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    The A-Z Guide To Pick The Right Ecommerce Platform For Small Business Owners

    Because it has become next to impossible to run into anyone without listening to the words “online” or “digital”, you finally decide to make your grand entrance in the world of ecommerce.
    Once you do that, your brick and mortar store will finally have an online counterpart so cheers and hails to that!
    It has become quite obvious that ecommerce is the ‘go-to’ way if you wish to add to your customer base and increase sales, but one question that crops up when taking on a new ecommerce project is:
    How to deduce which platform is the one that’s right for your business?
    Finding the perfect platform will of course involve a fair share of research on your part and rightly so as it affects everything. Be it user experience or reporting or analysing your bottom line.
    Another thing that you will realise once you start researching is this – if you’re looking for a solution that’s one-size-fits all, then you’re in for a surprise. There isn’t one nor should you be looking for something like that as each platform comes with its set of pros and cons in terms of functionality.

    When you get on the bandwagon of setting up an ecommerce store, you are making an investment. So, choosing a platform that is flexible, scalable and secure right off the bat is extremely important.
    Well don’t break sweat over this because we’re here to help you get started!
    We’ve put together a list of the most popular platforms that will introduce you to the landscape of ecommerce.
    To add to this, you will get a breakdown of why you should consider each of these platforms for your new ecommerce store, so let’s get going!

    Magento
    Magento is an ecommerce platform available on the market that is considered to be most flexible with its comprehensive features, not to mention it works for just about any type of business.
    Considering it’s an open-source software, you can start right off with a few tweaks here and there or tailor it completely to suit your needs. This software comes equipped with infinite amount of customisations by way of plugins and extensions, or you can get your team to build those in-house.
    With the help of Magento connectors, you can get your data synced with other systems which lets you to integrate it entirely into your business and marketing operations.
    You can sign up for the free and more popular Magento Community version or pay a small fee and opt for Magento Enterprise. Either way, you get Magento that is a well-known platform catering to online businesses everywhere.

    WooCommerce
    WooCommerce is an open-source ecommerce plugin that caters to WordPress websites and is absolutely free.
    So, to tip the scales in your favour you will have to set up a website on WordPress and add WooCommerce to that website for it to truly work.
    WooCommerce was named by Business News Daily as the best WordPress shopping cart plugin.
    While it may not be as robust as Magento and doesn’t boasts of as many plugins and add-ons, it’s great for businesses who want to harness the power of WordPress to serve their primary business needs, with ecommerce being secondary.

    Zoey Commerce
    Zoey was formerly known as Pixafy and is without a doubt a very strong addition to the market. Its platform is structured in a manner that echoes of Magento, but it offers many enhancements of its own.
    Zoey plays host to several websites and gives them the support that they need to stay afloat.
    It also throws in extras like pre-installed extensions that can be turned on or off depending on your website needs. It also has a user-friendly design panel that’s worth showing off as it allows you to apply basic styles to pre-installed themes.
    On the plus side, you need not even have a technical background to do any of it.
    It has a stark similarity to systems like MailChimp or Constant Contact where emails are designed using templates. For those who wish to flaunt a Magento-esque site without having to lose sleep over extension compatibility and security updates, Zoey is a brilliant fit!

    3Dcart
    If you want an ecommerce shopping cart that comes fully equipped with all the features that you’ll need to build and run an online store, then 3Dcart is the one stop solution that you’re looking for.
    Most of the features are built directly into the software which makes the setting up of your online store fairly easy and effortless. 
    In several aspects, 3D cart resembles other hosted ecommerce platforms, though it also provides FTP access that gives more liberty to work with frontend design files.

    Nucleus
    Magento Community is the talk of the town when it comes to setting up an ecommerce store and for good reason. With some time and the proverbial elbow grease, you can do almost everything for your online store with the help of this highly efficient ecommerce platform.
    Enter Nucleus!
    You still own and host your own Magento website but you sure can make the most of a wide range of extra extensions and features with just one installation and that too at a fraction of the cost of Magento Enterprise.
    Nucleus can help launch Magento sites faster and with more certainty. If you wish to have more flexibility in regards to your own Magento site with less development time to launch, Nucleus can help you in your quest to just that!

    OroCommerce
    For wholesalers and distributors and other B2B organisations, most ecommerce software will require considerable and out-of-the-box customisation.
    OroCommerce was created with the mission to cater to the additional needs like personalised catalogues, contract pricing, configurable order submission process and configurable payment term levels.
    You can use this to streamline your ecommerce processes better.
    Miva
    A hosted ecommerce platform solution, Miva can be used by both small retailers and enterprise level ecommerce businesses. Miva is a feature-intensive system that is easy to use and doesn’t need a lot of work up front to set up your new website and make it work.
    It’s been around since 1997 and is a privately held company which shows its experience and stratagem. Miva hosts your site and extends direct support but the full hosting access to customise as you wish, stays with you.
    This is inclusive of both frontend and backend modules and it’s simply great for businesses who expect absolute reliability with little or no fuss.

    Volusion, Shopify and Bigcommerce
    These three platforms let you create your own online store out of one of their many customisable templates. It is a brilliant choice if you are looking for a do-it-yourself approach.
    Each of these have their own pricing structure, plugins, features and user interface so it is best to compare these to see which one best resonates with your business needs.
    For instance, Volusion has an in-built recurring billing for products based on subscription style, Shopify operates under point-of-sale system and Bigcommerce puts forth flat monthly fees with unlimited products and bandwidth.

    Netsuite
    Netsuite is an amazing ecommerce platform that integrates its inventory, data and pricing and is best known for its ERP.
    As Netsuite software suite is recognised for its robust ERP, many customers end up using a stronger ecommerce platform like Magento and connect it with Netsuite as its ERP representative, thus availing the best of both worlds.

    So, this wraps up our list of picks from the most popular ecommerce solutions out there. Before you nail down a platform, ensure that you carry out thorough research and read online reviews as well.
    Many of these solutions offer online demos or free trials which presents you with opportunity to get the feel of the platform’s functionality upfront before you invest in the final product.

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