E-Commerce Solutions You Might Not Have Considered
If you’ve decided to take the leap and open your own online e-commerce shop, then you’ve probably given some thought as to what application you’re going to use to power it all. While it’s true that most applications do the same thing, there are many of them out there which you might not have thought about. It’s true that most people gravitate toward the tried and tested Magento, or the ever reliable Shopify, or even WooCommerce with all its bells and whistles (especially WordPress users), but there are many more out there, many more to consider, and some of them might end up being a better fit for your up and coming project rather than just simply going down the “traditional” route with regard to your platform.
Shopware is one of the lesser known e-commerce stores in the market, but is fast gaining popularity. At the time of writing, there are around 500,000 active installs, which is a significant amount of the market for one of the lesser known applications. It supports most of what you’d expect, and features responsive design grids. Given that it’s a lesser known product, it doesn’t come with any many plugins and themes in comparison to Magento, etc., but in truth, you don’t really need it. There are also numerous tutorials out there which will help you to install it and manage customizations, etc., so there is help there if you need it.
I’m not sure how much business Wix is doing, solely because they offer a fairly decent e-commerce platform or it’s simply people who are coming over from their website builder application (which is heavily advertised), but it is still a major player regardless. It has a great drag and drop interface for building a store front, but also has some fantastic behind the scenes tools to manage your products, payments and invoices, and billing requirements. You can also manage your shipping and tax rates, and it even has some fantastic tools to help promote your business and manage your existing customers.
I like BigCommerce as it seems to be designed for professionals such as people who realize the importance of speed, responsive design and effective customer relationship management. Most people tend to go for the more well known applications when building their first store, and then end up going over to something like BigCommerce when they realize what they’re doing, and ultimately know what they want. It’s also extremely secure and offers some fantastic traffic generation angles which you don’t often find in regular e-commerce applications. It’s also able to integrate with third party applications such as QuickBooks for your accounting needs right out of the box.
This is probably a bit too mainstream to be included in this list, but I don’t think it’s part of the big four, so probably should be included. Most of the popularity of PrestaShop is quite simply because it’s free. You run a free application and anything even borderline adequate is going to gain traction. It’s not without its issues, but has some fantastic features too. One of the attractions of PrestaShop and because of its wide usage is the support forum. It has a great deal of development help and lots of general chat on the subject, so resolving issues with any aspect of the application is usually quite straight forward.
Running an e-commerce site is not for the feint hearted and whatever platform you do end up using, you’ll still have your work cut out for you in terms of making your project a success and ultimately profitable. But, if it does work, you’ll be able to reap the rewards. The right platform is not going to determine if your site becomes an overnight success, or a massive failure after months of work and lots of spend. But it will go some way to making your life easier for a variety of users if you choose the right one.