The Key Benefits of eCommerce Shop Platforms

21/08/20 | by Jay

How much do you buy online? Turns out, over a fifth of all retail sales are through eCommerce. Almost all of us have experienced online shopping in some way. Whether it be ordering food from Ocado, office supplies from Amazon or a second-hand laptop from eBay. 

But what about those who aren’t on a marketplace like this? Those that have their own online shops, specifically for their own products? 

Brands both big and small leverage existing platforms to help power their very own eCommerce stores. But why should your business sell online?

 

The Ever-Growing World of eCommerce

In March 2020, the very beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, we saw retail sales as a whole fall by 5.1%. However, when it came to online sales this actually increased to a whopping 22.3% of all retail sales. 

Although the pandemic helped with the growth of online sales, it’s been growing steadily over the past few years. In 2019 the percentage of online sales versus all retail sales was 19%, up from the previous year (18.5%). 

It is predicted that by 2040 over 90% of all purchases made could be facilitated by eCommerce in some way shape or form. In 2020, it’s essential for businesses selling physical goods to have their own online store.

 

Why Should Your Website Have eCommerce?

When it comes to adding eCommerce to your site, you can do it in two ways; build from scratch or integrate with an existing platform. 

Firstly, it’s much easier, quicker and cost-effective to use a platform that already exists than to try and create one yourself. Even if you only sell a handful of products, it’s still worth investing in.

Secondly, using these platforms can increase your sales by up to 59%. They are tried, tested and a large number of users helping them to update and upgrade their platforms constantly. 

Lastly, these platforms can reduce the overall cost and maintenance of your site. They have several integrations and additional extensions. They save you a lot of precious time, which you can then reinvest into the business.

 

Which Are The Top Competing Platforms?

Below we’re going to be looking at the three most common platforms for eCommerce:

 

WooCommerce

Over 90% of all WordPress eCommerce stores use WooCommerce to power them. When compared to eCommerce use overall, it’s share is almost 30%. That equates to more than 3.8 million websites using the platform to power their eCommerce stores.

There’s a reason for its popularity too, as it is notoriously easy to set up and use for many developers (and just as easy for users). They offer hundreds of extensions too, so you can make your shop completely bespoke to you and your business. 

This is our preferred method when it comes to creating online stores. 

 

Magento

Magento is the oldest of the three platforms and is currently owned by Adobe.

This platform is used more for larger scale websites and enterprise businesses. It accounts for 12% of all eCommerce online, less than half of WooCommerce’s market share. 

This is likely due to it being mostly used by big businesses. The platform is actively used by large corporations such as Ford, Omega Watches and Harvey Nichols. 

Although Magento can be extremely powerful with product management, it can be lacking in content management features and customisation.

 

Shopify

Much like WooCommerce, Shopify can be used as a WordPress plugin in addition to being used standalone. It powers over 1 million websites worldwide, making it a very close competitor for WooCommerce. Taking 31% of the e-commerce platform market also means it’s just as popular a platform.

Shopify is extremely scalable for all sizes of businesses. It can be used to add eCommerce to an existing site or to go all-in to power your whole website using it.

It also offers multi-channel integrations, which is great if you also sell on Amazon or eBay in addition to your own store.

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