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What are e-commerce platforms and their types?

 

What are e-commerce platforms and their types?

When you start thinking about creating your online store, the first thing you should do is make a feasibility study for this project. Among the important points in this study are; To search for the most important e-commerce platforms.

What is e commerce platform


So the first question that will come to your mind at first is; What are e-commerce platforms? And what are its types? And which will I choose?

Here comes the role of this article that will definitely help you, providing you with all the information you need about e-commerce platforms, how they work, what they offer you in detail, and what are their types.

At the end of the article, you will also find a set of very important tips that will help you choose the best e-commerce platform that suits you according to your specific situation, and how to choose on a correct and practical basis.


What are e-commerce platforms and what do they offer you

E-commerce platforms are platforms that provide services for building electronic stores, providing and facilitating purchase and payment services in all available ways, and after that, an agreement with shipping companies until the product reaches the customer.

Setting up and running an online store is not an easy task and requires many processes, such as creating a website to accept and verify payments, then sending the order for shipment either through the physical store or through shipping companies, etc.

Software solutions offered by e-commerce platforms allow you to manage all these processes and take the hassle out of dealing with each aspect separately, so an e-commerce platform is a lifesaver if you decide to launch an online store from scratch or as an addition to a physical store.

E-commerce platforms have all the components you need to run and grow your online business without complicating your day-to-day operations, and using an e-commerce platform is cheaper than building software from scratch, and more convenient than using many plugins.

Elaborate e-commerce platforms make the buying process easier for your customers, prevent sudden system failures, have no technical issues, and help you troubleshoot problems as they arise.

So you can spend less time helping your customers with their shopping and focus on improving your sales process and increasing your revenue… All these features make e-commerce platforms worth your investment.


What do e-commerce platforms offer you?

In the following lines and in separate and clear points, I will explain to you the most important tools and features that can be provided by e-commerce platforms.


But you must understand something important; Which is that not all features are necessarily available on all platforms, as there are many types of e-commerce platforms and below each type there are many specialized companies, which differ among themselves in many aspects… Do not worry, we will explain that later in the article.


1. Tools for building the online store: where the e-commerce platform will provide you with tools that will allow you to build your online store so that it is ready on the Internet to receive your potential customers, and in most cases, you can easily build the store yourself.


2. The possibility of linking with payment and shipping companies easily: It is assumed that you will need to connect your online store with payment and shipping companies to carry out sales operations, and this is provided by e-commerce platforms easily, and sometimes with a click of a button.


3. The ability to enter product data easily: The e-commerce platform is supposed to provide you with an easy-to-use control panel that enables you to enter your product data.


4. Analytical and marketing tools: Many e-commerce platforms provide you with tools to analyze your store visits and track sales, and provide you with marketing tools that contribute to the marketing of your e-store and increase your sales.


5. Technical support service: This feature is only available in one type of e-commerce platform, as we will discuss shortly.


6. Hosting and Domain Name: Also, this is only available in one type of e-commerce platform.

These were the 6 main features offered by e-commerce platforms, but of course, there are other features and advantages, which you can take advantage of in case you need them and are available in the platform he specifically chooses.


Types of e-commerce platforms

There are many types of e-commerce platforms and they are subject to many classifications, but in order not to make the article long, and to make it more practical, we will address only two classifications, which we believe contribute greatly to the decision to choose the most suitable for you.

Note: You have to understand that there are a lot of e-commerce platforms that fall under more than one category, and there are a lot of options and alternatives, but in this part, we will try to simplify things and address only what interests you, without confusion or confusion.


First, the types of e-commerce platforms in terms of whether they are free or paid

1. Free Ecommerce Platforms

In this type, you will not incur any expenses to use the platform, but of course, in most cases, you will need to purchase web hosting and a domain name to run your store.

There are many platforms that fall under this category, on top of which comes the open-source WooCommerce, which works as a plugin (WordPress plugin) branching from WordPress, which in turn represents the most important type of CMS.

It is worth noting that most of the free e-commerce platforms are open source: (that is, it is software that many volunteers around the world contribute to the development of, and they provide it for free, and it is not owned by a particular institution, but it is available to everyone, whether to use or contribute to development).


Another free and open source template is the OpenCart platform.


2. Paid Ecommerce Platforms

They are company-owned platforms that you can use with a one-time payment or a monthly payment? (This is the most popular payment model.)

One of the most popular forms of paid e-commerce platforms is SaaS platforms, which provide you with everything in one place and this includes:


  • Domain name
  • Host your online store
  • Shop ready templates
  • Easy Control Panel
  • support service.

And a lot of other features and features.

It is worth noting that the best-paid e-commerce platform on the scene is the global Shopify platform, which we recommend to you for many of the things that will be discussed at the end of the article.


Second, the types of e-commerce platforms according to the size of your e-commerce

1. For small businesses or individuals

WooCommerce, which runs on WordPress, is the most used e-commerce platform for individuals and small businesses and may extend its use to medium companies in some cases. WooCommerce offers many solutions for companies in this category.


It only needs a specialized developer or designer to create a professional template or resort to professional ThemeForest templates, and then start creating the store and entering products and the rest of the elements from the payment and shipping methods, and it will not require much effort.


2. For medium companies

The programs of these platforms are led by Shopify and BigCommerce, as they have all the capabilities required to support medium companies and are based on SaaS.

SaaS e-commerce platforms are all-in-one e-commerce solutions that provide you with everything you need to build and manage your online store including hosting, easy store-building tools, and ready-to-use templates.

Above all, it provides marketing tools and services for the store, and provides a technical support service in case you encounter any problem… In short, if you rely on these platforms, you will only deal with one party to build and manage your store completely.


3. For large companies

magento ecommerce

Of course, Magento is the number one software for big companies, and it comes with Adobe Commerce plans. Yes Adobe, Magento was sold to Adobe after being under eBay rule for a long period of time. Magento will help you get started building the website of a major e-commerce company.

There is also another solution to building your store, which is to build the platform from the ground up from servers, software, resources, etc., and this needs a comprehensive study and of course a good amount of capital, in the event that you intend to build an online store that competes with Amazon, eBay, and Ali Express.

The relatively reasonable solution is a Magento-based platform with one of its effective plans, which will make you build a great company.


Conclusion

After we have figured out what types of e-commerce platforms are, if you intend to build an online store, and plan to have it for your small business or your physical store, you can resort to an open-source platform, such as WordPress, and use its plugin WooCommerce.


If your company is medium or you intend to operate a store with planning for its growth and development, you can resort to companies that use the software as a service SaaS, and for large and large companies, resorting to Magento is the best solution.


Important tips and points about e-commerce platforms and how to choose them

1. Don't think too much but make sure to start as soon as possible.

What is meant here is that you do not worry too much about e-commerce platforms and the best providers and take a lot of time and effort in this matter. The important thing here is to start as soon as possible to enter the world of e-commerce that is full of profits.

And always remember that everything related to technology can be changed or developed at any stage. Yes, you can start with one e-commerce platform and change to another in the future.


2. Best e-commerce platform we recommend to you in the winners

shopify ecommerce

In fact, if you want an easy solution to enter the world of e-commerce without going into any technical details and complications, we advise you to use one of the SaaS platforms, and if you want a specific platform, we will highly recommend the global Shopify platform.

Through this platform, you can literally in one day build your store yourself with ease, and equip it with everything you need to actually start e-commerce.

Also, the Shopify platform provides many tools and features that will shorten you a lot, in addition to the wonderful support service it provides.



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