Category Archives: Ecommerce

Shopify-vs-woocommerce

Shopify vs Woocommerce – The battle of eCommerce platforms

Starting and choosing a platform for an online store has always been a difficult task. There are plenty of eCommerce platforms available for setting up all kinds of online stores. Some provide high-end solutions while some provide limited services. Some platforms cater to small businesses while some are the best choices for large-scale businesses. However, it all depends on overall business demands and the need to deliver value to end customers.

When you think of setting up an online store, Shopify and Woocommerce emerge as two of the top choices. These are the most Popular eCommerce platforms, which are suitable for all kinds of online businesses.

Shopify

Shopify is a self-hosted eCommerce solution. It provides an end-to-end solution with features includes site hosting, installing content management system (CMS), payment gateways and setting up online stores.

Minimal technical knowledge is required for using this service. It is the best solution for building your online store from scratch. It also includes an inbuilt blogging facility and boasts of several pricing plans, varied features, add-ons, and apps. Shopify also offers a portable credit card reader for taking customer payments offline.

Whether you are just starting out or have a full-blown online business – you will find a suitable Shopify plan that will take care of your online store.

Shopify

WooCommerce:

WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin. All you need for creating an online store using WooCommerce is a WordPress website.

You need a WordPress website for which you have to pay a hosting fee, install the WooCommerce plugin and then set up the store. If you already have an existing WordPress website, it is easier to set up WooCommerce.

Woocommerce dashboard

Image Source

Comparison: Shopify vs Woocommerce:

Let us compare these two leading platforms on the basis of their features, pricing, customers, and services in depth.

Shopify vs Woocommerce

Which One is Easier to Use?

Shopify is easy to install and use. It quickly enables merchants to add products and manage data efficiently. With a single sign up, the store is all set up in minutes.

On the other hand, WooCommerce requires a longer process of installation. It requires integration with WordPress themes and plugins.

However, once the process is over, both platforms offer a similar level of ease of use.

Why Choose Shopify?

  1. If you want a quick setup and installation.
  2. If you do not want to do much hard work and do not mind investing more for hassle-free setup as well as features.
  3. If you want a highly optimized solution.
  4. If you want your store to be accessible to all devices and customers.
  5. If you are not interested in the technical setup and details.
  6. If you want a reliable and 24/7 online support at your service.

Why Choose WooCommerce?

  1. If you have a minimal budget to start with
  2. If you are willing to do everything on your own
  3. If you have much time to invest in setting things up and handle tasks
  4. If you want to be in full control of your online store.
  5. If you want to access a variety of site designs and themes.
  6. If you are ready to use and search thousands of plugins to extend the functionality of your store.

What Do These Platforms Offer on a Unique Basis?

Shopify offers amazing options and benefits. This helps the merchants to make more profits. It also gives a great shopping experience to the customers. Also, Shopify does provide many free options along with unlimited benefits.

Some are:

  1. Automatic fraud analysis
  2. Unlimited products
  3. Unlimited file storage
  4. Manual order creation
  5. Social media integration
  6. Blog module
  7. Free SSL certificate

WooCommerce adds a lot of interesting and exciting features to the WordPress plugins. Here is a list of features that helps you sell your products and make maximum sales. Some of them are:

  1. Adjustable shipping rates and taxes
  2. A plethora of products and product categories
  3. Stock levels control
  4. Mobile-friendly structure
  5. Payments via PayPal
  6. Works with WordPress themes

Design Themes:

Shopify

Shopify offers both free and paid themes. While Shopify offers a variety of themes, some are not as feature rich as those of the third-party themes.

The paid themes range from $100 to $180.

However, if you need more customizations and features, choose Envato Market for an impressive selection of popular Shopify themes at affordable prices.

Envato Market includes features such as complete customization control, social sharing, newsletter integration, zoom-in capabilities and quick-view options for products, and much more. Also, you can opt for multi-purpose themes.

[Example of 20+ Great Shopify Templates]

WooCommerce

WooThemes offers customized and free WooCommerce themes. The paid themes range from $60 to $300. You can also integrate it with any WordPress theme. This is a benefit of WooCommerce. Thus, theme selection is certainly rich.

[Example of 20+ Great WooCommerce Templates]

SEO

Shopify

Shopify includes a packaged system for e-commerce sites and hence does include basic SEO-friendly features. But for getting the sites to rank up high on Google, it does not allow enough flexibility to push for effective content marketing strategy or advanced SERPs.

  • Shopify automatically generates XML sitemaps for stores
  • It provides Meta Tags to avoid any sort of duplicity, important for SEO-friendly portals
  • One is not free to change the structure or apply on-page SEO to Shopify stores easily
  • Limited options for building readership and content marketing

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is an e-commerce extension for WordPress, which is the number one blogging platform in the world. Its inherent advanced SEO-friendly features and highly customizable feature set allows users to boost SEO success more than ever!

  • WooCommerce is more customizable for sites that require changes
  • Since it is developed like a blogging platform, it is extremely SEO-friendly.
  • One can edit the base URL structures, permalinks, etc. that aid in the SEO of the site
  • It includes a quick and easy application of SEO-related elements including slugs, titles, meta descriptions, headings, image tags etc.
  • One can leverage free and premium plugins to boost SEO results for the site too
  • Since it is self-hosted, the technical skills required for installation and configuration could be a bit of a hassle but it does help in improving page load speed and thus lead to better SEO rankings

Customer Support

Shopify

Shopify is renowned for its high-quality customer care.

It offers a 24/7 access to every customer. They address every query via email, calls and open chat. Also, you can get an access to an extensive knowledge base. This covers all the FAQs.

WooCommerce

On the other hand, WooCommerce lacks a good customer support. Customers can get support from the WordPress forum. Also, you can create a free user account at WooCommerce.com. They provide the best solution to all your queries and problems.

Performance

Shopify

  • Shopify is a highly flexible platform but is restrictive when it comes to complete overhaul of the website structure
  • The site page loads could be affected due to different factors, which are not in the hands of administrators
  • Small e-commerce vendors can get up and running with the options provided to them and even manage their catalog faster than other e-commerce platforms.

WooCommerce

  • If one is technically sharp, one can retain full control of the store and even boost performance considerably.
  • With complete access to website files, source code, and data, store-owners can get their sites to perform better than ever.
  • One can even build WooCommerce-based stores on the computer with offline mode and then get it live, when satisfied with its robustness and security.
  • The platform’s flexibility can enable better performing e-commerce websites than Shopify.

Pricing

How Much Does Shopify Cost?

Shopify has various plans – Basic, Shopify, Shopify advanced, Shopify Plus. The pricings are clear and vary as per the plans.

  1. Basic – This plan is applicable to the stores with an annual turnover under $10k. Price: $29
  2. Shopify – This plan is applicable to the stores with small sales. Mostly the stores with an annual turnover between $10k and $50k. Price: $79
  3. Advanced Shopify – This plan is applicable to the stores with growing sales. Mostly those stores with an annual turnover between $50k and $250k. Price: $299

Shopify Plus & Gold – This plan is applicable to the stores doing large scale businesses. Mostly those stores with an annual turnover above $250k. Starts at $2000 per month. [Read more about Shopify Gold]

Click Here to View Detail Pricing Plan with Features

How Much Does WooCommerce Cost?

WooCommerce on the other side offers the platform for FREE.

But as shared earlier, you need to buy a Hosting Service, where you can install WooCommerce. The hosting service can cost you around $5 – $100 per month.

Apart from hosting services, you will pay additional for the domain ($8 – $15 Annually) and SSL Certificate ($50 – $200 Annually)

The Pricing Perspective:

At first glance, WooCommerce appears to be a cheaper alternative and it’s surely better-priced option compared to Shopify if one is ready to maintain and set up the complete website by yourself.

BUT if you are NOT technically savvy, and have no idea about hosting plans, SSL, etc., you will end up outsourcing WooCommerce development to experienced eCommerce Development Agency who might charge hourly rates for the installation, setup, and management of the store. In this scenario, WooCommerce may end up costing you more than Shopify!

Limitations:

Limitations in Shopify

  • Some themes and plugins are costly
  • Restrictive in implementing wide-scale changes
  • Lack of flexibility in appearance and content management
  • Limitations in WooCommerce
  • Tougher and more time-consuming to install and set up stores
  • Needs good technical skills to solve problems
  • Lack of high-class customer support compared to Shopify

Limitations in WooCommerce

Tougher and more time-consuming to install and set up stores
Needs good technical skills to solve problems
Lack of high-class customer support compared to Shopify

Existing Customers

Shopify powers the most popular brands that are making millions. Here is a list of some of the biggest brands using Shopify.

  1. Red bull
  2. The New York Stock Exchange
  3. Budweiser
  4. Tesla Motors
  5. Penguin Books
  6. The Economists

 Here is a list of some of the most notable big brands using WooCommerce on their sites.

  1. All Blacks
  2. Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
  3. Orange Amplification
  4. Weber
  5. Singer
  6. Ghostbed
  7. CitySightSeeing Dubai
  8. Airstream

This is surely a never-ending debate. It strictly depends on your demands and the investments. Both these platforms offer everything you need to set up an online store and in return provide good turnovers.

However, I believe that if you invest a little in one of the Shopify plans, Shopify will take care of the rest. Also, within no time you can experience good returns.

11 Reasons to Choose Shopify for your E-commerce Store

With multiple platforms available for e-commerce site development, it becomes tricky to choose the ideal one for your needs. If one needs to initiate an online store and choose the best platform, it is essential that it ticks the right boxes. In that case, we feel that Shopify fits the bill of being one of the best effective e-commerce platforms today.

reason to choose shopify

Top 11 Reasons to Choose Shopify as your Ecommerce Platform:

1. Easy to Setup

Shopify is focused on keeping tools simple and effective while offering wide functionality for merchants required for eCommerce store management. Its ease of use is what convinces merchants who are not tech geeks to opt for the platform since it includes necessary tools and documentation for easy store setup by anyone.

2. Reasonable Price

Shopify is priced for the long term which is useful for every growing storefront. All Shopify costs are spread out for every month and priced nearly $29. A transaction fee is levied for small stores but it is waived off as it becomes bigger. The pricing is systematic in its structure such that there is never a huge one-time investment and no contracts, and one can invest in inventory instead.

3. Simple Backend System

Shopify also has a simple backend system, which is incredibly easy, for a store owner since one can put in the time to sort backend in locating things, with diverse product additions, and customer service.The entire settings, analytics fields and setup checklists are synchronized to the tee.

4. Good Professional Support

Shopify supports techies, designers and developers with incentives. The platform encourages specialists to work with Shopify platform and makes it accessible to the public at large with the custom design. Unlike other open-source shopping carts that often rely on community, Shopify now has a dedicated team for support.

5. Loads of built-in Apps

Whether you need a blog, some coupon codes, upsells, analytics, inventory setup – Shopify has a full array of apps in one place. Additionally, the developers build applications that can customize your Shopify store. One can get the desired functionality with all types of inbuilt and custom applications.

6. Reliable Hosted Solution

Shopify hosting is part of the monthly subscription and includes automated backups and updates. Also, the stores cope well even when there are huge web traffic spikes and deliver minimal downtime too.

7. Friendly Cash flow Structure

As mentioned above, Shopify charges a transaction fee on smallest stores which are waived off when the store becomes big. The cash flow structure goes from month to month with no upfront investment too.

8. Point of Sale Integration

For online retailers, who also have a physical shop location, Shopify provides an efficient point-of-sale system that syncs with the online store. The small online retailer that might not be able to afford a full-service solution can take benefit from this feature. The inventory can be handled seamlessly on both mediums, which relieves one of the biggest hassles.

9. Complete Design Control

Most hosted eCommerce platforms offer the ability for store owners to edit their template designs but also set constraints of a template. Shopify, on the other hand, has a theme templating engine that gives enough flexibility for all sorts of interface improvements. Shopify’s templating engine offers designers and developers a plethora of options over hosted eCommerce platforms.

10. Free Security Option

Shopify provides secure hosting features including an SSL certificate and a secured shopping cart for online transactions. Merchants can use any payment gateway, although it offers Stripe as the preferred payment gateway. Stripe provides flexible tools for e-commerce and Shopify makes it easy for all merchants with stringent security options.

11. Easy SEO

An SEO Shopify expert can help manage transitions between e-commerce sites to keep the existing robust rankings. Shopify has an SEO-friendly setup that leverages each of the product categories and helps in its promotions.

Shopify has all the ideal e-commerce features that you would need. It is a nearly perfect e-commerce platform that aids all small business stores along with the large marketplaces.

Shopify Gold vs Magento Enterprise: The Ultimate Comparison

First and foremost, every eCommerce platform allows for a strong shopping experience with virtual storefronts that attract, entice and enable consumers to buy products or services as they desire.

Online merchants host their websites and even manage their offerings, prices, promotions etc. But when higher volumes are considered, the e-commerce strategy does depend on the solidity of the platform.

shopify gold vs magento 2

Every eCommerce platform aspires to deliver a strong shopping experience with the help of virtual stores that enable consumers to buy products as they desire.

Online merchants host their websites and even manage their offerings, prices, promotions etc. But when higher volumes are considered, the e-commerce strategy does depend on the solidity of the platform.

Shopify Gold and Magento Enterprise are two of the best eCommerce platforms in the present scenario. And to help to choose the best, a representative from a veteran e-commerce solutions provider can help you out!

With 8+ years of eCommerce business, Zestard Technologies Pvt. Ltd includes a team of certified Shopify Specialists and Magento Developers, who have also garnered repute in the field.  The company has deployed 200+ successful online stores that boast of an impressive ROI. Although we are platform agnostic, we partner with clients to choose an ideal one based on their requirements.

Shopify Gold

Shopify recently released Shopify Gold for Indian merchants in July 2017 and has a simple navigation. It provides fully supported service, although it holds a bit less market share than Magento the growth has been stupendous and faster compared to any e-commerce platform.

Magento Enterprise

Magento Enterprise offers integrated cloud hosting and impeccable infrastructure, featuring pre-integrated tools, good management to handle traffic spikes and boost operational efficiency.

Shopify Gold vs Magento Enterprise

There are some differences and similarities with specific advantages and disadvantages to both platforms. Our research and comparison criteria are done objectively to choose the ideal one for your business.

1. Scalability & Reliability

Shopify Gold features 200 TB Storage, along with Unlimited Bandwidth, 8000+ Orders/ Min. processing time, and 99.99% Server Uptime.

shopify features

Shopify Gold offers a fully hosted SaaS solution perfect to handle high-volume merchants for business. The infrastructure rests on 500,000 Shopify merchants, ensuring all sorts of flash sales, Black Friday audience etc. is handled efficiently.

Magento on the hand relies on Content Delivery Network (CDN) and DDoS protection. It also offers generous bandwidth allowances and even offers New Relic APM Pro for thorough Performance Monitoring and Blackfire.io Enterprise for the purpose of Performance Testing without any restrictions.

Magento 2.0 is scalable but priced accordingly for on-premise deployments that require solution architects to accommodate highest peaks in traffic, even though for a single day every year. But every change to the system impacts the scalability of the architecture.

2. 24*7 Support

Shopify Gold gives access to launch manager along with a dedicated account manager who can guide you with immediate assistance.

Magento also provides 24×7 monitoring of your system and renders email support for application and cloud infrastructure. The support is inclusive in the USD $3399/ month plan only.

3. Cost Effective

Shopify Gold has priced at 0.4% of monthly sales or a fixed price amount of Rs. 65000/ month, whichever is the higher amount, to a maximum levied a charge of Rs.130,000/ month covering all licensing & support costs involved.

Magento Commerce Starter licenses start from $1999/ month or about Rs. 130000 while Magento Commerce Pro is priced at nearly Rs. 2,20,935 per month. Shopify hence is priced at nearly half the price of Magento making it a very cost-effective platform.

4. Easy to Start Platform

Shopify Gold allows users to deploy their store within weeks and without much technical knowledge. Shopify’s templating language is quite intuitive and hence does not require development experience. It also allows for private app development and even quick and easy cart scripting for complex customizations.

Magento, on the other hand, is accessible and can be deployed by technical users only since the system can be deployed by someone who knows programming. Implementation times for Magento 2 usually takes up 4 to 8 months and also require technical resources including, developers, deployment specialists, QA and testing professionals, etc.

5. Better Reporting

Shopify Gold has a strong reporting dashboard for adding different elements including revenue, orders etc.

Magento uses third-party tools for reporting purposes.  Shopify Gold is the stronger option of the two as they have dedicated app for merchants for the purpose of reporting and order processing along with a robust SDK for mobile applications. But in terms of reporting, both platforms have third-party apps that attend to the need of custom reports. As mentioned earlier, Magento 2 needs comprehensive technical knowledge too.

6. Marketing Friendliness

Most marketers do not have a technical background so if the platform needs to be leveraged for creating product descriptions, and even to edit website copy, one needs a platform that is easy to use for the average marketer.

Shopify Gold definitely offers a marketer-friendly option, better than Magento EE, giving access to key functions from the admin panel, and create conversion pixels for tracking of relevant social media campaigns, discount code generator, and other extensions.

Magento EE has no default functionalities and features need to be created, causing the marketer to rely on developers to get their work sorted. Shopify Gold though as per research is still the easiest platform for the marketing team.

7. Performance

Shopify-hosted websites have faster loading speed than Magento. According to selfstartr.com, Shopify boasts a 1.98 seconds loading time while Magento sites take an average of 5.05 secs to load.

In terms of Google page loading times, Shopify achieves a rating of 63 while Magento achieves 51. In terms of mobile friendliness, Shopify scores again with 94 points to Magento’s score of 81. Needless to say, Shopify outscores Magento on performance.

8. POS Integration

Shopify Gold has powerful POS integration capabilities and is seamless enough to sell on multiple platforms including social channels and sites, mobile avenues, and other marketplaces. Magento, on the other hand, has decent capabilities for POS integration but Shopify outscores the platform by a large margin.

Additionally, Shopify boasts of PCI Level 1 Compliance security along with better SEO capabilities than Magento making it one of the most useful e-commerce platforms. One can preferably opt for Shopify because it is one ideal e-commerce platform that is cost-effective, has scores of apps that can be deployed by non-techies and even features easy customizations that can be used for specific businesses.

Top 9 Shopify Apps for Social Media Marketing

Social media is playing a huge role in marketing activities along with SEO, branding strategies, and online lead conversion.

Each of the social media channels is crucial in marketing products on e-commerce sites like Shopify. A seamless social media strategy will go a long way in diverse marketing approaches and sales channel support.

Shopify has a huge number of apps, which assist in social media marketing and saves time and effort in the process in many ways.

We have curated the Top 9 Best Social Media Apps for Shopify:

social media shopify apps

1. Outfy
Pricing: 2.5 cents/ share

Outfy presents a fantastic way to boost the social reach of products, drive traffic & overall sales. The app helps product promotion 10+ social networks under a single canopy. One can schedule the posts for every day, month and year. It is a powerful, robust, and effective tool to automate social media marketing for your Shopify-based store.

2. Social Sharing Buttons 

Pricing: Free

Social Sharing Buttons developed by Zotabox connects multiple social accounts including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and many other sites. The Shopify app comes in multiple styles, sizes, and colours. These mobile-friendly buttons are part free and part premium. Social buttons, contact forms, popup, Facebook Live Chat, Promo Bar and Slide Box features are a free while after a 14-day free trial; the premium buttons include easy popup pro, email capture bar, countdown timer bar, testimonials, easy banner and store locator.

3. Shoppable Instagram Galleries
Pricing: Free

Shoppable Instagram allows shoppers to make purchases through Add to Cart option directly from Instagram. One can even embed shoppable Instagram galleries on different sites and includes multiple Instagram options for Shopify-based sites. Every small store owner would love its simplicity and ease of use along with enterprise-level attributes.

One can create galleries with hashtag and curate images with tags through the dashboard. Your best performing Instagram images derive best user attention with a Homepage carousel, Product gallery, tags, layouts and user-generated content too.

4. Auto Post by Posting.ly
Pricing: $9.00

Posting.ly posts Products on Social media channels on a regular basis for the products that you want to share on social media and even schedule it accordingly. The app also works with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even LinkedIn. The app imports products with the relevant pictures and descriptions. Just create definite “Posting Rules” to specify the actions of the app to post products on your social media channels and accounts. It also automatically detects new products on the Shopify Store.

5. Facebook Product Feed
Pricing: Free

The Facebook Product Feed automatically syncs your e-store with the Catalog and even generates Facebook ads for the products. The app works with the new Shopify Facebook Pixel Setting too, through Facebook Business Manager.

One can just sync the Shopify Store with the Facebook Product Catalog using a systematic, dynamic feed to populate products. One can promote multiple products on Facebook, on all the devices too. Also one can use a unique creative for each product without the need to configure each and every ad. Set up campaigns and reach people with the ads regardless the original touchpoint. Apply Google product categories and populate about 1000 products at a time in a single feed. The app also offers unlimited product promotions with feed pagination and auto-image resizing for the product images.

6. Twitter Feed
Pricing: Free

Twitter Feed displays all widgets individually or together with each other. The app provides custom design options including colours, backgrounds etc. to match with the store. This is a tool that helps in interaction with customers with promotional tweets for products, offers, etc. Adding a relevant Twitter Feed is beneficial to your business since it provides a clear channel of communication with users. The social channel includes the option to like, tweet, re-tweet, reply, etc.  The Twitter feed app is used to notify customers, direct traffic to the website and even used to garner feedback.

7. Facebook Store – Easy Social Shop
Pricing: Free

Facebook Store is one easy social shop that extends reach customers on social networks. The app helps organizations to drive sales through Facebook. One can let shoppers share products and their details on diverse social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

The app allows Shopify users to convert their online store into a Facebook store and one can get selling their products on Facebook within 3 clicks. The store products will be updated on the Facebook store and one can customize as one wants it to be.

8. AddThis Sharing Tool
Pricing: Free

AddThis Sharing Tool is one efficient app that enables visitors to become marketers through their preferred social networks. One can measure activity on each of the sites in real time through the app and even aids in driving traffic and engagement to the storefront. One can share content to 300+ social network and bookmarking sites and is quite popular in among 12 million domains worldwide. The app also measures user engagement along with actions on social channels with an effective real-time analytics dashboard.

9. Instagram Feed
Pricing: $4.99/ month

Instagram Feed app showcases Instagram photos on the store and includes the auto-update system feature too. The app can show latest photos from your account on a real-time basis. The app helps Shopify users to connect to their audience with the store making Instagram shoppable. There is a slideshow gallery for the account, new templates, and is extremely customizable too.

Magento 2.2 – All you need to know about it!

Magento 2.2

 

While many online businesses are looking to Migrate from Magento 1 to 2, platform developers are already updating the version with new functionalities.

The new version iteration focuses on B2B development as mentioned in the company webinar held in June.

Magento developers are excited about the launch of version 2.2 to leverage the technology better for clients in more brand new ways than ever. Here are some improvements introduced in the latest version:

For Businesses

  • Account management – B2B merchants can now support client accounts with diverse buyers in different organizations with efficient self-service tools
  • Quote engine – Allows for negotiations as customers can now convert a cart to quote instead of orders. Merchants can then ascertain prices with comments.
  • Credit purchases – Companies can now choose payment on credit while merchants can adjust credits and edit those options on a constant basis.
  • Custom catalogs with prices. Merchants can now control products and their categories and price lists even sending in different price lists for different companies
  • Revamped API for ERP integrations – Web APIs are now available that expand on the feature set for company accounts, users, credit limits & transactions. The APIs are also available for quotes and requisition lists. The bulk Tier Price API can now update several product prices quickly.

For Developers

  • Performance Toolkit – New changes related to profiles update, quicker generation, B2B entity support have pushed performance levels upward.
  • Minimized core around plugins – Call parameters are added to plugins with minimized core around them, making it easier to debug with minimal clicks.
  • Enhanced Deployment flow – The function will allow export configurations in different environments and upgrades will happen in seconds.

For Security

Removal of Unserialize() calls – unserialize() calls are now removed from all except for performance code for reducing vulnerability issues.

Upgraded hashing algorithm – Hashing algorithm was upgraded to upgrade security for the most sensitive values.

Other major upgrades include the addition of extended reports with an advanced reporting module, so that data can now be stored in graphs with the required metrics. The changes also provide the opportunity to identify and eliminate roguish orders with 100% protection on chargebacks.

There are a number of index improvements while customers can even browse the store shop while the indexing process is on. Magento will also drop support for the latest PHP versions 5.6 and PHP 7.1 along with MySQL 5.7 and Redis 3.2. Magento also highlights and improves deployment process with its latest update.

Magento with the 2.2 version, is now becoming a better and more comfortable tool for transforming online businesses for the best. Magento concentration on the B2B approach is bound to usher in bigger opportunities to clients.

Best eCommerce Platforms for 2018

best-ecommerce-platforms-2018

You finally want to migrate to an online store instead of a physical store.  But taking the leap into the online world of eCommerce is tricky, as you need to figure out an efficient e-commerce platform that could work for your online store.

With a variety of e-commerce platforms in the market, it is evident that there is no one-size-fits-all eCommerce solution. Each platform boasts of some pros and cons, depending on the feature set and functionality that you are looking for in your website.

We reached out to 25 eCommerce Experts and learned their three best eCommerce Platforms:

Best eCommerce Platforms as voted by 25 eCommerce Experts –

Best eCommerce Platform

25 Experts share their thoughts on top eCommerce Platforms trending in 2018

1. Andrew Youderian : [Website | Twitter]

The top three carts I would recommend for independent merchants would be Shopify, WooCommerce and Magento – in that order.

  1. Shopify is my overall favorite as they’re a hosted solution that eliminates technical headaches while providing you a very robust, customizable cart.
  2. WooCommerce is ideal if you want to host your own cart and want a lightweight solution.
  3. And if you need a fully customizable solution (and don’t mind some server and IT overhead) Magento is worth considering”.

2. Richard Lazazzera : [Website | Twitter]

The three platforms I’d recommend are Shopify, BigCommerce and WooCommerce.

  1. For the majority of businesses, I think Shopify has really proven themselves and are leading the pack in terms of innovation, features and the future of ecommerce in general.
  2. BigCommerce is a great platform as well overall with similar features and functionality to Shopify.
  3. WooCommerce for WordPress provides you nearly unlimited customizability.

3. Nicole Reyhle : [Website | Twitter]

  • I’ve always believed that variety is a good thing, and this is particularly true when looking for the right e-commerce platform.
  • There are many to choose from and each have their pros and cons based on your unique business – which is one may be right for one business while another may be better for a different business. Among my favorites include Big Commerce, Woo Commerce and Shopify.com

4. Anuj Dalal : [Website | Twitter]

Selecting an eCommerce Platform is a tough task since there are multiple eCommerce platforms available in the market that are good enough in their own right.
Each of these platforms has their own benefits and features that one should consider before choosing the best fit as per their requirement.

  1. Shopify : Since the last couple of months, Shopify has become the number #1 preferred Hosted eCommerce Solution owing to its host of its features & Community Support.
    The reason I like Shopify is that you as a store owner don’t need to have any technical Knowledge to keep your site running smoothly – which is a Big Convenience of Store Owners – since you do not need to get in touch with Shopify Developers to make any small or big changes. (Saves time and money both).
  2. Magento : Magento has been proven to be the best Open Source eCommerce Platform since the last couple of years. If you are looking to build something Big and highly Customised eCommerce Store – Magento Platform can be an excellent choice.
    Magento Community Edition is completely free software. However, it will require web development knowledge or Skilled Magento Developers to create the Online Store. Magento is a great fit for store owners who are planning to create medium to large eCommerce sites with some customized/specialized features and having a good budget for development & maintenance.
  3. WooCommerce : WordPress, the most popular open source Content Management System (CMS) allows users to make online shopping cart website using the highly popular WooCommerce plugin.
    It offers the ease of Shopify to manage store admin and also allow us to customise the source code like Magento to achieve desired features on the store. If you are looking for small to medium size e-commerce store solution, you should take WooCommerce Shopping Cart into consideration.
    But in my humble opinion, the above three transcend all other e-commerce cart solutions in more ways than one.

5. John Jantsch : [Website | Twitter]

  1. Infusionsoft is a robust automation system that not only includes e-commerce, but email management, automated marketing, sales, and other features as well.
  2. Shopify is easy to set up and offers numerous features to help you grow your business.
  3. WooCommerce is one of the most customizable platforms for growing your online business.

6. Jamie Turner : [Website | Twitter]

There are a lot of good e-commerce solutions available today — many more than in years past.

  • For me, I look for a combination of features and ease of use. Both those traits allow me to work quickly, without getting bogged down.
  • With all that in mind, my favorites are Shopify, Magento and Six, all of which provide varying degrees of flexibility and ease of use.”

7. Brian Jackson : [Website | Twitter]

If I had to recommend to someone the top 3 platforms for eCommerce you should try, I would say WordPress, Shopify, and LemonStand (in that order).

  1. WordPress is currently used by 28% of the entire web. It is completely free to use and the ability to instantly implement eCommerce solutions such as WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads make it a quick win.
    According to BuiltWith, WooCommerce in fact already powers over 41% of all online stores! The customizations within the WordPress platform are almost unlimited, as their repository has over 50,000 plugins which can help extend your website.
  2. Shopify would be my 2nd recommend as they do one thing and do it well, which is provide eCommerce solutions to business owners. And they have a long history of doing so. They make it quick and easy to launch your store.
  3. My last recommendation would be LemonStand, which most of you probably haven’t heard of. This is definitely the newest one out there, but if you are just diving into the eCommerce space, this platform makes it about as easy as can be.
    If you want something that will help you sell products, create a blog, loads fast, and keeps both digital and physical products in mind, you might want to check it out.

8. Steve Wiideman : [Website | Twitter]

Finding an E-Commerce solution that satisfies flexibility in design, friendly user experience and maximizing search engine optimization focal points has been a real challenge for brands we’ve worked with.

  • Over the years, we have tapered our list down to one solution that always crushes it with SEO, UX, and elasticity: Cirkuit Commerce. Visit Bobswatches.com to see a website that started from scratch in 2010 and now earns upwards of $20 million per year.
    The solution offers everything from product feeds for Google Merchant, automatic 301 redirecting, to customizable XML options for efficient indexing by web crawlers.
  • If we had to choose two other solutions, they would be Shopify, which is improving many of the SEO limitations it originally came bundled with, and Magento, which will feel like an extension nightmare by the time you’re done setting everything up.
    The really helpful SEO extensions for Magento require recurring fees, so you’re locking yourself into continuity forever if you go this path. Plan on SEO affecting your ROI, when historically the cost was just labor time.
  • Avoid home-grown solutions, which can become vulnerable to security hacks, and could leave you having to rebuild if your developer(s) decide to go elsewhere. Cirkuit Commerce is really the way the go if you want an E-Commerce solution that’s perfect out of the box.

9. Dennis Wagner : [Website | Twitter]

  • There are certainly many E commerce platforms available for business owners to choose from in 2017. The single most important step in choosing the correct E commerce platform is to take as much time as you need to do your research on which platform fits your wants, needs and desires best.
  • Based on price, ease of use, performance and features here are three E commerce platforms that are the total package, #1 Shopify #2 BigCommerce, and last, but certainly not least is #3 Volusion. Keep in mind that every business is different. Do your research and Happy Selling!

10. Craig Campbell : [Website | Twitter]

There are many E-Commerce platforms to choose from, but being an SEO expert I have my own reasons for picking the following three.

  1. WordPress/Woocommerce For small business owners who don’t have thousands of products this is a great platform to work with. Not only is WordPress one of the most SEO friendly platforms on the market, it’s also very easy and simple to use if you are not a designer.
    It’s simple and easy to use and can integrate with most common payment gateways, with a clean easy to use interface you can add your products, prices, get reviews and anything else that you would expect to see on an E-commerce website. This platform is one I use daily for small E-commerce websites.
  2. Magento I would tend to go for Magento for a bigger E-Commerce website, again this platform is very SEO friendly, but you are likely to require a developer for this platform to get the site the way you want it. But it’s a much more stable platform for a big online shop and again there are so many add-ons you can get for Magento that this will do anything any other platform does.
    Again it’s a nice simple to use interface with many online tutorials to help you add your products and get selling online. Just ensure you have a decent server to host this site on as it does use up a lot of memory.
  3. Shopify is my third choice a great off the shelf platform with FREE templates where you can get your online shop up and running in no time. Very simple and easy to use, even for those with no real design or website experience.
    Shopify is for those beginners who don’t have a huge budget and want something up and running fairly quickly.
    You can integrate with most common payment gateways and its very simple and easy to add your products, and there is no real limit to how many you can add, so Shopify can be used for small or large online shops.
    There are a wealth of others to choose from and it really comes down to your own budget and requirements.

11. Panos Ladas : [Website | Twitter]

I am a great friend of easy solutions, things that just work. That’s why I really like Shopify, WooCommerce and Magento.

  • Shopify is huge right now, it is the easiest way for someone to sell anything online. And it is inexpensive. And I believe that a platform that works almost immediately is one of the greatest benefits that a business might have, given that speed and agility are critical when it comes to online and eCommerce business.
  • On the other hand, WooCommerce and Magento allow for great customization and flexibility, they are robust platforms, well tested all over the world. These are amazing solutions as long that obviously come with a cost, both financial and in time to the market.

12. William Harris : [Website | Twitter]

  1. Shopify
  2. BigCommerce
  3. Woocommerce

13. Hassan Bawab : [Website | Twitter]

  1. Oracle Commerce Cloud
  2. Magento Enterprise
  3. Demandware Cloud

14. Kenny G : [Twitter]

  1. Woocommerce
  2. Magento
  3. BigCommerce

15. Tina Roth : [Website | Twitter]

  1. Shopify
  2. Shopify
  3. Shopify

16. Gabriella Sannino : [Website | Twitter]

  1. Shopify
  2. Magento
  3. YoKart
  4. Woocommerce

17. Craig Patterson : [Website | Twitter]

  1. Shopify for e-commerce sites.
  2. Lightspeed for POS and ecommerce support.

18. David sandusky : [Website | Twitter]

  • We use Shopify and think it is the best ecommerce platform.

19. Denisse : [Website | Twitter]

  • PrestaShop

20. Lori Wagoner : [Twitter]

  1. Shopify
  2. BigCommerce
  3. Volusion
  4. PrestaShop

21. Dolores Vela : [Website | Twitter]

  1. PrestaShop
  2. Magento
  3. Shopify
  4. Woocommerce

22. David J. Neff : [Website | Twitter]

  1. BigCommerce
  2. Episerver
  3. Magento

23. Jeremiah Cathey : [Website | Twitter]

  1. Shopify
  2. Magento
  3. BigCommerce
  4. Enterprises suites

24. Abel Premnath : [Website | Twitter]

  1. Sellmojo
  2. Nwebkart
  3. Martjack

25. Chuck Rouse : [Website | Twitter]

  • I would say it depends on the product and the longevity of the shop. If you want to trial a product use a service.
  • If you are thinking long term there is no point in renting a service build your own with a Magento cms or even WordPress.

I know there was a lot of information there, so here are the top 5 eCommerce once again:

Best eCommerce Platform

If you could only recommend three best eCommerce Platforms to build your eCommerce Store, which three would you choose? 

Are there any eCommerce Platforms you are using that weren’t mentioned above?

Let us know in the comments below.

Zestard Technologies MageCloud Partnership

Zestard is now Magecloud Partner

Glad to announce Zestard’s recent Association  – “We are now Magecloud Partner” !

Zestard Technologies, as a global software outsourcing company offering Magento Development, Theme Integration, Customization and Bespoke Extension Development services have joined hands with MageCloud this month. This Strategic Partnership is providing new opportunity for all Zestard’s Magento Extension users for ease in downloading our Free Magento extensions from the MageCloud website.

MageCloud is a 100% free Magento store builder from where store owners can launch their new Magento stores in as much as 10 minutes time. 100+ pre-selected Magento themes and 2,500+ Magento extensions are the main highlights of the features offered by this platform.  For more details about MageCloud Services:  http://www.magecloud.net/

Customers who are registered with MageCloud will take advantage through this partnership, as Magento extensions developed by Zestard Technologies Magento Team can  be downloaded easily from MageCloud soon. It will encourage the customers to draw maximum potential that the platform has to offer.

Zestard Technologies Free Magento Extensions are under open source license which means that the customer who uses the extension can modify the same as per the requirements on hand. We keep updating our Magento extensions to suit the latest Magento Versions/patches to cope up trends and demands of the Ecommerce.  Check out our Developer profile at Magento Connect.  Check out Zestard Technologies Magento products, featured in our extensions marketplace.

We are excited to yield ease of access to some of the Industry/Domain Specific Magento Extensions created by Zestard Technologies over Magecloud Platform very soon this year…

Magento VS Woocommerce Zestard Technologies blog

Magento & WooCommerce – A comparison

As in today’s tech savvy world if your business is not on the internet then you are easily missing out on half of your customers. Once you take a decision, and are deciding on the technology or the platform. Magento Development and WooCommerce are the two names which would rank pretty high on your list of options. Both have their similarities and their own points of differences. Let us try and compare both and see if a verdict can be reached as to which is the better platform.

  • The Similarities
  1. Open Source software 

    Both, Magento as well as WooCommerce, are open source software, what this means for a newly setup business is that not only do they get the basic functionalities free of cost but also get a huge helping hand in the form of a huge community of developers who believe in the power of helping and sharing.

  2. Freemium business models 

    Magento and WooCommerce are successfully utilizing the benefits of the freemium business model, where, the customers get the basic functionalities free of cost but have to pay for the add-ons or the high end versions/ functionalities. Although, both of them make sure that the basic functions offered free of cost are good enough for a beginner and one only needs to pay once the business grows.

  3. Easy to manage 

    Both Magento and WooCommerce offer you a host of options and features to add to your e commerce platform, and more importantly these are all user friendly and easy to add and manage. All in all both these platforms are a cakewalk for beginners (at least in the beginning)  You can check our rich Magento Portfolio as well as Woocommerce- wordpress Portfolio here.

  • The Dissimilarities
  1. Ease of Setting up 

    WooCommerce would be the natural choice for a beginner, who is looking to setup a new e commerce website as WooCommerce is simply an extension to WordPress. Customizing a site through WordPress is simple and WooCommerce also has its fair share of tutorials. On the other hand, Magento even though is easy to install, but the fairytale ends the moment one thinks of adding an extension. At this juncture, it’s better that one looks for a specialist.

  2. Learning Curve 

    WooCommerce doesn’t require the user to be an expert but is accompanied with a host of tutorials to help the user set an e commerce solution and enable one to manage it on his own, whereas, Magento comes along with a steep learning curve, which, if not followed, would stop the user from enjoying the full benefits of Magento unless he takes the help of an expert.

  3. Costs involved 

    As mentioned earlier, both, Magento and WooCommerce follow the freemium offer, so there are costs involved, but, in case of Magento, the cost of the learning curve or the need of an expert makes for the extra cost but , our Magento Developers can make it way too easier for you.

Magento and WooCommerce both have their own pros and cons, but in the end it’s a decision to be made by Store owner according to his/her priority and needs.

why shopify - Zestard Technologies Blog

Why Shopify :: Benefits

Today Shopify is extensively being used to develop online stores. It is being used by Freelancers, Large Enterprises, Mid Size Business, Non Profits, Small Businesses. Shopify comes with everything needed by business to run an online store. Opening an online store with Shopify is as easy as sending an email. Let’s see Why one should prefer Shopify for their Online Ecommerce Development?

We are Shopify partner and we recommend Shopify  for following easily countable reasons for selecting Shopify : Adding and editing new products in Shopify is a snap. The intuitive interface lets businesses organize their products and manage sales and shipping in no time. Shopify is compatible with all the major payment gateways, so customers can pay using their favourite method of payment. Shopify integrates with the following applications like Mailchimp, Get Satisfaction, Quickbooks, Desk.com, Constant Contact and it supports the following devices iPhone, iPad. Also Shopify has an API available for use. Now let’s have a look why Shopify is better than other Hosted Solutions.

Shopify vs. Volusion

Ease of use:

Shopify is comparatively easy to use. The control panel is well-structured, and nearly every option comes with hints or links to detailed tutorials. Volution’s control panel seems more complicated than that of Shopify.

Features:

Shopify has its own blogging platform which is an extremely important tool in the era of inbound marketing, while Volusion doesn’t provide this possibility. Shopify offers a POS (Point of Sale) system allowing selling directly in physical store and many more which is not there in Volusion.

Pricing:

By comparison, at $35, $75 and $135,Volusion’s products are slightly more expensive at the basic end and nearly $50 cheaper for its most advanced platform, Premium. While Shopify come at $29,$79,$179 but as a whole it is cheaper when compared to Volution. Some Volusion templates cost nearly $1000, while the most expensive Shopify option is just $180.

Thus, Shopify’s deal seems better, as it comes with a blogging platform, separate POS software and some other perks.

Shopify vs. Big Commerce

Ease of use:

Big Commerce is a bit easier to use than Shopify, certainly when it comes to the initial store set-up process. Shopify interface is very good, and the support is comprehensive.

Features:

Blogging, email, abandoned cart recovery in Shopify and Big Commerce is same. But point-of-sale (POS) transactions, Shopify has the edge, because it allows to hook up a card reader to iPad, which allows to process credit card payments anywhere, any time. In Big Commerce payment takes place through third party software which is a cumbersome procedure.

Pricing:

Big Commerce offer 3 main pricing plans; Shopify offer 4 and when it comes to pricing Shopify comes out ahead if only few products needs to be sold or for customised plans.

Key features of Shopify:

  1. Quick Setup & Free 30 Day Trial
  2. Over 100 fully customizable web & mobile store templates
  3. Integrated with over 65 payment gateways including Paypal
  4. Analytics to track your store’s performance
  5. Create promotions with promo codes, daily deals, and sales
  6. Offers a CDN and world class hosting
  7. Constantly adding new features at no extra cost
  8. Automatically backs up store and customer data
  9. Features industry standard 128 bit SSL encryption
  10. Official Shopify iPhone app to manage your store on the go

So don’t wait, get your online shopping store developed in Shopify by Zestard’s Professional Shopify Development team. and become a market leader in online store by providing quality services to your customers and make a huge profit.

Hosted ecommerce solution Zestard Technologies Blog

Hosted Ecommerce Solution Benefits – Sell Online Now

With the click of a button everything is available to purchase . Today’s world is the world of technology where everything and anything is possible. The people in current scenario are too busy to go to stores and does the purchasing whether be luxury item or an item of day to day consumption. The facility of online purchasing of goods and availing services is possible with the help of Hosted Ecommerce Websites. These ecommerce websites help the businesses to earn a lot of revenue and earn a huge profit. These Hosted Ecommerce Application can help provide a secure, trusted environment for a business’s customers in addition to a number of other benefits.

What is an Ecommerce Application?

Ecommerce applications refers to the wide variety of shopping cart programs that are available, as well as other software that incorporates payment options as plug-ins or as part of an entire site application. It helps the sellers to sell their product and buyers to buy the product according to their needs.

You can pick any in-trend Hosted solution like Shopify, Bigcommerce, Volusion, Wix, Weebly and many more to choose from and have your business online using these Hosted Ecommerce application solutions.

Benefits and Features of a Hosted Ecommerce Application

  1. 24*7 support:
    The online e commerce websites provide consumers access to goods and services 24*7,it means that a consumer can buy the product at any time with a click. Also 24*7 monitoring of the website takes place and helps to solve any technical glitches it at all it arises.
  2. Use of latest technology:
    Latest technology is being provided by these hosted ecommerce applications and it is also upgraded when a new version of it arrives in the market. It helps the customers to use the ecommerce with a much more ease.
  3. Downtime being reduced:
    100 percent uptime is not possible for a website and a frequent downtime can have a negative impact on the sales and profit of the business. But the host providers with the use of high speed connection and advanced software helps the business with 99.9 percent of the uptime.
  4. More flexibility and scalability:
    The needs change as the business grows.
    Hosted ecommerce application provides with the benefit of support and knowledge when a business is ready to expand and is ready to make any change which is necessary to remain competitive in today’s business world.
  5. Security:
    Security is the main important concern for an ecommerce website. Here a lot of customer information like card number, name of the card holder, address, pin number etc. are entered for online transaction which needs to be protected otherwise it will lead to the breach of confidentiality, integrity and availability of the information of the card holder by the hackers. A reputable ecommerce hosting provider ensures complete secure environment, including firewall protection, 24*7 monitoring, digital certificates and SSL support.

Thus, gaining and maintaining the trust of the customers is very crucial for the success and growth of a ecommerce business so that the business can reach to the next level where it can flourish more and maintain the reputation of the business.

So, get your businesses going like others did already for Ecommerce Business Solutions.