9 Best Ecommerce Platforms Compared And Rated In Singapore 2021
The Covid-19 phenomenon has been a transforming force in global retail by redefining consumer trends and introducing new dimensions to business. Social distance limitations have led to a broader consumer shift towards digital shopping platforms as the optimal avenue to order their desired products. For business owners across Singapore, these key insights and a change of strategies have emerged as a result of the Covid landscape. The evolution of retail shopping trends internationally has led to a transformed outlook in industrial segments. eCommerce is becoming an optimal way for businesses to expand their consumer reach. eCommerce platforms also eradicate the need for a physical storefront, and many eCommerce platform builders have even simplified the digital store creation process by allowing you to have your own digital store setup without requiring complicated programming skills.
Previously, digital stores were extremely difficult to set up and manage due to the technical requirements of creating and managing the websites. The technical infrastructure and development that went into the process made it impossible for a conventional business owner to create a digital store without having the assistance of qualified software development teams or an online marketplace platform. However, the growth of eCommerce platform builders has simplified the process by providing users with an integrated developmental mechanism that does not require technical knowledge. These eCommerce platform builders greatly simplify the website creation process by having a comprehensive content management system to remove technical elements from the development process and removing the barriers of development.
For Singaporean businesses, the eCommerce market presents a viable opportunity to tap into new consumer segments and expand their existing market segments. Today, we will explore the most viable development platforms for businesses that are looking to create viable digital mediums to expand their revenue and diversity their business proceedings to align with future trends.
However, before delving into that details, let's explore what an eCommerce platform builder is and what are the different features it offers to businesses.
What is an eCommerce Platform?
eCommerce platform builders are tools that allow people to create digital experiences centered around creating sales and fulfilling orders. These eCommerce platform builders allow business owners the liberty to offer their products and services to a wide variety of customers throughout the world. The platforms offer advanced tools to manage products and inventories with integrated payment management facilities to simplify business procedures.
eCommerce platforms can be equated to management centers for commerce with integrated management options. The platforms provide complete control over every aspect of the digital business ranging from inventory control to broader website content management. The platform also provides seamless access to 3rd party management plugins that can be integrated for efficient management.
With a wide range of options available to the average consumer, it is important to have a detailed overview of the advantages and disadvantages offered by every eCommerce platform builder to make an informed decision based on your business needs.
Pros & Cons of Leading eCommerce Platforms
Even though there are hundreds of eCommerce platform builders available in the market to choose from, we're providing an insight into the most commonly used platforms today. These platforms have established their reputation because of their features and usability with millions of consumers and are the obvious choice for anyone looking to get started with eCommerce development.
BigCommerce has managed to become one of the leading global eCommerce development platforms with its two separate plans to cater to different customer requirements. The platform offers variable coverage plans for small businesses and larger enterprises with standalone and customizable options to create the right experiences.
The platform provides a supportive development experience throughout the entire process by maintaining a product-centered experience throughout the process. Its website development process is based around the products with the expansion of the information and links of the files to minimize the technical input required by users. The platform simplifies application installation by enabling integrated application installation throughout the admin console. The platform also offers a variety of over 800 applications within the store to cater to user requirements.
Pros – Offers integrated application installations, seamless admin console management, and a simplified product-oriented experience within the platform.
Cons- Does not offer inbuilt domain registration options, which forces users to look for an external domain provider to handle domain registration. The usability experience can be marred by a lack of flexibility by having a singular structured ecosystem.
Shopify is considered to be one of the biggest simple management eCommerce platform builders in the market. The platform has established a reputation for its integrated simplicity and usability. Owned by Facebook, the platform makes it easy for users to manage product promotions by providing users with a simplified connection to Facebook advertisements. The platform is optimal for multi-channel selling with complementary tools to simplify selling through social media platforms and 3rd party sellers. The platform offers integrated support with POS tools and fulfillment programs to improve customer product delivery, as well as a comprehensive platform to manage and support customer requirements within the application.
Pros – Offers seamless integration with social media channels due to the company's connection with Facebook. This makes Shopify a great option for business owners that are looking to expand their digital operations on Facebook and Instagram. Shopify is also a viable option for businesses that are looking for a simple option to get started without delving into the advanced elements of eCommerce development.
Cons – Shopify can be limiting when it comes to the available template options when getting started. This makes it difficult for businesses to configure their own brand or customize their platform based on their company branding and establish their unique presence online. The platform can also make it challenging to integrate 3rd party elements into the website because of the reliance on the Facebook infrastructure.
Wix provides users with a simplified drag-and-drop development environment with customizable options. The website builder comes with integrated hosting and domain registration options to offer simplicity in website development. Wix offers both free and paid development options with the eCommerce features of the platform only available in the premium plan. The platform offers limited eCommerce support with payment processing and other tools to support ordering tracking, payment processing, and multi-channel cart abandonment campaigns.
Pros – Offers simplified drag and drops development which can make it simple for layman users to get started with their eCommerce store. The platform also has a simplified management interface that keeps users updated with their orders and product details in a concise user interface.
Cons – As Wix in itself is not a dedicated eCommerce platform, the platform's eCommerce features are designed for limited additions to a simple drag and drop website. The platform lacks several core product management features, including inventory management and sales tracking features that are a key part of eCommerce management. Social commerce integrations are also missing in the platform, which can make it unfeasible for professional businesses and users.
WordPress can be described as the biggest eCommerce platform in the market, and it has been tried and tested to be reliable enough to the point that it powers a vast majority of the internet today. The platform provides a comprehensive range of features to simplify eCommerce management. A major highlight of the platform is the level of diversity it offers to users ranging from beginners to corporate enterprises. The platform has been proven to be the optimal choice for businesses and individuals alike when it comes to eCommerce development due to the integration of WooCommerce. The plugin simplifies every element of the eCommerce equation ranging from product publishing to sales management. The result is the most comprehensive eCommerce Content Management System currently present in the market with simplifies integration with thousands of active plugins and 3rd party additions.
Pros – WordPress offers a comprehensive eCommerce solution based on the culmination of the product, site, and inventory management aspects. The platform accommodates simplified integration of plugins that can expand the management and functionality of the WordPress platform. It also offers simple setup and deployment with a wide range of available themes that can be further customized to create a comprehensive eCommerce solution through WordPress.
Cons – With its functional coverage, WordPress does not offer a lot of disadvantages. The only requirement with the platform is to go with a quality provider to ensure that the platform is properly optimized for ideal speed and functionality.
3Dcart offers comprehensive cloud-based eCommerce solutions that allow businesses to launch online stores with integrated features, including SEO optimization and drop-shipping integration. The platform features over 200 different features that can be a great way for business owners to add intuitive aspects to their eCommerce store management. 3Dcart also offers optimal integration for social aspects, emails, orders, along with a consolidated POS application to help iPad users with their sales.
Pros – Offers a comprehensive blog feature with simplified integration and management tools to offer a viable eCommerce platform for companies that are looking for a blog-centric user experience along with digital sales and management.
Cons – The platform is limited with its template options due to the structural direction taken with the design approach. The support structure of the platform is also rated to be negative, which can have a negative impact on user experiences in a broader context.
Volusion is a leading eCommerce solution centered around managing and creating online stores with integrated marketing, shopping, inventory management, and SEO features. The platform supports seamless cloud and premise-based deployments across a diversity of operating systems and industry segments. The platform is extensively used by leading global brands to power their digital operations.
Pros – Volusion offers a strong digital commerce solution with a powerful onboard process and friendly loading elements. The platform offers multiple payment models to make it convenient for customers to shop using their preferred mediums.
Cons – The platform has some minor issues with loading speeds based on the file structuring and management of data. The visual outlook of the sites is also slightly dated, which limits the visual options for the users while creating their digital stores.
Magento is one of the leading eCommerce platforms due to its inherent flexibility and support features. The platform offers multi-language integration, multi-currency support. The platform stands out due to the litany of features that it offers to its users with multi-tier pricing and other integrated options.
Pros – Magento is one of the most flexible platforms available due to the embedded multi-layer pricing support and developmental flexibility. The platform has a mobile-friendly development landscape with features centered around the requirement of modern users.
Cons – Despite the benefits of the platform, it can be complex to manage with small mistakes leading up to major slowdowns and working issues. The themes available for the platform can also be extremely pricey due to the same issue.
Among the available eCommerce development options, Squarespace presents one of the most simplified drag and drop website building options. The platform offers an optimal development interface for creating functional websites with additional incorporated eCommerce functionalities to support commerce operations and sales with the integrated drag and drop builder.
Pros – Squarespace offers simplified setup options with stunning visual templates for customers to get started with eCommerce development. The platform is great for basic stores that are looking to have a few products with basic commerce options.
Cons – Squarespace is a very limited eCommerce platform because it lacks payment integrations and eCommerce additions required to run comprehensive support. The platform also lacks a viable voice support option that is required to sustain operations.
Weebly is one of the biggest website builders across the world, with over 50 million active websites running on the platform. The platform offers integrated support for eCommerce operations. The platform has been actively expanding its eCommerce direction with integrated support from its parent company, Square, to become more eCommerce oriented.
Pros – Weebly provides a great basis for an eCommerce store with visual templates and emails integrated to offer a comprehensive digital commerce platform with a unique design outlook.
Cons – The platform is limited in its digital integrations by lacking Amazon integrations. The SEO within the platform is also limited, which impacts search engine visibility.
With dozens of digital eCommerce platform builders being present to choose from, it can be difficult to make the eventual decision on the best platform. The eventual decision depends on specific requirements and priorities. However, for businesses looking to have a balanced combination between reliability and functionality, WordPress presents the ideal option with the integration of WooCommerce. The platform is a tried and tested choice for millions of websites around the world and is a cost-efficient way to develop and manage professional eCommerce platforms.