In the modern age of COVID-19 you as a business owner are undoubtably wondering how you should transition?  There are so many different options regarding your choice of online platform to build upon.  Fortunately, there is a platform with specific elements meant for businesses of all shapes and sizes.  More importantly, the platforms available have options for budgets of all shapes and sizes.

First, we will start with a very budget friendly option for small businesses that do not have a large budget to allocate to a website or eCommerce platform.  Square is a great option for small businesses looking to “get their feet wet” in the eCommerce realm.  Square is a budget friendly option for businesses selling simple products with a minimum amount of different unique items.  Some organizations we have seen experience exponential growth using Square include small grocery stores, farmers/ farmers markets and other growing companies.

For businesses that need a little more power in an eCommerce platform we at Fowara generally recommend stepping up to a platform known as Shopify.  Shopify is a great option for growing companies specifically because of its scale-ability and moderate amount of customization options.  Further, Shopify provides a useable platform for B2B (Business to business) sales and is a great option for retailers who have varied products which present the challenge of organizations different sizes, colors, materials and other options.  Shopify should be used for companies who want an affordable starting place for eCommerce but also need a platform which can grow with them.

The previous two options (Square and Shopify) are great for companies just getting started, who have a small number of different products and do not need extensive customization.  There is nothing wrong with Square or Shopify, in fact, we quite often recommend these platforms to clients who have limited budgets or simply do not need a more extensive eCommerce platform.  This all being said, there are some much better options for companies looking to compete in the world of eCommerce.  Next, we are going to explore a couple of eCommerce platforms which are endemic of customization, growth and innovative add-ons and options.  These next platforms we recommend to companies who do not simply want to exist in the world of eCommerce but rather, they want to dominate their competition and plan on experiencing exponential growth in both the short and long-term.

An option specifically made for businesses who have many individual products, SKU codes and customized products is BigCommerce.  BigCommerce is great for businesses who sell many products and want extensive control over what their site layout, usability and usage are customized.  This can be a great option for many larger companies who want extensive control over everything, and anything related to their site coupled with flexibility beyond that of other eCommerce platform options.  This all being said, you truly get what you pay for with BigCommerce.  BigCommerce is not a highly economical option for those on tight budgets.

Finally, we get to Magento which at Fowara is one of our favorite options for small businesses slated for growth.  Magento Community: open source is a flexible platform that has solutions for every need.  Being a community-based platform means that the platform is endemic of innovative growth.  One thing we believe business owners must understand about Magento Community is that the maintenance costs associated with the platform, especially in regard to catastrophic downages can be significantly higher than the maintenance costs allocated to other eCommerce platforms which means that companies without flexible budgets may want to look elsewhere for an eCommerce platform.

For the biggest organization slated for exponential growth Magento Commerce also have a Paid Adobe version which has extensive and complex customization and scaling options.  This includes options regarding ERP connectors, and DB types like Oracle and MS.  This Adobe version is only meant for the largest organizations which require extensive and customizable product catalogs and minimal site downages with extensive usability customization.  This Adobe based version of Magento is likely not what your organization needs if you are just starting out in the eCommerce market or do not have thousands upon thousands of specific SKUs and customization options.