Best Ecommerce Platforms Reviews of 2020
Whenever you are about to make a decision, expert advice is something you need. You’d do that before buying a car, a house, or even deciding on the school your children will attend, so the same goes for an ecommerce platform. If you are reading this, then you have arrived at the best place for such assistance because we've reviewed all the major ecommerce platforms and will introduce them to you through our expert-written reviews. Without further ado, here are the best three ecommerce platforms:
Ecommerce Platforms Reviews
Each review reflects the in-depth testing and research that has gone into the platform you'll read about. After a quick presentation of the web software and its adoption rate among entrepreneurs, our reviews analyze key aspects such as design, business options, and utilities included by default or through various upgrades. It’s essential to consider the design capabilities of any given platform because that is how you will make the first impression for your customers. The business options take into account all the essential features such as payment gateways, SEO options, and tax collection required for a successful business. Of course, pricing is a key factor too, so by reading our reviews you'll be able to make a decision as to whether you are dealing with an overpriced service or an affordable platform that will help your sales grow.
Ecommerce Platforms Comparison
We are aware of that uncomfortable situation when you have finally whittled down the hundred or so available platforms down to just a couple. Yet still you cannot make a decision because both seem to match your needs. That's what our comparison articles are for: to help you make a well-informed decision by putting two ecommerce platforms side-by-side and highlighting the unique features that you might have missed while doing your own research. By keeping in mind the rating a platform received combined with the ratings from our readers and our comparison articles, you will have the best understanding of the ecommerce industry to make a smart choice. At the end of the day, through these articles you'll be able to make a well-informed decision and get the most value for the money.
Like all other software, ecommerce platforms offer free trial versions allowing potential customers to test their offerings. This is especially valuable when you are a small or mid-sized business ready to open a new sales channel and capitalize on the growth of ecommerce. During a free trial, which ranges from 14 days to completely free versions that only require upgrading when want to accept payments, you'll have the time to evaluate how the service can contribute to the growth of your business.
While savings can be had all year round, there are a handful of special offers that you'll only get through Best Reviews. Our coupons section provides you with a quick and easy understanding of what kinds of savings options are available and the ways in which they can be taken advantage of. These might be suggestions for how costs of subscriptions can be reduced or even how extras like free website domains can be part of the package. Are you ready to cut your expenses? Then check the coupons that we have for you.
Ecommerce Platform 101
Cloud vs Self-Hosted Ecommerce Platforms
The first question you need to answer during the preparation phase is whether you want a hosted (cloud) or self-hosted ecommerce platform. In a nutshell, the main difference between the two is the amount of up-front investment required to get the store online, both in terms of time and money.
When we say self-hosted ecommerce platform, we are talking about a variety of open-source applications that require web hosting to function. These platforms give you full control over the platform, something that hosted services cannot match. They can be set up anywhere with the selection of preferred hosting service provider down to the user, which has its advantages.
The disadvantage of self-hosted services is that if you will want additional features that aren’t included in the open-source software, meaning you'll need to develop it yourself or ask for a helping hand. Also, the responsibility of uptime, security, and selecting the best payment processors will be entirely yours. If you don't have expertise in these areas – starting with coding – then this will cost you a lot of money.
Hosted ecommerce platforms, on the other hand, offer the convenience of speed as they provide all the must-have features by default. This includes a wide variety of templates, SEO options, payment gateways, site hosting, and much more for a flat monthly fee. These platforms will help set up an online store and customize a template in a matter of just a few days so you can start selling in less than a week.
Ecommerce Platforms for Small Businesses
The best thing about hosted ecommerce platforms is that they were created with small and medium-sized businesses in mind. An enterprise-level business has the monetary power to design a custom online store with unique features, while a small business has the potential to grow towards that level. Until then, it requires a solid service that has all the necessary features to help it grow, such as free templates, customization, search engine optimization, and a list of payment processors that allow the small business owner to accept payments – all for a flat monthly fee that starts from $9.
Setting up a Dropshipping Business
Manufacturing your own products is not a requirement when there are tons of great quality products out there. And if you can make a connection with the manufacturer, or at least with a wholesaler, then it's much easier to make some money. This is what dropshipping promises and delivers, so long as the business around it is built well.
While it is possible to create a self-hosted dropshipping site, you need to consider the amount of manual work and back and forth communication that this type of business requires. Hosted ecommerce platforms have the advantage of providing access to established dropshippers through a variety of apps available in their marketplace. By signing up for a subscription, access to all the products that wholesalers offer becomes available and the communication channel between your store and the backend via apps is automated.
Ecommerce platforms open the door to a variety of other marketplaces on top of your own online presence, allowing you to reach potential customers through the likes of eBay, Amazon, Facebook marketplace, and the like. All of these are places visited by people looking to spend money, so it is wise to have your products listed here as well.
It is possible to do this by opening an account on eBay or any other sales channel and manually list products, answer customer questions, and follow through orders, but why not conveniently manage your business from one dashboard? That's what ecommerce platforms are for, and this is what you get for your money.
In other words, if you list a product on your online store, then it is possible to also publish it on other sales channels such as eBay or Amazon at the same time. Since ecommerce platforms support these marketplaces, all the essential info such as inventory management and the sales workflow can be easily managed through in a single browser tab. That way you can focus on a single thing: generating more sales.