The Five Best E-commerce Platforms in 2019
There’s no doubt that e-commerce has taken the business world by storm, whilst it’s continuing to grow at an exponential rate. In fact, research conducted by Frost and Sullivan predict that B2B e-commerce sales along will reach a staggering $12 trillion globally by 2020, with China and the U.S. leading the marketplace.
E-commerce is also a growing rapidly in the UK, with the online share of all retail sales now as high as 16% (up from just 9% six years ago).
As an aspiring e-commerce venture, however, you’ll need to identify a viable platform that can host your online business. There’s certainly a number of options to choose from, including the following:
We start with BigCommerce, which is one of the fastest growing platforms on the market and one that appeals to both enterprise-level users like Natori and Toyota to companies that are just starting out.
This is thanks to a wide variety of built-in features and customisation options, including industry-leading uptime, advanced security partnerships and superior payment and order fulfilment options.
This is not necessarily the cheapest option on the market, of course, but it does offer genuine value for money and a fully-fledged store devoid of significant backend hurdles or restrictions.
Next up is a platform that’s arguably the most renowned on the market, and one that offers a huge array of features to enterprise sellers across various markets. These include support for recurring payments and unlimited product listings, all of which can be made available at significant discounts.
However, as an open-source platform it requires programming and developer resources, and this creates a higher barrier to entry that some of its competitors. It’s also tailored to suit the demands of enterprise-level firms, meaning that it may not be suitable for startups.
Still, it remains one of the best e-commerce platforms on offer, whilst there’s also a free version that includes the most basic features.
WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin that has become extremely popular of late, primarily because it includes its own secure payment processor and accompanying shopping cart.
It’s also incredibly familiar and accessible, as it allows merchants to turn their WordPress sites into functioning online stores with the minimum of fuss.
So, whilst it’s not necessarily ideal for mid-sized firms or startups that intend to scale quickly, it offers tremendous value to independent ventures and sole traders who are just branching out.
No list of this type would be complete without the inclusion of Shopify, which is already established as one of the most popular e-commerce platforms in the world.
The platforms’ ease-of-use is central to this, as users can quickly create a functional and visually impressive store in a minimal amount of time.
Shopify also offers several different price packages to merchants, ranging from £29 to £299. So, even though the platform is looking to introduce more customisation options as a way of increasing its competitiveness, it already offers considerable flexibility and value to businesses.
Make no mistake; it’s developing tech that continues to drive e-commerce growth, and this is reflected by the number of new platforms that have emerged on the market of late.
One of the best embodiments of this trend is Webflow, which has been established to offer choice in the market and help e-commerce ventures to realise their full potential.
Launched in 2013, it has managed to gain an impressive market share whilst serving as a visual CMS solution that melds professional code-free design with user friendly site building techniques.
Whilst it’s not for everyone, it is certainly doing something right, with an existing user base of half a million website owners.
Starting Your Own E-commerce Business?
Here at Sun Jones, we specialise in helping funded start-ups develop their brand identity, website and, in the case of an online store, their e-commerce website. Every project is different, so we don't have a bias towards a single e-commerce platform, but of the 5 platforms listed above we have hands-on experience working with Shopify, WooCommerce and Webflow. Each platform has its merits, and we can offer you plenty of advice on which platform will best serve your long term objectives. Get in touch today for an informal chat about your next big idea.