What is the best platform to create my online store?

With over 267,000 stores worldwide, Magento is a leading platform in the e-commerce market. Its flexibility and ability to adapt to any type of business make it the perfect choice for those seeking a personalized shopping experience and superior performance.

Nowadays, an online store is essential for any business that wants to grow and stay competitive in the market. In this context, choosing the right eCommerce platform is crucial to ensure that your store runs smoothly and provides a satisfactory shopping experience for your customers. But with so many options available, how do you know which one is best for your business?

In this article, we'll address the importance of choosing the right eCommerce platform, and provide you with a comprehensive guide to understanding the differences between the main options on the market, including Magento, Shopify, Prestashop, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, and Wix.

Which platform will win your heart (and your business)? Let's get started!

5 eCommerce Platforms for Your Business

Due to the rise of eCommerce, several platforms have emerged that offer merchants the opportunity to sell their products and services online. In this scenario, it is key to know the platforms and evaluate their pros and cons to determine which one best suits your needs.

Each of these platforms offers the possibility of reaching a global audience and increasing sales, but on the other hand, they also present certain challenges in terms of customization and scalability.

Let's explore some of the most well-known platforms in the market as well as their advantages and limitations.

1- Magento

With over 267,000 stores worldwide, Magento is a leading platform in the e-commerce market. Its flexibility and ability to adapt to any type of business make it the perfect choice for those seeking a personalized shopping experience and superior performance.

With Magento, you can easily customize your online store to fit perfectly with your unique business needs and requirements. In addition, its easy integration with different applications and payment systems makes it a secure and reliable option for any online business.

Some of its advantages are:

  • Flexibility and scalability: Magento is prepared to evolve as your business grows and changes over time. The platform has a wide responsiveness to cope with the growth of your store's traffic and sales.
  • It has a free version: Magento Open Source is the free version and while it has some advantages, it has fewer functionalities and tools than the paid version.
  • Wide customization capacity: Magento offers you complete freedom of customization to create and modify all aspects of your store without limits.
  • SEO friendly: Magento has an optimized architecture for SEO, making it easier for search engines to find and rank your store.
  • Simple and intuitive administration panel: The simplicity and ease of use of the user interface allow you to make any changes to your store without the need for expert help.
  • Extensions that improve your store's functionality: Magento has a large extension market to add new functions to your store.
  • Security: Continuous security updates are a seal of guarantee for Magento. It also has protocols for compliance with PCI DSS requirements, so your customers' personal data will be safe at all times.
  • Active community: Another highlight of Magento is its active community of users willing to provide support and solutions to any problems that may arise.

Disadvantages of Magento:

  • Complexity: Magento is a complex platform that if you don't have a technical team or don't have advanced technical knowledge, you may need to hire support to configure and manage your store.
  • Cost: While Magento Open Source is free, Adobe Commerce involves the payment of a license fee. While the free version may be enough to develop an online store, Adobe Commerce becomes necessary to tackle more complex projects. When choosing, in addition to considering the cost, it is important to consider the value that each version can offer to your online store.
  • Hosting and support: Magento does not include web hosting, so you will need to invest money in specialized hosting and hiring a support service to keep the site active 24/7. We invite you to learn about our different support plans adapted to any budget and need. In addition, we can also advise you on the different web hosting plans available on AWS, one of the industry's leading providers.
  • Updates: Magento requires regular updates to ensure the store continues to function with maximum security and efficiency. In practice, this can be a very demanding task for merchants.

Don't miss the opportunity to take your online business to the next level with Magento! With its flexibility, scalability, and customization, this e-commerce platform is the perfect choice for any merchant looking for a reliable and effective solution for their online store.

Still have doubts? In one of our recent articles, we explain what types of businesses can benefit from Magento, so you can make an informed decision and find the best solution for your business. Join the market-leading e-commerce community!

2- Shopify

Shopify is a SaaS platform that allows you to create an online store quickly and easily. Some of its advantages are:

  • Ease of use: In Shopify, learning how to use the platform is very simple, so you can manage your store without any inconvenience and make the most of all its features.
  • Hosting included: Shopify has cloud hosting that supports a large amount of data at high speed, so you won't have to worry about the loading speed of your store.
  • No programming knowledge required: It is a very intuitive and easy-to-use platform, which allows users to create a store in a matter of minutes, without the need for programming knowledge.
  • Variety of templates: It has a wide variety of templates to customize the appearance of your online store.
  • Integrations: Shopify has a large Marketplace of applications (some free and others paid) so that users can add additional functionality to their online stores.
  • Security: Another positive aspect of Shopify is its level of security that protects your data and that of your customers from possible cyber attacks and fraud.

Disadvantages of Shopify:

  • Limited customization: Shopify can cause limitations in customization, especially for those who do not have programming knowledge.
  • It is a SaaS platform: This means that even if you pay to have your store on Shopify, it will not be completely yours. That is, the platform will control a large part of your site, from the code to its operation.
  • It is not Open Source: Open Source applications and programs are usually more secure because they have transparent code that anyone can audit, review, and identify vulnerabilities.
  • Expensive plans and commissions: Although Shopify offers a free 14-day trial, after that, users must pay for the plan they will use and commissions for each product they sell. This can be very expensive for your online store.
  • Scalability issues: Shopify is not one of the best platforms in terms of scalability. Although it may be a good option for small and medium-sized businesses at first, some businesses will grow too much for Shopify to continue to be optimal, so they will need to migrate to another platform.

In summary, Shopify can be an excellent option for small and medium-sized businesses due to its ease of creating, managing, and configuring your online store. However, for large stores with customization needs, Shopify may not be the best choice, and you should look for more flexible options.

3- Prestashop

Prestashop is a platform that allows you to build and manage an online store easily and with customization options. Some of its advantages include:

  • Ease of use: PrestaShop is a very intuitive and user-friendly platform, even for users without programming knowledge.
  • Wide range of functionalities: PrestaShop has a variety of tools to manage your online store easily.
  • Security: PrestaShop has different security measures in place to protect the data of businesses and customers.
  • SEO friendly: PrestaShop was designed to be search engine friendly.
  • Integrations: PrestaShop allows integration with other platforms like social media and marketing tools to facilitate product promotion for businesses. It also allows integration of third-party applications for users to install additional functionalities to their store.
  • Variety of modules: PrestaShop has different modules (some free and others paid) available to customize the appearance and functionality of the store.
  • Complete control: PrestaShop users have complete control over their online store and can customize the platform according to their needs.

Disadvantages of Prestashop:

  • Technical requirements: While Prestashop is easy to use, it may require some technical knowledge to configure and manage an online store.
  • Limitations on customization: Although PrestaShop has a wide variety of modules for users to modify the appearance and functionality of their store, they may encounter limitations in platform customization.
  • Cost: Like Magento, PrestaShop is free software but with minimal functionalities, while its premium alternative can be expensive. Although there are many free add-ons, professional and more advanced modules have a cost, which can require a significant investment.
  • Low scalability: It is not recommended for stores that handle large volumes of products. When PrestaShop exceeds 10,000 items, its performance is severely affected, in which case it is best to use an alternative like Magento.
  • Technical support: Technical support for PrestaShop is limited for those using the free version of the platform.

In conclusion, Prestashop guarantees a powerful eCommerce management with endless possibilities for expansion and customization. However, it has certain disadvantages that must be taken into account when deciding if it is the right solution to build our online business.

4- WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that allows users to easily turn their website into an online store. All you need is a WordPress website, install the WooCommerce plugin and you're ready to take your first steps in e-commerce.

Let's look at its advantages and disadvantages:

  • It's a free Open Source platform: This means that improvements can be proposed and made to its code. While the core software is free, you may have to pay for some features.
  • Ease of use: One of the strengths of WooCommerce is its ease of use without the need for technical knowledge. This feature makes it one of the most widely used CMSs today.
  • Customizability: It stands out for its wide customization possibilities. There are thousands of pre-designed themes or you can create a unique design for your store from scratch.
  • Flexibility: Flexibility is another great advantage of WooCommerce as it easily adapts to all types of online stores, regardless of market niche or products.
  • SEO friendly: WooCommerce is also characterized by its ease of positioning your content. In fact, there are different extensions that will help you improve your ranking in search engines.
  • Wide community: Like Magento, WooCommerce has a large community of users, developers, and contributors.
  • Functionalities: It offers a wide variety of functionalities, including inventory management, payment processing, shipping management, creating discounts, and much more.
  • Application integration: It allows the integration of third-party applications, meaning users can add additional functionalities to their online store.

Disadvantages of WooCommerce:

  • Technical requirements: If the user does not have programming knowledge, all the functionalities that they want to add to the store will have to be done through installed plugins implementation.
  • The more plugins, the worse: The installation of plugins and extensions can end up affecting the performance of your site.
  • Most plugins are paid: The most useful and highest quality plugins which are used to fix or add functionality are paid plugins.
  • Scalability issues: Although WooCommerce can handle an unlimited number of products, more than 3000 may be too much for the platform. Therefore, if your store usually handles large volumes of products, WooCommerce may not be the best option.
  • No official support: WooCommerce does not offer an official technical support service.
  • Does not include security or hosting: Users must take care of their site's hosting and security.
  • Designed to operate in the US market: WooCommerce was designed and created in the United States with a focus on its operating market. This makes adapting to the European and Latin American markets a bit more complicated.

Overall, WooCommerce is ideal for businesses that are just starting out as well as those with a high volume of sales. However, for businesses that handle large volumes of products, it may be convenient to look for a more robust and scalable solution.

5- BigCommerce

BigCommerce is a SaaS platform that offers a wide range of advanced features to manage your online store. Let's take a look at some of its advantages:

  • Ease of use: It's very easy to install, set up, and manage.
  • Plans adapted to every need: BigCommerce offers four types of plans to meet the different needs of users.
  • Customization: It has over 100 templates to configure the look of your store. All these templates are prepared for use on mobile devices.
  • No transaction fees: BigCommerce doesn't charge any commission per transaction, even if you use a third-party payment gateway.
  • Multichannel integration: Allows you to connect online and offline channels so you can manage your sales from a multichannel perspective.
  • SEO friendly: BigCommerce provides users with tools to optimize product pages, categories, descriptions, and much more.
  • Extensive functionality: It offers a wide range of functions for our online business, such as payment gateways, web analytics, languages, SEO tools, among others.
  • Technical support: The platform has continuous technical support by phone, chat, or email.

Disadvantages of BigCommerce:

  • Limited customization: If you want to customize your store, themes can be expensive, especially if you want something from the premium selection.
  • Technical requirements: BigCommerce requires a certain learning curve to use all its functions.
  • Small community: It doesn't have as large a community as other platforms.
  • Additional fees based on sales volume: There is a limit to the amount of annual online sales. If you exceed that limit, you'll be forced to pay for a more expensive plan. In addition, BigCommerce imposes additional fees for those who exceed the annual revenue plan with which they started.
  • Dependence on BigCommerce: As a SaaS platform, users depend on the platform and don't have complete control over their online store.
  • Security: Being a third-party platform, BigCommerce may be vulnerable to security attacks if the appropriate precautions are not taken to protect the store.

In summary, BigCommerce is one of the best platforms due to its interface, simplicity, and ease of operation. It generally works very well for almost any type of business that doesn't require an enterprise-level system. While BigCommerce's enterprise plan is not bad at all, there are better options on the market such as Magento or Shopify.

Ultimately, the final decision should be made based on what you plan to expand in the future.

6- Wix

Wix is a platform that offers a series of tools to quickly and easily create websites. Thanks to preset functions and the choice of templates, it is possible to build a site quickly and of high quality. Let's take a look at its advantages:

  • Ease of use: Wix has a simple and intuitive editor that allows users to create different parts of a website. Through the "drag and drop" function, users can edit everything they consider necessary without the need for a programmer.
  • Cloud hosting: Wix is a cloud service that users access through the browser on any device.
  • Templates: Wix has a large number of templates so that users can give their sites the look they want according to their needs.
  • Flexibility: Wix allows the creation of different types of websites, from a corporate website to an online store to sell products and services over the internet.
  • Incorporates hosting: Once registered, Wix users get storage space to host the website they are going to develop.
  • Freemium: Wix allows access to basic web development services for free, and users can upgrade to more advanced options with a paid service.

Disadvantages of Wix:

  • SEO limitations: Wix may have limitations in terms of SEO optimization, which can ultimately affect the visibility of sites in search results. Contents published on Wix are more difficult to index on Google than those hosted on other platforms.
  • Slow loading speed: Websites built on Wix may have a slower loading speed than websites and online stores created on other platforms. This can negatively affect the user experience.
  • Shared hosting: While the hosting provided by Wix is free, it is a shared hosting service, so server resources will be shared with other hosted sites. This means slower loading times and potential security breaches.
  • Cost: If your store needs additional functionality, installing each one can be very expensive.
  • Limited customization: After selecting and activating a template, you cannot change it without risking losing all the content on the site. On the other hand, if you want to change and modify the design to fit your needs, you cannot easily do so because you will depend on the templates they have.
  • Migration restrictions: Sites created on Wix have restrictions when it comes to migrating their content to other platforms. If you want to leave Wix, it will be difficult to export the data and information contained on your site. In any case, you will need to manually migrate each section of your website.

Overall, Wix is a simple and powerful platform, ideal for creating very simple websites. However, for more ambitious projects such as an online store, it is better to turn to other alternatives due to its disadvantages and limitations.

Conclusion

We have reviewed the main advantages and limitations of some of the most popular eCommerce platforms today. Now that you have a better understanding of what each platform can and cannot offer you, you are ready to take the next step and build your way to success.

Creating your online store can be a challenging task, but with the right platform, you can overcome any obstacle and grow your business without limitations. If you want to be the owner of your own store, get flexible functionality and scale your business, then you already have Magento in mind.

Do you want to stand out in the digital world and take your online presence to the next level? OH is here to help you achieve it. Speak to one of our experts for free and discover how we can boost your sales and grow your brand like never before!

Don't waste more time, start building the future of your business today!