E-commerce business has boomed rapidly in the last decade. The penetration of the internet among masses, including tier-2 and tier-3 cities, has widened the market for e-commerce companies. This has driven many developers and entrepreneurs towards the e-commerce business. However, developing a website can be a hasty task as there are a number of options available to choose from. After looking at the growth potential, e-commerce giants like WordPress, Magento, Shopify, Opencart, BigCommerce, and others have rolled out integrated plans including global sales, business intelligence (BI) dashboards etc. to lure in entrepreneurs. So the big question is “Which is the best e-commerce platform for you to build your website on?”
Importance of deciding the right development framework or CMS
A right CMS or development framework, which is best suited for your business, can mark the difference between success and failure. Since each and every site has its own uniqueness, one needs to look after a number of parameters like features, security, performance, financial viability, and various other aspects, prior to developing the website on any platform. So, let’s have a closer look at each of the platforms to pick the best-suited one for your business.
Ecommerce Website Development on Magento
Magento is one of the most sought after e-commerce website development platforms and it comes in two editions.
- Magento open-source edition (For smaller businesses)
- Magento commerce edition (For large scale businesses)
Since its launch, Magento has been used by merchants to sell goods and services worth more than $150B all around the globe. Magento overshadows most of the other platforms when it comes to performance, security, and stability. Another good thing about it is the timely release of upgrades to enhance security.
The open-source version of the platform comes with some limited functionalities. However, the commerce edition comes bundled with top-notch features like cloud hosting, BI dashboards, technical support and advanced marketing & content tools. On top of that, it allows the integration of different channels for selling to both businesses and consumers using a unified platform.
- User-Friendliness: Magento’s versions like 1.X and 2.2.X were not too user-friendly. However, from Magento 2.3.3 onwards, the platform has dedicated a lot of effort in UX development. Still, a tech-savvy user is required to handle Magento.
- Service and Support: Although the community version has garnered limited support, the commerce edition is backed by a 24×7 full-fledged official support team. It is advised to have a qualified developer in case you are using planning to start from the community edition.
- Security and Performance: With the latest upgrades, a number of features like password encryption, cross-site scripting, library support, Checkout Recaptcha and an improved address management system have been included.
Ecommerce Website Development on WordPress
There is no doubt that WordPress and its e-commerce plugin, i.e. WooCommerce is the most used e-commerce platform globally. WooCommerce is free, convenient, and a low-key e-commerce platform, especially for merchants who have budget constraints or are cautious of too much upfront investment.
As per a survey, WooCommerce has an overall market share of a whopping 30% when it comes to e-commerce platforms. The biggest reason for its popularity is its ease of access and simplicity. Even laymen can handle it smoothly. It offers 1000+ free plugins and 300+ extensions for hassle-free management of the business. Other features of WooCommerce include coupon system, tax control, and multi-payment gateway support.
- User-Friendliness: As mentioned above, any new developer can handle it smoothly. The only complex part of setting up WooCommerce platform is store settings. It includes a fluid interface for the hassle-free rendering of UX.
- Service and Support: Similar to the community edition of Magento, WooCommerce also has limited support. WooCommerce provides basic source code to every developer, and they have to modify the code thereafter as per their business requirement. However, there is a dedicated “submit a support ticket” for merchants to access support from the official team in case of any emergency.
- Security and Performance: Just like Magento, WooCommerce also provides state-of-the-art security features to safeguard merchant’s data and other credentials. However, the software is always prone to error, but WooCommerce offers a multi-stage rectification mechanism in case any error occurs.
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Ecommerce Website Development on Shopify
Shopify has been lauded as one of the most trusted platforms by experts working in the field of e-commerce. Its effectiveness can also be acknowledged by the fact that there are more than a million registered merchants on Shopify who are handling e-commerce business and retail POS systems.
One of the prominent features of Shopify is giving full access control of coding to the developer as the coding is done in HTML and CSS. It is one of the most liked platforms by the business owners, especially after the recent integration of it with Amazon. It allows merchants to sell products on Amazon using Shopify’s panel. It automatically calculates the monthly billings of each customer. Shopify also allows drop-shipping, which eliminates the need for maintaining a physical inventory.
- User-Friendliness: One of the main focuses of Shopify is the user experience and subsequently, user interface. It encapsulates top-notch features like hassle-free user-experience, drag and drop, editable themes and many more. It has also included a fresh and easy to navigate admin panel for merchants. As for the users, the purchasing experience of them on Shopify is commendable.
- Service and Support: Shopify has a dedicated team for 24/7 support, which gives the platform an edge over others. It also allows support via phone, email, chat, or social media. Additionally, Shopify keeps its merchants updated with the new advancements so that their store remains glitch-free.
- Security and Performance: Shopify is one of the safest platforms. Various security and compliance authorities have rated its security features at five stars. Shopify offers quality security features like password encryptions, SSO, multi-factor authentication and insurance of products while being delivered.
Ecommerce Website Development on Opencart
If you are planning to manage or run a small or medium scale business at an affordable budget, Opencart is the ideal choice for you as an e-commerce platform. Opencart is, as the name suggests, an open platform that has been developed on a PHP framework. Not to mention, it offers the biggest library of customization compared to any other e-commerce platform.
As per an estimation, more than one million websites have been developed on Opencart showing the popularity and credibility of the platform. However, the basic setup doesn’t have too many customizations and add-ons. In the newer versions of Opencart like Opencart 2.0, you can also access the admin through the admin panel. In total, it offers 8+ shipping methods and 20+ payment gateways support. Additionally, you can add an unlimited number of products in an Opencart store.
- User-Friendliness: The user interface of Opencart is somewhat in between the flexibility of WooCommerce and complexity of Magento. Although the knowledge of coding will come utterly handy in managing the platform, anyone with a little knowledge of coding can make various customizations in the e-commerce platform.
- Service and Support: In the case of the support system, Opencart leaves every other e-commerce platform behind. It offers two different kinds of support: community support and dedicated support. In the free version, you will get the limited support of the community. However, you will get dedicated support with the paid version.
- Security and Performance: The overall security features of the platform is at par with the other service providers. However, the problem arises while using any third-party extension in Opencart. Besides, most of the extensions are developed by external vendors and have not been tested for compliance with the platform.
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|Pricing||Getting started: $3.95/month Growing store: $45/month Enterprise store: $499/month||Basic: $29/month Normal: $79/month Advanced: $299/month||Open Source Version is free. Plugins and hosting cost is included in commerce edition||Although its free, DNS hosting, SSL, plugins, and responsive themes will be paid|
|Pros||Easily installable Highly customizable Great number of plugins Compatible with WordPress Plugins for advance security||in-built hosting services. SEO friendly platform. 14 days’ trial services Augmented themes and plugins 24/7 community support||open source, i.e. (free) Impeccable Security Millions of active users Robust, stable, & customizable Highly Scalable||Formidable community support Too many themes, plugins, and extensions Easy to navigate for merchants Highly efficient and free to download|
|Cons||Paid Lucrative extensions Paid Store management Complex e-commerce conversion funnel Plugins also needed to be upgraded||Quite exorbitant Costly hosting service Highest number of users Limited themes and plugins Paid themes and plugins||Strong technical knowledge required Limited customer support Steep learning curve||Complex programming based on CSS & Java Moderate functionalities Less Credible third-party plugins Too many errors in updating|
According to the analysis done above, you can easily choose the best-suited platform considering all your requirements. An e-commerce platform is a vital part of any online merchant. You can grow your business at an alarming rate with adequate use of e-commerce platforms.