E-commerce Series – Part 3
What is eCommerce Platform? Which are the best eCommerce Platforms?
What is eCommerce Platforms?
eCommerce websites, usually referred to as online storefronts, allow shoppers to browse through the merchant’s product catalog and purchase products online.
eCommerce software allows merchants to display a product catalog and conduct transactions online. Most eCommerce transactions are B2C (business-to-consumer). Some also support more complex B2B (business-to-business) transactions with contract negotiation features.
Hosted eCommerce platforms include a set of pre-made templates and themes for storefront design. The best eCommerce software for your online business depends on use cases. There are many different aspects of an online storefront that different eCommerce products may focus on:
· Displaying multiple versions (e.g., colors and sizes) of the same item
· Managing larger inventories
· Representing digital versus physical products
· Managing multiple stores
eCommerce Platforms Features & Capabilities
· Online storefront
· Product catalog
· Online shopping cart
· Online payment system or integration with a payment gateway
· Order fulfillment and shipping management
· Merchant interface/dashboard
· eCommerce marketing tools
· eCommerce business management
· Customer behavior analytics and reporting
· Integrations (e.g. CRM, ERP, email marketing, payment gateway, etc)
Which are the best eCommerce Platforms?
1) BigCommerce – BigCommerce is a SaaS platform that allows SMBs to develop eCommerce sites. Features include the capabilities to design the storefront, configure products, manage payments, generate traffic, and optimize conversion.
2) Shopify – Shopify is a commerce platform designed for both online stores and retail locations. Shopify offers a professional online storefront, a payment solution to accept credit cards, and the Shopify POS application to power retail sales.
3) WooCommerce – WooCommerce is an eCommerce plugin for WordPress, developed by WooThemes (recently acquired by Automattic). Like WordPress, it is designed to be an extendable, adaptable, open-sourced platform. WooCommerce allows merchants to sell physical products, downloadables, or services.
4) Magento – Magento is an open-source e-commerce platform written in PHP. It uses multiple other PHP frameworks such as Laminas and Symfony. Magento source code is distributed under Open Software License
5) Wix – Wix is a free, hosted website builder, designed to be user-friendly and customizable without requiring coding from the user. It is well-known for its eCommerce solution, which allows users to build an online store.