Are you planning to set up an online store or do you already have one and want to switch to another platform for more features or flexibility, this guide will help you find the best eCommerce platform for your store.
Also Read: Best Enterprise eCommerce platforms in 2021
This is probably the most important decision for any e-retail store and the future of the business depends on it.
E-commerce solutions are also a cost-intensive affair not only in term of money but it also demands a lot of time and effort for requirement integration to become an end-to-end solution for any enterprise.
There are hundreds of e-commerce solutions out there and finding the right one can be head-spinning. Prestashop is one of the solutions in the market.
Prestashop is an open-source platform where users can create and customize their online store and sell the product to customers around the world.1With Prestashop, users can choose from a cloud-based platform or a downloadable software option compatible with both macOS and Windows.
Read Also: Top 10 eCommerce books to read in 2021
The Prestashop bundle comes with SEO software and offers templates to get the user started with creating their online store.
Beyond that, it allows the user to add promotions to their website and show customers the best-selling items.
The downside of Prestashop is that most of its fully functional modules are downright expensive.
A simple social media module can set you back by almost 80 Euros. Also, Prestashop is ideal for small and medium-sized businesses but not so much for multi-location stores as it offers little scalability.
But don’t sweat, just yet! Below you will find a list of leading alternatives for Prestashop in 2021.
Since 2015, Shopify has been coming up as a market leader in the true sense even though, at 20%, it has a market cap second to WooCommerce. The commerce platform of Shopify is ideal for high-growth enterprise and high-volume brands.
- When it comes to delivering value, Shopify excels at it. Shopify is a subscription-based service which means there is no hosting or installation involved.
- It has both product management and order management features along with some basic customer management, which makes it a truly holistic omnichannel solution.
- Shopify offers hundreds of design themes and also provides custom CSS functionality. Shopify also provides reporting features for sales and inventory.
- Shopify has focussed well on its theme designs. Currently, it offers ten free themes and a wide range of paid themes starting at $160. Shopify themes are modern and interactive and suitable for all types of product categories.
- Shopify has a highly responsive 24/7 customer support system. When a user faces any issue, they can reach out to Shopify’s customer support through Live Chat, Email, Phone or their Twitter handle along with an online knowledgebase.
- Shopify has an array of plans from Basic to Advanced. The basic plan starts at $29 per month which is billed yearly.
- Currently, Shopify’s payment processor doesn’t support all the countries so the reach is anything but truly global.
- The reporting functionality comes with the higher-priced advanced version only.
- The Email marketing functionality is very basic and it doesn’t support the MailChimp extension.
WooCommerce is an open-source eCommerce platform, primarily offered as a WordPress plugin.
It offers a custom cart solution in addition to a product’s website content on WordPress. According to BuiltWith reports, WooCommerce is globally the most popular eCommerce solution with a market share of 25%. In case you want to move your store to WooCommerce, please visit the migration tool by LitExtension.
- WooCommerce is a standalone service that needs to be installed on a web server. WooCommerce also offers both product and order management features but needs third part plugins for customer management features.
- It is mobile friendly only up to the extent that the current theme allows but usually it suffices for most small businesses.
- As we have already mentioned that WooCommerce is offered as a WordPress plugin, there is no such thing as a store design on it. It has its pros and cons. The good news is that the user can keep using their current theme and put out a product listing along with their website content.
- Since WooCommerce is offered as a free open-source plugin, it is difficult to expect a multi-channel customer support system.
- But maintains a public knowledge base where users can look for answers themselves. Additionally, according to the WooCommerce support policy on their website, “We only support our Products, sold on WooCommerce.com“.
- Pricing is the best part of WooCommerce. It is a free plugin. If the user isn’t afraid of finding a host, tweaking CSS and integrating third-party plugins, the only cost incurred is hosting which would be approximately $100 a year depending on the service provider.
- Ease of use is a major problem with WooCommerce since it is a WordPress plugin. Any requirement might require CSS tweaking which could be a hassle for non-tech savvy users.
- WooCommerce might be free but third-party plugins for extended functionalities could be a surplus cost with monthly and yearly payments.
- Design options are limited to whatever the current theme allows. The designs might feel a little bland.
Magento Commerce was historically the most used eCommerce platform for the better part of the decade. It still powers thousands of e-retail websites and business across the world but was overtaken by Shopify and WooCommerce in the last half of the decade.
- Like Shopify, Magento is a subscription-based service. It offers subdomain and hosting features.
- It has bundled the product and order management features and provides extensive reporting on sales with an analytics module.
- There are 100+ professional themes to choose from and it is also payment gateway enabled.
- Magento’s customer support resembles that of WooCommerce. It doesn’t provide much support for its community edition which is free but for its enterprise edition, Magento offers support via Email and phone.
- Magento’s pricing is steep. Like we already mentioned, Magento offers a community edition which is a free service much like WooCommerce.
- But the enterprise edition of Magento has pretty stiff pricing that starts at $15000 for a year and can go up to $50000 for more advance features.
- Magento doesn’t provide any designs as such except the core software. The user will have to externally plugin a theme from websites like Magento Connect or ThemeForest.
Bigcommerce is a subscription-based e-commerce solution that allows business owners to set up an online store and sell their products online.
It’s offered as a software as a service (SaaS) product, which means that you don’t own the software, but pay a monthly fee to use it.
- BigCommerce a range of customizable templates to help the users design their online retail store. It offers a range of product and order management functionality and analytics-based reporting.
- BigCommerce‘s way of approaching themes is similar to Shopify’s strategy. Users get a set of nicely-designed online store design templates that follow a specific style and only need to be adjusted here and there which is pretty easy to do. It has both free and paid themes with paid themes starting at $145 price tag.
- For Bigcommerce’s paid plan users, the company offers 24-hour ‘live agent’ support. It covers phone, chat, or email, and users can also try to resolve the issue by searching for an answer to their query via the Bigcommerce help pages.
- BigCommerce charges substantially more fees to successful customers.
- Its theme editor might feel tricky at the start but then it is a matter of getting used to it.
Wix is primarily a website builder platform that also offers an E-commerce solution as a functionality. The best part is that it is also available with the free version which doesn’t cost a penny.
Wix has been aggressive with its marketing efforts and one can see the ads almost everywhere especially while watching a video on youtube.
- Wix has incredible template design options that are modern and there are many pre-made templates for certain sectors.
- Wix provides a lot of flexibility and it is possible to work on the design in detail.
- It has one of the few web page theme editors that allows you to add animations to both text and other elements to the store frontpage.
- Wix provides a wide range of SEO and marketing features along with strong customer support through multiple channels.
- The free version comes with Wix watermarks and ads that can be frustrating for the user.
- It is ideal for small and medium-sized businesses but scalability can be a hindrance.