Amid the COVID19 crisis reshaping our retail world, consumers’ habit around shopping has altered to a great extent.
The frequency of users flocking to an online store for all essential and non-essential items has increased drastically. Amazon, for instance, the leading retail giant recorded a revenue of $75.5 billion in Q1 followed by nearly $89 billion in Q2 2020. These numbers not only convey the reach of Amazon but also how the pandemic has fast-tracked digital transformation.
Retail eCommerce websites worldwide registered 22 billion visits in June, up from 16 billion visits in January 2020. Albeit a by-product of the coronavirus pandemic, this trend is likely to remain even after the pandemic. According to Statista, the global retail eCommerce sales amounting to $3.53 trillion in 2019 will almost double by 2022. The growth in numbers and the sheer volume of retail sales highlight why online retail is the go-to-business idea for SMBs or enterprises and a need of the hour for existing retailers.
Starting an eCommerce Business
E-Commerce retail is a booming business idea with unprecedented levels of interest. It is among the most profitable businesses today with unsurmountable growth potential. But for existing retailers, having an online retail store is no more an option but a necessity for survival. Customers afraid of contracting the virus are opting for online shopping and delivery. This has been a major contributor to the eCommerce boom.
In the history of online stores, we’ve witnessed several eCommerce businesses fade away failing to gain traction. To ensure your eCommerce venture bears fruitful results, here are a few quick tips you can follow:
- No coding experience, but sound technical knowledge is a must
- Consumer experience is more important – ask Jeff Bezos
- Do not spend everything on development, keep a separate budget for marketing
- Make sure your website is search engine friendly
Apart from these tips, there are a few other things you can do to easily shift to online retail. For instance, you can opt for a pain-free ready-to-launch eCommerce platform instead of hiring a full-fledged designing and development team to kick-start your website. This will save time, money, and you can focus on your key business tasks without worrying about the website.
There are several eCommerce platforms that provide ready-to-launch solutions. Here, we’ll discuss the top five in the category:
Launched in 2006, Shopify is a powerful eCommerce platform that allows users to start, run, and grow their online business with ease. The platform is ideal for small retailers and mid-sized businesses to start an eCommerce store. Although there are several third-party apps that convert your Shopify store into a multi-vendor marketplace, it is best to avoid them altogether. Currently, over 1 million online stores run on Shopify – making it the most trusted eCommerce platform.
- 100+ professional themes
- Abandoned checkout recovery
- Nearly all payment gateways are integrated
- Fully customizable
- Unlimited bandwidth and more
Shopify is a subscription-based platform with a 14-day free trial. The basic plan starts at $29/month. For more details on pricing, click here.
Yo!Kart is a self-hosted customizable multi-vendor platform using agile methodologies. Unlike Shopify, Yo!Kart is designed for small-medium businesses and large-scale enterprises to start an online marketplace. Launched in 2015, the platform has successfully delivered custom engineered online marketplaces for several clients.
- Ready mobile apps for customers and sellers
- Advanced order management
- 15+ payment gateways are pre-integrated
- Tax management and shipping APIs
- Abandoned cart management and more
Yo!Kart offers a fully owned license on every package with no recurring charges. The basic package is priced at $999. For complete details on all Yo!Kart packages, check out the pricing page.
BigCommerce is a flexible, open software-as-a-service (Saas) platform that offers great eCommerce solutions for existing and established businesses. Just like Shopify, BigCommerce is also a paid, hosted eCommerce platform that offers a wide range of customizable templates. Founded in 2009, the platform has become a popular choice for many enterprises and retailers to start an online store.
- 12 free professional templates
- Drag and drop page builder
- Mobile cart conversion
- Single-page checkout
- Sales management and more
BigCommerce is another subscription-based platform that offers a free 14-day trial period. The standard plan starts at $29.95/month. For detailed plans, go to their pricing page.
Initially released 12 years ago, Magento is an open-source eCommerce platform written in PHP. It comes in two distinct platforms:
- An open-source community edition that developers and small businesses can download and use for free.
- Magento Commerce and commerce cloud edition that enables small-medium-sized businesses as well as large enterprises to build their eCommerce business.
- Custom desktop and mobile store creation
- Page Builder
- Multiple payment and shipping options
- Order management
- Product recommendations and more
While Magento open-source platform is free to use, the cost is associated with configuration, coding, and hosting. Also, Magento Commerce and commerce cloud editions aren’t free. For accurate pricing contact the Magento team.
Started in 2015, Quick selling is another prominent eCommerce store builder for B2B and B2C businesses. The platform is equipped with all standard eCommerce features enabling retailers and enterprises to create an online store with a customizable front-end. Plus, you get a native mobile app as well.
- Setup in only 10 mins
- Integrated payment gateways
- Single dashboard to manage web and apps
- SEO-friendly eCommerce platform
- Professional templates and more
While Quick eSelling offers a free plan, it is a hosted solution with a limit to add up to 1000 products. Comparatively, its standard plan costs around ₹2,500/month while the premium plan goes up to ₹12,500/month. For detailed information on plans or enterprise-grade solutions, click here.
Amid the accelerated shift to eCommerce during the pandemic, it is important to choose the right eCommerce platform. This blog will help you select the best eCommerce platform that suits your business needs.