Starting your own business? Looking for the best eCommerce platform for startups? This guide will help in choosing the best platform.
Ecommerce helps you grow your brand to a larger audience all over the world. You don’t require an offline store. Your customers do not have to be physically present to buy from your store. You can sell online sitting at home. Your store is accessible to everyone all the time. You can market and run ads online to grow your reach. Building an eCommerce site costs less than running an offline store. People have started spending more money online, and the trend is on the rise. People can find you when they are searching for products online. Hence eCommerce is a great way to start and scale your business.
What is an eCommerce website?
Ecommerce websites are a medium for selling your goods and services online. It is similar to an offline store without the need for the customer to be physically present. The customer sees the product on your website and orders. It’s the seller’s responsibility then to deliver the product to the customer’s address.
How to build an eCommerce website from scratch?
There are a lot of eCommerce platforms where you can make your site. Woocommerce, Shopify, Wix, Bigcommerce, Weebly, etc., each with its own advantages and disadvantages.
Woocommerce is a plugin of WordPress. You need to buy a domain name and hosting, link them to your WordPress site before connecting it to Woocommerce.
The other option is to make your store on a website builder like Shopify, Wix, Bigcommerce, Weebly, etc. There’s no need to buy hosting for these sites as they have their own hosting. You don’t need to be a web developer to build your site. You can do it on your own with these Ecommerce Platforms.
Best eCommerce platform for startups
Each eCommerce platform comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. Choosing the best eCommerce platform depends on your requirements and budget.
Woocommerce is an eCommerce plugin for WordPress. To make an eCommerce site on WordPress, you need to buy hosting and connect it to your site. The hosting should be fast enough for a better customer experience. We recommend WPX hosting for the same, which is not the cheapest but is fast. WordPress is an open-source platform. It has a wide range of plugins and themes to customize your site. It is the most common with 27% of eCommerce sites on Woocommerce. It is easy to install if you already have a WordPress site for your business. You can sell all kinds of goods on Woocommerce.
Shopify is the second most popular eCommerce platform with more than one million stores online. Shopify is the best platform optimized for sales and is suitable for big eCommerce stores with loads of products. Shopify has loads of free and premium themes to choose from, and their app store contains over 3200 apps to add new features to your store.
BigCommerce is another Shopify competitor that is good for fast-growing online businesses. It has many built-in tools and can scale with your business as it offers plans for all business sizes. You get a library of online resources, in-depth analytics, integration with multiple channels like Facebook, Instagram, etc., for selling on these sites.
Wix is another eCommerce platform that is most suited for people who want a blogging cum eCommerce site. It has an intuitive website building interface called WixAdi, which creates a site for you by looking at your replies to a series of questions it asks. Website building on Wix is easy as it has a lot of templates to choose from.
Weebly eCommerce platform is easy to use, user friendly, and is a good choice for startups. It is cheap and good value for money. The downside is it does not let you sell on multiple channels Facebook, Instagram, etc. Weebly is not suitable for large businesses.
How do I build a cheap eCommerce website?
While all the options mentioned above have a cheap starter plan. Let us see how much it costs to start with each one of them.
Woocommerce- Woocommerce is free but requires hosting. Hosting costs from around $2 monthly for Bluehost and Hostinger to $20 for WPX hosting.
Shopify starts from $29/month paid annually.
BigCommerce starts from $29.95/month paid annually. Check out the pricing here https://www.bigcommerce.com/essentials/pricing/
Wix starts from $23/month paid annually.
Weebly starts from $12/month paid annually. Check out the pricing here https://www.weebly.com/in/pricing
Which is the best free ecommerce site?
Let’s see what all options are there to build an eCommerce site for free.
Woocommerce needs hosting so it’ll cost you at least $2/month for the cheapest hosting.
Shopify has a 14day free trial.
Bigcommerce has a 15day free trial.
Wix basic eCommerce plan is for $23/month billed annually.
Weebly has a free plan but is only for the website, for eCommerce you need to pay $12/month billed annually.
What is the easiest website builder?
Woocommerce is not easy for beginners. The site needs to be set up with WordPress before installing Woocommerce on it. But if you already have a WordPress site, then connecting the Woocommerce plugin on it is easier.
Shopify, Wix, Weebly, and Bigcommerce are all beginner-friendly platforms. You need to choose a pre-designed template, add widgets and elements to customize your site, and you’re all set up. An eCommerce website can easily be made on these platforms without the need for any coding.
Why is Shopify the best eCommerce platform?
Shopify is optimized for sales and has features that make it the best eCommerce platform to start your online store. Some of the features you get with Shopify are:
- Social Media Integration- You can integrate with social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and sell directly on these sites without having the customer visit your store.
- Shopify Fulfillment service manages your shipping, packaging, and handling.
- Shopify experts- You can ask for additional guidance related to marketing, designing your site.
- Discount codes- Let’s you give a discount on your store.
- Multiple currencies- Customers can transact in multiple currencies.
- Shopify offers tools that help you with Abandoned cart recovery.
- Shopify calculates the shipping fees for you.
- Shopify POS lets you take payments online as well as offline.
- They offer 24/7 support.
How much does a Shopify website cost?
If you’ve made up your mind with Shopify, then let’s see how much it costs?
Shopfiy Starter plan is 29/month, check out the pricing here https://www.shopify.com/pricing
You will have to buy a free or premium theme which costs from $0 to $180.
Shopify charges a transaction fee of 2% for using non shopify payment gateways.
Shopify charges an additional 2.9% + 30cents USD for credit card transactions online.
Wix eCommerce plan
Wix is a good alternative to Shopify if you need a website with eCommerce integration, which is not sales-focused but gives a better overall brand awareness. Wix’s eCommerce plan for the US starts from $23/month billed annually, but they have cheaper options for users of different regions.
In India, the basic eCommerce plan for Wix is Rs225/month billed annually ($3/month), which is way cheaper than the US plan and is a great deal for Indian eCommerce Startups. Please check the price in your country as you can get a good deal with Wix. You can check the pricing of Wix here https://www.wix.com/upgrade/website
So, to conclude, the best eCommerce platforms for startups depend on your requirement. If you are looking for a sales-focused eCommerce then Shopify and Bigcommerce are the options. If you are looking for a website with eCommerce functionality then Wix and Weebly are the options. If you are looking for a open sourced eCommerce platform with wide range of plugins to optimize your site then Woocommerce is the option.