The e-commerce trend rocked the business scenario decades ago and is still going strong. There are millions of sellers who have already adopted it as a part of their setup and millions more are planning to do it as soon as possible. In such circumstances, the booming demand for e-commerce development comes as no surprise. The key parameter here is to have an online store that is visually appealing and packs the right feature set to create a compelling shopping experience. Here, sellers need to know all about the e-commerce platforms as there are a large number of them, each offering a range of features. Let us check the top 7 e-commerce platforms that are making it big in 2018:
(1) Magento: Magento has emerged as one of the most popular open-source platforms and the reputation is well-deserved. It has a wide array of features that make it apt for adding variant functionalities into the e-store. A strong community support and availability of countless themes and extensions add value to this open-source platform.
- It comes free, though a paid version is available too.
- The user interface can be customized to match the needs of a business.
- The extension list is endless, so you will never struggle with functionalities.
- Magento enables the creation of separate multi-lingual sites which load up on the basis of user location.
- It supports automated marketing via delivery of product alerts to customers.
- Being a resource-intensive platform, Magento requires a hefty investment for optimization.
- It is a technical platform that needs businesses to hire skilled magento developers to create and manage e-commerce stores built on it.
(2) PrestaShop: PrestaShop is a relatively newer addition to this list but has achieved a great deal of acclaim within a short time span. It is simple to use, with plugins that are easy to install.
- PrestaShop offers an appealing interface and can be used for creating multi-vendor, multi-language and multi-currency e-commerce stores.
- Being a lightweight platform, it seldom causes speed and performance-related issues.
- It is a user-friendly platform that comes with effortless store maintenance and inventory management functions.
- On the downside, PrestaShop lacks scalability and robustness that makes it more suitable for small to mid-sized businesses as compared to large ones.
- In comparison to other open source software, it’s default theme is not as good looking.
- It lacks flexibility too as enough extensions are not available and those that are there are expensive.
- PrestaShop lacks marketing tools such as those needed for cross-selling.
(3) Shopify: Next on this list is Shopify, the all-in-one solution recommended for small business enterprises. It enables the creation of an e-store, management of products, and handling of payments with a single service.
- Shopify brings a website builder, plugins, hosting, inventory options, and marketing tools in a single platform.
- It offers multiples free themes as well as custom-built premium themes which enable customization according to the business needs.
- High speed and reliable built-in security are some other pros that you can avail by investing in Shopify development.
- It is the simplest e-commerce platform that can be used by those lacking technical expertise.
- The basic plan begins from $29 a month reaching up to $299 a month for the advanced plan, making it an expensive option as compared to the other open-source platforms.
- The payment gateways with Shopify are limited.
- It does not support one-page checkout and multi-language features.
(4) WooCommerce: WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin which is widely used for creating good-looking and high-feature e-commerce stores. It is capable of turning any WordPress site into a fully functional e-store, by empowering it with features such as product pages, coupons, and inventory management.
- WordPress plugin can be downloaded and installed free of cost.
- At the same time, it offers everything that an online store needs. There is hardly anything that a merchant needs to do than to add content.
- WooCommerce connects to all major payment gateways.
- It enables the merchant to add multiple functionalities such as coupons and discounts with the help of the extension library.
- WooCommerce involves additional expenses for the theme, domain name, hosting, and extra extensions.
- The plugin is a little complicated to understand. It needs a combination of WordPress + the WooCommerce plugin + hosting. These complexities can challenge the beginners, particularly with tasks such as security, hosting, SEO, and caching.
(5) Drupal Commerce (Drupal): Another e-commerce platform that is in vogue in 2018 is Drupal Commerce, which is a module of Drupal. It facilitates rapid development as well as enables scalability for the e-commerce store.
- Drupal was originally designed for professional usage which is the reason that it is a highly empowered platform.
- Being an open-source platform, it has an extensive community support.
- It renders high speed and performance as it has built-in caching.
- Drupal Commerce comes with its own built-in security system, which is updated frequently.
- Drupal Commerce can be complex for non-technical developers and it requires developer expertise.
- E-stores made on this platform may become resource-intensive as they often turn into large sites with multiple components.
- Since it requires high speed, power, and reliability, the hosting requirements usually cost a lot.
6.OpenCart: OpenCart is one of the lightweight and easy to use e-commerce platforms. Moreover, it is free, comes with reasonably-priced themes, and has decent community support too. With such features, it serves an ideal platform for startups.
- The startup cost of this platform is low, making it apt for budget projects.
- It comes with robust features along with a large catalog functionality.
- Besides being light on resources, the OpenCart does not require high-tech developer expertise.
- The feature list of OpenCart is far smaller than those of platforms such as Magento, PrestaShop, and WooCommerce.
- Performance may be one of the weaker links with it, which is the reason that extra plugins are to be installed in the e-commerce store.
- The customization options with OpenCart are fewer as compared to other open-source platforms.
7. Zen Cart: Next on the list of top 7 e-commerce platforms for 2018 is Zen Cart, which is another user-friendly platform that matches the need of people without extensive technical skills.
- Zen Cart is a secure software, which ensures that the store, as well as customer information, is well-protected.
- Since it comes with an amazing range of features and full customization options, it makes a scalable platform choice.
- It is possible to deliver HTML emails directly from a Zen Cart-based store.
- The platform is less versatile as it does not offer many add-ons or extensions.
- It is sometimes difficult to upgrade the software.
- With Zen Cart, you do not get dedicated support.
- It lacks impressive templates but can be incorporated with some made by third parties
With such a large number of options in e-commerce platforms, it becomes imperative for e-commerce merchants to explore each of them and weigh their pros and cons. The choice is also to be made on the basis of specific business requirements. OrangeMantra is a leading e-commerce development company that specializes in a wide range of development platforms. Connect with us to help you in choosing the apt platform for your unique business requirements and also leverage it to create a rich and robust online store for your business.