$2.290 trillion. That was the worldwide retail ecommerce sales projection for 2017. The same report by eMarketer predicts ecommerce sales will hit a whopping $4.479 trillion by 2021. What does that mean for small businesses? Finding the best ecommerce platform isn’t a “nice to have”—it’s an absolute must.
With increasing competition from small online retailers and constant pressure from the likes of Amazon, those that can provide a seamless online shopping experience are better positioned for success—and sales growth.
What are the best ecommerce platforms for 2018?
2017 was another banner year for small business ecommerce platform Shopify. In August, they surpassed 500,000 online businesses in 175 countries. What’s even more impressive has been the rate of their annual growth. Since 2012, the number of merchants on the Shopify platform has grown by an average of 74% with those merchants accounting for more than $40 billion in sales—let those numbers sink in for a second.
What makes Shopify so attractive for 2018 is their continued focus on providing innovative multi-channel commerce solutions. From a fully-integrated point of sale system which allows merchants to seamlessly sell online as well in brick and mortar locations and events, strategic partnerships with UPS and DHL to ensure fast, guaranteed shipping around the globe, and a robust collection of online resources, small business owners can continue to expect an amazingly powerful and affordable set of tools.
- Cart abandonment recovery tools to capture lost sales.
- Themes and plugins to make building your ecommerce website quick and easy.
- Mobile-friendly shopping cart.
- POS retail upgrade including barcode scanner, cash drawer, card reader, and receipt printer.
- Exceptional customer support.
With more than $13 billion in total sales processed from more than 120 countries, BigCommerce provides an incredibly attractive ecommerce platform for startups and small businesses. According to research by Ipsos, BigCommerce merchants also grow 28% year-over-year which is almost 2x the industry average.
Similar to Shopify, BigCommerce continues to add new features and functionality to make selling online easier for small businesses and startups. From a recent partnership with Visa to offer Visa Checkout to BigCommerce merchants which will enable more than 55,000 retailers to easily set up and accept Visa payments on their websites, a new integration that allows BigCommerce merchants to enable sales through Instagram, and tools such as their free catalog transfer apps that makes switching between ecommerce platforms easier, BigCommerce will continue to be an attractive option for businesses of all sizes.
- Fast ecommerce templates which is crucial for mobile shoppers.
- No transaction fees which means you get to keep more of your money.
- Product ratings and reviews functionality to give online shoppers social proof.
- Free Sitewide HTTPs and Dedicated SSL.
If you’re selling or thinking about selling online, don’t overlook the critical importance of the ecommerce platform you choose. Not only will it have a direct impact on your website visitors and their shopping experience, but also your backend operations—potentially saving you a considerable amount of time and money which is something that shouldn’t be overlooked.
As a disclaimer, I use affiliate links for some of the products listed. They are all products I absolutely love and trust and would recommend regardless of whether they have an affiliate program.