Build your own e-commerce site: Choosing an E-Commerce Platform

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Whether you build your own e-commerce site or you hire an expert to help you out, e-commerce is your ticket to increasing sales. But how do you know which one is the best e-commerce for small business? This comparison of the best e-commerce platforms will help you decide which one is right for you. See how Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, BigCommerce and Squarespace compare.

E-commerce Ease of Use

When you consider ease of use, the platform needs to be easy for your customers to browse, add to their cart, use discounts and checkout. Nothing scares away a customer faster than not being able to find what they want or losing the items in their carts. Of the following ease-of-use features, WooCommerce is the only one that falls short.

WooCommerce doesn’t offer abandoned cart recovery, which could mean a loss of sales if the shopper closes the window or browser unexpectedly. A customer may also get interrupted and want to return later, and abandoned cart recovery makes this possible with the least amount of effort on the customer’s part. Other than this feature, all five platforms offer useful features such as:

  • An unlimited number of products
  • The ability for customers to apply discount codes, coupons or gift cards
  • Mobility and accessibility on any device
  • Real-time availability of shipping information

E-commerce Pricing

While pricing shouldn’t be the top consideration it is one of the most important if your business is just starting out or beginning to grow. WooCommerce doesn’t list package prices because they design a custom package for your business. The other four platforms offer a variety of options starting around $25 a month for a very basic e-commerce solution. All of the following prices reflect the monthly prices.

  • Shopify: Three packages available: Basic Shopify at $29, Shopify at $79 and Advanced Shopify at $299.
  • Magento: Under the Zoey small business option, $89 for Professional, $199 for Business and starting at $599 for Premier.
  • WooCommerce: Pricing is determined by how the package is designed.
  • BigCommerce: Four available options. Standard at $29.95, Plus at $79.95, Pro at $199.95 and an Enterprise Plan priced on the level of customization.
  • Squarespace: $26 for basic and $40 for advanced

E-commerce Design and Templating

The design of your e-commerce site can make or break your sales. Highly dependent on the industry, your customers expect your site to reflect their tastes, be easy to navigate and express the same level of sophistication as your brick-and-mortar stores when appropriate. Other than complete customization, the following templates are available.

E-commerce Support

Ultimately you don’t want anything to go wrong with your e-commerce site. But when problems do arise, you need to know that support is there to help you resolve them. Of the five e-commerce platforms, WooCommerce and Magento do not offer 24/7 support. WooCommerce offers a help option through your e-commerce dashboard and Magento requires you to submit a support ticket.

E-commerce 3rd Party Integrations

Perhaps the greatest advantage to build your own e-commerce site is the ability to integrate third-party APIs. This is useful for:

  • Providing alternate payment methods
  • Creating customized recommendations and search options
  • Offering “live person” customer service
  • Linking to social networking seamlessly
  • Syncronizing data across multiple services in the cloud
  • Integrating with CRMs to manage customer data and profiles
  • Integrating with email marketing platforms to entice potential customers

BigCommerce, WooCommerce and Squarespace provide the ability for APIs, but implementation may be difficult for beginners. Shopify and Magento both offer easy to use options for integration,with over 35 and 100 API endpoints respectively.


You know your own business better than anyone, and your success is important. All of the platforms have benefits; but after comparing, Shopify tops out as the best e-commerce reviewed in all categories. Try a free trial today to see how it can work for you.

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