For millions of businesses all over the world, eCommerce has become a staple for connecting to target consumers. As the footfall on the local high street continues to decline rapidly, online shopping doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.
It is for this reason among many others why there are now so many eCommerce platforms that have emerged to allow businesses to amplify their products to a digitally obsessed marketplace. No matter how big or small a corporation may be, there is a platform suitable to fulfil pretty much any selling requirements.
We’ve identified three of the most prominent players currently in the eCommerce market, along with how they differ and how they specialise in maximising exposure for specific businesses.
Arguably the most advanced eCommerce platform on the market, Magento boasts a clientele of some of the biggest corporations in the world including Coca-Cola, Nike and Ford. Magento has firmly cemented its position over the years as an extremely useful platform for multinational businesses.
Launched back in 2008, this robust application allows users to completely transform their online shopping presence, offering much more in terms of flexibility than other platforms. With several built-in functions including multicurrency, regular reports and different pricing options all on an innovative dashboard, Magento appears to be the go-to.
As well as providing several functions, Magento offers greater scalability to match specific business goals and ambitions. Several packages are available to suit businesses of different sizes, meaning that a company can grow alongside Magento.
Magento’s advanced ‘Enterprise’ version is significantly more expensive compared to competitors, however, and being such an advanced platform means at least a basic knowledge of web development is required to be able to navigate through it with ease.
Developed as a plugin by CMS giant WordPress in 2011, WooCommerce is the most commonly used eCommerce platform in the world. It is entirely free to use and complements websites that have been created through WordPress (obviously).
Coming in significantly cheaper than Magento due to the fact that it is free to use, WooCommerce is viewed as a perfect platform for small businesses wishing to establish themselves in the online shopping market, and is therefore commonly used by corporations with less market value.
Although less advanced than Magento, WooCommerce has the core elements that any business will need to share their products with the world and allows users to fully customise their eCommerce platform to suit their target consumer(s), saving time and money in the process.
There are, however, limitations with WooCommerce that are only to be expected from a cheaper plugin. For starters, it can be challenging to implement multicurrency, unlike Magento, and there are certain additional features that users have to pay for to improve the eCommerce experience for their users. For businesses looking to expand their online presence in the near future, WooCommerce may become surplus to requirements compared to more advanced platforms.
WooCommerce is also heavily built in favour of their own structure, meaning it can be difficult to make significant changes to suit specific eCommerce needs.
Shopify was launched in 2009 and is seen as the top choice for businesses without background experience in web development to establish themselves in the eCommerce market, due to its user-friendliness.
Although typically suited to SMEs, Shopify has global corporations including OVO, Tesla and Red Bull using its services, and has gained a reputation of loading pages more quickly than competitors, thus improving the user experience (UX).
From a web development perspective, Shopify provides more customisability than WooCommerce and Magento, as it allows you to start building your online store from scratch and add any relevant sections as you please.
With simple drag and drop tools, editing themes, 24/7 customer support and SSL certificates embedded for optimal security, Shopify is perfect for those who require assistance in setting up and maintaining an eCommerce website. There are, however, a couple of disadvantages.
For the luxury of enhanced guidance throughout the entire process, users are going to have to pay as the website develops, as well as an initial installation fee, which is not the case with Magento and WooCommerce.
Shopify is also less customisable than its competitors due to its simplistic nature, meaning that those with superior development skills will be left frustrated at its limited features.
While all three of the eCommerce platforms mentioned above serve different purposes for businesses at various stages of their journey, each has managed to establish itself as an innovative way of connecting brands to consumers on a global scale. Whichever platform businesses choose to adopt, these three are guaranteed to enhance the shopping experience for all users.
We can help you decide which is the best eCommerce platform for you. We specialise in integrating eCommerce platforms with our PIM (Product Information Management) and DAM (Digital Asset Management) systems to enable you to create streamlined multi-channel updates. Get in touch now.