The ecommerce platform market is saturated and it gets difficult to point out which shopping cart software matches your needs. However, a review of the most popular of these platforms offers a good comparison of each against the rest. This is a great eye-opener and will help even those keen on starting their own store.
The popular platforms
The popularity of e-commerce platforms isn’t the best of motivating factors but it’s obviously worth your attention. The popular ecommerce platforms identified and reviewed in this article are Shopify, Bigcommerce, Volusion, Big Cartel and 3dcart. Searches you may have conducted to identify a platform to run your store must have brought up these names or a few of them at least.
Taking Google trends for insights on popularity, Shopify emerges as the best ecommerce platform based on people searches and the number of people interested. Bigcommerce has recently beat Big Cartel to second place while the 3dcart ecommerce platform ranks last as has been the case all through. Bigcommerce’s recent forward surge among these top five is due to many changes it has implemented over the past years.
Shopify is the undisputed dominant figure based on popularity and this can be credited to a strong marketing team or good finance capability. This is also confirmed based on market share analysis of the ecommerce platform. Available data shows that Shopify is gaining clients from Volusion and Big Cartel. However, the slow but sure rise of Bigcommerce is also worth noting. This is because available market share analysis data shows that Shopify is losing clients to Bigcommerce as a result of its enhanced marketing efforts.
Ecommerce platform ease of use
Ease of use is an important variable for consideration by novice online store owners. This is because understanding the platform features beats having amazing features that you don’t know how to use. This ease-of-use parameter is also valued by the ecommerce platforms as all of them have very easy to navigate dashboards. Our review also factors in design functionality, inventory management and the setup process into the ease of use classification.
Shopify offers an easy set up process and its dashboard area allows quick product adding and site customization. It also goes an extra mile by asking you if you intend to move from another ecommerce platform and then provides a link to facilitate this. Product addition is also quite easy on Shopify and this is enhanced by the explanations offered by the platform whenever you are typing in information. Next in line is Bigcommerce which offers the clearest directions and cleanest dashboard after Shopify allowing setup within a few minutes.
Volusion offers a clean product creation section that lacks the prettiness found in Shopify but it still works very well. The challenge with the ecommerce platform comes in when you would like to amend the design and layout since that almost requires coding knowledge.
The oldest looking product setup page among the ecommerce platforms is found on the 3dcart. The design comes off junky and this will definitely make you wonder if it has been updated in a while. The platform salvages itself by offering wonderful tutorials though and this is very ideal for beginners. The drag and drop editor also helps you avoid the hustle of modifying CSS or HTML code if you lack design experience. The least friendly startup area however, is courtesy of Big Cartel and this is due to lack of clarity on how to proceed when you land on the platform.
Pricing on the platforms
Price is an important factor for most users when deciding which ecommerce platform to use. The cheapest price is offered by Big Cartel whose most expensive package seems to match a middle payment plan on Shopify or the cheapest plan on Bigcommerce. However, ignoring the pricing by Big Cartel, Shopify has the cheapest plan among the other four ecommerce platforms. 3dcart follows next then Volusion and Bigcommerce wraps it up as the highest in pricing.
In usage of the best ecommerce platforms, the chances of needing their support are high and that’s why it’s important to grow familiar with the support offers available. 3dcart and Shopify avail 24/7 customer support via email, chat and phone. Bigcommerce offers 24/7 chat and email support but their telephone support has time constraints. Big Cartel only offer email support that’s only available between Monday and Friday.
Knowledge bases are also available for all customer support solutions offered on the platforms. These allow you to search and understand topics covered by someone else and addressed previously.
Despite the comparison insight offered above, only you can choose which ecommerce shopping platform fits your preference. The bottom line is that the platform should allow you to sell your offerings in the best way for you as well as for your clients.Ecommerce WordPress