Technology can be a real pain sometimes. Setting up a business on technology is only part of the puzzle. You still have to keep it running. That involves a whole lot of maintenance, tweaking and messing with some code.
Unfortunately, many ecommerce business owners still want to cut corners in this aspect. “Let’s manage this piece of tech first. We’ll tweak later”.
To me, that’s like going to a quack plastic surgeon to get a nose job. Give yourself a couple of years, and you’ll see how botched you become.
Not a fancy experience. And that’s because at that time, you’ll have even more to fix. And you’ll be under pressure because your customers will complain.
So how do you save yourself the hassle of paying for your tech mistakes later on?
Find Out What Works And Stick With It
Since the boom of the ecommerce industry, many solutions have sprung up claiming to be the best at what they do. According to a list on SitePoint, there are 70+ ecommerce solutions to date. Yes, a lot of them are effective and work really well.
But what we need isn’t just the solution that works but the one that works with the smallest effort possible. We don’t want to have to worry about our tech. We want the confidence that once it’s set up, it powers our ecommerce businesses without much hassle.
If that’s what you want, here’s a list of complete ecommerce solutions that will give you less to worry about. I’ll also show you what makes each one hassle-free.
So let’s get to it.
#1. Bigcommerce (Enterprise Edition)
According to the Bigcommerce website, they have more built-in marketing tools than any other solution. For a solution that powers over 95,000 online stores and has processed over $5 billion dollars in transactions, you know it’s credible and trustworthy.
Bigcommerce gives you a comprehensive list of tools on the get go that have a lot of horse power. The cool thing is, they’re big on search engine optimization, online marketing services such as email newsletter tools and promotion campaigns.
Basically, Bigcommerce helps free up your time, thanks to their multiple tools. Although they have a third party app store, they already have lot of those tools built in so you don’t have to worry about tool integration.
If Bigcommerce is your choice, here’s a super easy tutorial on Tutsplus about how to set it up: How to Set Up Your eCommerce Store with Bigcommerce.
#2. Big Cartel
The good thing about this solution is that it wasn’t created for everyone. They’ve separated themselves from the crowd as the ecommerce solution for artists to help them sell their creative products online.
According to them, over 400,000 clothing designers, jewellery makers, crafters and other artists use the solution.
They have minimalist themes that can be customized with HTML/CSS if you want (though I’m guessing that’s not the case).
Now if you’re a creative person looking for a solution built just for you, you should probably go for Big Cartel. Why? It’s always better to use something that was built to serve specific needs. Creative people are often concerned about only using things that would show the beauty in their work.
Due to this, it becomes more intense taking a solution and over tweaking it to suit your needs. For less headaches and better showcase of your creativity, this would work.
3. Shopify (Enterprise Solution)
This solution was specifically created for small businesses looking to startup with little tech hassles. It’s somewhat like the technology for the uninitiated. You don’t need any technical or design experience to create an awesome online store with Shopify’s solutions.
Even if you already have an offline store or you’re looking to sell digital goods in your small business, Shopify’s solution is enough to provide the exact tools you need.
Due to the fact that it was made for smaller to medium sized businesses, it doesn’t come built in with some features that other solutions might have. While this may look as a disadvantage, it isn’t because it comes simple and out of the box for the newbie ecommerce entrepreneur to work with.
But what makes Shopify amazing, and the reason why many people move over to use Shopify, is its ability to grow with your business. The enterprise solution is cloud based and can serve high volume businesses. The solution also handles everything including the payment gateway.
It’s pretty obvious that Squarespace was perhaps built for the design-minded. It was created with photographers, bloggers, artists, restaurants, musicians and the about-to-wed in mind.
For those who really don’t need all the features of a full website (as it can be tiresome managing a website), they also have cover pages which according to them, “can be used to convey a single idea in a beautiful way”.
In my opinion, cover pages are particularly good for couples looking to do some publicity for their wedding. Out of the box, the pages are actually beautiful
As more proof that this platform was built for the design-minded, they have a Getty image integration where you have access to about 40 million high quality images.
If you need to collaborate with your team online, then the automatic access to Google apps suite would be of benefit to you. But you only get that if your domain name is registered with them.
#5. Magento (Enterprise Edition)
According to a recent study, Magento is used on 20% of all ecommerce sites online. Magento was specially built for enterprises and fast growing businesses. The ecommerce software lets you customize everything from the frontend website design to the background processes.
While customization can be a lot of work, it allows you create a store that does exactly what you want it to do. However, for the less tech savvy, there are a ton of third party plugins that’ll help you add to your store’s functionality.
If you’re a rapidly growing business that needs to scale, perhaps Magento would be the solution you need.
The cloud based solution helps you run your store without hassles. If you’re a fan of simplicity and easy navigation, Volusion actually makes this possible. One of the reasons the solution has its growing fan base is due to the fact that they have many features built directly into the dashboard.
What that means is you don’t need to purchase lots of add-ons from different app stores. The only downside is that unlike Shopify or BigCommerce, which actually have a setup wizard for beginners, Volusion doesn’t. So if you’ve never used an ecommerce software before, it might be a steep learning curve for you.
But that shouldn’t discourage you. They actually have an Easy Setup Guide to help you get started with Volusion.
#7. 3dcart (Enterprise Solution)
According to 3dcart, “The features you need to succeed are built in every plan”, which means that whatever plan you select has just enough of the essential tools you need for your business at that stage. A ton of features were built directly into the software, so starting your store on this platform is fast and almost effortless.
Although they do not offer a huge number of add-ons like the big ecommerce players, they still have some of the most important ones like ShareASale and Quickbooks.
One downside is their complicated inventory management. There’s a lot of information to fill in before adding a product to your store. However, they’ve been able to checkmate this process by allowing you import products and categories using a CSV template. And they also supply you with a sample CSV import file just in case.
The ecommerce platform you choose entirely depends on several things including:
- How tech savvy you are
- Your budget
- Your business needs.
If your budget allows you to go for the more expensive ecommerce solutions that seem to give you everything, feel free to pick anyone from this list. If you’re not so tech savvy and would prefer add-ons to customization, then you should go for the solution with more add-ons, like a Shopify or BigCommerce.
Your business needs and the products you have will determine just how much hosting you buy and your kind of branding. By having these factors in mind, you’ll be able to make the right ecommerce choice for your online store.
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