The Choice of ECommerce Platform Makes a Big Difference for Your Business
For a startup in eCommerce, the choice of eCommerce platform is certainly one of the biggest decisions facing the new business. Sometimes the sheer number of eCommerce platforms available can be daunting, not to mention determining the right one for a brand new company. However, every online store needs a checkout solution, and the eCommerce platform you choose directly and regularly impacts the customer experience.
Additionally, the decision can significantly impact your bottom line and sales potential. This fact makes it important to choose a platform wisely. The final determination on an eCommerce platform often involves consideration of your growth, business model, target customers, and type of product. Still, certain eCommerce platforms are better suited to the world of startups.
Choosing the Household Name in ECommerce Platforms for Startups
Shopify is probably the most well-known eCommerce storefront out there. It has a long-standing reputation for crossing markets and industries in regards to the companies that have been able to find success using this eCommerce platform. Shopify also has a strong reputation as the go-to platform for new businesses. So, what does Shopify offer a startup business that helps set it apart from other eCommerce platforms?
Shopify’s beginnings are actually rooted in the world of small businesses and startups. The founder was a frustrated eCommerce entrepreneur. He felt the offerings of eCommerce platforms and online storefronts back in 2004 were lackluster when it came to customization and support of new online merchants. Therefore, Shopify was started on the principles that new, online entrepreneurs deserved something more robust and customizable. Basically, an online storefront that could actually reflect the business behind it.
A big part of this commitment to individuality is reflected in Shopify’s extensive theme library. Not only does the eCommerce platform’s library offer a great number of different themes, but there is also extensive customization options within each theme. These characteristics allow a startup to build an online store that has character, an attractive design, and most importantly, that showcases the brand.
Another motivating reason for a new business to select Shopify over other eCommerce platforms is its attention to the reduction of shopping cart abandonment. Shopify provides built in tools, such as automatic emails and reporting, that allow a new eCommerce company to target shoppers who came extremely close to making a purchase. Sometimes, all these customers need is a reminder of the items left in an online shopping cart to return and finalize the purchase. As a developed eCommerce platform, Shopify provides extra support that a new business might not otherwise incorporate into its online store.
Going With a Different ECommerce Platform for Your New Business
Of course, Shopify isn’t the right online storefront for every business. The number of eCommerce platforms that have gained popularity in recent years is a testament to the need for a business to find the right fit, instead of gravitating towards the most well-known option. Among the alternative platforms a startup should consider is BigCommerce.
For a brand new business, BigCommerce makes a lot of sense. The benefits begin with the user interface. BigCommerce designed an admin panel that is user-friendly, even for an entrepreneur with no tech experience. This eCommerce platform makes it easy for a new merchant to navigate the software. Also, from the start BigCommerce requires very little coding experience. It is possible to increase storefront functionality directly through the BigCommerce “app store” and the installation of helpful plugins is notably simple.
BigCommerce isn’t lacking in options and eCommerce tools. There is a focus on responsive designs and multi-channel selling, such as integration with Amazon. BigCommerce built its business on providing an extensive array of eCommerce tools for a single monthly fee. In fact, despite the straightforward interface, BigCommerce offers the most individual tools to new businesses among the major eCommerce platforms.
What About Magento for a Startup ECommerce Business?
The drawback of Magento for startups is this complexity. Other eCommerce platforms are focused on facilitating straightforward setup and solutions. Meanwhile, Magento requires more advanced knowledge and a greater time commitment. Magento’s pricing can also be a negative point for many new online store. For these reasons, Magento works best for eCommerce companies doing three million or more in online sales annually.
In some instances Magento 1 or Magento 2 could be the right fit for a startup. First, Magento has a lot to offer a fast growing company of any size. Among the popular platforms, Magento is probably the eCommerce platform best designed to expand with your business. Simply, Magento is more scalable.
Why is Magento great for a fast-growing startup? It is highly programmable, which makes it easy to make business-specific changes to the platform and customize your store completely. As your online store gains traction and customers, there is less need to consider another online storefront or migration to a new eCommerce platform. The result is fewer disruptions to your day-to-day business.
Second, there is a colossal number of plugins that integrate with Magento to provide customer data and feedback. In fact, there are over 9,000 plug-ins that increase Magento’s functionality. These tools, when used properly, give a new business advantages over the competition. Lastly, Magento is great for multi-channel commerce. Whether it is integration with Amazon, Jet.Com, or even a brick and mortar location, Magento is designed to handle tracking and reporting across many sales channels.
An eCommerce entrepreneur without any programming or previous web development skills will want to invest substantial time into learning Magento or find an expert Magento developer, such as 1Digital Agency.
Need Assistance With Your eCommerce Platform?
When it comes to design and development of your eCommerce platform, 1Digital Agency in Philadelphia is the best partner for your startup. Our team members are experts in eCommerce and regularly work with brand new businesses. Whether you need guidance on choosing the right eCommerce platform for your specific business, custom branding design, or help with programming the platform, 1Digital Agency can help.
We have designed hundreds of online stores using the different eCommerce platforms, including Shopify, Magento, BigCommerce, Volusion, 3DCart and others. See our portfolio for a look at how 1Digital Agency works with startups and businesses of all sizes.
- Natalie Nako
- August 24, 2017