The global eCommerce market in the present time is growing very rapidly. With the increasing number of online web stores across the globe it was likelihood that the demand of eCommerce platforms will increase. Following this calculation the number of eCommerce platforms and content management system is increasing in numbers. In such a situation, if you are going to open your own web store, you would definitely need to choose any of these platforms and that can be a fairly perplexing task especially if you are not well aware of eCommerce background.
Basically two main options are available for eCommerce web development for creating your own online store. These options are managed eCommerce platforms like Shopify and open-source content management system like Magento. Now, which option you should choose largely depends on your specific requirements. Hosted or managed eCommerce platforms are hosted on a server having no access to you. On the other hand open source CMS based platforms are self-hosted that need to be purchased.
So, what are you thinking? Are things getting more confusing to you? Don’t worry; in this below passage I will encompass 10 of the mostly used eCommerce platforms across the world based on the online research reports of Alexa top 1 million websites. All these shopping carts will let you make your online web store running within a couple of hours or so. And the best part is that, you will not have to keep your property on mortgage for that. And remember one thing, this is just an overview. You would definitely want to do research by yourself before choosing the right platform for your company. But before that let’s have a look at the statistics of the most popular eCommerce software.
With more than 26% of market share, this eCommerce platform is the most preferred choice when it comes to the online web stores. This is the fourth consecutive year that Magento remains the top preferred eCommerce platform on the internet. Amongst the Alexa top 1 million websites, 46, 859 websites have been detected to use eCommerce platform. Out of which 12252 websites are using this eCommerce platform. The most significant part of this platform is that a large number of plugin and extensions are available which enables to add new functionalists with ease.
- A strong platform with improved functionality and the option of customizability.
- A wide range of marketplace extensions are available.
- Due to the wide use of this platform, having assistance and tutorials is not a big problem with this platform.
- This platform is more SEO-friendly than any other eCommerce platforms.
Users whoever is planning to use this platform should be aware of the fact that it requires adequate amount of server space. Small servers may cause performance related issues.
The name that comes in the second position is WooCommerce. This is though a new entry in the list. But the increasing use of this platform shows that this can be a good competitor of Magento in the coming years. With 4,524 websites having used this platform among the Alexa 1 million websites list earn this platform a market share of around 9.7%. This may seem to be much lower than the market share of Magento but considering its appearance in the list, this is a remarkable achievement. The updates of plugins have been very frequent of this platform.
- This platform requires no hassle to set up. It takes a very little time to get used to with the platform.
- It runs easily on WordPress. So, there is no need to have a powerful platform.
- Themes and add-ons are available at a very lower price range that is always a good option for the small ventures.
- The support community of this platform is massive.
The only thing concerning to this platform is that this may not be a very suitable option for big ventures. Below here is a comparison of market shares of Magento with other top platforms.
The third in my list is PrestaShop. Having a market share of 8.2%, this eCommerce platform is being used largely by the online web stores. By the end of the year 2014, the total number of websites using this platform is 3836. The community of this platform is notably strong. And a number of functionality improving plugins makes it one of the most suitable options for the programmers.
- The administration panel of this platform is quite easy to manage compared to the other big names in the business like Magento. This is suitable especially for the first timers.
- The community base is this platform is quite large. With a large number of users contributing in the forums and discussion boards, having support is not very difficult.
- The script is based on “Smarty”- a very popular template system. It makes graphics modification easy. Designers should not find difficulty installing this platform.
- A handful of functionalities are available in PrestaShop which are completely different from Magento but are extremely helpful for the new or intermediate online shop owners.
Fourth in the list is OpenCart. It encompasses a market share of 8% with 3736 number of websites using this platform. The more interesting fact is that the number has increased by almost 54% compared to the year 2013. Though, this platform has the easiest to use back-end but its support system is not as impressive as with the above mentioned platforms.
- The back-end of this platform is very easy to use even for the beginners.
- It comes with the availability of a large number of plug-ins.
- While using this eCommerce platform, CSS can be edited from the admin panel.
Another most widely used eCommerce platform is VirtueMart. This is one of the most rampantly used shopping platforms in Joomla. This is an ideal option for almost fundamental online store applications. One of the biggest advantages of using this platform is the facility to manage the store, products and settings. The number of websites using this platform is 2722 which occupies 5.8% of the market share.
- This widely used eCommerce platform makes it easy to have control over the design, marketing and SEO.
- There will be no distraction of the competitors. No other service provider will be able to advertise on your page. You will be able to enjoy your page solely.
- If your site is perfectly designed, you will be able to attract media and the visitors.
This is one of the most popular hosted eCommerce platforms. Whenever you think of eCommerce websites, the name that comes in the mind first is Shopify. Around 74,418 websites across the globe using this platform, this platform holds the market share of 4.5%. Amongst the Alexa top 1 million websites, 2115 websites use this platform.
- This shopping platform offers a large number of add-ons which impressive compared to the other platforms. The templates are also very beautiful and extremely professional.
- Another most impressive part of this platform is the support system. Round the clock support is available. And they can be reached by phone, email or live chat.
- One of the most SEO-friendly platforms amongst the other eCommerce platforms.
One of the two eCommerce platforms which have experienced a straight downfall last year is osCommerce. Yet this popular shopping cart has managed to acquire a market share of 4.3%. 2461 sites among the Alexa top 1 million websites used to prefer this platform in the year 2013. The number drops down to 2009 by the end of the year 2014. Being one of the earliest eCommerce platforms, it has a large support base. Assistance is available round the clock from the forums and discussion boards.
- This platform offers an easy installation procedure that is not very difficult to use even by the beginners. The user interface is also very friendly.
- The support base of this platform has always been impressive.
- A large number of plug-ins is available with this platform that allows adding more number of functionality.
Users at times find problem with the update of this platform.
Another used-to-be-popular eCommerce platform is ZenCart. This platform is having a tough time to manage its reputation. With a sharp fall in the usability of this platform, it has somehow managed to grab a market share of 3.4%. This is a PHP shopping cart platform, built on GPL coding foundation. Among the Alexa top 1 million websites, only 1590 websites use this platform with a downfall of 36% compared to the 2013. This platform is customizable and loaded with various attractive options.
- The installation of this platform is extremely easy and it is completely customizable with various language options. It also offers special discounts as well.
- Another significant factor is its multiple shipping options. It offers users various methods for payment.
- This platform consists of lots of features which an eCommerce website owner may seek from such a platform.
Another very popular eCommerce platform is BigCommerce. More than 52,000 websites across the world are using this platform. Among the 46,859 websites in the Alexa top 1 million websites list, 1239 websites are using this platform. This platform is reliable and the back-end support system is very strong which makes it an obvious selection for the new online business owners. The simple to use and loads of features of this platform makes it so widely popular and these advantages are not available among the platforms of the same price range.
- It offers an initial 30 days trial option with all the features available. The support system is very strong and available round the clock, 365 days a year.
- With the increasing demand of the mobile-friendly websites, this eCommerce platform offers mobile template that works absolutely fine on mobile devices.
- Product returns is an important part of eCommerce shopping. BigCommerce offers this feature which allows customers to enhance their shopping experience.
Volusion is the no. 10th eCommerce platform in my list with 2.4% of market share. 1212 websites from the list of Alexa top 1 million websites are the user of this platform. Almost 90% of the eCommerce users in the USA prefer this platform. This platform offers unique templates and designs.
- Setting up an online store with the help of this platform is extremely easy. It offers a wide variety of templates and designs and an easy set up option which makes it easy to start the online store.
- This is one of the most user-friendly eCommerce platforms which allow simplistic solution for the beginners. Effective tutorial videos and FAQs are very helpful.
- This eCommerce software protects websites from all kinds of fraud practices and online threats.
Each and every platform we have discussed above has own advantages and disadvantages. Though, in this passage, we haven’t really touched the “cons” part of those platforms. However, choosing the right platform is largely based on your business requirements. This list is based on our own experience. And we would always love to hear it from you.
You need to remember one thing that switching the platform once the store is running completely is never an easy job. So, you need to make sure that you make the prudent decision and choose the right eCommerce platform.