What’s a commerce platform? (And why is it essential?)

On-line purchasing isn’t only a pattern.

It’s right here to remain.

Greater than 55% of shoppers desire to buy on-line. That’s why retailer house owners ought to create a digital storefront.

And that’s the place ecommerce platforms are available in.

However what’s a commerce platform?

What are the several types of commerce platforms obtainable? And what are the very best methods to decide on a great resolution in your on-line retailer and enterprise wants?

On this information, we’ll clarify the whole lot it’s essential to learn about commerce platforms and their worth to your on-line enterprise.

Right here’s what we’ll cowl:

What’s a commerce platform?

A commerce platform is a sort of software program that permits customers to run a whole on-line retailer. Commerce platforms run all types of ecommerce operations, from displaying merchandise to cost processing.

Having an ecommerce platform means establishing a digital storefront the place potential clients can browse your merchandise, make a purchase order, and even work together with stay chat brokers.

For instance, let’s check out the world-famous ecommerce web site Alibaba.

Whereas that’s solely a homepage, Alibaba’s storefront is able to:

  • Showcasing limitless product classes.
  • Displaying content material, comparable to blogs, photos, and FAQs.
  • Receiving on-line funds.
  • Providing buyer help by way of stay chat or cellphone.

One commerce resolution powers all these capabilities, making it easy for retailer house owners to handle their day-to-day operations. However not all commerce platforms are the identical.

That brings us to the following query.

What are the several types of commerce platforms?

There are three most important sorts of ecommerce platforms:

  1. Software program-as-a-service (SaaS).
  2. Platform-as-a-service (PaaS).
  3. On-premise platforms.

SaaS ecommerce platforms ship options solely on-line. Which means you could have all of the instruments it’s essential to run an ecommerce retailer by way of on-line software program.

StoreBuilder by Nexcess is a superb instance of a SaaS commerce platform.

PaaS commerce platforms are a bit completely different. Whereas each SaaS and PaaS platforms provide ecommerce options on-line, PaaS platforms are sometimes open-source.

Which means the consumer doesn’t simply have entry to the software program. They’re capable of customise the whole on-line retail platform as they see match.

PaaS platforms additionally embrace each software program and {hardware}, enabling customers to customise a whole app for his or her objective.

Adobe Commerce (Magento) is a superb instance of a PaaS platform. With Magento, you’ll be able to obtain entry to distinctive themes, customized integrations, and extensions to create a platform tailor-made to your ecommerce enterprise.

Lastly, we now have on-premise commerce platforms. They get their internet hosting on-line however the retailer manages the whole lot in-house. They’re typically utilized by bigger on-line shops.

Why you want a commerce platform for your online business

There’s no getting round the truth that you want a commerce platform to run a web-based retailer. Nevertheless, it’s not simply that you just want one to create a digital storefront.

You want one to work together with at present’s consumers.

In any case, extra individuals count on to buy on-line after the pandemic, in accordance with McKinsey.

With that mentioned, there are three most important explanation why you want a commerce platform for your online business:

  1. Ecommerce platforms are at all times open for enterprise.
  2. It’s usually inexpensive to arrange and use one.
  3. Commerce platforms are perfect for each startups and international companies.

Let’s dig deep into every of those causes.

A web based retailer is at all times open for enterprise, whether or not you’re purchasing at work or 3 a.m. That broadens your retailer’s attain to accommodate completely different buyer behaviors and time zones.

Subsequent, it’s important to contemplate that it’s often less expensive to put money into a commerce platform than to open a retail retailer, which may price wherever between $2,000–$100,000. That features lease, enterprise insurance coverage, and permits.

However with commerce platforms, you solely must pay a fraction of these prices, often by way of a month-to-month payment.

Lastly, commerce platforms are nice for each fledging shops and international companies.

Enterprises like JCPenney and Barnes & Noble use commerce platforms to supply a digital storefront together with their brick-and-mortar shops.

No matter your on-line retailer’s state, a commerce platform may also help you promote merchandise and improve earnings and conversions.

What options must you search for in a commerce platform?

Realizing the significance of a commerce platform is step one in unlocking your on-line retailer’s full potential.

However earlier than you may make the suitable determination, it is best to know what persons are on the lookout for in an ecommerce retailer.

Usually, internet buyers need three issues:

  1. A watch-pleasing, user-friendly web site design.
  2. A straightforward purchasing expertise.
  3. A customized expertise.

Mainly, when a possible buyer lands on a webpage, they’re going to make a fast judgment about your model by what they see.

It’s as much as you to supply a welcoming and superior expertise that retains them coming again.

Conducting that aim means choosing the proper ecommerce platform that can persuade clients to go to and keep in your web site.

When selecting a commerce platform, it is best to search for:

  • A listing administration device to trace and replace stock ranges.
  • Electronic mail advertising and marketing instruments that allow you to ship alerts and keep in contact with clients.
  • A buyer rewards program device that helps establish and reward loyal clients.
  • A number of ecommerce retailer design templates to select from.
  • Purchasing cart plugins, APIs, and add-ons to personalize the client expertise.
  • A number of cost choices and currencies.
  • A dynamic web page builder for retailer content material and kinds.

Selecting a commerce platform with all these options will assist you to ship the kind of checkout expertise most clients are on the lookout for.

6 widespread ecommerce platforms

The commerce platform you select will finally information your on-line enterprise’s progress.

Sound intimidating?

Right here’s the excellent news:

We’ve created an inventory of the six finest ecommerce platforms that can assist you make your determination.

1. Shopify

Shopify is among the hottest ecommerce platforms obtainable. With almost 4 million customers, it’s an all-in-one ecommerce resolution geared in the direction of small companies.

Shopify customers can also make the most of ecommerce options like:

As a SaaS resolution, Shopify isn’t as customizable as different choices. It will also be costly for small companies with out a lot beginning capital.

Pricing: Begins at $14.44/month when billed yearly.

2. WooCommerce

WooCommerce is an ecommerce plugin for the well-known content material administration system (CMS) WordPress. It’s free to obtain and arrange.

Like WordPress, WooCommerce is open-source and utterly customizable. It presents different nice options like:

  • Versatile and safe funds.
  • An automatic order administration dashboard.
  • Free and premium extensions, from PayPal to Mailchimp.

WooCommerce is just for WordPress customers, so it may be difficult for current ecommerce websites to make the change.

Pricing: Free, aside from internet hosting and bank card transaction charges.

3. BigCommerce

With at the very least 60,000 clients, BigCommerce isn’t as widespread as WooCommerce and Shopify. Nonetheless, the platform presents built-in search engine marketing (search engine optimisation) options and top-of-the-line performance.

In case you decide to make use of BigCommerce, you’ll be able to take pleasure in options like:

  • Constructed-in point-of-sale (POS) integrations with main suppliers.
  • A straightforward-to-use web page builder.
  • Segmented buyer teams.

Be aware that BigCommerce doesn’t present a lot scalability for rising companies. When you exceed your plan’s annual gross sales threshold, you’ll must pay for the upgraded plan.

Pricing: Begins at $29.95/month.

4. Wix

Wix started in 2006 as a drag-and-drop web site builder. Not too long ago, the model ventured into ecommerce, enabling customers to develop on-line shops.

Wix customers will respect options comparable to:

  • Free SSL certificates.
  • Omnichannel stock administration.
  • Greater than 50+ cost gateways.

Wix isn’t as intuitive as different ecommerce platforms. Its shops often have gradual web page loading instances, which limits their search engine optimisation potential.

Pricing: Begins at $27/month.

5. Magento

Magento 1 began in 2007 and has been changed with Magento 2, a extra strong ecommerce platform.

Magento 2 customers can depend on superior options like:

  • Open-source flexibility.
  • An intensive catalog administration platform with limitless product attributes and dynamic pricing.
  • search engine optimisation options.
  • Cellular-friendly ecommerce choices.

Magento has a steep studying curve and is pricey to make use of, which might be unappealing to small and rising on-line shops.

Pricing: Customized

6. Nexcess StoreBuilder

StoreBuilder by Nexcess supplies the very best of each worlds in ecommerce performance. Customers can depend on a drag-and-drop web page builder that maximizes their retailer’s search engine optimisation worth.

Nexcess additionally presents internet hosting and integration with different main ecommerce platforms like:

  • WordPress.
  • Magento.
  • WooCommerce.

Nexcess customers can construct a web site with none coding or design information. They’ll additionally depend on 24/7/365 buyer help.

On prime of that, StoreBuilder by Nexcess can also be some of the inexpensive ecommerce choices obtainable — beginning at simply $19/month.

Last ideas: what’s a commerce platform? (And why is it essential?)

A commerce platform helps enterprise house owners construct and handle a web-based retailer utilizing an all-in-one resolution. Organising your on-line retailer for fulfillment depends on the platform you select.

In case you’re nonetheless weighing your choices, why not contemplate Nexcess StoreBuilder?

Strive StoreBuilder by Nexcess at present for under $5 to see how effectively our platform works for you.