A good eCommerce platform for new entrepreneurs includes superb inventory management tools, customization features, round-the-clock support and security and mobile optimization. New entrepreneurs will look for these features in the next few years.
To help you decide which platform to pick for your new venture, we analyzed the top players in the country.
We’ve weighed the pros and cons of each platform to help you determine which is best for your needs.
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The platform has been recognized as “the fastest growing commerce platform.” Offering more than 100 optimized themes, the platform will let business owners accept different online payment methods.
It doesn’t need you to have the technical knowledge to use and customize the eCommerce platform. It is a suitable platform for new entrepreneurs with just a few pieces of the product in their shops. In addition, the Shopify platform allows new entrepreneurs to accept more payments. It has a payment API available to partners like PayPal and Stripe.
More importantly, features like the multi-tier account system, real-time inventory updates, and the shop customizer will help entrepreneurs to handle their online businesses easily.
The shop customization option lets entrepreneurs create new catalogs, labels, and package designs.
Who is it suited for?
Shopify does not require coding knowledge to build an online shop, making it ideal for first-time sellers. Shops with multiple online stores will also benefit from Shopify.
And for those about to launch their online store, Shopify offers a 14-day free trial period to test the platform before making any financial commitment.
It is fully hosted (no maintenance or server downtime)
Affordable monthly fees
Can handle multi-channel retailing
Has a built-in SEO
Not recommended for B2B owners
No available free plan
If you plan to build a complex online shop, Shopify has three packages jam-packed with features like a free SSL certificate, 24/7 support, e-commerce functionality, Shopify POS Lite etc.
These three primary plans are as follows:
|Basic Shopify||Shopify||Advanced Shopify|
|Price||$29 per month||$79 per month||$299 per month|
|Inventory Locations||Up to 4||Up to 5||Up to 8|
|Online Credit Card Rates||2.9% + $0.30||2.6% + $0.30||2.4% + $0.30|
|Transaction Fee if Not Using Shopify Payments||2.0%||1.0%||0.5%|
|Shipping Discount||Up to 77%||Up to 88%||Up to 88%|
Other Notable Features:
Has no limit on the product listing
Has no limit on storage and bandwidth
Allows you to monitor and analyze your key online store performance metrics through its real-time dashboard
Inventory management is made easier
While it has some limitations, Shopify can customize your online shop according to your preference, making it a good platform for first-time entrepreneurs. With its free SSL certificate, unlimited bandwidth and storage, the platform has been a great choice for small-sized business owners.
2. Lazada and Shopee
If you prefer to expose your new business in an online marketplace, we highly recommend Lazada and Shopee, two industry giants. An online marketplace is different from an eCommerce website builder in terms of how you build and manage your online shop.
Marketplaces have prepared millions of visitors/buyers. You can make your online business successful without much effort. They act as powerful marketing tools for your products, giving you the possibility to reach a vast number of online shoppers.
Lazada has 159 million monthly visitors and is the biggest eCommerce platform in the country. Shopee is not far behind those located all over the Philippines and in other countries.
Unlike Shopify, these two platforms only need you to create a profile and get verified before you can start accepting payments.
Who is it suited for?
Lazada and Shopee are perfect for startups who want to simplify their eCommerce journey. The entire infrastructure is ready-made, which saves effort and time. They don’t need to build new online stores from scratch.
Has an established monthly buyers
Allows you to sell once your first product was already uploaded
Easy delivery and product management
Doesn’t need your time
Free of charge (unless you want to upgrade your membership to Lazmall/Shopee mall)
Large inventory of products
Accepts most payment methods (e.g., credit card, PayPal etc. )
Free to list
No ability to customize online shop easily
No ownership of the online business – the platform is the owner of your shop and the website domain.
It depends on their terms and requirements that may affect your eCommerce business in the long term
Both platforms allow you to list for free. Aside from that, there are no hidden charges or fixed fees. The only time that Lazada and Shopee charge a seller is for commission and payment fee for every order.
Other Notable Features
Has a user-friendly interface
Can accommodate different shopping categories and filters depending on the brand, price range, rating, color and many more
Has a “Seller Center,” which serves as a resource hub for first-time sellers
Has an online marketplace that allows you to sell your products from all over the world.
Has a built-in POS system that allows buyers to pay by cash, credit card or mobile payment (e.g., M/Card).
Has a secure messaging system that allows you to send instant messages, message groups and surveys using SMS, email or instant messaging platforms
Live feed of the shop
Built-in Lazada SEO and Paid Ad features are included
An online marketplace is a good platform if you are planning to test your new business idea and want to reach a large number of online shoppers. Lazada and Shopee is a good place to start since it has an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface, low initial investment and the possibility to sell more than one product from the same brand.
But just remember, you will have no ownership of the online business. If the marketplace bans or bans your product in the future, you will lose all your products and their earnings.
If you are looking for an eCommerce website builder with robust features, WooCommerce is the perfect platform. It is the most popular eCommerce platform in the WordPress community and can be launched on any WordPress website.
If you are familiar with WordPress, you will find WooCommerce development easy since they are both developed by the WP community. Aside from that, it is also cost-effective as it only charges one-time fees instead of monthly fees like Shopify and other eCommerce website builders in this list.
Who is it suited for?
WooCommerce suits the best people who are looking for a long-term solution. It has lots of features and plugins that will allow you to build an entire eCommerce website from scratch.
Supports all major payment methods (including PayPal, Etc.) and even services like Stripe
Powerful blogging capabilities
Has a built-in coupon system
Online store with many payment methods
100% free to open your online shop
Free SSL certificate for your online shop (beware, though, there is a monthly renewal fee)
Coupons and coupons code integration feature
Ease of customization for sellers as it has a drag-and-drop/preferences builder that can be shared with other users.
Requires you to manually enter the shipping address and other customers’ information when selling online products.
You need to download a separate plugin for your website to accept credit card payments.
Steep learning curve for beginners
Has a limited customer support
The plugin itself is free to use. But to enhance your online store, you need to download and pay for premium plugins such as
- WooCommerce Bookings: $249 billed annually
- WooCommerce Table Rate Shipping: $9 billed annually
- WooCommerce Product Add-Ons: $49 billed annually
First-time sellers may experience complications in setting up their online products. Still, with good support and tutorial videos by WooCommerce, you will be able to build a solid eCommerce store within a short period of time.
Now that you have some ideas on which eCommerce platform/website builder you may want to try and build your online store, you must choose the right one for your needs. Depending on the kind of products you have to sell and the business model that you are going to adopt for your online store, you should consider the following factors:
Your best bet would be to start with Shopify since it offers sellers free and low-cost solutions. It also has its own marketplace, allowing you to sell directly from your website without adding software.
If you are planning to make a full-on eCommerce website, WordPress is perhaps the only solution that can suit your needs. It has easy-to-use themes and plugins that will allow you to customize your online store according to your needs.
If you have a physical store and just want to saturate a new market segment, Lazada and Shopee is probably the best platform to use since they are easy to use and have a wide variety of brands available.
If you plan to build an online marketplace for other sellers, WooCommerce is the famous WordPress website builder many sellers choose.
Hope this guide helps!
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