The e-commerce sector unexpectedly saw an instant boom after the pandemic brought the world to a standstill in 2020. If statistics have to be believed, the e-commerce industry will hit the mark of $74.8 billion in 2022.
With offline stores shutting down, more businesses have begun hosting online stores with the help of e-commerce platforms. And, if we observe the consumers, most of them, who mainly were purchasing non-essential items such as clothes, cosmetics, electronics, etc., online before the pandemic, have started ordering even groceries.
So, if you are a small business planning to start your e-commerce store, read the article to know how to select the best e-commerce platform for your business.
What Is an Ecommerce Platform?
An e-commerce platform is a software or tool that helps SMEs set up an online store without having any technical knowledge. The software not only provides a common platform for buyers and sellers to interact but also helps businesses or enterprises by providing the following functions.
- Manage websites
- Keep track of inventory
- Digital marketing
- Content marketing
- Customer support
- Analytics, and many more
Today, e-commerce platforms have emerged as a single solution for all your business needs. Precisely, it integrates all the essential business tools required to run a business successfully.
Best Ecommerce Platform List for 2022
Here are the five best e-commerce platforms for your online business ventures:
Bikayi is a fully hosted e-commerce platform started especially for small-scale businesses. It offers customised domain integration, custom themes, excel upload to manage inventories, WhatsApp store integration, and many more.
You get dedicated business coaches, Google and Facebook store integration, and zero UPI charges if you subscribe to Bikayi’s ultimate feature. Additionally, it assists the merchants in delivering their products by partnering with some of the best delivery providers such as Pickrr, WareIQ, Bluedart, and Shiprocket.
What makes Bikayi the best and the most suited for small-scale merchants is its pricing policy. It is an e-commerce platform that has kept its basic plan free, keeping in mind the small-scale merchants. Unlike other platforms, Bikayi also offers a yearly plan, which helps merchants avail exclusive features at a minimal cost.
- Basic: Free
- VIP: INR 5,999/year
- Ultimate: INR 17,999/year
One of the leading e-commerce platforms, Shopify was created for all types and scales of businesses. It provides various tools and features for multi-channel selling so that you can sell your products directly through your website.
It allows you to sell online through your customised store as well as in-person through Shopify point of sale (POS). Besides, Shopify helps you fulfil your orders on time by providing optimised order routes.
Despite being one of the best platforms, it is not suited for small merchants as the pricing is too high, and it does not offer any free plans. Moreover, the theme customisation feature of Shopify is challenging to use for non-technical users, as most of them are not familiar with PHP.
- Business Basic: $23/month
- Business Unlimited: $27/month
- Business VIP: $49/month
Wix is a drag-and-drop e-commerce platform that helps merchants or users build online stores with domain name registration and web hosting. It gives the users complete freedom to design their websites by providing 500 design templates. Wix provides advanced SEO tools to help users drag organic traffic to their website.
However, one of the demerits of using Wix is you need third party tools for social media store integration. It does not provide WhatsApp, Google or Facebook store integrations. Further, no free trial plan is available.
- Connect Domain: INR 80/month
- Combo: INR 125/month
- Unlimited: INR 185/month
- VIP: INR 325/month
BigCommerce, as the name suggests, is ideally suited for big enterprises or sellers. It is a self-hosted e-commerce platform, and therefore, comes with many customised features.
It provides web hosting, multi-channel selling on social media and international selling. In addition, it is considered to provide one of the best SEO tools among other e-commerce platforms.
Talking about the demerits, you can not register your domain names through BigCommerce, so you need to find a domain name registrar, such as GoDaddy, Bluehost, etc., and port it. As well, it is one of the most complicated platforms to use for high pricing.
- Standard: $29.95/month
- Plus: $79.95/month
- Pro: $299.95/month
WooCommerce is an open-source e-commerce plugin for WordPress and, therefore, is more suitable for users who have a basic idea of the content management system. Undoubtedly, creating your e-commerce store and listing items is as easy as publishing your articles with WordPress.
Anyhow, as WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, you can not use it on sites that it does not support. Plus, for every additional feature, you would require adding different extensions, which makes your website too slow and affects the SEO.
- Both WooCommerce and WordPress are free
Tips to Evaluate the Best Ecommerce Platform For Your E-commerce Store
When selecting an e-commerce platform for your business, you should definitely consider a few factors. Some of which are mentioned below:
- Check for the hosting environment, domain name, uptime, and bandwidth.
- Compare the prices between different platforms to know which one offers the best features at a low price. And most importantly, which pricing is best suited for your business.
- Access if they provide multi-channel selling or third-party store selling.
- Look over the customer support system.
- Check if they provide both web and mobile app versions.
When choosing an e-commerce platform, you need to scrutinise various points, considering long term benefits. As already stated, Bikayi is one of the platforms that was created to give a satisfying selling experience to small-scale merchants in terms of features and price. So give your passion its wings and start your online business with Bikayi today.