What's the Best Ecommerce Platform for Your Business?

The success of your ecommerce brand depends on your infrastructure and ability to sell without having complex systems. This guide helps educate you on the platforms available to you.

How To Choose The Best Ecommerce Platform

It's exciting to start a business. But starting an ecommerce business is especially exciting because of the huge opportunities available to you today. You get to choose your business name, create your logo and branding, and start building your website. It’s always good to think about your business in the long term. You’ll never know what problems you might have to solve until you actually get to them. Make sure you’re prepared for whatever comes your way.

It’s not enough to simply choose the best online store builder. You have to also know how to make your site profitable. That’s what my friend Joe Polish teaches in this powerful new book he wrote with Ben Suarez. If you are running an ecommerce business you need to use the best ecommerce platform available. It's an ecosystem of tools that seamlessly integrate, giving you complete control over every aspect of your business and the ability to scale as you grow.

Here's a quick overview of the five best e-commerce platforms. Which one is right for you depends on what you are trying to sell, your budget, and your time frame to achieve your goals.

1. Introduction

2. How to make your website profitable

3. How to make your website safe

An ecommerce platform is the foundation of your ecommerce business. It's what allows your customers to purchase what you are selling.

A great e-commerce experience means providing your customers with easy, fast, and friendly service that makes them feel like you are listening to their needs and meeting those needs with speed and ease.

There are many ecommerce platforms that are worthy of consideration in 2021. Here are the three that are absolutely must-have capabilities

ecommerce-website-store-design-examples

There are many ecommerce platforms out there. How do you know which one is right for you? In this guide, I’ll explain how to choose the right ecommerce platform for you and your business.

Whether you are just starting out or are an experienced merchant, there is no better place to sell your goods than on the world wide web through one of the many websites that use the ecommerce platform known as

What is an ecommerce platform?

An ecommerce platform is a way to create and sell your own unique products. No matter where your customers are or where they like to shop, you can still make sales and fulfill orders. This unique selling position gives you a huge advantage over your competitors.

Most people think their e-commerce platform is just a tool to help them sell products and accept payments online. In reality, an ecommerce platform is much more than that. It is the lifeblood of your online business. It is the core infrastructure that enables you to run your entire business without ever having to lift a finger. A good ecommerce platform should be your complete business command center. From it, you should be able to control everything from inventory to marketing. This payment solution gives you all the tools you need to process payments, including your own online store. But it should also let you create your very own unique website so you can have a totally customized and completely unique presence on the Internet.

What types of ecommerce platforms are there?

In order to make your online store accessible to the public, you have to have a hosting solution. To make sure your website stays safe, you must keep your visitors as well as yourself safe. That's why you should use a web hosting service that is secure. A secure service is one that is SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certified by a third party such as Verisign.

No matter where you are hosting your website, you will always have dedicated server space. Your site will be as accessible and fast as possible.

1. There are two basic types of ecommerce hosting: (

2. hosted - where the platform provides all the necessary services for you to run your store; and (

3. self-hosted - where you must also purchase and install the various tools and services needed to set up your store.

What does hosted mean?

Some website builders offer a “hosted” platform. There's no need to fuss with setting up your own web server or figuring out additional fees. This service eliminates all of that so you can get on with making money right away. It’s actually much more than that. It’s a complete ecommerce solution that includes everything you need to get your online business off the ground.

As long as your hosting provider is doing their part, your website will always be up to date and won’t require any maintenance from you. There are many reasons to build an Amazon store on a hosted solution such as Magento, but focusing on the main one—providing more freedom for you to run your business—is the most compelling of all.

What does self-hosted mean?

There are many different types of ecommerce platforms. Some are self-hosted which means the merchant must use his or her own web server and software to create and maintain the website. Other ecommerce platforms are hosted which means the merchant pays to have the platform and all of the items on the site hosted for him by the platform owner. Ongoing website management is complex. You have to be responsible for updates, maintenance, and bug fixes. That means you, not your designer or developer, are ultimately responsible for making your site a success. This is an expensive lesson. Don't let it happen to you. Make sure you've got enough internal resources allocated to other matters.

A platform hosted in the cloud is typically provided by a third party such as Amazon, GoDaddy or Rackspace. You access your site data through a web browser. When you outsource a portion or all of your fulfillment needs, you'll find that you end up saving time and money. Both the fee you pay for the service and the savings in time and money will add up over a period of months and even years. It’s not unusual for web hosting services to use tiered pricing structures, which means those on the lowest plans don’t get much in the way of customer support. This will leave you hanging at times when it really matters, like after a big event or during a traffic boost after unexpected press coverage.

lady shopping in clothing store

What does a great ecommerce experience mean to you?

After you answer the four questions below, you will have a clear idea of what you need in an ecommerce platform and will be able to evaluate and decide between the various ecommerce platforms based on your answers. Do you really need an ecommerce website? C: If not, why do you want to create an Amazon website? D: If so, which one is the best ecommerce platform? E: In the final analysis, there is no single best choice for everyone. And, that’s OK. There is, however, almost certainly a best choice for you. Best. Choice. For. Instead, look for the right e-commerce platform that lets you serve your customers the best experience that makes shopping online feel easy.

Be aware there are other important business building tools offered by the Amazon and other ecommerce platform affiliates. Beyond simply the best online store builder, consider the other business tools offered by these affiliate networks. It's often beneficial to use a "seamlessly integrated" ecosystem, consisting of your website, payment processor, point-of-sale, and even small business lender. One of the many reasons I love working with clients is that, for the most part, they already know what they want to sell. They just need someone to take the reins and show them how to get it done. Amazon is a tough platform to navigate, and there are plenty of online businesses that have given up before even getting started.

What types of ecommerce are there?

There are four different types of ecommerce: B2C (business-to-consumer), B2B (business-to-business), C2B (consumer-to-business), and C2C (consumer-to-consumer).

That stands for Business-to-Consumer. This is the kind of marketing that almost anybody can get involved in. An individual consumer (you or me) can also benefit greatly by selling to a business consumer. It's a lot less scary than trying to sell to a business to business consumer and it's usually more profitable as well. This book will teach you everything you need to know about copywriting for websites, including how to identify your strongest selling points and how to create compelling headlines, body copy, middles, and closing.

Business-to-business. “B2B” stands for “Business-to-Business.” It refers to any type of transaction that occurs when two separate businesses trade with each other instead of one business trading with its own customers. Wholesale buying transactions include both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions. They also include transactions for which the purchasing business intends to resell at a profit, and for business use, such as for office supplies and equipment.

2SQ. C2B stands for: Can You Guess? 2SQ stands for: Consumers also have selling power, as seen when they buy products from businesses. "Traditionally," when someone offers to buy or sell something to you, that transaction is based on an honest-to-goodness sale. An actual exchange. However, there are times when something less than an actual exchange occurs. One example of a “consumer” offering their influence is if a customer has a feature on their profile page such as an interest in golf, then the merchant can pay to have that golf interest featured on the customers’ profile page in return for a five-star review.

"Can we be friends?" There is an increasing trend among consumers towards selling to one another through the sharing economy. This is a very good thing! It provides more choice for the consumer and allows them to get exactly what they want, when they want it, and how they want it. The web is littered with platforms like CraigsList, Facebook's Marketplace, and even your local newspaper's "People Who Want To Get Rid Of Old Furniture" section that can be used to conduct C2C ecommerce.

You should only ever have one primary ecommerce site for your business. That site should be the one that presents your offers and products in the best light. Make it the one that has the most appeal and the best options for your customers. Make it the "home base" for all your sales efforts.

Ecom shipping packing station

The best ecommerce platforms for 2021

Again, there’s no “one size fits all” answer when it comes to choosing an ecommerce platform. Your decision will be driven by your unique business model and growth plan. These are the best e-commerce platforms for 2021. They are all very different, but they are all excellent choices if you are just getting started online or if you need a different platform than what you are currently using.

walmart-shopify

1. Shopify

Price: $27 monthly

Free trial length: 14 days

Shopify is one of the fastest growing business online. The platform has regular updates and developments and is 100% focused on becoming the number one platform connecting brands with customers.

Integrated sales channels: Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Google, Walmart.com, and Amazon and more.

Suite of mobile tools to fully manage your online business is what makes this book different. You'll discover 52 powerful tools that will supercharge your ability to sell on the web... even if you are a newbie!

POS: Yes on a specific plan that includes POS

The best ecommerce platform is Shopify. It's the most used ecommerce platform in the world, by far. Our robust platform comes with several complementary tools and features for multi-channel selling and also lets you create an entirely new channel from scratch. That means you can sell directly through your website, at your retail store, on social media and third-party marketplaces, and anywhere else you can think of. You'll discover over 100 unique and free themes to use when you create your own ecommerce website. Many of these will take seconds to download and set-up and they’ll get your store up and running fast with almost no learning curve.

This is one of the main reasons so many entrepreneurs choose to use Shopify as their ecommerce platform. You get access to everything you need to run and grow your business right from the box.

1. Paypal, Square, Authorize.net and others charge high transaction fees. If you process credit cards yourself you'll have to pay up to $

2.20 or more per credit card transaction. Shopify POS and others allow you to accept credit cards directly at your store, but they require you to pay around $

3.00 per transaction to do so.

It's also one of the best choices for low-traffic, low-budget sites. You get unlimited bandwidth and disk space, so you won't have to pay more as your site gets more traffic and increases in size.

That's just a small sample of the many powerful apps that work together seamlessly within the Shopify ecosystem. There's an app for almost everything! There are so many third-party apps you can add to your Amazon experience it would make your head spin. They range from shipping tracking to price comparison tools, to customer surveys and much, much more. In my opinion, these two sentence pairs have very different effects. Can you guess why? Hint: It's hard to imagine a more complete ecommerce solution than Shopify's suite of tools. The free version has enough features to keep even an expert merchant busy for years to come.

The Amazon mobile app is a virtual necessity for anyone who shops on the site, whether they are an existing Amazon customer or not. With the app, you get complete parity to operate your Amazon business from anywhere at any time.

With all these powerful features, your business can be set up with little technical know-how, and you can budget and scale to an international online brand without changing platforms along the way. Get Shopify.

woocommerce revenue wins with seo-work-smarter

2. WooCommerce

1. Price: Average monthly fee is up to $75; WooCommerce estimates costs to be $300/year for hosting; $15/year for domain name registration; up to $100/year for your site theme; up to $108/year for shipping;

2.9% plus $

Free trial length: 14-days Conclusion Obviously, A won. I think if you actually read the two ads and then told me which one you thought was the winner, I'd be stunned.

There are many customer support options: Live Chat (if available), Email, Telephone, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and more. But for third-party apps and plug-ins, you're pretty much on your own.

Integrated sales channels: Google, Etsy, eBay, Facebook, Amazon, Pinterest, and (of course) Walmart; integrations are... integrated!

An amazing feature of the Amazon App Store is that it allows you to actually add products to your shopping cart and then go to the Amazon website to finish your purchase. This feature alone will make your conversion rate skyrocket!

Point-of-sale: Not natively available

WooCommerce is the best ecommerce plugin for WordPress. It’s so good, many experts say it’s almost like having a complete ecommerce solution without actually installing an ecommerce plugin at all. WordPress is the most popular blogging software in the world, and many website owners (like Paul) use it to power their entire sites, including an online store. They do this by installing a third party app named “WooCommerce”.

It has very few "built-in" ecommerce features which are why many online merchants use it for their online stores. This means they add various "appliances" to get the ecommerce functionality they need. It doesn’t matter if you are using WooCommerce, Magento, OsCommerce, or any other ecommerce platform – adding new features always makes things a little bit more difficult. The best way to make sure you don’t break anything is to simply avoid adding new features until you absolutely must. And this isn’t always a risk you want to take. Consider the alternatives: spending $500+ on ad copy and media, paying for email blasts, or just giving up altogether.

If you have a WordPress blog, you can make it even more profitable by using the "Buy Button" developed by Jason Stone. It will allow you to add an order/checkout page to your blog which will enable you to sell your content directly to your readers via PayPal. You can embed the button on your website and start making sales immediately at only $9 per month.

WordPress is too complex and bloated to make it feasible for a beginner to create anything more than a simple website or blog. For those who have some experience with WordPress, it is still too complex and unreliable to rely on for anything serious. Instead, use a service like WordPress.com or WordPress.org to create your site for free. They’ll take care of everything for you, including making sure your site loads fast and is search engine optimized. PCI compliance is not part of the standard set of features of an ecommerce hosting package. Therefore, if you are considering going this route, you need to make sure your hosting provider has specifically informed you that they are compliant, and you should confirm this by asking directly.

Shopify free trial offer

How to choose the right ecommerce software for you

After you've determined what kind of product you are going to sell on your website, there are several considerations. One of them is choosing an ecommerce platform or website builder that is right for you. No matter what kind of business you're in, Amazon is the best ecommerce platform for you if you fully understand how it works and are ready to put in the time to learn the tools and techniques needed to make it a profit center for you.

If you have a passion for selling online, there’s no better platform than Amazon FBA. It’s easy to get started, and you can make money even if you don’t have a physical product to sell. There’s more to the decision than just day-to-day use and cost. You also need to think about how well the makeup will wear off. Will you get comments like “Wow! You need to think about where your business is headed and where it's going. You need to find a platform that can help you make sure your business is headed in the right direction and can help you adapt to changes in that direction, as they happen.

It’s not just about finding a commerce platform now; it’s about finding the best platform for commerce—online, in-store, and everything in between. If you don't have a best-in-class online store and don't have a best-in-class suite of business management tools you should seriously consider hiring someone who does. Hire wisely. Don't cheap out. Use an expert. Look for a technology provider who is committed to investing in their platform and staying at the forefront of ecommerce. They should be looking for you! If your website builder becomes a vehicle for growth, it will be so much more than just a platform where you do business. It will be a living, breathing organism that will grow and flourish and generate income for you and your family for years to come.

If you do a little mental gymnastics, you'll discover this is the perfect choice for you!

I must sell my products to all my customers—online, offline, and in all locations—no matter what. And I must accept payment for those orders from everywhere my customers are located.

I'm going to make millions of dollars selling this product! It's an absolute no-brainer. You can order within the next two hours and get started right away. This product sells itself.

I'm getting to the point where I have to actively seek out new customers. My current and future customers are growing so much, I can't even see them all.

You should have someone else run your business for you while you take a break, do something else, or are on vacation. You need someone who is detail oriented, smart, energetic, a good problem solver, a team player and has an entrepreneurial mindset.

Creating content with UGC

Find a good fit for your business model

There are many ways to sell online. It takes many forms. Whatever business model you choose, there are plenty of opportunities to make a lot of money. The real key is finding something you love to do, and doing it better than anyone else. It doesn’t matter if you sell on Amazon or another platform, if you use a third-party fulfillment center, you’ll need an ecommerce platform that is able to easily integrate with that fulfillment center.

When it comes to ecommerce platform apps, you can’t beat a good old-fashioned Shopify app store. They have thousands of apps you can install on your website, most of which are completely free. There are apps for everything these days. Even for print-on-demand and subscription businesses, which makes it easier to run on Shopify than on other platforms.

Consider your future business plans

Your business probably has humble beginnings but, you likely have a vision for where you want to take it in the future. These goals are crucial to think about, whether or not you want to grow your business globally.

You should consider adding physical retail to your online business at some point. It will increase your bottom-line significantly. A marketplace that facilitates hundreds of thousands of transactions per day makes everything much more complex. To get the functionality you need, you have to pay. Usually, there are multiple fees and charges involved. Amazon is not as accurate as it should be. They don’t have enough people to check all of the inventory they have in their warehouses. They are much more likely to have inaccuracies in their inventory data than any of the other major ecommerce sites (including yours).

With a platform like Shopify, everything is synced in a single, organized place. That means if you're running multiple locations, it's easy to keep all your data in line. As your Amazon business grows, so will your ability to manage your business, both online and offline. With Xero, you’ll always have accurate inventory and sales data—and you’ll be able to be up and running for in-person sales in a matter of minutes. But what I like most about Shopify is that they have a 30-day money-back guarantee. And they give you unlimited revisions. So, if you're not satisfied, for any reason at all, just contact their customer service team and you'll receive a full refund, no questions asked.

Many businesses need additional funding down the line. That’s why it’s important to have a strong personal relationship with your banker. As many as 66% of all entrepreneurs draw from their own savings to get their businesses off the ground. Another 23% get a loan from a friend or relative. And another 21% use a personal loan. Our data shows none of these percentages are much different from the overall population of entrepreneurs.

There are other ways to raise money for a small business besides borrowing from family and friends, and banks, and them asking for collateral. These options are less risky for a business owner's personal relationships, but they can still be very profitable. Look for ecommerce platforms that have small business lending like Shopify Capital. These platforms make it easy for you to get the financing you need to scale up your business.

Which ecommerce platform is best?

Whether you’re selling T-shirts or computer programs or whatever else, Shopify is the most complete ecommerce solution available.

Website builder: best for getting a jump start on your website without having to write a single word of code

Shopify: best for small businesses C: Woocommerce: very popular and generally good for any size business D: Squarespace: great for individuals and very affordable for smaller businesses E:

Open source: perfect for those without any technical resources or with very limited resources C: PrestaShop: for shops without much traffic, but with the ambition to grow D: Microsoft Dynamics:

For WordPress websites, WooCommerce is the best ecommerce plugin to use. It’s easy to set up and is very powerful once you are up and running.

Shopify: best for business owners and marketers who want to have total control over the look and feel of their ecommerce website.

WordPress: the most popular and powerful blogging platform in the world

 

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