In recent times, eCommerce platforms and websites to sell online have significantly increased. Whether you are an entrepreneur, a startup owner, an artisan, or a marketer, you must have realized that you need to create an online shop to keep your business alive. In this article, you will find the directions to choose the best platforms to make your eCommerce take off in the galaxy of online sales, up to the hyperspace.
- Online selling platforms: features
- CMS platforms to sell online
- Free platforms to sell online
Online selling platforms: features
To choose the right platform for your online business, it is important to determine what you need. Every company and every seller has its own needs: you have to fine-tune every component to ensure that everything goes as planned!
You can quickly connect the chosen eCommerce CMS platform with Qapla’ to easily manage your orders and shipments and send the tracking communication to your buyers. Look at all the available CMS integrations here.
Would you like to know more?Request a demo with one of our consultants
Business size and internationalization
Indeed, you need to identify the current size of your business and its possible growth. Some solutions are suitable for small and medium businesses, others for large companies, and others are scalable depending on the performance of your business. You should also determine whether you have or will have the need to set up multilingual shops (multishop) to sell more effectively abroad. As a matter of fact, some platforms allow you to create several stores for different countries and manage them all from the same control panel.
Budget: creation, maintenance, and commissions
At the same time, you should draw up your budget to implement the store and carry out maintenance. It is not only the initial costs that affect your investment.
Depending on your choice, there will be e-Commerce portals that you can manage autonomously or by paying a fee directly to the platform. Others require the technical support of third parties that clearly will have a specific cost that must be budgeted.
In addition to plan maintenance costs, checking the commissions for each transaction may be a good idea.
Another aspect to consider is your or your partners’ technical knowledge, so you will be able to select the best platform for your needs. Some CMSs are designed for beginners and are often poorly customizable but easy to use; others are flexible in configuration but require more specific skills.
Integrations and synchronization
Another element to consider is the integrations to your shop, as to improve your business you need to take advantage of third-party services that can help you. It is interesting to get an idea of what the platform offers for marketing, SEO, or data analysis. Depending on your strategy, you may need different functionalities. Also, integrating online and offline sales or inventory management can be a suitable parameter.
Payment methods and shipping options
Each platform offers different payment methods and shipping options. Depending on the couriers or payment services integrated with the platform, you can figure out which one is right for you. If you do not know how to choose the best courier for your shipments, you can browse through our articles, and you will find the answers you are looking for!
An aspect that should not be neglected is the website level of security, including the protection of your customers’ data. You must guarantee secure payments, otherwise it will be difficult for users to make the purchase.
We hope that everything goes well. However, you still have to think of possible problems. This means you cannot disregard how the platform handles critical issues related to its services. There are open-source platforms that entrust the resolution of issues only to the forums and the community that uses them, which often turns out to be very efficient and punctual in finding solutions. Anyway, it is not suitable for everyone. Some platforms, on the other hand, have 7/24 support.
CMS platforms to sell online
Let us see the most famous platforms for selling online!
It is one of the most used platforms in the world. It is an open-source CMS that offers various packages according to your needs. It is one of the best for medium and large businesses. It is continuously updated, and it is one of the most complete solutions, as it provides many advanced features. SEO, unlimited product insertion, management of the catalog and different stores, customization, payment methods… Magento offers everything you might need now or in the future.
Any cons? It is pretty structured, so you will need an excellent web hosting service and a pretty powerful server. But most of all, if you are not familiar with the code, you will need the help of an expert both for the creation of the store and for its management. The high degree of customization and the many functions make its use quite complex.
Given its open-source nature, it does not provide real customer service, but its community constantly offers solutions to various problems.
PrestaShop is an open-source solution for creating online shops. It is user-friendly and suitable for those who do not have many technical skills, both for the creation and ordinary management. It also enables the users to manage several stores from the same admin panel. Among the cons of this platform are the poor manipulation of SEO settings and the fact that many extensions and modifications are not free.
On the other hand, the quality of services it offers is excellent!
Shopify is also suitable for those who do not have particular skills, but this significantly reduces its degree of customization.
The platform is also the web host, and you can create your e-Commerce site through an easy automated procedure. Shopify will manage all the technical aspects, leaving complete autonomy to set up the store as preferred. All these services require payment of a monthly fee depending on the size of the store or the features requested. Among the various services offered, you can choose to: open an e-Commerce site with a blog, insert an unlimited number of products in the catalog, use different sales channels such as social networks, and easily manage SEO, payments, and shipments.
Everything at your fingertips, everything under control!
Like other platforms to create e-Commerce sites, Storeden is a cloud solution. Its peculiarity is that it enables users to integrate sales on the site with those on various marketplaces and social networks. For example, Storeden is the only European platform that allows sales on Instagram. It is perfectly accessible from all devices. It simplifies the management process, and it is well-performing from the UX point of view. It enables users to create multilingual and multi-currency shops, supports many payment methods, clearly ensures maximum security, and is perfectly adaptable to your needs.
Many advantages, many chances, all on a single platform. Great!
The strengths of Vtex are security and the smart checkout, that is to purchase in a few seconds without necessarily log in. The goal of Vtex is to make the customer journey as smooth and easy as possible, thus giving its users the possibility to work at their best and without worries. It integrates many payment methods, is multi-currency and multi-language, and has specific tools to improve indexing (SEO). It is also a Mobile Progressive Web App (PWA) provider, so you can easily create mobile responsive sites for an intuitive User Experience, similar to that of Apps for smartphones. It is suitable for medium and large projects, and it is also ideal for B2Bs. It offers lots of services and features and great customer support. It also provides many strategic solutions for your business.
It is not cheap, but it offers a broader range of services than the other platforms, which is a great way to give an extra gravitational boost to your e-Commerce site.
BigCommerce is designed for large businesses or those planning to expand soon. It offers numerous features and is intended to be used by professionals, providing more advanced options which are more complex to manage. The price is not low, but if you need to manage many orders and have the appropriate technical skills in your team, it is a very professional and practical choice.
It will give you the chance to have a fair amount of acceleration power!
Ecwid is an atypical and very innovative solution. It is a tool capable of integrating into the site and making it a real e-Commerce site. Its name comes from the phrase “e-Commerce widget”; through strings of code, it adds to your site the functionality of the package you have chosen. However, to be able to integrate the snippet correctly, you need a minimum knowledge of programming. It also offers a free trial with limited functionality, which is still helpful for small projects. It turns out to be well optimized for mobile use and requires no transaction fees.
A little code for a programmer, a big change for a seller!
Free Online Sales Platforms
You can find many free solutions suitable for your business. Some of them are really performing!
This is actually a WordPress plugin, the famous and widely used CMS. WooCommerce allows you to manage products, orders, warehouses, and everything related to the sale of goods and services online in a fairly simple way. Although very professional, it is easy to use, and you can increase functionality through the installation of numerous plug-ins and extensions (some are free, others are not). It requires a little more expertise than Shopify, especially when it comes to sales strategies and SEO. It is a bit less complete than other platforms as it is still based on a CMS designed for blogs and sites and not just e-Commerce sites.
However, it is one of the best and most used solutions to create an online shop, and it is free!
Square Online has always been linked to offline sales as well, and over time it has enhanced its features. The implementation of the store is completely free, and there are no monthly fees. You will only pay a percentage and a fixed cost per transaction. This CMS provides numerous integrations with third-party apps, allowing the user to set up additional features. It enables you to sell on social networks as well and helps you sync online and offline sales.
While it is a comprehensive platform, it is preferable to choose it for not too big projects.
Now you are ready to send your sales into orbit!
…and if you need help with shipping and marketing, give us a call, we are out of this world.
Managing the shipments of an e-Commerce platform requires precision and a certain amount of time. Qapla’ is the right tool to always have your orders under control, manage them from a single platform, and save a significant amount of time.
It also allows you to increase the number of conversions, thanks to the possibility of sending transactional emails and tracking the shipment in a totally customized way, according to your brand’s needs.
Discover even more benefits of the platform with a customized demo.
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