Ecommerce in 2020 is becoming the number 1 go-to business practice as our world has become transformed by the COVID-19 pandemic. With traditional forms of business disrupted, ecommerce has risen exponentially. Latin America especially is experiencing a boom in ecommerce this year as easier online payment options have become available in many countries.
Ecommerce on the rise in 2020
In the early months of the pandemic, businesses scrambled to move online. The internet has kept us all connected during these long months of social distancing as we flooded into the virtual sphere for school, work, and social life. Without the power of technology, life would have come to a screeching halt. Luckily, most businesses have been able to continue virtually. Businesses that may not have ever considered having an online platform were forced to embrace this alternative, and now there’s no turning back. While traditional retail sales have experienced a significant decline this year, “ecommerce has seen a 129% year-over-year growth” in the U.S. and Canada since April and global ecommerce sales are expected to reach $4.2 trillion by the end of this year.
If you’re a business owner who’s not yet on the interwebs or you’re looking to start an online business venture during this time, here’s what you need to know about ecommerce in 2020, the top ecommerce platforms, and how to get started.
Diving into the world of ecommerce
Ecommerce in 2020 is definitely growing more than ever before, but it’s not as easy as just creating a website and expecting the cash to start magically flowing in. It takes work and with more and more businesses turning to ecommerce, the competition is also growing.
The first step to launching a successful ecommerce venture is to choose your platform. There are tons of different online shops to choose from to host your business and each offers different features.
Finding the platform that works best for your business is a crucial first step, so read on below for the top 5 leading platforms for ecommerce in 2020.
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Top 5 Ecommerce Platforms in 2020
Shopify is considered one of the best overall ecommerce platforms for small businesses. Shopify provides small businesses with all the tools they need to compete with top retailers while also providing POS software to manage both in-store and online sales. Shopify’s pricing starts at $29/per month with their basic plan. Upgrades however will be more costly, with their standard plan starting at $79/per month, and Advanced Shopify priced at $299/per month.
One major perk Shopify offers however is its ability to integrate with other marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay. Users can also sell their products via Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest through Shopify, allowing businesses to reach even more customers.
If you’re tight on funds, Square might be the place for you as you can join completely free with its standard plan. Square offers built-in credit card processing and paid subscriptions for more advanced features, but you need not subscribe to a monthly plan to get started. Simply use their website builder to create your site. Square also allows you to sell an unlimited number of products under its free plan.
If you’re interested in advanced features, Square is still significantly cheaper than competitors, with their Professional plan starting at just $12/month, Performance plan at $26/month, and Premium plan at $72/month.
For WordPress websites, WooCommerce is the place to go. It’s also completely free! WooCommerce is an open-source plugin that runs on WordPress, which is also free.
However, WooCommerce has a steeper learning curve. Its a bit more complicated to set up and maintain than the more user-friendly Square or Shopify. WooCommerce also offers limited customer support options. But if you’re tech-savvy or willing to learn, WooCommerce is a powerful tool that offers many of the same features as Shopify at no cost and with more customization options.
Squarespace is best for artists, creatives, and boutiques. It’s ideal for the solo entrepreneur who doesn’t have a lot of time to learn more advanced systems like Shopify and WooCommerce. Squarespace offers simplicity paired with top-notch quality. Its sites are designed to look modern and trendy and it’s pricing is a bit cheaper than other competitors starting at $18/month.
Squarespaces’ key features include a user-friendly trendy website builder, inventory management, multi-channel selling through Instagram and Facebook, marketing tools, analytics, and customer support.
If you’re all about aesthetics and design, Wix might be the place for you as it offers total freedom when it comes to design. Wix, like Squarespace, is a much simpler and affordable option starting at $23/month for their Business Basic plan. Wix’s standout feature is their ‘drag-and-drop’ website builder. Every aspect of your site can be edited by clicking and dragging, from text to photos, shapes, and buttons. Most competitors like Square, Shopify, and Squarespace offer templates that can be customized but are limited. With Wix, there is complete control in web-design. You also get many of the same tools as competitors with multi-channel selling on social media and Etsy, basic analytic and sales report tools, email marketing tools, and 24/7 customer support.