Choosing the right ecommerce platform is the difference between a great business and one that never takes off. It’s vital to think carefully about your needs because different platforms are more suited to different types of businesses and websites.
When you want to start an online store, there are several excellent options on the market. The best eCommerce platforms range from open-source options like WordPress to hosted options like Shopify or Magento. These platforms allow you to create an online store in minutes.
However, before you decide to proceed with one, it’s essential to analyze the following aspects to ensure the ideal one.
- What is your budget for eCommerce?
- What is your experience level in eCommerce?
- Do you want an open-source or a private platform?
- How many products do you desire to sell on an average per month?
The answer to these questions depends on how much investment you are willing to put into your online business. The good news is that several eCommerce platforms are available in the market.
Here’s What Research Says about the Leading eCommerce Platforms Worldwide
Squarespace Online Stores and WooCommerce are the true kings of eCommerce platforms. However, when you are looking for higher personalization, lower costs, & significant security, open-source platforms are your undeniable choice. So, Woocommerce turns up as the ultimate winner.
Necessarily, that does not mean every entrepreneur or business person needs to choose Woocommerce. You have others on the list as well.
So we have compiled a list of the top 5 open-source eCommerce platforms which can meet all your needs & requirements.
- WooCommerce- Leading platform with a Market Share of 23.43%
- WixStores- Leverage Handmade Illustrations for your Store
- Shopify- Experience Unlimited Bandwidth & Online storage
- Magento- Offer Friendly UI & Responsive Designs
- Prestashop- Experience Demographic Assistance
Read on further to know about them in detail.
1. WooCommerce- A leading eCommerce platform with a Market Share of 23.43%
WooCommerce is an e-commerce plugin for WordPress that allows users to sell anything, from digital downloads to physical products. The biggest pro of using WooCommerce as an e-commerce platform is how easy it is to set up. It’s very straightforward, and most people can figure out how to use it within a couple of hours.
It’s also free when you don’t count installation fees, has a massive range of add-ons (like payment gateways) that make running your business more accessible, and you can use it on any WordPress site. There are hardly any special requirements or processes in place.
While all these advantages are positive, they come with some cons that make it essential to look at other options. Let’s explore the pros and cons of WooCommerce.
Pros of using WooCommerce:
- Free to use
- Smooth customization
- It offers tons of features
- Standard Security
- A ton of official extensions
- Optimum Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Cons of using WooCommerce:
- A limited number of features.
- Not suitable for creating a large-scale business.
Top stores built using WooCommerce:
- Barefoot Buttons
- Underwear Expert
- The Good Batch
2. WixStores- Leverage Handmade Illustrations for your Store
Wix Stores are online storefront solutions powered by Wix. The essential Wix Store is free to use, with optional upgrades ranging from $5 per month for premium design templates to $99 per month (for a brand manager). If you’re looking for flexibility, a Wix Store might be right for you; there are no hosting fees or set-up costs.
Additionally, you have complete control over your store’s look and feel because you can customize it with CSS code. All in all, if creating a primary store is your top priority, Wix stores may be right for you!
However, there are downsides to using their platform. Some examples include: There are limits placed on bandwidth and storage space. While they aren’t too restricting at first glance, they start to feel a bit restrictive compared with competitors like Shopify.
Pros of using WixStores:
- Wix is affordable & the platform is free, but you require to pay a small fee to list items.
- You can create your store in multiple languages.
- It has an intuitive interface.
- Its advanced features are user-friendly.
- It’s compatible with various platforms.
- Supported by customer service around the clock
Cons of using WixStores:
- It limits the level of customization.
- If you require extensive features or plan on growing your business beyond an initial trial period, it might not be as cost-effective or reliable as other platforms.
Top stores built using WixStores:
- The Spice Suite
3. Shopify- Experience Unlimited Bandwidth & Online storage
Shopify is a renowned eCommerce platform with a market share of 3.695 worldwide. It allows users to set up an online storefront. It also makes it easy for users to fulfill orders by syncing their Shopify store with fulfillment services like Amazon and UPS.
The great thing about Shopify is that there are a lot of add-ons that can help you customize your website and marketing tools like Facebook ads. Shopify lets you set up different promotions or create a sale section that allows you to sell an item at a much lesser price than your normal one throughout a specific period.
You can also import your products from AliExpress and other marketplaces into your store very quickly. In contrast, the drawbacks include not setting custom domain names and not enough freedom on design elements.
Let’s look at the pros & cons of the Shopify Store.
Pros of using Shopify:
- Quick & easy to set up
- Intuitive UI
- Highly secured
- Reliable option
- Offers 24/7 customer support
- Mobile ready
- Highly Customizable
Cons of using Shopify:
- Accessing advanced features requires higher investment.
- Lack of Google app integration.
Top stores built using Shopify:
4. Magento- Offer Friendly UI & Responsive Designs
Source: Statista- U.K. Main Shopsoftware
Magento is an open-source eCommerce website developed by a company called Varien. Built on PHP, MySQL, Apache, HTML, and CSS, it is free to download for anyone looking to build their online store. Magento offers a high UX that allows online stores to make conversions effectively.
Magento has been established as one of the robust eCommerce platforms available today. It’s scalable, customizable, and can be implemented in almost any industry to suit your business needs. Moreover, You can hire Magento developers at an affordable hourly rate varying between $15 to $40 per hour.
That said, it does have a fair share of pros & cons. Let’s analyze both sides of the story so you can decide whether or not it’s the right choice for your business.
Pros of Using Magento:
- Offers tons of Features
- Powerful Platform
- SEO-Friendly Option
- Faster Loading
- Highly Customizable
Cons of Using Magento:
- Magento suffers from a complex user interface.
- It requires a longer time in development.
Top stores built using Magento:
- Helly Hansen
- Sigma Beauty
5. Prestashop- Experience Demographic Assistance
Source- Enlyft Prestashop
Prestashop is an open-source eCommerce platform that offers various advantages over other proprietary solutions such as Shopify and Magento. It is particularly famous in Spain, holding a significant market share of 21.66%. If you’re looking to launch your online store but aren’t sure where to start, or you’re currently using another platform & would like to explore your options, it’s worth learning more about what Prestashop has to offer.
Prestashop installation is simple, even for a beginner. The flexibility of its options can create whatever online store you need. Its advanced functions allow you to develop cutting-edge solutions to add complete solutions to your customers. Moreover, it also provides quality back-office management tools.
Let’s look at the major benefits & drawbacks of using Prestashop as an eCommerce platform to help you make an informed decision.
Pros of using Prestashop:
- Easy to install
- Easy Customization
- Demographic assistance
- Secure payment
Cons of using Prestashop:
- The level of scalability is limited in Prestashop.
- Not suitable for running a large-scale enterprise.
Top stores built using Prestashop:
- Freshly Cosmetics
Over to You
First, make sure that your business objectives are clear before choosing an ecommerce platform. You must be able to process credit cards, accept payments, communicate with UPS or FedEx for shipping, and connect with major financial institutions. Do some research on your own if you have questions about which services are best for you. Some types of ecommerce shopping carts require more development resources than others.
Ensure that your chosen eCommerce development company in India has experience developing sites on whatever platform you choose. When a feature is essential to you, ask whether it’s available in your platform of choice. Also, look into whether there are any plugins available or anything else built by third parties. Maybe there’s something out there already that will help fulfill one or more of your needs!