Which eCommerce platform?

Jun 27, 2022 | Ecommerce

eCommerce platforms: a different type of comparison

What is an eCommerce platform? What is the best eCommerce platform? Or even what is the best eCommerce platform for startups. Or for established businesses looking to go/expand online. 

These are some of the questions asked to us, and no doubt google-searched thousands of times a day. 

What should you look for in an eCommerce platform?

The obvious and correct answer includes something about features vs price. But most platforms have the features you need at the beginning. Only once you have been using a platform for a while do you learn what extra you might need. Probably you will want something different, whichever the platform. That’s when you turn to 3rd party suppliers or customisation. As for price comparison, it’s not always easy. Some will charge lower monthly subscription charges (or even charge nothing) and then take a larger share of your sales. There are transaction costs. Some platforms stipulate using their partner for payment services, and they take a cut. That’s perfectly fine when upfront but still makes it difficult to compare. One thing is for sure in eCommerce platforms and life; free doesn’t mean free. Free may not even mean cheap! 

There are many eCommerce platforms, and the choice can be daunting. Do you go with an established big brand like Shopify or BigCommece? Or do you go with one of the smaller brands?

Big brands offer safety and reassurance. Their stability and competency mean you can trust them; they’ll always be there. But that isn’t always the case. 

Big brands are the safe choice. Are they?

Yes……and no.

Kodak, Yellow Pages, Blockbuster, and Blockbuster were all giants. Where are they now?

Airlines signed up for Boeing 737 Max because they valued trust and safety. We all know what happened next. 

Smaller brands are more susceptible to falling but easier to do due diligence. You can speak to senior people and ask questions about their track record and dependence on one product/revenue stream. You can find out how long key staff have been working there. Not possible in a struggling business. 

By subscribing to Shopify, you will become part of a large community but less important as an individual. But you might prefer a more personal experience? 

The answer could depend significantly on who you are, how much money you want to spend, and your personality. 

Can I have a summary of what to look for?

So how to decide between competing platforms?

  1. Do due diligence. Can you get a feel for the company and their well-being?
  2. Look at the quality (and availability) of technical support. 

I was looking for a laptop from a small manufacturer. I rang the sales number a few times, and it took them a long time to answer. If an organisation doesn’t answer your sales query when they want your money, how will they answer your support calls afterwards? 

  1. Look at customisation costs and third-party application range availability. 
  2. Decide how much of a relationship you want with the platform provider. Are you happy with getting your answers from community forums, or do you want timely access to a human who knows the answer? 


This article assumes that the seller is a standard retailer, i.e. B2C. Maybe with a store and online sales. 

If you sell B2C and B2B, you need to consider more’ personalised wholesale pricing and unified inventory management. Not many platforms have those. Shopify Plus does, and so does Uptivity’s JustSell.

If you have a supermarket, you want an ePoS system with built-in weighing scales for loose products. And customer loyalty points system. Not many have these, but JustSell does. 

To know more about JustSell, click here: JustSell


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