How to decide on an eCommerce platform?

While starting an online business every entrepreneur is faced while this dilemma- which is the best eCommerce out there which is best for my business? There are many comparison websites which tells you the differences between the many existing platforms. But none of them provides you the real insights into what happens when you complete the first six months of business with them! After all, it usually takes not less than 6 months to judge a platform completely according to your needs. Also, you can find many websites with some attractive titles doing affiliate marketing such as "top 10 best eCommerce platforms in 2016", etc. But again, all such websites do is just compare the features which are already listed everywhere.

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 In this article, we will try to figure out what are good available platforms available these days and if you select any of them then what are the challenges that you are going to face in the near future/long run. We will list the platforms keeping in mind many factors such as scale of your business, your technological background, you long term as well as short term requirements, etc.

Global eCommerce technology distribution 2016:

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So, I will start this discussion by assuming that you are a non-technical user with some basic knowledge of internet. Also, we will assume that you have less budget as well as less time. In such a scenario, you can choose from the below mentioned services:

1. PrestaShop

2. Shopify

3. BigCommerce

4. Volusion

All these platforms have some basic plans which start at very decent prices. Also, they will provide all the technology/codes that are required to setup you store. You dont even need a support/technology team in such cases. They will handle everything.

Challenges: Such platforms are good to start with. You can instantly launch you business online and start selling. They have decent SEO features. But again, they have limited capabilities. For example, lets say after one year of operations you want to scale up your operations. At that time you require some serious control over everything. That means you need to have cpanl excess (many practical scenarios occur when you require this). But these platforms never provide them. Also, you require some serious SEO capabilities which most of these platforms lack.

Now, coming to the other category of uses- the users who are themselves from a technology background. Such kind of users can choose from the below mentioned platforms:

1. Magento

2. OpenCart

3. WordPress

All these platforms provide fantastic capabilities. You have total control over the platform, including the underlying code. Also, SEO is better compared to the SaaS platforms. Scaling at a later stage is very smooth.

Challenges: Such platforms takes some time to start with and launch. Also, you need a proper technical support team to maintain everything. Although these platforms do provide an admin panel which is almost similar to the SaaS based eCommerce platforms. If you yourself are a technical person then you can easily maintain everything, but again this activity will seriously eat your time from the real business.

Now, coming to the third category of people- those who have sufficient amount of funding from the start itself. For them, it is best to go with some custom shopping cart implementation using Java or PHP. Again, this approach is going to cost you much compared to other platforms and will be difficult to maintain in the long if you have have a proper tech team.

ecomm-platforms

So, we have discussed all the three scenarios of selecting an eCommerce platform. Hope this will ease your decision making process. Also, remember one thing- whatever platform you select, problems are bound to occur. You just need to stick to your initial plans and goal and continue doing some real hard work. Its ultimately going to pay off someday in the near future. All the best folks!

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