The Internet has revolutionized the way people shop for merchandise. Whether buying apparel, computer peripheral, gadget accessories, and other stuff, people can already do it in the comfort of their home using their computer. This online revolution has led to the growth of e-commerce. As the Internet has become an essential part of everyday life, businesses are now starting to capitalize on the numerous benefits of e-commerce.
Today, e-commerce is the fastest growing retail channel. The US ecommerce market is projected to reach $603.4 billion by 2021. For many businesses, venturing into ecommerce may seem like a daunting task. The good news is that there is a plethora of ecommerce platforms to choose from. These channels can help new online businesses to set up their shop. Choosing the right platform for your business entails a little research. This article is designed to help you decide which platform you will use for your online store.
Amazon started out as a bookseller before venturing into selling other merchandise. If you are planning to venture into online selling for the first time, this is the platform of choice. Why? Most online shoppers start and stop their shopping experience in Amazon. In fact, data reveals that 49% of online shoppers start on Amazon before other platforms. Of all US B2B ecommerce sales, 45% is sold via the marketplaces with Amazon collaring 36%. If you want to build a six and seven figure business, an Amazon-only approach is a good starting point.
Built on its goal of becoming “Earth’s most customer-centric company where people can easily find and discover anything they want to buy online. Customer tracking is one of Amazon’s strongest suits. Armed with the data it collects from visitors to its website, Amazon recommends products that its users would be glad to discover and buy which are:
- Similar to what they are currently searching (on-the-fly recommendations that consume tons of processing power)
- Related to what they searched for or clicked in the past
- Purchased by other people who searched for what visitors searched or purchased what they bought
While acknowledging that Amazon is still the king of e-commerce, Walmart is slowly emerging as a force to reckon with in the world of online shopping. The company revealed that its ecommerce revenue will go up to about 35 percent by fiscal year 2020. Over the years, it has invested heavily in logistics, and e-commerce capabilities and acquisition.
Ecommerce sales for Walmart US is estimated to exceed $15 billion for fiscal year 2019. Walmart adds 40-50 new SKUs on a monthly basis and about 2,000 new brands. It added O’Neill surf and water apparel and Shimano cycling products. It now also sells brands like Steve Madden shoes through its Lord & Taylor online shop.
A Rakuten Intelligence Study released April 2018 revealed that while its US online sales is still just a shade of Amazon’s US sales, Walmart has emerged as a “top alternative” to consumers of Amazon. Walmart is using its fleet of stores to give Amazon a run for its money. One of its edge over Amazon is that it has “automated pickup towers” where customers can pick up online orders of general merchandise.Thus saving the cost of shipping and other costs usually charged by online stores.
eBay specializes in consumer-to-consumer and business-to-consumer sales through its website. It uses an online auction style of buying and selling goods and services worldwide. Although the website can be freely used by buyers, sellers are charged certain fees for listing items. From being an online auction website, it has expanded to “Buy It Now” shopping, shopping by SKU, online classified advertisements, and online event ticket trading.
There are five levels of stores that potential online sellers can choose from—Starter, Basic, Premium, Anchor, and Enterprise. Each package has its own fee structure with different discounts on insertion and final value fees and varying number of free listings.
Shopify has over a billion active users on its channel. It offers potential sellers a fully customizable website with built-in mobile commerce shopping cart. This means that customers can browse and buy your products from any mobile or tablet. It has a user-friendly interface that allows you to set up and customize your online store even if you do not have an IT skill. If you are just starting out with your online store or just a small business, Shopify can be an excellent choice.
Your Shopify store will come with a free 256-bit SSL certificate. It comes with support for over 100 payment gateways such as Bitcoin, PayPal, iDEAL, and others. It offers several ways to set up shipping rates (fixed price, tiered pricing, weight-based, or location-based). You can connect your Shopify store to different fulfillment centers such as Amazon, Rakuten Super Logistics, or customize your fulfillment solution. With a Shopify store, you can get to know your buyers even more with their own customer profiles.
Etsy takes pride in being the global marketplace for unique and creative goods. They sell a wide range of special and extraordinary items ranging from handcrafted pieces to vintage treasures. The heart of its business is keeping human connections. Etsy is a people-centered ecommerce platform that empowers its sellers to transform their ideas into a successful business.
Getting started as an Etsy seller is easy and affordable. You can get started for as low as 20 cents. There are three ways to set up an account and start your business—Standard, Plus, and Premium which is set to be launched in 2019. Simple and powerful tools will have you spending less time in management and more time on having fun. The products you will list stays active for four months or until they get sold. When your product is sold, you will receive a commission and charged the standard PayPal payment processing fee.
Selling your products in BigCommerce gives you access to industry leading performance and stability. Take advantage of a rock-solid hosting with a 99.99% average uptime. With a revolutionary design platform, you can easily engage shoppers and boost your sales. You have an option to use a responsive ecommerce template or build a fully customized site. BigCommerce has solutions for fast-growing brands and for high volume business.
BigCommerce utilizes bulk product import/export or get help from the dedicated in-house catalog transfer team for migrating your store to the website. Unlike other ecommerce platforms, there is no penalty for using your preferred payment gateway. You can choose from several payment providers such as PayPal, ApplePay, Pay with Amazon, to name just a few. Orders can be easily processed and fulfilled using the powerful control panel. Sync your inventory on Facebook, Pinterest, eBay, Amazon, Square POS and process all your orders from one location.
Designed for B2C, B2B, and B2B2C, Magento is an ecommerce platform with an open-source ecosystem. The Storefront features your product pages, category navigation, and checkout pages. There they can enter payment details in order to complete their order. The Storefront also contains an “About Us” page containing company information, Contact page, and contact form. You can customize the appearance of the Storefront by choosing a free or premium template.
The administration panel is designed for store management and processing orders. It can either be web-based or desktop-based. The admin panel also includes product and category management where you add products, edit information and images, and assign them to categories. Bundled extensions extends the functionality of your store as 3rd party extensions are built right into the Magento application.
These are just some of the ecommerce platforms that you can choose from for your online store. As to which is the right platform for you, it will depend on your business requirements.
Being successful in the Ecommerce space is more than just listing some products and hoping the sellers arrive. airisX solutions brings together a comprehensive suite of services to cover all aspects of operating and growing an Ecommerce business. Successfully helping clients meet their goals requires having in-depth knowledge and experience in the Ecommerce category in which they operate. This allows clients to achieve more, faster, and with less resources so you can transform your business for the future.