How Do I Choose an E-Commerce Website Platform? 

Experts estimate that by 2024, e-commerce sales will reach $6.5 trillion per year. If you have a business that makes most of its revenue through brick-and-mortar locations, you definitely want an e-commerce website building and management tool. Plus, if you already started an e-commerce website using one tool, that doesn’t mean you can’t switch to another as your needs change. 

According to Statista, the most popular e-commerce website platforms are:

  • WooCommerce (which powers WordPress stores)
  • Squarespace
  • Shopify 
  • Wix
  • Magento (Adobe Commerce)

Here, we’ll break down the pros and cons of each so you can choose the best e-commerce website platform for your needs. 

choose an e-commerce website platform

WooCommerce: An E-Commerce Website Platform That’s Free and Powerful

If you want an online store as part of your WordPress site, WooCommerce allows you to do just that. Even better is that you can do some things for free! Or, you can pay a la carte for the additional features you need. For example, WooCommerce offers free website themes, but if you want a specialized, higher-quality design, that will cost up to an extra $100 per year.

WooCommerce also includes both free and paid tools to help you manage your business, like managing inventory and shipping and processing credit card payments. As an example of this, WooCommerce has a tool that can allow you to print labels for free. However, you’ll need to pay a bit to accept credit card payments

WooCommerce makes content creation easy. “Content marketing leaders, writers, and editorial teams crave credible information on delivering the right content to the right audience at the right time, in the most effective way, and then quantify results,” said WordPress VIP CEO Nick Gernert when WordPress issued a report titled Content Matters 2023 Report, an analysis of the content on websites. The report was the result of a survey of more than 1,500 marketers, journalists, developers, and top execs. 

He added, “WordPress VIP and built-in Analytics are changing that,” added Gernert. “We give everyone—content creators, writers, editorial teams—in the org real-time metrics tools to focus on digital content strategy, prove content value to the business, and deliver tailored content experiences that drive meaningful business results.”

Squarespace and Wix: E-Commerce Website Platforms with Stunning Designs

Squarespace and Wix have become incredibly popular over the last few years. Like WordPress, you can get an online store that sells products or services up and running quickly using Wix or Squarespace.

Most people who use Wix or Squarespace opt for their services because they are easier to learn how to use and manage than WordPress. Plus, they offer stunning, pre-designed templates that are easy to customize with drag-and-drop editors. For many beginners, this makes Wix and Squarespace seem like the best options.

However, they aren’t as flexible and customizable in the long run and you’ll likely end up paying more than you would with WooCommerce. For example, Squarespace doesn’t let you tinker much with the spacing on their pre-designed templates. They also only offer a 14-day free trial before you need to start paying a monthly fee, which can range from $16-$49 per month. Some people say Squarespace websites load slowly, and when websites are slow, frustrated customers turn to other websites that load fast. 

Meanwhile, Wix allows you to customize your site more than Squarespace. However, their plans cost even more, up to $159 per month (when paid annually, which is always the cheapest route).

For both Wix and Squarespace, troubles will arise when you want to redesign your website, something most businesses do because how people use websites and what they tend to prefer in designs is constantly evolving. Wix and Squarespace do not automatically transfer all of your content to a new template. So if you want to redesign, you’ll have to do a ton of copying, pasting, and re-uploading of images and videos. 

e-commerce website platform

Shopify: An E-Commerce Website Platform With Unbeatable Business Management Tools

Shopify often beats out the competition because you can control nearly every aspect of your business from one place. The URL that controls your website design is the same URL that controls the tools you use to manage your business. One URL. One login.

The management tools on Shopify’s platform help:

  • Manage inventory
  • Handle billing
  • Control social media posting
  • Create email marketing campaigns
  • Provide customer service
  • Process payments
  • Monitor website traffic and user habits

Basic monthly Shopify fees start at $39, but you can customize your Shopify site and get more apps by paying a little bit extra. For instance, Shopify’s advanced package costs $105 per month. The next tier costs $399 per month. Or you can upgrade to the most advanced version of Shopify, which is called Shopify Plus

While users end up loving the all-in-one dashboard system, they don’t always love Shopify’s learning curve. Shopify is a little harder to use and understand at first than WordPress. However, its capabilities are second to none.

best e-commerce platforms

Magento: Best for Big B2B Companies 

Magento is a system developed by Adobe Commerce that goes far beyond the basics. One of its unique selling points is that it can allow users to create multiple multilingual websites. It also has many apps or plugins available through Adobe Marketplace. Plus, they offer 3,600 native tools for SEO, customer support, marketing, shipping, and fulfillment. In addition, Magento offers a drag-and-drop page builder, AI-driven purchase recommendations, inventory management, and advanced website traffic features.

Magento offers point-of-sale tools systems through extensions. They gear their services to B2B companies. People who log in to Magento sites can manage their company accounts, allow people certain powers to buy items, and track and manage their payments and invoices within the platform.

One thing that some don’t like about Magento is that potential customers need to contact the company to get a quote for pricing. Prices for Magento start at $1,999 per month. For larger companies, that may be worth it. 

E-Commerce Website Help From SEO Design Chicago

If you need help figuring out what e-commerce platform is best for you, need assistance getting started, or help with ongoing management, SEO Design Chicago has experienced web developers and designers that are ready to help you. Check out all of our services to find out how we can help your business.

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