drop, resize and animate text, graphics and other elements. The variety of templates for specific industries means businesses can get up and running quickly with a customized site, and the range of price plans fits any budget.
Although the platform is known for its user-friendliness, there’s also a helpful support center and an active user forum for those who need further assistance.
Because it’s so easy to use, Wix is an excellent option for international merchants. Changing the language or currency is simple, and users can even customize tax rules to abide by local laws.
Best for: Small businesses with little web development or design knowledge.
BigCommerce currently powers approximately 100,000 online stores, making it a growing contender among e-commerce technology vendors. The company charges no transaction costs and offers extensive built-in features, including live chat, blogging, newsletters and coupons. Sites built with BigCommerce upload quickly and display well on both mobile and desktop, providing a top-notch customer experience for the 40% of online consumers who shop on their mobile devices.
This platform is another solid choice for those with little technical knowledge. With strong SEO features and a simple process for adding unlimited products and images, it’s no wonder the platform has earned high marks for a positive customer experience.
BigCommerce can adapt to both large and small e-commerce retailers and is scalable for growing businesses.
Best for: E-commerce retailers of all sizes.
Weebly features intuitive tools and a user-friendly experience for users; it’s created more than 30 million sites since its founding in 2006. The platform is scalable and economical — even for large e-commerce business — and makes it easy for businesses with no web development staff to create attractive websites and shopping carts.
Weebly has improved its e-commerce capabilities over the years, and it now lets users easily manage their stores and orders with a single click. It supports payments through Stripe, PayPal and major credit cards, and all Weebly-built sites feature SSL encryption for security. Advanced tools include customizable email templates (for abandoned carts or welcome messages), SEO analytics and advanced inventory management tools.
Best for: New, smaller e-commerce business owners.
Secure Your e-Commerce Site With the Right Fraud Protection Solution
Once you find the e-commerce platform that fits your needs, don’t feel pressured to make an immediate, long-term commitment. Most sites offer free trials; take advantage of them to experiment with the platform to see if it does what you need it to.
After you’ve selected the e-commerce platform that will help transform your business into a successful online store, it’s time to protect your new site against the growing risk of card-not-present fraud, chargebacks and identity theft.
Simplify this decision by downloading ClearSale’s e-book “ Is a Fraud Managed Services Solution Right for Your Business.” We highlight the best ways to protect your growing business — from simple device fingerprinting to comprehensive strategies that merge human analysis with artificial intelligence — to help you make the fraud protection choice that’s right for you.