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The 5 Most Popular E-commerce Platforms Reviewed & Compared

The success of your business depends on your dedication to customer experience. Therefore, the e-commerce platform you choose to empower your business matters a lot. It plays an important role in preparing your business for scalability and growth.

However, choosing a perfect platform that meets all your business needs can be an overwhelming experience.

To make it easier for you, we have reviewed some of the popular platforms that are mighty giants in the e-commerce business.

We hope that after reading this in-depth analysis, you will be able to make an accurate decision for your business.

E-commerce Platform: Why Do You Need It?

E-commerce Platform

One of the most common questions which comes up is what is an e-commerce platform and why do you need it?

Well, the simplest answer to this question is that it is a software that allows you to run an e-commerce business. It provides you with an online store and gives you the freedom to develop and manage your site.

Moreover, what’s in it for you?

You don’t need to have all the web development information for constructing an attractive online shopping store.

As far as, the reason to use e-commerce software is concerned, it has made business easier and free of hitches.

Let’s discuss some important benefits in detail.

1.    Services Customisation:

  • They enable you to personalise your sales and other services according to your choice.
  • You can also customise your product information through it.

2.    Easiness:

  • All the business owners who are willing to run an e-commerce business need an online store.
  • The good news is, you don’t need a web developer or great web design for this purpose.
  • With such platforms, you get everything you need and are ready to start your business.

3.    Social Media Integrations:

  • Social media advertising is an integral aspect of e-commerce business marketing.
  • If you want to capture a huge audience then you need social media integration in your e-commerce software application.
  • There are some platforms like BigCommerce which provides this exciting feature.
  • It offers an in-built integration with social media platforms like Facebook and Pinterest.

4.    Cost Effectiveness:

  • It is the most inexpensive solution because it saves you from all the troubles of building your store from scratch.
  • You can get extremely useful business tools by paying a small amount of money.

5.     Product Catalogue Management:

  • Ecommerce software applications provide another operational benefit i.e. product management catalogue.
  • You can manage and import/export customer data through it.

Selected Competitors For Review & Comparison

Now I am sure you have an idea about what an e-commerce platform is.

So, let’s begin with the comparison.

The contenders we have selected for this purpose are:

  • Shopify
  • EKM
  • BigCommerce
  • Big Cartel
  • Magento

Aspects For Review & Comparison

There are always some aspects on which a platform is reviewed and compared. We will be reviewing the above-mentioned platforms on the following basis.

  • Pricing
  • Features
  • Social Media Integration
  • Customers Reviews
  • Free Trial Period

Now we will discuss all these aspects one by one to make a concise comparison between all these 5 platforms.

Pricing

Web Design

We have enlisted and compared the prices of these e-commerce platforms to give you an overview of their pricing range.

For your ease, we have gathered all the data in a table form and prices are mentioned in currency displayed at the website.

Platform Name Price Of Basic Plan Price Of Advanced Plan
Shopify $9/ month $299 / month
EKM £32.49 (+VAT) / month £541.66 (+VAT) / month
BigCommerce $29.95 / month $249.95 / month
Big Cartel $9 $29.99 / month
Magento Free $3,417/month

We would like to mention here that there is a free version of Big Cartel that gives you limited access to certain features.

However, their basic plan gives you access to 25 products. EKM is a UK platform and applies VAT on every plan. Now it’s up to you to decide which package you select keeping in mind your business needs.

Features

Web Design

These e-commerce platforms offer numerous exciting features which are mentioned below:

In the world of e-commerce business, all of these platforms have earned massive popularity.

Now let’s compare their features.

Shopify EKM BigCommerce Big Cartel Magento
Products

unlimited

Unlimited

products

Unlimited

products

Limited products with respect to price Catalogue browsing
Free SSL certificate Free Domain & SSL certificates Free dedicated SSL Option to use your own domain Offers hundreds of themes and extensions
Ability to sell offline by POS No transaction fee POS included Real-time stats Point of sale included
Integrated Payment solutions Major Payment gateways Almost 40 integrated Payment methods Limited payment options Integrated Payment solutions
Discount codes Bulk discounts Coupons, discounts & gift certificates Promotional tools Discounts and coupons
Modified report builder Automatic stock control No transaction fee Order & inventory management Order & Inventory Management

 

Here, you will see that some features are common in all the platforms and some are found in one but not in other.

If we review these platforms on the basis of these features then Shopify, EKM and BigCommerce are the most suitable options for you.

On the other hand, Big Cartel and Magento offer limited features for business owners. Magento is suitable for people who require an enterprise plan. Otherwise, it is very expensive for small business owners.

Read more: Top 10 Best E-commerce Platforms For Start-ups In 2018

Social Media Integration

Social Media

Social media integration is a critical element to be considered when you are choosing an e-commerce platform for your business.

Shopify EKM BigCommerce Big Cartel Magento
 

Provides social media integration for Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter.

 

EKM also provides social network integration for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+

 

Offers social channel integration for Facebook, Pinterest and Google shopping.

 

Big Cartel offers integration for Facebook store and Instagram but it is a paid feature.

 

Similarly, like other platforms, Magento also provides paid social network integrations for Facebook, Google+ and Twitter through extensions.

 

On the basis of social media integration, all 5 platforms are suitable but obviously, pricing differs for every platform.

Customer Review

website design agency

Reviews of customers play an important role in judging the service quality provided by a certain platform. While we are comparing five big platforms, let’s analyse their popularity among the public as well. After all user experience is everything in a business.

For this purpose, we have selected Trustpilot which is a credible platform for customer’s reviews.

Shopify EKM BigCommerce Big Cartel Magento
 

Shopify has 1-star rating and poor customer reviews at Trustpilot.

 

EKM has 5-star rating at Trustpilot with 9.5/10 TrustScore.

 

BigCommerce has 4-star rating and 7.3/10 TrustScore.

 

Big Cartel has 2-star rating and 3.6/10 TrustScore

 

Magento has 3-star rating with 6.0/10 TrustScore

Free Trial Period

web design and development

Now let’s talk about trial periods and their duration.

You can see and compare the free trials provided by each platform in the table below.

Shopify EKM BigCommerce Big Cartel Magento
 

Shopify provides 14-day free trial without any credit card utilisation

 

EKM provides 28 days free trial period.

 

BigCommerce provides a free trial period for 15 days without giving your credit card.

 

Free Trial Period of Big Cartel include 5 products. So you can use it for trial.

 

They do not offer a free trial period.

Final Judgement

So which e-commerce platform is right for you?

Only you can decide this because you know more about your business requirements.

Still, let us narrow it down for you by sharing our opinion about each platform.

  • You can choose Shopify if you want an easy to set-up and all in one e-commerce They do not charge any upfront cost and there is no risk.
  • EKM can be the best alternative for UK business owners. With their free trial, you can definitely give them a chance.
  • The biggest advantage of BigCommerce is that it is one of those few platforms which provide solutions for B2B sales. Moreover, it offers low upfront costs and variety of features.
  • Big Cartel is comparatively easy to set up but it has limited features. There is no trial period but you can check their free plan.
  • You should choose Magento only when you need advanced and enterprise level platform.

Therefore, which platform is best for you, depends on your business type and needs. If you are aware of your requirements, then you can easily find a suitable platform for your e-commerce business. However, we suggest you to critically analyse all the aspects before purchasing any plan from a platform.

 

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