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10 Best Ecommerce Platforms for Small Business of 2018

Ecommerce Platforms for Small BusinessIf you plan to begin a new ecommerce venture in 2018, you’re late to the party. But as they say, better late than never. You simply need to get caught up on all the different ways digital commerce has changed in the last couple of years.

Artificial intelligence, for example, has made a splash in the industry, and the overall customization level has increased exponentially. Consumers now find digital wallets more convenient, prompting online stores to add this payment option. Plus, considering how mobile accounts for 59 percent of all sessions by device on ecommerce websites, businesses should pay special attention to the needs of mobile users. Last, but not the least, a built-in analytics system is a must for ecommerce sites to improve conversion rates.

Keeping these developments in mind, find out more about the best ecommerce platforms that can help you get started with a bang in 2018.

Best Ecommerce Website Builders

Creating an ecommerce site can be overwhelming given the overwhelming number of options available in the marketplace. For that reason, many small business owners have no choice but to hire a developer. However, there is an option to build and maintain a professional looking digital store easily while improving your online presence – an ecommerce store builder. These builders provide access to different options and tools that make website design a breeze.

Shopifycreate a website

Shopify, a Canada-based ecommerce solution, has been helping global online businesses since 2004. Focusing mainly on trending mobile shopping and social commerce, Shopify is the best CMS for ecommerce website. The builder has evolved to accommodate the latest ecommerce technologies and trends. This website builder has broken ground on useful features, including social shopping that allows customers to buy directly from you without having to leave their social media platform.

Apart from numerous plugins, themes, and extensions, Shopify ecommerce CMS offers abandoned cart recovery as well as 24 X 7 technical support via phone, live chat,and tutorials. Users can benefit from seller mobile applications, a mobile-friendly shopping cart, and several other mobile-based functionalities.

The ever-active Shopify community forum also proves a boon for business owners. However, you must pay an extra transaction fee if you refuse to use Shopify Payment. Also, Shopify’s coding language ‘Liquid’ can pose certain problems for small businesses as customization requires payment of an incremental fee. However, this should not discourage beginner-level entrepreneurs from pursuing an ecommerce venture. Shopify is extremely easy to use and you can launch your own business site quickly. The packages are designed to fit companies with smaller budgets.

Wix Ecommerce Builder

Wix Ecommerce Buildercreate a website

Wix is a favorite among new retailers interesting in launching an online store due to its ease of use and convenience. This drag and drop ecommerce website builder quickly helps create a simple website. Even though Wix is not meant to run a full-fledged digital business, there are several features that make this process a breeze.

For example, business owners can use a vast number of professionally designed templates for free. These templates target different industries and are capable of fulfilling your business-specific requirements to the max. A handy set of SEO tools, including alt texts, descriptions, customizable page titles help your ecommerce site rank high in Google search results.

What’s more, you get multiple payment options, shipment management, and coupons tax features that are designed to make the ecommerce process easier. And if there’s a particular business feature that you need but the tool lacks, you can compensate for the same with third-party apps.

BigCommercecreate a website

Since its launch, BigCommerce has helped create over 55,000 digital stores. From large companies like Toyota to various SMEs, BigCommerce has enabled the businesses of all sizes to launch an online storefront. Ecommerce business owners without any knowledge of basic coding will find the built-in features sufficient for running and managing a complete ecommerce site. From shipping tax to coupons, analytics to newsletters, BigCommerce assists users in many ways, especially when there are zero transaction fees involved in the process.

Hassle-free store integration with eBay, Google shopping, and Facebook along with responsive themes provides a consistent user experience on mobile as well as desktop. Users also benefit from detailed guides with demos and visual illustrations, tutorial videos, and an easy setup wizard.

The number of free themes offered by BigCommerce is limited but that is offset by the high number of customization choices. So, if you want to run an online store without integrating plugins, coding, and experiencing other technical hurdles, BigCommerce is a safe bet.

Weebly Ecommerce Platform

Weebly Ecommerce Platformcreate a website

With over 40 million websites under its belt, this ecommerce site builder is miles ahead of the competition. What sets Weebly ecommerce apart from the rest is its focus on improving the platform’s technology rather than eye-catching marketing campaigns. Weebly is an amazing site builder that makes it easy for ecommerce websites to create a professional presence online. Apart from that, the Weebly developers have added several new features to the builder to help users sell goods online without any coding knowledge.

You can use Weebly to sell physical products that need to be shipped, or digital items, such as media and e-books. But how many features you can access depends wholly on the plan you select. While the Starter and Pro plan offer access to features, it’s quite limited in scope. Plus, you’ll be charged an extra sales fee. So, if you want to run a successful ecommerce store, you should opt for the Business Plan. It includes every feature you need. You might also be interested in the Performance plan, that comes with value-added options like real-time shipping rate calculation and abandoned cart email engine.

Weebly is extremely easy to use apart from being intuitive. The web store integrates seamlessly into the website builder and SSL-encryption means your customers’ details will remain protected at all times. The shipping and tax calculator available in the Weebly features is semi-automatic and helps save a lot of time.

Jimdo Ecommerce Website Builder

Jimdo Ecommerce Website Buildercreate a website

Ever since the foundation of the company in 2007, Jimdo has helped build 15 million websites. While most of its clients include musicians, photographers, bloggers, and entrepreneurs, Jimdo even allows aspiring ecommerce entrepreneurs to create the website they need. The builder takes all the guesswork out of creating a custom site and requires no coding knowledge. The templates are all sleek, trendy, and sophisticated, and will appeal to your target audience. One of the biggest highlights of the Jimdo website builder is the option of changing templates any time. Plus, if you have coding skills, you can create a website from scratch. This means people from any industry can utilize this tool.

As email and domain are a part of Jimdo’s paid plans, it is possible to create an ecommerce site and have it up and running within a short time. Jimdo Business provides paid subscribers access to a web storefront with numerous listings. This allows entrepreneurs with a large inventory to do business without the hassle of transaction fees. If you opt for the higher level payment plan, Jimdo Business offers priority customer support to avoid any site mishaps.

There are several widgets and tools available that helps run the ecommerce site seamless behind-the-scenes. Now, instead of sourcing out work to third-party companies or buying extra services and software, aspiring ecommerce entrepreneurs and business owners can access everything needed by conducting inventory, promoting services and products, communicating with customers, and collecting payments for services rendered and products sold.

Jimdo includes all the necessary ecommerce tool companies, including Munch, Freshbooks, PayPal, and Ticketbud. Moreover, you can seek help from the built-in SEO tools to get the word out about your digital store quickly and easily to the masses. Jimdo Ecommerce lets you set page titles and site title. By adding keywords that describe your ecommerce store in the website title, you raise the chances of online users locating your site after conducting a web search with those words and phrases.

Webnode Ecommerce Web Platform

Webnode Ecommerce Web Platformcreate a website

Webnode is an extremely popular website builder that caters to more than 30 million worldwide users. But the big question is, is it good enough to benefit you and your budding ecommerce business? The answer is a resounding yes. When you use the WebNode tool to create your website, you immediately gain access to superb templates that attract the attention of your consumers. Plus, the site is going to work fine on mobile devices without any sort of effort. What’s more, WebNode supports 20 separate languages, allowing you to create a multilingual digital store and cater to a more global audience whose first language isn’t always English.

There are some great search engine settings available with WebNode that boost your SEO results and make it easier for customers to find your store. And if any problems occur, the support team responds promptly and bails you out in a pinch. Even though the bulk of ecommerce functionalities are found on Webnode’s older, outdated platform, it still does a decent job of helping entrepreneurs sell their products. To make the ecommerce web builder more efficient and user-friendly, WebNode has recently released several major updates.

Overall, this site builder is quite well laid out and supports the efforts of small or local business owners who wish to establish a digital presence online via an ecommerce store. As long as your site can do without too many features and you wish to avoid the expenses that come with hiring a personal website designer, Webnode is a perfect choice.

Best Ecommerce Open Source Platforms

Open source ecommerce platforms allow you to access the code and alter it as per your requirements. Compared to website builders, this provides users with ample scalability and flexibility. For example, you have complete control over every element in your site design. Once your online business expands and your monthly sales rise, open source lets you embrace it without being charged a lot of money for greater sales volume. That means as long as you’re willing to code it yourself, open source ecommerce platforms provide the potential for limitless features. However, keep in mind that if you’re not an expert coder, you might find the cost of getting your free site to perform the operations you want stacking up quickly.

Magento

Magentocreate a website

Launched a decade ago in 2008, Magento is one of the most popular open source small business ecommerce platforms. Its scalability and reliability continue to impress users and many prominent brands like Pepe Jeans and Huawei use this platform for their websites. By virtue of being open source, Magento provides users with limitless customization choices. Plus, it is quite easy to use and can be managed easily. Thanks to the availability of over 9000 extensions and plugins, Magento offers a high level of scalability. You enjoy access to various social media extensions, and there is also an extensive resource library devoted to new plugins, demos, store management, and other helpful options.

Now, store owners with little knowledge of coding might find Magento to be a handful, but you can hire third-party programmers to handle the shortcomings. The basic version is available for free, but the enterprise version will charge you annually. However, you can overcome this problem by getting the Community edition that allows online retailers to enjoy plenty of features without paying any money. Most notable among these is the support for multiple languages and different currencies, management for one or more stores, and custom modules. There is a large, thriving community available for this platform, which means if you’re facing any issue with Magento 2 form extension and others, you can find the answer in the forums. Of course, it might take a while due to the extensive size of the community, but your query will eventually be answered.

osCommerce

osCommercecreate a website

As a fledgling online business owner, you require a platform that is simple to maintain and osCommerce fits the bill perfectly, making it one of the best ecommerce platform for small business. This ‘oldie but goldie’ solution still remains a great option for online retailers as it provides access to custom designs and functionality. What’s more, you can enjoy well over 7,000 extensions that have been created by the developers of osCommerce.

There is a well-developed community for osCommerce that includes well over 26,000 online retailers. This means if you encounter any sort of problems with your ecommerce site, you can rely on this support network. Although the platform sometimes gets a bad rep for being old and not quite as powerful as more recent ecommerce builder platforms, it manages to do a decent job. Scaling up, however, might pose a bit of a problem.

At the end of the day, osCommerce is an extremely reliable and user-friendly platform that enables you to get a new website up and running without delays. Customization is possible through plugins, while you get active backup from the community.

PrestaShop

PrestaShopcreate a website

PrestaShop is a common addition to the list of most popular ecommerce platforms, and with good reason. The intuitive admin panel coupled with its ease of use makes PrestaShop a hot favorite among online retailers. Using this platform, entrepreneurs can determine the extent of technical control they wish to exert over their online store and choose between either a fully-hosted option or a self-hosted one. But the best part is, both of these PrestaShop versions can be availed by users free of cost.

There are some disadvantages, of course, starting with the limited ecommerce site customization features available. So, if you want a platform that enables your business to design a website with a stylish layout and numerous graphic elements, it’s best to look elsewhere. Thankfully, this problem is somewhat offset by the ability of users to buy additional themes for customizing the design. You can choose from among thousands of templates and modules to add to the site’s core functionality. PrestaShop even allows for cross-selling and one-page checkout. Shipping discounts can be applied to products and you experience complete backend support for managing your inventory more efficiently.

OpenCart

OpenCartcreate a website

Considering how most ecommerce site builders and platforms are switching to paid subscriptions, it’s nice to have something free of cost. You don’t need to pay anything to download and use OpenCart, and the open source platform works great for small businesses that wish to keep their expenses to a minimum yet have several customization options at their disposal. Sure, development skills are somewhat necessary, but you’ll soon find that it’s not hard to expand upon the functionalities of the basic tool using extensions.

The best part about OpenCart is the extensions, which are primarily meant for ecommerce, including payment gateways, shipping methods, reports, and product feeds. Combined with powerful code access, OpenCart lets entrepreneurs customize their web store any way they want. Users will get a hang of the simple dashboard after a few tries, and the platform supports numerous currencies and languages. If that’s not all, OpenCart allows you to run different stores from a single admin, together with useful backup and restore features.

You can add filters to guide potential customers, and use the guest checkout and shipping calculator to make transactions easier. Powerful search engine optimization capabilities and support for more than 1,000 payment gateway make this ecommerce builder platform the complete package.

Developing an ecommerce website has become easier than ever thanks to the availability of many different builders and platforms. Depending on your requirements, you should consider the options mentioned above, and avail the same to boost your sales and establish a strong online presence.

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Best Ecommerce Platform