10 Best eCommerce Platform in 2020
Soon you’ll know exactly which one of the eCommerce platforms you should use for your startup or your established business and why you should use it to start your online store and start making money online.
Shopify is the most popular e-commerce platform for successful e-commerce entrepreneurs. By far, I’d say about 99% of the people I know that are successful in e-commerce use Shopify, and the reason for that is it’s built from the ground up with e-commerce in mind.
They also offer a free 14-day trial, which is a nice thing so you can test it out, see if it’s right for you, and if it’s not, you don’t have to commit to anything.
Shopify also has some of the best most beautiful e-commerce templates. Even their free templates are actually pretty good, but I think the biggest selling point for Shopify is it has the best apps, the best plugins, and the best integrations.
Whatever functionality you need from your e-commerce site, there is probably an app that you can add to Shopify that will accomplish whatever you want. No e-commerce platform has everything you want right from the beginning, but the good thing with Shopify is, it’s very easy to add on functionality.
One other pro with Shopify is they have a dedicated support team. So if you ever run into any issues, you actually have someone that you can call or chat with live, and they’ll be able to fix your problem.
There are some cons with Shopify, and the biggest one, in my opinion, it is kind of expensive. At $29 a month, it is a little bit more expensive than, for instance, WooCommerce would be, but I think it’s worth it. The good thing about it is expensive, but it won’t break, you won’t have issues and it just works.
- Most popular
- Built for e-commerce
- Free 14 day trial
- Apps, plugins, and integrations
- Dedicated support team
- More expensive
WooCommerce is the free alternative to Shopify, and the biggest pro with WooCommerce is that it’s sort of free. It’s not actually free. You still have to pay for hosting for your website. The way it works is WooCommerce is a free plug-in to WordPress but you have to pay a hosting company to host your WordPress site.
It’s much cheaper, at $4 to $5 a month, hosting a WordPress site is a lot cheaper than going with Shopify. Because of this, WooCommerce actually is the most popular e-commerce platform. Now, Shopify does seem to be the most popular one amongst successful e-commerce entrepreneurs but way more people use WooCommerce, and
it’s because it’s free.
Because it’s so popular, you’re going to find a lot of support out there, a lot of different themes that you can use, a lot of different apps and integrations as well. It doesn’t have as many high-quality ones as Shopify, but there still is a lot of support out there.
Now for cons for WooCommerce, one of the biggest cons is it’s not actually free. You know, everyone talks about it being “free”, but you still need to pay for hosting. However, it is cheaper than almost any other e-commerce platform out there.
Another con with WooCommerce is you need to be a little bit more technical. Shopify is so much easier to use, while WooCommerce if you don’t know any HTML, PHP or CSS, it may be more difficult. You’re going to probably have to hire people to make some of the changes you want.
Finally, WooCommerce actually is a little bit more piecemeal. A lot of the things that you might want to do, you’re gonna have to pay for. Where Shopify has a lot of the features right out of the box,
with WooCommerce you’re going to have to buy different functionality in the form of apps or integrations.
- Sort-of free
- Lots of plug-ins and add-ons
- Most popular platform
- Community support
- You have to pay for hosting
- Piecemeal payments
Squarespace is great if you want to have a beautiful site, but it’s not built for e-commerce. They added e-commerce functionality as almost an afterthought. The site is great if you’re an artist trying to sell CDs or a podcast host trying to sell like merchandise, but if e-commerce is the main functionality of your business, do not go with Squarespace.
- Beautiful site
- Not made for e-commerce
GoDaddy is another site that I personally don’t recommend to use for e-commerce. I think a lot of older people get tricked into buying e-commerce as an add-on when they’re buying their domain name for GoDaddy go.
GoDaddy is great for domain names, but do not buy hosting from them, do not buy anything else on them, it’s overpriced.
- Great domain names
- Not made for e-commerce
Wix is another site that was not made with e-commerce in mind. It is okay if you want a very plain-looking website, but as far as its e-commerce functionalities, I don’t think it’s a good option.
- Plain-looking site
- Not made for e-commerce
6. Big Cartel
Big Cartel is actually an interesting one because it’s technically “free”. If you sell up to five products, it’s free. I think it is good, and their slogan is “It’s for artists and makers”. So if you are selling kind of one-off items, check out Big Cartel. It’s not something I personally would use but for the 1% of people that are maybe makers or artists, Big Cartel is good.
- Made for artists
- Simple to make a small store
- Not enough features
- Not enough integrations
BigCommerce is very similar to Shopify. It’s around the same price, and it used to have some built-in features that Shopify did not have, but since Shopify has added those features.
On top of that, one of the big negatives with BigCommerce is they have selling limits. Basically, if your store is selling over a certain amount, over $250,000 a year, they bump up your price.
Where Shopify doesn’t care how much money you’re making. They charge you based on whatever plan you want, and you get those for a person.
- Some built-in features
- Selling limits
The same is true for Volusion, I do not recommend it. You will have a terrible experience. They do a bunch of shady business things. For instance, they can move you up without telling you to a higher tier. Your website can be down multiple times. It’s around the same price as Shopify and BigCommerce. So there’s no reason, in my opinion, I would ever recommend Volusion.
- Not made for e-commerce
- Bad experience
With Magento, you still need to pay for hosting. A big pro with Magento is it’s really customizable. You can change anything and everything about it, but the bad part is, you have to be really technical to be able to use it.
If you’re going to change things, you’re going to need to hire a designer or a developer, and that can get really expensive really fast. I think Magento used to be a really popular platform, and it used to be one of the top platforms 10 plus years ago, maybe it does still make sense for larger businesses that want to have a fully customized site, but for the average small business owner, Magento doesn’t make any sense.
- You need to hire a designer
Amazon, or eBay is probably the most common platform and probably the easiest platforms to get started with because they’ve already got the customers that everybody is already going to Amazon, eBay and Etsy to buy things. So if you want to make money easily online, these platforms are a great option.
To be honest, Amazon is actually a great place to sell own products, and it’s probably the easiest way to make money because so many people are already buying things from Amazon. By listing your product on there, people just buy your products. It’s a lot harder to convince someone to come to your website and purchase from you.
Still, there are some pretty big cons with these platforms as well. One of the biggest cons is you don’t own the customers. Amazon owns the customers, eBay and Etsy own the customers. What I mean by this is when you get someone purchasing from you via Amazon, you don’t get the email address, you can’t reach out to the customer and try to get them to purchase more things from you.
The other big con is that they can remove you at any point. You don’t even own the platform. If for any reason, Amazon, eBay, or Etsy decide that they don’t want you selling anymore, that’s it. You’re done. Your business is gone overnight.
- Easiest platforms
- Easiest way to earn money
- You don’t own the customers
- They can remove you from the platforms
So the question is “Should you sell on these platforms or should you have your own website?”.
Answer: Do both.
You’re going to make probably more money off these platforms, but you’re going to have a little bit more security from your own website.
What is the best platform to use for e-commerce for your own business? The answer is WooCommerce or Shopify. Stay with one of these two if you want to become successful with e-commerce.
Shopify is good if:
- You want the best full-time business.
- You are willing to pay more to have things work.
- You are serious about e-commerce.
WooCommerce is good if:
- You want just a test or have multiple sites.
- You are not expecting a lot of sales.
- You are a beginner.
I hope this information helps you. Please share it with your family, friends, and social media.
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