You should have completed all of your research by now, so it is time to choose an e-commerce platform, create your store, and launch your small business.
Customers benefit from e-commerce platforms, which also make it easier for new businesses to get started. And if you want to open an online store in 2021, you will get presented with many possibilities. Read on to know the best e-commerce platforms to jumpstart your business.
What is an E-commerce Platform?
Essentially, an e-commerce platform is software that assists small and large internet businesses in efficiently managing their websites, marketing, sales, and operations. Consider it your company's central hub or headquarters.
Moreover, e-commerce platforms provide businesses with the robust capabilities they need to manage their enterprises while also connecting with conventional business tools, allowing them to centralize operations and run their firms their way.
What Should You Consider in an E-Commerce Platform?
Depending on the nature of the business you want to start, various platforms to pick from are ideal for your needs.
When evaluating e-commerce platforms, here are some of the most important things to look for:
E-commerce expenditures can range from free to hundreds of dollars, depending on the size of your company. Most sites, however, will let you test them out for free initially without requiring you to submit your credit card information.
Spend some time thinking over all of the available features as you take advantage of these free trials. Do not forget about hosting, extensions, and other add-ons as well.
Nearly 300 million Americans own smartphones, according to Statista. Furthermore, almost 80% of smartphone users have made transactions using their devices.
As a result, whatever platform you choose must be mobile-friendly. Mobile devices will account for the majority of your purchases. Therefore if your online store is not mobile-friendly, you will be missing out on significant potential revenue.
If consumers cannot discover your store initially, you will not do not have any customers. As a result, the e-commerce platform you use should include SEO features.
Possessing the flexibility to customize your URL with your name and products will aid in search engine optimization and make your store more accessible. Notably, some platforms include advanced SEO capabilities as part of their subscription programs.
Your online store may begin tiny, but that does not guarantee it will remain thus. That is why you need an e-commerce platform that can scale up with your company. Even from the start, you may require more than a basic e-commerce solution. Thus, it is important to look for a platform that will not lock you into a plan that is not suited for your company.
Your storefront will almost certainly include many photographs and possibly videos if you offer real or physical goods. That means you will need a fast and dependable e-commerce platform. Moreover, customers will almost certainly abandon your site if they have to wait for photos and videos to load.
You must be able to interface your online store with third-party software. Even if you do not know how to code, you should add these tools and programs.
Many sites, fortunately, make this simple by allowing you to include "buy buttons" in social media channels. Alternatively, several provide plug-ins that you can use with your current site.
You want an e-commerce platform that provides a positive user experience for both you and your customers. With little to no programming knowledge, you should be able to set up your internet store. Customers should be able to navigate and search for products easily once the store is up and running.
Top E-Commerce Platforms
Now that you know what to look for in an e-commerce platform, here are some of the best E-commerce platforms:
Shopify is arguably the best E-Commerce Platform for Small Businesses.
Although several excellent e-commerce platforms are available, Shopify appears to offer the best value to small businesses. It can benefit you at any level of your company's development. After all, what small firm intends to remain tiny permanently?
Shopify is a one-stop shop for e-commerce store creation. You can choose a custom domain through their vendor ties, design a logo, and find merchandise. Moreover, you can find multiple product photographs in their free stock photo library. You can also utilize Shopify to purchase an existing online store if you do not want to start from scratch.
Shopify offers a 14-day free trial and does not require a credit card to get started. You do not even need to choose a plan; simply sign up and start creating your business.
Wix is arguably the best e-commerce platform for startups.
Wix is best known as a free website builder, but it also has e-commerce solutions for budding enterprises. The monthly options start at $17, and if you pay annually, you will get a free domain and$300 in ad credits.
Wix's most expensive plan costs $25 per month and includes the following perks:
● An evaluation of your site's interface and SEO
● Phone support
● Priority service
● Ticket support
Wix, like most e-commerce platforms, lets you sell both physical and digital goods. It does, additionally, include features that will appeal to a wide range of enterprises.
Squarespace is perhaps the best E-commerce Platform for Mobile.
Indeed, every e-commerce platform on this list is mobile-friendly, but Squarespace goes above and beyond to ensure that the user experience on a mobile device is exceptional.
Each template design features a different mobile experience that matches the store's overall look. This feature is enabled by default; however, you can turn it off via the Website Manager.
Moreover, although images can take a long time to load, Squarespace employs a "Responsive Image Loader" that creates numerous scaled versions of each photo uploaded. Even more impressive is that the site can even detect the device getting used and load the relevant image for the best viewing experience. It even works with Retina Display Apple smartphones.
Ultimately, weighing your options entails thinking long-term. Undoubtedly, putting your efforts into marketing and business-related objectives will save you time and help you deliver more value. Now that you have chosen an e-commerce platform that suits your business needs, you are ready to go on to the next step: designing and launching your online store!