A Canadian-based ecommerce solution, Shopify has been helping online businesses across the globe with a sharp focus on the trending social commerce and mobile shopping. Founded in 2004, Shopify has always kept up with the pace of evolving ecommerce trends and technologies, having broken ground on powerful additions such as social shopping whereby your customers never leave their social media platform in order to buy from you.
The Good: For $9, you can integrate Shopify directly with your FB account and make it an ecommerce store.
The Bad: Even with all the advantages of Shopify mentioned above, there are some downsides with the platform. The most prominent downside is the additional transaction fee you’ll be liable to pay if you don’t use Shopify Payment. Moreover, plenty of useful and practical extensions require additional investment. Perhaps most challenging is “Liquid,” Shopify’s own coding language, which requires ecommerce store owners to pay an incremental price for customization.
Beginner level ecommerce entrepreneurs who need a conventional ecommerce solution can benefit from Shopify. It is easy to use and can help you launch your ecommerce business quickly. Based on your requirements and your budget, you can choose from Shopify packages that range from $29 to $299 per month.
The Bad: Using Magento is not for everyone, especially if the store owner is not a programmer, or doesn’t have a team of programmers working on his or her team. And then there’s the price tag; the basic version is free, but getting an enterprise version means you’ll need to shell out at least $20,000/year. If you don’t have programmers on staff, be prepared to invest in third-party programming costs as well.
The Verdict: For Enterprise level online stores with a huge volume of products, Magento is the right choice. Not recommended for SMBs due to its complex store setup, cost and highly technical management requirements.
Specially designed for startups and SMBs, YoKart is a turnkey and features rich ecommerce marketplace solution to build multi-vendor stores such as Amazon, eBay, and Etsy. While many other ecommerce platforms do offer a multi-vendor version, YoKart specializes in this particular field. YoKart, with its latest upgrade (YoKart V8) now packs an even bigger punch. It’s multilingual and multi-currency features allow store owners to expand their reach on a global level. And then there is the plethora of payment gateways, in-built analytics tool, rewards and discount coupon management features.
The Good: The marketplace owner gets the source code of the website (not the framework) along with a lifetime license.
SMBs can use YoKart to its full potential. The startup package is the most affordable at $250 and offers hosted solution for one year license. This is a pragmatic method to test the viability of your business model. Once you are sure of your business, you can easily upgrade to higher versions; GoQuick, GoCustom Lite, and GoCustom.
Since its inception, BigCommerce has more than 55,000 online stores to its credit and is lauded as one of the most prominent ecommerce software providers. From famous companies such as Martha Stewart & Toyota to many SMEs, BigCommerce has helped businesses of all sizes launch their online storefronts. For ecommerce storeowners who lack basic coding skills, the vast list of BigCommerce’s built-in features come in really handy.
BigCommerce is an ideal solution for ecommerce entrepreneurs who want a full-fledged store without the hassles of coding, integrating plugins and other technical hurdles. If you can make do with the lack of free themes, or want to spend on a premium theme, BigCommerce is the go to ecommerce platform solution.
VTEX is a Brazilian cloud based Ecommerce Platform provider with a gross merchandise value of $1.8 billion in 2016. Their customer base includes local business chains of some of the major players in the world, including Wal-Mart, Whirlpool, Coca-Cola, Sony, Disney, L’Oreal, Lego, Staples and many more.
The Good: One remarkable factor that differentiates VTEX from the rest of the eCommerce line-ups is its Password Free Checkout. This particular feature is believed to have boosted organic traffic by 30%, a 28% increase in revenues and a whopping 54% rise in conversion rates.
The Bad: Although the company claims cloud based ecommerce technology implements 68% faster than conventional setups yet there’s one important downside to VTex for store owners who wish to maintain control of their own storefronts: It’s based on the SaaS model, and thus, you’ll never have complete ownership of your ecommerce store or its source code.
A free WordPress plugin, WooCommerce is a name that needs no introduction in the world of ecommerce. It comes along with a secure payment gateway and a shopping cart that both work really well. Open source and easy to use for WordPress aficionados, WooCommerce needs an additional plugin to start a multi-vendor ecommerce store.
The Good: Installing WooCommerce is free
The Bad: the plugin is integrating the shopping cart completely with the system requires additional investment. Moreover, if you don’t know WordPress, you won’t know how to use WooCommerce. But the biggest problem with WooCommerce is its lack of scalability; as your business grows and you get more sellers, products and customers on your database, WooCommerce starts slowing down.
WooCommerce is a viable option if you want to stick to WordPress websites and don’t anticipate having a large, high-volume store.
Tictail is more like a DIY marketplace where more focus is put on custom design, community integration, easy usability and overall ecommerce attractiveness. Fashion designers and retailers can set up their virtual store within a matter of few minutes.
The Bad:Lack of payment processors can be troublesome at times, especially when other ecommerce platforms offer plenty of payment options. The global marketplace entitles Tictail to take a commission. However, the custom shop (which comes at a reasonable price on a yearly basis) frees you from paying anything additional to Tictail for each sale happening there.
If you are planning to go global but are not sure whether your business model will succeed or not, Tictail is a great platform to take a test run. However, it is not designed for large enterprise businesses.
An ecommerce platform is not a “one size fits all” solution that will work for everyone. All the ecommerce platforms discussed in this article are built for different kinds of business requirements. The pros and cons outlined are not about what’s wrong with them. The curated list is designed to help you make a calculated decision and choose a platform that serves your needs best.
Different business models and scale of operations call for different ecommerce platforms. Choose wisely, and watch your business grow. Good luck!