Online stores are very popular alternatives if you are in search of a business model that is feasible. They can bring in great benefits to store owners who are after presenting their products to a wider audience. For you to achieve your goal as an online merchant, you must have a good deal of online store solutions and e-commerce tools at your disposal. To help you realize your goal of finding the best e-commerce solution with the least effort possible, the following comparison between the 4 largest e-commerce solutions will enlighten you on what you are to consider when making a choice on the solutions available in the market. The alternatives in consideration here are Shopify, Bigcommerce, WooCommerce and Magento. Which is the Best Ecommerce Platform out of these? Check the comparison below.
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Shopify is suitable for use by online merchants under different levels of development. It can be used by e-commerce beginners or professionals. It offers something unique that each type of online merchant will appreciate. You will appreciate its friendly design that escorts you through the whole process of building a professional and credible e-commerce website if you are a beginner. On the other hand, if you are a professional, the multitude of settings, customizations and options offered by Shopify will certainly impress you.
Shopify’s ease of use is straightforward as everything that you will need to make your e-commerce site fully operational is at your disposal.
Depending on the plan selected, Shopify is priced at $14, $29, $79 and $179 per month.
- Has a responsive structure that lets your site be accessible on all devices, from desktops to mobile phones and tablets, including iOS and Android operating systems.
- It builds a professional e-commerce website that’s stable with all features inclusive, up and running in minutes.
- It offers more than a hundred professional themes.
- It offers features compliant to the e-commerce standards, templates that are fully customizable which are freely provided for use with your account.
- It gives you complete control over the HTML and CSS of your website by supporting code editing.
- The liquid template language provides a flexible layout with dynamic content.
- It is built under the community of Shopify designers who discuss new tips to improve Shopify.
- The streamlined interface gives the ability to add, organize, edit and list products with ease.
- It gives a complete blogging platform.
- It optimizes SEO and marketing through integration of social media, email marketing, product reviews, and discounts.
- It offers unlimited bandwidth.
- Supports site analytics.
- Shopify provides you with free hosting, all you need is to register your account and create your products immediately.
- It gives you the choice of social links and SEOs varieties. This will especially be beneficial to the promotion of your products as well as website.
- The administration panel is user-friendly and looks more contemporary and modern. It is pretty instinctive to users of your online store.
You won’t have more than three product attributes other than size, material and color as Shopify only offers three default attributes to products. For each of the three attributes, you can only add many other options but you cannot create new attributes.
As the name suggests, Bigcommerce is an efficient and effective choice for big enterprises. This is because the platform works perfectly fine on massive installs.
On the ease of use, Bigcommerce implements a similar complexity as Magento in terms of features and settings. However, these features and settings are showcased in a friendlier manner, unlike Magento. The admin area together with its design is user-friendly and modern. It is relatively easy to create an online store with Bigcommerce, which makes it a completely suitable alternative.
Based on the plan, Bigcommerce costs $29.95 and $79.95 a month.
- The e-commerce site is more responsive and can be accessed on all mobile platforms, including smartphones and tablets.
- It offers you an SEO friendly platform.
- It features plenty of design options, including themes, customizable HTML and CSS, and point-&-click tools.
- Supports integration with several accounting, inventory and marketing management systems.
- Gives you the ability to do domain name hook up personally.
- Payment gateways and reports are built-in.
- Bigcommerce’s admin page is very user-friendly and can give you guidance through each step. Its drag and drop builder integration makes this plugin even much easier to use.
- It has plenty of themes to choose from, with free and premium hosting.
- It features a special HTML/CSS code editor which supports coding your themes right on your site. If you are a good programmer, you can design and personalize your themes.
- You get to know your clients better as customer database provides a lot of information on every client.
Despite providing you with plenty of good design features, Bigcommerce doesn’t come with a free plan or an entry plan that is cheap enough for small e-commerce site owners.
If you are planning to use the WordPress platform, then this is the best CMS plugin you can ever need. If you already have your own WordPress site, with self-hosting and everything working perfectly fine, then all you need to do is to install WooCommerce, and that’s all. Otherwise, you will need to create a website from scratch.
WooCommerce is an appealing candid alternative once installed on WordPress e-commerce website. On your dashboard, you can make all your customizations and tests until you are satisfied with the results. So long as you know how to use WordPress, you shouldn’t face any difficulties using this plugin. It is generally user-friendly and works perfectly fine.
This is a completely free e-commerce solution since it is a WordPress plugin.
- It is equipped with customer payment gateways, including PayPal, Cash on Delivery and BACS.
- It also features the free or flat rate shipping options for customers.
- It gives you the ability to configure your tax settings with the tax classes and tax rates of your locale.
- It gives you plenty marketing campaigns, including usage limits, user and product restrictions, and discount options.
- WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, hence available from the website admin.
- Supports user ratings and reviews. Customers can rate and review each product purchased.
- It features courteously ordered reports. The reports are filtered into specific categories such as coupons and sales by date, product, and category.
- It is a free plugin with no premium plans whatsoever. All that is required of you is to download it and add products using your dashboard from WordPress.
- The fact that WordPress comes for free does not guarantee a free hosting as well. Therefore you will be required to pay for your website hosting separately.
- Although it is simple to use, you will have to take care of the setup on your own. The setup process involves downloading and installing WooCommerce on WordPress site, of which if you don’t have, more work is ahead of you.
Magento supports a set of complex options and settings that are essential for the growth of a business, from scratch to stardom. If you are developing an e-commerce site for a big business or enterprise, it will surely offer you with every feature that you can ever need, all on the check list.
Magento is somewhat different from Shopify, as it may take you a little longer to familiarize yourself with its design. It implements an old-fashion design. The admin area can be a little tricky for those who are unfamiliar with CMS’s, hence mostly suitable for advanced users. It is an e-commerce content management system suitable for building a much larger online store.
Magento has two plans, a free one which gives you a free downloadable software, and a premium plan that costs $18,000 per year.
- It offers you a fully responsive structure that works fine in all devices, including Android, iOS, Mac and PC.
- Its design is fully customizable using the templates.
- It provides e-commerce sites with segmentation of customers, merchandising and targeted promotions.
- It also features a great email marketing reminder that is fully automated.
- Magento issues a private sales feature that restricts catalog to particular customers.
- It is an integrated content management system.
- Gives customers several wish lists.
- Creates customer and poll groups.
- It gives you unlimited attributes for products.
- Magento is built with a professional design with information and categories that are well organized to cater for each aspect necessary for building a stable and ideal online store.
- It features a more detailed information and content. Any category you might have interest in gives you plenty of options which will eventually lead to a successful professional e-commerce website.
- It entails a layout that is not much user friendly, hence requires several steps to customize the settings.
- Its design is more of an old forum design which is a little confusing and complicated to users.
- The premium plan is costly for many small business starters to afford.
From the above close look at each of the e-commerce CMS plug-ins, you are sure to find a plan that best suits your demand. To give you a clear insight just in case you are finding trouble choosing a plug-in, Bigcommerce can be really good for you, whether starting or as a professional. It has received plenty of positive reviews from several starters and professionals of e-commerce websites.