The online market is here to stay. Every business must have an online presence to get ahead of their competitors and survive.
If you sell a physical product, running an Ecommerce website can bring your business huge growth, but it has to be done well, right from the start.
There are a multitude of Ecommerce platforms and service providers available, which ones should you work with?
The platform you choose should be able to meet your business requirements, just because it is a popular platform doesn’t mean that it will work for your business.
Platform prices range from the very cheap (often free), up to Enterprise level which can cost tens of thousands. You need to choose a platform based on the size of your company and the support level required.
To give you an idea of the type of Ecommerce platforms and shopping carts available we’ve listed a few of the better ones below.
This is the most used blogging platform on the planet. It’s the most well known and chances are you’ve heard of it even if you don’t work in the digital industry.
What many people don’t realise is that WordPress is completely free and can be used to run an Ecommerce website. There are many WordPress shopping cart plugins available such as WooCommerce.
Running a website on WordPress does require some support and there’s a learning curve, however for entrepreneurs on a budget it’s a great choice.
Used by large and small companies, Magento started off small but in the last decade has grown into an extremely popular and versatile platform. It’s now owned by Ebay, but luckily they have decided to still keep a version completely free.
There are two choices with Magento:
- Run the free version and manage it yourself/pay a design or hosting company to host it for you.
- Buy a licence from Magento and use their Enterprise version, which includes support. This option should only be considered by larger companies.
SaaS (Software as a Service) shopping cart platforms
A business model frequently used by many Ecommerce providers is the monthly subscription. Essentially this model gives you complete support, with the website hosted and managed for you. This can work well for smaller companies but gives you less control if you want to move the website and expand it as you grow.
One of the leaders in this space is Shopify, who are rated high by current customers.
If all of this is starting to get confusing, you can employ the services of a marketing company to help you make the right decision, click here to find out more about them.
For large companies with high turnover there are Enterprise services. These services aren’t recommended if you’re just starting out in the online space. We’ve already mentioned Magento, two other companies who offer high end services for larger businesses are Adobe and IBM.