Top 5 E-commerce Platforms Comparison
It is undisputed that e-Commerce industry is big. There are quite a few heavy-hitters in this heavily saturated e-commerce landscape.With internet holding the key to ecommerce sales, consumers are looking for two aspects: Convenience and Easy Checkout. Also, the way you market your listed items- both luxury and necessity, is another interesting aspect.It is overwhelmingly challenging to figure out the right shopping cart that best meets your business needs.. If you are vying for an honorable place in this competitive and obsessive industry, you should run into the struggle of comparing top 5 ecommerce platforms.
To make your job easy, I have taken the privilege of comparing the top 5 ecommerce platforms.
I would like to assert that popularity isn’t the sole motivating factor to figure out the best ecommerce platform. However, it is definitely worth considering. Shopify has always been the most popular ecommerce platform. Shopify is an established platform. It has been experiencing an upward trend in the past 5 years. On the other hand, Shopygen is at the bottom. Shopygen is a new entrant and hence, the term ‘popularity’ doesn’t really come into play. That being said, if you look at the past six months trends, the sales of Shopygen skyrocketed. At one point, Shopygen outperformed Big Cartel.
Bigcommerce seems to be the only consistent player. However, its past six month’s trends indicate a sharp decline in its sales. This can be attributed to its overwhelming price tags. Till June 2016, Magento and Woo-Commerce were the front runners. Today, the tables have turned and Magento is dislodged. Shopify is the clear winner and continues to be the king. That being said, Shopygen is slowly and steadily on the rise.
I happened to further delve into the details of customers’ buying preferences. I stumbled upon an interesting observation – Shopify is gaining most of its customers from Volusion, Big Cartel and to certain extent from Big Commerce. And guess what, Shopygen is gaining its potential customers from Shopify. Big Commerce is tagged at lucrative prices while Shopify and Shopygen are tagged at affordable prices.
Ease of Use
All the top 5 ecommerce platforms have WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) dashboards which are very easy to navigate. All the five platforms have the best in class design functionality. Inventory management in all these platforms is good. Installation and set-up do not require substantial technical expertise.
Shopify has more than 325,000 active ecommerce stores. Shopify continues to be the favorite platform of e-commerce entrepreneurs whose focus is on social commerce and mobile shopping. Thanks to 100+ store templates and 1500+ plugins, e-commerce entrepreneurs can connect with their audiences on almost every social networking platform. Shopify community forum provides 24/7 live chat support. Its knowledge base section contains handy guides, tutorials and other relevant sources. Shopify stores are mobile – friendly.
While there are many advantages, there are certain disadvantages which cannot be ignored. If you fail to use Shopify Payment, be ready to incur an additional transaction fee on every sale. Customizations are not free. App developers charge you for incorporating additional functionalities into your default platform. Most of the extensions can be availed at premium prices.
If you are a beginner with little or zero experience in e-commerce, Shopify is undoubtedly one of the ideal solutions. It is conventional and user-friendly. Monthly packages start from $29 to $299 per month. The average plan is priced at $79 a month. Another pain point is that transition from Shopify to another ecommerce platform is never a pleasant experience. Its blogging platform is good but not as great as WordPress.
Volusion powers more than 40,000 stores. With more than 360 themes, Volusion caters to the requirement of a broad range of industries. Basic themes start from $50 and there are many expensive themes priced at $895 and more. For your information, Volusion has 82 free themes and 277 paid ones. Out of the paid themes, 79 are tagged at $895. Themes are limited and expensive. Moreover, the number of mobile responsive themes is just 23. On the other hand, Shopify has 160 mobile responsive themes.
The best thing about Volusion is that it doesn’t charge you any transaction fee. However, it gives you very limited bandwidth. You should subscribe to better plans to get good bandwidth. Herein is the catch- Volusion doesn’t reveal how much it costs to buy additional bandwidth. Nothing is listed on its website about bandwidth plans.
The icing on the cake is its free 14-day trial. Take liberty to get your hands dirty by playing with its comprehensive set of tools. Its comprehensive tools let you build capable online tools with mobile commerce and social media plugins. Some of its features include round the clock support, customer loyalty plans, Amazon integrations etc.
BigCommerce is yet another ecommerce platform which allows you to build certain out of the box online stores with innumerable integrations such as email newsletters, promotional campaigns, coupon creation, shipping configuration etc. It has several built-in social media buttons (Facebook), analytics software and product wish lists.
The best thing about BigCommerce is that it comes with solid SEO features.It allows you to integrate your store with eBay and Google Shopping. And yes, it is easy to integrate your online store with many comparison sites such as Shopzilla, Beso, PriceGrabber etc. BigCommerce has a big community of app developers. If you are looking to integrate advanced analytics into your e-store, drop a line in their official forum. Stores with low margins often find this platform to be profitable as BigCommerce doesn’t charge any transaction fee. If you are looking for a scalable store, build your online store on this platform. BigCommerce has a few limitations. It has hardly any free themes. Free users are left with just options to choose from. Its competitors are offering at-least 20 free themes. Also, the number of premium templates is not exhaustive. The price of premium templates is anywhere between $145 and $250.
If you are looking to build a full-fledged store without undergoing the pains of HTML and CSS modifications, plug-ins integration,BigCommerce is certainly one of the ideal platforms. That being said, be ready to compromise on themes.
Ever since its inception in 2005, Big Cartel has helped more than a million artists in creating small-scale business stores. With its limited yet aesthetically pleasant themes, Big Cartel is a renowned name in the community of artists and creative individuals. Its comprehensive Help Center is a boon to beginners. Apart from accessing video tutorials, users can implement and test their learning. Its theme library is small and contains just 12 themes. Unfortunately, only 2 themes are mobile responsive. Thanks to Zapier integration, stores can get access to more than 500 apps.As far as social commerce is concerned, Big Cartel supports Facebook login.
If you are okay with limited themes and non-mobile responsive choices, Big Cartel is your go-to destination. With social and mobile commerce all set to rule the roost and boost sales in upcoming years, I advise against Big Cartel.
ShopyGen is the new kid on the block. It caters to more than 4610 members. Shopygen is integrated with multiple payment gateways. This API driven platform is built by using Node JS, Angular JS and Mongo DB. Known for its growth hacking modules such as geo-based multi-languages, Shopygen comes with a collection of elegantly carved responsive themes and templates. There is this Video Listings feature that helps you upload videos on how to use the product. Generating revenue is not that easy in online commerce business. Revenue Management module will assist all ecommerce entrepreneurs in generating easy revenue. Moreover, Shopify has all the provisions to integrate your blog with your online store. Documentation is exhaustive and lucid. Their support team is knowledgeable and friendly.
Shopygen is ideal for first time entrepreneurs. If you are looking for a marketplace which can take your online store to the best level, bet your chances on Shopygen.
Let us know your thoughts on ecommerce platform comparison.If you have any doubts or concerns, feel free to drop a line or two in the comments section. We shall reply in a day or two. My best wishes are always with you and your ecommerce venture. Keep watching this space for insights on ecommerce. Cheers!
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