Most used ecommerce platforms for 2016: PART 1 – advantages, disadvantages and trends
Don’t forget to read part two of article: Self-hosted ecommerce solutions 2016 and part three: Trends in online stores for 2016.
In this article I will make a short comparison of e-commerce solutions – only of the most popular platforms for online shops. But let’s start from the beginning: how and when it all began, what’s the reason for the increase of internet commerce and which are the most important statistics that the online shops owners should know about.
Over the past two years we observe a really big increase of online trading. This is due mostly to the increase of Internet access of the less prosperous countries of the Third World and to the education of these fledgling Internet users. But it’s also due to the aggressive advertising campaigns that are led by the largest online retailers. As a result of the development of the educations and habits of Internet users even elderly users who live in the poorer countries, have started to shop online.
What are the main types for Internet commerce:
The platforms for Internet commerce are divided into two main types: hosted and self-hosted.
Hosted e-commerce sollutions
Hosted sollution means that you get a ready sofware, which is hosted in a server that isn’t yours. In most cases you don’t have access to the code of the site and you use different tools in your administrative panel, even to make changes for the
design of the site.
Worldwide the most popular hosted solutions for ecommerce are: Shopify (http://www.shopify.com/), Bigcommerce (https://www.bigcommerce.com/ Before becoming a hosted soluiotns, their self-hosted system was called Interspire Shopping Cart), Volusion (http://www.volusion.com/), Go Daddy Online Store (https://www.godaddy.com/websites/online-store), 1Shoppingcart (http://www.1shoppingcart.com/). Statistics of their functions and plans is here: https://bestecommerce.solutions/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/ecommerce-solutions-2015.png (the Magento Go service was closed down at the end of 2014)
Advantages of hosted soluiotns – Simplicity of usage.
Whn you’re using a hosted solution, you rent a ready, complicated and proven system with everything needed, by usually paying monthly rent and you start selling right away. You get an account, enter the admin panel with user name and password, import your products and start. You don’t need to know anything about CSS, HTML and PHP and to edit code, you don’t need to worry about system updates, about backups or other support – everything is included in the price.
Disadvantages: When you choose hosted solutions, you are just a tenant and after you stop paying, you lose everything – the landlord evicts you from the apartment. There is a risk that the company owner to change the rules, the rent or even to shut down the service – as it happened with Magento Go in 2014.
Self-hosted solutions: Main advantage: customization and ownership.
The Self hosted solutions are a software (CMS) that you own as code (you own the files not the copyright of the code) and you upload the files of your online shop on your computer or server or on your hosting account. In this type of software you have full control to make any changes in the files and database, in the design and the way the online shop works.
You have access to the code of the site and you can modify it as you wish. You can change the design, to add additional applications or even to change the system. Whereas in hosted solutions you pay a rent, here you are the rightful owner of the website. For example, if you invest a lot of money in the development, in link building and for promotion of your store, you’re investing only in your online business, in a website in which you are the sole owner.
Psychological test – how to find out whether you need hosted or self-hosted solution:
If you don’t have enough time or energy to deal with your own website, you think that Facebook is great and you don’t need anything else but Facebook, you should use hosted solution.
If you prefer the ease of use instead of customization and instead of you being the boss, you should use hosted system.
If you prefer to be the owner of your own website, to have full control, to know for whom you are working for and why do you do it, choose self-hosted software for online shop.
About the author: Eduard Dimitrov (https://plus.google.com/+EduardDimitrov/about) has participated in the construction of over 550 online shops, he has led the development of over 200 applications for popular CMS, some of which for online stores, and he has optimized over 2500 websites (on-page and off-page SEO). Lector on over 20 SEO courses, lector on SEO conference 2015 and CEO of 3D Web Design (http://3dwebdesign.org/).