Best Ecommerce Platform 2021

ecommerce website

This video was posted on YouTube. Kelly Slessor reviews the Best Ecommerce Platform for small businesses. Kelly Slessor is an Ecommerce coach and digital marketing expert passionate about helping retailers and small businesses grow online.

What is an Ecommerce Platform?

An ecommerce platform is a software program that allows businesses to manage their operations online, such as website, marketing and sales. Ecommerce platforms enable you to develop your business without any specific skills. These platforms have many powerful ecommerce functions to make setting up your business online as easy and successful as possible.

There are over 300 ecommerce platforms. Choosing the best ecommerce platform for your business can be a difficult decision. There is no perfect ecommerce platform. The best ecommerce platform is one that will successfully deliver the outcomes and objectives you set for your business. It’s also based on what your business needs. For small businesses looking to sell online, below are the top platforms.

The best ecommerce platforms

Here are the 6 top ecommerce platforms for small businesses. These are some of the most user-friendly and affordable solutions.

  • Shopify – best for startups and beginners
  • Wix – easiest to learn and build
  • BigCommerce – top enterprise solution; best for large-volume sellers and multichannel selling
  • WooCommerce – best WordPress ecommerce option
  • SquareSpace – simple, beautiful and minimalist templates
  • Weebly – ideal for brick & mortar/online stores; easy and cheap all-in-one option
Shopify

Shopify is among the most common and popular ecommerce platforms. This platform is rated highly and reviewed as excellent. Many small businesses use this platform because it is designed for niche markets. It’s an all-in-one platform that has many features to help build your online store. Shopify is one of the most recommended ecommerce platforms for anyone who is starting. However, the cost is not cheap. Considering all the costs, this is one of the more expensive options for small businesses.

Price: Free trial for 14 days; Basic plan from USD 29 per month, package that offers the most starts at USD 299 per month.

4.7/5

“Shopify is better than any other platform we’ve played with, and we’ve played with them all.” – Johnathon Bayme, CEO of Theory11.

“We’ve been able to build something in 3 years that a lot of brands haven’t actually gotten to in 10 years.” – Chioma, Cee Cee’s Closet NYC.

Wix

If you’re looking to build a complete website with an online store but don’t want the whole package, Wix is the way to go. This platform is the best overall website builder for small businesses. It’s straightforward to use and gives you total creative control. In addition, it’s a powerful site builder as it doesn’t skip out on ecommerce features. Such as order tracking, automated sales tax and abandoned cart recovery. Unfortunately, since it’s a website builder, it doesn’t have as many powerful ecommerce features as Shopify. For example, you can’t sell across multiple channels.

Price: USD 18 per month; the most advanced plan starts at USD 38 per month.

4.4/5

“Wix offers an excellent drag-and-drop site builder to create small websites. There are 100s of free templates available. Wix provides its own web hosting as well as domain names (free and paid). The App Market makes it easy to add extra functionality such as photo galleries or ecommerce.” – Armin Pinggera, Tech Guru at WebsiteToolTester.

BigCommerce

Given the name, this platform is mainly for big enterprises like Microsoft and Toyota. It takes the same functionality as other platforms and scales it up for complex stores and massive traffic. BigCommerce lets you to connect over 400 additional tools and platforms for your ecommerce needs. Through this website platform, you can sell on multiple platforms such as eBay, Amazon and Facebook. This platform is ideal for scaling your business. The downside is that it can get expensive quite quickly, and there is a steep learning curve. It is not beginner-friendly.

Price: USD 29.95 per month; Pro plan starts from 299.95 USD per month. If you pay annually, you can get a 10% discount.

4.6/5

“On BigCommerce, we are saving a significant amount of money on development and overall platform costs. More importantly, we now have an extremely agile environment that can change quickly to meet our business needs.” – Mark Hopkins, Chief Information Officer of Skullcandy.

“When mapping out our growth, we felt that BigCommerce was going to be much more customisable than other platforms and set us up for massive growth.” – Antonio Kaleb, Ecommerce Architect of LARQ.

WooCommerce

WooCoomerce is a free WordPress plugin. It’s easy and quick to set up, and it comes with many ready-to-go features. However, this software requires you to have a WordPress site. WooCoomerce allows you to transform your WordPress website into a functional ecommerce store. The great thing about WooCoomerce is that everything is customisable, even the costs. Additional extensions and features will require some payment. 

Price: Free; for additional extensions and features, it costs from USD 29 per month.

4.4/5

“No other ecommerce platform allows people to start for free and grow their store as their business grows. More importantly, WooCommerce doesn’t charge you a portion of your profits as your business grows.” – Chris Lema, chrislema.com.

“WooCommerce’s greatest strength is its extensibility. There’s very little I can’t build with WooCommerce. Given enough time and resources, WooCommerce can finely be tailored to even your store’s most niche feature.” – Kathy Darling, kathyisawesome.com.

Squarespace

If you want more creative control, Squarespace is the platform for you. In addition, Squarespace works well for stores that don’t have a lot of products. If you’re looking for a simple and affordable website platform, Squarespace has it all. Squarespace is best known for its most beautiful and simple templates with stunning imagery. Pricing is relatively low and affordable. To be able to sell products on your site, you need to be on a Business Plan. However, there is a 3% transactional fee. To avoid this fee, you have to subscribe to either the Basic Commerce plan or the Advanced Commerce plan.

Price: AUD 35 per month; the Advanced plan starts from AUD 61 per month.

4.2/5

“Squarespace has a better blogging tool and better support than most competitors. They offer 100+ flexible templates that fully adapt to mobile devices. While it’s been massively improved in recent updates, getting used to the platform can take a while due to a few usability issues.” – Robert Brandl, Founder of WebsiteToolTester.

Weebly

Weebly is a popular choice for budding small businesses looking to set up their own online business without prior experience. It’s beginner-friendly and budget-friendly. In addition, Weebly offers the essential tools needed for a functional store without all those flashy extra bits that might confuse you. Users can create a free plan if they don’t require a custom domain. Weebly gives a streamlined user interface that beginners can use without any problems. Since it’s much cheaper than other platforms, there are some limitations. For example, you cannot sell across multiple channels, limited customisation and weak SEO support.

Price: Free if no custom domain; AUD 7 per month (billed annually); the Performance plan costs AUD 30 per month (billed annually). 

4/5

“Weebly isn’t as flexible as Wix and it isn’t as sophisticated as Squarespace, but it’s easier to use than both. What sets Weebly apart from its competitors is its simple, clear interface.” – Steve Benjamins, Founder of Site Builder Report.

Other ecommerce platforms

The above platforms may not be for everyone. However, there are more options available. These can include:

  • Ecwid – all-in-one platform, free plan available
  • GoDaddy – quick to set up
  • Big Cartel – mainly for artists and other creatives
  • Volusion – good inventory features and analytics, but expensive
  • Magento – expensive, but most expandable; most suited for larger businesses
Ecommerce Platforms

The Future of Retail Sky News Weekend Edition

Future of Retail Sky News

Shop You ‘virtual mall’ to connect people to physical stores – The Future of Retail Sky News Australia Kelly Slessor

This video was originally published on Sky News. In the Future of Retail Sky News Weekend Edition.  Kelly Slessor talks with Jaynie Seal and Tim Gilbert about the future of retail and the impact on local retailers.

Virtual shopping is the future of retail. Digital growth expert Kelly Slessor, CEO of Shop You, discusses enhancing the shopping experience.  She shares insights on personalised shopping and the importance of connection to a physical store. 

“We’ve under invested in, as a result,  our retailers failing in an omni-channel environment. If we look to the UK, 30% of retail sales are now done online. In Australia 12% to 13% of retail sales are done online, so there’s big growth coming, but retailers are not prepared for it.  We do have time to prepare for the change but we need government initiatives, to help activate not only the big retailers,  but also the small businesses.

Shop You is a mobile shopping app that uses artificial intelligence to boost customers’ virtual shopping experience by matching them to brands and styles. “It knows you… It presents things to you based on your personal attributes and the brands you love”. Shop You provides a seamless customer journey of connection from an online store to a physical store.

For further information feel free to contact Kelly Slessor.

Kelly Slessor The Future of Retail Sky News

Kelly Slessor is an Ecommerce Coach and a digital marketing expert passionate about helping retailers grow.  As a thought leader, strategist and speaker she has worked with world leading companies.  Companies include Westfields, Woolworths, Big W, Sainsburys, Gluestore and small independent brands and restaurants.

How to create an inclusive digital experience

marketingmagau

To create accessible digital experiences, brands need to consider the diverse needs of users and commit to inclusion, writes Kelly Slessor.

Inclusive digital experiences mean many things to many people. For me, it is about creating an online experience that responds to a user’s needs. As a result, this allows the user to achieve whatever it is they set out to do.

Research shows that an incredible 98% of websites have accessibility issues. There are 4.5 billion people online today and it has predicted to grow to 6 billion people by 2025. The question is, how do you create an inclusive digital experience for 6 billion people.

Last year, I received an email from a woman who was struggling to find the right outfit. The person was impaired and struggled to use online sites to shop due to the lack of accessibility. She highlighted the challenges faced by the impaired when shopping online.

One issue that stood out was the accessibility for remote communities. Some remote communities do not have access to high internet speeds or the internet. So, how can we create digital experiences that allow remote communities to gain access to websites, products and services? Also, how can these communities sell their products and services via online platforms?

There are many different areas that make up inclusive digital experiences. To test and learn, we need diverse teams and partners that recognise and understand the issues. We need to commit to change. 

It is a complex topic with many challenging elements. It will become a key area of focus for many retailers and businesses in the next few years.

Read the full story at Marketing Mag.