A Guide to Finding the Best eCommerce Platforms

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Fretty Francis

Senior editor

Parul Saxena

Chief editor

Last updated: February 22, 2021

What is eCommerce Platforms?

eCommerce Platforms are a revolutionary software has transformed the modern work environment by scaling up overall efficiency and productivity for eCommerce businesses of all sizes and types. It drives all online store processes. It helps owners to manage inventory, add and remove products, process payments with tax calculation included and a lot of other things. It will give you all you need to run your retail store online.

Most eCommerce software platforms have an easy to use interface which even first time users can operate easily. It can seamlessly integrate with platform and services such as CRM, CMS, ERP, email marketing tools, accounting software, social media network etc.

A dynamic business tool – B2B eCommerce software is now an essential component to sell products online in a quick, agile and flexible manner.

How does eCommerce Platforms Work?

eCommerce software provides a secure platform for your online organization to manage a host of diverse activities such as customer relationship management, payment, billing, inventory management and transportation of the final product. B2B eCommerce software facilitates a hassle-free shopping experience for customers, making your online shop extremely responsive to customer demands by operating in a flawless manner.

eCommerce platforms also ensure smooth financial transactions, as they can support multiple payment gateways and transfer monetary amounts directly into merchant banking accounts. A highly secure medium – it is a smart move to invest in the best eCommerce solutions for your organization as it can make a world of difference by enhancing vital performance parameters of your company.

The Future of eCommerce: 2018 + Beyond

The eCommerce industry is evolving rapidly, as the traditional brick and mortar concept of selling goods is now an old trend. According to a Nielsen report, international eCommerce sales all over the world are expected to top $4 trillion by 2020. An online store consists of many interconnected and intricate functions that can be easily streamlined through effective eCommerce solutions for small business models.

The global eCommerce platforms market has been growing by leaps and bounds – research has validated that the eCommerce software market that was valued at 3.8 billion US dollars in 2016 is predicted to grow exponentially to 4.6 billion US dollars by the year 2021. This clearly demonstrates the growing popularity of enterprise eCommerce software systems, and most companies now adopt it as a potent technological platform to enhance workflow management.

The eCommerce industry has been on the path of growth for a considerable amount of time now, but the bubble shows no sign of bursting. It’s only growing bigger with time. And it’s no longer something that’s restricted to large retail multinational companies. It’s a certified global necessity now.

Here are some eye-opening stats and trends that should give sufficient insight into the state of eCommerce at present and how much more growth it’s likely to experience in the coming years.

Looking for Ecommerce Software? Check out SoftwareSuggest’s list of the best ecommerce software solutions.

  1. Can This Thing Go Faster?

There doesn’t exist a single industry that isn’t looking for faster turnaround times. In eCommerce, customers continue to demand speed and accuracy in their orders. They want it now, and they want it fast. Think Amazon’s Prime Now, which offers household items, groceries, and essentials within two hours. Some high-profile companies are making plans to incorporate drones into their supply chain in order to get the first mover advantage.

Amazon has Prime Air, aiming to deliver packages within 30 minutes with unarmed aerial vehicles, in development currently.

And UberEats wants to deliver food in minutes, using drones.

Of course, customers will not expect faster delivery times alone, they will be expecting a seamless shopping experience across multiple interconnected devices. eCommerce businesses have to make adjustments to their supply chain in order to ensure the fastest turnaround times.

  1. Mobile Is the Future

It’s obvious that people spend much more time on their smartphones than they do on their desktop computers. We have a long way to go before we get biologically embedded tech for online shopping, so for now, mobile is the future.

In the US alone, consumers spent upwards of 5 hours per day on mobile apps, according to Flurry Analytics.

The estimated share of mobile eCommerce in total eCommerce sales is pegged at around 72.9%, while it hovers at 63.5% presently.

Needless to say, mobile apps are going to be the primary marketplace for eCommerce buyers and sellers. The best eCommerce platforms are those which have robust mobile capabilities. Mobile eCommerce is becoming incredibly popular and most eCommerce software solutions are cloud-based, meaning that they can be accessed from any geographical location or device such as laptop, personal computer or mobile, all that is required is a working high-speed internet connection. This majorly increases flexibility and agility amongst the team members of any eCommerce firm as they are not bound to the physical office premises – they can remain productive on the move and contribute to organizational goals.

  1. Customer Experience For the Win

Customer experience is on every marketer’s agenda. Customer relationship is no longer something that’s left to chance. Companies are actively pursuing customers and fiercely guarding the relationships they’ve managed to forge with them. And customer expectations are accordingly, quite high. They want more personalized experiences, even in retail. eCommerce retailers, take note!

According to an Accenture survey, 88% of customers are happy to share their data for a more personalized experience, as long as they are in the know about how it’s being used by the retailer. With advanced enterprise eCommerce platforms, eCommerce retailers can use their customers’ data intelligently. It gives them the power to construct powerful personalized experiences for the customers.

  1.  Voice Search

Digital assistants are probably going to become the norm much sooner than we expect them to. Starting out as a simple feature in messaging, the trend has catapulted into prominence with digital assistants like Alexa and Google Home. Both of these are examples of companies taking a very simple utility/feature and running with the possibilities.

As the accuracy of automatic voice search and recognition becomes stronger, eCommerce retailers have realized the immense power of eCommerce software for small business organizations and are utilizing this miraculous tool to the maximum.

Now, every other eCommerce retailer is trying to incorporate voice search in their apps. And for good reason. 40% of millennials are already using voice-enabled digital assistants in order to research items they’re planning to buy.

Marketers need to understand that there is no longer a single or unified sales channel. With the voice search utility getting more popular, they have to make sure to optimize their listings and rankings in order to improve their discoverability when their category/product is searched for via text, image or voice.

  1. Emerging Markets

Emerging markets are very likely to beat out well-established markets such as the United States. They will soon reach the saturation point with regards to consumer growth in the eCommerce sector.

It is the emerging markets in India, Southeast Asia, and Latin America that marketers and development execs should keep an eye on. There’s an enormous potential for growth in these markets as eCommerce penetration is still growing.

The projected CAGR for India and Southeast Asia until 2021 is around 31% and 32% respectively, according to this Business Insider Report.

These regions are going to be the areas where most eCommerce businesses should start to direct their marketing and development efforts towards.

ecommerce platforms report india and southeast asia

  1. Omnichannel Retailing

With so many shopping models and online marketplaces, there is no doubt that eCommerce is the future of retail technology. Most eCommerce entrepreneurs and small businesses are adopting the multichannel/omnichannel model, and communicating to customers through a diverse variety of channels for better service and to capture a larger target base.

It’s not going to be enough to sell on a single platform. At any rate, it’s certainly not going to increase the chances of an eCommerce retailer succeeding in this saturated landscape. Today, consumers tend to use an average of 6 touchpoints, with more than 50% regularly opting for 4 or more.

To reiterate, it’s simply not enough for an eCommerce retailer to focus on a single channel. Hence, omnichannel retailing. It involves rethinking the eCommerce retail strategy with respect to specific systems such as POS (Point of Sale), CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and other tools used in tandem with eCommerce software solutions across a variety of channels in order to manage the retailer’s branding, marketing, sales, inventory, and customer experience.

Unified data systems of eCommerce platforms facilitate the smooth maintenance of data across multiple shopping channels, making the software a strategic tool that can boost the productivity of any eCommerce venture in the current business world.

How Augmented Reality Is Going to Transform eCommerce

According to the Harvard Business Review, Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR and VR, respectively) are poised to be certified disruptors in the eCommerce landscape.

In the last year alone, AR and VR based startups raised a record $3.6 billion from VCs and corporates.

The growth so far as well as the potential for future growth in Augmented and Virtual Reality, is immense. And their applications in eCommerce could change the way people buy and sell products until the next big retail disruptor comes along.

In the past, retail has undergone multiple makeovers every fifty years or so. There was the modern department store, then shopping malls with specialty retailers, and then big-box discount chains such as Walmart became popular. Then there were ‘category killers’ and finally, the digital revolution brought about the rise of eCommerce.

Now eCommerce is ubiquitous. You can access any number of eCommerce stores you want to from your sleek, lightweight smartphone. Such is the power of innovation. At every stage, the retail landscape underwent a considerable number of changes, as did the customer expectations.

So what does the future look like from the precipice of the wave of disruption, and what are the expectations of the customers?

Despite the surging popularity of eCommerce, there is a huge disparity between the conversion rates of eCommerce retailers and those of traditional retailers.

Why?

A major reason would be the sensory limits within which eCommerce stores have to function. A majority of customers still see buying as having a significant tactile component. So, try as they might, eCommerce retailers are never quite going to be able to eliminate the ‘try and buy’ mentality completely. What they can do, is work around it creatively and get the best out of what their eCommerce platforms have to offer. This is what AR allows them to do.

As of now, the full scope of virtual reality in retail will take quite a few years to implement. There are a number of constraints not limited to the need for a relatively expensive headset. Meanwhile, AR applications in eCommerce and in other industries are gaining ground at a dizzying speed.

Businesses, especially eCommerce giants such as Amazon and Alibaba are well on their way in developing and implementing cutting-edge AR capabilities to their mobile apps. Retailers all over are finding new and innovative ways to incorporate Augmented Reality in their eCommerce software solutions.

  • IKEA uses AR to allow users to accurately visualize how a piece of furniture would look in their room. The user can browse unlimited pieces of furniture from the comfort of his home and does not even have to make the trip to an IKEA outlet to finalize his purchase.
  • In a similar vein, Amikasa is an AR eCommerce software app with which users to visualize a floor plan and design their own home using furniture from real retailers. You can have your dream home, without any physical trial and error because you’ll know exactly what a piece would look like in a particular space in a room.
  • Amazon’s AR View now provides the same functionality but for a much wider range of categories
  • In beauty, Sephora is using AR to enable users to try on makeup virtually on their smartphone. Their in-store virtual mirror already allows users to find out the products that would most suit them, without having to try on say, each shade of lipstick or eyeshadow, physically.
  • Topshop’s Microsoft-powered Kinect Fitting Room allows shoppers to try on clothes without having to get changed.

The above examples of AR-enabled eCommerce platforms deliver superior customer experience by engaging customers with pre-existing tech. They save the customer time, effort, and money, while also engaging them and weaving an enriching, memorable shopping experience.

An important element of the engagement process is that of social media. Most of these eCommerce apps have social media integrations which easily allow users to ask for recommendations from their friends and get a different perspective regarding a product before actually making the purchase.

Every day, eCommerce retailers are coming up with creative AR applications.

While customers might still need time before they can get fully used to virtual reality experiences such as Alibaba’s BUY+ virtual shopping, with AR a much faster adoption rate is to be expected.

This is because:

A. People are already considerably familiar with the technology (think Pokemon GO), and
B. AR applications do not rely on additional devices such as headsets. Customers can get the full scope and experience on their smartphone/laptop/tablet itself.

The nature and platform for AR simply lend itself better to adoption, at least presently.

VR may actually present an unwanted interruption for many people, whereas AR in the best eCommerce software has allowed a more seamless experience and in addition to a scope for greater interaction with the world around them.

Artificial Intelligence: The Epicentre for eCommerce Growth

A common thread in many of the emerging trends and recent developments in eCommerce is the growing prevalence of Artificial Intelligence or AI-based/AI-supported technology. The impact of AI is evident in nearly every industry today. It has been at the helm of the burgeoning automation revolution and is going to continue playing a significant role in the upcoming years.

Offshoots of AI as well as related concepts such as Machine Learning (ML), optimization, and more are being increasingly incorporated in eCommerce platforms. This ‘advanced’ technology is on the path to becoming more accessible each day, meaning that the prospect of even more innovative applications involving AI is very much on the cards.

In eCommerce, the applications of AI are boundless. Most eCommerce software packages are completely automated and powered by artificial intelligence – this helps eCommerce businesses stay at the top of the success pyramid, and enjoy savings of time, money and energy in the day-to-day functioning of the organization.

Machine learning and business intelligence are now heavily incorporated into b2b eCommerce platforms – it revolutionizes the management of inventory, order processing, customer interaction, prices and promotions in eCommerce business firms.

Chatbots, algorithms, and recommendations are simply the beginning. Gartner predicted that by 2020, customers will manage up to 85% of their relationship with a company without having to interact with a human.

Such applications are clearly visible even in the rudimentary AI-powered chatbots that eCommerce retailers have been incorporating on their websites and mobile apps. In time, we can expect B2B eCommerce software as well as B2C eCommerce apps to be equipped with superior chatbots that can act as CRM data gatherers on their own.

Expect AI to not just give users personalized recommendations (a feature which led to a 29% increase in Amazon’s sales way back in 2012, and has since become a sophisticated mainstay for the eCommerce giant’s sales strategy), but to anticipate the customer’s needs.

Quite similar to Netflix’s predictive analytics, which shows users which show they would probably love to binge watch next. So, using complex algorithms, AI-powered enterprise eCommerce platforms will be able to predict what the customer is likely to buy next.

Most eCommerce software solutions and websites are poised to become completely capable of voice and image searches, as this is how a majority of users in the future are likely to make their eCommerce purchases. If you can place your Starbucks order via voice today, imagine what the future holds for this segment. Virtual assistants such as Alexa and Google Home are obviously playing a significant part in bringing about this transition. It will also force eCommerce retailers to rethink and revise their SEO strategies.

The power of affordable AI applications in eCommerce will make eCommerce a relatively level playing field. With solutions such as Salesforce’s Einstein, regular eCommerce retailers will have the power to provide curated, personalized online shopping experiences to customers, just like Amazon. Machine learning and predictive analytics will empower smaller players to provide personalized, up-to-date content to customers across different sales touchpoints.

So, now that you know what the eCommerce retail landscape is going to look like in the near future, you have to decide if your eCommerce firm requires eCommerce platforms. If trends and numbers are anything to go by, it is high time you invested in a unified eCommerce software solution for your company. It can simplify the structure and streamline multiple processes of your online business, thereby making your company a lean and efficient vehicle. Your customers will benefit from the best level of client service, ensuring that they endorse your online brand in the long run.

Benefits of Using Hosted eCommerce Platforms

Let’s go into detail into the kind of benefits you can expect from investing in robust eCommerce platforms. Even eCommerce software solutions for small businesses come power packed with an impressive range of various business features that can boost the adaptiveness of any organization in the current fluctuating corporate ecosystem.

  1. No Security Risks

Security is a major main concern of an eCommerce business owner. Even a minor security breach or glitch can cost and organization millions in damages and ruin its reputation in the market. One of the biggest benefits of hosted eCommerce software solutions is that there is a tremendous amount of data security and protection. Most modern b2b eCommerce software packages have a number of integrated security features that protect online store owners from data theft, fraud or misappropriation activities.

Popular eCommerce platforms undergo regular automated security updates that make sure that no unauthorized personnel can access your sensitive company information. Password protection, data encryption, and stringent user control keep confidential information safe from intrusive hands, and enterprise eCommerce software acts as a powerful deterrent to security threats of any kind.

  1. Scalability

eCommerce online stores often start small in size but diversify at a rapid and alarming pace. The unprecedented growth of eCommerce business companies often makes it difficult for their IT infrastructure, as it cannot cope with the increase in demand. Investing in eCommerce platforms for small business models is surely a smart move as it is very easy to scale up your software features according to the growing needs of your company.

Most hosted b2b eCommerce software suites can accommodate traffic spikes with ease, and can quickly scale up the general capacity as and when needed. Seasonal sales and festive periods have a huge amount of customer interaction or website traffic. However, if you invest in the best eCommerce software solutions, all you require is a few clicks of a button to scale up your software to manage all requirements seamlessly.

  1. Advanced Features

Whether you choose an on-premise solution or SaaS (software as a service) eCommerce software, it will definitely have an impressive range of diverse business features that will help your organization attain bottom line results in an efficient manner. eCommerce merchants can get access to cutting-edge technological features through the latest modern eCommerce platforms.

eCommerce tools for small business organizations also provide continuous access to real-time information, thereby improving the transparency and visibility of routine organizational operations. Easy customization and user-friendliness lead to the quick implementation of eCommerce platforms by the entire workforce.

There is no doubt that any company can witness a dramatic transformation in its business fortunes by investing in the best eCommerce software in the market – it is a cost-effective lifelong investment that will surely yield amazing returns.

  1. Easy Integration

eCommerce platforms are a real business asset in today’s digital era as they have the capability to integrate with existing business applications. eCommerce software solutions are holistic tools that handle every functional aspect of your online store or website- they can simplify the task flow management and facilitate supply chain management in an optimum way.

eCommerce businesses that have stores in multiple locations can keep track of real-time information through cloud-based b2b eCommerce software as it helps in tracking, monitoring and evaluating of materials.

Visible and navigable dashboards make it possible to see important information and eCommerce platforms also have the sophisticated ability to make advanced reports based on historical past trends. eCommerce software solutions for small business organizations is the best way to build efficiency in the sales pipeline and a sure shot way to handle your eCommerce business in the current competitive era.

  1. Accessibility

Another huge benefit of enterprise eCommerce software is that keeps your online store open to your customer base round the clock. Automated technology ensures that your prized valuable clients can visit your website and make sale transactions or interact with support staff 24/7.

There is no limitation on business working hours due to physical office location or work timings – complete automation of eCommerce solutions means that team members do not need to monitor the online store continually.

eCommerce software can lead to a massive increase in your customer service rankings since customers get to access your eCommerce store at any time do not have to wait to get their queries or issues sorted out.

Factors to Consider before Buying eCommerce Platforms

You’ve decided to go for it, but now you’re in a fix. Where do you start in your search for the perfect eCommerce solution? From amongst the tons of eCommerce software solution available in the market, how will you determine that you are choosing the right option?

We’ve got you covered. We have listed down a few essential factors that you should consider before finalizing the right eCommerce platforms for your firm:

  1. Price of the Software

This is the first and the foremost thing you should consider before buying a software. Doesn’t matter if you are small Business just starting with your business or an already established brick and mortar business moving online, you should know what you will be paying.

When doing research about the B2B eCommerce software cost, figure out what you want to pay a flat monthly fee or pay additional fees every time you increase the bandwidth, server, storage apps, and plugins.

  1. Integration

Next in the line comes integration. If you are running an online business you will need more than just an eCommerce software platform: a lot of plugins and software will be needed to perform different tasks. When considering the factors, take into account the tools you already use or will need in your business. There will be an obstacle while handling your online stores if there is a lack of compatibility between the platform and the services you offer.

Some of the most popular plugins you should consider are:

  • Accounting plugins that will help you with the calculation of sales, taxes, revenues, and profits
  • Email marketing tools
  • SEO tools
  • CRM tools
  • ERP Tools
  • Content Management System
  • Shipping apps
  • Customer Loyalty Programs
  1. SEO Friendliness

You obviously want your customers to find you when they are looking for a product like yours.

Some of the most important things when looking for an SEO friendly eCommerce platform is

A facility to add a blog to the website

A flexibility to use your own domain name

The ability for the customers to leave back a feedback or a review.

  1. Mobile Friendliness

These days almost 60% of the searches are made from mobile devices. This searches sometimes leads to an online purchase. Therefore the eCommerce software should allow customers to search and make a purchase from that mobile devices.

  1. Security

Cybercrime, hacking, theft is all we can hear these days. Nobody would enter his credit or debit card information on some random website, therefore security should be your biggest concern while looking for eCommerce platforms for small business. If you want your customers to trust you while making monetary transactions, it is important that you choose a platform that guarantees safety and security at all times. Make sure that the platform you have selected at least supports HTTPS/SSL for a safe and secure checkout for your customers.

The second thing you should check for is whether it PCI compliant or not.

  1. Scalability

What is the use of an eCommerce platform that will not grow with you? Whenever you start a small business you hope it to grow, but you yourself are not aware to what extent it will expand. Therefore look for a platform that will scale with your business.

Start out with a basic plan, just don’t get excited and try all the features. Buy features that will be necessary don’t get carried away by seeing attractive dashboards. Choose a B2B eCommerce software that is good for you not only today but supports you as your business grows.

As you start growing, there will be more traffic on your website. So make sure the platform you choose is able to handle peak traffic without any breakdown. If an eCommerce software will not support scaling then it will ultimately lead to page timeouts, frozen pages with increased traffic. This will frustrate your customers and will drive them away.

  1. Site Design

The site design should perfectly blend with your product profile, i.e it should be easy to navigate and have a high user interface. A good site performance, quick page load i.e 3-5 seconds, high page ranking in search engine, and attractive product presentation are some of the aspects of best eCommerce platforms.

Above all, the website should be responsive, it should sit well with all the screen sizes desktops, laptops, mobiles, tablet, Ipad Etc.

  1. Customer Service

Last but not the least Customer service will be the backbone of any enterprise eCommerce platforms. A brick and mortar structure is a physical store which means it typically has more control over how smoothly a business can run.

eCommerce is completely opposite to this. Software outages and server downtimes are something that you cannot control, and hence such occurrences can bring your business down as customers will not be able to access your business. The worst situation can be when all of your servers break down at a time, this can be the worst possible moment. This will not only affect your revenue but also your brand image.

Having someone who can fix up things again is a huge factor when you are looking for an eCommerce solution for small business.

So before you make a final decision consider question such as:

Are they available 24/7?

How to reach them?

How many levels of support they offer?

What is the cost of each?

Online Shoppers today are not just looking at the product and price but they also expect a seamless experience while making a purchase. The factors discussed above will all impact the user experience. So consider them before starting an eCommerce store and enjoy more engagement.

10 Features Every eCommerce Software Solution Should Have

With so many platforms to choose from, myriad features and functionalities available it becomes difficult to determine which feature to choose and which to let go. Sometimes it also becomes difficult to determine whether the software you are looking at will give the functionality you need, will scale as your business grows and whether it is an effective solution or not.

Therefore, we are going to discuss some of the most important features of an enterprise eCommerce tool. It will help you evaluate the platforms you need and will help you determine whether or not it offers you all you need to start a business.

  1. Shopping Cart

An eCommerce website is absolutely useless without a shopping cart. It’s like a cashier without a register and serves no purpose at all. Most of the eCommerce platforms will have a built-in shopping cart solutions but some will go that extra mile and provides you with third-party plugins for a more advanced and Customized Functionality.

  1. A Full-Fledged Library of Themes and Templates

The first thing that attracts your customer to your eCommerce website is its aesthetic appearance and basic navigational features. A regular website surfer will immediately tell you whether its a professional website or a B-grade. Believe or not a customer buying decision is majorly depended on the first impression of the site design.

A good eCommerce software will give you the ability to quickly change the look and feel of your website using a diverse library of eCommerce design Templates. Also, make sure that the platform you use is a developer-oriented so that the website can be scalable as and when needed through the introduction of new templates and plugins.

  1. Reviews

A lot of shoppers read reviews. In fact, 85% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. The star rating is one of the main factors used by consumers.

Some people have a wrong impression that negative reviews are a sale killer. In reality, it is not. Negative reviews can often turn out to be positive. This is because products with negative reviews are often considered fake.

  1. Ability to Accommodate High-Resolution Photos and Videos

Now is an era where people want a lot more than a single photo and few bullet points describing those products and a price tag. Today’s customers want to see multiple angles of the products and how they can be used in different environments. They also want the zoom out and zoom functionality to get a real feel of a product.

According to a report by adobe images that take too long to load or does not load at all may lose 39% of its consumers. So it’s better to have a technical consideration of the products.

Remember images are selling your products not text. So it’s essential that eCommerce platforms display multiple photos per product. The photos should be of high resolution and should be optimized to load easily.

  1. Special Offers

Almost every eCommerce website today uses special offers as their standard marketing tactic. They are using platforms like newsletter, social media, text messages etc. This is something really basic, next level eCommerce vendors take the advantage of header section to promote special offers and discounts.

It is a great way to attract them to buy your products. When shoppers realize that they are the special deal it entices them to buy that product or spend more time searching related items.

Provide your website with a unique web page that will not only list offers and drive more sales but also improve the SEO.

  1. Find In Store

Not all eCommerce websites have a brick and mortar structure but the ones with them should have a Find in-store feature. Sometimes you don’t really have the time to wait for the product to get shipped to your doorstep.

Also, a lot of shoppers these days are going online just to research a product and then make a purchase. This is extremely helpful to see which local stores have which products in stock.

  1. A Detailed Shipping Information

Shipping cost is one of the main reason behind shopping cart abandonment. It is very important for eCommerce websites to include shipping details during the checkout process. This details should show the approximate delivery time along with options for faster delivery. This also gives the flexibility to websites the countries that are not in their normal shipping zones.

Shoppers spend 30% more when shipping fee is included (Source: Warton). Make sure you add codes for free shipping on all pages of your site.

  1. Multi-Touch Point Contact Page

Nothing builds more trust among its consumers than a well presented “ contact us” feature when it comes to shopping online. This is particularly more applicable when selling high-end merchandise or technical products.

Always make it easy for your buyer to reach you and support request. You can include multiple ways of doing that. It could be phone, email or it can also be an online form. Companies with brick and mortar stores can also give an option to set an online appointment via their contact page. Don’t forget to add social links and google maps for location.

  1. Return Policy

Return policies have now become an important feature of any eCommerce website. It is also something which is sensitive therefore it should be properly illustrated and well written. This yet another very important thing which will help you gain your customer’s trust. It will make sure that if you are unhappy with the product or a wrong size is delivered you have a chance to get it replaced.

A survey by Invesp invest shows that

30% of all the products offered online are returned.

92% of the customer will buy again if the return policy is not stringent

67% of the shoppers check the return policy page before they make a purchase.

  1. Upselling and Cross-Selling Features

A lot of time people don’t know what they want until you show it to them. Upselling is a concept where you recommend your customers a product that has a higher value than the product they are currently looking at. Sometimes products are recommended which can add features to the product they are currently evaluating.

Cross-selling is another concept which suggests complementary products on the basis of the products they are currently purchasing. According to a research by McKinsey, upselling and cross-selling increases sale by 20% and profits by 30%.

Today almost all major B2B eCommerce platforms offer a recommendation engine to help sellers boost the conversion rates. While considering an eCommerce platform homepage, product page and shipping cart are the pages where a recommendation engine works most efficiently. The recommendation should not be only limited to the websites sending emails also delivers a significant conversion rate.

Our Recommendations: The 7 Best eCommerce Platforms

The success of your eCommerce platform depends on the technology you are using. Choose a platform that meets your requirement appropriately and uniquely as your business model. Given the complexity and competition that currently characterizes the eCommerce retail sector, here are our picks for the best software currently in the market which can catapult your status from an up-and-coming company to an eCommerce retail superstar:

  1. Shopify

shopify logoIt a Canadian based SAAS eCommerce Platform provider that is helping online businesses across the globe. Shopify was the first eCommerce store to use the concept of Content Delivery network. It is completely reliable and hosts over 500,000 Stores.

 

Features

  • It has got 100+ professional themes created by some of the well-known designers such as happy cog, Clearleft etc.
  • It has an inbuilt mobile eCommerce shopping cart. This will enable your customers to buy from your store using their mobile phones.
  • It a has a full-fledged blogging platform which will help you categorize articles, encourage discussions etc.
  • If you want to host your entire website on Shopify you have an inbuilt web-based website builder to resort you. This will be accompanied by a content management system.
  • You can customize each and every aspect of your website as you will have complete access to HTML and CSS script for your store.
  • SSL secured, all your pages, credit card information is protected by a 256-bit SSL certificate. It is also level-1 PCI compliant which means you don’t have to worry about your customer credit card.
  • Supports 100+ gateways which include PayPal, Bitcoin etc
  • Your online store checkout will be equipped with 50+ languages.
  • Based on the location, it will take care of all the major state and central tax rules.
  • Store Management will now easier with features such as customer profiles, accounts, customer groups, fulfillment centers etc.
  • Shopify will support SEO best practices like customizable H1, meta tags, title etc.
  • Integrate easily with social media websites such as Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr etc.
  • It comes with an intuitive dashboard along with product and traffic reports.

Shopify provides around 2264 App Integrations. Here are the top few:

Google AnalyticsGoogle Tag Manager
Lucky OrangeMailChimp
SpringBotLoyalty Lion
Product Upsell by BoldFacebook Messenger
Swiftype SearchZEN.AI
Yotpo Social ReviewsOberlo
ZapierAmazon Channel

Price

LiteBasicProfessionalUnlimitedShopify Plus
$9 per month$29 per month$79 per month$179 per monthstarts at $995 per month
  1. Magento

magento logoIt an open source eCommerce platform developed in PHP. Magento has surpassed 4 million Download until now. It is an Acquisition by eBay. It is equipped with Robust SEO optimization Tools, effective marketing, and Inventory Management Tools. It is scalable with an extensive support network.

 

Features

  • Web-services that will provide easy integration between Magento and other third-party integrations.
  • Custom Website Designing and Styling
  • Managing Information pages will now easier with its Integrated Content Management System.
  • Integration with Google Website Optimizer to support A/B and Multivariate Testing.
  • Integrated with payment gateways such as Amazon Payments, Google Checkout, Paypal etc.
  • Strong support of SSL security for online orders and other sensitive transactions.
  • Multiple Shipping Address Management
  • Management of shipping by weight and Destination.
  • Google Sitemap creation and Sitemap Auto-Generation
  • META information Management at both Product as well as Category Levels.
  • For Faster Load Time and Search Engine Optimization it is Equipped with light Foot Print Design
  • Provides various Analytics Capabilities such as Sales report, Tax Reports, Abandoned Shopping Cart reports, Best Viewed reports, Top Sold Product Reports, Low stock Item, RSS report etc.
  • Supports Various Kinds of Promotions and Marketing Tools such as Newsletter Management, Free Shipping Promotion Management, Recently Viewed Products.
  • Product Browsing Features for multiple images per product, product Reviews, Related products, Product image zoom in/out capabilities etc.

USP

  • It updates the whole website automatically, this feature is not available in any other eCommerce Platform.
  • With Magento, you can easily set up more than One eCommerce store on a single domain name.
  • You can also have the feasibility to have multiple websites under one installation.

Top Magento Extensions

QuickbooksShipperHQ
LiveChatSendGrid
ShipStationSpringBot
MailChimpTalkable
TaxJarTawk.to
dotmailerPayPal
Authorize.NetCreativeMinds
  1. BigCommerce

bigcommerce logoIt will give you all the features you need to build an online store. It will give you a lot more than just a website builder. It will give you tools that will completely streamline your online business so that you can focus on the most important thing – selling.

 

Features

  • It offers 80 carefully curated, responsive designs. It has free and premium templates which have amazing designs for everyone.
  • It has everything integrated in real-time with your online stores which includes shipping quotes, advances shipping platforms as well as order fulfillment services.
  • You can change your storefront with no coding required at all. They have custom online stores built using HTML, CSS and other popular library codes.
  • The integrations offered by Bigcommerce supports LTL freight, dropshipping, dimensional shipping etc.
  • With BigCommerce your customers will get accurate shipping quotes available with real-time rates from major carriers like UPS, USPS, FedEx, Royal Mail, and Canada Post etc.
  • Quickly set up all the location where you want to sell your products, then choose a particular method for each specific area.
  • Choose the payment gateway of your own choice without any additional fees or penalties. BigCommerce has integration with some of the best platforms which include some of the well-known names such as Paypal which is empowered by Braintree, Authorize.net, Adyen, Stripe etc.
  • BigCommerce offers integrations with some of the world’s most popular digital wallets. such as PayPal, Apple Pay, and Amazon pay.
  • It has integration with Signifyd which offers fraudulent Management by reviewing each and every order while they are placed.
  • Bigcommerce Integration with Adyen will offer you more than 250 payment methods based on your location.
  • Get advanced CRO tools with Bigcommerce to reduce friction, encourage checkouts and bring back shoppers.
  • Recover lost sales using the abandoned cart saver tool. This conversion tool will send out a series of customizable emails that will motivate the customers to complete the purchase.

USP

  • It has the best uptime in the industry, which includes 100% availability during the Cyber Week.
  • Bigcommerce is very reasonable when compared to eCommerce platforms such as Magento with no additional Expenses on hosting, maintenance or to update expenses.
  • It takes half the time than it takes to build a website on other platforms using the modern development tools such as SaaS and Webpack.
  • BigCommerce is the only eCommerce software that integrates with ShipperHQ, a renowned storefront shipping management system.

BigCommerce provides around 606 Integrations. Here are the top ones:

Google AdWordsOPtimizely
HubspotNetSuite
BrightPearlMicrosoft Dynamics
ShipperHQOrdoro
ShipstationEndicia
Shipping easySalesforce
ZohoQuickbooks
XeroSage

Pricing

StandardPlusPro
$29.95 per month$79.95 per month$249.95 per month
  1. WooCommerce

woocommerce logoIt is an open source, fully customizable eCommerce platform built on WordPress. You can sell anything and everything on WooCommerce. It can be physical Products, digital Downloads, Subscriptions, content etc. It helps the customer find what they want by describing the product using a tag.

 

Features

  • You can customize your location based on currency, language, and measurement units.
  • It has an efficient sorting system where customers sort products based on popularity, newness, price to find the perfect fit.
  • Sell physical products that will be shipped to the customers and digital products that can be downloaded.
  • Supports Affiliate marketing.
  • Supports payment via Paypal, Stripe etc. Accept credit/debit cards, cash on delivery, bank transfers etc.
  • Auto-detection of customers addresses and based on that make shipping and Tax Calculations.
  • Efficiently tracks the stock levels, holds an item if the order is canceled. Automatic notifications for low and out of stock items.
  • Shows the customers related products and entice them with complementary products which encourages them to purchase more.
  • An intuitive dashboard that will give the entire status in a glance and will help you know how your store is doing.
  • Displays the customer feedback directly on the product page along with giving it a “Verified owner” label.

WooCommerce provides around 294 extensions. Here are the top ones:

StripeGoogle Analytics
Amazon PayPayFast
ShipStationWorldpay
SquareSagepay
PaypalAvalara
MailChimpStamps.com
Authorize.netElavon
FedXRealex Payments
ZapierLiveChat
First DataPayson
TaxamoUSAepay
  1. Yo!kart

yokart logoA product by FATbit Technologies, Yo!kart is a multivendor eCommerce System. It is a web-solution provider that concentrates mainly on Startups. A comprehensive content management system to keep your audience engaged through blogs, vlogs etc. It’s a good platform for Affiliate marketing.

 

Features

  • Tax Management i.e set product taxes based on the product category in an easy and streamlined manner.
  • Quick and easy migration in CSV format
  • Automatic Notification when the product is out of stock or a product is shipped.
  • Add new items in the catalog in a quick and easy way.
  • Secures your website from unexpected server issues.
  • It manages all your shipping processes and tasks using the amazing ShipStation API.
  • Currency exchange with just one click.
  • Conducts PPC campaigns to allow sellers to post on advertisements on your website and earn revenue.
  • Entice your customers with Birthday discounts
  • Supports a variety of payment options which includes debit/credit cards, payment gateway, bank transfers etc.
  • It splits up the payment among the sellers, partners, and affiliates through Paypal Adaptive payments
  • Get daily, monthly, weekly statistics of your visitors along with their demographics and other details.
  • One of the most customizable Platform for selling digital Products such as ebooks, audio clips, Photos, videos etc.

Integrations:

PaypalAuthorize.net
CC AvenuePay U
KhipuAmazon Payments
PaytmRazorpay
CitrusStripe
2CheckoutOmise

Price:

GoQuick V7GoCustom Lite V7GoCustom V7GoQuick V8GoCustom Lite V8GoCustom V8
$999$2999$5999$1299$3999$6999
  1. Vtex

vtex logoVTEX is a multi-tenant SAAS solution that is built using the SOA paradigm. It has more than 70 microservices with fully independent cycles. Its architecture is developed keeping in mind each and every demand of the customers. It supports multi-business models and has out of box features for B2B, B2E, and B2C businesses.

Features

  • Enhanced SEO via meta tags, 301 redirects, page-friendly URL, HTML customization, sitemaps etc.
  • VTEX offers native A/B and Multivariate testing capabilities.
  • Manage products promotions with a time-based schedule through CMS storefront, navigation or campaign.
  • Creates Personalized shopping experience by displaying dynamic content based on customer behavior or purchase history.
  • It has an intelligent algorithm, which based on the term that is searched produces the best result for the users. The results shown will be the one that will lead to more conversions and sales.
  • Its powerful Content Management System makes the experience easier using the drag and drop functionality.
  • Using its high usability navigation system products, SKU’s allows its customer to find everything they want very quickly and easily.
  • It preserves the payment information through the PCI gateway. This features will preserve the payment from getting lost in case the third party is unstable.
  • With VTEX your customer can split bills and can pay with more than one payment method which also includes gift cards.
  • Its VTEX PCI gateway supports more than 50 gateways.
  • Its payment solution is PCI certified which means VTEX builds a secure network, protects cardholder data, regularly tests and manages information security policies.
  • Send birthday greetings, product reviews, credit card expiration messages using the VTEX Trigger mail and messages. You can even upsell, cross-sell using this VTEX functionality.
  • In order to provide high availability, high performance and security to its end-users it always uses ELB’S and CDN as an entry point to their services.

USP

  • Vtex is the first password free, one-page, 1-click-to-buy checkout system. It can be integrated with powerful virtual payment methods like Bitcoin. It is rightly said that Smart Checkout will be a disruptive differentiator for Vtex.
  • It gives you the direct access to the HTML code. Other platforms allow you to access only a part of HTML or the CSS code. VTEX will give you the freedom to modify everything and anything you want. For example, tags related to the code.

Top Integrations:

ClearSaleF-Control
CybersourceNPS
AdyenMailChimp
ZapierGoogle Analytics
Paypal

Price

On DemandBusinessCorporateEnterprise
$500$500$1500$4500
  1. Volusion

volusion logoYou can easily make changes to your store there is no backend coding required. You can highlight discounts and product directly on the homepage using their free and professionally designed slideshow feature. Give your shoppers the information they want with reviews, social sharing ability, notifications, and a recent history feature.

Features

  • It has a secured checkout which is PCI compliant.
  • With Volusion you will have a 99.99% uptime guarantee.
  • It is a ship savvy eCommerce solution using which you can specify shipping type, offer special discount and set flat shipping rates.
  • You can create customized barcodes which will make inventory management a way too easier.
  • It has a Product variant feature which will let you set the dollar amount you want on any item you wish too.
  • It has a handy tax calculator which help you calculate the tax rates and remain updated.
  • Sell your products worldwide using Volusion Nifty currency tool.
  • Manage your inventory by simply uploading a CSV file
  • You can block or allow the traffic to your site with customizable firewall setting.
  • Easily manage all your sites metadata, such as descriptions, title tags, URL to keep your products SEO friendly.
  • Export your store to Amazon, eBay, and Facebook.
  • Create reports easily and get knowledge about everything, from abandoned live carts, product and category views and CRM tickets.
  • They have an editable robots.txt file, using which you can prevent certain pages from being crawled by search engines.

Volusion provides around 74 extensions. Here are the top ones:

PayPalShipStation
NamecheapHover
LegalZoomLiveChat
RejoinerPixc
ShipwireShippingEasy
SagePayAdRoll
ReferralCandyAmazonPay
StripeYotpo
MailChimpTrueShip

Price

PersonalProfessionalBusiness
$29 per month$79 per month$299 per month

Now that you have the complete guide on why and which eCommerce software you should be looking for, spread your wings! Go ahead and invest in this miracle tech which will elevate and smoothen all your eCommerce business processes while giving you greater visibility into each metric and greater flexibility overall.

eCommerce platforms are the best way to capitalize on time, money and effort in eCommerce retail ventures – they reduce administrative manual work through complete automation of routine daily operational procedures. Pioneering technology enables B2B eCommerce platforms to develop advanced analytics and reports, and this gives top-level managers all the vital business information they require at hand so as to make smarter business decisions.

Fast-track your eCommerce business and place it on the path of continuous growth by equipping it with a robust eCommerce software solution.

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Fretty Francis is a digital marketing and content strategist at SoftwareSuggest, a software recommendation platform. She's passionate about analytics, conversion rate optimization and ice-cream.

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