Even with all the advantages of Shopify mentioned above, there are some downsides with the platform. The most prominent downside is the additional transaction fee you'll be liable to pay if you don't use Shopify Payment. Moreover, plenty of useful and practical extensions require additional investment. Perhaps most challenging is "Liquid," Shopify's own coding language, which requires ecommerce store owners to pay an incremental price for customization.
Volusion allows you to focus on selling products and leaves the technical stuff, like getting bogged down by servers or getting frustrated with the back end of your site, to them. Volusion does not charge any transaction fees so you keep all of the revenue you make. Volusion has 359 (82 free and 277 paid) ecommerce template design options including some that are very mobile-friendly. Volusion also enables you to run your store on the go with their mobile app.
You can also get a range of child themes for Storefront in case you want to customize the look of your store further. Most of the child themes are available at $39 a piece (occasionally, though, there are themes with price tags as high as $119). If you're a developer with ecommerce clients, they have a package for $399 where you get all of the themes in the library.
Handshake: B2B customer ordering and sales rep order entry solutions. Handshake is for companies like brands, manufacturers and distributors who are selling to retail stores or other business customers. For customer ordering - Handshake helps you provide a modern B2B eCommerce experience for easy online ordering and a mobile app for shelf-side orders when your customers are out on the floor. For sales rep ordering - Handshake provides a dedicated sales rep app that gives them the customer, product, pricing and inventory information they need to have better customer conversations. Orders can be entered fast and submitted instantly.
Weebly’s range of price plans and various features make it great value for money. You can easily scale up through the price plans as your store grows, but for large or fast-growing stores, it’s not the best option. Weebly is developing its ecommerce focus and releasing some promising updates. With Square now opening up Weebly’s ecommerce abilities, we definitely recommend watching this space.
Of course, with a field as complex as ecommerce, there will always be something new to learn down the line. Keep in mind that you can always refer to this guide at any time if you’re not sure what your store’s next move should be. We also encourage you to check out our library of ecommerce guides and news if you want to immerse yourself even more in the field.
BigCommerce is the world’s fastest-growing e-commerce platform, powering more than 90,000 stores. You’ll get everything you need to create a successful online store, including a securely hosted site, shopping cart, product catalog and more. Themes and point-and-click design features make it easy to build a gorgeous site without any design or technical skills, while powerful built-in marketing and conversion optimization tools help you promote your business and sell more.
Site123’s pricing model is simple: you can get started for free, with 500MB of storage, 1GB of bandwidth per month, as long as you don’t need to use your own domain name (free sites are hosted on Site123 subdomains). However, you won’t be able to engage in eCommerce until you upgrade to the Premium plan. For $9.80 per month, a free domain is included for one year, you’re provided with an ample 10GB of storage and 5GB of bandwidth, Site123 branding is removed and you can sell as many items as you wish.
Sitting firmly at the “all inclusive” end of the market, Volusion is a feature-rich e-commerce platform with everything you could possibly need to run an effective e-commerce store. Like Shopify and Bigcommerce, the model is similar – you are effectively renting your store on a monthly basis, and in the process gaining access to the power and customization potential of the Volusion platform.
To make things easier, compare vendors using the spreadsheet you created earlier. Create a table listing all the things you need in your ecommerce platform, then put the vendors you’re considering in different columns. This will allow you to easily tick off the features that each vendor can deliver. If a platform doesn’t have a feature you need, write down if and how you can work around it (i.e. use a third party integration, develop a custom solution).
Serving niche markets. Running a niche brick-and-mortar business is extremely difficult. There’s almost no chance of scaling it unless a niche product becomes mainstream. By tapping into a global market, on the other hand, eCommerce retailers can build a highly profitable niche business without any further investment. Using online search capabilities, customers from any corner of the world can find and purchase your products.
BigCartel is a great platform for small businesses and creative independent ventures. They aim to make selling easy for small stores, with a “quick setup” feature that can get an ecommerce store up and running extremely quickly. They also have a range of free themes. Customizability isn’t super high, but apps and add-ons do allow for some flexibility.
WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that is primarily used for selling products or services online. Regardless if your products are digital or physical, WooCommerce makes it easy to build an online store that is customized specifically to your business needs. WooCommerce also makes it easy to manage your inventory, take secure payments, manage shipping, and will even apply taxes accordingly.
Load time is a pretty straightforward indicator of how fast your site is. Simply put, it’s the measure of how long it takes a page (or pages) on your site to fully load. A slow site is a killer in ecommerce – potential customers run away from slow sites, and as we mentioned earlier, each second you gain in site loading speed translates directly into sales gained.