A big difference between e-commerce and brick-and-mortar commerce is how the check-out process works and as a result, the best e-commerce platforms are centered around the checkout. In a traditional store, customers get to immediately go home with their product, knowing exactly what they got for what they paid. Furthermore, should there ever be an issue, brick-and-mortar shoppers know where exactly to go for returns. None of this immediate assurance is the case with online shopping – at least not yet, but with a comprehensive ecommerce platform business can get awfully close to providing a similar level of customer assurance.
The best ecommerce platform models today seek to give customers confidence in the online shopping process. They do so by offering a clear and secure payment system, comprehensive shipping and tracking information, and an online chat and customer phone support that doesn’t require pressing eight different buttons – because few things are more frustrating when dealing with a company than trying to reach a person and only getting an automated message. So as a business, if you are looking for a great ecommerce platform, you want to look for something that makes it easy to connect with customers and for your customers to connect with you.
Online businesses today simply need to operate via one of the available ecommerce platforms or they will be unable to compete online. It doesn’t matter if you have a business to business or business to consumer retail set-up, working with e commerce software applications will enable you to streamline your business, making it possible for more effective interactions with your customers as well as your employees. For example, complex functions that connect front-end and back-end operations make things like inventory management and swift shipping more efficient which ultimately translates to more productivity.
Now that said, not every ecommerce platform is right for every business – and a platform that offers the best ecommerce framework for one type of business may not work efficiently for another. This is why it’s important to shop around and look carefully at the different e commerce software applications available to find the right solution for your company and business needs. In your research different ecommerce platforms, you should keep the following key things in mind:
- How fast your business can grow and how it can do so with the platform.
- The running costs of building and maintaining an ecommerce platform.
- How a platform offers customer engagement.
- Your own objectives with this type of platform.
Section 3 (200 Words)
Best Ecommerce Platform 2019
As with most other things on the Internet, the best ecommerce software is constantly changing and what was the best free ecommerce platform yesterday or the best ecommerce platform for startups last year may have very likely changed. While there are certainly a few heavy-hitting companies that have stayed at the top over the years, the needs of online retail have changed and different businesses in different niche industries will have their own specific needs in an ecommerce platform. As the market itself changes, new competitors enter the market with new features and capabilities that challenge the current big contenders.
Of course, some contenders remain popular as they evolve with the rest. In fact, you are likely to find many of the companies that made the best ecommerce platform 2019 lists as those that made the best ecommerce platforms 2018 lists. For example, many tech companies have praised the Canadian-based Shopify software and listed it as among the best ecommerce platforms 2019 thanks to its keeping up with the pace of evolving online retail trends and having unique yet highly desired features like seamless integration with Facebook. Other great platforms have followed in a similar suit to make it easy for their clients to add social media plug-ins and integration features.
Ecommerce Platform Comparison
If you already have an ecommerce platform, then maybe you were drawn here by a best of e commerce platform list, maybe your current software platform simply isn’t cutting it anymore. Maybe you need something with better scalability or you see features in others that you don’t currently have but want. Whatever the reason behind why you and your business are seeking to replatform, the important thing to keep in mind is to take care. Replatforming can be a very expensive, very daunting task and even if it is the right decision, it’s a decision you should approach with as much research and knowledge as possible.
The best way of doing this is to issue a request for proposal announcing that you are in the bidding process and state what you are looking for in a vendor. With an RFP, you neatly solidify what your requirements and intentions are with a replatforming and you enjoy a more specialized ecommerce platform comparison that speaks directly to your company’s needs and goals.
Of course, even the best ecommerce platform won’t be capable of boosting your company’s presence and sales if you don’t have it paired with a customer-friendly ecommerce website that your audience is drawn to. There are a number of best free ecommerce website builder tools for even the novice business to get started with, but most of them will require some effort on your part. For example, it is essential for businesses to ensure that every product they have listed in their online store comes paired with a gorgeous and accurate product image. No ecommerce platform can make as big of a purchasing decision for your audience than a beautiful picture can. Remember, photos and descriptions are the only way your offline customers have of confirming they are remotely buying what they want or need. Spend some time researching other best ecommerce sites 2018 to see the other ways companies are advertising their products and using their ecommerce platform to the best advantage.
Enterprise Ecommerce Platforms
One of the greatest aspects of the Internet is how much of a great equalizer it is. The sole entrepreneur can get on the web and with a few short clicks, they can share their creations with the world. However, not all ecommerce platforms are built for all businesses and if you have a medium or large business, then you need features that the sole entrepreneur or small business of six employees does not need. This is where enterprise ecommerce platforms come into play
When researching the best enterprise ecommerce platform for medium business and the best ecommerce platform for large business, the two primary things to keep in mind are security and customer support. All businesses, big and small, are at risk of malicious attacks but customers perceive of mid-sized and larger businesses as more secure and one wrong move here can destroy a company’s credibility. This is why it’s important when seeking the best enterprise ecommerce platform to look for the most secure ecommerce platform.
Free Ecommerce Platforms
In your search for the best ecommerce platform for your business, you will undoubtedly come across free ecommerce platforms and those platforms that advertise themselves as the best open source ecommerce 2018 and 2019 options. Be cautious around any website that markets itself as offering a free ecommerce store or makes claims about being the best free ecommerce platform for small business. This is because as nice as free may sound, it is rarely, very rarely worth it in this business.
Free ecommerce software will often use distracting ads in order to collect fees. What revenue they generate through this is rarely worth it for them to offer the latest features and customer support. However, perhaps most frustrating of all, free ecommerce platforms lack the consistent updates and tech support necessary to ensure your online storefront is not successfully attacked by hackers and other malicious entities. In the end, most businesses who try 'free' quickly find that paying for a quality product and service is well worth it and then some.
Ecommerce Platform List
Ready to get started in your research of finding the best ecommerce platforms for your business? We know that the modern ecommerce platform list can be long, but there are some pretty great solutions on the market that can and often do change how companies sell their goods. Each of the big named software solutions has its unique feature benefits and each will be good for some businesses but not for others.
The Shopify ecommerce platform has already been noted above, but another good example of the pro/con nature of ecommerce platforms is BigCommerce. BigCommerce is a comprehensive platform that is utilized by plenty of big names like Toyota thanks to its handy built-in features, however, businesses looking to create multi-vendor stores can often find BigCommerce ecommerce platforms lacking in key areas. The Magento ecommerce platform offers good scalability, making it a solid choice for start-ups and businesses looking for sustainable growth, but non-tech savvy website and store owners might find it frustrating as its advisable to only operate this platform when you have a programmer on payroll due to the complexities of Magento ecommerce software. Have a Wordpress website? Then the Wordpress ecommerce plug-in WooCommerce may feel like a natural fit.