What's the best platform to build your ecommerce business?

April 22, 2019

Show Notes

What are the eCommerce platforms that are out there? There are quite a few, but the major players are Big Commerce, Shopify, WooCommerce, Squarespace, and magento.com

  • Big Commerce

Pro’s - Advanced reporting to track sales, follow trends and increase AOV. API available, built in. Great SEO features and capabilities. No transaction fees, even if you use a 3rd party.

Con’s - If you need help from support, it is difficult. User feedback about their CMS is that it is difficult to use, so probably not the most user-friendly to upload blogs or content pieces if you are looking to do that. No mobile app.

  • Shopify

Pro’s - Provides a complete package where a beginner can set up their store and start selling in minutes. Great customer service. Fast web load time, that Google loves for your customers. The SEO is great for Shopify, you have the ability to give Google a lot of information about your product and services to ensure search rankings. Apps, apps, apps. There are a ton of 3rd party apps to help you scale your business.

Con’s - Want something completely custom, you will need a Shopify expert. It can take a little bit to get used to Shopify specific jargon that isn’t really used elsewhere. Cost. Depending on what kind of store you want, you could be paying up to $79 per month for using their platform alone, not including transaction fees.

  • WooCommerce

Pro’s - The largest eCommerce platform by % in use today. It is mainly used as a free plugin with Wordpress, which is also a large percentage of the world’s website. (Some stats show almost 30% of the internet is powered by Wordpress)

Con’s - For all the reasons it is a pro, it can also be a con. WooCommerce is a plugin for Wordpress, so unless you have or want a Wordpress website, you can’t use WooCommerce. WooCommerce. If you are struggling to figure out Wordpress it may not be a good fit to learn a completely different platform for only eCommerce.If you want a very robust site, you will need to hire a specific developer for WooCommerce, which may be costly.

  • Squarespace

Pro’s - Templated designs that are sassy. Like beautiful. It’s an all-in-one-platform. Meaning it isn’t like Wordpress where you have to now learn WooCommerce. Your hosting and security is all handled by Squarespace. If you have a domain, that’s all you need, your subscription covers hosting too!

Con’s - The site looks great, but that doesn’t mean people are going to buy. The site layout isn’t built for sales, it’s built to look good, there is a difference. As far as being found online, your SEO efforts are very limited to what is possible. It’s technically eCommerce because you can sell online, but the ability for you to offer a more robust site is lacking. It’s very limited with function and features.

  • Magento

Pro’s - It’s open source, free and extremely flexible.

Con’s - Doesn’t provide a hosted solution. You have to purchase hosting and be a medium to advanced developer to be able to create your store.

Overall feedback

If you want a simple, easy to use more basic store, Squarespace is probably the route to go. If you are looking for that middle of the road solution that is dependable and built to really sell, BigCommerce or Shopify. If you have a developer and really looking to build a 50+M business or have something very robust, Magento.


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Christian [00:00:00] What's the best platform to build your e-commerce business. Well today we're going to roll out five platforms. Super excited about this episode. Check it out.

Narrator [00:00:14] The Marketing Natives providing actionable ways to grow, improve, and succeed in your business.

Narrator [00:00:21] And now your host, Christian and Aaron.

Christian [00:00:27] All right so let's get this started. WHAT ARE THOSE. 5. 5 5 e-commerce platforms out there. So we have big commerce Shopify commerce Squarespace and Bagenda really speaking about these five disapprovingly. Some of the most popular ones. There's plenty of more there but different features and different things but we're just going to focus on these five and we're going to do is we're going to sort of break down to pros and cons for each of these little disclaimer we have not used all of these with these to few will tell you which ones. The rest of the information we sort of gather from talking to her and then clients looking at reviews online and just see what other people are using and doing online. So let's get do you have any. Now let's get to the first one. Big Cosmos nice.

Aaron [00:01:23] Other than it sounding like a like a rap name. I think it probably could be cool. Yeah. Yeah. Could be a rapper. Other than that it is so at the end we'll kind of wrap up like where this where all these fit in our rankings are so we can give you an overall ranking for the best e-commerce for your business. But think about commerce. It's a all in one solution.

Aaron [00:01:49] It is not a standalone meaning that you're hosting your e-commerce all although that is in one platform it's not like you have to go and sign up for everything and do your hosting and move your domain into hosting and everything like that and they're all separate. It's actually done all inside of commerce. So that's just kind of. That little caveat I think will make more sense a little bit later but a pro to commerce is they have huge huge data which means that the more advanced data you have the better you are to know where your sales are coming from how to do up sells how to scale your business follow trends and increase overall average order value. So super impressive that way. Another pro for them is that they have their API available. So if you do have a coder developers something it can scale with you and you can be very customizable. And then last one for the prof's I'll cover the present Krishan can jump into the cons of what kind of switch but they have good features and capabilities a lot of times e-commerce websites are not really built for you to put in like a cims content management system and are not really made for that because their goal is to sell you products and show you products. But ecommerce has the ability for you to talk about blogs or write blogs and good product descriptions which are going to help you with search rankings. Shout out to our other episodes if you haven't read it yet on how to get on the map pack but the other cool thing about them is that there are no transaction fees even if you use third parties so their monthly subscription may be about par with everybody else.

Aaron [00:03:28] But if you don't pay any transaction transaction fees. That's a huge bonus.

Christian [00:03:34] All right so let's talk about the cons of big commerce. This is one of the platforms we haven't. I don't know of you know we just did some research very early on. Yeah yeah. So yeah we've never technically use big commerce but it's something that's been on our radar for a very long time. Some of the cons and especially from you know people online talking about commerce it could be a little bit clunky the support might not be the best. And when we when we talk about S'pore everything that we're comparing it to would be to Shopify SHOP is probably one of the best support.

Christian [00:04:17] Platforms out there with everything that they have available for their users. And then another big con for big commerce and I was actually just looking at this on my phone. They don't have a native mobile app. Again when you compare it to something like Shopify where Shopify gives you actually have two different apps. But anyways because it doesn't have any native mobile app so you can't see your transactions do anything about you know your website on the go which is a kind of like a bad thing. And this time and day were were. Always on the go always wanted to do different things on your phone and you're not able to do that with commerce. I do believe they have certain apps but they're not made from like cars didn't make them kind of like a third party. App decided to create something for big commerce. I don't know how reliable those are. But again that's probably one of the biggest drawbacks to big cars. Not being able to do things on the go with a mobile app.

Aaron [00:05:32] I didn't realize I guess somebody got frustrated they didn't have an absolute like I'm building myself. Yeah. All right. Number two here is Shopify. When you think of e-commerce we're talking again April 2019. You'd probably think if Shopify first they have probably the best brand. And when people talk about e-commerce they're definitely thinking about Shopify. However they don't have the largest percentage of people using e-commerce and we'll talk about who does a little bit later. But you've probably heard of Shopify. Most people have. So what kind of told us earlier one of the pros is that they have amazing customer service like you get on customer service and you're talking to somebody and you know seconds if not just a couple of minutes. Out of all the customer service I've been a part of which is quite a few. They are probably top two or three now. I mean they really are just really good about that. Another cool thing about Shopify is that from the marketing perspective they have a very fast load time. So Google loves that which helps with your search rankings and your customers love that because they want to buy your product and they don't want to wait for your site to load which also opens up more for your SEO. They have the ability for you to really get product descriptions and tags. They're blogging feature is okay. I think it may be a con and don't take that away from the blogging features okay. It's better than most but it's not a big commerce so it's kind of a pro. We'll see. It's kind of one of those middleground ones but I think the coolest thing about Shopify is that they have a ton of apps there's a lot of third party apps that can really just by implementing one of them grow your business. We've implemented one app and that's that it does have a little feed each month but usually pays for itself. That's generated you know 30 40 maybe even 50 x return for almost every single one of our customers who's installed it and it was a third party app. So there's so many cool apps and so many different things that could help you grow your business. So the apps are amazing.

Christian/Aaron [00:07:35] So that's definitely a pro and against the pros. I think Shopify is probably one of the easiest to implement for a beginner. So let's say Aaron started knitting and he wants to sell his new products that easily for him to do it would be to do on Shopify. I mean literally in minutes he could have a store up and running with taxes shipping everything. Just figure it out for him to start selling online. So Shopify is the easiest for you to go and select a template and start selling products as quick as that. When it comes to coupons is something that Aaron said especially like with the blog and other pages as far as like customization of your store they're very heavy on. The e-commerce side of things and the product pages and they get the collection pages and the home page and all that. But when it comes to the other pages you're sort of limited to more static text and image and not a lot of options for you to play around with with any additional page which I don't like because I like the customization and I like to be able to do different things with different pages on the website. So right off the bat when you know if you're a beginner and you're trying to maybe create a really cool about page you're not going to be able to. So that will be like probably one of the biggest cons for Shopify wanting to do additional customization on your Web site is going to cost you. You either hire Shopify experts. There's also different plug ins where you can get different experts on different things to help you develop a better looking website for you.

Christian [00:09:25] So again I suggest we got a premature airport are there.

Christian [00:09:32] But again it was appetiser as excellent for beginners who were trying to just get something up and running. But when it comes to actually fully customizing your website you're going to have a lot of problems with it but you can just you know hire someone to take care of that part.

Aaron [00:09:52] Right. So the repair weren't it's you know it's notorious here. We may or may not get something in the middle. I don't know what else we're going to use. You have suggestions. I love the air Warner hate their horn message on one and let us know this is our part of this show where we just kind of stop let you guys know a little bit about us. It's your first time hey thanks for listening make sure you hit subscribe so that you don't miss out on any episodes. If you are a business owner specifically you're selling something online a product online e-commerce. Maybe you're just starting out or maybe you're doing about five six thousand dollars a month and you have questions trying to figure out how to scale or try to figure out what to do next. We would love to have you on the podcast as a guest. We want to answer those questions live in person or over Skype. You know kind of the same thing but we want to get you on the podcast and answer questions so that we can help other people with e-commerce businesses and we'll give you a whole 45 minutes for us to just really break down your Web site. We'll do some research ahead of time give you some suggestions and tips to take you from that 6000 to wherever you'd like to go that maybe that twenty or thirty or forty thousand dollars per month. And we're happy to do that. So if you are in that range and you are a business owner doing e-commerce we would love to have you on there go to bit branding on Instagram. Shoot us a DM or shoot us an e-mail with a subject line e com podcast guest and type it hello at braining does SEO that is dot co. Hello. Bronco and we'd love to get you on our show.

Christian [00:11:31] That was an excellent ad you give two sums up 3 three nice he give it me for actually yeah I actually forgot to mention this but some of you mentioned the shopify is one of the platforms we heavily use for a lot of e-commerce clients. We sort of did our research and we figured out if I was going to be the best for us as a company we haven't used. Actually there was one more but yeah Shopify is the one that we actually used the most is when we like it.

Aaron [00:12:05] It's also really it runs really well with ad campaigns. So all right. Number three is we commerce. If you're on Wordpress and you've probably heard of commerce if you're not on WordPress you may or may not heard of Newcomer's you may just think that we just made up that word. The funny thing is that when Commerce does make up one of the largest e-commerce platforms I think it's like 20 or 30 percent of all e-commerce websites are. Through word com e-commerce and the reason that is is because WordPress powers like a third of the web. Not a third 30 percent of the Internet. It's like 33 or 34 percent of websites or sites on the Internet are from WordPress which is insane. The pro to that is that the largest e-commerce platform in use today is e-commerce so there is a lot of people who are using it. There's a lot of people who know about it. There's a lot of people who can help you with it. And it's robust it works it's been around and people really love it so there's I mean that's really like all the pros into it. The pros could also be the cons with someone like Christine talk about the cons but really overall if you're doing a WordPress Web site you should be using world commerce.

Christian [00:13:18] Yeah. So I mean the biggest con is obviously that commerce is Plug-In of WordPress so if you were to have a corporate website it might be just common sense to yeah using e-commerce to implement part of the ability to get a purchase on your Web site by adding just e-commerce commerce to it. So I mean that's one of the biggest drawbacks I mean if you are using a different platform let's say. I mean we use workflow so let's take deafer example using workflow you have a awesome website built on web flow and you're not going to be able to use commerce on web flow commerce specifically for WordPress. So you're going to have to change essentially recreate your Web site again on WordPress enabled too to in order to be able to use commerce. But that's like one of the you know that's the only con really is it's platform specific. So are you going to be stuck with Wordpress which is not bad at all. I think the combination of war press and commerce would probably give you the biggest range of tools and features that you can have. Obviously this is not for necessarily a beginner but a medium to advanced developers can create whatever you dream of with that combination of WordPress and commerce. So if you're looking for something super custom where you have complete control over everything then this combination of war present will commerce is definitely going to be the best for you. Yeah.

Aaron [00:15:00] Only one other to add to that I think is that world commerce is its own platform its own plug in. So if you don't understand WordPress that well and you don't then learning world commerce is also going to be something that's maybe not difficult but will be a little bit of a learning curve. So just learning both of those platforms could be an issue or if you hire somebody to it could be costly because obviously if you want somebody good is not going to be cheap. So that's the only other con but like Bush said it's super robust. We get back to the pros anyway it's a great platform. All right. Number four is Squarespace. This is one that we've used. This is kind of breaking down a little bit. This is more like you have a product you want to sell. You want to make sure that it has a car and you want to easiest fastest way to get people to purchase and for you to get your store set up. We talked about Shopify being super easy and robust. I would say Squarespace is just as easy to set up just doesn't have all the bells and whistles and you pay a little bit less for it because of that. But the pros are that it's a template and designs are known. I guess online for being super amazing. These are really well designed templates. They work. They look amazing they feel amazing the user experience is great. Kind of for the most part so it's just beautiful and. Just like a wordpress site in the sense that you have templates if you're familiar with that. But the designs are just so much better and the platform is on one. So you go in there you add a product you can do the shop or you can do the the checkout process you just connect to stripe or shop or PayPal rather and you're good to go. You can set up a Web site and start selling a product probably in an hour or two. So super easy very entry level. But if you're only selling a couple of products maybe 10 or 15 products it's a great platform to use it for.

Christian [00:17:03] Yeah I think the con is. Yeah your site will look great but it might not be the best way to get people to purchase your product. So just because the website looks beautiful doesn't mean it's enhanced or stored I'm looking for meaning like to use experience or like optimized optimized optimized optimized for the purchasing experience was very important to take that into consideration. Again also as far as SEO and efforts to get ranked online. Of course of course it might not be the best and it won't maybe allow you to do a lot of things with that. And I guess another big conduit with these Squarespace again when you compare it to something like Shopify where Shopify has hundreds and hundreds of apps you can essentially do whatever you want. Squarespace doesn't necessarily have that right now. So functionality wise you're limited to what Squarespace allows you to do. And beyond that like you're inside I mean it's good for you maybe you have you know 10 products there are very simple products. They don't. Have a lot of variance or custom and customization or anything like that. This is very simple products. This would be a great place great place for you. But as far as like all those robust features and functions and things like that Squarespace definitely doesn't have that.

Aaron [00:18:39] Absolutely. All right. Our last one here. This is the big kahuna. I think it was the right word. If you are looking to do some serious sales online if you're listening to this podcast and you're like wow this is also great but I'm looking to do. I'm looking to scale I'm looking to do multiple million dollars not that Shopify can handle it. It can still get into commerce but I think they're top out really is like about 30 40 million and it doesn't make sense you should have a completely custom system in magento is made for that it's made for those people who want to build bigger e-commerce businesses. And it's not that everybody can't get there you just get to know your product and service. But this is one of those one the way you're a lot more structured out the gate you know what you want you know what the design looks like. You have a developer and it can be very successful. So the pro for it is that it's open source meaning that you can literally build it and design it however you want. This is your Web site completely customizable. It's going to be a little bit more expensive. That's kind of a cost but you're going to be able to get the pro is that you're going to be able to do anything and everything that you want to do online. And it's very flexible. So what I mean by that is you can if you want to have the number counter like the early days of the Internet down at the bottom say how many people into your website you can put that on there. It's available. You're not going to be able to find that on the shop. Fire Squarespace would be able to put anything on their bus or bring them back to the website because I want someone I want to be a part of that. But what are those cons.

Christian [00:20:19] So when it comes to cons technically they have it's open source and they have a free version of it. But when you're doing something like big big business it could get maybe a little bit expensive with Magento. Another bad thing about it is that although there's a huge community there's maybe not a lot of developers that work on Magento so it might be harder to get a lower price when you're trying to develop for that platform. And the last bad thing about it is obviously it's not all encompassing platform so yet to figure out your own hosting your own housing platform so on top of magento you will have to figure out what you know that hosting is and connect all those things. So it's definitely not something that a beginner can easily do although it is going to be Subar time consuming for you to figure out all those moving parts and how everything interconnects. So I get Magento is probably for big enterprises more so than small business or medium sized business of trying to get their products online.

Aaron [00:21:36] Very good. All right. So in overall feedback if you listen to all this you know like OK all those sound good you gave me pros and cons. I think this will be helps helpful. So no real feedback is that if you're looking for a basic store or at entry level store Squarespace is probably your best place to go if you're looking for something that's more robust. You're that small business owner going to 20 trying to go from like the five or six thousand or a couple of thousand to probably you know a million dollars a year and Shopify or e-commerce are probably your options. We only know a little bit more to shop if I get it because we know better that's going to be a big one. And then if you're looking to do something super robust like we were just saying Magento is hands down the place to go that's kind of the overall scoring for what we're looking to do here. And I guess one other thing like if you're going to build on Wordpress and I feel like we kind of explained that well enough that it's a no brainer that use commerce so it just depends on your cup of tea. Like Kristian said these are only five. There are a ton out there but these are reputable they've been around a while and that's what you should be looking at for each one of them to provide for your e-commerce business.

Christian [00:22:49] Yeah there you have it. Let me wrap this up again. Make sure to leave us a review on iTunes. I do. Yeah go find the marketing nadirs on iTunes which you probably have. You're listening from iTunes. If you're not then open up your podcast app and find us the market netas and leave us a little review to let us know how we are doing on this podcast. Also have you enjoyed this episode and you would like to reach us. I guess one of the best ways and what we keep promoting is to just send us a Diệm on Instagram. That's probably where we're most active. So if you have any questions about any of these platforms or if you need help building your store on Schokman 5 then we can hopefully help with that. If not we can definitely help you find someone to help build your store on a different platform. Again my name is Krishan That's Erin over there. And thank you for listening. We do really appreciate you. Thank you and we'll see you next week here.

Narrator [00:23:56] The marketing native's podcast is a production BitBranding.

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