The Indian eCommerce market is growing at a rapid pace. And with the new technology innovation, new opportunities are opening up for small business entrepreneurs. Nowadays, having a small online shop for your own products is possible with really a small capital investment. However, when choosing an eCommerce platform it might be a fairly confusing task – especially if you aren’t from a technical or eCommerce background. In this article, we intend to explore 10 best eCommerce platforms for the entrepreneurs.
Things To Consider In Getting eCommerce Platforms
- Ease of use
- E-commerce features offered
- Website hosting and design
- Customization options
- Payment processors
- Merchant tools
- Automation capabilities
- Back-end features
- Marketing tools
- Third-party integration
- Reporting and analytics
- Service limitations
- Customer support service
Managed e-commerce platforms vs. Content Management Systems (CMS)
Broadly, there are two different types of options available. Either you can use managed hosted eCommerce platforms or open source content management system. A hosted eCommerce platform is hosted on a server and you will not have to access it. On the other hand, CMS-based websites are self-hosted on server space and you will have to purchase it. However, Which option is perfect for you, it depends a lot on your specific needs as well as your own technical expertise.
Advantages Of Using Hosted eCommerce Platforms
Lower development and maintenance: You don’t have to have any coding expertise. It eliminates the need for a development team. Also, it attracts a lower server cost because you are using a shared hosting.
Better technical support: Most online store creators have a strong tech-support team to assist users with any issues that may arise.
Less complexity: The back-end for most of these platforms is user-friendly. The companies built the platforms for ease of use keeping in mind users with limited technical knowledge.
Advantages Of Using A CMS
Better Functionality: You can access the multitude of plugins, add-ons, and themes for content management systems. It allows you to add the advanced functionalities that would not be possible in the case of self-hosted platforms.
Better customizability: Content management systems allow the freedom of adding/modifying features as well as building a customized design unique to one’s brand. They also allow for constant improvements and enhancements to the user experience on the site.
Supports large stores: Content Management Systems, being self-hosted do not have a limit to the number of products or categories allowed, so they can handle much larger stores as well as sophisticated websites.
After using and reviewing lots of online store builders in the past few years, we put a list of the top 10 eCommerce platforms and shopping cart software that are the best fit for any needs. With hundreds of choices out there, people aiming to build eCommerce stores often find it difficult to pick and choose a platform that can best serve their requirements. So before starting your online shop take a look at the recommended list of eCommerce platforms in India.
5 Best CMS Ecommerce Platforms in India
Magento – eCommerce Platform
Nearly 21% of the world’s top 100,000 eCommerce sites built on the Magento platform. You can access a large number of plugins and extensions.
- Robust platform with a high level of functionality and customizability
- Large number of marketplace extensions available
- Furthermore, highly active community for assistance with tutorials and troubleshooting options
- Finally, more SEO-friendly as compared to most other platforms
- It requires sufficient server space to operate efficiently at high speeds. You can’t operate with a smaller server space
- It is really complex to handle for businesses that are too small.
WooCommerce – eCommerce Platform
WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin. You can build an eCommerce store on the WordPress platform. A large number of WordPress themes have the WooCommerce functionality built-in. The plugin provides a large number of features.
- WordPress requires very little time to get familiar
- Runs on WordPress – so does not have powerful servers requirements
- Good number of lower-priced add-ons and themes available
- Finally, you can access a huge WordPress support community
- It will not work for mid and large size businesses or for businesses looking to scale up soon
OsCommerce – eCommerce Platform
osCommerce is a fairly popular platform as well. In addition, it has a huge support base and a very active forum. However, some users find that updates to the platform have not kept up with the times.
- Easy installation and an easy-to-use interface
- Active forum with a large support base
- Large number of plugins and add-ons allowing the addition of most functionalities
- Some users find that the software updates and designs have not kept up with times and remain slightly outdated.
Drupal Commerce – eCommerce Platform
Drupal is the second most-used open source website content management system after WordPress. Its seamless integration with Drupal makes creating a blog or forum much more convenient than most other eCommerce content management systems.
- Seamless integration with the Drupal CMS framework. It gives it an edge over other platforms when it comes to blog integration and content marketing
- Allows for easy implementation of SEO strategy
- The support community/forum is not as large or active as Magento or osCommerce.
Opencart – eCommerce Platform
Opencart is an another open source CMS for eCommerce. It has one of the easiest to use backends. However, its support systems are not as comprehensive as compared to the other platforms listed.
- Easy to use back-end
- Feature rich with large number of plug-ins
- You can edit CSS from within the admin
- Some users report difficulty in installation of some themes
- Support documentation is not comprehensive enough
5 Best Hosted eCommerce Platforms In India
Shopify – eCommerce Platforms
- Large number of add-ons as well as beautiful and professional templates to choose from for a beautiful storefront
- 24/7 customer support – Can be reached by phone, online live chat or email.
- SEO Compliant
- May work out slightly more expensive as compared to other platforms
- The back-end UX is slightly complex to understand in the beginning
Pricing**: Starter – $14/month, Basic – $29/month, Professional- $79/month, Unlimited – $179/month.
BigCommerce – eCommerce Platforms
Bigcommerce is another popular platform, with 17% of the top 100,000 sites using hosted eCommerce solutions; and 70,000 plus sites overall, being built on Bigcommerce.
- A large knowledge base – The Bigcommerce university provides extensive help resources
- Easy-to-use interface
- Some users claim that customer support is a little unreliable at times
Pricing**: Silver – $29.95/month, Gold – $79.95/month, Platinum – $199.95/month
Volusion – eCommerce Platforms
Volusion also has nearly as big a share of the top 100,000 sites using hosted eCommerce solutions – nearly 17%*; with over 90% of its market share is in the United States
- Wide variety of features
- Personalized service from account specialists
- Easy to use interface
- Volution stores use a mobile site as against a responsive design
- Add-on store is not as large as Shopify or BigCommerce
- No Blog setup available
Pricing**: Mini – $15/month, Gold – $35/month, Platinum – $75/month, Pro – $135/month
Zepo – eCommerce Platforms
Mumbai-based Zepo supports more than 1200 eCommerce stores at the moment and has also raised an undisclosed amount of funding in December 2014 to drive its expansion plans.
- Local brand – local support as well as a better understanding and feel of local market
- An easy interface, especially for newbies
- Hosted on Rackspace servers – so you can expect a better speed as compared to most platforms.
- Limited Images per product on the lower priced plans
Pricing**: Basic – Rs. 949/month, Starter – Rs. 1899/month, Pro – Rs. 2849/month, Unlimited – Rs. 4749/month
Kartrocket – eCommerce Platforms
Delhi-based KartRocket has powered over 1900 stores via its platform and snapped up close to $2 million investment in January 2015 to fund its expansion as well as develop innovative and India-focused product solutions
- Good choice of storefront templates
- Usability – Clean backend interface
- Local brand – better understanding and feel of local market
- Comparatively new player in the market as compared to the others above
Pricing**: Studio – Free (5% Transaction fee), Starter – Rs. 1500/month, Pro – Rs. 3000/month, Unlimited – Rs. 7000/month