If you’re in the retail business, chances are you’ve at least considered moving your goods online (if you haven’t done so already). Today, with all the ease of clicking and buying from one’s own home, it’s no surprise that online sales have seen incredibly high rates of growth in the past few years – with no end in sight. Online retail sales are slated to hit $370 billion next year, while having sit at a meager $231 billion in 2012. Additionally, more than 72% of the millennial population research and shop for items online vs. going into a brick and mortar store, and that’s not even counting older (or younger) shoppers. [Adobe]
And these stats are only the beginning of what is the online retail frenzy. However, chances are that your question is whether or not you should be selling online, but how.
There are multiple platforms that allow you to display and sell goods in the virtual world. Take these top three contenders – BigCommerce, Shopify, and Magento – for example and see what each has to offer, and which might be the best fit for your online retail upgrade and/or debut.
The history: Since 2009 BigCommerce has been in the online shopping game. The brand was founded in Australia, but now hosts a headquarters location in Texas. They currently help more than 55,000 retailers hosts and sell goods online.
What they’re known for: Customization and advanced features. While these add-ons might be more difficult to use, there’s something to be said about the extreme options that comes with using BigCommerce. Consider it the choice with all of the bells and whistles, including the ability for a 100% custom model.
Add-ons: Automatic features such as shipping quotes, selling gift certificates, custom reviews, and even email marketing capabilities.
Price: BigCommerce users have their choice at three different levels of service. Standard at $29.99 per month, Plus for $79.99 a month, and Pro at a fee of $199.99 per month. Or, contact them with your gigantic business needs and have a custom setup built.
Average build-out cost: $2,500 – $10,000
The history: Shopify has been around for the past decade. Founded in Canada, the company now hosts more than 120,000 online retailers, while growing by the hour.
What they’re known for: Think of Shopify as the WordPress for sales. They’re all about design and user experience. Customers can choose and customize a current theme, or build their own. Because of their makeup (and their size) Shopify also has a wide support base of professionals to help get the job done.
Add-ons: Keep track of analytics, data, or more advanced marketing functions with tools or apps that can be ran in tandem with Shopify’s platform.
Price: Choose from a big or small plan – ranging from Basic, at $29 per month, to Professional for $79 per month, Unlimited at $179 a month, and up to Plus, which is a custom online store option available for larger clients.
Average build-out cost: $5,000 to $15,000
What they’re known for: Magento uses an open source platform where users are free to mix and match PHP content. Great for the DIY web user, Magento can be adjusted and re-written for their specific needs. And, for the non-techies out there, the brand also offers paid assistance to help get you started.
Add-ons: When using it for your own business, consumers have as much control as they like. Business owners can set up the program and add as many features (or as little) as they prefer.
Price: When using the open source version of Magento, known as Community Edition (or CE), the program is free. While their Enterprise Edition is better used for large businesses, comes with paid assistance, and is billed between $15,500 and $77,000 per year – depending on company size and need.
Average build-out cost: starting at $18,000
Is There a Winner?
When choosing an ecommerce platform, it’s important to determine what will best help your brand. While all three of these moguls come vetted by the Internet, and with great reviews, each has something a little bit different to offer. Check your necessities against which brand can provide your best way to sell.
But don’t worry, you aren’t going in alone! Contact us at Stand And Stretch for an overview of options. We’ll help you put your platform into place and stay with you every step of the way. Reach out today to learn more!
Bethaney Phillips is a freelance writer and editor turned SEO specialist with 10 years of professional digital writing experience. She enjoys working with clients and putting their ideas into informative content. She is also a military spouse entrepreneur advocate, volunteering, and writing in MilSpo spaces. When not working, she can be found chasing around two toddler boys.