When starting an online store, many things have to be put into consideration. One of the most essential factors to consider is the platform to be used in powering the ecommerce store. I have carefully done a review of the top ecommerce platforms to come up with a list of the best in the market.

Basically, there are two types of ecommerce platforms i.e. self-hosted and hosted. Hosted signifies that the platform will host your store whereas self-hosted means that the company will only provide a software but will have to acquire your own web hosting.

From my experience in the field, it is more stable to go with the hosted version as it comes with a dedicated support and the chances of the site failing are very minimal. The tradeoff will however come when paying the monthly fee for being hosted, which can be very steep.

E-commerce makreting

Hosted

  1. Shopify

This platform is gaining popularity as the most reliable ecommerce platform. The user interface is very presentable and appealing to the eye. The number of things one can accomplish on this platform is also acceptable.

On the downside, one is limited when it comes to changing the checkout page. Even though one has some control over it, the control is minimal. Therefore, one cannot design a checkout page to match his individual preferences, which is common across all the hosted ecommerce platforms.

However, Shopify clearly stands out when it comes to add-on apps. Shopify allows the users to download many apps which they can install on the ecommerce online store. The purpose of this is to extend the default functions or to introduce entirely new functionalities. Another plus for the platform is that their apps are easily available and their whole app process is set up way better than the rivals.

  1. Volusion

This ecommerce platform is also similar to Shopify though a bit less customizable. The user cannot add more to it as from the start, the software is generated by the use of just one main template file. One cannot also retrieve the basic information about products, store, categories or the contents of the cart, which are needed for remarketing.

A plus for them though is that they have a responsive support though not always helpful as most things one wishes to tweak cannot be done on volusion.

  1. BigCommerce

This is similar to volusion and shopify though more specifically to volusion. Though one can customize certain elements, it lacks the control offered by Shopify. One can implement trusted stores from Google and also product feed by using the inbuilt functionalities though this may not be possible for any other system.

A plus for this ecommerce platform is that the user interface of the admin panel is more appealing and presentable. It is also cleaner and easier to use than that of volusion.

Looking at the three hosted ecommerce platforms, it is without a doubt that Shopify proves to be the best option.

Self-hosted

  1. Magento

This is certainly one of the oldest ecommerce platforms in the market. Probably, the downside of this platform is as a result of that fact.

The platform commands a huge share of the market in big ecommerce websites. My own personal opinion is that this is highly overrated since the platform is barely customizable at all. The platform has plenty of features, which are very useful. However, the user interface is friendly at all. The developers totally lost touch of what makes a great interface.

Another thing is that many of the stores face slow performance that is inherent in magento. Even though there are many ways to fix the problem, magento requires that you fix the issue specifically, which can be frustrating.

The only way to get this ecommerce platform performing optimally is to spend countless hours on it tweaking the settings and caching extensions.

  1. WooCommerce

The WooCommerce ecommerce platform cannot be compared to other platforms as this is a WordPress plugin, which depends on WordPress. One cannot use the WooCommerce ecommerce platform without WordPress.

The platform is synonymous with customizability. Anything that can be accomplished on WordPress can be accomplished on WooCommerce. It becomes very efficient and easy when using actions filters and hooks to make changes and enhancements to the functionality of the platform.

The resources available on this platform are endless as is with WordPress. One is able to access countless plugins and themes which enables one to do exactly what they want. In addition to this, there are many qualified developers available to work in case you need anything to be customized.

Since this is a WordPress plugin, you have access to all the goodies that come along with WordPress. This means that one can blog on the ecommerce store as a standard in a neat and organized manner. This is way better than magento where one has to install a blogging extension for you to blog.

Conclusion

There are very many ecommerce platforms in the market currently and this number keeps rising every day. The key to choosing the best platform is to be keen on the ability to integrate new things and also meet the fundamental functions efficiently. Looking at the ecommerce platforms listed above, it is clear that magento requires lots of maintenance, which may end in a rising budget in the long run. WooCommerce on the other hand has proved to be efficient and effective. Click here how to set up an ecommerce site

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