There are many ecommerce platform choices, but identifying which one best suits your business depends on what you want to get out of it. You need to make a fair comparison between platforms which offer the same level of solution.

Simple ecommerce solutions

Platforms such as Shopify offer a relatively simple solution, and there are some WeChat ecommerce platforms available in the market. As ecommerce platforms, solutions like this can give you a fairly standard ecommerce site. You can choose a theme and select the features you want but you cannot customise them or the checkout process, nor can you add in payment methods that are not supported.

Key takeaways for businesses:

  • Good for businesses looking to hit the ground running – easy and cheap to use and set up on your own
  • Can choose themes but not custom designs or functionality
  • Can only use already-supported payment methods

More advanced ecommerce solutions

Prestashop, WooCommerce and Magento (Community) are more advanced solutions. You will need a developer (or a team) to set them up. If your developer is creative and skilful, you can build a very effective ecommerce site. This type of solution allows for complex customisation and integration.

Key takeaways for businesses:

  • Good for businesses that want to develop their own look and functionality
  • Possible to customise if you have a good developer
  • Ability to integrate existing systems

Enterprise ecommerce solutions

Enterprise solutions such as hybris and Salesforce commerce can manage complex infrastructure and requirements but they need to be built by experienced system integrators. Some enterprise ecommerce solutions require you to pay a license fee and some will charge you a penalty if your monthly transactions are lower than a certain amount.

Key takeaways for businesses:

  • Good for large businesses that want a full-scale platform built to their own specifications
  • Fully customisable and possible to integrate all existing systems
  • Expensive – needs an experienced systems integrator to ensure success

Best choice?

From our experience, the more advanced ecommerce solutions fit the requirements of most brands and merchants because the other two options are either too simple or too expensive to build.

Little Starters

We recently built an ecommerce website for a new brand Little Starters, which runs a box subscription service for kids’ clothing. The website uses a ‘Pay for keeps’ model with customised checkout process. In general, a start-up like Little Starters should choose the more advanced platform which is convenient, but the trade-off is they will be limited by the system and will not be able to have a tailor-made checkout process. We recommended Prestashop as the ultimate ecommerce solution for them because it is an open-source platform that supports flexible customisation.