Congratulations on making the decision to open your own ecommerce company! Or to at least begin exploring the various options that are available out there. My name is Ryan and I’m the owner and founder of Vulpine Marketing. I personally own portions of several ecommerce companies and have worked with nearly every major platform available. I have my personal favorites and this article is to briefly outline some of the options that are on the market for you to consider.
Recommended Ecommerce Platforms
BigCommerce was one of the first platforms that I first used when working with some of my early ecommerce companies. They used to have a significantly larger impression share of the market but Shopify and other platforms have come in as pretty fierce competitors.
One of my clients, TL Trade Show Displays creates these incredible customized hand sanitizer station stands. I think they are an incredible product and proudly have one in my own office. When they were entering into the world of selling products online, I recommend BigCommerce simply because I felt they had the strongest out of the box offering. Many of the features and functionalities that you want are already built in.
I’ve also felt like BigCommerce support for their websites was top-notch. They really helped walk me through whatever I needed.
It has also been my impression that the SEO performance of the BigCommerce websites has been better. I have been able to more easily customize the pages that way that I needed to to be able to perform for certain keywords. Shopify which I will discuss next has some inflexibility that drives me nuts in this regard.
BigCommerce also works well with using multi-channel selling. So you can integrate your store with Amazon, Google Shopping, eBay and other selling websites that can be advantageous for you!
The downside to BigCommerce is that it’s a little challenging to get it customized just the way you would want it. The default templates often feel pretty blocky and not as attractive as other platforms. The way the websites are built is also a little wonky in my opinion. It can be a little tricky to get into and make the custom changes you want even if you are pretty familiar with code and other CMS platforms.
I’ve also worked with a variety of BigCommerce websites and feel the sites can be a little slow loading compared to other options. This may provide a poor user experience. I think Shopify is a better option if this is one of the absolutely top priorities.
Shopify is an incredible choice for a website to sell products online. I think that out of the box meaning with the least amount of effort, Shopify can have the best looking websites in my opinion.
Shopify also feels a little zippier and “well made” as far as the way content loads and the sites function. Overall experience feels higher quality on Shopify than any other platforms.
My complaint against Shopify is that I feel like if you want the website to function well you have to integrate more apps, plugins and add ons than I want to.
I also am incredibly frustrated with the inflexibility of the site’s url structure. If you have a product or category that you are forced to have them as /collections/whatever-you-want or product/whatever-you-want/ as a result there have been some difficulties ranking sites. It’s certainly possible but has presented more of a challenge than other platforms presented in this article.
WooCommerce is a WordPress based system. WordPress is my absolute favorite website creation platform outside of the ecommerce space. It’s incredibly flexible and has so many free integrations that can help you make a website do pretty much anything you can possibly dream of. That being said, it’s a little tricky of a system to integrate compared to other platforms that are built to be an ecommerce platform first.
For someone who isn’t a developer and isn’t as familiar with the different systems and integrations, I might recommend one of the other options instead.
Wix is terrible. Never use Wix. If you read this article and just decide to avoid Wix entirely, then this has been the greatest decision you could ever make. Poor SEO performance, non-existent support and scare tactics to keep people on the platform make Wix a suggestion I could absolutely never make.
Squarespace is another option to checkout. Squarespace has the drag and drop functionality comparable to Wix. This can make a good experience for setting up a website. However, like other website builder options that aren’t built almost exclusively for ecommerce, it can be a bit of a challenge to set up. Although, I think it is an easier setup experience compared to WooCommerce.
Wix and SquareSpace are built using drag and drop functionality. The idea is to make it easy for people to create without coding experience. The drawback to this often is that these websites perform poorly in Google Page Speed Scores. Google has come out and said that this score will matter more and more in the future when it comes to Google presence.
Other Options to Consider
There’s Magento, Prestashop and so many other options out there. My experience with many of these platforms is more limited and therefore I feel unqualified to discuss the products. However, I have listed several others that I think are winners.
Ecommerce can be a great place to be. I personally know people who have made literally millions of dollars in the space. I hope that you go join them!