With digital buyer penetration expecting to surpass 65% of internet users by 2021, the e-commerce industry is clearly the future. eCommerce is even likely to be the largest retail channel in the world within the next year years, with more than $4.8 trillion each year expected to be spent online by consumers in the year 2021.
To enter into the eCommerce market, first, you need reliable eCommerce hosting and next, you will have to decide is what type of eCommerce CMS platform you want to commit to. Picking the right e-Commerce CMS can be a difficult decision. Many of these platforms can offer you similar levels of basic functionality like the ability to display products in an online catalog, take customer’s payments, manage orders, and provide support. While others can often you more advanced features, so you should weigh your options and your needs carefully before selecting.
What to look for in eCommerce hosting?
You will find that you have two options when building your eCommerce site: hosted eCommerce and self-hosted eCommerce plans.
Hosted eCommerce is better for users who have limited technical skills or don’t have enough time to manage their eCommerce store. You simply sign up for an eCommerce hosting plan and then you can begin creating your store. The eCommerce hosting provider will take care of all the necessary coding and modifications.
On the other hand, self-hosted is better for someone who might want more flexibility in the customizations of their eCommerce server and software. Self-hosted eCommerce CMS will allow you to download, run, whatever you need.
The eCommerce hosting provider you choose should offer basic features like SSL certificates, be PCI Compliant, and have responsive customer support. A good eCommerce hosting plan also has an uptime guarantee that is as close to 100% as possible. A reliable eCommerce hosting plan also should offer you enough resources to load your site within two seconds. In addition, your eCommerce hosting provider should utilize caching, which can help improve the speed of your site.
Here are some of the best eCommerce CMS platforms.
Magento is one of the favorite eCommerce CMS for web developers. It requires a bit more technical skills than the other the eCommerce CMS’ on the list, but Magento also gives you more flexibility and control over the design, functionality, and content of your eCommerce store.
Magento is a flexible eCommerce CMS with many plug-ins and extensions you can add on to your store. It is also easily scalable, so this eCommerce CMS can grow with your store.
Magento has two options eCommerce hosting plans to pick between. The Magento community plan is free to download and use, so the only cost per month you will face is the eCommerce hosting plan you select. The Magento community version would be able to handle the traffic levels of small and medium business, but Magento users with extremely high levels of traffic that require more resources might want to consider paying for Magento’s services. Magento also offers a premium expensive, but this is much more expensive.
WooCommerce is one of the most popular eCommerce CMS platforms out there because it is so simple to get started. Install WordPress on your eCommerce hosting server, and then install the Woocommerce plugin. Then you can get your WooCommerce store up and running by selecting one of the many themes available for free.
WooCommerce is very easy to use after you can install it for free. This eCommerce CMS has great support available, with an active community of developers. Because WooCommerce is open source, there are plugins available that can help you do whatever you need to help optimize and customize your eCommerce store. Many of these plugins are free to use, but you might elect to upgrade to the paid versions.
While Woocommerce is free to use, you will have to purchase an eCommerce hosting plan to begin building your WooCommerce store. Luckily, there are many hosting providers that specialize in WooCommerce, with many affordable options.
For an eCommerce CMS that can help you build a store quickly, Open Cart is a strong option. Open Cart is free to use and has well-developed extensions. It has become a popular choice for eCommerce business owners who don’t have much technical experience. Because of the ease-of-use, it is not as customizable as other eCommerce CMS platforms on this list. Thanks to an active community, there are many resources you can turn to if you run into technical trouble.
Open Cart is also a great eCommerce CMS platform to use because it allows you to start a store quickly. Open Cart also offers strong features, with templates that help you create a professional looking store. However, this eCommerce CMS might require more add-ons to work as you want, so that the cost can add up. Open Cart doesn’t require many resources so you can take that into account when choosing an eCommerce hosting provider.
PrestaShop is a free to use eCommerce CMS platform that allows you to build a beautifully designed store. Even if you are a beginner with low technical skills, PrestaShop is easy to use. It has a clear interface that allows you to manage your inventory and maintenance of your store without any problems. PrestaShop is fairly lightweight, so you don’t need an overly powerful eCommerce hosting provider.
PrestaShop has some of the best themes out of all the eCommerce CMS platforms on this list. It offers 4,500 templates so that the eCommerce stores that run through PrestaShop look unique. Keep in mind that PrestaShop isn’t as scalable as other options, so if you need to change to a new eCommerce CMS later, it might be difficult down the the road.
WP eCommerce is another WordPress plugin, but it doesn’t get as much attention as WooCommerce. To get started, choose an eCommerce hosting plan, install WordPress on your eCommerce hosting service, and then download the WP eCommerce plugin. Once you have done this, you can add products, run promotions, create categories and more on your new eCommerce store.