As a businessperson, choosing the right e-commerce platform can either increase your online sales or frustrate your marketing strategy. The world today is going digital, and to have a successful business, you have to go beyond physical store. Hence, the need for an online store. Before rushing into choosing an e-commerce platform, you need to think about website hosting, inventory, shipping management, taxes, and support. You may not have enough cash to pull this up because you are just starting or you are low on funds. But you can start by first thinking of a budget – all it will cost you to own, build and maintain your online store.
Getting familiar with an e-commerce platform is not such a big deal as there are both free and paid e-commerce platforms. You have the right to choose which one suits your budget perfectly. For paid e-commerce platforms as everything is been taken care of by the paid e-commerce platforms.
Think about how much sales you will make considering that everyone is online these days. Imagine the level of online coverage you will get. In this article, we will discuss various paid e-commerce platforms, their charges and how you can scale through with any of them.
PAID E-COMMERCE PLATFORMS
For beginners and those with little or no experience setting up an online store, these paid e-commerce platforms will offer you solutions to increase your sales because almost everything is sorted out for you. Also, you will not have to set up payment processors, deal with transactions or send out invoices.
This e-commerce platform allows you to accept major credit payments directly to your brank account with ease. Also, you can set up a Stripe account to accept more payment methods such as Apple Pay, PayPal, etc, which allows you to receive any form of currency from around the world.
Online store management and reports
You can set up pages for your product, manage your inventory, track any outstanding order, and update or manage your customer base from one central location. You can also use simple and drag-and-drop tool. In addition, you can get access to website analytics and additional sales and conversion metrics to track your store’s success. Among the reports, you can also find the best selling goods, current sales trends, and many more.
This e-commerce platform has 24/7 email-based customer support. It has a live chat support which is available only from Monday to Thursday. Apart from the live chat, you will be greeted by a chatbot, which responds to specific keywords from your written question. Although it can handle requests, but for more specific questions, you should get in touch with a support person. Every inquiries receives answers within an hour.
Quite affordable as it is available for both monthly and annual payments, but one comes cheaper with every plan. The yearly plans come with a free domain for one year. However, there is a transaction fee that applies to Business plan (3%).
Business plan: $18/month annually or $26/month monthly
- Free templates
- Unlimited contributors and products
- Website analytics
- 3% transaction fees
Basic Commerce: $26/month annually or $30/month monthly
- Everything in the Business plan
- No transaction fees
- Customer accounts
- On-domain checkout process
- Additional e-commerce analytics
Advanced Commerce: $40/month annually or $46/month monthly
- Everything in Basic Commerce plan
- Abandoned cart recovery
- Subscription selling
- Automatic shipping rate calculation
The downside of the cheapest plan is that it comes with 3% transaction fees, no customer account, checkout is redirected from your domain, and no abandoned shopping cart recovery. However, you can get started with Squarespace for free without adding a credit card to try invoices.
This is the most popular e-commerce platform with over one million stores, 2.1 million active users, and $155B+ worth of sold goods. It has an in-house payment processing platform and reasonable discounts on shipping rates. Also, you have the privilege to choose between 73 mobile-optimized themes from which 9 are free, and 64 are paid, starting from $140. There is no limit to the number of products you can add. However, you need a plugin app to process subscription services, something you can purchase from the Shopify App Store.
This e-commerce site gives you the option of using their in-house developed Shopify Payments platform. The beautiful thing is that it is integrated with most of the major gateways from credit cards to Google Pay, Apple Pay, etc.
Also, they have good security protocols and a default fraud analysis where you can track and manage all payments while in an integrated office.
Store management and reports
You can manage your inventory and orders, set up product pages that are very simple and easy. With their interface, you can drag-and-drop your products, including automatic image optimization. You can also purchase additional plugins from Shopify’s App store. Also, it has cooperation agreements with DHL Express, UPS, and USPS, which gives you additional discount on shipping costs. You can print shipping labels and send automatic tracking updates to your customers.
In addition, this platform allows you to integrate your website with Google analytics in order to get basic data about your store’s performance. However, the professional e-commerce report comes from the paid plan.
I has 24/7 customer support over email, live chat, and phone for paying store owners. Otherwise, you can find answers to your questions through forums or Help Center.
The plans start from $29/month and include all the main features, but the major difference is the transaction fee. You also get access to more detailed reports with the higher-tier plans.
The transaction fees for online credit card rates start from 2.9% + 30¢, and the additional charge for using any other payment provider begins at 2%.
Basic plan: $29/month
- 2 accounts
- Shipping discount up to 64%
- Online credit card fee 2.9% + 30¢ or 2% using other providers
Shopify plan: $79/month
- 5 accounts
- E-commerce reports
- Shipping discount up to 72%
- Online credit card fees 2.6% + 30¢ or 1% using other providers.
Advanced plan: $299/month
- 15 accounts
- Custom reports
- Third-party shipping rates calculations
- Shipping discount up to 74%
- Online credit card fee 2.4% + 30¢ or 0.5% using other providers
The downsides of the cheapest plans are the higher costs for transactions and the availability of useful reports. However, the plan costs and additional perks scale well with the size of your online store.
It also offers a 14-day free trial with no credit card information required so you can test out their platform rather easily.
Zyro is the newest and cheapest e-commerce platform. It is fresh with new ideas for a simple e-commerce site. Their plans are quite cheap, starting from $8.99/month (with a 3-year commitment). They have some exquisite AI integrations to help you build an online store.
In addition, you can choose between 11 free mobile-optimized storefront themes, which you can only modify in a handy grid setup with drag-and-drop functionality. You can add physical and digital products, but they don’t support subscription selling at this point. You’re also limited to 100 products with the cheapest plan, which upgrades to unlimited with the next tier.
The other main features are a live chat plugin that comes as a default, custom discount codes, and gift cards. The abandoned cart recovery feature and integrations with Facebook and Instagram are available with the higher-tier Plus plan. US customers can also benefit from a default integration with Amazon.
Building your online store with Zyro allows you to accept payments from the major credit card companies VISA, MasterCard, Discover, and AMEX. You can also add a variety of 3rd party payment applications such as PayPal, Stripe, and Square, to name a few. In total, you get access to over 70 supported payment gateways, which is quite impressive.
Online Store Management And Reports
Starting from the cheapest plan, you get access to a simplistic interface for all of your inventory, shipping, and tax management. You can set up your product pages with an intuitive drag and drop function, set shipping options, and create custom tax rules for your products.
Zyro easily integrates your site with Google Analytics to track basic website metrics and has a built-in remarketing application. You will also have a complete overview of order tracking and invoicing. Yet, in all that simplicity, when your online store grows, you might want to have more data and analytics options.
It has good customer support, which is always available 24/7 both over the email and via live chat. The live chat option only becomes available when you sign up.
Zyro is an e-commerce site with the cheapest online store. Its compatible plan starts from $8.99 month with a 3-year commitment. You can also choose an annual or monthly payment plan with higher prices. All plans comes with a free domain for the first year but credit card processor still applies to every plan.
E-commerce plan: starts at $8.99/month (renews to $19.99/month)
- 11 free themes
- 100 product limit
- Live chat plugin
- Discount codes and gift cards
E-commerce “+” plan: starts at $13.99/month (renews to $28.99/month)
- Everything in the e-commerce plan
- Unlimited products
- Abandoned cart recovery
- Multi-language store option
- Integration with Facebook, Instagram, and Amazon
The most significant limitation of the cheapest plan is the 100 product limit. We recommend you go with the higher-tier plan from the beginning as there is no huge price gap between the two. Although, Zyro does not offer a free trial option, but you can still cancel your subscription within 30 days for a full refund.
Volusion is an e-commerce platform and shopping cart software but it doesn’t provide website hosting. They also deliver a decent online store building and managing package for selling goods. Their prices start from $26/month with annual payments. However, if you’re just starting your online store, then you might want to look at some other options.
In addition, there are 11 free and 34 paid ($180) themes you can pick from for the base of your online shop. The templates are also mobile responsive, and you can tweak them further with CSS. You can set up your store for subscription selling by default. Unfortunately, there’s a limit on the added products with cheaper plans.
Also, Volusion has a built-in SEO tools and social media integrations, related products feature, customer accounts and reviews, discount codes, and gift cards. Abandoned cart reports start from the Professional plan ($71/mo billed quarterly).
Volusion offers a payment integration known as Volusion Payments. The transactions are PCI certified and secure with additional integrations with Amazon Pay, PayPal, and Stripe. The payment process is also done on-domain without any redirects. In the US, Volusion Payments offers a 2.15% transaction rate and low monthly fees for major credit cards.
Online store management and reports
Volusion’s platform has intuitive drag and drop tools for building your online store and managing it. You can also set custom shipping types and prices. But, the automatic shipping rates calculator becomes available only from the Business plan.
You’re only able to create advanced reports starting from the business package, which includes your standard analytics and in-depth online shop progress insights.
The base plan only includes 24/7 online chat support. However, you will be greeted first by a chatbot and a promise to get an answer within an hour. With the Professional plan, you get additional phone support, with the Business plan priority support, and with the Custom plan VIP support.
Volusion’s pricing structure is based on your past 12-month sales. Once you’ve exceeded the threshold turnover for the past year, they automatically upgrade you to the next plan. You can also study the thresholds for each plan below.
Volusion doesn’t charge additional fees on transactions, but the standard credit card fee still applies.
Personal plan for sales of $50k a year: $26/month quarterly or $29/month monthly
- 1 contributor account
- 100 products
- Social media integrations
- Online support
Professional plan for sales of $100k a year: $71/month quarterly or $79/month monthly
- 5 contributor accounts
- 5,000 products
- Abandoned cart reports
- Online and phone support
Business plan for sales of $500k a year: $269/month quarterly or $299/month monthly
- 15 contributor accounts
- Unlimited number of products
- Amazon & eBay integration
- Advanced reports
- 3rd party shipping rates and payment gateways
However, if you want to try Volusion out, you can do so for 14 days without giving your credit card information.
In summary, you are only a step away from building your online store via any of the e-commerce platforms listed above. Online stores are unarguably an added advantage to any business. In other words, go setup your online store now and begin your journey into a successful online business.