Startups and small businesses have specific needs when it comes to building an e-commerce platform for their online sales. One of these is price. Startups and small businesses are often operating on tight budgets and therefore need affordable options.
NPD’s analysis found many free and low-cost e-commerce platforms for startups and small businesses in 2018. These include OSCommerce, an open source platform that people can use for free. Even big names like Shopify have low-cost options. Shopify’s lite version offers fewer features but also lower cost.
Another consideration for businesses as they build an online shop is SEO. The best e-commerce platforms for SEO are Shopify, WooCommerce and others. WooCommerce integrates with WordPress, which already has built-in SEO tools that can help guide those who are not as knowledgeable in SEO.
Startups who are more ambitious can use things like LemonStand. LemonStand is great for web developers with lots of coding knowledge. The e-commerce platform is fully customizable as long as you have coding and programming experience in things like CSS. Those without that knowledge may find the platform challenging, however.
At the end of the day, every business will have to do some research to find the e-commerce platform that is right for them, balancing SEO, pricing, ease and features. NPD’s guide lays out the features and pros and cons of more than a dozen platforms in order to help business owners come to a decision. More research may be required by business owners with very specific needs. Still, the work is worth it. E-commerce is a booming field where a lot of business is being done these days. Businesses who cannot adapt to online shops will find that they fall behind their competitors and lose customers to those who do offer online shopping options.
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