Top 5 Ecommerce Platforms for Established Businesses ConnectPOS Content Creator June 4, 2024

Top 5 Ecommerce Platforms for Established Businesses

Ecommerce Platform

As an established business, selecting the right eCommerce platform is crucial for maintaining growth and staying competitive in a dynamic market. With numerous options available, it’s essential to choose a platform that offers robust features, scalability, and seamless integration with existing systems. 

In this article, we will explore the top 5 eCommerce platforms that cater specifically to the needs of established businesses, helping you make an informed decision for your enterprise.

What is an Ecommerce Platform?

In 2024, retail e-commerce sales are estimated to exceed 6.3 trillion U.S. dollars worldwide, and this figure is expected to reach new heights in the coming years. An ecommerce platform is a software solution designed to facilitate the creation and operation of online stores, making it crucial for businesses aiming to tap into this booming market. 

It includes tools for building and managing websites, as well as functionalities for tasks such as marketing, inventory management, and payment processing. The best platforms empower merchants to design custom websites and efficiently manage their businesses as they scale and adapt to changing market conditions, positioning them to capitalize on the rapid growth of the eCommerce sector.

Types of Ecommerce Platforms for Online Businesses

There are two main types of ecommerce platforms:

Hosted (cloud)

A hosted ecommerce platform provides users with a comprehensive suite of services, including web hosting, shopping cart functionality, and technical support. Typically subscription-based, these platforms offer ease of management, with hosting and support provided by the platform provider. Users are responsible for tasks like product management and store customization, while other aspects are handled by the platform.

Self-hosted

A self-hosted platform is managed by the individual or business, rather than third-party providers. Businesses pursuing a self-hosted solution establish and manage their own server environment, incurring costs associated with server setup and maintenance. 

Self-hosted platforms offer extreme flexibility and customization, often provided as software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings. While users handle design, maintenance, and data storage, the platform provider offers cloud-based storage and support, making it accessible even to less tech-savvy users.

Top 5 Leading Ecommerce Platforms for Established Businesses

Shopify POS

Shopify POS is the premier ecommerce platform renowned for its versatility and ease of use. Its self-hosted software enables seamless selling across multiple channels, from your online store to social media platforms. 

With Shopify, merchants gain access to a comprehensive back office, empowering them to optimize their online presence and expand their reach effortlessly. Notable features include the industry-leading checkout experience, Shopify POS for in-person sales, and a vast array of customizable themes. 

Pricing starts at $29 per month when paid annually, with integrated sales channels including Facebook, Instagram, Google, Walmart Marketplace, eBay, and Amazon. Shopify also offers a suite of mobile tools to manage your online business on the go.

BigCommerce POS

BigCommerce POS caters to enterprise-level businesses seeking robust ecommerce solutions. Similar to Shopify, it offers web hosting, customization options, and tools for international selling and SEO. However, some users find it less intuitive and flexible compared to other platforms. 

Notable features include fully hosted solutions and management tools tailored for larger businesses. Plans start at $29 per month when paid annually, with integrated sales channels including Google Shopping, Facebook, eBay, Amazon, Walmart, Etsy, and Instagram. The mobile app offers analytics, order updates, inventory management, and customer search functionalities, albeit with limited availability on Android.

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Adobe Commerce

Adobe Commerce is a non-hosted ecommerce platform designed primarily for developers, offering unparalleled flexibility for brands seeking bespoke website setups. However, users may require in-house developers to maintain and optimize their sites effectively. While Adobe Commerce excels in custom store designs, it lacks out-of-the-box tools for implementing a seamless multichannel strategy, such as social commerce or marketplace selling capabilities. 

Character.com, a kids’ apparel business, struggled with the complexity of Adobe Commerce before transitioning to Shopify, where it experienced a 40% increase in conversions. Despite its strengths in customizability, Adobe Commerce does not include hosting, requires technical knowledge, and may not be suitable for businesses seeking ready-to-use solutions. 

Pricing is available on a custom basis, with limited integrated sales channels (only Amazon) and no mobile app features. Point-of-sale functionality is available through third-party extensions.

WooCommerce POS

WooCommerce POS is a unique ecommerce solution that operates as a free, open-source plug-in for the WordPress blogging platform. It seamlessly transforms content-driven WordPress websites into fully functional online stores, complete with product listings, shopping cart, and checkout capabilities. 

While WooCommerce offers a basic framework for online selling, users can enhance their ecommerce websites with additional paid extensions, covering aspects such as customizable themes, shipping, and security. With over 6,000 integrations available, WooCommerce boasts a vibrant expert community to support users. However, its reliance on WordPress limits its compatibility to WordPress websites only, and being self-hosted means merchants must manage multiple costs and plug-ins. 

Pricing starts with the free basic plug-in, with additional features and website hosting incurring extra costs. Integrated sales channels include Google Shopping, Etsy, eBay, Facebook, Amazon, Pinterest, and Walmart, though integrations can be disjointed. WooCommerce offers mobile app features for product management, order handling, and analytics, and also provides a native POS option for in-person sales.

Squarespace

Squarespace, much like Wix, is a user-friendly drag-and-drop website builder that offers ecommerce capabilities through higher-priced plans. Once upgraded, users can seamlessly transform their websites into online stores with checkout functionality accepting payments via Stripe, PayPal, Apple Pay, and Afterpay. Additionally, Squarespace provides inventory tracking and management features, including the ability to print shipping labels and sell subscription products. 

For Squarespace users hesitant to upgrade to the commerce plan, the option to add a Shopify Buy Button for $5 per month is available, allowing for unlimited product sales through Shopify’s secure checkout with numerous payment gateways. 

While Squarespace offers professionally designed templates and does not charge transaction fees, it may not be as ecommerce-focused as other platforms, with limited support for multichannel sales and constraints in overriding theme CSS and HTML. 

Pricing for the basic Commerce plan starts at $27 per month when paid annually, with integrated sales channels, including the Shopping Feed extension for selling unlimited products on Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and Google Actions. Mobile app features encompass website editing, shipping label scanning, order and inventory management, as well as customer communication, with point-of-sale capabilities accessible via the mobile app.

Essential Features Checklist When Selecting An Ecommerce Platform

If you’ve recently launched a business and are navigating the terrain of choosing the right ecommerce platform, there are several key considerations to ponder. The optimal ecommerce solution for your venture may diverge from what suits another merchant—your unique business needs and aspirations must take precedence.

When assessing your options, it’s crucial to dedicate time to scrutinize these pivotal features:

• Secure and dependable checkout processes alongside versatile payment gateways

• Integration for both online and offline selling capabilities

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• Reliable hosting environment ensuring seamless performance

• Efficient inventory management and streamlined shipping solutions

• Tools for marketing endeavors and fostering customer growth

• Comprehensive security measures safeguarding transactions and data

• Business and financial management functionalities tailored to your requirements

• Responsive support channels for timely assistance

Safe, reliable checkout and payment gateways

The checkout phase stands as a cornerstone of your ecommerce venture. It’s imperative to provide a secure and efficient payment process, prioritizing speed and convenience for your customers. 

For example, Shop Pay boasts an impressive fourfold increase in checkout speed, enhancing the overall shopping experience. Additionally, platforms like Shopify offer seamless integrations with over 100 payment gateways, catering to diverse payment preferences worldwide.

Moreover, establishing trust at this juncture is paramount. By accommodating familiar payment methods such as mobile wallets and PayPal, you not only enhance customer comfort but also streamline their checkout journey, fostering a positive transaction experience.

Online and offline selling options

A robust ecommerce platform should seamlessly amalgamate your online and offline sales channels. This entails having a physical point-of-sale (POS) system that synchronizes with your online store. Consider the availability of various POS devices—are they proprietary or third-party options? Moreover, evaluate the platform’s suitability for handling transactions at events, market stalls, or via mobile devices.

Hosting environment

The choice of your domain host significantly impacts the cost, performance, and security of your ecommerce website. Opting for a reliable hosting provider ensures uninterrupted website accessibility, swift loading times, and protection against cyber threats. While some platforms, like Shopify, provide hosting, self-hosting offers increased control and customization albeit with heightened risks of security and technical challenges.

Inventory management and shipping

For serious sellers, opting for an ecommerce platform that facilitates stock tracking, supplier management, and automated reordering processes is imperative. Seek a platform offering robust shipping options, including integration with courier services, diverse shipping choices for customers, and streamlined returns handling.

Marketing and customer growth tools

Essential SEO tools, email marketing integration, social media integration, and customer review functionalities aid in crafting a comprehensive marketing strategy. Regardless of your niche, investing in promoting your online store and brand-building is indispensable. Look for advanced features such as loyalty programs, personalized recommendations, and customer segmentation capabilities.

Security features

Security remains paramount in the realm of ecommerce. Your chosen platform should furnish robust security features to safeguard your business and customers’ data. This encompasses SSL certificates, two-factor authentication, and compliance with PCI DSS standards for secure payment processing.

Business and financial management features

A proficient ecommerce platform should offer features facilitating business and financial management. This includes sales reporting and analytics, tax calculation, and seamless integration with accounting software.

Support

Lastly, the level of customer support provided by the platform warrants consideration. Opt for platforms offering round-the-clock support through various channels, including phone support, email, and live chat. Additionally, self-help resources such as tutorials and knowledge-base articles prove invaluable for swift issue resolution.

Considering These Business Needs To Choose A Suitable  Ecommerce Platform

Understanding Your Costs

Before delving into the selection process, it’s crucial to have a clear grasp of your budgetary constraints. Assess the costs associated with various ecommerce platforms, including setup fees, monthly subscriptions, transaction fees, and any additional expenses such as customization or integrations. 

By understanding your financial parameters upfront, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your budgetary requirements.

Finding a Good Fit for Your Business Model

Every business operates differently, and your chosen ecommerce platform should complement your unique business model. Consider factors such as the type of products you sell, your target audience, and your preferred sales channels. For instance, if you specialize in digital goods, you’ll need a platform that supports instant downloads and digital product delivery. 

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Similarly, if you plan to expand internationally, opt for a platform with robust multi-currency and multi-language support. By selecting a platform that aligns with your business model, you can streamline operations and maximize efficiency.

Considering Your Future Business Plans

While it’s essential to address your current business needs, it’s equally important to consider your future growth trajectory. Evaluate whether the chosen ecommerce platform can scale alongside your business as it expands. Look for features such as scalability, flexibility, and customization options that can accommodate future growth and evolving business requirements. 

Additionally, consider the platform’s ecosystem of apps, plugins, and integrations, as these can enhance functionality and adaptability as your business evolves. By planning for the future, you can avoid outgrowing your ecommerce platform prematurely and minimize the need for disruptive migrations down the line.

Integrating ConnectPOS with Trusted Ecommerce Platforms to Optimize Sales

Integrating ConnectPOS with leading ecommerce platforms like Shopify, Magento, and BigCommerce can significantly enhance your sales operations. 

This versatile point-of-sale (POS) system offers seamless integration, ensuring that inventory, customer data, and sales processes are synchronized between your online and physical stores. The result is a unified omnichannel experience that prevents overselling and keeps stock levels accurate with real-time synchronization. 

ConnectPOS’s user-friendly interface simplifies operations, enabling staff to learn quickly and improve customer service, while its advanced features support multi-store management, multi-currency transactions, and custom pricing rules—ideal for businesses aiming to expand globally.

The system not only offers flexible payment options, catering to various customer preferences with support for cash, cards, and mobile payments, but it also operates in offline mode to ensure continuous sales even during internet downtimes, syncing data once connectivity is restored. 

Additionally, ConnectPOS provides robust reporting tools that allow tailored analytics to track performance and trends, aiding in strategic decision-making. With strong customer support, including comprehensive documentation and responsive service, ConnectPOS equips businesses with a reliable and integrated solution, enhancing operational efficiency and customer satisfaction across both online and offline channels.

FAQs About Ecommerce Platforms for Established Businesses

  1. What are the key features to look for in an ecommerce platform for established businesses?

Established businesses require advanced features to support their operations. Key features include robust inventory management, seamless order processing, customizable storefronts, CRM integration, multi-channel selling options, analytics and reporting tools, and secure payment gateways. Flexibility for future expansion and meeting unique business requirements is also essential.

  1. How important is scalability in an ecommerce platform, and how can it affect my business growth?

Scalability is crucial for accommodating growth and handling fluctuations in traffic and demand. Without scalability, businesses may face performance issues, downtime, and limitations in expanding their operations. A scalable platform ensures seamless growth by adapting to increasing traffic, transactions, and product listings without compromising performance.

  1. What are the differences between hosted (SaaS) and self-hosted ecommerce platforms?

Hosted platforms, like Shopify or BigCommerce, are managed by third-party providers and offer convenience, security, and scalability without requiring technical expertise. 

Self-hosted platforms, such as WooCommerce or Magento, provide greater customization and control but require more maintenance and technical proficiency. Hosted solutions often come with subscription fees, while self-hosted platforms may involve hosting and development costs.

  1. How do ecommerce platforms handle high traffic volumes and ensure website performance during peak times?

Ecommerce platforms employ various strategies to manage high traffic volumes and maintain website performance. These include scalable cloud infrastructure, content delivery networks (CDNs) for faster page load times, caching mechanisms, load balancing, and proactive monitoring. Optimizing website code, images, and assets also contributes to improved performance and user experience, ensuring smooth operations during peak times.

Conclusion

Choosing the right eCommerce platform is a pivotal decision for established businesses aiming to sustain growth and enhance their online presence. Each of the top five platforms we’ve discussed offers unique strengths and capabilities, catering to different business needs and goals. 

By carefully evaluating these options, you can find the perfect solution that aligns with your operational requirements and supports your long-term success in the competitive eCommerce landscape. If you want to see how ConnectPOS can be integrated with these platforms and empower your business, please contact us.

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