Venturing into the wonderful world of eCommerce is a good thing, however not many are prepared for the various shopping cart platforms available when it comes to eCommerce website design. Going through these platforms can be confusing but the good news is that we have made this work so much easier for you. Each of these platforms has its own pros and cons and you can use the information below to find the most suitable for your business.
Magento CE is one of the most popular platforms out there. Magento website design comes with rich features that allow the merchant to have control over the content, store functionality and most importantly the look. This is important as makes it possible for you to create a Magento website design that is completely suited to your specific needs. This flexibility goes a long way in making your online store stand out from other Magento websites. Some of features that come with Magento CE are:
- Search engine optimization (SEO) tools
- Marketing solutions
- Catalog management
- Advanced analytics
- Multiple payment options
Pros: Magento CE’s architecture is fantastic. The system is powerful and meets most of the needs of a merchant with great customer support and organization.
Cons: The major disadvantage with this platform is that it can be really slow and therefore may require a high end server.
BigCommerce is yet another eCommerce website development platform that you can try out. For a beginner it can prove to be overpowering because it comes with vast features, however these tools do come in handy. Some of the features you will find in BigCommerce include:
- Inventory control
- SEO features
- Online marketing
- Social media integration
- Product performance reports
Pros: The number of features in BigCommerce is an advantage and this is one of the best platforms if you have a big enterprise. The security features are outstanding.
Cons: The major disadvantages of this eCommerce platform are that there are no in-built systems for point-of sale and credit card processing as well.
This platform is considered ideal for start-ups and medium sized enterprises as well. Shopify provides an eCommerce website design that is simple and easy to use with valuable features as well. Some of the fantastic features you will get with Shopify include:
- SEO features
- Free web customization and templates
- Various marketing options
- Inventory management
- Product performance checks
Pros: Shopify provides one of the simplest eCommerce platforms making it ideal for start-ups. Its organization features are helpful to the merchant as it makes it easy to keep track of client information and inventory as well.
Cons: The numbers of products you can include are limited. However this restriction is per category and you can work your way around this by adding more categories as these are not limited.
This eCommerce platform has been around for 14 years and it is therefore safe to say that it is mature. It is one of the major players in the eCommerce website development arenas. Should you opt to go for a Volusion eCommerce site, here’s what you stand to gain:
- Stress free product management, categorization and upload
- Marketing tools
- Mobile phone and social media integration
- Free template designs and various customization alternatives
- Multiple currency support and languages
- Visitor web behavior analysis and reporting
Pros: Volusion has great security tools and also grants advanced HTML for those who wish to incorporate their HTML skills.
Cons: The major disadvantage of Volusion is that it limits the number of products you can incorporate in your online store. This means that it can only serve small to medium sized enterprises.
OpenCart Ecommerce platform comes with an array of features and one of the major reasons why many opt for OpenCart is the fact that it is a free, open source platform. Some of the major features in an OpenCart eCommerce site are:
- Template management
- Extensive payment gateways
- Multiple currency support
- Back-up and restoration tools
- Customer management
- Shipping weight calculations
- Basic SEO
Pros: The obvious advantage of OpenCart is that it’s free. Installation is straightforward and the platform is also easy to use.
Cons: OpenCart upgrades can be difficult to implement and this can be frustrating for the merchant. The architecture of the software isn’t easy to edit and you will have to edit the core.
The above are just some of the major eCommerce website design platforms available. One of the things you will notice is that there are basic features that are present in most, if not all of the above programs. These are features such as: SEO, marketing tools, web customization tools and templates just to mention a few.
When choosing the ideal eCommerce platform for your business, its best to consider the size of your enterprise. As you may have noticed, not all of these eCommerce platforms fit into all kinds of businesses. While some are suitable for small to medium sized enterprises, others are ideal for large sized businesses. Do your research and make an informed decision.