The eCommerce industry is currently worth $2.3 trillion and is set to nearly double to 4.48 trillion by 2020.
But choosing the best eCommerce software is not as straightforward as it seems. In fact, it is actually one of the most important decisions that you make very early on in your eCommerce journey.Entrepreneurs who are standing on the edge of starting their new eCommerce venture all have the same question to face with at some point in time.
One of the biggest challenges that come upon consideration of eCommerce platform comes not from the variety of options but from understanding the needs of the project. There is no universal solution – each eCommerce website platform got its own pros and cons. Because of that, it is critical to know exact business requirements of your project. Otherwise, you might end up missing some important features while having something you don’t really need..
eCommerce Pricing & Hosting
Nothing comes in free, right? Well technically, Opencart is a free ecommerce solution while Magento comes at a price, so technically Opencart wins this category hands down. There are however other costs to take into consideration before you close the book on this category. The Magento Go option offers a free hosting solution for your shopping cart whereas Opencart requires you to host your ecommerce store. If you already have a website then Opencart may the right ecommerce solution for you, based solely on price.
One more consideration that you should take into account under the price comparison however, is how much it will cost you to migrate your cart at a later stage if and when your business grows. Magento offers a free 30 day trial and thereafter offers a number of different pricing options depending on the number of products you have and the storage you require. For companies who are selling less than 100 products, Magento costs $15 a month. For companies offering between 100 and 500 products, Magento costs $25 per month. Magento is also designed to grow with your business offering better features than Opencart, so you have to decide which option suits your short and long term goals best.
Things Should be Considered When Starting an online eCommerce Business
Before considering a particular platform, you should answer several questions to narrow the list of options. Ask yourself:
- What do I want to spend? The price for platforms, their packages, and web development varies. Budget these costs in advance to have an accurate price estimate.
- What is the size of my business? Do you have a small, midsize, or enterprise company?
- Is the platform capable of extending and scaling? If you want to be able to manage your workflow and sales, the platform must accommodate your inventory size and provide extensive analytics. Moreover, your business will grow, and you might need customization, extensions, and integrations in the future.
- Is it easy to manage the platform? Simplicity and flexibility are essential. Administrative panels enable customers to manage the store efficiently.
But when it comes to selecting an eCommerce platform, you have to remember that your eCommerce site will dictate the following 4 things:
- Growth: How quickly your business is able to grow?
- Running costs: This includes the cost of building your eCommerce platform and ongoing development and maintenance costs.
- Customer engagement: How you can control how your customers interact with your business.
- Objectives: The right eCommerce platform will enable you to deliver the service you set out to achieve.