Cin7

cin7 logo

Blog

Which eCommerce Platform Is Right for You?

by Anna Ngo
what-ecommerce-platform-is-right-for-you
eCommerce platforms, like eCommerce itself, have evolved quite a lot over the past few years. Machine learning, digital wallets, chat windows and other features make today’s eCommerce solutions more than just a simple online checkout lane.

And providers keep on adding new features, so choosing the right platform for your website, and your budget, can be challenging. 

What is the best eCommerce platform in 2019? While you may be seeking a definitive answer, the truth is, it really all depends on what you want to do. This in turn will be a function of what type of company you are, what you’re selling and who your customer is.

What is the most popular eCommerce platform?

It depends on whom you ask. Shopify, Magento and WooCommerce are known for being the most popular, easiest to use and easiest to implement. BigCommerce and Australian-made Neto are also strong contenders. Here we take a quick look at the features, capabilities and limitations of each.

SHOPIFY

Perhaps the most popular eCommerce platform available, Shopify is ideal for smaller businesses and startups as well as existing retail brands just getting into eCommerce. Among its benefits is direct integration with social media, which allows consumers to purchase via a company’s Facebook page, for example, without redirecting to an eCommerce website. Other benefits include mobile optimization, 24/7 support, automated tax and shipping rates, support for multiple languages, and shopping cart recovery. This feature saves abandoned orders, giving companies the ability to remarket to a customer at a later date. Lastly, Shopify enjoys a reputation for ease of use and a flexibly broad price range, allowing you to offer free shipping and accept a range of major credit cards. Note, however, that fees can add up quickly since you pay per transaction—as much as 2% per transaction, depending on your plan—as well as for any add-ons or nonstandard features. And because Shopify uses its own coding language, Liquid, modifying the code can be difficult.

MAGENTO

Many consider Magento to be one of the most scalable platforms around. Big companies and enterprises especially use this open-source eCommerce platform, as its potential for customization is almost limitless. If you sell unusual or unique products that involve categories other sites may not use, this is particularly useful; however, it does require some amount of technical know-how, both to implement and to use, with a steeper learning curve than any other platform. You can customize your website with a plethora of themes, and support includes a resource library, demos and plugins to make it easier to manage your online store. Magento also integrates with a range of payment solutions such as PayPal and Authorize.net. While programming costs with the enterprise version can run a little high, when it comes to scalability and customizability, Magento is hard to beat. Many users also share their modified code online, which you can copy and implement yourself for free, but successfully using Magento in general will require companies to have web developer skills at their disposal.

WOOCOMMERCE

A free plugin that adds eCommerce capabilities to any WordPress site, WooCommerce is an accessible, basic starting point best suited to smaller organizations and new startups. In 2018, WooCommerce accounted for 11% of global online sales. The reason for its popularity? You can easily (and cheaply) add an online store and checkout that integrate seamlessly with the existing theme of your website—but only if it’s built on WordPress. If you don’t have a WordPress site, you’ll have to set one up—or choose a different eCommerce platform. Hosting on WordPress must also be paid for before WooCommerce can be implemented, though the cost is nominal. Like Magento, WooCommerce is an open-source eCommerce platform, which means that companies have extensive resources for designing and customizing their online store, but scaling up and adding capabilities will require resources and web-building expertise. In summary, you get what you pay for. WooCommerce has quite basic functionality, with fewer out-of-the-box tools than Shopify and far less customizability than Magento.

BIGCOMMERCE

Companies ranging from SMBs to enterprises like Toyota use BigCommerce. As with Shopify and Magento, BigCommerce provides abundant support 24/7, but unlike Shopify, there are zero transaction fees when using a third-party payment solution. Moreover, its built-in features and usability make it easy for customers who lack coding skills and programming resources to run their online store. BigCommerce integrates with Facebook, Amazon, eBay, comparison shopping sites and more. Finally, it’s also customizable and flexible, with features like integration with mobile apps, omnichannel, abandoned cart saver, cart-level discount and a wide range of useful apps, though Shopify has more. BigCommerce is priced comparably to Shopify and offers a complete eCommerce platform with advanced marketing and automation tools, making it ideal for the brick-and-mortar brand looking to expand online. Pricing will be a function of your annual store revenue, with a threshold of $50,000 for the Standard plan versus up to $1 million for Pro and unlimited for Enterprise level. 

Which platform is best for creating an eCommerce website?

Again, it all depends. If you have a WordPress site and relatively simple needs, WooCommerce is going to be the clear winner. If you have tech know-how, custom requirements and more money to spend, Magento will be the one for you. If you’re a smaller to medium player, Shopify or BigCommerce could be a good fit, with BigCommerce being slightly more basic, though both have tons of tools and templates that don’t require any web development skills to use.

CIN7 INTEGRATES WITH ALL OF THEM

When it’s time to integrate your eCommerce platform with your multichannel sales and fulfillment processes, Cin7 does it, for all major eCommerce platforms. Cin7 synchronizes your eCommerce channel with your overall business. With real-time stock availability and order status updates and automated processing, picking and dispatch, Cin7 makes your online store an efficient and easy-to-manage part of your omnichannel business.