E-Commerce platform review
Starting any new business is challenging, especially an online one. More people are looking for ways to sell their products online. When it comes to choosing an e-commerce solution for your business – there are many options to choose from and many important considerations you need to make in order to ensure you don’t choose the wrong platform for your business.
Here are some points you should consider when looking for the correct platform for your business
Pricing & Running Costs
All platforms have some sort of cost involved in setting up & running.
1. Setup & Design costs (this includes your time)
2. Transaction Fees on each sale
3. Monthly / Annual running costs (hosting etc)
Search Engine Friendliness
Naturally you want customers to be able to search for and find your online store.
Some important factors to consider from an SEO point of view are
- Can you add a blog to your store?
- Can you use your own domain name?
- Can customers leave reviews
Available Extensions & Tools
Each platform offers a different range of tools from Analytics, to Stock managment to Search Engines.
Think carefully about your own skills and how you think your business will grow over time. Does your chosen platform support your current AND future business asprirations?
Mobile Friendliness / Responsiveness
60% of all web searches are from a mobile device. Many of those searches result in an online sale.
Your chosen platform needs to work well on mobile (with out any extra effort on your behalf)
If you are taking payments online your site needs to be 100% secure. Always check that your platform offers an SSL certificate
Moving your business from one platform to another
While not impossible it is time consuming & potentally costly to move your online store from one platform to another.
ECommerce Platform Running Costs
To have an online store you need to be able to accept payments.
We call this a payment gateway. The most popular payment gateways are Stripe or Paypal.
Each of these service providers charges a fee for processing your sale.
Typically these fees are as follows:
Stripe Fees: 1.4% + 20p for EU Payments
PayPal Fees: UK payments usually amounts to 3.4% + 20p.
Below is a break down of the monthly/annual costs associated with 4 of the most popular e-commerce platforms.
|Platform||Domain Cost (Annual)||Hosting / Package Charges||Credit Card Fees|
|Shopify||$11||£348||2.2% + 20p|
|WIX||£10.39||£156||1.9% + 20p|
|Squarespace||£16||£240||0 – 3%|
|WooCommerce (WP)||£5.99||£66.89||1.4% + 20p|
The prices & information outlined in this post is accurate as of the 2 April 2020
A quick guide to 4 popular ECommerce platforms
- Allows you to sell across various channels including Facebook, Instagram, eBay & Amazon
- Easy to use
- Great inventory management
- SEO is excellent
- High transaction fees unless you use Shopify Payments
- Can’t easily switch themes or change look & feel of your store
- If you find you need additional functionality, you will have to purchase apps which quickly add up
Read a detailed Shopify Review Click Here
- Advanced e-commerce tools (abandoned cart recovery)
- No stock management alerts
- Hard to change the look & feel of your site
- Very slow user-interface
- Need to optimise each page for mobile separately
Read a detailed WIX ECommerce review: Click Here
- Great design options
- Inventory & analytical tools
- Page speed
- Can’t add additional functionality
- Search Engine optimisation is hard unless you are familiar with SEO technique
Read a detailed Squarespace review: Click Here
WordPress is a free website CMS platform, so annual costs are mostly based on web hosting fees and any subscription-based premium plugins.
- Vast selection of plugins (free & paid) to help you grow your store
- You can change theme (look & feel) of your site whenever you want
- No monthly costs aside from hosting & domain
- Incredibly Search Engine friendly
- Steep learning curve
Read a detailed WooCommerce Review: Click Here