eCommerce Platforms, What Are They?
eCommerce platforms are, simply, software that give you the ability to transform your business into an attractive online store for your customers.
This article will cover three popular eCommerce platforms to help you decide which platform is the right one for your company. The three eCommerce platforms that will be compared are Adobe Commerce (Magento), WooCommerce, and Shopify.
The 5 areas that we will cover to best determine which eCommerce platform is right for you include:
- Payment Security
Many of these eCommerce platforms have similarities in their features while some of the features are unique to the platform. This section will give you a better understanding of all of the features and allow you to understand which is right for your company.
Adobe Commerce (Magento) gives business owners with the tools needed to integrate their products and/or services to the online market.
Some of the features that come with Adobe Commerce include:
- A page builder feature that’s intuitive and has a drag-and-drop feature that makes it easy to add different themes and page layouts to your website.
- A multiple brand and products tool that gives you the ability to run multiple companies under one account.
- A Business-to-Business (B2B) feature that connects companies and allows them to personally manage their own accounts in Adobe Commerce.
- A feature that tracks your customer’s behavior and gives them personalized product recommendations with tailored search results.
- An inventory management feature that gives your company live details on customer sales orders.
- A feature that gives you full access to manage your customers’ accounts and keeps all their account information and sales order details in a secure location.
- Detailed reporting and business intelligence that utilizes AI to give your business an data-driven experience that could contribute to your company’s overall online success.
WooCommerce gives you access to an abundance of free features. They also give you the ability to purchase extensions or addons that will enhance your online store.
Some of WooCommerce’s complementary features include:
- A storefront designer tool that gives your business tailored templates and allows you to showcase your products using photos, videos, and a 3D view.
- It’s an open-source platform that gives your business the ability to completely customize your website on WooCommerce.
- Similar to Adobe Commerce, WooCommerce has personalized product recommendations.
- A multi-brand solution to organize all of your brands in one spot.
- The ability to offer promotions and discounts for your customers from your website.
On top of all the free features WooCommerce has to offer, there are many purchasable extensions your business can utilize. Some of these include:
- A feature that integrations your social media accounts such as Instagram, Facebook, and/or Pinterest to your company’s website.
- A search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing tool that helps your business promote your products and move to the top of the Google search results.
Shopify has an abundance of features for your business that creates an interactive online experience for your customers to explore all of the products and/or services you have to offer.
These features include:
- A storefront that intuitively integrates with users’ phones and lets you easily drag-and-drop colors, imagery, themes, and fonts to your website.
- A store management capability that stores your customer’s data and account information. This tool tailors product recommendations for your customers.
- SEO & Marketing tools that help your business’s eCommerce website to reach your target audience and rank higher on Google searches.
- A product review section for customers to share their opinions and success stories.
- The ability to market intangible products on your company’s website such as perpetual licensing, trials, subscriptions, downloads, and more.
Costs are essential to consider when selecting an eCommerce platform for your business. Many of these eCommerce platforms price their program at a fixed rate, while others choose to do a variable rate based on whatever features your company wants.
The costs associated with Adobe Commerce heavily rely on your business’s desires and needs. If your business is quickly growing in size, you may need to choose Adobe Commerce Pro which provides you with more features that will help further grow your company.
If you wanna learn more about the specific costs, you’ll have to schedule a demo with Adobe to determine which package is right for you.
WooCommerce is fully open-source and free-to-use. This platform seems like a no-brainer at the first look, but while your company is growing you may need to purchase extensions which could greatly add to the costs.
WooCommerce requires your business to buy a host and domain (site name) which could cost your company around $135 per year for both.
When initially starting your eCommerce website on WooCommerce, there are no costs. But, once your business starts to scale, you can expect more fees since you’ll likely require more extensions.
Shopify has three unique pricing levels that allow you to decide which plan is most suitable for your business’s needs.
The first package is ideal for new companies transforming their business to the eCommerce setting for the first time. They will generally have a very limited amount of in-person sales and are looking to grow their business. This package costs $29 per month which comes out to $348 per year.
Shopify’s second package is catered for companies that are already growing quickly and have an established customer base. This package has lower credit card processing and shipping costs. This middle-tier package costs $79 per month which equates to around $948 per year.
The last, and most advanced, tier targets companies that need significantly more detailed reporting on marketing and SEO analytics. This package is the most expensive and costs around $299 per month which equates to $3,588 per year.
3. Payment Security
Payment security is essential for your company to be able to securely accept payments from your customers. The level of payment security is determined by each eCommerce platform’s payment gateway and their respective level of PCI compliance.
In order to create a secure environment for your customers to make purchases, you will have to choose a payment gateway that is PCI-compliant. The Payment Card Industry (PCI) requirements are a set of standards that businesses need to follow in order to safely accept and manage credit card details.
Adobe Commerce is a top tier payment security provider. Being a level 1 PCI-certified service provider, businesses and customers using their platform should feel confident when providing credit card information and personal details. Their payment security strength is largely due to its robust security features and integrated gateways that allow your company to safely run credit card data.
Another factor that adds to Adobe Commerce’s level of security is the fact that it comes integrated with PayPal and Braintree – companies that have proven to have top-level security.
With WooCommerce’s free features, it comes with a built-in payment gateway that gives you the ability to safely accept credit card payments from your customers.
To add more security to accepting payments, your company can add a payment gateway such as Stripe or Square. Because the level of payment depends on your payment gateway, it’s crucial to select the best payment gateway for your company.
While WooCommerce does adhere to the 12 key requirements for accepting credit card payments, they have not gained a PCI certification.
Shopify, like Adobe Commerce, is proud of their efforts to achieve an excellent level of security that will make your customers feel safe when purchasing products and/or services on your website.
Shopify is a PCI-certified level 1 service provider, making your customers feel safe when putting in confidential credit card information on your website.
While moving your business to an eCommerce platform, you may experience many challenges. But, with an intuitive and simple dashboard, the process could be much more effortless for your company..
Adobe Commerce (Magento) displays an efficient interface with a homepage that provides you with every feature you need to start your eCommerce business.
Adobe Commerce has specialized their platform to fit the needs of non-technical users as well. This gives anyone the ability to easily transform their business to the online format.
While WooCommerce doesn’t necessarily have the simplistic drag-and-drop features such as Adobe Commerce and Shopify, it does give your company the ability to purchase add-ons that give you those capabilities.
Similar to the other two eCommerce platforms, WooCommerce has an attractive dashboard interface that gives you full access and overview of each and every aspect of your business.
Shopify has been praised as being one of the easiest eCommerce platforms to use for setting up your business on an eCommerce platform. With excellent support features packed with guides, tutorials, and courses, Shopify has created an environment that makes your company’s life easier when setting up your online store.
With the help of Google Analytics, Shopify allows you to follow your customer’s behavior and identify any problems with the overall user experience.
Even after all of Shopify’s praise for user friendliness, some users expressed difficulties when first getting started with Shopify. Many of those same users mentioned that after getting used to the format of Shopify, they felt Shopify’s interface was their favorite of the eCommerce platforms.
Transforming your company to an eCommerce platform comes with many challenges. So, having excellent support features and help centers should be something to consider when picking which eCommerce platform to utilize.
Adobe Commerce offers an abundance of support features that give your business the necessities to easily set up your online store.
Below are 3 of the main support features Adobe Commerce provides:
- An expert group of individuals dedicated to offering guidance for your company to set up digital strategies and getting your website set up and looking good on Adobe Commerce. The price of this service strictly relies on the type of consulting you need. The more specific and detailed consulting, the higher the price.
- Detailed guides and courses that teach you about Adobe Commerce’s tools in a personalized learning portal. Adobe Commerce offers these services for free.
- A “Help & Support” feature that provides you with 24/7 customer support. This is another free feature that Adobe Commerce has to offer. With that said, if you need much more detailed consultations, then you’ll likely need to pay a fee.
WooCommerce also has many features that provide your company with the support needed to set up and maintain your eCommerce website.
Below are 2 of the main support features that WooCommerce offers:
- A free-to-use support team to help your business with any issues you might be having when setting up your website. WooCommerce doesn’t have the ability to be contacted via phone 24/7 but does allow you to reach their support team through email, making it harder to receive customer support. While this feature is complimentary, it may be difficult to receive support as good as Adobe Commerce or Shopify.
- A resource center that has guides and tutorials for its users to learn how to utilize the features WooCommerce has. While Adobe Commerce and Shopify have intuitive and easy-to-understand guides, WooCommerce’s guides are a little more unorganized making it harder for your business to learn. With that said, all of the resources and guides on WooCommerce are completely free.
Shopify has an abundance of support features to help set up your company for success in the online format.
Listen below are the 2 main support features Shopify offers:
- A 24/7 customer support feature that allows its users to call, email, or have an online chat to help your business with any issues. If you already have a Shopify account, this support feature is free.
- A help center with in depth video tutorials and resources similar to Adobe Commerce’s learning portal. Shopify has created this help center to give your business the tools such as marketing and SEO resources to help your business get recognized by Google and increase traffic to your website organically.
Your business should analyze each of these eCommerce platforms and find the best one for your specific needs…
Taking into account WooCommerce’s many features and open-source capability, WooCommerce seems to offer the most customizability out of the eCommerce platforms. WooCommerce allows your business to set up your website completely for free, or to use the many purchasable add-ons to create an attractive, intuitive online shop for your customers.
Because WooCommerce differentiated themselves as a free-to-use eCommerce platform, they come with the lowest costs compared to the other competition.
For the safest payment processing security, Adobe Commerce (Magent) and Shopify are the best because of their level 1 PCI-certification.
Because of the fact that WooCommerce payments are only PCI-compliant and not PCI-certified, it is ranked beneath Adobe Commerce and Shopify. However, WooCommerce gives you the ability to choose your own payment gateway which allows you to choose a provider that is PCI-certified.
The usability of Adobe Commerce ranks higher than the competitors because of its simplistic interface that gives your company many features such as product inventory, marketing tools, and customer behavior that make it easy to overview your online store.
For the learning center and customer support category, WooCommerce doesn’t meet up to the standards set by its competitors. Adobe Commerce and Shopify rank higher because of their detailed and accessible support features and intuitive learning centers.
Now that we’ve highlighted the many important areas to consider for choosing an eCommerce platform for you, you can use this information to determine if Adobe Commerce, WooCommerce, or Shopify is right for your business
Written by Nathan Kurszewski
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