Over the last decade, ecommerce has become a critical component for businesses large and small. Its capacity to reach a worldwide customer base has dramatically changed the way business is done.
According to Shopify, global ecommerce sales are projected to increase from 1.3 trillion dollars in 2013 to 4.5 trillion US dollars in 2021. The increased simplicity that the new ecommerce platforms offer allow anyone from individual artists and creators to small business owners to take advantage by offering their goods through a blog or online store. The consumer now has the power to have almost any product delivered straight to their door with just a few clicks of a button. Whether your business is a brick and mortar or entirely online, to stay competitive in 2019 it needs an online storefront. Numerous providers offer the small business owner sophisticated tools to build a profitable online presence. Below are some of the most popular solutions for small to large companies.
1. Magento Go
Magento go was developed by eBay and is used by some of the largest companies in the world including Nike. It is often considered a solution for large companies but it does offer solutions designed for the small business owner as well. There are plans starting as low as 15 dollars a month and going up to 100 dollars per month. Magento Go offers solutions for the full spectrum of online business with extensions that cover everything from seo and marketing to supply chain management and integration.
Shopify is one of the most popular ecommerce solutions powering over 600,000 stores. It is ranked by some analysts as the number one choice for small business. It includes 24x7 support via phone, email, and live-chat. This provider also integrates with over 70 payment processors. The payment modules give you the ability to sell directly on Facebook and Pinterest . Another great feature is the POS system integration that allows you to collect payments offline through an ipad. Plans range from 29 dollars per month for the basics to 299 dollars for the advanced package.
Easy setup with drag and drop simplicity allows even beginners with no website building experience to set up a basic store with Bigcommerce. Mobile-ready storefronts are a snap to build with Bigcommerce. With over half of all consumers using smartphones to buy online, having a mobile friendly site is critical. This service also allows sophisticated ecommerce solutions for large online retailers with their enterprise plan. Prices range from 35 dollars to over 200 dollars a month and include over 150 apps that can help customize your store with product ratings, built in blogs and seo solutions.
As an ecommerce solution Squarespace enjoys a solid reputation as an innovator being the first to allow point of sales payment with brick and mortar store integration. This service accepts all major credit cards as well as Apple pay and Paypal options. Packages include the ability to embed videos and zoom on product images to enrich the buyer's visual experience. Also included is order and management of inventory which handles shipment notifications, refunds and updating stock levels. Plans start at 25 dollars a month.
Over 441,000 online stores are powered by Weebly's online storefront solutions. They offer quality a quality support line, but not the 24x7 of some competitors. They do have live cat and email as support alternatives. They offer packages ranging from 8 dollars to 38 dollars per month. Digital goods as well as physical goods can be sold through storefronts powered by Weebly. For downloadable products the buyer is sent a custom one-time link after paying for their digital goods. Payment processing is available in 25 countries via Paypal as well as 11 countries with Stripe.
Wix offers the small business owner a simple to use drag and drop website builder with the ability to accept credit cards, Paypal or offline payments. The storefront manager allows customized tax and shipping rules for each destination and allows management of inventory from your mobile device as well as the desktop. Coupons and discounts can be offered to customers as well. Wix stores also offer private and group services such as online classes, tutoring sessions, or workshops for pay. Another handy feature if you are offering workshops or classes is Wix Bookings which will synch with your Google calendar. Automatic email reminders can be sent to insure your clients never miss their workshop or class. Prices for Wix packages start at 5 dollars a month for the most basic and go up to 29 dollars a month for their premium plan which includes unlimited bandwidth, 20 gigabytes of storage, a 300 dollar ad voucher, 10 email campaigns per month and 50,000 emails per month.