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Top Ecommerce Platforms In 2016

 Ecommerce is a crowded industry. Platforms are popping up at a rapid pace and vying to capture the attention and funds of investors, website builders, ecommerce store owners and by extension their customers.  Finding the best solution through the crowd takes patience and research.

 Whilst new platforms are constantly popping up, their limited testing and varying customer service make them not the best choice for starting out. For those that want to experiment with their second or even fifth store, trying a smaller ecommerce platform can be a good decision. A portion of the newer companies emerging such as Strikingly offer immediate customer support for their simplified ecommerce store feature aptly titled “Simple Store”.  At the low double digit pricing structures that are offered, its a steal for those wishing for fast support and an inexpensive solution that isn’t overloaded by features.

 

For those that want something with a bit more history, more directed customer support, and a flexible pricing structure, Shopify, Volusion, and BigCommerce can potentially have you covered.

 

Shopify

 Shopify is hands down the most popular ecommerce platform online as of 2016.  Dominating the searches across Google, Bing, and Yahoo, Shopify’s reviews match up with its popularity.  It’s inexpensive starting fee for small store owners coupled with its extremely user friendly dashboard make it easy for customizing your virtual store to your specification.

Whether it is the best ecommerce software is up to debate. But, starting off at $9 a month, ecommerce store owners are presented with a myriad of addons that can make their store highly unique while never being too expensive for those wishing to dip their toe into the ecommerce market.

 Shopify has the cleanest design for its dashboard for handling everything from creating new products to handling order processing on the backend. Everything is laid out clearly so that even the newest seller can begin making sales.

Shopify offers full functionality above the Shopify Lite option, permitting unlimited products to be added and 24/7 customer support. Adding in options for addressing SEO needs through adding meta tags and descriptions.  Whilst the higher tier options are meant to be standalone or used in conjunction with a fully functional website, the Shopify Lite is more of an addon to a wordpress site.

 

What Is Shopify Great At:

  • It has an extremely upfront and easily usable backend.
  • Its pricing structure is very newbie friendly.
  • Customization options are great.

 

BigCommerce

While constantly adding features and adjusting its marketing strategy, BigCommerce has been gaining steam as the number two ecommerce platform behind Shopify.  BigCommerce is the second most searched Ecommerce platform and ranks highly amongst the best ecommerce software on the market.

While a bit more pricey, BigCommerce starts out at a $29.95 a month subscription. For this, you get a whole array of features from unlimited products that can be added and managed effectively on the backend to search engine optimization customization for your store as a whole and individual product listings.

This is extremely valuable for web stores that invest a lot into traffic from their search engine optimization efforts.  To further the amount that can be made from their user’s marketing budgets, BigCommerce throws in a very indepth analytics software for having full control of examining how your traffic is responding to your website and finding ways to improve.  The extra money that goes into the cost of BigCommerce comes back in the form of the tools it offers for maximizing your store’s profits.

 

What BigCommerce is Great At:

  • BigCommerce has a robust marketing suite.
  • BigCommerce is still within budget for those wanting to start off.
  • It has a flexible system for dropshippers to manufacturers

Volusion

Volusion is a powerful system that offers a great amount of features from the get go.  Volusion’s focus on stimulating more sales and on nurturing potential customers to become regular customers makes it one of the best ecommerce softwares that definitely deserves a mention.

Though Volusion has less than 100 free themes available, there are a massive amount of themes that are available for purchase from $70 to $1000 depending on your budget. The free themes are nothing to shake your head at. Many are responsive, with minimalist design elements that are made to make your site as light as possible and thus faster for users attempting to explore and make a purchase

It offers at its lowest level for $15, no transaction fees, unlimited storage, and up to 100 products. Higher tiers gradually offer more and more features until its highest recurring membership fee at $135 billed monthly. The highest tier offers:

 

-Amazon & Ebay Integration

-Priority online and phone support

-A dedicated account manager and unlimited products

 

The amazon and ebay integration make selling products on the two sites only a click away.  The dedicated account manager ensures that all questions/problems can be resolved within hours and business is as uninterrupted as possible.

 

Options

There are a host of other options available from BigCartel to WooCommerce. BigCartel is mostly used by fashion companies oriented toward a younger market.  It makes it relatively easy for any newbie to design a few pieces and throw up a fully functional fashion business that only needs promotion.

 

Though for its price it can be limited, it presents the opportunity to quickly get started. WooCommerce is a highly recommended addon for wordpress users. As far as ecommerce plugins go, WooCommerce is the top of the market. It helps wordpress users easily integrate a web store front within hours of installation and for few hundred more dollars can build a fully fleshed out ecommerce store with advanced options rivaling other platforms. As always, choosing the right option is a matter of understanding your market and your needs for ensuring your business grows.

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