E-commerce Platforms & Websites: Complete Guide

Introduction

Choosing a growing and permanent e-commerce platform is one of the critical decisions you have to take before setting up your business. E-commerce websites are among one of the online platforms that help you set up your new online business.

This step is applicable in various ways:

  1. It helps your customer to stay in touch with the brand while they are getting the product.
  2. Also it helps your employees with all the strategies and plans they need to have for advertising purposes.
  3. It helps keep you the track of your balance sheet as well as the record of production and other aspects.

What is an e-commerce website?

To manage your business’s websites, sales and marketing, the online application that you use is knows as an ecommerce platform such as ecommerce websites. WordPress E-commerce is one of the platforms that provide you with the feature to set up your business the way you want to run your business campaign while handling the accounts also.

Why use an e-commerce platform?

E-commerce platforms such as WordPress e-commerce effects building your business and also make it more profitable and stable. It doesn’t matter if you are setting up a large enterprise or a small business; e-commerce websites is a vital aspect to set up the business. 

There are only two alternates for an e-commerce platform:

  • Building from scratch, but this has a massive drawback as it is only practical for multi-million-dollar companies.
  •  Using plugins, but this also is not applicable because it won’t help you grow your business legitimately. 

What are my Ecommerce platform options?

You have the following e-commerce platform options:

Open Source Ecommerce Websites

An open-source e-commerce platforms, you can edit and update the solutions and codes according to your liking. This type of e-commerce platforms is used in IT industry and all other business who want to control the environment of their e-commerce. 

There are few responsibilities you have to take while using an open-source E-commerce platform:

  • PCI compliance: It means that you have to provide your customers with a secure environment while they are making credit card payments for your product.
  • Hosting
  • Manual patch and release from the provider.

Open-source e-commerce platforms are not the best choice for some companies because it is expensive to maintain, complicated and require too much knowledge of the technology. Only 46% of all enterprises use this type of platforms nowadays because it consumes a large number of funds as compared to the other e-commerce platform’s options. 

SAAS e-commerce websites

This type of reduces e-commerce platforms more comfortable to use. Despite customizing and upgrading a platform, you just rent a platform that has been already there.

This is cheaper as compared to open source solutions.

In addition, SAAS manage your tasks like PCI compliance, hosting, patch management and other things that you have to work manually while using open source platforms.

It also controls marketing and growths relatively quickly when you set up your business. SAAS helps you step in the market quickly and cheaply.

Because of the closed source code, most of big IT companies don’t use SAAS. 

What are the benefits of Self Hosted vs Cloud?

For your information, Self-hosted and cloud commerce are types of hosting e-commerce websites.

Self-Hosted E-commerce

The Self-hosted e-commerce platforms require the owners to update and install the hosting features by themselves. It is a costly and time-consuming process as it needs to be maintained and updated by hiring professionals.

For instance, Magento is an open-source e-commerce platform which is free to download, but you will be needing to be paid hosting platforms to make it run. You can either run it on paid hosted platforms or premise. 

WooCommerce is a WordPress e-commerce which also required a third party to host it. However, it can also be hosted on your servers if you know how to develop the technology for that.

The advantages of self-hosted e-commerce platforms are that you can control your online retail outlet, you can have a better look at your data, and you can understand the security better this way. 

Although this is a costly and time-consuming process is also a better option for complicated businesses. 

Cloud-Hosted E-commerce

Customers are offered to host on behalf of the cloud-hosting platforms. An example of this is Amazon Web Services.

As you don’t have to pay any professionals or third parties to manage your website and hosting, cloud-hosted e-commerce platforms are cost-efficient. Hosting service providers also support you if you need any.

On the other hand, one of the disadvantages of this process is that you also have to pay a licensing fee in addition to the hosting fee in this process. Also, you have less control over the platform, which won’t provide you with much data that you need.

Only SAAS solutions provide you with updates and auto-installation of patches. 

What are the essential ecommerce features?

Every online business has its own needs according to daily demands and feedback of their customers. Although there are some basic e-commerce features that every online business firm should know:

  1. Hosting Environment
  2. Unlimited API call volumes
  3. Website Builders who have unregistered themes
  4. A fully customizable, mobile-optimized site
  5. PCI compliance
  6. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) features that help your website to be among the top ranks on Google.
  7. Basic E-commerce functionality features

Things to Consider when Choosing your ecommerce platforms

It is essential to research before you take the final step before setting up your online business. You should keep the following things in mind:

  1. Budget
  2. Target Audience
  3. Number of products you have
  4. Room for growth
  5. Type of customer service available

You can also read more about Website building platform

Most Used ecommerce platforms

Start selling simply via social media

Conclusion

While setting up your online business, the e-commerce platform is an essential aspect of it. There are many e-commerce websites and WordPress Ecommerce platforms that can help you with this process. Ecommerce platforms not only help you grow your business fast, but it also provides you with the necessary data and information that you need time to time.

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