Have you decided to open an online shop but you don’t know where to start?
To choose a platform for an online shop is always a challenge for most businessmen. For this retailers could use free or paid CMS. However, there is a big difference between them. Free platforms have limited number of pages, no access to FTP and few plugins. First of all, it is necessary to pay special attention to the design of an online shop's website because this is the face of the company. In addition, the adaptive design gives the opportunity for buyers to purchase from their mobile devices and tablets. The success of an online shop depends upon its technical realization that includes functionality and settings. One more important issue is usability of website catalog. The functions of adding goods to the catalog and its management should be simple and convenient. It this article you will find the most popular platforms for online-shops that should be considered in 2017.
Shopify is a platform used for more than 300 000 online shops all over the world. It provides such functions as social commerce and mobile shopping, so it meets all the current requirements. This platform has more than 100 store themes to choose from, more than 1500 apps that may help retailers to extend the store's functionality. Moreover, this platform allows selling directly from your Facebook profile. This CMS has 24/7 support and community forum. However, Shopify has several drawbacks. First, if sellers do not use Shopify Payment system, Shopify adds additional transaction fee. Second, Shopify has its own coding language. So, if retailers want to customize this system, they should pay the additional cost. Shopify is still a great solution for freshmen in e-commerce sphere. It is suitable for different budgets because there are different packages, which range from $29 to $299/month. Yet if you are looking for CMS with unique features and functionalities, you should look somewhere else.
BigCommerce was launched in 2009 and by now it hosts more than 55 000 online stores. BigCommerce is the significant software provider for e-commerce field. This platform is suitable for both small and big online stores. With many plugins, this CMS is a great solution for those, who don’t want to mess with the code. BigCommerce includes such functions as coupons, shipping, newsletters, tax, analytics and others. Unlike Shopify, BigCommerce does not charge additional transaction fees. All free and paid themes are adaptive to mobile devices. It could be integrated with Google shopping, eBay and Facebook.
In addition to setup wizard, this CMS has educational videos and extensive guides with visual representations. The only drawback is a lack of free themes. While competitors have over 20 free designs, BigCommerce provides only 7. However, this platform has a wide range of paid themes that could be customized for providing an entirely unique look and feel. This is a perfect option for people, who want to open full-fledged online shop and do not want to deal with plugins integration and edit HTML/CSS. Apart from few themes, BigCommerce provides tough competition for Shopify with almost the same pricing per month, but without additional expenses.
Magento has about one-fourth of e-commerce software market that makes it the strong leader in this field. Many popular brands use this CMS because of its flexibility and security. This is the best solution for enterprise-level online stores. Magento has an open source code, so users could customize it for any needs. Moreover, it has more than 9000 extensions and plugins to scale business. This CMS is also enabling social commerce, so users can sell on social media platforms. If users need help, they can use the extensive library for store management and online community of store owners and plugin developers.
Now Magento is available in two versions of different price and with different functions. Magento Community is a free version for small businesses. Magento Enterprise for companies with enterprise level costs $20,000 per year. Paid version has more useful functions as customers segmentation, 24/7 support, a support module and more. Magento is a perfect CMS for big companies with a large volume of products. Magento is not recommended for beginners because of its complex setup and management.
YoKart has extensive functions and it was aimed to help startups to build their own economic ecosystem. This platform is an analog of such well-known marketplaces as Etsy and eBay. YoKart is a ready-to-launch multi-vendor marketplace solution. The source code is open, so users can customize it for their needs. Experienced PHP developers would not have any problems to understand the framework and to modify it. This CMS has video tutorials, FAQs, and one year of free support for store management. YoKart has integrated analytic tools, supports several payment gateways and discount coupon management features.
Its only disadvantage is the absence of social commerce capabilities. This CMS is a great choice for multi-vendor stores. Startup package of YoKart is a hosted solution with the one-year license. It costs $250 and allows startups to verify their business model. Advanced self-hosted version costs $999 per year and it is aimed at companies with a sound business model. In addition, you can easily switch from one version to another.
When opening an online shop, remember about social networks and mobile apps, that can be used for attraction of new customers. After consideration of all current trends, it is possible to choose perfect CMS, which will help you to achieve business goals.