Which ecommerce platform to choose for your online business?

Ecommerce opening figures continue to increase year on year. In fact, in Spain a 38% growth is expected in revenues from digital commerce to end consumers, while in LATAM a growth of up to 153% is expected. If you are considering opening your online business and adapting to the new way consumers shop, the first thing you need to know is which is the best platform to open your online store.

Currently there are all kinds of ecommerce platforms that allow us to build online stores in a simple way and without the need for advanced knowledge. Before choosing one, you should take into account several things: price, usability, accessibility, availability, inventory management, etc.

In this article we help you to choose the platform that provides you with the best experience and solution so that you can venture into the digital world in the best way.

What is an ecommerce platform

A few years ago having an ecommerce was only in the hands of those who had an extraordinary knowledge of the code needed to build it. Opening an online store meant investing a lot of time, money and resources, which meant that many companies could not jump into the online sales race.

However, with the passage of time the situation has evolved to the point where there are tools that allow you to design, implement and manage online stores without the need for advanced technical knowledge: ecommerce platforms. This revolutionary software allows you to develop the online store as it is in your imagination and manage your business in a simple way.

The great advantage of ecommerce platforms is that it is not necessary to know programming to create an online store. Everything is done in a very visual and intuitive way, from templates, plugins and visual editors, which allow us to design our online store quickly and easily, as well as manage orders, product catalog, shipping and any other element you can imagine.

The 4 most recommended ecommerce platforms

WordPress WooCommerce, Prestashop, Shopify and Magento are the 4 most used ecommerce platforms at the moment due to the large number of options, plugins and tools available. They have earned their recognition both in Spain and in the rest of the world, being therefore the most used.

Although they all allow you to create online stores in a similar way, their features are quite different, which makes them more or less suitable depending on the type of project you want to launch. To make your task easier, below you will find a small analysis of the pros and cons of each of them, so that you can make the right decision and start your online journey on the right foot.

1. WooCommerce

WooCommerce is the WordPress CMS plugin that allows you to turn this content management system into a complete ecommerce platform. Do you use WordPress as a CMS? Then this may be the most suitable option for you. It is a totally free plugin that allows you to manage everything you need, from the product catalog to the payment gateway.

If you are used to the WordPress interface, this is a very good option to manage the entire online store. However, you should keep in mind that, to add advanced features, you will need multiple extensions, and although they are easy to install and configure, it can be overwhelming. Also, the official support is not as good as other platforms, although there are many manuals and a large online community ready to help you.

Pros:

Open source and free.
Easy to install on WordPress.
330 extensions available for more features.
Variety of themes available.
Allows you to work SEO easily.

Cons:

Additional extensions, for the most part, are paid.
You need manual configurations like order management, taxes, etc.
Not all themes are optimized for a good user experience.
Updates may require a developer.
Official support can be improved.

2. PrestaShop

PrestaShop is the most used ecommerce platform in Spain due to its simple interface and ease of use, plus it is completely free to install and download. Unlike WooCommerce, this is a dedicated ecommerce platform. The basic functionalities can be extended almost infinitely, although most of the plugins are paid.

Prestashop features a very easy to use control panel. You can enter your products in a simple way and start selling online very quickly. It is multi-language, makes it very easy to configure the payment gateway and offers good support in Spanish. It is ideal for beginners who do not know anything about online stores, but it is not recommended for very large projects.

Pros:

Easy to use.
It is the best option if you are a small business or just starting out.
It’s fast and you don’t have to worry about pagespeed.
There is a wide variety of free templates.
Multi-language interface.
Good support.

Cons:

Not recommended if you want to scale your business.
It does not allow cross-selling.
SEO can be improved.
Basic themes are not attractive and changing them requires coding.
Few free plugins.
It is complex to implement advanced features.

3. Magento

Magento is another of the most used ecommerce platforms today. Unlike the two previous ones, Magento is designed for large projects, as it offers a very robust, flexible and secure platform. It is the perfect platform if you need a large amount of functionality and you have a web developer within the company.

If you want to use Magento for a small project, forget it, it is not the right ecommerce platform. For the installation, configuration and management it is necessary to have a team with technical knowledge, or at least a complete support that provides you with the necessary knowledge. It is also necessary to have a high budget.

Pros:

Scalability and powerful.
SEO optimized.
Secure.
Multiple languages, currencies and tax rates.
Easily integrates with any payment processor.

Cons:

Steep learning curve.
Need web development experience or have a person on the team.
Quite high budget needed.
Complex control panel.

4. Shopify

Shopify has positioned itself in recent years as an ideal ecommerce platform for people who don’t want to complicate their lives. It is a platform aimed at small businesses looking for design, ease, functionality and usability in a single tool. In addition, Shopify gives you the ability to re-engage people who have abandoned carts.

Setting up our Shopify store is really easy, it only takes a matter of minutes. It also offers easy payment gateway integration and excellent support. On the other hand, it doesn’t offer much flexibility and customization is somewhat limited. It also doesn’t allow you to touch code. It is a platform designed especially for beginners who prefer to pay a monthly fee and forget about everything.

Pros:

You can design the page as you wish without needing to know about code.
Very good customer support.
Built-in abandoned cart recovery tool.
Performance analysis.
SEO tools.
You don’t need to hire additional hosting, as Shopify has it built in.

Cons:

Paid ecommerce platform.
Transaction fees apply.
Limited variety of free themes.
Lacks flexibility and customization.

What is the best ecommerce platform?

After seeing the 4 most recommended tools, you may still have doubts about which is the best ecommerce platform for your business. Like everything in life, it will depend on your needs and budget. In order to make the right choice, you will have to consider these 5 points before making the final decision:

Usability: if you have no experience in managing online stores, choose an interface that is user-friendly, easy to use and does not require advanced technical knowledge. If, on the other hand, your project is very large, you should consider choosing a more robust platform.

User experience on different devices: keep in mind that your website must be fast and correctly adapted to all devices in order to offer a positive user experience.

Design: the image you want to convey with your website and the way in which you present your products or services will be essential to have a good reception by your potential customer.

Integrations: which plugins do you want to integrate with your platform? Keep in mind that not all plugins are free, and having the option to select those to get the management options you want or additional functionality, can be a point to value.

Price of the platform: if you are at an early stage with your project, perhaps it is best to invest as little as possible in an open source platform, but if you want some functionality or specific feature, then it may be worth investing a little in it.

Support: does the chosen platform offer official support, do you need it, or do you think you can get by with learning on your own and with the help of the online community? This is something you should also take into account.

Did you know any of the ecommerce platforms we have mentioned? Which one is your favorite? Feel free to share your experience with these platforms in the comments, we read you!