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The right ecommerce solution can make or break a small online retailer. If you choose the wrong one, it can frustrate customers or eat into your hard-earned revenues.

As there are so many different ecommerce platforms to choose from, you’ll need to ensure you find the solution that serves your company’s needs exactly. The ecommerce platform you use can be one of the primary reasons why customers abandon their carts instead of buying from your site.

Every platform comes with a variety of features and drawbacks. To find the best solution for your small business requires an understanding of specific features that platforms offer. If you’re selling individual pieces of art, the fees may not put you off a specific platform. However, if you’re selling thousands of consumables and components, how the platform collects their portion of income may be vitally important.

What is an ecommerce platform?

Ecommerce platforms come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They range from simple plugins to entire platforms where you develop and host your online retail business. Ultimately, they provide your business with a Point of Sale (POS) service just like a card machine or cash register.

After customers shop on your site, the ecommerce platform helps guide them through the payment process. Although the ease at which customers can complete their online shopping on your site is important, some additional considerations may help you choose the right one for your business.

WooCommerce features and benefits

WooCommerce is probably the easiest ecommerce solution you can use for online retail services. Although it requires you to install WordPress on your site, it works on normal or custom-developed sites just as well. The pricing starts at $13.99 per month for sites smaller than 100GB. The Pro version comes with an advanced backup solution and unlimited space, but you’ll pay $31.99 per month for the additional features.

As WooCommerce works as a WordPress plugin, it’s the quickest and easiest way to set up an online retail feature for your business. However, it does receive a lower rating for ease of use than other platforms. If you struggle to use WordPress as a platform, it’s likely you’ll also struggle with WooCommerce.

Shopify features and benefits

Shopify remains the number one ecommerce platform available today. Because it’s easy to use and provides a robust set of features, many online retailers start by developing their stores on Shopify’s platform. Since its launch in 2006, Shopify has become the leader in ecommerce solutions with innovative products and extensive support for small businesses.

Shopify shares are up 136% this year and their market cap has grown to $36.6 billion.

Once they see the pricing for Shopify, most small businesses start looking for a different solution. The basic package costs $26 per month and they’ll charge a 2% transaction fee on every sale if you don’t use their Shopify Payments feature. Shopify does outrank other platforms in both design capabilities and ease of use. They also support a wider variety of payment methods compared to WooCommerce.

Wix features and benefits

Finally, Wix is a great platform that helps small businesses set up an online presence. Their ecommerce pricing is similar to Shopify at $23 per month for the Business Basic subscription. The company remains geared towards small businesses, as they don’t charge any sales or transaction fees.

Wix also competes with Shopify for the top ease of use and design ratings but provides the best value for money option for smaller businesses. You’ll also get unlimited transactions with the Business Basic package.

How to measure the success of an ecommerce platform

Every platform comes with its own methods to track metrics and establish purchasing patterns. Determining which one is best depends on the history of the business, the need for future growth, and the types or amount of transactions you’ll be processing.

Does it really matter?

As online retailers need to provide a safe and reliable payment service, choosing the right one for your products and services remains important. For companies just starting out, opting for a simple WooCommerce and WordPress template site may suffice. However, if the company hopes to grow and scale in the future, Shopify or Wix might be a better option.

What now?

Campaign Monitor works with both WooCommerce and Shopify ecommerce platforms. Now that you understand the importance of choosing the right ecommerce platform for your business, why not read this blog post about how to improve your SEO results on Shopify?

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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