The 3 Best Ecommerce Website Platforms for Small Business

If you're starting an ecommerce business (or already run a brick-and-mortar business that you are looking to expand online) choosing the right ecommerce platform can quickly become painfully confusing.

With such a wide range of platform choices (and prices) out there in the wild, how can you be sure that the ecommerce software that you choose is right for your small business?

To save you the headaches, we've narrowed it down to our 3 favorite options below:

(in no particular order)

1.) Shopify

Shopify is the "grandaddy" of easy-to-use ecommerce platforms, offering a comprehensive list of features that allow you to manage and grow your business, all in one place.

Some of the best features include:

Customizable online storefront

Simple payment processing

Integrated hosting

Inventory management

Comprehensive reporting and analytics

Customer relationship management system (CRM)

With monthly plans ranging from $ 29 – $ 299, the platform is reasonably priced, albeit on the slightly more expensive side.

Downsides of the platform lie primarily with the payment processing fees, with an additional transaction fee being applied if you choose to use a payment processor besides the proprietary Shopify payments system.

Additionally, many of the extensions available in the app store come with a price tag, which can begin to add up over time.

Overall, the Shopify platform has been designed with beginner users in mind, allowing almost anyone with a basic tech knowledge to run their own ecommerce site with ease.

Rating: 4.5 / 5

2.) WooCommerce

WooCommerce is developed to run specifically on WordPress, as a plugin, rather than a stand-alone platform. This allows you to turn almost any WordPress website into a fully functioning eCommerce platform, and best of all, its free!

Features include:

Simple WordPress integration

Basic inventory management

Auto tax calculation

Sales reporting

Mobile app access

Now, although the basic WooCommerce plugin itself is free to use on any WordPress site, be aware that this lacks much of the additional functionality of the more costly rivals. If you want to add functionality such as Stripe payment processing less common shipping options, it will cost extra.

Overall, WooCommerce is a great option if you already have a WordPress website setup, or are looking to build your new store on the platform and want a free and easy to use system.

Rating: 3.5 / 5

3.) BigCommerce

BigCommerce is another heavy-hitter in the ecommerce space, boasting big-ticket clients such as Ford and Toyota in their portfolio.

As a small business ecommerce platform, BigCommerce is a major contender for first place, with an extensive feature set, and easy integrations with multiple sales channels.

Features include:

No transaction fees

Responsive storefront themes

Multi-channel integration (Sell through eBay, Google, Facebook etc)

Excellent tech support

On the downside, despite not charging transaction fees like most other platforms, BigCommerce instead places a "Sales threshold" on each of their plans. This means that if your store exceeds the nominal revenue figure, you are forced to upgrade your plan to accommodate. Although not an unreasonable model, it is something to take into account.

Overall, BigCommerce is a feature-rich platform that gives store owners a powerful arsenal of tools at a similar price point to other major players. Their unique "no transaction fee" model can be a cashflow saver for new startups!

Rating: 4/5

The Bottom Line

With such a mind-boggling array of ecommerce platform choices on offer, it's important to focus on your budget, target audience, and business goals when choosing the platform to build (or migrate) your ecommerce business.

Keep it simple by listing your main requirements, then review the top 3 – 5 options, starting with the trusted big names. By whittling down the options and staying focused on your needs (whilst ignoring the "bells and whistles" you will find it much easier to find the platform for you.

4 Powerful Reasons to Opt for a Mobile App in eCommerce Business

Long gone are those days when using smart phones was a part of leading a luxurious life. Nowadays, most of the tech-savvy people owns smartphones and tends to do most of the things using it. For instance, ordering foods, booking movie tickets, doing banking jobs, checking out new places to visit – everything becomes easier using an effective mobile application. eCommerce business is no exception in this case. Here is a list of 4 persuasive reasons to opt for such apps in the eCommerce business industry.

#1 Improved Brand Loyalty

Installing an app does not mean offering the users a better shopping experience only. It makes sure to build a strong bond with the brand as well. When a customer is installing an application, it means he or she has that trust on the brand and he or she is installing it so that they can continue to shop from that particular brand in future as well. The improved brand loyalty is clearly a potential sign of business growth.

#2 Secured and Easy Payment Options

Online shopping means the customers have to pay either by debit card or by credit card for the things they buy online. Now, such card details obviously involve very sensitive customer information. Hence, until and unless customers are sure that sharing such details with your brand would not do any harm, they won’t buy from you. When you devise a potent mobile app for your eCommerce business, it comes up with more secure and easier payment options than the website. Now, when the customers would find the payment options more reliable, they would buy from your brand resulting in business growth for you.

#3 Online Shopping is Easier

Today, everyone is so busy with their lives that people look for time-efficient ways to buy necessary things. Using an effective mobile application, shopping becomes remarkably easier and faster. The customers just have to scroll through the mobile screen, choose the products they want, add them to their respective shopping carts and checkout by paying the total payable amount. Only a few clicks are enough to get what they want to buy and they can shop anytime they want. Thus, doing shopping using various eCommerce mobile apps is becoming extremely popular.

#4 Better Customer Relationship

This is an undeniable fact that an effective mobile eCommerce app is capable of maintaining better customer relationship. The more you can interact with your customers, the more they would be able to state their issues on your services or products and thus, you can improve those shortcomings. It would definitely help you to enhance quality of your services. Moreover, if the customers have any kind of queries, with the help of the effective interaction system available in the mobile app, they can state it and according to that, you can reciprocate to it. Thus, you can make your customers happy and satisfied and that is indication of business prosperity.

According to a recently made survey, the rate of online shopping using mobile apps is increasing following an exponential graph. Hence, this is clearly understandable that this is the new market trend. Hence, to cope up with the trend and to sustain successfully in this competing business market, an eCommerce business needs a dynamic and potent mobile application.

Mobile Application Necessity For Your Ecommerce Business

Why do we need mobile applications for eCommerce? These are some of the most common questions that can be answered by smart consumers and mobile application development companies. Android, Windows, and iOS platform development have fetched more than $ 100 Billion worldwide. Mobile technology has become the need of the hour.

Irrespective of the digital distribution service operator Ie Google Play or Apple store, we can book a cab, make a payment, post a review on a restaurant, search new restaurants nearby, search important places, book movie tickets, shop 24/7, calculate currency exchange, calculate our BMI, change mobile wallpapers and much more. Businesses have acknowledged the fact that more than 3 billion customers use smartphones that have quality apps. E-commerce giants like FlipKart, Snapdeal, Amazon, Paytm, Myntra have made customized mobile applications for their customers so that they can browse through their exclusive products, view and add to cart, pay securely and get push notifications on new product arrivals and discounts . The advent of these applications has helped business owners build a loyal customer database and offer them best products and services by analyzing their Application performance, thus fulfilling their mission of sales and marketing. There are many benefits of developing a mobile application for eCommerce, of which, these are the main ones:

1. Usability & Speed: Unlike a web page, mobile applications can be downloaded in a jiffy, depending upon broadband or mobile data speed. There is 100% chance of getting an improved design and interactivity feature within the app after the initial download, HD visuals, animations can be a part of it. For example, products can be zoomed in and viewed at a time when a user is traveling or attending a meeting and can quickly show the product to his / her client. For eCommerce stores, showing products in grid view is an added plus. After download, a lot of the functionality works relatively quicker in the app than in a website.

2. Built-in Features: Mobile Applications can sync with your smart phone's inbuilt features like Camera, location / GPS, Microphone etc. You can now let your customers turn to sellers by letting them use their phone's camera, take pictures of new products and upload them on your app after your approval. Location / GPS services work best in calculating your user's current location and letting you offer relevant products and services nearby their location.

3. Push Notifications: These notifications remind your customers of an ongoing sale or festive bonanza, special discount etc. But be careful not to overuse them as they provoke anger due to repetition. Alternatively, you can set an option for them in the app for them to receive notifications as per the duration they set up – alert management.

4. Brand Management – Through a mobile application, business owners can attract repeat customers, unlike websites. This is because the loading time is lesser and product view and engagement is deeper than a mobile website. The biggest advantage of purchasing through the app is the ability to save time and frustration of choosing one product after roaming in 4-5 shops, physically. Best of the lot is fetched to them on user-friendly applications.

The real purpose of building the mobile application is to simplify the lives of users, no matter which industry it is made for. If you are wondering where to begin in mobile application development, contact web development and mobile application development experts today!

How To Begin An Ecommerce Business – Risk Free

Many people ecommerce to be a highly expensive and risky type of business to get into but this need not be the case at all. An ecommerce business can easily be successfully started at practically no cost and with minimal risk if it is approached correctly.

The main reason why this type of business is often considered to be very expensive and very often risky is because people are inclined to hand over all of the responsibility of setting up their ecommerce business to the ‘gurus or experts’ and that can easily turn into a very costly and risky affair as they personally have no control over the outcome of the project.

I however know and have proven that by applying the correct Wealth Creator Strategies™, one is able to create and run extremely profitable ecommerce businesses which cost you practically nothing to establish and you are able to do this with minimum risk should you just be willing to put in the time and the effort to develop a Wealth Creators mindset.

You need to understand that being a Wealth Creator is all about being willing to take absolute responsibilities for your own business and investment decisions. In other words you need to be willing to take the time to invest in yourself in order to be in complete control of any of your business or investment ventures.

The moment you are able to actually understand the ins and outs of a ecommerce business completely and are able to take responsibility for its success or failure, then you will be taking the power back which the ‘experts and gurus’ have over your business and will then be able to take full responsibility for your own decisions.

This truly is the essence of being a Wealth Creator and being able to succeed in not only an ecommerce business, but literally any business or investment venture which you choose to enter into.

When it comes to Internet Marketing, ecommerce, investments or business decisions your ability to apply Wealth Creators Strategies™ and the Formula for Riches® is what will most likely be the most important factor in the chances of your business or investment being successful.

This is a Universal Law and will not change no matter what type of business venture you are looking at getting involved in, so as always I will say that taking the time to invest in yourself is essential when it comes to being successful in an ecommerce business.

5 Tips to Run an Ecommerce Business

If you want to outgrow your competitors in business, know that it won’t be easy. If you want to know how to run your e-commerce business properly, you should have a powerful strategy in place. Given below are a few tips that may help you achieve success as an e-commerce business owner. By following these tips, your chance of achieving success as an online business owner will be higher.

Use SEO For Better Ranking

It’s really difficult to profit from your e-commerce business if your website or store doesn’t show up high in search results. In other words, your website should be ranked for common keywords that prospective buyers may search for when buying online.

Suppose you deal in clothing for kids. Now, if you search for “kids clothing” or children clothing”, your website should show up on first page of search results. According to Optify, most internet users choose to browse first three websites on a search engine results page.

Focus on Mobile

Mobile internet users are increasing day by day. As a matter of fact, most people of today use their phones instead of bulky laptops to search for their desired products online.

If you want to get a higher market share, we suggest that you focus on mobile. According to statistics, the number of mobile users is higher than desktop computer users. So, make sure you get your website optimized for mobile phones.

Embrace social media

If you are not using social media websites, you may lose a lot of business opportunities. As a matter of fact, social media plays a great role as far as growing e-commerce business is concerned.

If you choose the best social media strategy, reaching a wide audience will be easier for you. Aside from this, make sure your online store includes links to your social media pages.

Quality of service

Online buyers have an idea of the quality of customer service of an online store based on a few factors. Some of the important factors include refund process, product delivery, and product questions and so on. You may want to make sure that buyers don’t have any problems related to any of these areas. Not handling these issues will mean bad reviews from customers on review websites and forums.

If you want to make sure that customers won’t get mad at you, you may want to put together a powerful business strategy by keeping your goals, resource and needs in mind. After all, the success of your business is based on the satisfaction level of your customers.

Conclusion

Today, most of e-commerce startups don’t achieve success because they don’t have the right strategy in place. They don’t follow the main practices that are a must for success in today’s online marketplace.

Long story short, if you follow the tips mentioned above, your chance of achieving success as an e-commerce business owner will be higher. This way your business will be more likely to run circles around your competitors and you will have a larger market share.