Top 5 Ecommerce Development Platform of 2020

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Creating an e-shop is a challenge. You need to manage inventory, process payments, and encourage buyers to purchase additional items. The first difficulty that any retailer faces is choosing an e-commerce platform. The success of retail depends heavily on choosing the right software, but there is no optimal platform for e-commerce. You need to evaluate eCommerce solutions and tools based on how well they contribute to the achievement of certain business goals.

This article explains what features to look for, whether you’re considering a ready-made or a custom e-commerce platform. We offer our overview of the best options to make your selection easier:

 Shopify.
 BigCommerce.
 WooCommerce.
 Magento.
 PrestaShop.

 

What Makes a Good E-Commerce Platform the Best?

Any decent ecommerce software should allow you to simplify the purchase process, accept payments with ease, and get insightful sales reports. However, this is only the basis. Here are some other points to keep in mind when looking for an online sales platform:

  • User friendliness. There are e-commerce platforms that require development skills to open a business. Only fast growing and large companies can afford to hire professional developers. To minimize the costs of starting and maintaining your shop, check how easy it is to configure all functions and settings of the shop.
  • Sales tools and features. At the base level, the platform should provide various shipping options and multiple payment gateways. The sales and discount functionality is a must because it helps retailers attract more buyers. Accurate analysis reports and SEO tools are also worth considering because they can help you advance in SERP, increase conversion, and optimize your sales strategy.
  • Apps and extensions increase the functionality of your web shop. Check if there are enough high quality add-ons available on the market.
  • Design. Evaluate the possibility of freely adapting the design of your shop to make it more attractive and user-friendly.
  • Help and support. Look for e-commerce platforms or solution providers that guarantee fast customer support. So you can be sure that all errors and flops will be fixed in time.

 

Although it is getting easier to open a web shop with so many pre-built e-commerce solutions, retailers need to be very careful because not all e-commerce platforms are equally good. The best e-commerce platform for startups is not ideal for large companies and vice versa.

 Top 5 E-Commerce Platforms

Shopify

Overview

Shopify is one of the leading providers of online shop software. The platform is used by over 75,000 stores. Several diverse and attractive topics allow easy customization of the business. In this case, however, programming knowledge or a Shopify development team of experts is still required to do all the technical work for you. Shopify has built-in functions for accepting credit card payments and inventory management.

User Friendliness

Shopify positions itself as a user-friendly platform. However, configuration and startup for a “non-tech” user can be quite complicated. It is better to contact a professional team.

 Sales Tools & Features
  • Shipping: Shopify Shipping is available for orders from the United States (UPS, USPS, DHL Express) and Canada (Canada Post).
  • Payments: Customers have various options for paying online with a credit card and directly using Apple Pay, Amazon Pay and PayPal. Less traditional methods like cryptocurrency are also accepted. Retailers can also add dynamic checkout
  • Promotions: With Shopify you can create, manage and export promotional codes and automatic discounts as well as set discount prices for products.
  • Analytics: Shopify provides users with access to accurate financial reports, including taxes and payments. Inventory, customer behavior, marketing, sales, profit and custom reports are also provided.
  • SEO Tools: Shopify enables and offers success guides for adding keywords to page titles, alternative texts, meta descriptions and product page content. You can optimize the website structure and send your sitemap to Google to find and index valuable pages. You can also hide certain pages from search engines to increase the efficiency of your SEO strategy.

 

Apps & Extensions

Shopify App Store offers a variety of extensions that allow you to boost the e-commerce business, integrate your shop with external services and tools and add functions to your admin area. Mobile apps for Android and iOS were developed to expand the checkout functions and improve the mobile shopping experience.

Design

There are a variety of unique Shopify templates and themes with different styles and layouts. You can customize topics using the editor, but you can also change the topic code if necessary.

Help & Support

In addition to the Help Center, the API documentation and the Shopify Forums, Shopify experts offer help around the clock when starting a shop.

Prices

Shopify fees are calculated per month and depend on the edition: $ 29 for Basic Shopify, $ 79 for Shopify and $ 299 for Advanced Shopify.

 

BigCommerce

Overview

BigCommerce is one of the most successful projects by e-commerce website developers serving over 50,000 e-shops. It has two editions: Enterprise and Essentials. The first is suitable for large companies, the second for small and medium-sized brands.

With BigCommerce you can set up a business from scratch, design it, increase traffic through SEO, accept payments and send and execute orders. The platform can be easily integrated into eBay, Google Shopping and other services.

User Friendliness

BigCommerce offers useful instructions to make starting the e-shop easier. However, development knowledge is required to configure the platform.

Sales Tools & Features
  • Shipping

BigCommerce offers various shipping methods:

  • Free shipping – $ 0.
  • USPS Priority Mail – $ 6.95.
  • FedEx Ground Home Delivery – $ 9.07.
  • FedEx Priority Overnight – $ 15.60.
  • Payments

 

With regard to payment methods, integration with multiple currencies and payment gateways is included. The platform also supports online payments through Amazon Pay, PayPal and Apple Pay.

  • Promotions

You can offer different types of discounts (product, order, customers, etc.) and vouchers for effective promotions.

  • Analytics

There are several reports included in the monthly subscription:

  • Metrics for traders;
  • E-commerce insights;
  • Analytics snapshots, orders, sales channels and conversion rates.
  • SEO tools

 

Activated HTTPS, SEO-friendly templates, simple optimization of URLs, automatically generated sitemaps and quick links to social media – all of this is what you get with BigCommerce. You can customize your headings, titles and meta tags and create a blog.

Apps & Extensions

Retailers can expand the functions of the web shop through apps and integrations. There are over 680 apps in the BigCommerce App Store.

Design

BigCommerce offers a large number of templates: 12 free themes and 127 paid ones that cost between $ 145 and $ 235. However, customers often complain that templates are not unique.

Help & Support

BigCommerce offers comprehensive support for its customers. There are communities for customers and developers, the knowledge database and several video instructions. Live support can be accessed by phone, live chat and email.

Prices

Essentials Edition costs between $ 29.95 and $ 249.95 per month. The enterprise price is set individually.

 

WooCommerce

Overview

WooCommerce is an e-commerce platform for creating e-shops based on WordPress. The plugin is particularly popular with medium-sized companies because it is available free of charge and retailers can get an e-commerce CMS without any great financial outlay.

User Friendliness

WooCommerce is not a hosted platform. You must therefore manage all configurations and settings and take care of the security yourself. There’s no built-in drag-and-drop design tool, so you’ll also need special page builders – usually paid ones.

Sales Tools & Features
  • Shipping: You can create as many shipping zones as you like and add several methods and tariffs for each zone. There are free shipping and pickup options on site (customers pick up the order themselves) as well as flat rate shipping (you define a standard price per item, per shipping class or per order). With WooCommerce, retailers can propose purchase insurance for the goods offered.
  • Payments: PayPal and Stripe payments are offered as standard. Other popular payment service providers can be accessed with add-ons. There are also many local and less popular payment services. In addition, WooCommerce does not charge transaction fees.
  • Promotions, Analytics, And SEO Tools: All advertising campaigns (discounts, vouchers and gift cards), analytics and SEO tools are available with extensions.

 

Apps & Extensions

Around 40 free and 240 paid plugins are available to expand the functionality of WooCommerce.

Design

17 themes are available, 3 of which are free.

Help & Support

In addition to the documentation and the frequently asked questions, there is support for customers so that you can simply make an online request in any case.

Prices

WooCommerce is free, but you need to purchase a domain name (around $ 15), an SSL certificate (around $ 70) and a WordPress hosting account (around $ 8 per month) to start an e-shop to open. Extension pricing varies from $ 0 to $ 250.

 

Magento

Overview

Magento is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms for web shops. At the same time, it is one of the most expensive and demanding products. It is based on the open source model and offers you flexibility when setting up the web shop. Due to the extensive functions and the necessary development skills, Magento development is a preferred option for medium and large companies.

User Friendliness

Magento is known as a platform that is not easy to use. In fact, starting a Magento store can be a challenge for beginners. In this case, hiring Magento developers and administrators with relevant experience is the best option.

Sales Tools & Features
  • Shipping: Magento offers several shipping options (including international shipping) and enables the management of multiple carriers.
  • Payments: PayPal, PayPal Express, pay on delivery, bank transfer and Authorize.net are available.
  • Promotions: By default, you can give customers discount coupons for certain products and offer free shipping for purchases of a certain amount. You can also schedule all promotions for a specific time to optimize sales.
  • Analytics: Merchants can use built-in analytics or add Magento Google Analytics to get more accurate reports.
  • SEO Tools: Magento supports the individual and mass management of titles and meta descriptions as well as the creation of the sitemap and the use of canonical tags.

 

Apps & Extensions

There are thousands of extensions on the Magento Marketplace that have been checked for plagiarism, coding standards and compatibility.

Design

Almost all Magento themes are chargeable, but cheap. They are modern and contribute to a great user experience.

Help & Support

There is no 24/7 customer support, but there are plenty of user guides and a lively community that can help you manage your shop.

Prices

Although Magento Community Edition is free, you have to pay for customization, hosting, extensions, and themes to make your shop perform. The price for the Magento Enterprise Edition starts at $ 20,000.

PrestaShop

Overview

PrestaShop is one of the free e-commerce CMS. If you want to expand the functionality, you have to buy additional modules. This online sales platform has a practical control panel and flexible settings. PrestaShop is less popular than Magento, Shopify or WooCommerce, but it offers almost all basic e-commerce functions.

User Friendliness

The developer skills are required. Setting up PrestaShop can take some time because the backend is not that user-friendly. However, there is a demo that will walk you through the entire process. Good news: As soon as you have finished setting up, integrating and configuring the modules, the daily tasks, e.g. B. adding products or managing orders, simple.

Sales Tools & Features
  • Shipping

You can add carriers, organize “My carrier” when a buyer picks up a product, or call up different modules.

  • Payments

Payment options include PayPal, bank transfer, cash on delivery and check. There is also a standard payment module, PrestaShop Checkout, which is now only available for some European countries.

  • Promotions

You can offer coupons and free shipping, make special offers, set pricing rules, and change discount modes.

  • Analytics

With PrestaShop, retailers can monitor their progress with reports on marketing performance, traffic, and insights into product sales and customer behavior on the business pages. In this way, you can measure the impact of advertising campaigns that identify the most and least popular products and promote those that are not selling well. You get a statistical overview of all shopping carts that are currently open and can react quickly to the task of the shopping cart.

  • SEO Tools

PrestaShop allows you to set meta titles, descriptions, keywords and user-friendly URLs for the product and CMS pages. Crucial SEO functions such as the sitemap builder, the automatic generation of meta tags, the integration with Google Analytics and social media are only available with fee-based modules and services

Apps & Extensions

On the PrestaShop marketplace you will find more than 3,000 modules with which you can achieve your business goals, e.g. B. Customize your e-shops, increase data traffic, improve conversion rates and retain customers.

Design

There are more than 3,500 topics on the PrestaShop marketplace. A handy navigator enables you to quickly find the most suitable option by choosing your version, industry, topic language and the required functions, including:

  • Optimized search;
  • Blog;
  • Dynamic shopping cart;
  • Manufacturer and brand representation in the product description;
  • Sliders for goods, brands and manufacturers;
  • Categories menu on the main page.

 

Help & Support

Customer support is available but still expensive. The cheapest support plan is three hours of support a month and costs $ 250.

Prices

PrestaShop is licensed under the Open Software License (OSL) so you can download it for free. You pay when you choose the hosting provider, install a theme and add modules.

 

Conclusion

Each product from this e-commerce platform list has its advantages and disadvantages and is suitable for different retailers.

For small businesses and startups, the best online store builder should be inexpensive and easy to configure. Therefore, it makes sense to choose Shopify, BigCommerce or WooCommerce. As the business grows, you can unlock advanced features by updating the ecommerce platform plan (for Shopify and BigCommerce) and adding plug-ins. After reading the guides and community articles, you can start a small to medium-sized online shop with basic functions and a template-based design. However, to get a full-fledged e-commerce solution on one of these three platforms, you still need the help of experienced developers.

Large companies and e-commerce brands looking for unlimited customization options, complicated functions and full control over the e-shop will find either Magento or PrestaShop the best platform to sell online.

Feel free to share your ideas in the comments below and stay tuned!