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How the Top 5 Ecommerce Platforms Score on UX, Search Engine & Device Friendliness

When it comes to eCommerce, the biggest concern of entrepreneurs is to choose a platform that will attract more buyers and eventually generate maximum profits. That said, the selection of ecommerce solutions is the trickiest thing you will experience while creating a multivendor marketplace.

With so many options available, choosing the right eCommerce platform becomes a hassle. Every eCommerce platform offers slightly different features for a hugely different price. Citing the notable differences between them will take you through the deciding factors.

How the Top 5 Ecommerce Platforms Score on UX, Search Engine & Device Friendliness

To help you with this, I have compared 5 multivendor eCommerce platforms based on search engine friendliness, essential features for marketing, customizability, after sales service, and most importantly, price. Continue reading to know which platform will give you a good return on investment.

Shopify

Shopify serves more than 200,000 merchants and utilizes an open source framework. Developed in Ruby language, the platform offers several features to customize the store and manage the day to day activities of the store owners.

shopify

Search Engine Friendliness

Shopify comes with nifty features for improving the SEO of your eCommerce store. Although, it cannot be called a complete solution for improving SEO but it does provide the basic functionality, such as:

  • Easy edit option for changing Meta descriptions, and URLs.
  • Improves SEO by optimizing images with alt tags and file names.
  • Automatically generated sitemaps.

Rating: 2 / 5

Marketing Features

In the current marketing dynamics, any online store is incomplete without features such as coupon codes, discounts, and in-depth analytics reports. Although, Shopify comes with in-depth report generation tools but it is limited to its unlimited or plus plan.

Rating: 3 / 5

Customizability

Most themes available in Shopify theme store are priced between $140 – $180 on an average. HTML, CSS, and JavaScript editing is supported. For those, who like to manage their store on the go, Shopify Mobile app, is made available on Apple store and Google Play store officially. Upon some research, it was revealed that many Shopify mobile users complain about bugs in the app.

Rating: 1.5 / 5

After Sales Service

Shopify offers 24 x 7 support through email, chat, and calls in all its packages. Reading other people’s reviews over the internet also showed that Shopify offers good support and replies to queries almost instantly.

Rating: 4 / 5

Price

Shopify’s packages start from an affordable monthly fee of $9. This starting plan may not be the right one if you are looking to open an online store as it allows selling only through social media. The next plan comes at a monthly fee of $29 or $348 annually. However, following features are missing from this plan:

  • Gift card feature
  • No professional reports or advance reports builder
  • No real-time carrier shipping

In the $79 plan, all the features are present, offered by the basic plan at $29. This monthly plan offers a gift card, professional reports, and abandoned cart recovery. The unlimited plan comes at $179 but only offers following features additionally:

  • Advance report builder
  • Real-time carrier shipping

There is a big gap present between each monthly plan. The plan coming with a decent amount of features is priced at $29 but it lacks gift card and professional reports, which are the soul of any e-commerce store.

Rating: 1.5 / 5

Yo!Kart

Yo!Kart is relatively affordable with regard to features availability in its all packages. As claimed by the company, it focuses on building successful and technically sound startups. It is fast, scalable, and seamless on every device. To start an online Yo!Kartventure, it comes across as a robust solution which can give commercial advantage and technical reliability.

Search Engine Friendliness

Improving SEO can be tricky and this is the reason why Yo!Kart comes with the right tools to enhance SEO. Unlike other multivendor ecommerce platforms, which use paid plugins for improving SEO (and other features), YoKart has everything built into it providing a much smoother experience, which makes the system cost-effective. You can also edit things such as:

  • Product meta tags, meta keywords, and meta description
  • Page title tags and meta information from within CMS
  • SEO friendly URLs
  • Google analytics site tracker code
  • Sitemap refresh, and more

Rating: 3.5 / 5

Marketing Features

Does your ecommerce store provide you with enough information on sales? Yo!Kart definitely outperforms everyone in this area. It can generate advance reports on the following:

  • Date wise sales reports: To see which products get sold more in which months
  • User wise sales reports: To give loyalty benefits to certain users in the form of gift cards
  • Product wise sales reports: To analyze the demand of products
  • Store wise sales reports: To see which stores are more profitable
  • Shop wise tax reports: To help you manage tax in a better way
  • Commission wise reports: Focus to shops selling most
  • Affiliates reports: Get to know most productive affiliates

In addition to robust report generation, Yo!Kart also provides functionality for:

  • Managing discount coupons
  • Newsletter management
  • Import and Export the marketplace data
  • Integrated blog management
  • Revamped admin dashboard
  • Multiple payment gateways, and more

Rating: 4 / 5

Customizability

The good thing is it’s constantly improving and new features get added to the platform on a regular basis, making sure that customers never feel the need of additional plugins. For instance, the latest versions offer website admin an option to customize the appearance of the marketplace by changing the color template. The admin can save, delete, and modify color templates. Besides, if a business model demands unique additions, one can get new/more features added on order without burning a hole in pocket.

Rating: 3.5 / 5

After Sales Service

Yo!Kart comes with 1 year of free after sales service from the day of project delivery. After sales service is great with Yo!Kart as to narrow the communication gap, the company uses BIZixx, a project management tool which gives extends transparency and easy access. All other means of communication are also acceptable as per clients’ preference.

Rating: 4.5 / 5

Price

If one has to start from scratch then using Yo!Kart can be a promising bet giving time to test the water with small investment. The hosted packaged i.e. the basic one, comes for $250 per year. It is a turnkey solution that comes with a responsive default template. The option to completely customize the look of storefront is offered in the biggest plan ($5999). The other two plans ($999 and $5999 ) of Yo!Kart lets entrepreneurs build self-hosted ecommerce stores.

Rating: 4 / 5

BigCommerce

BigCommerce has over 90,000 stores registered with it. Generating more than $30 million annually, BigCommerce is always expanding by hiring more people. For complete report, read on.

bigcommerce

Search Engine Friendliness

If you are looking for simple straightforward features to enhance SEO in an ecommerce platform, then BigCommerce is the solution. It does not pack a lot for improving SEO but it does handle all the necessities quite well such as allowing you to enter Meta information for products and site pages.

Rating: 2.5 / 5

Marketing Features

Most ecommerce platforms allow easy integration with others like Amazon, eBay, and more. However, BigCommerce is still in talks with Amazon but allows listing and selling on Etsy, Rakuten, etc. Among others, BigCommerce also provides the following features for marketing:

  • Integration with leading email marketing platforms like MailChimp and HubSpot
  • Direct integration to Google Merchant Center
  • Built-in Blogging system
  • Loyalty programs through discounts and coupons

Rating: 3.5 / 5

Customizability

HTML and CSS languages are important for tweaking the template but BigCommerce’s storefront editor enables you to modify the entire template and tailor it according to your brand. The theme store has both, paid and free themes.

However, not all themes can be customized through storefront editor and the paid themes cost around $150 on an average. Therefore, chances are that you may require a web design company as well to completely modify the store.

Rating: 3 / 5

After Sales Service

BigCommerce offers 24 x 7 support through phone, email, and live chat. Most of the plans give support through live agents but to avail senior technical support, you need to become their enterprise level customer. BigCommerce may be the only company, which has maintained updated documentation and a vast array of video tutorials for its products.

Rating: 3.5 / 5

Price

BigCommerce comes in four different packages with each having its own perk over another. If your budget is short, then plus plan ($79.95 / Month) will provide you the necessary tools to concentrate on marketing your products as well as analyzing your marketing efforts through reporting.

The Pro plan ($199.95 / Month) comes with unique features such as:

  • Google Trusted Stores integration
  • Site wide HTTPS for improved SEO

Adding the Trusted Store badge will ensure the customer that your store is following the right code of conduct, which helps to build confidence in customers.

There is no price mentioned for enterprise plan as it is based entirely upon the demand of the client.

Volusion

The 16-year-old company has seen many changes in the ecommerce segment and has endured over the years. Volusion has evolved rapidly by understanding the changing market and bringing new features into its store. Complete details are mentioned below.

volusion

Search Engine Friendliness

There are certain things in Volusion, which will require manual work. However, almost all other things are automated and will not require your attention. Volusion has automated the use of following rich snippets in organic search, which influences the conversion rate directly:

  • Product ratings
  • Video thumbnails

In addition to these, Volusion also features automated XML sitemap generation to ping the search engines whenever new products are listed in your online store.

Rating: 3 / 5

Marketing Features

Unlike BigCommerce, Volusion offer its users to sell directly on other platforms such as Amazon, Facebook, and more. Volusion supports many marketing features such as:

  • Gift Card
  • Discounts
  • Abandoned cart
  • Affiliate management
  • Basic SEO
  • Loyalty reward feature

Volusion also comes with personalized newsletters to drive repeated purchases and helps to increase loyal customers.

Rating: 3.5 / 5

Customizability

Volusion offers responsive ecommerce templates starting from $50. However, most themes in the store come with a price tag of $895 and $595. The price is the main factor here as no other ecommerce platform offers template in its theme store priced at $895.

It comes with a built-in template editor, which enables you to change the looks of your storefront. Advance users can also edit the raw code manually by editing the HTML and CSS code in files through a FTP access.

Rating: 2 / 5

After Sales Service

Volusion’s after sales support comes in the form of phone, chat, and email. The members of Mini plan have a limitation as they can only get online support. The wait time is also more in online support. However, the members of Plus, Pro, and Premium can enjoy online support with shorter waiting periods and are eligible to get priority support. In addition to online support, Volusion also offers in-depth documentation along with video tutorials.

Rating: 3 / 5

Price

You can try Volusion freely on a trial basis for first 14 days. However, if you choose to continue, then you can avail a 10% discount on annual payment for any plan you wish to use. Integrating your own payment gateway or choosing Volusion’s own payment gateway will make a difference as both will offer slightly different rates.

Volusion is offered in the following four different plans:

  • Mini – $180 / Year
  • Plus – $420 / Year
  • Pro – $900 / Year
  • Premium – $1620 / Year

All the plans come with a limitation on the number of products but in the premium plan, there is no such limitation.

Rating: 2.5 / 5

CS-Cart

CS-Cart is available only by paying the entire sum before using the store. The product lacks proper documentation but has an advantage as it comes with support for multiple languages. Read on to see our full report.

cs-cart

Search Engine Friendliness

CS-Cart comes with standard features to improve the SEO of the store. In addition to writing custom Meta tags, it offers the following:

  • Sitemap generation
  • Product catalog
  • 301 redirects
  • Editing of robots.txt within the ecommerce platform

Rating: 3 / 5

Marketing Features

It packs impressive marketing features to promote products. It gives the option to allow bonus for loyal customers along with coupon management. Another unique feature of this store is the banner feature under marketing menu. Other marketing features include:

  • Gift certificates
  • Reward points
  • Sales reports based on product, category, most active customers, and shipping cost.

Rating: 2.5 / 5

Customizability

CS-Cart provides few nifty options to change the design of the store. The raw code can always be changed with HTML and CSS but the store provides following options for a user without any technical knowhow:

  • Themes – To choose between several responsive themes
  • Layouts – To arrange the order of different elements of the store
  • Templates – To create a new custom template
  • Menus – To create new custom menus
  • Product Tabs – To specify new fields for product information

Rating: 2.5 / 5

After Sales Service

The only way to get in touch with the CS-Cart team is through the contact form. However, the contact form is different for registered users and normal users. The forum and documentation can also be used to sort out minor issues.

Rating 1.5 / 5

Price

CS-Cart is available as free to use but comes with limited features. The other plan comes at a price of $385 and offers unique features such as:

  • Loyalty programs
  • Multiple vendors, language, and currency support
  • Tech support credit
  • Different membership levels

In addition to Lifetime plan, the multivendor plan costs $1450 and adds more tech support credit and separate panels for vendors.

Rating: 4 / 5

Conclusion

There are many common features in the above-compared eCommerce platforms. If you talk about a balanced set of features that can offer with value for money, Yo!Kart. Major reason is that it can be scaled as per the requirement and in doing so, the entrepreneur does not face any technical difficulty.

If you find something missing here or want to suggest something, then feel free to drop a comment below.

All prices correct at time of publishing

Image: E-Commerce Industry Global Standard on 3D Map


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Sandeep Thakur works as Internet Marketing Strategist at FATbit Technologies and has been active in the online marketing industry for many years. He is also the online marketing consultant of FATbit’s leading product Yo!Kart, a multivendor ecommerce system to launch feature rich ecommerce stores at small price. http://www.fatbit.com

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