As consumer habits change and the importance of having an impactful online social presence grows, small businesses can no longer afford not to have successful e-commerce functionality across their website.
So why do you need an eCommerce platform? Any eCommerce marketing agency could not express enough the importance of an eCommerce platform to grow your business.
An eCommerce platform is the backbone of any online business; it’s the glue between your social pages and website and the front end and back end of your business. It also ensures a seamless, efficient shopping experience for your target customer and allows you to grow and expand your online presence with ease.
In the below article, we will be breaking down the pros and cons of the leading eCommerce platforms.
In 2021, Wix has over 200 million users across 190 countries worldwide.
Many find themselves drawn to the convenience and its simple functionality, focusing on building a website with ease.
Previously small businesses found themselves having to source an experienced website developer to get the most proficient and professional-looking website; however, Wix has made it available for anyone to do it themselves.
With the flexibility and freedom that comes with a brand, it’s easy for you to modify your template to reflect your vision.
It is straightforward to use, even for beginners, because it does not have restrictions on where you can place website elements such as the drag-and-drop building tools.
You can’t switch your template once you’ve published your site without starting again from scratch. You also may have to spend more on third-party apps for long-term scalability.
The design process can feel overwhelming to choose from, as there are so many options.
Out of the many eCommerce platforms available to businesses, one of the most popular and common is Shopify.
Shopify is one of the most scalable, feature-rich and fastest-growing eCommerce platforms that are currently available.
Over one million eCommerce stores in 175 countries of all shapes and sizes trust the Shopify platform, from new small businesses to established brands such as GymShark, Deliveroo, Huel & Red Bull.
The biggest pro of Shopify is its scalability; from Shopify, you can easily link and incorporate the below channel links:
– Facebook: a tab on your Facebook page where users can browse and buy your products.
– Messenger: you can sell directly to customers in Facebook Messenger conversations with them (as well as provide order and shipping notifications and respond to customer enquiries).
– Buy Button: this channel allows you to embed e-commerce functionality — via ‘buy buttons’ — on any website or blog.
– Amazon: this allows you to manage your Amazon listings and Shopify products in one location.
– Instagram: this allows you to make your Instagram posts’ shoppable’
Plus, over 3,000 apps integrations are available because Shopify has a great library of apps and third-party extensions that help you elevate your store to the next level.
Not to mention the extensive payment options. Shopify supports over 100 payment options, as well as providing their gateway, Shopify Payments.
You’ll also get comprehensive, round-the-clock customer support with 24/7 customer service to offer a helping hand if you ever find yourself in a sticky situation.
Unfortunately, Shopify’s editor isn’t as user friendly as Wix and can take a while to acquaint yourself with.
There are fewer built-in features than other platforms, so whilst it has a wide range of apps, you can become reliant on these apps. It can also be costly, which might be a barrier to start-up companies, considering that transaction fees and the need for additional apps can rack up the monthly cost of running your store.
Squarespace is a website builder designed to help creatives build their own websites and showcase their work, no matter their technical ability.
Squarespace has built-in SEO functions that don’t require anything from you to build a workable SEO strategy.
Many aesthetic, functional templates are easy to work with, and you can create a professional-looking website with ease. It can also provide corresponding mobile experiences that match the overall style of your website, so your content will look great on every device.
Squarespace is also the best value for money when considering the features vs the price of any eCommerce platform. They also offer a simple pricing structure – you can pay monthly or yearly (from £10 per month up to £30 per month for large online stores), which includes absolutely everything you need; there are also no extra costs.
Unfortunately, there is no multi-currency selling functionality; you cannot create an online for a global audience. You are also required to invest in a third-party tool to make your Squarespace website fully compliant.
Some users also find that the payment gateway options are limited compared to other platforms.
And although support for Apple Pay is provided, there’s no equivalent support for Google Pay.
All in all, whilst partnering with an eCommerce brand is essential for growth, ultimately, it pays to conduct your research on which platform is right for you and your business goals. So take the time and weigh up the pros and cons of each to find the right fit eCommerce platform for your brand!