Looking for the best eCommerce platform for your online business? I asked successful online business owners to share which eCommerce platform they used, and why.
Here’s the responses…
*** The Best eCommerce Platform is MIVA ***
“I’ve been working as an ecommerce developer since 1999, using four different platforms.
“By far, my favorite is MIVA Merchant.
“MIVA has been around forever, but the past decade has seen many capabilities added. It’s PCI and PA-DSS compliant, and has built-in coupons, gift certificates, price and availability groups. The screens can be completely customed from opening to closing tags, meaning it can support any template or design someone can think up. They also offer ReadyThemes, which are pre-packaged (and free) responsive templates that can be used by
“The best part is that it has an open API. Developers can build modules to do almost anything, and that’s what I’ve built my business on. You can extend it in any way you see fit. I’ve done integrations between MIVA and third-party order management companies, built modules for MAP pricing control, developed payment gateway modules, and created sales tax modules.”
Susan Petracco – NetBlazon
*** We’ve Migrated All Of Our Clients to Shopify ***
“Hi John, my name is Ricardo Martinez. founder of Perconvly, an eCommerce consultancy company.
“We have migrated all of our clients to Shopify. Not only is it affordable, easy to use and impeccable but it integrates easily with apps that have a huge impact on marketing ROI and automation.
“Apps such as Yo display recent sales, or beautiful abandoned cart or exit intent popups make it much easier to increase customer lifetime value as well as increasing average order price.
“We have clients doing less than 5 figures per month and have many clients doing well above the 7 figure mark per year. Shopify has the ability to handle all sorts of revenue.”
Ricardo Martinez – Perconvly
*** It’s a Tie Between Shopify and Magento ***
“When it comes to the best eCommerce platform, it is a tie between two of them. Over the past two years, most of the eCommerce sites we have built are on two platforms.
“For people just starting new eCommerce businesses, most of our clients request Shopify, for several reasons. It’s an all-in-one platform that handles everything (including payment), and it makes running the store very easy. The site can be customized with many options, but there still are some limitations.
“Once our clients outgrow Shopify or a new, larger company comes to us, we usually recommend Magento for their new website. Magento is one of the most advanced eCommerce platforms available. Out of the box, it comes with almost all of the features an eCommerce site needs. The system also integrates seamlessly with all of the major accounting systems. They also have a large list of third-party partners who have built add-ons that work in the Magento ecosystem.”
Mark Tuchscherer – Geeks Chicago
*** I Use WooCommerce ***
“I use WooCommerce. I’ve been on two separate wine industry specific platforms over the years and there’s a few things that I learned that picking based on something industry specific, often left with us with more problems than answers. Sure, I could set up allocations for members in those software systems and ship to a centralized point (neither we did) but then again, I had duplicate content issues and other SEO challenges that hardly made up for the issues. We were in essence giving away traffic while making the back end of our site more complicated in the process, it was silly.
“In essence I knew I wanted to be on a WordPress platform because it’s easier to change for myself, but also because of the wealth of support and outside vendors that are available. Given I run a subscription business, that cut down the choices significantly, but WooCommerce does at least 95% of what I need basically out of the box. For that ended up being a pretty easy choice.”
Mark Aselstine – Uncorked Ventures
*** Shopify is Best eCommerce Platform Because of the Simplicity ***
“My eCommerce site – TheBudgetBachelor.com – is a fully drop-shipped business specializing in providing men with stylish, but affordable, items. The most popular items are sunglasses and watches. In total, you can build your new eCommerce site in 30 minutes. Plugins such as Oberlo can allow you to easily automate a majority of the process and hassle of being an online business owner.
“When I was building The Budget Bachelor, I had to chose between WooCommerce and Shopify for TheBudgetBachelor. Each have their own strengths, with Shopify being easier to setup, but more expensive. I have years of experience with WordPress, but I found Shopify easier to navigate and simpler to set up. I highly recommend this platform to people seeking to build their first eCommerce platform. That being said, it does cost $30/month for the cheapest plan, which is fairly expensive.
“I’ve played around with WooCommerce and believe this is the better platform if you’re looking to make your website full and robust. The amount of customization blows Shopify out of the water and is significantly cheaper. That being said, it can be more difficult to set up for some, and is not as intuitive and simple as Shopify.
“In the end, Shopify is the best eCommerce platform because of the simplicity. If needed, they can walk you through every bit of the process and have excellent guides on how to set everything up. WooCommerce can be built to be a more robust platform, but requires a lot more work and finesse.”
Chris Holle – TheBudgetBachelor.com
*** The Best eCommerce Platforms are Shopify and Magento ***
“I have worked with a variety of eCommerce platforms from Magento, Shopify, WooCommerce, Custom CMS’s, and others. Here is my rundown which is the best eCommerce platform, and why…
“Shopify is the winner in my book for small to medium size companies. The platform is incredibly user-friendly, has a great set of themes and extensions for almost any business need. Additionally, the Platform also has a Point of Sale (POS) element which makes it easy for brands to sell both in-person and online. Shopify is a turn-key solution, if you are looking for a highly customizable platform, developers might feel a bit constrained within the Shopify platform. However, I have not found this to be a major issue.
“This is a great platform if you are a big brand and have a dedicated development team. It is highly customizable and extremely powerful however is not as user-friendly for non-tech savvy individuals. For this reason, I recommend it for larger brands who generally have the tech/dev resources to work within Magento. The extensions that come within Magento are pretty well vetted by the platform which is great. However, this also means they are slow to change with new releases of Magento.
“WordPress is a great CMS and for this reason, WooCommerce is a really popular eCommerce platform since it works well within WordPress. However, WooCommerce relies pretty heavily on its extensive list of 3rd party plugins. The downside with this is that a lot of these plugins are incredibly buggy. I would only recommend WooCommerce is you are a WordPress developer and can easily troubleshoot issues. Otherwise, a broken extension can loose you money with downtime.
“There is honestly no good reason to use the Wix or Squarespace platforms. The benefits are that they are cheap and easy to use, however, are not very scalable. Great if you are just starting out and need to get a site up quickly. But the basic Shopify platform starts at just $29/mo, you might as well pony up the extra $20/mo and start with a platform that can grow with you.
Custom CMS/eComm Platform
“I would not recommend going this route. Although highly customizable, it is difficult to implement improvements and new marketing technologies without a lot of work from your dev team. It is great for developers but not great for business owners.”
Tim Akers – Akers Digital
*** WooCommerce and Ecwid ***
“I use WooCommerce on WordPress because of its low cost and great versatility. With WordPress I can create a destination site complete with shopping, information, editorial, video, and other monetization opportunities. I pair WooCommerce stores with Ordoro for order, shipping, and inventory management.
“I’ve run stores on YahooStores, MonsterCommerce, MOM/SiteLink, 3DCart, and Shopify in the past, but I’m a fan of ecommerce on WordPress because on it I can do anything I please.
“I’m also testing a specialty site on Ecwid using their WordPress plugin. I like Ecwid’s multichannel capabilities and plan to swap a WooCommerce store to Ecwid very soon.”
Krista Fabregas – Fit Small Business
*** A Raving MIVA Fan! ***
“While I’m an expert at digitizing photos, I am definitely not an expert at website development. When I started my company I reached out to Miva Merchant and they are the reason for our success.
“We digitized 300 million pictures because of them. They do all the work and make us look professional.
“In fact, we will be featured in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal with a feature profile. Much like an actor who wins and Academy award, the real recognition goes to the company behind our success, that manages our website platform. I have many insights on why I’m a raving fan of MIVA, and can share much with you.”
Mitch Goldstone – ScanMyPhotos.com
*** Shopify Can Be Used Beyond eCommerce ***
“I tried two other eCommerce platforms before switching to Shopify, and I’m so happy with Shopify. The first two were difficult and illogical to navigate, so it was very hard to develop the content. They did not provide credit card processing, so I had to locate a company that could provide that. One had html problems that I couldn’t resolve. One was unable to correctly manage sales tax collection in my state, and that was the last straw.
“Shopify has been lovely to work with. I immediately had credit card processing and accurate state sales tax collection. We had many responsive design templates to select from. You can integrate services from other providers to customize selling tools to fit your needs.
“One of the really interesting things about Shopify is it can be used beyond eCommerce. You can use Shopify as an inventory management tool, and after setting up your listings, you can make your products available on a number of other potential selling platforms, such as Pinterest and Twitter. This feature also allows you to offer product for sale in person, either in a pop up shop situation, or in a full-on brick and mortar environment. We’ve used their sales tool app and card reader many times while selling at fairs and these tools are great.”
Jennifer Boaro – The Cat Ball
Your Thoughts – The Best eCommerce Platform
Do you use a different eCommerce platform to the ones mentioned above? Leave a comment below!