As the world becomes increasingly digitised, e-commerce sales are skyrocketing. Online shopping has emerged as a global past-time, contributing over USD$3.5 trillion to the worldwide economy – and it shows no signs of slowing down in the years to come.
By the year 2022, this figure is almost expected to double, with e-commerce sales racking up revenues of USD$6.54 trillion around the globe. But what are the platforms that are facilitating this growth?
This article will guide you through the most popular e-commerce platforms that are in use today. These sites enable businesses to customise their own stores, sell products, manage their inventory, process payments, and contact their customers in exchange for a monthly fee. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest and best.
Shopify is one of the most widely used e-commerce platforms in the world. Described by the Guardian Newspaper as “the good shop to Amazon’s bad shop”, it provides the technology that small and big businesses alike can use to create their own online store.
And it’s not just popular with businesses. Last year in 2019, around 300 million consumers made a purchase from a Shopify merchant – including the customers of big names such as Pepsi, Gym Shark, and Kylie Cosmetics.
From its consumer shopping app to its Shopify order management system, this platform provides everything an e-commerce brand (and their customers) could need.
First launched in 2008, open-source tool Magento is one of the oldest e-commerce platforms on this list. Around the world, more than 250,000 merchants have used Magento to build their e-commerce site – which accounts for a staggering 30% of the e-commerce market share.
Magento is also one of the most comprehensive platforms. Its capabilities include product, customer and sales management, payment processing, reports, caching and indexing, and more. There are also thousands of Magento extensions available, which can give business owners even greater customization options over the e-commerce site.
WooCommerce is an e-commerce plug-in that’sdesigned to be used with sites that have been builton the popular WordPress platform. It’s simple to install, easily customisable, and best of all – totally free to install!
Just three years after it was first launched, WooCommerce was powering almost 18% of all e-commerce sites online. Fast-forward to 2020, and it’s now been installed more than 5 million times.Studies have suggested that an estimated 26% of online stores currently use WooCommerce, a sizeable jump from 22% a year ago in 2019.
BigCommerce is slightly more expensive than Shopify, costing USD$29.95 a month (as opposed to USD$29) for its most basic plan. Its out-of-the-box platform has been used by companies including the ethical ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s, with more than 95,000 merchants in total and a gross trading volume of over USD$5 billion.
BigCommerce has recently expanded its offering, unveiling a new page builder function that will give its clients greater flexibility when it comes to designing the layout of their online shopfront. This works using a ‘drag and drop’ approach, meaning business owners can create their dream online storefront without having to write a single line of code.
As global e-commerce sales continue to grow, these four platforms will help drive the development of brands big and small.