There’s no dearth of ecommerce platforms that can fulfill almost every single need of ours. With the ecommerce boom, came a slew of online platforms trying to capitalize on the growing trend of online shopping. Offering people everything they need in a moment’s time, just a click away. This created a number of competitors in the electronic commerce industry. There are multiple advantages of each and every online platform meant for e-commerce. But when choosing the best out of them or the one suitable for your needs, you need to think about each one of their features that are appropriate for your needs and would fit perfectly for the kind of business you are setting up. For making the right choice regarding the ecommerce platform suitable for us, we need to have a holistic view and weigh the pros and cons of some of the best players in this category. Let us see some such platforms and analyse to help us make an informed decision.
- Shopify – a very easy to use platform. It has a quick set-up, an user friendly interface, great support services and they provide hosting as well. You can customise your store with free or paid themes available through their theme store. You also have the option of printful’s live shipping rates. You can enable them for free if you are an advanced plan user of Shopify, but it also works with other Shopify plans of you contact their customer support. It’s also an easy to use platform for YouTubers. They have a recurring subscription fee. To summarise,
- The pros – minimal tech experience needed, fully hosted service, fully featured customisable store with minimal hassle, it’s easy to use for YouTubers as it is an YouTube approved merch site. It has Printful’s live shipping rates facility.
- The cons – it has recurring subscription and transaction fees, $20 monthly for Printful’s live shipping rates (non advanced plan).
2. Etsy – it is a trusted, well known, global marketplace that is ideal for creatives looking to reach a large audience of more than 30 million buyers. It is also a great choice for YouTubers as it is one of their approved merch sites as well. But it has rules for its sellers. Since it’s a ready to use marketplace, it has limited customisable options. It’s free to set-up but has charges on publishing products and a 3% fee for all transactions.
- The pros – globally recognised, ready to use marketplace, free to set-up, easy to use and is a YouTube approved merch site.
- The cons – there’s a 3% fee on all transactions, it also costs 20 cents to publish a listed product, which has to be renewed every 4 months.
3. Amazon – it is one of the largest online marketplaces in the world. It has a huge customer base, sells in multiple regions. To connect Amazon with Printful, you need a professional seller’s account that has a monthly fee of $3999. It also has referral fees, for each item sold, leading up to 15%. You don’t need any tech experience to setup but there are multiple, time consuming steps that you need to follow through before connecting to Printful. Amazon also has strict rules for your account performance regarding late shipments, defect and cancellation rates. So, maintaining their account after setting up takes a lot of work.
- The pros – you can sell on one of the largest marketplaces worldwide, no hosting needed.
- The cons – it has monthly subscription fees, recurring referral fees, complex, time consuming setup and maintenance.
4. Woo commerce – it is a free plugin for WordPress blogs. WordPress is a popular content management system, so, your store is built on a solid base. It is customisable, has a great support and also enables Printful’s live shipping rates. Make sure you have some technical skills to setup your own hosting.
- The pros – it’s a free ecommerce platform (not including hosting), an ideal choice if you are already using WordPress, it has a fully featured store with customisation, you have the option of Printful’s live shipping rates.
- The cons – you need some tech skills for hosting.
5. Squarespace – it is a widely popular design oriented platform known for simplistic, minimal and fully responsive website themes. They offer an array of marketing tools along with a 24/7 community support. The Printful integration is only available for advanced plan users starting from $40 per month. Printful’s product push generation is not available, so, you have to upload your products with Printful, manually.
- The pros – ideal platform for creating visually appealing, modern online stores, wide range of customisable themes, helpful community support and marketing tools.
- The cons – there’s a monthly subscription fee for the advanced plan, needed to integrate with Printful. Manual product sync as no product push generator available.
6. Bigcommerce – it enables multi channel selling. Along with your bigcommerce store you can also sell on other marketplaces like eBay and social sites like Facebook, Pinterest. It is easy to use and has 24 hour support. It also provides hosting. Monthly subscription starts at $29.95.
- The pros – it’s a fully hosted service, fully featured store and you can sell on other platforms as well.
- The cons – it has recurring subscription fee.
7. Storenvy – it is based around their storenvy marketplace. It is free to set-up and is hosted as well. You can customise your store manually or with storenvy’s pre existing themes. It focuses on social sharing and the marketplace aspect is a great way to increase your discoverability. It takes a 10% commission if your product is sold through its store.
- The pros – it’s a free ecommerce platform, it’s a hosted service, creates a fully featured store in a marketplace straightaway.
- The cons – it charges commission fees on marketplace sales
Well, these are some of the top e-commerce platforms with their pros and cons to help you get through the dilemma of choosing the best ecommerce platform. The main factor to be considered in this situation is your requirements, your preferences. With that sorted out, you can go ahead with any of the choices discussed above to make your mark.