Which ecommerce platform is best for your business?

Every business website should look good, load quickly and retain the visitor’s interest, but when you have an online store the stakes are even higher.  Few things are quite so frustrating as abandoned online shopping carts, particularly if it’s your ecommerce platform that’s causing the problem.

A website visitor with the motivation and desire to make a purchase should never experience any technical hitches that hinder the transaction, so your ecommerce platform needs to be robust, intuitive and efficient. But how do you know which of the many available options is going to be the best fit for your needs?

There are several options to choose from, all of which offer a variety of functions, from showcasing your range of products to managing your customers’ data and taking online payments. But depending on your business model, you may also wish to include POS integration, online marketing features and even support for purchases made in foreign currencies. And whatever option you decide on, it has to be scalable to allow for future growth as your business develops.

With new options being developed all the time it can be difficult to know where to start, but the best-known – and highest rated – ecommerce options are currently Shopify, Magento and BigCommerce.

Shopify

Shopify is one of the best-known platforms, thanks to its ease of use and exceptionally fast loading times – and with customers abandoning shopping carts when forced to wait for longer than seven seconds for pages to load, this is an important consideration.  The platform is fully responsive and includes a host of features, including options for discounts, gift cards, email marketing and in-depth analytics, so you can study customer behaviour and adapt your store accordingly.

Magento

A popular choice for large businesses with a range of products to sell, Magento powers around 20% of online stores and is available as either a free download or a paid-for hosted service.  It’s packed with features and is endlessly customisable, but it’s not the easiest ecommerce platform to get to grips with, so users need to have some understanding of web development, or employ someone who does.  In tests, it’s a little slower to load than Shopify, but it’s well-suited to very large online stores with a huge number of products.

BigCommerce

An all-in-one hosted ecommerce platform, BigCommerce is geared towards organising products and orders, so it has very little in the way of CMS options.  However, it’s an excellent package when it comes to online security, offering a high level of resistance to hackers along with dedicated firewalls for added reassurance.  It’s designed to handle very high volumes of website traffic, making it a good option for large companies with high volumes of sales.


Here at Brookstone we looked into all of the available options before deciding on Shopify as our ecommerce platform of choice.  We particularly like its range of features, fast loading times and ease of use, as well as its ability to grow with your business. And it’s not a one-way street either – we like Shopify, and Shopify have made it clear that they like us too, singling out the online store we created for Abraxas Cookshops for praise!

So if you’re ready to take your online store to the next level, give us a call, and we’ll be delighted to show you how we can help to build and develop a beautiful and effective online store that showcases your products to their best advantage.