Even though all of the best eCommerce solutions are worth looking into, and we firmly believe that there is no absolute best one, we’ve got to draw the line somewhere, eventually, whether by merely taking popularity or functionality into consideration. As such, we are ready to present to you the pros and cons of the best eCommerce platform solutions.
Best eCommerce platform solutions
Over that line we carefully drew, 3 eCommerce websites are fighting for the bronze, silver, and gold medals: Shopify, BigCommerce, and WooCommerce.
Shopify is a cloud-based shopping cart solution that allows you to create your online store where you can sell either physical or digital products. It provides you with a wide range of themes that can be customized to work in tune with your brand. What made Shopify so famous is its ease of use, letting even people without coding or design skills create a store of their own (even though it offers features for advanced users, too). It works great with free or paid store extensions – as a matter of fact, you can look into 19 of the best Shopify apps that increase your sales.
Shopify is also very popular because it has a low startup cost and a very intuitive interface when it comes to online store management, but there are plenty of other benefits for setting up a Shopify store and start selling right away:
- Its ease of use – Add products, create discounts, and process orders with the drag-and-drop tool.
- Low Start-up Cost – Shopify’s has low initial monthly fees in comparison with other solutions
- Beautiful designs – A great variety of free or purchasable beautiful and responsive themes.
- Perfect for dropshipping – Shopify is the platform of choice for dropshipping, due to its ease of use
- Great support – Technical support can be accessed at any time via phone, live chat, or email.
- Transaction fees for store owners using a third-party payment gateway (some of Shopify’s competitors don’t charge any transaction fees at all)
- It has a 3-options per product limit.
- Shopify’s multi-currency features for selling are a little lackluster.
- You may be required to install a paid app for full functionality.
BigCommerce is a compelling eCommerce subscription-based solution that can help your business with selling online, regardless of its size, to benefit from a correctly set-up online store for product selling. To make things as smooth as possible for the end-user, BigCommerce uses its servers to provide its functionalities. As such, you don’t have to pay anything extra in order to benefit from good web hosting – nor do you need to install any app on your computer. All can be done from your favorite web browser, making it a perfect store management eCommerce software platform for small businesses.
Bigcommerce also has a nice set of customizable themes for your online store. BigCommerce is considered to be the easiest to master website solution, much like Shopify, not requiring any previous coding knowledge. Much like Shopify, again, it offers the necessary setups for more advanced users, too.
- The entry-level features set BigCommerce offers is great for a starting level plan, also including advanced features that other platforms charge a premium fee for.
- Selling in multiple currencies is highly functional and straightforward.
- Third-party real-time shipping calculations are available on any plan — unlike Shopify, which requires a Premium subscription for such features
- BigCommerce does not encumber you with transaction fees
- Big fees to make use of the abandoned cart functionality.
- Annual online sales limits — exceeding them makes you upgrade to a more expensive plan.
- The free themes are pretty similar.
- The website builder functionality needs improvement — it’s not that easy to use.
- No plan offers shipping discounts.
WooCommerce is almost by default the best open-source eCommerce plugin solution created for the famous website builder, WordPress. It is beneficial for online stores of any size, and when it comes to flexibility/scalability, you have an online store builder winner right here. Much like Shopify and Bigcommerce, WooCommerce is excellent for professional users as well as for beginners.
Creating and managing an online store is very simple with Woocommerce. Being WordPress-based, you benefit from a fantastic added SEO value for your online store.
- Woocommerce is not only completely free but also wholly open-source
- Woocommerce is 100% customizable, which is possible due to it being open-source, meaning you have free access to the entirety of CSS, HTML, and PHP style code.
- The security of Woocommerce is above optimal, the commerce platform is regularly updated to keep up to date with cybersecurity for selling online products…
- However, the security pro is its first con, too, since the WooCommerce plugin does not include the SSL certificates for payment processing through your payment gateway, nor any form of backup tools
- Woocomerce’s outstanding performance is hampered by needless plugins
- WooCommerce has too many plugins. We have to say it, having access to lots of plugins can be amazing, but too many of them with no clear management system are… bad. Too many plugins and extensions directly affect downloading speed and overall performance because of the high memory usage.
- No fee is required to download and install this WordPress plugin and most of its add-ons are free. But some extensions require a one-time payment or accessing paid eCommerce plans.
How to grow your business using the Best Ecommerce Solutions
Now that we’ve taken a thorough look at what is considered the best 3 eCommerce solutions for growing your online business, let’s see exactly how you should best use any of them to increase your overall revenue.
Focus on your existing customers
Improving customer retention is one of the best ways to increase your revenue since acquiring new customers always tends to be more expensive than retaining current ones. By employing proven strategies, your chances to leverage your current customer base and to boost your business’s profits will increase accordingly. To get to know your customers better, you will need to invest some time. “But wait, isn’t time money in the world of businesses? Am I not wasting money along with time if I focus more on existing customers instead of spending money to get new ones?”, you might ask.
No, since focusing on your existing customers is time well spent. When you start to focus on them, the chance to turn them into repeat customers (or even better, loyal ones), increases drastically. Your upsells and sales of complementary products or services will increase.
To do so, you have to know and take care of your customer’s needs and pain points in order to create better opportunities for more successful target marketing.
Utilize email channels to thank customers for their purchases and always be ready to share your special offers and provide added value. This will make them feel at home when spending money on your brand and will increase their chances to become loyal customers. Needless to say, loyalty should constantly be rewarded, as this will retain your customers and perhaps even transform them into indirect brand promoters. Offer them freebies or other incentives to keep them close. It’s a complete win-win.
Optimize your on-site experience
Successful businesses are doing their best to digitize their business processes and invest in their customer experiences, especially in 2021. To the extent of the number 1 tip we gave you, remember that to be successful, you also need to take care of your customer’s journey at every step of the sales funnel.
Be ready to know and prepare ahead for what your customers want – and more importantly, how they want it. Use your first-party consensual customer data to create better and better experiences built on flexible and modern platforms, be them static or mobile.
Always be ready to adapt when taking your business into the digital realm, as the ways to remain meaningful and offer great customer journeys have increased massively in the last two years. The three main reasons for you to invest in customer experience are:
- To improve cross-selling and up-selling
- To improve customer retention
- To improve customer satisfaction
Measure CLV and improve customer value optimization
Combining the two previous methods, yet adding new customer value metrics, optimizing your Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is a sustainable way to increase profits.
Your CLV will grow only if you know where, specifically, to focus your marketing budget for your customer retaining marketing efforts. As stated previously, acquiring new ones is more expensive than retaining your current ones. Your CLV optimization processes won’t magically increase your customer database.
As a matter of fact, you may see close to zero increases. Customer value optimization is all about improving the retention and experiences among new and existing customers in order to generate more value for and from your customer database. . Investing in CVO and customer retention is worth it. Think about it: if 1% of your clients become repeat customers, this means a 10% increase in revenue. Retaining 10% of your existing clients will effectively double your revenue.
Want to learn Customer Value Optimization? Join our CVO Academy and become a Certified Expert.
An increase in Customer Lifetime Value rates, even one as low and apparently insignificant as 5% can increase your profits by a 25% to 95% margin. To start seeing such increases, we recommend taking a look at our practical strategies to increase your customer lifetime value.
Use cohort analysis to measure customer retention
Now, as for practical methods to increase your customer retention: use cohort analysis to your business’ advantage. Cohort refers to a group of customers that have similar behavioral patterns in the same situation.
Cohort analysis is great for understanding where exactly to invest in your marketing since those patterns are reactions to the very stimuli which are included in the marketing campaigns. As such, the cohort analysis will use real data to clarify the number of actual customers interested enough in your products to be retained.
Performing a cohort analysis will start by looking closely into a certain`s cohort buying behaviors (patterns) over a set period. These patterns will reveal ways to increase revenue and help prevent shopping cart abandonment. Cohorts are usually segmented by their user acquisition date, which helps businesses better understand the concept of the customer lifecycle and their promotional effort’s final efficiency. The most relevant cohort analyses are:
- Behavioral cohorts – these analyze customers based on the actions they engage with your store.
- Acquisition Cohorts – these analyze customers based on the exact time they first purchased a product from your store.
Do customer segmentation and communicate adequately with each audience
Reveal can help with a whole range of important business operations, acting as a powerful eCommerce tool. Besides being able to do cohort analysis to measure customer retention, Reveal is also a great tool for automating customer segmentation with great precision. Remember to always pay attention when segmenting your customers based on age, interests, and especially financial power.
A special focus should be placed on customers with high financial power, since they will generate more profit for your online store. You also need to take special care of the repeat customers segment as they represent, as stated previously, an extremely important source of revenue with great customer value.
Reveal will also be able to help you automate the more advanced RFM Analysis. The RFM (Recency, Frequency, Monetary value) analysis comes to complement the previous segmentation processes by giving you an idea about how to optimize your customer lifetime value to keep your revenue at its highest peak. The RFM analysis is an important part of the CVO (Customer Value Optimization) tactics, as it adds new dimensions to the revenue scheme of your store and can help with creating better strategies for the future of your business.
However, regardless of the employed strategies you choose to increase your eCommerce revenue, don’t forget that different segments of customers have different incentives to purchase products. Always strive to use original content for each segment.
Keep an eye on our top 3 B2B eCommerce platforms compared to growing your business. They all have pros and cons to keep in mind, some are better for B2B eCommerce, some are better for mobile commerce, but all of them shine in their department, and that department is called Generating Profit.
Ecommerce solutions are sets of software products and services that are meant to help your business transition into an automated electronic format so that you can better focus on other aspects of your business. The range of available e-commerce solutions is vast, ranging from eCommerce platforms to different kinds of add-ons.
Growing your eCommerce business is mainly done through focusing on your existing customers, optimizing your on-site user experience, measuring your CLV and improving customer value optimization, using cohort analysis to measure customer retention, and segmenting your customers to communicate with each audience adequately.
Ecommerce is especially relevant in today’s day and age, since owning multiple physical stores with multiple employees is extremely expensive and is fastly becoming outdated. Using eCommerce platform solutions always tends to be cheaper in the long run, this being a huge advantage for any online store owner.
There is no best solution, but some are truly better than most of the others. The 3 solutions/platforms presented today are considered to be top-of-the-notch by various users worldwide with both small and big businesses.
An eCommerce tool helps you achieve the goal of either starting new eCommerce businesses or greatly improving your retail operation to an eCommerce store. Ecommerce tools can help you automate and simplify a wide range of tasks for your business, increasing your overall efficiency.