The online retail industry is growing at an unprecedented rate of 8.8% worldwide. In the USA, the online retail e-commerce sales are expected to reach 700 US dollars in 2022. Not only the B2C companies but B2B e-commerce industry is growing equally well. According to figures shared on Forrester research website, B2B e-commerce transaction would reach $1.2 trillion by 2021. It clearly shows why it is a profitable thing to start an online e-commerce business.
However, starting an e-commerce business is by no means a simple task. Despite the high growth of the eCommerce industry, the failure rate of new e-commerce startups is somewhere around 80%. The reasons behind the failures are many, like choosing a wrong niche, ignoring the latest trends, & selecting the wrong technology partner.
So, in this post, we’ll discuss what are rising trends in the eCommerce industry and how to select the right e-commerce platform if you’re looking at starting an online commerce business today or in the beyond years.
Trends Rising in the E-commerce Industry
3d Technologies: The future of commerce is 3d technology. With 3d technology, you allow your customer to see the product in the most realistic way. The users can visualize the product from any angle and can customize the product as per their needs. Many e-commerce companies have already started using 3d images to showcase their products, however, 3d technologies like VR and AR are still in their early stage.
Multi-channel selling: According to the figures, in 2017-18, more than 50% of U.S online retail sales happened on online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Alibaba. Additionally, nowadays, many people like to buy products directly on social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. It clearly shows, how much important it is to integrate your online store with online marketplaces and social channels.
M-commerce: Currently, more than 25% of the world’s population is using mobiles to make a purchase on the internet and the numbers are expected to reach above 50% by the end of 2021. So you need to have a responsive design website or a dedicated mobile website with features like high page loading speed, the number of payment gateways options, and easy checkout pages.
E-commerce Automation: With an interest of saving time, cost, and selling more, many entrepreneurs are looking at enabling automation feature on their e-commerce store. Additionally, to provide customers with the right information in a timely manner, automation is very helpful indeed.
Online Marketplaces: The trend of starting the online marketplaces among the business persons is also on the peak. For bringing transparency and remaining competitive, many B2B commerce companies are investing in online marketplaces. Similarly, many B2C companies’ entrepreneurs prefer to invest in online marketplaces.
Some of the above trends are still in the nascent stage, for example, AR, VR, and Automation. Maybe, today if you start an online store by ignoring these rising trends you could succeed but in the future, it will definitely have a bad impact on your online store.
Other Factors that you need to consider before buying an e-commerce platform:
Following are some of the must-have factors that you can never ignore while starting an online store:
The scope of Customization & Scalability: Choose a platform that allows you to make changes in design, functionality as per your business needs & additionally license you to scale up your business in case the orders will increase on your online store.
Technical Support: When you start an online store, you need technical assistance at every step. Many companies are providing technical support through FAQs, email, & live chat; however, today business persons prefer to choose a company that dispenses personalized technical assistance through phone, screen sharing-based and on-site support.
Search Engine Friendliness: Your online store needs to be search engine friendly. High website speed, structure data implementation, XML sitemap, Meta tags, & alt tags optimization all these things come under a search engine friendly website.
Compatibility with Third-Party Tools & plugins: You can’t build every feature on your online store from scratch as it will cost you very high. For example, automation, today no e-commerce platform is offering automation feature comprehensively. But with the help of third-party automation tools like Roberto, inventory source, etc. you can enable automation functionality on your eCommerce store easily.
Best E-commerce Platforms to start an online Store in 2019 as per trends:
Shopify is an e-commerce platform built specifically for the needs of small and medium-sized businesses, offering everything you need to sell online. Shopify has launched in 2006 and since then the platform has helped over 600,000 entrepreneurs start and grow their business.
Shopify Plus Points:
- Attractive templates and themes
- Responsive design and SEO friendly
- You can upload 360 degrees to 3d product images on the Shopify platform
- Easy integration with third-party tools
- Abandoned cart recovery feature
- Social e-commerce, Dropshipping, 24/7 support are some of its other most popular features
Shopify Negative Points:
- You have to pay a transaction fee on every sale
- Not a good option to start a multi-vendor marketplace
Shopify packages start from $9 (lite plan) per month; however, with the lite plan, you can only sell your products on social media. For more details on pricing & packages, visit: https://www.shopify.in/pricin
Bigcommerce is also a Saas based e-commerce platform and is a direct competitor of Shopify. The platform was founded in 2009 and right now thousands of online store running on the web are powered by bigcommerce. The platform is known for its high-end features and low pricing.
- No transaction fee
- Upload an unlimited number of products
- Responsive design and Search Engine friendly
- The number of payment gateways options
- You can integrate your online store with Amazon, Instagram, & Facebook
- As written on many third-party sites, Bigcommerce customer support is not effective
- Bigcommerce powered website’s speed on mobile is not high
As Bigcommerce doesn’t have any transaction fee so the platform charges you as your store grow and you need to upgrade it. Bigcommerce monthly package starts at $29. For more details, visit: https://www.bigcommerce.com/pricing/
Kurt is an eCommerce platform that is exclusively designed for building the multi-seller e-commerce marketplaces at a reasonable cost. Due to its high -end features and fair pricing, the platform has won the product of year award in 2016 given by STPI.
YoKart Plus Points:
- Specialized platform for starting B2B and B2C marketplaces websites and mobile app’s
- Fully customizable platform
- Multiple payment gateways including digital wallets, COD, & cards
- Mobile optimized and High in UI
- One-time payment means no recurring fee
- 12 months free technical support
YoKart Negative Points:
- Themes are costly
- Not good in multi-channel selling and automation, however, you can customize the platform.
YoKart startup package price is only $250, however, it is a hosted solution. The self-hosting packages start at $999 (one-time payment). Visit here for more details: https://www.yo-kart.com/multivendor-marketplace-packages.html
Magento is the most popular eCommerce platform and an ideal solution especially if you are looking to start a large scale enterprise. It is an open source platform so you don’t need to pay a monthly fee. Magento is a huge community with lots of benefits.
Magento Plus Points
- A comprehensive range of themes and templates
- SEO & Mobile Friendly
- Highly secure and developers friendly
- Easy integration with third-party extensions
- Sell your products directly on Amazon, eBay, Facebook, etc.
- Customizable and scalable
Magento Negative Points
- High in pricing especially not an ideal choice for small merchants
- Programming skills required to maintain a Magento store
- As it is an open source platform, customer support is not much effective
The Magento basic version is free; however, Enterprise version can cost you a minimum of $20000 per year. For more details, visit here: https://magento.com/products
The last name in my list is Volusion. It is a cloud-based e-commerce platform that is started in 1999. The platform offers online stores for a broad range of industries, and it has a comprehensive list of inbuilt features and functionalities.
Volusion Top Points:
- No transaction fee on a product sale
- The good customer support team
- Responsive themes and a comprehensive site builder
- You can connect your online store with Facebook, Amazon, Instagram
- Mobile Apps for Android and IOS users
- No to the multi-vendor marketplace
- Not much impressive on the design front
Volusion packages start from $15 per month in which a merchant can sell 100 products. For more details on pricing, visit: https://www.volusion.com/v1/pricing
At the end of the day, I still encourage you to browse all these companies’ sites carefully and sign up for their free trials & demos to see for yourself what they offer.