What eCommerce provider should you choose if you’ve had an idea for a long time, and want to jump in before someone else opens their online store and creates a fortune?
You start at Google and maybe that’s how you’ve come across this article or maybe a friend sent it to you.
Regardless, this is the beginning of your journey and the first step is the most important, especially if it’s in the right direction that you want to go.
Google reveals pages of different e-commerce providers out there … from 3DCart to Shopify to Wix.
They all look the same. They all seem to do the same thing.
Which one do you choose?
You are a brand with a large social following, selling a medium-sized number of products
The big gorilla in the room is Shopify.
It’s a great robust platform that gets an A+ in support, has a lot of plugins and extensions, and you can be up and running in seconds.
From beginners to experts, Shopify seems to be able to handle any situation.
Beginners can get started without knowing any code while experts are able to get access to the source code.
Users in between can get access to the huge library of add-ons and extensions made by third parties.
However, Shopify’s SEO doesn’t work as well as some of the other platforms so you’ll need to get your traffic from other sources like advertising, content marketing, or social media.
You are a small to a medium-sized brand in a niche category that relies on SEO and sells internationally
BigCommerce does well with SEO and is ideal for the small to medium-sized business.
There’s no transaction fee BUT there is a cap on how much you can process depending on what plan you have.
BigCommerce also integrates well with other channels so you can be on multiple listings at the same time and have your inventory be managed accordingly. Also some leading features like shopping cart abandonment, email notifications, and tracking are included by default in the more advanced plans.
Finally, if you have international customers, BigCommerce lets you sell in multiple currencies.
You are a small brand with a limited number of products, limited budget for technology
While BigCommerce and Shopify have nice templates, you might not have a designer or a technology budget on hand, in which case Wix might be the answer.
Like the previous two, it’s easy to use and integrates nicely with PayPal. There are also hundreds of templates and great customer service.
For simple ecommerce functionality, Wix could work for you, however, keep in mind that it is very simple and might not scale as well for complicated transactions.
It’s also not great with SEO.
You are a former Etsy seller, low volume, with a limited budget for technology
Like Wix, a simple inexpensive solution is Big Cartel, which does not charge transaction fees and is easy to set up.
It’s made for simple transactions, and is most known for artists and makers looking for an alternative to Etsy.
It’s not great with SEO but for the price, it’s hard to beat.
You are a multi-channel subscription seller needing to manage inventory
Volusion is a popular solution that has been around since 1999.
There’s no app store like Shopify but most of the features you want are already in the standard product.
While there is a WYSIWYG interface, it’s not as easy as Shopify or Wix.
Still, it’s a happy medium between the two and has other features that you don’t have to hunt for.
You are a small brand with limited marketing and technology budgets
Weebly is perfect for a simple store with marketing automation with no coding required.
While Weebly’s SEO has much to be desired, the designs are free and the marketing automation tools are included in the platform price.
Unlike some of the other platforms you are limited to 25 products and are charged a 3% transaction fee.
You are a small brand looking for a simple platform with good SEO
Squarespace is not the easiest or fastest way to create your online store, but if you have technical resources you can customize it to exactly what you want.
Included in the base price are powerful marketing, inventory, social, and analytics tools.
However, make sure your technical resource sticks around because the platform has very few third party integrations. For example, payments can only be handled by PayPal or Stripe.
You are an influencer using WordPress
You are already using WordPress and your entire community finds you here.
Wouldn’t it be great if they could purchase directly from you where they can find you?
The answer is WooCommerce.
This WordPress shopping cart plugin is the most popular ecommerce option and runs 30% of all stores on the internet.
If you’re already on WordPress, it’s familiar interface (WordPress now runs Woo Commerce) and library of third party plugins might be the best option for you. It’s free to download, but that means you have limited support.
You are a medium-sized brand with a technical budget and are looking for something very customizable
If you are looking for something more custom and are willing to roll up your sleeves and dig into the code check out Magento, one of the grandaddies of the e-commerce platforms.
Magento costs upwards of $10,000 annually, but the strong developer community (because there’s no other form of support), strong SEO, cloud based hosting, and marketing automation is unparalleled.
There are a lot of different options out there for all of the different personas and categories selling online. Get ready for the Famecast offering where we make all of this invisible to you!
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|Name||Trial||Cost||Value||Features||Performance||Ease of Use||Design and Themes||Integrations||Pros||Cons||support|
|Big Commerce||30 days FREE||29.95 / mo + NO transaction fee (up to 50k, PLUS 79.95 up to 180k, PRO 299.95 up to 400k (10% off if paid annually)||4||3.9||4.5||4.8||3.8||4.2||Premium SEO, Mobile & Social Store, 150+ apps, 24/7 support, multi-channel selling||Inconsistent load speed, high volume stores pay more, No 1 click selling||B+|
|Shopify||14 days FREE||9 / mo + NO transaction fee (basic 29, regular 79, adv 299)||4||3.8||3.9||4.9||4||4.6||Premium SEO, Mobile & Social Store, 150+ apps, 24/7 support, fastest load time, easy set up, 1 click selling||weak at seo, checkout is not customizable, apps are expensive||A+|
|Wix||14 days FREE||17 / mo + NO transaction fee (25, 23, 27, 35, 500)||5||3.7||3.9||4.2||4.7||3.5||No Coding, Product Galleries, Inventory Tools, PayPal Connection, includes marketing automation, simple set up, free themes||poor seo, poor amazon integratio, poor upselling||A|
|Woo Commerce||free||4.5||3.9||3.1||3.3||4.3||4.1||best seo, 1 click selling available, lots of service providers||expensive hosting, hard to troubelshoot, need lots of extensions||C|
|3D Cart||15 days FREE||11.40 / mo + NO transactoin fee||4||3.8||3||4.3||4.3||4.1||No Coding, 24/7 support, free updates, good blog feature, good management tools||old feel templates, reviews for support not positive, upgrade issues|
|Volusion||14 days FREE||26.10 / mo + NO transaction fee, 29, 79, 299||3||3.5||2.9||4.1||3.7||3.5||No Coding, 24/7 support, unlimited storage, great onboarding, subscriptions||slow load times, old feel templates||B|
|Magento||none||free – 15k-50k||3.5||4.4||2.8||2.2||3.7||3.6||Lots of features, strong SEO, 1 click selling||themes pricey, slow load, must be developer||D|
|Squarespace||16, 26, 30, 46||3||3||3.5||3.8||4.3||2.5||easy to set up, good design||limited ecommerce, limited payment gateways, no phone support||B+|
|Weebly||N/A||12 / mo + NO Transaction fee||2.5||2.8||2.6||3.6||4.3||2.3||Mobile friendly, templates, no coding, free hosting||transaction fee on lower tiers, weak seo, no amazon integration|
|Big Cartel||free, 9.99, 19.99, 29.99||A-|