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Online Store Building Platforms for Small Businesses

eCommerce industry is growing leaps and bounds, providing numerous opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses to grow. Setting up an eCommerce store is simpler than it may seem. Small businesses can gain online presence once the most suitable tools and strategies are decided.

To get started with an online store, you need to have the right platform where you develop its theme and place your items.

Out of several store builders available, it can be daunting task to choose among all of them in the first step particularly if you are new to eCommerce, you might also need new ideas for your online store. You’ll have to consider your budget and target audience needs. The best way you can settle on to an eCommerce platform is by determining the most suitable option. It’s like judging apples-to-apples.

Consider what your business type and how you want to go about it. Ask yourself questions like what type of eCommerce website need the most, is the store builder you’re looking for SEO-friendly, or can your products sell on Facebook? It’s all about setting priorities. Here are some of the most popular online store builders and their features discussed to help you decide what suits you the best:

Big Commerce

The creators of this platform were two Australians, who founded Big Commerce in 2009. Big Commerce focuses on speed and creating online stores in hours, not days or weeks. Existing clients include companies such as Gibson Guitar, Zaggora.com and YETI Coolers, as well as 50,000 other companies including small business like Farm.co and PSD Center.

Key Features:

  • Big Commerce provides various marketing tools in their app store
  • They offer a 15 day free trial
  • Big Commerce is SEO-friendly; they offer several Search Engine Optimization tools such as including easy addition of Page titles, meta-descriptions and URLs
  • Functionality is moderately easy to use
  • Big Commerce supports built-in blog feature
  • There are more than 100 themes available at Big Commerce and all of them are free

Pricing: $29.95/month + 1.5% Transaction Fee

Shopify

Shopify was created in 2006, and grew rapidly from a small scale to become one of the biggest eCommerce store builders which now supports more than 100,000 online businesses. Their huge list of clients includes General Electric, Amnesty International, Tesla Motors, Encyclopedia Britannica and many others. Shopify has tons of features and can be used by beginners. Their accounts include hosting service by ServerCentral.

Key Features:

  • Shopify has a powerful, easy-to-use interface
  • More than 100 customizable templates are available
  • Automatic backups for file safety and unlimited bandwidth
  • Extra feature for digital product pages
  • Shopify also provides SEO tools
  • Blogging platform is built-in
  • Trial is free and lasts for 14 days

Pricing: $29.00/month + 2% Transaction Fee

Wix

Wix can be used to create both eCommerce and general websites. The company is based in Israel and active since 2005. This platform is aimed for small businesses and provides cloud-based web development platform to over 57 million users in 190 countries.

Key Features

  • Drag n’ drop website building platform with HTML5 capabilities
  • 100s of designer made templates
  • Hosting service
  • 14 days free trial for eCommerce
  • Product galleries area vailable
  • Inventory tools can be installed

 

Pricing: $16.17/month + No Transaction Fee

Volusion

Over 40,000 worldwide online stores are powered by Volusion. The company was created in 1999. They provide all needed function for running eCommerce websites but some of their features are quite unique. Their major clients include Intel and 3M.

Key Features

  • Cloud-based ecommerce shopping platform
  • Free Trial for 14 days
  • Volusion offers several Social Media tools
  • Addition of Facebook Store
  • Integration of Mobile Commerce
  • Automatic Tax Rates
  • Phone orders can be processed directly from the dashboard
  • No coding is required
  • They offer free templates

Pricing: $15.00/month + No Transaction Fee

Yahoo Small Business

Yahoo Small Business offers highly accessible site building tools. Previously known as Viaweb, this is the oldest platform in the list which was created in 1995. The online store created by Yahoo Stores does not require coding skills. They provide hosting, domain and eCommerce infrastructure. Apart from store creation, they also provide local listings with Yahoo Localworks.

Key Features

  • 350 customizable website design templates
  • Various marketing tools
  • Create Product catalogs
  • Additional SEO tools
  • Free Real-time insights
  • Business email accounts
  • Mobile Stores
  • Site design tools and management controls
  • No trial offer

Pricing: $26.00/month + 1.5% Transaction Fee

3DCart

3dcart offers massive variety of built-in features. Founded back in 1997, they are popular company ranked in the Inc 5000 at number 745. 3dCart aims to help their clients be more competitive. By 2014, they have helped more than 17,500 global merchants including include Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Lukie Games, Sharpshirter and others.

Key Features

  • Free Trial for 15 days
  • Social Integration
  • Custom Designs for different templates
  • 100 different payment processors
  • Vast shipping options
  • 15-days free trial
  • Free software updates
  • No coding needed

Pricing: $16.99/month + No Transaction Fee

Conclusion

If you’re looking for optimal eCommerce solutions, then you may consider choosing among Big Commerce and Shopify. For having control on extensive range of options, Yahoo Small Business can help you out. Owing to its simple drag n’ drop functionality, Wix becomes a great option for testing waters like performing A/B testing. Volusion emerges as a budget option and it also offers innovative features.

What is your preferred choice? Have your say…

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