Are you planning to start your own e-commerce store.
Then I am sure that this question must be bugging you as well.
I get this question every time from my clients when we start a new project.
"What is the best e-commerce platform for my startup?"
Let me simplify the things for you.
Must have features of an E-commerce Platform
1- Mobile friendly front end
You cannot ignore the mobile traffic to your e-commerce website and if your website is not mobile friendly then, No Sale as simple as that.
2 - Search engine Friendly
Make sure your platform allows you to edit your website URLs and other various SEO related stuff. If not then you are not going to get any traffic from search engines.
3 - Easy Customization
Your e-commerce platform should be easy to customize as per your need. It should be compatible with various 3rd party apps that could help grow your online business.
4 - Economic
It has to be cost-effective otherwise there is no point of burning cash and earning nothing from your e-commerce website.
Now there are a lot of e-commerce platforms available these days which can be categorized as open source and others as out-of-the-box subscription-based e-commerce platforms.
We have a lot of options available in both categories. But below are the three I recommend to use.
Let's take a closer look at each of them to find out which one is best for you.
Magento (Open source)
Magento is one hardcore open source e-commerce platform which is suitable for both small and enterprise level users.
Magento opensource source (community edition) allows you to create your e-commerce store without any compromise on functionality.
When should you use Magento for your e-commerce Platform
Magento is the most elastic and scalable e-commerce platform but its very complicated to customize if you don't know how to code. Hiring a developer to customize and maintain your store is also a bit expensive.
Wordpress (Open source)
Wordpress is one of the most popular Content management system powering more than 74 million websites worldwide.
Wordpress is not natively meant for building e-commerce website but thanks to the enormous amount of powerful plugins available which can help you build almost anything using Wordpress.
When should you use Wordpress as your e-commerce Platform?
If you don't want to pay monthly on readymade e-commerce platforms and want full control of your web store using your self-hosted servers like Bluehost or Siteground.
To customize Wordpress you don't need to be a hardcore developer. You can easily customize and maintain your store easily by yourself, thanks to the wide variety of plugins available to make the job easy for you.
Shopify is one of the most popular ready to use e-commerce platform hosting more than 100,000 e-commerce websites.
Shopify has all the features you need to create your first online store as per the latest design and SEO standards.
When should you use Shopify as your e-commerce Platform?
Shopify is the best solution for you if you only want to concentrate on sale and business without caring about hosting and coding hassles.
Just pay the monthly subscription fees and you can upload unlimited products and have access to lots of apps to extend your e-commerce store functionalities.
Shopify uses 'Liquid' - an open source template language written in RubyOnRails. You can customize your store using readymade templates and hire a Shopify developer to do the job and its economical as compared to Magento.
There is also a special Lite plan that allows you to add an e-commerce section on your Facebook page if you really want to test your business in the early stages and save money.
There are a lot of other e-commerce platform available to choose. You need to decide what you want from your store and how much you are ready to spend on it.
And above all how the platform is compatible with the latest marketing trends.
Whatever E-commerce platform you choose, budget plays an important role but you should never compromise on functionality and user experience because these are major factors that will drive sales to your business.
If you have an E-commerce store then do let me know in the comments below, what platform you are using?