5 best ECOMMERCE platforms to build your website in 2022

Ecommerce

5 best ECOMMERCE platforms to build your website in 2022

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When you shop online, what’s the first thing you look for on an e-commerce website apart from it’s security features such as the SSL certificate? 

A smooth payment process? The products or services offered? The overall look of the e-commerce website? 

Well, if you’re thinking one of these is the most important, it’s actually all of them. 

According to Optinmonster, 93.5% of global internet users have made purchases online. Yes, this means that e-commerce is growing exponentially. 

And having witnessed a pandemic that spreads through touch, frequent visits to the store is good riddance with e-commerce making everything available at just a click. 

But it’s still pretty nerve wracking for a business owner who wants to make a move into the online world.

With so many e-commerce platforms available out there, it can be super confusing to narrow down your choice to just one platform, especially if online and digital is an unfamiliar territory for you and your business. 

So let’s have a look at why moving your business online is beneficial for your company…

Importance of ECOMMERCE website 

E-commerce transactions are growing 23% year on year. That’s a very rapid pace of growth for any industry and it’s reason enough for you to make your move. 

Unfortunately, many small businesses still haven’t availed this opportunity and continue to function only from their offline shops. Statistically, 46% of small American businesses still don’t own an e-commerce website.

As technology catches up real fast with the latest trends, high quality e-commerce websites are expected to ramp up their game. It is estimated that by 2040, 95% purchases will be happening online. Now that’s a huge potential. 

Plus, in the year 2022 itself, businesses are expecting e-commerce  sales to increase by $ 4.5 trillion

Having your own ecommerce website can teach you a lot about your business and at the same time can also enable you to adopt an innovative online business strategy.

First, as a business, your customers and your target audience are at the forefront of your strategy. So it helps if you study your audience better and then set up your e-commerce website accordingly.

That way, your engagement rate with your customers will be very high.

Second, if you’ve got a creative bone in you, then this is your time to shine! E-commerce opens windows of opportunity for you to get innovative with your content and your user interface that you present to your audience.

A great example of this is care/of where they sell various multivitamins as per personalization on their e-commerce website. Their user interface is interactive and innovative and involves dynamic content and graphics. 

Take care of is a brand that has made used it's website very well, more so for the purpose of ecommerce.

Take care of is a brand that has made used it’s website very well, more so for the purpose of ecommerce. Picture taken via care/of website.

These steps go a long way and serve as marketing for your brand. You also need to keep technology and accessibility at the core of your ecommerce functioning. 

As per statistics, 3.8 billion people globally had access to cellphones while 218 million laptops were used in 2020. So ensure to keep your interface all accessible. 

Third, you can market to your target audience directly using the digital medium rather than just through the offline store, which is old school.

Thus you can get creative, interact with your audience and grow your engagement rates. 

But while e-commerce platforms are beneficial, which one should you really opt for? 

5 best ECommerce platforms 

Most times, business owners though want to take their brand online and increase their reach, however, at the same time they aren’t very confident about the platform that could help them do this the best.

For this very reason, here are the recommendations of the best e-commerce platforms to assist you in developing your e-commerce website. 

Shopify

Shopify is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms, that’s also extremely user friendly and therefore very helpful especially for the first timers.

It has a 20% market share. It’s offers a 14 day free trial during which you can experiment and try out the various features on the site. 

Shopify is one of the top e-commerce platforms that's best suited for ecommerce websites.

Shopify is among the top e-commerce platforms that’s best suited for ecommerce websites. Picture taken via Shopify website.

Even the basic plan of Shopify includes some key features such as manual order creation, abandoned cart recovery, discount codes and gift cards.

The basic plan of Shopify also comes with a SSL certificate so that you don’t have to worry about security.

The basic plan of Shopify is currently available at $29 per month. And well, if you already have an e-commerce website on Shopify and are looking forward for an upgrade, then you can always check out their advanced plans.

Their payment interface is integrated with payment gateways such as Google Pay, PayPal, etc.

Moreover, if you encounter any sort of problem or face any difficulty on the Shopify platform, Shopify’s 24/7 customer support will come to your quick rescue. 

However, the basic plan also comes with a few limitations –

First, if you’ve got a large team to work on the website, then that won’t be possible since only 2 accounts can be used on the platform for administrative and design purposes.

Second, there are 73 themes available for the mobile version of your website out of which only 9 are free of cost. The remaining themes i.e. the paid themes start at $140. 

Third, store management and reports won’t be accessible if you’ve opted for the basic plan.

Rather, the other two other plans allow you to use these features which can then help you determine if your website is working it’s magic or not.

If you want to know all the details about the difference between the three Shopify plans, please check this out. 

Wix

This is another easy option for those who have absolutely no idea about how to go about setting up their very first e-commerce website.

The Wix network of online stores grew from 400,000 to over 600,000 stores in 2020 alone. So then, when Wix claims itself as “user-friendly,” it truely is.

If you want e-commerce to be just a small part of your beautiful website, then Wix might be that one platform for you. 

If you want to build an e-commerce website fast and quick, then Wix is your pick.

If you want to build an e-commerce website fast and quick, then Wix is your pick. Picture taken via Wix website.

Wix creates your website by just asking you a few questions, the answers to which then it’s artificial intelligence uses to set up your website.

And if you’re particular about your website design needs, you can also customize the same. 

Here, there’s more than 500 templates available with the basic plan and hence Wix gives you that many options to get creative.

If you choose to build your website using Wix, you’ll also have a free domain for the very first year along with features like 24/7 support and an easily accessible payment mechanism.

The payment mechanism has over 40+ integrations available including giants like PayPal.  

Other features with Wix include recovery of abandoned cart, discount codes, and a personalized check out page. It also allows for sales through Facebook, Instagram and other channels. 

At Wix there are 3 plans available – the business basic which is available at $23/month, Business Unlimited priced at $27/month and Business VIP at $49/month.

If you’re starting new, then it’s better to go with the basic plan and then eventually move to a bigger plan as you understand the process and the functionality and as your business grows. 

While all of this is awesome, you need to remember that Wix doesn’t have a free trial.

You can build your website on Wix but Wix does not offer enough features and so your website won’t have strong e-commerce capabilities.

And if you’re building your website exclusively for e-commerce or as an online store, though on this list of the best e-commerce platforms, Wix truly doesn’t make any sense as the platform offers limited e-commerce functionalities. 

BigCommerce

BigCommerce, like the name suggests, is best suited for large companies with a high sales volume.

Although BigCommerce has a plan called BigCommerce Essentials for small businesses, this too, is meant for businesses who are already topping their sales targets and need a bigger platform to move on to. 

If your business is one such store looking to grow further, then BigCommerce is the platform for you.

BigCommerce is used by brands like Skullcandy, Burrow and Black Diamond. So, the potential that this platform has is huge for businesses, especially to manage large sales volumes.

As the name suggests, the BigCommerce ecommerce platform is usually preferred by businesses that have a large volume of sales.

As the name suggests, the BigCommerce e-commerce platform is usually preferred by businesses that have a large volume of sales. Picture taken via BigCommerce website.

A few of the big business benefits that this platform offers is the option to take payments, in the form of net banking or bank transfer, money order or even cheque.

Don’t worry, you’ll still have the other integrations at your disposal like Google Pay, Paypal, etc. 

Moreover, you can also use other sales channels like Facebook and Amazon with it’s very user-friendly applications. 

Other features on BigCommerce include accessibility to 12 free built-in themes while the other themes available range between $150 to $300.

The design and interface is also quite easy to follow, if you’re doing it on your own. It has also got an option to automate shipping and sales taxes. 

This platform provides a 15 day free trial, so if you want to try it out at first, then this can help.

And with the standard BigCommerce Plan, you can list unlimited products on the platform.

Also, the transaction fees on BigCommerce vary depending on the payment gateway that you choose to use.

There’s also a 24/7 support available via chat and email as well as phone calls within the U.S.

Now, as mentioned earlier, this platform is best suited for large businesses since the features and functionalities available can power big volume sales.

The standard plan by BigCommerce costs $29.95 per month,  and can enable sales worth $50,000 a year while BigCommerce Plus costs $79.95 per month for $180,000 worth of sales a year.

Squarespace

This is another good platform for e-commerce. Squarespace already had about 2,006,989 e-commerce websites on it’s platform in 2020.

Quite understandable since Squarespace is user-friendly and has some great tools on it’s platform that can be used for both design and functionality purposes.

The monthly starter plan is relatively cheap and is priced at $18/month. This plan includes some basic e-commerce features like free templates, website analytics, etc.

It also allows for unlimited product additions to your website and you can have as many user accounts as you wish. 

Squarespace is a highly preferred ecommerce website builder.

Squarespace is a highly preferred ecommerce website builder. Picture taken via Squarespace website.

Other higher paid plans come with more features like subscription product sales, abandoned cart recovery, customized discounting, etc. 

With Squarespace, your e-commerce website can accept payments directly from the bank as well as from the other payment gateways.

Adding to this, it’s also quite easy to track the activities on the store, be it about just the general product page, the customer base, or about the analytics on sales. 

The platform also has 24/7 customer support via email while the live chat is available from Monday to Thursday. Otherwise, the automatic chatbot is always present on their platform for assistance.

This is an important aspect to consider especially if you are starting from scratch and have no clue about how to go about in an online platform.

As a beginner, it’s recommended that you use the $18 plan and then you can gradually move to an upgrade as per your e-commerce growth requirements.

While there is a 3% transaction fee, there are also quite a few benefits of having an e-commerce website on Squarespace, such as a free 14 day trial period and a free domain for the first year.

Prestashop

PrestaShop is an open source platform for e-commerce. This means that it’s completely free.

Small business owners who are first timers and tight on their budgets can use PrestaShop since the platform has a good, strong and a trusted community of users. 

Some of the benefits of PrestaShop include consistent updates, upgrades, bug fixes, etc. It is also available in multiple languages (a total of 75) other than English. Plus, the themes available here are quite decent. 

Prestashop is an open source e-commerce platform with a strong community of creators and users.

Prestashop is an open source e-commerce platform with a strong community of creators and users. Picture taken via Prestashop website.

Since it’s an open source platform, there are community developed themes for PrestaShop. If you’re not interested in using these free themes, you can always pay for the available in-store themes, the cost of which start from $69.99. 

The modules for the shop are also customizable and are free in Presta and include some great features like chat, reporting, shipping options, etc.

In terms of payment, integrations with Paypal and a few others are also free of charge. And if you want to make the payment process as secure as possible, there’s a fraud detection tool from Presta that’s available for free. 

So if you’re someone who doesn’t want to spend a lot of money trying out an online store, then your business can benefit from Presta.

Conclusion

When choosing the right platform for your e-commerce store, it’s best to begin with a platform that offers a free trial period, as nevertheless the costs are then usually incurred during the process of building and developing your website.

And, this decision making process can get easy if you can first list down your e-commerce requirements and thereafter select a platform accordingly, irrespective of it being free or paid. 

Remember, although there is a free trial period, you may then choose to continue with the platform due to which certain features on the platform might now need to be paid.

In such a scenario, also look for other cost saving alternatives, such that you do not exceed your budget. 

Additionally, if you’re going in for a free platform, it’s important to note that only limited tools and features may be available.

At the same time, ensure to make a checklist of your actual e-commerce requirements so that you will not waste any part of your budget. 

While there are ways to create an e-commerce website, it may not turn out as per your customer expectations and hence, keep in mind that to win the loyalty and trust of your customers, your website needs to look sharp. 

So then, which e-commerce platform will you use for creating your e-commerce website and why? 

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