As an online retailer, one of the things you should consider is how to grab the attention of your potential customers. It can be easy to get excited and get caught in the adrenaline rush. All that excitement can force you to make rash decisions which could eventually lead to the failure of your startup business. One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a startup ecommerce business owner is the choice of your platform.
Choosing an ecommerce platform is not just all about being able to list your products, add related images, and indicate the pricing. It is all about the convenience to your customers. Gone are the days when ecommerce is about taking in-store experiences to a whole new level. Nowadays, customers expect more from ecommerce stores. So which are the best ecommerce platforms for startup businesses?
How To Choose Ecommerce Platforms?
- Ease of Use
- Third-Party Integration/Customization
- Inventory Management
- User Experience
Best Ecommerce Platforms for Startups
- Square Online
How To Choose an Ecommerce Platform
There are many ecommerce platforms to choose from. How do you choose which one is right for your online store? Before identifying the best ecommerce platforms, here are the things you should consider when looking for an ecommerce platform for your online store.
1. Ease of Use
When looking for an ecommerce platform, you don’t want it to be a hassle for your customers, right? You want it to be user-friendly and free from too much technical stuff. Ask for a demo or trial to help you understand the process. If you think you can easily understand the features, then go for it. Your customers do not have all the time in the world so you need your store to have easy and convenient navigation for visitors to easily find what they are looking for with as little scrolling and clicking as possible.
2. Third-Party Integration/Customization
For your ecommerce store, you want your platform to integrate with third-party tools fully to receive advanced features. The good thing about these integrations is that they do not require extra effort or technical knowledge. While a great out-of-the-box theme is important, you also want the platform to allow you to customize your template. A great ecommerce platform should allow you to edit your store’s theme as needed.
3. Inventory Management
Inventory management can be a huge issue if you are selling physical products. Having a proper inventory management system will help maintain a balance between supply and demand. You just don’t want an inventory management system that can track your inventory or manage orders but also one that can scale as your business grows. This is an important consideration when looking for an ecommerce platform.
Choosing an ecommerce platform is a major investment on your part. Thus, you want to make sure that you get “bang for your buck.” You want to ensure that the platform’s cost is reasonable for your business. Set a budget and look for a platform that fits well into that budget. At the same time, do watch out for any hidden charges. Understand first the terms and conditions before signing the agreement.
5. User Experience
At the end of it all, the bottom line is customer experience. Today, customer experience has become a top priority for businesses. According to research from PWC, 86% of buyers are willing to pay for a great customer experience. In addition, it also impacts on-the-spot purchasing, with 49% of buyers having made impulse purchases after getting a more personalized experience. For this reason, you need to stay on top of your customer experience to boost conversion and increase your sales.
Best Ecommerce Platforms for Startups
Now that you know what to look for in an ecommerce platform, which ones are the best for startup ecommerce businesses?
Shopify is one of the leading ecommerce platforms with almost 20% market share. It is a SaaS-based eCommerce platform. It comes with a host of themes and templates to help you get started. With the drag-and-drop builder, you can easily add elements to your website. Shopify features more than 6,000 apps that can be integrated into your online store.
Startup ecommerce business owners prefer Shopify because it offers easy setup, faster loading speed, and secure payment gateways. It offers instant solutions for e-commerce aspirants to get started with ecommerce in very little time. It has all the tools that you need to launch an ecommerce website from domain name to choice of shipping integration.
In addition, basic tasks like updating products, design customization, domain name setup, shopping and tax rates, and payment methods can be done in very little time. You don’t need to hire a web developer to build your website. Website safety should not be much of a concern as Shopify will handle everything from safe payments to secure checkouts.
Despite having only an eighth of the number of stores on its platform as Shopify, it is doing quite nicely in the ecommerce space. It comes with strong selling features with excellent built-in SEO. It only has 50,000 live stores compared to the 3.83 million of Shopify, there has been a steady growth in the platform in the last few years.
BigCommerce features an interface that users can easily customize for their online shop. Tech-savvy users can even tweak the HTML and CSS for further customization. It also includes an intuitive dashboard for managing products, orders, and returns. Users can choose from a variety of templates for marketing and selling their products.
The platform also offers 24/7 support complete with personalized advice tailored for your business. Furthermore, it includes more advanced tools like stored credit cards and abandoned cart saver to increase your chances of converting customers. It has a 15-day trial that allows you to test its functionalities first before committing.
WooCommerce is actually a WordPress plugin. If you are using WordPress, the platform is a great option as you can easily integrate it into your dashboard. Once installed, WooCommerce gives you access to your website shopping functionality, product management, payments, and checkout. In addition, it can easily handle inventory management, shipping costs, tax calculations, and payment options.
WooCommerce has been downloaded at least 30,000 times from WordPress.org. In addition, 8.7% of all ecommerce websites use WooCommerce. Aside from the features above, WooCommerce also offers many marketing strategies to help grow your customer base. Just like most ecommerce platforms, it comes with a free trial so you can explore the tools before making a final decision.
WooCommerce is the best option if you are looking for site flexibility and WordPress integration. Because of its integration features with WordPress, this platform is the best option if you are developing a content-based website or if you are going to blog more regarding your goods and discounts.
4. Wix Ecommerce
Launched in 2006, Wix Ecommerce is part of Wix, the free and newbie-friendly website builder. More than 350 million active domain names are running on a Wix website. The platform powers more than 600,000 online stores. Wix boasts hundreds of designer-made templates, promotions and gift cards, beautiful product galleries, and makes shipping and order management a breeze.
Wix helps automatically optimize your online store for both iPhone and Android. With Wix ecommerce, you don’t need to be an IT expert to customize the mobile experience thanks to its online store builder. The platform features an intuitive interface packed with exceptional features such as customizable templates. Like WordPress, Wix allows ecommerce businesses to design any kind of website without writing codes.
However, Wix has some limitations regarding the kinds of products you can sell and how intuitive the checkout process is. In addition, it poses some problems for startups looking to scale quickly. Fortunately, the company is consistently finding ways to improve its feature set and capabilities.
5. Square Online
Square Online was created by Square, the popular handheld point-of-sale system. The platform was specifically designed for physical store owners who want to go virtual. Aware that traditional retailers may not be too familiar with ecommerce, the developers made setting up and getting started easy.
Aside from access to Square’s POS system as a payment method, Square Online makes it possible to build an online store complete with access to SEO and multi-channel selling. With Square One, you can automatically sync inventory between your offline and online stores. This way, you can easily monitor everything happening in your store. Square Online features online food ordering for restaurant websites and online booking through Square appointments.
In addition, Square Online includes everything that you need to succeed with your online business including blog creation, storefront customization, and great customer support. It allows you to connect to social media to do multi-channel selling. The only downside is that it only accepts payments through Square so other payment options like PayPal and Stripe are not included. It also has a paid plan to utilize advanced analytics and sales tools. A premium plan will help reduce your transaction fees significantly.
Way back, Magento was the market leader in ecommerce development platforms. It is an open source platform that provides online businesses with a flexible and scalable platform that provides them with control over the content, functionality, and looks of the web portal. In May 2018, Magento was acquired by Adobe, which provides a platform called Magento Commerce Cloud, a hosted version of Magento. Adobe has implemented new features for ecommerce websites and now offers premium subscriptions.
Magento now runs on the SaaS model so you need to make an initial investment. But you can start on the open source which is free of charge. However, the latter requires enough technical knowledge. Like WooCommerce, it has a drag-and-drop feature for designing an ecommerce website without writing any code. Its easy-to-use interface makes creating content a breeze.
Magento is completely scalable and extensible with a modular core and headless capabilities to easily integrate new technology. The platform allows you to reach customers from various touchpoints. The platform is powered by Adobe Sense AI, which provides actionable data analysis and automated back-end workflows from updating catalogs, product recommendations, fulfillment, and customer targeting and personalization.
Finding an ecommerce platform for your online store can be daunting given the plethora of choices. As a startup online retailer, you must choose a platform that works best for your business and within your budget.
Find Your Ecommerce Store Solutions at airisX
airisX has a complete range of individual and complete solutions for ecommerce sellers – our bread and butter. Born out of necessity to help ecommerce sellers scale their businesses and lower their costs, we solve your pain points by bringing all your ecommerce staffing needs under one roof.
airisX works as an multi-platform, omni-channel solution provider, covering: Amazon, Shopify, eBay, Walmart, niche websites, and many more. With deep industry experience, our team lives cross-border logistics and supply chains, marketplace platforms, revenue growth strategies (through a combination of branding, marketing, advertising, social and more), contract manufacturing, and sourcing.
Being successful in the ecommerce space is more than just listing some products and hoping the sales arrive. airisX Ecommerce Solutions brings together a comprehensive suite of services to cover all aspects of operating and growing an ecommerce business. This allows our clients to achieve more with less resources to transform their business for the future.
Our solutions build you a dedicated custom team within our organization to provide you with the toolbox to grow, expand, and service your customers without the overhead and headaches of doing it yourself, all at a lower cost.