In the 21st Century, anywhere technology is involved, the growths are exponential. E-commerce is no different. The extent of the growth is so massive that global sales are expected to hit $4.5 trillion by 2021. In the US alone, 51% of the population prefers to shop online and 96% have made an online purchase once in their lives. These numbers are only expected to grow as time passes and advancements in technology emerge.
A more alarming statistic is that while e-commerce is growing 23% year by year, 46% of small American businesses don’t even have a website. This means that they are missing out on substantial traffic and revenues for their products or services. However, for those looking to create an e-commerce website for their business, we discuss how to pick the most appropriate platform for your needs and the best ones currently available in the market.
How to pick an effective platform
There are a few things that need to be considered when choosing a platform, to establish an e-commerce website. While the more detailed elements might vary from business to business, there are a few key elements that remain the same across the board. These include:
- Know your requirements: Understanding your target market, the product or service you wish to sell, the customer experience vision and other respective market dynamics is extremely important. Every platform offers different features that seem centered on one aspect. Knowing what you need will effectively help you choose the best option.
- Performance is king: Customers prefer websites and e-commerce platforms that are optimized for greater performance. This is because today no one likes waiting around for things to load. Therefore, always place performance at the top of the evaluation checklist.
There is a vast amount of e-commerce platforms available on the internet that help businesses achieve their objectives effectively. Some of the best are listed below:
Established in 2004, Shopify has rapidly grown to become one of the top choices in the field of e-commerce. The Canadian-based platform offers a number of exciting features like user-friendly interfaces and social shopping where users can easily integrate their social media profiles and shop through them.
Currently running more than 55,000 stores, BigCommerce is another widely used platform. It houses large-scale organizations like Toyota on its platform. The system is so widely used because it provides a wide variety of built-in features to help add functionality to your store. However, it has certain drawbacks as it lacks multi-vendor support and the number of themes is limited to seven.
A WordPress plugin, WooCommerce is by far one of the most popular e-commerce platforms available today. Since it is available on WordPress, the possibilities are endless because of the load of plug-ins that the platform offers for almost every operation and feature. Furthermore, performance is a strong point for WooCommerce because it is backed by a team of quality developers, who have been tested and proven to be effective.
Every e-commerce platform has some merits and demerits. A business has to keep its requirements and objectives before them in order to pick the best fit for their operations.