If you are looking to create a new e-commerce website or are completely revamping your current website, then you more than likely are trying to decide which platform is the best option for your business. There are several e-commerce platforms to choose from (Magento, Bigcommerce, and Shopify to name a few) and sometimes it is not easy to determine which platform is best for your business needs.
The key is to learn as much as possible about each platform and compare and contrast the features to determine which platform best fits your needs. Along with comparing features, make sure you also read customer reviews about each platform—more likely than not a lot of your questions can be answered by simply reading the reviews before making a decision.
Do You have Technical Experience?
The first thing you need to decide is whether you have the technical experience needed to manage and update a fully custom website. If not, then you have to decide if you are willing and able to hire someone to do this technical aspect for you. Magento can be customized completely to meet your needs; however, you will need to either have strong technical skills and experience or hire someone who does in order to fully utilize all of the features.
On the other hand, if you are not technical at all, then there is Shopify on the other end of the spectrum. With Shopify, you can create your e-commerce website on a limited budget and more often than not you will not need much (if any) technical experiences to get the website up and running. Shopify has a user-friendly platform and a plethora of apps to help you customize your website; however, as with most theme-based platforms the customization options are often limited.
Bigcommerce is somewhere in the middle of the two and may be a good option for someone with some technical experience but without a need for a completely customizable website. Allowing for a decent amount of customization, some technical experience is highly recommended to best utilize the features of Bigcommerce.
Understanding Platform Growth and Potential
In addition to determining the level of technical expertise you will need for each platform to get the desired results, it is also important for you to understand how each platform is doing in comparison to its biggest competitors.
One of the best ways to do that is to understand the demand and supply of each e-commerce website as well as what has changed between 2011 to the end of 2012 (which can give you an idea of where these platforms are heading in the future). The following image has more information about this matter.
(Image Source: Flippa.com)
At the end of the day, the best way to determine which e-commerce platform is best for your business is to research each company and learn more about the features, price, technical experience required, reviews, etc. and pick the platform that will best meet your business’s needs based on your technical experience, budget, and website goals.
Featured image at the beginning of this post is a courtesy of Shutterstock.