Best platform for a simple online shop

Discussion in 'Ecommerce Forum' started by EllieB, May 3, 2019.

  1. AndrewJhnsn333

    AndrewJhnsn333 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    21 1
    There are so many ecommerce platforms you can choose from. I agree with fisicx, before launching your webstore you should answer several questions.

    Shopify is great for beginners. It is easy to use and you can manage your store with no technical knowledge needed. However, when your Brand is growing, Shopify is no longer enough. Shopify has a monthly fee, don’t forget about it.

    Woocommerce is a WordPress plugin for ecommerce. If you are familiar with this platform and have experience in managing wordpress website, woocommerce can be the right choice for you.

    PrestaShop is a popular European platform. It is written in php and it is open source. So you don’t have to pay monthly to use it. There are also plenty of modules and themes at the PrestaShop official marketplace and it is easy to enrich your webstore functionality.

    Magento is a great ecommerce platform that famous brands use. It is open-source and has multiple inbuilt features. But it is quite a complicated platform and you will need the help of php developers to launch a Magento online store.

    The procedure of migration from one platform to another is time- and effort-consuming that’s why take your time and choose your ecommerce platform carefully.
    Posted: May 31, 2019 By: AndrewJhnsn333 Member since: Apr 22, 2019
  2. Elle Rish

    Elle Rish UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    16 1
    Shopify is one great platform especially if you don't want to get much into technical stuffs. But, if you want something like an Open Source Platform, WordPress is good to go. It is easy to learn, but takes time.
    Posted: Oct 1, 2019 By: Elle Rish Member since: Aug 2, 2019
  3. EddyRock

    EddyRock UKBF Contributor Free Member

    35 5
    <removed> Try Shopify. No worry about webserver, domain name and web development. It's the most easy to use platform I've ever known.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 7, 2019
    Posted: Oct 4, 2019 By: EddyRock Member since: Jul 23, 2019
  4. crackerjackcommerce

    crackerjackcommerce UKBF Contributor Free Member

    96 6
    I would agree with one of the first posts re: Etsy. If you are starting out and have no experience in web hosting, domain names, sitemaps, plugins, design, security, backups, online marketing etc... then IMHO it would be best to start with a well known suitable marketplace as they take care of the above whilst you can focus on getting experience with some fundamentals: listing a product for sale, order fulfillment, customer service, profit and loss etc.

    It will be low barrier to entry and you should pickup much experience in a short time frame, especially this time of year as we near Christmas.

    There are a few other good forum posts on here also re: what platform. From what I have read it tends to be Wordpress, Shopify or Magento.

    Good luck with it all.

    P.S. If you have a big budget then of course you can pay companies (developers,designer,agency) to handle the above and more and depending on your investment and profit margins this might suit you. I was thinking from more of a DIY point of view.
    Posted: Oct 4, 2019 By: crackerjackcommerce Member since: Aug 1, 2019
  5. TotalWebSolutions

    TotalWebSolutions UKBF Ace Full Member - Verified Business

    2,624 617
    If you have experience with WordPress why not try WooCommerce? Alternatively, Freewebstore and ECWID are worth a look.
    Posted: Oct 7, 2019 By: TotalWebSolutions Member since: Sep 29, 2009
  6. David-Max

    David-Max UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    18 1
    I would recommend use Shopify or BigCommerce. Both don't require technical or programming skill
    With its user-friendly interface, anyone using Shopify can set the shop up in a basic way within one to two days. From then on, it can take a little while to figure out adding products and images, setting the layout, etc. However, it is still quite a fast process.
    BigCommerce has some of the most powerful tools in the eCommerce market. However, this also means that it will take a much longer time with a lot more effort to get used to them.
    I do recommend BigCommerce for anyone who is serious about developing a huge online business, though.
    Posted: Oct 16, 2019 By: David-Max Member since: Oct 16, 2019
  7. bluenun

    bluenun UKBF Enthusiast Full Member

    573 62
    Been there seen that with woocommerce and shopify and came off them pretty quickly.
    I only use 2 ecommerce platforms these days - and the main is ecwid - there used to be the saying you cant be in 2 places at once - with ecwid - that is totally not the case. Set it is very easy , using wordpress is even easier.

    BUT then you are given 5 or so lines of html code. Copy that into any website / webpage and your fully functioning shop will appear.
    And the killer bit is - it integrates directly into facebook - so facebook users never have to leave their facebook session. Which is probably why ecwid is the top ecommerce app on facebook.

    Absolute no brainer - and it's free for 10 products , it is then something like £10 a month.
    That covers the hosting, the security, he upgrades, new features, new payment gateways - compare that to hosting it yourself, you look after the upgrades, the security patches. In one of my niches - facebook ads work extremely well.
    Posted: Oct 16, 2019 By: bluenun Member since: Dec 11, 2008
  8. Karol B

    Karol B UKBF Contributor Free Member

    30 0
    If you have WordPress experience then woocommerce Would be the first choice.
    Posted: Oct 26, 2019 By: Karol B Member since: Aug 24, 2019
  9. GreyRunner86

    GreyRunner86 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    1 1
    Woocommerce and Shopify have always been great for me.
    Posted: Oct 29, 2019 By: GreyRunner86 Member since: Oct 29, 2019
  10. Robin @ SH&P

    Robin @ SH&P UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    3 3
    My advice would be to go with Shopify if you want peace of mind.

    Wordpress has the benefit of being free, but it is open source software and is always going to be prone to security issues. You will find that you will be constantly updating both Wordpress and all the plugins you use and you will need to be careful that none of the plugins break your site (Google "Wordpress white screen of death")

    As well as that, Wordpress has next to no support and you are every much on your own. I have run stores on Wordpress and Shopify and there is absolutely no contest. Wordpress is hard work and high maintenance. You get what you pay for.

    Another feather in Shopify's cap is that it adheres to all PCI compliance issues for taking payments online from other people. These rules have got very tight in the last few years and you have to be very, very careful when you are accessing and storing card and payment details from customers. If those details are stolen by a hacker (and believe me they are everywhere) then you could be in trouble. With Shopify all the security issues are taken care of and you don't have anywhere near the same liability.

    Wordpress is great for blogs, journalling and affiliate sites etc. but I personally (and speaking from bitter experience) wouldn't touch it with a barge pole if you are wanting to use it for an online store.

    Shopify at under £30 a month is worth every penny. Every business needs at least some kind of investment, however little, and that is my recommendation hands-down.
    Posted: Nov 1, 2019 By: Robin @ SH&P Member since: Nov 1, 2019
  11. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    34,042 10,105
    Oprn source =/= security issues.

    Linux is opensource as is anything you can find on github and other repositories.
    It takes a few minutes once a week to do a bit of site maintenance. I've never had a white screen of death.
    Rubbish. There is a huge support network.
    Only if you make it so. Most sites run just fine with just some regular updating.
    Wordpress doesn't need to comply. The payment gateway you choose needs to comply but that's not the same thing.

    If you prefer Shopify to Woocommerce that's fine. But some of your comments about Wordpress weren't quite correct.

    Note Wordpress is not an ecommerce platform. You can install a theme or a plugin that provides the ecommerce functionality.
    Posted: Nov 1, 2019 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
  12. Dillon Lawrence Ltd

    Dillon Lawrence Ltd UKBF Contributor Full Member

    65 8
    That's very much a hosting issue as opposed to a WordPress specific one. Of course whatever CMS you're running should be patched/maintained from a security perspective but I've seen Magento and OpenCart all hosted on non PCI-compliant environments prior to migrating them to me so it's certainly not WordPress specific.

    With the right host, WP can be made PCI compliant to the level required. Same goes for the security of WordPress itself. A good managed host will be proactive in taking care of this for you. We employ a vulnerability scanner across our client sites so vulnerabilities are patched manually, without needing to even update WordPress (although clients who insist on not updating due to legacy plugins feel the wrath of our warning emails).

    Essentially, it's not a WordPress issue. It's down to how proactive/good your host is. And of course what you're willing to pay = quality of service.

    As for Shopify, we're a partner. Most of your customers (when a site is done right) will never know what platform lies underneath. Shopify are a solid platform that's come a long way. We build WooCommerce stores and Shopify stores. The big difference being flexibility in what can be done. With flexibility however comes risk which again is where you need someone who knows what they're doing/a good managed host who will do the heavy lifting for hosting WooCommerce, just as Shopify do behind the scenes when you're using theirs to host your store.

    Anyway I'm rambling...
    Posted: Nov 1, 2019 By: Dillon Lawrence Ltd Member since: Oct 12, 2019
  13. TonyJJ

    TonyJJ UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    25 3
    If you're after short-term results, selling on eBay, Amazon, Etsy, Depop should suffice.

    But if you're after a long-term solution, definitely set up a store on Shopify.
    Posted: Nov 2, 2019 By: TonyJJ Member since: Nov 1, 2019
  14. ystong

    ystong UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    10 1
    I am just think that Amazon isn't the best one?
    Posted: Nov 8, 2019 By: ystong Member since: Nov 8, 2019
  15. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    34,042 10,105
    Depends on what you are selling and to whom. It’s a lot better than sellers who pretend to be from the UK but ship from China.
    Posted: Nov 12, 2019 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
  16. Karimbo

    Karimbo UKBF Ace Free Member

    2,025 210
    I wouldn't recommend it. For an ecommerce site, use an ecommerce script dedicated for it. Wordpress has serious issues, it updates every week it seems and themes/plugins stop being updated and every so often you have to reconfigure your entire site with updated plugins or themes.

    I paid money for various themes and plugins with "lifetime support". The thing is lifetime support is only worthwhile if they're still selling the plugin or theme so it's in their interest to keep working on it. When sales dry up and they've saturated their audience. They have no incentive to work on it. They let it lapse and then one day it's no longer compatible with the latest version of wordpress.

    My advice is to use a CMS that is lightweight and as "stock" as possible. Especially for ecommerce where you simply cannot afford the site to break functionality.

    Use self hosted opencart, magento or third party sites like etsy or shopify. Keep it as stock as possible to reduce your headache.
    Posted: Nov 12, 2019 By: Karimbo Member since: Nov 5, 2011
  17. CraigJohnsonUK

    CraigJohnsonUK UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    3 0
    I'd recommend building your ecommerce business in three phases:

    1. Launch stores in Amazon and Ebay: Benefit from the ready made audiences in Ebay and Amazon to establish a revenue stream and build a consistent brand across these platforms whilst securing your IP (social logins and domains) for future expansion. Build a one page HTML / WordPress site to establish your brand in Google.

    2. Launch on Shopify: Once you have money coming in, and happy customers, replace the one page site with a fully feldged Shopify store. Retine the Amazon and Ebay stores and build a great reputation and SEO for your own site.

    3. Launch a bespoke store: Once the three channels are established above it may be worth considering a more complex solution.
    Posted: Dec 10, 2019 By: CraigJohnsonUK Member since: Dec 10, 2019
  18. bluenun

    bluenun UKBF Enthusiast Full Member

    573 62
    Craig - she is selling water colour paintings. Dont think Amazon or ebay is the right platform. Amazon / eBay only good if you want to join the masses selling stuff / tat and making a few pounds per item. Moving everything on to amazon for fulfilment was the downfall of toysrus - a story from which everyone could learn.

    A wordpress site with the free version ecwid , all nice and secure and compliant. Then add a facebook page and copy the same ecwid code into it. Here is one I did for an art type company selling picture mounts / photo mounts - the same shop is in many other websites at the same time. So she will have her facebook audience - where they can buy without leaving their facebook session as well as the usual websites to copy paste the shop code.
    Posted: Dec 10, 2019 By: bluenun Member since: Dec 11, 2008
  19. TonyJJ

    TonyJJ UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    25 3
    Setting up a Shopify would be beneficial in the long-run. Especially if you want to build an email list using their plugins. You could retarget these customers for free and display your new products to them.
    Posted: Dec 15, 2019 By: TonyJJ Member since: Nov 1, 2019
  20. Dillon Lawrence Ltd

    Dillon Lawrence Ltd UKBF Contributor Full Member

    65 8
    While I agree Shopify is a good way forward and a pretty solid platform for building your store on, you can add an email sign-up form to any site...
    Posted: Dec 15, 2019 By: Dillon Lawrence Ltd Member since: Oct 12, 2019