Are you thinking of building an e-shop and not sure which platform to choose? Among the long list of choices, the differences and similarities between various platforms can certainly be lost. However, the five platforms that currently dominate the market are Woocommerce, Shopify, OpenCart, Magento, and PrestaShop.
Tomas Laurutėnas, Venipak’s partner and an e-commerce expert at Verslo Planeta, software development and development solutions company, shares his insights on the five most popular e-commerce platforms for your future business.
Woocommerce and Shopify
In a previous Venipak blog post we talked about Shopify and Woocomerce, which are the two most used platforms for online businesses. In 2021, Woocommerce and Shopify are used by 27 and 20 percent of e-shops worldwide, respectively.
Shopify is an e-commerce platform that lets you start an e-commerce business without any technical knowledge or the need for additional programming. It is one of the best choices for those who want a quick and easily manageable e-shop.
Woocommerce is a plug-in for WordPress website development and content management system. It is a perfect choice for those who want an individual and exclusive e-commerce experience. Using this platform requires considerable programming knowledge and a specialist who will help create the necessary solutions and expand the functionality of the website.
One of the biggest advantages of these platforms is automatic updates. If you want to know more about Woocommerce and Shopify, head over to our previous blog post, where the e-commerce expert Tomas explains the differences and pros to each of these platforms.
The Magento platform is suitable for both large and up-and-coming small businesses. It allows you to manage more than one e-shop, analyze sales, receive various reports, use marketing tools, and create a functional website with the help of downloadable plug-ins. However, due to its high functionality, development using Magento requires technical knowledge.
“This platform demands a lot of server resources. Magento requires complex programming and there may be a shortage of specialists in the field, which will increase the overall cost of setting it up. Although the full functionality of Magento requires a considerable financial investment, the platform has many relevant features for a starting business in its basic, free package,” says Tomas.
OpenCart’s e-commerce platform requires you to pay only for the website hosting and add-ons that expand the functionality and add convenience to your e-shop.
While OpenCart is fairly straightforward, some technical expertise is required. Those who are less knowledgeable in programming and want further support can purchase additional customer service. Should any problem arise, it is addressed by OpenCart specialists within 48 hours.
“OpenCart is quite popular in Lithuania, so many programmers are quite familiar with the platform. Thus, programming costs will not be high. Keep in mind that the platform does not have automatic updates, so upgrading from OpenCart2 to OpenCart3 will have to be done manually. Therefore, it is important to assess which version of the platform will be most useful for your business in advance,” Tomas suggests.
PrestaShop is another free e-commerce platform that is perfect for a small or medium-sized e-shop. PrestaShop is not difficult to master, but the development of the e-shop itself will require the help of a specialist with technical knowledge.
The platform has no customer service, but there is a strong online community that can help. PrestaShop has thousands of plug-ins that enhance the functionality of an e-shop but the platform is more suitable for those who want a simple and easy-to-use solution.
“This platform offers everything that a starting business needs. Like OpenCart, PrestaShop has version incompatibilities, so the transition from 1.6 to 1.7 will require specialist help,” says the expert.
E-commerce platforms often have similar features that allow you to build a successful online store. Before choosing a platform, you should assess the needs of the business, the available opportunities, and how you imagine the future of the e-shop, its size, and target audience.
To find out more about each of these platforms, feel free to contact Venipak’s partners Verslo Planeta.