9 January 2020
Geoff is the Director of Technology at Upp. He contributes posts on the present and future of retail technology.
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There are more than 120 different shopping platforms on the market today. Each provides different benefits and are suitable for a specific type of business. As such, it can be difficult to find the right ecommerce software for your company. You also need to think about your budget, the features you need and the abilities you want.
As of late, there have been notable advances and changes in ecommerce platforms. To offer the best service to your clients and customers, you need to be aware of these changes and determine how they fit your business model. This means you need to explore some of the best options on the market in the context of what will work for your company model.
Your ecommerce platform also needs to provide an efficient solution that caters to the demands of a modern, growing company. So what platforms are out there now and what are the next generation of solutions offering? Let’s find out!
Volusion provides one of the cheapest options on the market if you have a store with around one hundred products. It also delivers an easy sign up solution which means once you register, you can immediately get started. With Volusion, you get a software that works similar to Shopify with a few crucial differences.
It has a fantastic user interface which ensures that you can find the areas you want quickly and manage your products easily. You can also sell as many products as you want and it provides 24/7 customer support. You can give customers the options of product reviews and ratings, a feature which is vital for online shoppers. Furthermore, social media integrations are included as well.
Unfortunately, Volusion does fall down in design. There is only a limited level of themes and just ten are free. There is the worry here that your store will look like every other one on the market.
Ultimately, Volusion is the best option if you want to save money. This means that it will be suitable for small businesses on a limited budget. However, you will be sacrificing some of the freedom that you get with more expansive software such as BigCommerce.
BigCommerce provides the lowest price if you are looking for a plan for more than ten staff accounts. Immediately, you can see this is the option suitable for larger companies and ecommerce models. It’s certainly not what you want if you’re running your business solo.
BigCommerce has a lot of great benefits including a beautiful, clear dashboard which is easy to navigate. You’ll find everything you need from the sidebar. There’s also the opportunity to completely design your own store or select their expert designers to handle this process for you. You also get a full CMS which means that you can use it to manage a website rather than just a store.
One of the issues with BigCommerce is a recent update makes it more difficult to scale up. Instead, once you reach a certain point, you will have to switch to a more expensive plan.
That said, BigCommerce is a direct competitor to Shopify. It provides fantastic levels of support and allows you to easily manage your products. You also get a range of different themes and templates so you can find the perfect aesthetic for your business.
Shopify does provide fantastic, flexible pricing options. Depending on your needs, you can pay a low monthly cost. Or, if you need a more comprehensive package, you can pay more to ensure that it meets your requirements. It’s ideal for SMBs who want user-friendly software that provides the standard features. This is definitely the most well-known platform and this is why for many it will be the default choice.
You can also use the software to sell absolutely anything, from digital products to services and physical items. You also get a wide variety of templates to choose from with Shopify, many of which are free and included in your original payment.
One of the key advantages here is accessibility. You can get started for an incredibly low cost and once you’re ready to grow your business, it’s easy to scale up. There are plenty of great features too, including the fact that everything is unlimited. That includes orders, products, files and bandwidth. It is also fully optimized for SEO.
Ultimately, Shopify is a great choice for those getting started and you can get it up and running in minutes. It’s an entry point but you can also use it to quickly expand on the market too.
Big Cartel is mainly suited for those interested in selling their own work and products. You shouldn’t select this option if you’re selling wholesale. You can start off with a theme and then customise it to meet your individual brand identity. You have a lot of great features here too, including the ability to create a custom domain and complete inventory tracking.
The amount you pay per month is entirely based on the number of products you list. You can use this software for free for up to five products with the maximum being three hundred list items. As such, it is useful for those with a smaller catalogue.
In terms of the dashboard, you will find it incredibly minimal. For some, this will be a plus but others will be frustrated at how little information they can gain from this area. You do however get all the basic information that you need right in front of you.
The software does also provide unlimited bandwidth and orders. There are no limits on what you can achieve with this software, despite it being fairly basic. Of course, once you start aiming to sell more products, you will need to opt for different software as you can’t just scale up like on Shopify.
If you are looking for a more technologically advanced choice, this could be the ecommerce solution for you. Upp provides automated solutions, which means that the time of your staff is freed for other tasks. While the software handles product listings, your team can focus on visuals and the planning of a successful campaign. It ensures that you deliver the optimised solution that your customers are searching for on the market.
Ultimately, you will be tapping into an AI retail strategy. With AI and machine learning, product listings can be handled automatically and both many of the basic and complex tasks surrounding your ecommerce store are handled for you. Machine learning available through Upp also ensures that you can use big data to improve the overall experience for customers. It is the next step in the evolution of ecommerce.
You can deliver the convenience consumers want while also ensuring peace of mind with free returns and guaranteed delivery times. You can provide more of what they expect and make sure that your shop gets the positive reviews it deserves.
Moreover, this software allows you to analyse and explore data from your online shop to create a consistent campaign. You can use this to optimise various areas of your campaign, including Google shopping listings and gaining more insight into what your customers want and need.
Upp also allows you to avoid having to partner with third parties and potentially lose profits. Instead, you can opt for an omnichannel marketing campaign where you get to choose the right partners that work for you and gain access to the AI that will deliver high returns for your business.
Ecommerce is constantly changing due to evolving technology. As such, when you choose an ecommerce solution, you need to make sure that it’s already ahead of the curve and providing the competitive answers to the problems that you’re currently facing on the market.
On the most basic level, this means keeping campaigns and listings up to date all the time while also responding to the requests and concerns of customers. That’s going to help ensure you get the conversions you need. This all starts with finding the right software for your business and potentially using a solution where, thanks to machine learning, product listings can be automated and are constantly improved.
This means that you and your ecommerce team are free to focus on what’s important: running a successful ecommerce campaign that you can adjust based on real data and trends that an effective ecommerce solution can provide.
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