Choosing the best platform to create an online store business can cause you a big headache if you do not have much knowledge on the subject.
For this reason, today we prepared this article to explain the 4 most used platforms today and to make you reflect on which one best suits your business.
People are stopping shopping in commercial plazas and department stores and we start shopping in online stores.
According to a report by We Are Social with HootSuite, in 2018, a profit of 3 billion dollars was generated thanks to online sales. We have to know the platforms that exist to create our online store and be able to enter the world of e-commerce.
You can create a website from scratch, but there are also many platforms that, like everything else, have their advantages and disadvantages depending on what your online store needs, it will be better to use one or the other. Choosing a platform can be complicated when you do not know about it.
If you have thought about starting with your own online store, surely you have had to think a lot about where you should do it.
The good and the bad of the most used platforms to create online stores
As we discussed at the beginning, there are many platforms to create online stores, but what is the ideal? We present the platforms most used today to create your online store. You can find the pros and cons of each platform.
Shopify has the fastest growth seen on any other platform. Today, it has about 500,000 active stores on the platform.
Here are some features that make it the most popular platform these days – and the negative too.
- Its interface is very practical. It is so practical that you can quickly add products, customize the website and more.
- It has more than 100 templates. The themes found in the Shopify store are professionally designed for free and paid for. You can also customize them according to your store or your company.
- Wide configuration option. It has a large Apps store where you can choose and customize the functionality of your store.
- Support any time and any day. If you need help with something, this is something you will need. Shopify can support you by phone, live chat, and email.
- Business plan with rapid growth: it has the functionality to handle a large amount of traffic, making the website special and practical at the same time.
- Easy search You can find apps or ads in the easiest way, that will make you worry less if you need something for your website.
- Extensive information base: by having the largest number of users, more information traffic is generated.
- Transactional charge for each sale. In addition to the monthly service charge, Shopify generates a transaction charge depending on the plan. If you want to withdraw these charges, you have to use the payment method of Shopify.
- You need to know about programming. For more advanced settings, Shopify uses very technical language, which means that you have to hire someone to make changes quickly. If not, you’ll have to start being an expert in Shopify.
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Magento is an e-commerce platform acquired by eBay. The platform has more than 250,000 merchandise worldwide.
Magento has a community of 150,000 developers who attribute the good development of the platform and the construction of extensions.
- It has tools for the automation of tasks. Magento allows automating tasks so that it is not difficult to execute them.
- Open and flexible source. Magento has a community with more than 150,000 developers and specialists at your disposal who work on software improvements and extensions.
- A large number of extensions. If there is any functionality that you want to add to your online store, there is no doubt that there is an extension that you can buy from Magento in its extension store.
- Infinite features. You can make different stores in different countries, different target markets and brands with different prices, content and payment methods since you install Magento.
- Free community versions Magento has a free community for small and medium businesses.
- Difficulty and consumption of time to personalize. The platform will show you how to use Magento. However, having many configurations, people who do not have technical knowledge beyond the basics, will need the help of a developer.
- The business version is expensive. While the PyMes version is free, if you want something more professional, it can be a bit expensive.
- Expensive maintenance, Needless to say, Magento is the most expensive platform on the list
- You need to buy a hosting. The hosting has an additional cost to the version you choose and the extensions.
WooComerce is a plugin that works only with WordPress. In 2015, Woocommerce was acquired by Automattic, the company behind WordPress. To date, it has 380,000 online stores.
- It’s free The Woocommerce plugin is free from the WordPress store.
- Flexible and open source. WooCommerce has a large number of developers and agencies that create extensions.
- A large number of extensions. If there is some kind of feature or functionality that you want to add to your online store, WooCommerce has extensions that you can buy in your own store.
- Easy to configure It is much easier to have an online store here and run it, with very little administration cost than other platforms.
- Easy to customize WooCommerce is designed to work with any type of WordPress theme, of which there are hundreds of different and free themes.
- Ideal for content marketing. As it is based on WordPress, you can take advantage of the tools used to personalize the blog and build your own brand.
- Work with WordPress. Anyone using WordPress will find it very easy to manage WooCommerce.
- You personalize the products. You can edit the size of the product images, include descriptions, prices, and other settings.
- It can be expensive. The more extensions you add to your online store, the more you will pay through your monthly or annual subscription.
- Does not include hosting. You will have to be careful with the hosting and maintenance settings when doing it yourself. Although, hiring a person to do this point can be very helpful.
- It is not easy to customize for new users. While basic customizations are easy to configure, if at any time you want to change it, you probably need the help of a developer.
Prestashop is a free and open source platform that started in 2005. Currently, it has 250,000 online stores worldwide.
PrestaShop can be downloaded and used for free. The extensions are those that have an extra cost.
- Easy to install and configure. All you need to do is download the software and update it on your host. Prestashop also comes with a very friendly interface that gives you a quick view of the status of your store.
- Available in 60 languages. The main language of PrestaShop is English and French, however, you can configure your store to have another language.
- A hundred of contents. The official PrestaShop store has 350,000 configurations modules and themes that will improve the experience of your online store.
- Community and support. PrestaShop has a very active user community. If you need technical help, there are FAQ forums, it has online user guides and a forum.
- It’s free And, in addition, it does not have any monthly subscription or transaction charges.
- You can include a blog. PrestaShop gives you the option to include a blog to your online store for free.
- Creation of pop-up windows The platform has the ability to show your products through pop-up windows, so users will not lose the main page or where they saw the product.
- The extensions are very expensive. Adding some extensions or configurations for better functionality can cost up to thousands of dollars.
- It is very easy to climb. If what you are looking for is a platform for a large business, look elsewhere.
- Technical support is paid. If you need help to set up your online store or diagnose a technical problem, you need to pay for the support or if you do not look for the solution in the user forums.
- The designs and the templates are not so formal. In comparison to the platforms we have talked about, PrestaShop has not so professional designs to carry out electronic commerce with large companies.
What platform to create your online store is better for you?
If you want to start and have an online store quickly, the best option is Shopify.
It is not only because the company offers a large number of configurations, but because of the designs, they offer since they are many and they look very professional.
I would have no problem recommending this platform to someone who wants to start in the e-commerce industry.
If you already have an established company and accounts with developers or have the capital to contract, Magento is a good option for your company.
It is very suitable for large companies that need a business-grade software and that they are happy to pay for the proper development and management of the website.
If your company already has a website through WordPress and you are looking to boost the website or expand your business by opening an online store, the only solution is WooCommerce.
It is the best way to add a fully customizable store to your site. Simply install the WooCommerce add-on as you would any other WordPress add-on, and you will get a new section on your site for products and orders.
No matter how many cross-platform comparison articles you read, the only person who knows which platform fits the needs of your store is you. Remember that the platform you choose should allow you to sell the products you offer in the best possible way.
Now, based on the recommendations we read earlier, feel free to choose a few platforms, enter and discover what each of them offers. You can start using the free trial of one or two so you can see which one works best for your online store. That easy!
We also recommend you to read this article: http://seattlegreekamericans.com/business-owners/