Why Shopify Is The Best eCommerce Platform
There are tens of thousands of eCommerce sites online today, and hundreds more are added every day. That’s a lot of competition for eCommerce stores looking to build their own customer base.
But there’s one thing that separates the winners from the losers: a good eCommerce platform.
A good eCommerce platform makes it easy for you to manage your customers and inventory, add features and integrations, optimize your store for mobile devices, and grow your business to new heights. A great eCommerce platform doesn’t just make it easier for you to create an aesthetically pleasing store—it can help you get more sales as well.
At WebLime, we build eCommerce websites all the time.
From what we’ve seen, the go-to choices are usually Wix, Squarespace, Shopify, and WordPress. These are some of the top website builders we always recommend for a variety of use cases.
But which one is best for an eCommerce website? Well, the truth is that it depends. It depends on how complex you want your website to be and the resources you’re willing to invest into it.
Wix might be a great place to start if you're just getting started in the world of web design. They've made several templates that are super easy to use, and their online support community is fantastic for beginners.
Squarespace is great for those who want something a bit more professional, but don't need all of the bells and whistles of other platforms.
WordPress offers a lot of options for customization, so if you know exactly what you want but don't know how to code it yourself, this might be the perfect platform for you.
The truth is that they're all good tools! But they're not all right for every eCommerce site owner. So, how do you know which one fits you best?
What’s the best eCommerce platform for small businesses?
Small business owners usually pick Shopify because of its ease of use.
At the same time, the only Shopify alternatives for building eCommerce websites are WordPress and BigCommerce.
WordPress vs Shopify
The problem with WordPress is that it's not natively ready for eCommerce. For WordPress to support eCommerce, you'll need to install a few plugins. You'll usually start with WooCommerce and quickly find yourself adding more plugins to the standard options. And while we typically advocate for WordPress, we stay away from it when it comes to eCommerce.
WordPress plugins are typically free, which makes them great for businesses just starting out. But that also means they're not tested or updated as often as those that charge a fee. That often leads to issues further down the road for small businesses in particular.
There's not always enough support for the plugins, so you'll need to figure out your own tech issues. We had one client who couldn't get their WordPress store working until we suggested they try another platform entirely. It took one set up on Shopify to get them up and running, rather than days of frustration trying to get it working on WordPress.
We decided against using WordPress for our eCommerce clients because we wanted something that didn't require constant updating and fixing - we wanted something that just worked!
While WordPress is certainly capable, it's not the best option when it comes to eCommerce. While there are plenty of good reasons to stick with it otherwise, when you want your business to be online and selling products already, choose a platform specifically built for eCommerce instead of trying to learn WordPress and having to install a variety of plugins.
BigCommerce vs Shopify
BigCommerce and Shopify are paving the way for the eCommerce economy. And while BigCommerce has its respect, Shopify is the true leader in the space.
There are many factors to consider when choosing an eCommerce platform, such as pricing plans, features, integrations, and customer support. BigCommerce and Shopify are two of the most popular eCommerce platforms on the market today. Both have a lot to offer in terms of design flexibility, third-party integrations, and customer support. BigCommerce is known for its powerful back-end features while Shopify is known as one of the best eCommerce platforms for small businesses.
If you want to build your eCommerce store from scratch, then Shopify is the obvious choice. But if you're looking for an enterprise solution and need a lot of support—BigCommerce might be a good fit for you. Both platforms are great for creating beautiful online stores with ease.
So, if you're thinking about starting an online store, it's best to consider what you're looking for in terms of scalability and development options.
For example, if you're looking for a platform that will grow with your business and allow you to customize your site however you want, Shopify is the better choice. Shopify's editor is simple, more intuitive, and lets you work with content blocks. The Shopify ecosystem is enormous, and the partner program in place, which WebLime is part of, entices a vibrant and superior developers community.
Why Shopify should be the go-to option for small businesses
Now that we covered some basics about the best eCommerce platforms out there, one question still stands.
Is Shopify good for small businesses?
For small business owners looking to take the jump into launching an eCommerce store or adding it to an existing business, Shopify is a natural choice for many reasons.
Shopify is a software-as-a-service (SaaS), which means you can sign up for the service, get started, and immediately enter a market where thousands of people are looking to buy the products and services you offer.
Shopify main features
Shopify provides a range of features and apps you can use in your store, including:
- A customizable storefront for your product pages
- An integrated payment system
- Apps for shipping companies, inventory management, and more
- A blog so you can post news, updates, and other information relevant to your customers.
Shopify has a free 14-day trial that you can use just to see if you like it. You don't need a credit card or anything else at all — just create your account, pick a theme and start playing around with it. If you end up liking it, you can upgrade later on down the road. This allows you to get a good feel for how things work without having any pressure attached at all.
However, once the 14-day trial is over, you have 3 plans to choose from, that offer different features and discount rates.
The Shopify plans range in price from the Basic Shopify plan, at $29/month, to the Shopify Advanced plan, at $299/month. More expensive Shopify plans give you more perks, and you can compare them to see which one is right for your business needs.
Shopify App Store
Your eCommerce site is live, you have picked and added your products, and people are already visiting your store and buying. But the journey doesn’t end here!
If you want to grow, you need to keep up with your marketing efforts. And with literally millions of apps out there for business owners, how does one know where to start?
From customer loyalty programs to customer management apps and everything in between, these are some of the most useful Shopify apps that you should use:
1. Smart SEO
Smart SEO is a Shopify app that makes your eCommerce website Google-friendly. You can use it to automate SEO optimization, drive more traffic to your store, and get more sales.
2. Product Reviews
The majority of customers will check out reviews before buying a product. The Product Reviews app is relatively straightforward to use, and if you need more bells and whistles, there are many other Shopify apps to consider. We've written an extensive guide on how to add reviews on Shopify. You can add it to your store in just a few clicks. And even if you do not have any technical skills, you can easily set up the app and start adding reviews to your products.
3. Shopify Local Delivery
When your business is making deliveries, you want to ensure that your customers’ orders are delivered on time. That’s what Shopify Local Delivery helps you with.
All delivery stops show up in a list on the app. After a delivery is completed, the upcoming stops get moved to the top of the list. You can click on any stop to see details about that order and customer.
This list is definitely not exhaustive. As you start getting more customers and adding more products, you’ll find yourself back on the Shopify App Store looking for more solutions to automate your work and focus more on your marketing efforts. And as you grow, you may want to consider hiring a Shopify marketing agency that can help you eliminate manual tasks and grow your brand.
The best website builder for your eCommerce store
If you are a startup, or someone who is looking to grow their online store, Shopify is for you. If your primary focus is on marketing and growth, Shopify will be a great platform for your company too.
Shopify is the best all-in-one eCommerce solution out there, and it has been used to create thousands of successful businesses. As one of the fastest-growing companies in the world, they are always innovating and improving their platform (and they do it very well).
While all of these features may sound great to you, it's important that you understand that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to eCommerce platforms. It’s all about choosing what fits your business best at this very moment and which website builder reduces the friction that comes with development work, while you focus on marketing and growth.
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