Running an online store can be considered even more difficult than managing a real-life store, as you have to think not only about the goods that you want to sell but also about the ways to present these goods.
If you are just starting your online business, the first thing you have to do is to choose the online best ecommerce platform. Nowadays, a wide selection of best ecommerce platforms allows you to select the one which will best meet your needs.
To help you choose best ecommerce platform, let's look at the advantages and disadvantages of the most popular platforms.
If you want to run an e-store, the first and foremost thing you care about is conversions, i.e. sales. Will the template help you in this regard? The answer to this question is ‘Yes’.
1. Impressive UI:
With a modern e-commerce template, your store will nudge the competition aside and impress your client pool with its inimitable present-day UI. Nobody likes shopping within the cramped, obsolete or impersonal interfaces that you end up with without a good theme.
On the contrary, with a top-notch e-commerce template, you create a memorable interface that goes in line with your brand identity and distinguishes your website among the others.
Recommended: Both UX and UI Are Important for Online Businesses
2. UX boost
Provided strong competition on the market, where do people choose to shop? Of course, where it is convenient to shop! A well-thought template comes with a pre-built extension pack that takes shopping experience up a notch. A theme can deliver you extended catalog filtering, sorting and categorization options out of the box.
What’s more, such features as 360-degree product presentation, smart product image zoom and lookbook functionality create an unparalleled experience that would be hard to foster without a template.
3. Conversion boosting
Conversion optimization is a tricky matter that takes a lot of time and effort. With a conversion-optimized template, you get half of the job done. CTAs and CTA buttons are smartly placed and shaped within such themes, driving more sales and getting more income for your business.
4. SEO optimization
If you go without a template, you’ll have to master SEO optimization from ground zero. On the contrary, with a SEO-optimized e-commerce theme, you start out with a sound basis that helps your website thrive on SERPs and get discovered by more online shoppers.
5. Shopper-on-the-go friendly
The audience of mobile shoppers grows exponentially. You’ve got to either take care of mobile optimization yourself, or, again, simply go for a modern, mobile-ready theme. Such a template would deliver a lightning-fast, comfortable shopping experience on handheld devices, getting you more loyal shoppers and sales.
Adopting a high-quality template for your e-commerce site is one of the fireproof ways to boost sales for a number of reasons. We list the most prominent of them below:
OpenCart is a best ecommerce platform that combines both free and paid plugins. Its script is XHTML compliant, and it includes a clear structure of graphics templates, so adjusting the look of your shop should not cause many difficulties.
Also, it does not include many built-in functionalities, so it can guarantee the efficiency of server resources unless you add too many plugins. As for administration, OpenCart is characterized by a clear and easy-to-use panel, which is the best choice for those who are just starting their online store.
As for the drawbacks of OpenCart, it is not fully SEO-friendly, so you will have to optimize your code. Additionally, it cannot boast of efficient technical support, so you will have to solve any problems with the help of the forum community.
OpenCart themes, such as Visual, a responsive OpenCart template, can be modified, so they can include an effective MegaMenu to organize goods into categories, Product badges to provide information about goods in a convenient way, an Ajax Search to facilitate the process of selection.
Your store management will become a breeze. OpenCart offers built-in SEO. It will be easy to manage your products, customers, orders, taxes rules, coupon codes and more.
OpenCart has a vast selection of eCommerce modules and themes in case you want to expand your store functionality.
OpenCart provides free community or dedicated commercial support as well.
Over 342 000 entrepreneurs all over the world choose OpenCart for their eCommerce projects, so you’ll be in good company.
OpenCart offers multiple payment gateways and shipping methods, which is really important for your customers’ convenience. The world's most popular payment gateways and shipping methods (PayPal, Amazon payments, Authorize.Net, sage Pay, eway, Skrill, 2CO 2Checkout, Klarna, WorldPay, UPS, FedEx, United States Postal Service, Australia Post, Parcel Force, Royal Mail) are integrated into it.
Another platform worth considering is MotoCMS. With its powerful drag-and-drop website builder and Content Management System, you can create responsive sites of any complexity, both for a small company and for a huge business. The admin panel will not require many skills in web designing, so the platform is quite user-friendly.
You receive a catalog of your goods with filtering and search options, secure payment gateways, tax, and shipping settings, as well as flexible payment options and secure checkout. In addition, MotoCMS allows you to customize the look of your website and easily choose the color scheme you like. However, it does not include any free designs.
MotoCMS themes, for instance, Bouquets & Floral Arrangement MotoCMS Ecommerce Template, will attract your visitors with a Lazy load effect and will help you arrange the products in an appealing way with Sliders and Galleries. The theme also includes audio and video widgets, Blog functionality and social integration options to promote your online store.
The next ecommerce platform under consideration is Magento. It was built especially for ecommerce, so it offers a wide variety of features for online sales, and customer, payment and loyalty management.
Small and medium businesses can start with the Community Edition that is free to use if you provide your own hosting. Nevertheless, due to a great amount of features, Magento can get slow and it does not require some coding skills to customize your web page.
As you can see by looking at Recuidi - Healthy Food Store Magento Template, an example of Magento themes, it can be equipped with Ajax Wishlist to give customers more time for consideration, with Parallax effect that will enchant visitors, with Shop by Brand options that will attract lovers of particular companies, and numerous other useful features.
Using Prestashop as a platform for your online store has such advantages as its being comparatively easy to launch and maintain and being appropriate for Multilanguage websites. Moreover, you can get an upgrade quickly and consult forum to get any help. As for its disadvantages, you will have to pay for many modules to make your store more effective, and this platform is not perfect for building large-scale online shops.
If you have a PrestaShop template, such as Impresta - Kids Store PrestaShop Theme, you can easily adjust the layout of your website, choose different modes of presenting goods, as well as add audio, video, banners, sliders, or carousels to impress your customers.
One more powerful platform to start an online store is WooCommerce. On the one hand, its main benefits include the fact that it is free, it contains a variety of plugins to customize your website, and a lot of tools for analysis, such as to measure sales according to brand or sum up your daily and monthly sales. Also, this is a secure system that guarantees security transactions for customers.
On the other hand, WooCommerce has several drawbacks, such as the necessity to update your store quite regularly and the requirement of knowledge to customize your website without anyone's help.
At the outset, you will need to install WooCommerce plugin. For these simple reasons, you can get it from WordPress repository. By the way, it is completely free. On the other hand, you are able to install WooCommerce plugin with the help of your own dashboard.
- Firstly, go to WordPress Admin;
- Then find there ‘Plugins’;
- Navigate to ‘Add New’;
- Find there ‘WooCommerce plugin’
- Finally, you can click on Install button.
When you own a WooCommerce theme, for instance, Furnistore – Furniture Store WooCommerce Template, the process of editing and customizing your website becomes an enjoyable experience due to the Drag-and-Drop builder. Moreover, you can choose from an ultimate pack of Cherry plugins, including Cherry Projects, Testimonials, Team Members, and other, to provide additional information on your website.
Shopify is the platform that is becoming increasingly popular because of its numerous features and that is suitable for building online stores of any kind. First of all, you get full control over the design of your store, so there are unlimited options for customization.
You can easily edit the code if you have to. Secondly, you get a possibility to process your customers' orders as soon as they appear. Thirdly, efficient tracking of secure payments will satisfy both customers and the shop owners. Fourthly, you can add various features to advance your website's functionality to satisfy any of your needs.
However, as Shopify is full of incredible features, it is not free, so you should consider different options. One of them is choosing from a variety of ready-made Shopify themes.
An amazing example of fashion Shopify templates is Tyou. It is fully responsive, so your web page will adjust to different browsers and devices. It has unlimited possibilities to arrange your information and present items, as you can add banners, show featured products, create galleries, combine images with texts, write blog articles, arrange collection and logo lists, and many more. Your customers will enjoy the chance to sort goods by several criteria and to choose the currency of their payments.
All in all, when choosing the best platform for an online store, you have to take into consideration the size of your business, the necessity to update your store, the amount of features needed, and the financial implication, i.e. money you are ready to pay to improve your online store.
I think now you better know how to choosing the right ecommerce platform for your online store.
Sawaram Suthar is head of marketing at Acquire, and also a founder of Jagat Media, a digital marketing agency. A digital marketing consultant, he has experience in things including branding, promotions and page optimization, along with research and strategy. He has an MBA from the University of Pune. Anyone can find him on @sawarams.