Introduction To The 3 Best eCommerce Platforms
Nowadays, all parts of our lives are heavily influenced by the internet. Every day, we spend hours on it for work, entertainment, communication, etc. the importance of the internet became even more evident for us with the COvid-19 pandemic. At the beginning of the pandemic, people were asked to stay at home as much as possible.
When we realized that there is no escape from this situation and we have to deal with it for months, or even years, the Internet became our saviour! Thanks to it, people could stay at home and do their job remotely. Also, they had the chance to get entertained through the amazing variety of websites. Moreover, social networking sites allowed people to communicate with their friends and family.
Accordingly, the economy of the world started to change very rapidly. This movement had started a few decades ago but got manifold after the pandemic. Buying and selling online became a trend everywhere. We didn’t need to go out to buy anything. Everything was accessible through the internet. Websites and social pages started advertising on the internet so they could become another source of revenue. Fortunately, people trusted them and let the economy pass this hard step.
e-commerce is one of the best advancements in the world of the internet. Its importance became clear to us more in the present situation than at any other time. As a result, e-commerce companies became more and more. The atmosphere is greatly competitive, and you have to be the best if you want to survive. eBay, Etsy, and Shopify are some of the biggest names in the market.
Do you want to know more about them? Are you interested in knowing their pros and cons? Don’t worry because, in this article, we are going to review them all for you. Before learning about them, let's just define what e-commerce means and then get deeper into the topic.
What Is e-Commerce?
So, we are going to start with the basics. What is e-commerce? eCommerce happens when someone decides to buy or sell goods or services via the internet. Also, e-commerce makes people able to complete the transaction on the internet as well. So, don’t get confused when somebody says e-commerce. Let's keep it broad!
How Many Types Of e-Commerce Are There?
There are four types of e-commerce on the internet. They include Business to Consumer (B2C), Business to Business (B2B), Direct to Consumer (D2C), Consumer to Consumer (C2C), and Consumer to Business (C2B). Let's have a look at them.
- The Business-to-Consumer (B2C) model is the most popular type of e-commerce, buying something from a retailer by a customer on the internet.
- The second model that is Business-to-Business (B2B) usually happens between big companies. The products include raw materials, software, whatever manufacturers need to make products, and what wholesalers can sell to the public.
- The next model, which is called Direct-to-Consumer (D2C), is a way to cut the time, energy, and money spent for retailers, distributors, and wholesalers. This method has become so popular as companies can easily and directly communicate with their customers on social networking websites and sell their products. At the same time, no retailer, distributor, or wholesaler is involved.
- Then, we have the Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C) model. You might have bought some products many years ago but don’t need them now. Or, you are low in cash and want to make money. You advertise your products online, and people who are ok with the fact that the product is a second-hand item come and buy it.
- The last model is called consumer to business. Yes! Consumers can sell their products to businesses! How? For example, photographers, consultants, and freelance writers can provide businesses with their products and services.
What Are The Benefits Of eCommerce?
There are many advantages associated with e-commerce. Let's review some of them:
Financial Benefits And Convenience
eCommerce is beneficial for everyone. For example, when you are running an online website, you don’t need to be worried about renting a luxurious store downtown or hiring people to run it for you. You will be able to keep your store open 24 hours a day! There are no limitations for time and place. People can buy anytime, anywhere.
Buyers will benefit from e-commerce too. eCommerce is the best way of shopping for buyers who don’t have time. They don’t need to drive to those big shopping malls, finding a parking lot, searching for the perfect product for hours, and finally buying something. Buyers can sit and relax on their couches and choose and buy what they want on their computers or smartphones.
Product And Price Comparison
You might be embarrassed to ask salespeople too many questions, right? When you decide to buy a product, you might want to compare the quality and price with similar products but don’t want to bother salespeople. You don’t have to do this when you are buying online. Many websites make the comparison for you to decide the best available option for you.
Your website will be considered as an advertising platform as well. You can create content related to your products and services and anticipate what information buyers might look for. With every purchase, you will double your chance of getting seen by others. Putting the logo of your brand, adding contact information, and social accounts are all possible.
Managing Your Business Easily
If you run an online business, you don’t have to limit yourself to work at specific times of the day or in a specific location. Your business is manageable with just a laptop and high-speed internet. This gives you the freedom to enjoy your life and travel more without shutting down your business. You can make all the purchases and related stuff via available internet services. Therefore, the quality of your life will grow rapidly.
Some Examples Of e-Commerce
Ecommerce isn't limited to any businesses! Everyone, including businessmen/women, freelancers, retailers, etc., can benefit from it. Here, we are going to give you some examples of e-commerce.
Retail happens when customers can buy their wanted products or services without any intermediate. Many e-commerce businesses are working in this field.
In drop-shipping, a seller doesn’t have the product. Instead, it asks the wholesaler or manufacture to provide when a buyer asks for the product online. In a way, the online website intermediates between the manufactures/wholesalers and buyers and get its share in the form of a commission every time somebody buys something.
Many people are not looking for physical products or services online. Instead, they want to buy digital products such as e-books, software. Media, tools, cloud-based products, etc. It is definitely a more technical market but can be easily done through e-commerce. You will pay for the product and receive it in less than a minute. It is safe and reliable.
This happens when a company sells its products in bulk to retailers, and customers will buy them. The whole circle can happen online through e-commerce. Finally, services, subscriptions, and crowdfunding are other ways of e-commerce on the internet.
Top e-Commerce Companies
OK! Let's make our article more interesting. Let me ask you a question! What do you need if you decide to start running an e-commerce business? The most important thing is a website, isn't it? What else? This is a place that you can show your products and services to people. So, your website must look professional. We need to create content for it.
These days, people will search for information before buying something. For example, when they want to buy a TV, they don’t like to go for it spontaneously. First, they will search by using specific keywords. So, you have to anticipate what people are looking for and create content accordingly.
Oh! And take this! When you get visitors to your website, you have to collect visitors' information as much as possible. Why? Because you can use their contact information to let them know of your new products and services. Finally, customers have to make sure they can make contact with you reliably and fast.
You have to create a platform to communicate with your customers effectively. Can you see! Ecommerce comes with too many requirements. It is not just opening a website and expecting to sell a product the day after.
Several big companies are specifically working in this field. They try to provide the above-mentioned services for you to have them all in one package. Website, SEO, advertising, email marketing are all taken care of by these big companies. What are they? In fact, three of the biggest companies include eBay, Etsy, and Shopify. And now, we will introduce them individually and explain what they can do for you and your businesses. Of course, they are the best of the best, but you can choose one according to your needs.
- It is an American multinational e-commerce company founded in 1995 by Pierre Omidyar.
- eBay is a platform that accommodates both consumer-to-consumer and business-to-consumer models.
- It is operating in more than 30 countries.
- Buyers can buy products and services on eBay without paying any money to eBay itself. However, although sellers can get some free listing, they have to pay a fee every time they create a list or sell something on eBay.
- The products offered by eBay are categorized into ten different classes, including fashion, house & garden, electronics, engine, sports & leisure, collect, business & industry, WOW! Deals, birthday gifts, and other gift ideas. This nice categorization makes it very easy for you to find your wanted items.
Pros And Cons Of eBay
There are both advantages and disadvantages associated with eBay. Let's review them both.
The Pros Of eBay
- Also, when somebody buys something from you, you will have the chance to let him/her know of your business. Then, they might revisit your business and even invite others to buy from you. This is how you can increase your visibility.
- Another good thing about eBay is that there are no limitations concerning the products and services. You can find everything on eBay. So, regardless of your niche and products, people will come and buy from you.
What About The Cons Of eBay?
- One of the drawbacks of eBay is that you don’t have much control in some areas of your business. For example, the return policy is dictated by eBay, not you. There are also other policies regarding returns, refunds, customer service, etc., which you cannot control.
- Additionally, as we mentioned earlier, although there are some free options for sellers, they have to pay and give a commission rate for selling on eBay.
- Finally, there is too much competition on eBay. Although it is trendy, it is very competitive as well. So, you have to be the best of the best to make sales.
The next giant is Etsy. Let's start with some basic information about it.
- Similar to eBay, Etsy is an American e-commerce website and was founded in 2005.
- It is not designed for all niches, products, or services.
- The categories on Etsy are totally different from other e-commerce websites.
- It is prevalent as it has more than 60 million items in its marketplace.
- There are amazingly more than 2 and 40 million sellers and buyers on it.
- Etsy's main focus is handmade and vintage items.
- There are three ways in which Etsy can make sales.
- The first one is receiving a fee of 5% of the final sale value.
- Also, Etsy members, whether buyers or sellers, have to pay for promoted listings and payment processing features.
- Finally, it gets money from purchasing shipping labels through the platform.
Pros And Cons Of Etsy
No e-commerce website is problem-free. Here, we will discuss all the good and bad things about Etsy.
Pros of Etsy
Let's begin with the pros.
- Here is the first one! Although Etsy's categories are limited compared with other e-commerce websites, it has nearly 100 million users.
- The categories include jewelry, bags, clothing, home décor, and furniture.
- Another good thing about Etsy is that it lets you analyze your business within an analytics tool. You must be able to know what products are more interested in people. If you know what products are being sold the most, you just need to focus on them and put your strategy.
- Etsy is one of the biggest online shopping platforms, with nearly 52 million buyers. So, it doesn’t matter how specific your niches could be. You can find your customers from those millions of buyers.
- We talked about it in another way earlier. In fact, you don’t need to work hard to get traffic. You know why? Because the traffic is already there. You need to search and find people interested in your niche.
Cons Of Etsy
So, what are the cons associated with Etsy?
- There are not very important cons about selling and buying on Etsy. However, the platform's first and most important shortage is that the market is limited to a few categories. You can only buy or sell handmade items, vintage goods, and craft supplies. So, if you are not interested in these items, you will have to search for other e-commerce platforms.
- Another con is that the market is getting saturated, making it even harder to compete with other companies on the internet. Of course, it is not something just specific for Etsy.
- It is a Canadian multinational e-commerce company founded in 2006.
- Services including payments, marketing, shipping, and customer engagement tools are all part of e-commerce.
- It is active in nearly 175 countries worldwide. So, you will definitely get the traffic your business deserves.
- It has been successful during recent years, with nearly 1,700,000 businesses investing in it.
- Their revenue reached nearly 3 billion dollars in 2020.
- All those online stores powered by Shopify greatly benefit from it. For starters, with Shopify, you will maintain a secure network and a vulnerability management program. Also, your store is constantly monitored and tested. The system will protect your cardholder data too.
- Additionally, strong access control measures will be implemented.
The Pros Of Shopify
- You don’t need to be worried if you are not comfortable working with computers. Everything has become super easy with Shopify. You will be able to manage everything with just a few clicks. Also, you will get extensive documentation on how to use it.
- There are 170 themes available on Shopify for creating your website. However, if you don’t like any of them, it is not a problem at all. You can create your own templates using the platform itself very rapidly. This is possible with the Liquid template engine.
- If you are a professional web designer, you will enjoy playing around with codes to make Shopify more appealing to your customers.
- It is working for both small as well as big online stores.
- With Shopify, you will be able to communicate with independent developers and experts. They can greatly help you with your problems with your online stores.
- It is very fruitful to add products, manage payment and shipping options.
- You don’t need to know any coding languages to be able to modify layouts. You will do it with just a few clicks.
- Many reports are saying that employees at Shopify are really supportive 24 hours a day.
- Several apps/providers are integrated with Shopify to make dropshipping possible.
The Cons Of Shopify
- You'll need to put aside as much as 26 dollars per month which could be expensive for many.
- If you don’t use Shopify payments, you will have to pay the fees.
- You should know that it is not a good idea to set up and manage several stores at once on Shopify.
- There are very interesting features available on Shopify. However, you have to go for more expensive plans for them.
What About Other eCommerce Platforms?
Well, the e-commerce market is one of the biggest and most competitive places in the world. Thanks to e-commerce popularity and huge availability, more and more websites are joining in. There are many big names in the market, including Bigcommerce, WooCommerce, and Wix.com. Every one of them comes with its own pros and cons.
- For example, BigCommerce is very similar to Shopify but much better for SEO purposes. It might be a bit cheaper as it doesn’t charge any transaction fees.
- Or, WooCommerce might be a better option for those not intimidated by computer technologies like FTP, MySQL, and plugin updates. With WooCommerce, you must be able to install them on your WordPress site.
- What about Wix.com? First of all, it is much better for smaller businesses. Having a great appearance and blogging are better are associated with Wix.com. Interestingly, Wix.com is a more recognizable platform for people who like to sell digital products like videos, tutorials, content, etc.
if you want your business to survive in the online market, the first thing to do is entering the e-commerce world. This is where people can easily buy and sell products faster, more comfortably, and more safely. eCommerce platforms have significantly helped us expand and advertise our businesses and get away from all those traditional limitations associated with businesses.
With e-commerce, there is no limitation to time, place, niche, etc. Many websites are providing such services to people. They basically create an atmosphere where buyers and sellers can communicate in different ways and benefit from a fair deal.
Here, in this article, we talked about some of the most famous and popular e-commerce companies. We introduced them and highlighted their pros and cons. Please stay tuned. We will get back to you with more content soon. Take care.
Your Opinion Is Important To Me
I would love to hear from you. Please leave me your questions, experiences, remarks, and/or suggestions about the best eCommerce platforms in the comments section below. You can also reach me by email at Jeannette@WorkFromAnywhereInTheWorld.com.
You might also enjoy the following blog posts: