The Top 3 Best E-commerce Platforms for Small Businesses
According to a study conducted by Canada Post, 8 in 10 Canadians shop online. The majority of successful business owners, be they small medium or large, are adapting to the digital market by venturing into the world of e-commerce.
If you’re a small business owner and the online marketplace is all new to you, you may ask yourself “Which e-commerce platform is right for me?”
I often get asked, what’s the best e-commerce platform to use and I usually answer by asking more questions since there’s no one-size solution that fits all. Here is my take on the top 3 e-commerce platforms for small businesses, and their respective advantages.
If I were to launch an ecommerce business, my first choice would be Shopify since it’s very easy to setup and use. The basic front-end and backend UX interfaces on mobile and desktop are very intuitive and straight to the point when it comes to e-commerce. It’s hosted on Shopify’s servers so you can feel good about reliability, speed and security. You have a wide range of themes and apps you can try for free or buy to customize your front-end. Their customer service team is known to be awesome! Shopify has different pricing packages starting as low as $29/month and it goes up as you start selling more and need more features.
Magento Open Source previously known as Magento Community Edition would be my second choice since it’s open source and you can self-host it on your own servers. Magento is widely used in North America and internationally and has a large community of app and module developers to extend the features of your basic site. It’s also a powerful and customizable platform made to support a large quantity of products and orders. You don’t have to pay a monthly plan or transaction fees to Magento. However, you’ll need a Magento professional or a web developer to help with customization, improving performance and service of your e-commerce site.
WooCommerce would be recommended if you already have a WordPress Site or Blog and you want to turn it into a shoppable platform, since WooCommerce is simply a WP plugin. WooCommerce is also very customizable with the hundreds of themes available on ThemeForest and WordPress.org. There’s also a wide range of paid add-ons to expand on the list of functionalities required. You can’t use WooCommerce without WordPress so you’ll have keep that in mind if you already have a website that is built on another CMS and you want to make it transactional. The WooCommerce plugin itself is also free.
Finally, there are many more platforms that are also worthwhile to test – especially a few more open source ones – but they may be harder to setup and require many development hours that usually comes at a hefty price unless you are a programmer yourself. I think that there has never been an easier time to start your own shop online, so if you believe in your original idea, go ahead and pursue it!