To understand the meaning of e-commerce (electronic commerce), we have to understand what is commerce. Generally, commerce refers to the exchange of goods, services, or something of value, between businesses or entities. Thus, eCommerce is the buying of goods and services via the internet. There are various ecommerce 2021 platforms which are really best for online shopping.
It is done by using mobile phones, laptops, or other electronic equipment instead of doing it in a physical location. Usually, people use eCommerce to sell their products online. Nowadays, e-commerce is a massive field and there are hundreds and thousands of stores selling products to millions and billions of people. Also, e-commerce has become an important tool for small and large businesses worldwide, not only to sell to customers but also to engage them.
How does E-commerce help the customers?
E-commerce allows customers to overcome geographical barriers and allows them to purchase products anytime and from anywhere. The COVID-19 situation, however, has accelerated the growth of e-commerce. Here are some ideas that will help in understanding the importance of e-commerce today:-
- Alternative Marketing Channel
- Cheaper mode of advertising and marketing
- Save on rent
- 24/7 customer service
- Global reach
In this post we are looking at some of the best e commerce platforms in 2021. Keep in mind that these list are not necessarily going to be in any particular order. Also, its important to know that not one specific ecommerce platform is going to be the best option for everyone. Its not that one specific platform fits to every situation. Like when you go to buy a car not everyone wants Ford or Honda. Some people want a Audi or BMW.
So, for the same reason why people have different cars, there is different e commerce platforms out there that are going to suit different need the people have. Now, let’s talk about the top 5 ecommerce platforms you don’t wanna miss in 2021.
Shopify Inc. is a Canadian multinational e-commerce company headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario. It is also the name of its proprietary e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems. Also, shopify is the best eCommerce platform on the market today. Furthermore, it’s designed to help people build their own, scalable online store with hundreds of built-in features, and tons of apps. You can sell products directly on your website, and across multiple marketplaces and social media.
There are five Shopify plans available:
- Shopify Lite — $9 per month
- Basic Shopify — $29 per month
- Shopify — $79 per month
- Advanced Shopify — $299 per month
- Shopify Plus — negotiable, but usually costing around $2000 per month
If you have the budget to pay upfront, you can reduce your Shopify fees by purchasing an annual or biennial plan — 10% and 20% discounts are available if you pay for one year or two years of service respectively, instead of paying on a monthly basis.
Reasons to love Shopify:
- It offers an easy way to quickly launch an online store.
- You don’t need any technical expertise to launch a basic Shopify store
- Also, it takes care of all server maintenance and upgrades to keep your store and shopping cart available at all times.
- Customer support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and the response time is fairly instant.
- Furthermore, it has powerful Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) features that will help your website rank higher in search results.
- Moreover, it offers its own payment gateway which is powered by Stripe.
In the context of Shopify vs a self-hosted e-commerce platform like Woocommerce or Opencart for growing e-commerce businesses here are some disadvantages of Shopify.
- You have to pay monthly for every little thing.
- Shopify provides very fewer data points to the users while on other platforms you will get more components like product images, product description, pricing, etc.
- It is not a content management system and it’s optimized for only selling products.
- It is less intuitive and your business growth goes down exponentially with time.
BigCommerce is a public technology company and provides a SaaS eCommerce platform. The company was founded in 2009 and has 600+ employees with headquarters in Austin, Texas. Its features include customer groups and segmentation, search engine optimization, web hosting, and more. BigCommerce was founded in 2009 by Australians Eddie Machaalani and Mitchell Harper following a chance meeting in an online chatroom in 2003. In August 2009, the two relaunched a hosted version of Interspire Shopping Cart called “BigCommerce” and opened its first U.S. office. It is one of the best ecommerce platforms in 2021.
BigCommerce offers 4 pricing plans:
- Standard: $29.95 per month.
- Plus: $79.95 per month.
- Pro: $299.95 per month.
- Enterprise: varies depending on requirements.
BigCommerce is a powerful eCommerce platform, and it’s a strong competitor of other platforms that exist, as mentioned before. Let’s take a closer look at what this platform has to offer.
- Easy to set up for novices or professionals
- Very cost-effective
- Built-in SEO
- Great selection of templates for all industries both free and paid
- Ease of check out for customers
Now, let’s look at some of its demerits
- It has a limited number of free themes.
- Some BigCommerce themes are pretty expensive.
- It can feel a little clunky when you use text editor at your first start out.
- It has complete excess on your database.
Wix.com Ltd. is an Israeli software company, providing cloud-based web development services. It allows users to create HTML5 websites and mobile sites through the use of online drag and drop tools. Along with its headquarters and other offices in Israel, Wix also has offices in Brazil, Canada, Germany, India, Ireland, Lithuania, the United States, and Ukraine.
How much does Wix cost?
Wix’s pricing plans start at $14 per month (billed annually) for the Combo plan. It’s ad-free, includes hosting, and a domain name for 1 year. Unlimited costs $18 per month and is ideal for larger sites. Wix VIP at $39 per month adds priority support. The cheapest e-commerce plan is Business Basic at $23 per month.
What Are the Pros of Wix Websites?
- It is free to use but you can upgrade it to use its premium features.
- The interface is intuitive and useful.
- Its easy-to-use editors allow you to create your site just the way you want.
- It provides users with over 500 templates.
- It has inbuilt SEO management features.
What Are the Cons of Wix Websites?
- You have to purchase a particularly expensive special plan to remove ads from your site.
- You are not allowed to have unlimited bandwidth or storage on any plan.
- Free sites hosted on Wix are forced to carry Wix branding.
- Your site isn’t transferrable
- The premium features aren’t transferable, meaning you buy it for one site and it stays there!
Magento is an open-source e-commerce platform. It uses multiple other PHP frameworks such as Laminas and Symfony. Magento source code is available under Open Software License v3.0. Adobe Inc acquired Magento in May 2018 for $1.68 Billion USD. It hold 4th position for best e-commerce development platforms 2021.
How Much Will Magento Cost Your Business?
Magento is open-source software usually useful to power large e-commerce businesses. Below are Magento’s three packages along with the total price you can expect to pay for your website:
- Community ($15,000+)
- Commerce ($22,000+)
- Commerce Cloud ( $40,000+)
The cost of using Magento Community typically starts from around $15,000. This price comes from things like web hosting, extensions, and hiring developers to help code your site or fix issues.
If your business generates under $1m gross sales revenue, then Magento Commerce will cost you approximately $22,000, while Magento Commerce Cloud will cost around $40,000. The higher your revenue, the more you pay.
Here are the top 5 advantages of Magento:
- The Magento team provides excellent design support, and have great blogs on the latest web design trends.
- It is powerful enough to accommodate hundreds of thousands of individual products.
- It is SEO-friendly so optimizing product pages and descriptions are simple.
- Everything created with Magento is customizable.
- Adding and editing new products is simple.
However, there are several limitations when developing your store on the Magento platform. This article will help you to find out and know how to overcome those disadvantages as well.
- Magento platform does not provide hosting so you have to pay for it separately.
- It is pretty expensive for medium and large businesses.
- A user with a poor technical background cannot perform deep and sophisticated customization.
- It has a low loading speed during the customization process.
WooCommerce is an open-source e-commerce plugin for WordPress. It is useful for small to large-sized online merchants using WordPress. Launched on September 27, 2011, the plugin quickly became popular for its simplicity to install and customize and free base product. WordPress theme developer WooThemes, developed the first WooCommerce. They hired Mike Jolley and James Koster, developers at Jigowatt, to work on a fork of Jigoshop which is now WooCommerce. In January 2020, it estimates that WooCommerce is used by around 3.9 million websites.
How Much Does WooCommerce Cost?
It costs about $10/month to cover the basic features you’ll need to make the free WooCommerce plugin functional. Moving beyond the basics towards some bells and whistles will cost an additional $200 or so per year. For large-scale WooCommerce websites, total annual costs could be upwards of $1,000.
Here is the list of benefits of using Woocommerce as your eCommerce platform:-
- WooCommerce is a free, open-source WordPress plugin.
- It has got a wide range of plugins available to support your unique e-commerce business needs.
- Woocommerce can work with almost any WordPress theme.
- It meets all the basic requirements for achieving a good position in search engines.
- WooCommerce includes a rich set of features which we can extend with the addition of plugins.
When it comes to the disadvantages of using WooCommerce, here are some of its disadvantages that might make the program unappealing for users and businesses.
- Installing too many plugins and extensions tend to slow downloading speed and overall performance.
- You have to pay to install some extensions.
- They are usually terrible with page doubling, canonical URLs, website, and URL layout.
- You need to have knowledge of both WordPress and WooCommerce to get the most out of the products.