Great things happened between 1971 and 1972. The rock band Queen was formed, the first-ever email was sent, Starbucks opened its first store, and Walt Disney World officially opened its doors in Florida. Equally importantly, the ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) was used to arrange a sale between students and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – which is considered to be the fundamental act of eCommerce as we know it.
Today, eCommerce (electronic commerce) is defined as being the electronic trade of products over the Internet. Consumers love the idea of having everything one click away. As a result thereof, the opportunity to profit from goods delivered at doorsteps is booming. So much so, that the industry has generated over twenty-nine trillion dollars in transactions during 2017.
– The Best Options Available
What’s considered to be the best eCommerce platform depends on your goals. Some are better for small businesses, while others are best for enterprises. Here’s our list of top eCommerce platforms:
- BigCommerce: best for scaling your business.
- Wix: best for visual appeal.
- Volusion: best for SEO and marketing.
- Weebly: best for beginners.
- Shopify: best for its app market.
- Strikingly: best for one-page storefronts.
- Ecwid: best for website integration.
– What Essentials to Look Out For
There are a few reasons why you’d choose one eCommerce platform over another. More often than not, it’s because of the features and functionality offered that’ll best fit your needs. Let’s run through some of them quickly.
A Large Variety Of Templates
Choosing a template for your store is one of the first steps taken when shopping around. It is the face of your website, after all. Your site gets one chance to make a first impression, so it’s vital to make a good one that’ll last. Free templates are available, and paying for a theme is a one-time purchase if you decide to go that route.
Easy Website Customization
It’s important to factor in how much customization you may need, like constructing your storefront, for example. Many allow for more complex customization, whereas others are ideally suited for one-page storefronts.
Sales Tools that Work
Tools like abandoned cart recovery, where automated emails are sent to customers, are excellent. Some platforms automatically sell across other channels like Amazon, eBay, Facebook, and elsewhere. And having more payment processors to sell to international markets is vital for different currencies.
Practical Business Management Tools
You need tools to help you manage your shipping & inventory, analytics, etc. As an example, marketing via social media should be a feature at the top of your essentials list.
Variety of Apps & Extensions
More apps and extensions mean that you get the functionality needed to manage and grow your business. Apps can be expensive, so you don’t want to have to rely on premium ones for basic features.
– All of the Research Done For You
There are many factors to consider while shopping around for an eCommerce platform. Some excel at customization and design, while others offer more flexibility and tools.
One resource comes to mind when thinking about eCommerce, and this resource saves a ton of time when shopping around for the best eCommerce option. Website Advisor offers tips, tricks, and thorough reviews while making fair comparisons between several of the best eCommerce platforms available on the Internet today.