Choosing the right platform for an online store – a very important decision for future owners of an e-commerce site. Especially if the budget is limited, and today there are lots of various solutions. Remember that the choice of platform will affect whether the online store will be successful or not.
What should you pay attention to while choosing a CMS?
There are the points to be taken into account when making a plan for creating an online store. These significant factors will help you make a decision regarding the choice of the e-commerce platform that will suit you better.
- Basic functionality
- Frequency of updates
- Ease of using an admin panel
- Flexibility of customization
- Extensive content management capabilities
- Wide community
Nowadays the number of existing platforms for is very large, so we decided to make an overview of 5 the most well-known e-commerce marketplace software.
Magento is an open source CMS that has 2 editions: Magento Community that is free and Magento Enterprise that is rather expensive. The main advantage – a huge number of opportunities out of the box. It’s impossible to create an online store without a professional developer, but, having a specialist, you will be able to get a really powerful tool for relatively little money. More than 100.000 Internet shops were created using this CMS, third-party developers created more than 2.000 extensions, the community of the CMS has about 375.000 participants.
- huge built-in functionality;
- scalability and extensibility;
- a huge number of extensions, modules, and templates that are either free of charge or are cheap;
- it is possible to make several online shops and manage them via one admin panel;
- different currencies can be used, and in addition, they can be easily converted if there is such a necessity;
- the possibility of search engine optimization
- CMS Magento requires high-quality hosting. The company developer reports that the RAM in web hosting should be at least 256 MB.
- the admin panel can turn out to be not easy
- the system is rather complex and requires professional developers to make it customized.
- There’s no sense using Magento for rather small ecommerce platforms with several products.
WooCommerce is an open-source free plug-in that runs on the basis of the famous multi-purpose WordPress platform. A little more than a third of all existing stores existing on the Internet were developed using WooCommerce and this is neither more nor less than 1 million trading platforms. Impressive, isn’t it? And it’s not surprising, because WooCommerce – one of the most stable platforms for eCommerce, which can be very simple to configure, and also it is constantly expanded and improved.
- Simple to set up. It is enough to download and activate the plug-in itself, and then add a few lines to the used template to enable Woocommerce support.
- the possibility of search engine optimization
- A large number of low-cost add-ons and templates.
- A huge community of WordPress support.
- May be unsuitable for medium and large business companies, as well as for companies planning an expansion.
- After installing the plug-in on WordPress, the load on your site will seriously grow. If you use a weak hosting, this will lead to an increase in page load time;
- Inaccurate translation. Localization, presented by default, in terms of quality, will be weaker than a specialized translation;
- Possible conflicts. The need to install various plug-ins, to edit and change something, can cause one add-on to conflict with another. So when customizing and expanding the functionality, most likely, you will have to contact the specialists.
Shopify is one of the marketplace software that is more likely to come to your mind when trying to think about an online platform for e-commerce. It has a free trial for 14 days and 3 paid plans depending on functionality. More than 600.000 web stores use Shopify, which makes it one of the most well-known ones.
- A lot of add-ons, as well as a number of attractive and professional templates for a design of the webstore.
- 24-hour customer support is available by phone, online chat or by email.
- support of search engine optimization
- The cost of work can be a little higher, compared to other platforms.
- The UI of the admin panel may seem a bit difficult at first.
It is a free open source e-commerce platform. It is suitable for small and medium businesses, more than 230.000 web stores were created using this solution. The Prestashop community currently has more than 500.000 people.
- A friendly user interface of the administration panel
- Rich Functionality
- The flexibility of settings and solutions
- Integrated SEO modules
- Easy installation on site
- Insufficient documentation on the Internet
- Difficulties in configuring the server part and optimizing
- A small number of additional modules, templates, components
The easiest CMS to configure – you simply install it, configure the template, add products, and start accepting orders. Of course, it needs to be finalized for specific requirements. But many users say that for a small business this is the best CMS for an online store. OpenCart is an solution that is well suited for beginners in e-commerce.
- support of an unlimited number of products and categories;
- convenient admin interface;
- built-in customer-friendly options: product reviews/ratings, coupons, and promotional codes;
- easy to start;
- more than 2200 themes (paid and free).
- Functional and simple editor
- Ability to track data on sales, products, consumer preferences and advertising effectiveness (without using CRM)
- There are some difficulties with creating your own pages, for example, a contact form;
- Basic functionality;
- Problems with updates;
- Minimal support even for paid add-ons.
- insufficient standard features for SEO optimization. For example, in the basic configuration, create a sitemap.
Choosing a marketplace software for your business is an important and interesting stage. We have written about 5 the most well-known CMSs, but in addition to these platforms, there are so many solutions for b2b marketplace software with its advantages and disadvantages. It is necessary to think about all the pros and cons in order to choose the most suitable software for the online store since it’s not an easy thing to change the platform after the launch of a webstore. That’s why we recommend you to choose 2 or 3 platforms and try to work with them. If it is a free solution, there won’t be any problem. If it is a paid one, usually it has a free trial period (about 14 days). Make sure it is easy to use and it meets all your requirements. Hope our overview will help you make a right choice and your business will prosper.