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Unless you have been living under a rock, you will agree that our reliance on eCommerce is higher than ever. Two years ago, when the world was hit by a pandemic, we had no other option but to resort to online shops for purchasing groceries, electronic gadgets, and even medicines.
McKinsey was not wrong when it reported that the pandemic has accelerated digital transformation by five years. In 2021 alone, 74% of US consumers shopped online. By 2025, this figure is projected to touch 80.4%. A staggering figure indeed!
The rise in online shopping is good news for sellers because, with the right tools, they can set up their business online and start driving sales. Earlier, if you wanted to run a store, you needed to first have a brick-and-mortar location.
The paperwork was tedious. Plus, ensuring the store was properly decorated and well-stocked required a lot of time and energy. The traditional mode of doing business was expensive. Thankfully, we live in a digital era where passion and creativity are more important.
With a decent B2B eCommerce development service, you can list your products, conduct transactions, take payments and handle shipping — online! It is the same as running a physical store. However, the only difference is you have built a virtual eCommerce storefront.
Ecommerce and manufacturing go hand-in-hand.
Of late, manufacturers have started using the online medium to reach out to a larger target audience and sell their products. In fact, many such companies are already spending lots of resources when setting up their eCommerce stores.
The global penetration of the internet has resulted in extremely tech-savvy and advanced customers who believe in researching thoroughly before purchasing anything. Naturally, this has opened doors for manufacturers and distributors to meet their target audience.
Benefits that manufacturers can reap from online retail
1. Access to new markets
It is a major reason why sellers hop on to the online medium — to capture a bigger chunk of the target audience. As a manufacturer, you can also scale to new heights if you venture into eCommerce. With the right eCommerce platform and marketing strategy, you can increase your reach and build your reputation for more sales.
2. Increased focus on customers
The majority of eCommerce platforms offer sellers an opportunity to focus on serving their targeted customers dedicatedly. The latter can make online purchases freely and check the status of their order at their convenience.
3. More efficient operations
With the help of a robust eCommerce platform, you can improve your backend operations considerably. Integrate a CRM and ERP tool and you can basically keep track of every status, every conversation with a customer and ensure that deliveries are made on time, leaving buyers happy and satisfied every time.
The importance of a suitable eCommerce platform
Simply put, an eCommerce platform is an all-in-one software solution which equips online businesses to manage their website, sales, marketing, customer service, and operations easily.
It is a fast, flexible and a cloud-based solution that streamlines your operational efficiency and helps you create phenomenal growth opportunities for the business. Here are four essential factors to keep in mind when choosing an option for your business:
1. Growth: You must have the technological ability to expand your offerings quickly.
2. Service: Prioritize customer service for driving higher conversions, retention rates and overall loyalty levels.
3. Customer engagement: Which built-in tools does the eCommerce platform provide to help you engage your target audience? You must also have clarity on that.
4. Maintenance costs: You cannot just deploy an eCommerce platform and leave it at that. You also need the budget for its ongoing maintenance. Consider that before taking a call.
20 best eCommerce platforms for manufacturers
Whether you are a small manufacturing business or a huge corporation, you must choose a wholesale eCommerce solution service that not only serves a purpose in the present but also helps you scale comfortably in the future.
Plus, you should be able to deploy a platform of your liking and budget with rather ease. But which are the best platforms for manufacturers? Here is a list:
It is a powerful eCommerce platform that helps manufacturers set up an online store quickly. Shopify allows you to easily design a custom look for their online store or select from thousands of existing templates.
The advanced drag-and-drop editor enables you to build your store quickly with its sophisticated editing capabilities.
Loaded with plenty of features, the SaaS platform offers everything under the sun, from free SSL certificates and advanced sales tools to an integrated payment processor. Shopify is a cloud eCommerce solution that is also mobile-friendly.
a. You can manage your store on Shopify mobile apps. The platform is fully responsive so you can easily track, manage, and modify your online manufacturing store anywhere — regardless of access from mobile or desktop.
b. It offers superior data security with 256-bit SSL encryption and Level 1 PCI compliance.
c. Shopify supports a comprehensive range of payment options although subscription charges are higher compared to other B2B eCommerce solutions.
a. Tracking checkout events with google tag manager is not easy.
b. Sales analytics system does not respond suitably when linked to multiple online stores of an organization.
The Shopify community is useful for engaging in business conversations. You can get technical advice, find answers to your questions and learn more about the platform by connecting with other Shopify users.
Shopify offers a 14-day free trial. New eCommerce businesses can subscribe to Shopify for $29 per month and use the basic features. You can then opt for the $79 per month plan as you expand. The Advanced Shopify experience is available for $299 per month.
Live site examples
Mcaffeine, Crossbeats, Quirksmith, Blue Tokai, Dowse Design
It is the most widely used eCommerce platform across the globe. Magento functions as a highly customizable eCommerce solution that supports external sales channels like Amazon.
The open-source eCommerce platform can be used to create an impressive online store with multi-language and multi-currency support.
The sites built through Magento are mobile-accessible and SEO optimized. However, using Magento requires some technical knowledge or developer assistance.
a. Its intuitive administration panel offers you the ability to control multiple websites and online stores. It provides advanced reporting and analytics tools to help in business planning.
b. The platform enables you to configure, bundle, and group products along with allocating different price points for each customer group.
c. Navigation of products is layered allowing application of product filters in various categories. Search results can be based on price ranges and product types.
d. Its robust API integration allows you to customize your store using any third-party software.
a. Customizing eCommerce sites built on Magento may be difficult for beginners.
b. It requires specialized hosting such as VPS (Virtual Private Server) or a dedicated server for faster performance.
c. Cache management is not easy to automate.
Magento is open-source software and has a large community of contributors to help improve the platform and resolve any user problems.
The Magento Community Edition, suitable for small businesses, is available to download for free. The Enterprise version may cost you anywhere between $15,000 and $20,000.
Live site examples
Graze, Big Bus Tours, Seat Norway, Toom
It is an award-winning agile multi-vendor eCommerce platform. The software enables all enterprises — ranging from startups to SMBs and large ones — to build and customize eCommerce marketplaces for manufacturers.
It helps you reduce time-to-market as you can quickly customize your store and launch it cost-effectively. The lifetime license of the software is available upon a one-time payment. The recently released V9.3.0 of Yo!Kart enables personalizing the shopping experience for buyers.
a. The software comes with lifetime license ownership and negligible recurring charges.
b. You can enjoy the global reach of your manufacturing business by translating your content in 70+ languages using the MSN Language API.
c. Your end customers get the convenience of multicart checkout where they can add items from different vendors in a single cart and order them together.
d. The pre-integrated APIs of the platform help automate payment methods, tax calculations, and shipping processes.
a. Although Yo!Kart is overloaded with features, its the code quality is poor.
b. Making changes to the platform is not easy for beginners; developer assistance is needed.
c. Appropriate customer support is not available.
Yo!Kart does not have a community per say. However, they do provide many resources and documentation to navigate through the software.
Yo!Kart is available in 4 pricing packages — GoQuick for $999, GoQuick Boost for $2499, GoCustom for $7499, and GoCustom Prime at a custom pricing as per your business needs. All package rates are applicable for the lifetime Yo!Kart license.
Live site examples
Crefftus, Safaripedia, CBD Supplements
It is a popular eCommerce solution for smaller companies as the total cost of ownership is low. BigCommerce’s highly flexible APIs help enterprises improve their online store’s performance as their business scales.
The cloud platform has a comprehensive set of features that help you build your eCommerce store quickly. Each subscription offers an eCommerce ecosystem with in-built SEO tools, analytics functions, and customer management systems.
a. The platform allows you to cater to different customer groups by allowing easy creation of custom catalogs and price lists.
b. Its “Persistent Cart” feature allows end customers to seamlessly shop across devices, without losing the items already added.
c. It offers unlimited storage which enables the creation of comprehensive catalogs with more product images and videos.
d. It supports the integration of plugins for easy customization of the site.
a. Its built-in features are complex, thus making the learning curve longer than other platforms.
b. It does not support multi-site operations.
c. Its metafield editing is restricted by the API.
The BigCommerce Community has an active app developer community and offers answers to user queries. It is a great place to make connections with other entrepreneurs. You will also find a well-stocked marketplace of third-party apps.
Bigcommerce is available for a free trial and monthly subscriptions start from $29.95. The Plus plan is available for $79.95 per month, the Pro plan for $299.95 per month, and the Enterprise version can be availed on custom pricing.
Live site examples
Berlin Packaging, Burrow, Skullcandy, The Good and The Beautiful
It is an eCommerce website-building platform suitable for beginners and professionals alike. Intuitive tools and a drag-and-drop builder make creating beautiful websites easy even for those without any coding experience on Squarespace.
Its templates have built-in eCommerce features such as checkout tools, tax solutions, and Point of Sale extensions. The annual Squarespace subscription comes with a custom domain name and SSL certificate protection for the first year.
a. Squarespace offers customizable templates that are responsive on most modern devices and browsers.
b. The ecosystem allows collaboration with role-based access and selective permission settings.
c. Their customer support team is available 24/7 over email and live chat.
d. The platform provides top-notch SEO solutions, email marketing tools, and website analytics for optimal performance.
a. Slow loading time becomes problematic for eCommerce users and impacts the performance of their products on mobile devices.
b. Subscription cost of Squarespace is higher compared to competitors.
c. Limited integrations are available for payment solutions.
Squarespace has a free community and provides an array of resources. The eCommerce platform also hosts webinars, runs discussions on forums and publishes articles and videos.
Squarespace is available for a free trial and a monthly subscription for personal use costs only $16. The Business package is available for $26 per month, Basic Commerce plan for $35 per month, and Advanced Commerce version for $54 per month. You can save up to 30% of the subscription cost if you pay annually.
Live site examples
ARCH Motorcycle, Studio Bramble, Aron Mayo
It is an eCommerce plugin that works with WordPress Content Management System. By using them together, you can easily build your online manufacturing store or even convert an existing website into one.
a. The WooCommerce marketplace offers free and paid extensions to enhance your store’s features and functionality.
b. Convert your store into a global one with multilingual content and price calculation in multiple currencies.
c. WooCommerce Blocks allows modular product display.
d. WooCommerce enables you to set up payment and shipping functionalities.
a. WooCommerce is a WordPress-specific plugin, so it may not be useful for you if you do not use WordPress.
b. Though the plugin is free, the other extensions by WooCommerce add up to a higher price than the competitors.
c. Using plugins and extensions to get the desired functionality slows downloading speed, therefore, impacting overall performance.
The WooCommerce Community shares resources, conducts local meetups, and hosts weekly live sessions. The community is also connected over Facebook and Slack.
WooCommerce is a free plugin to enable open-source WordPress websites to work as an eCommerce store. However, the basic features to make your eCommerce store functional will cost about $10 per month.
Additional plugins and better security may cost you over $200 per year. Larger stores with advanced features may cost more than $1500, including developer assistance.
Live site examples
Northwest Eye Design, SQUATWOLF, Bang On Books, Lady Dye Yarns
This free-to-download open-source platform helps you to easily set up an online shop for your manufacturing business. The feature-rich eCommerce solution allows you to build your online store using their customizable templates. PrestaShop has robust web store management tools, which come in handy as you scale your business.
a. Visual builders of PrestaShop make the store creation process intuitive and easier.
b. It has 500 in-built features to help improve customer experience through better store management.
c. SSL protocol system secures transactions and one-page checkout boosts product purchase.
d. It supports 25 languages and payment options in different currencies, enabling store owners to cater to a global audience.
a. PrestaShop template customizations and add-ons are expensive.
b. The platform is not suitable for large stores.
c. Images are compressed which degrades quality.
PrestaShop has an active community of users, spread globally, that connects over forums and events. A lot of product queries can be resolved by reading through the official blog alone.
PrestaShop is 100% free and does not involve any subscription or commission. The open-source software can be downloaded for free with a one-time license.
Live site examples
Danone, Maniac Auto, Freshly Cosmetics, Bobbies
It is an eCommerce store builder with 500+ store templates for easily setting up an online store. Everything, from storefront to checkout, can be customized with Wix’s easy-to-use business tools. The platform allows you to list and manage up to 50,000 products conveniently.
a. The intuitive Wix dashboard helps you sell and manage products across various sales channels.
b. The platform offers a network of global payment providers along with their native solution known as Wix Payments.
c. Wix allows you to set up rules and automate shipping and taxation.
d. Although it offers a basic drag and drop builder, it is extremely easy to set up a store on Wix.
a. You need to opt for a paid plan to review site performance.
b. Changing your Wix template and even transferring your store to another platform is not easy.
The Wix community comprises marketers, designers, and developers who help each other design better websites to grow their business.
The annual plan of Wix eCommerce is known as Business Basic and costs $23 per month. An upgrade to the Business Unlimited plan costs $27 per month, whereas the Business VIP plan costs $49 per month.
Live site examples
Strathcona Spirits, House of Suppliez, DIVINIA Water, Casa Vilora Interiors
It is an all-inclusive cloud-based eCommerce platform that helps you easily create and manage your online store. It features expertly-designed responsive themes and a rich content editor to customize them. The built-in SEO and CRM system helps deliver a great customer experience.
a. Volusion offers useful features like inventory management and payment collection.
b. Its extensive API allows manufacturers to leverage a variety of functionalities in the store.
c. Customer support is available 24/7 over call, live chat, or email.
d. Advanced search tools and a navigation editor simplify and smoothen the browsing function.
a. The user interface is complex for those with little technical knowledge.
b. Customization costs are high compared to other open-source B2B eCommerce solutions.
c. Blog integration is tough.
Volusion offers well-written articles, guides, and tutorials to help users navigate the platform.
Volusion’s Personal plan is available for monthly billing of $29, Professional for $79, and Business for $299. Their prime plan is customizable and suits large businesses.
Live site examples
Fitness Finders, Sesame Street Live, Jon Hart Design
10. Salesforce Commerce Cloud
It is a powerful eCommerce solution that helps build a scalable online store. Salesforce boasts of useful tools such as product sorting, filtering images with built-in zoom capabilities as well as inventory management.
a. It is easy to personalize customer interactions by leveraging automation and AI.
b. The platform handles traffic fluctuations efficiently.
c. It supports seamless installation and integration of plugins and third-party add-ons.
d. The platform decently pulls data from other databases.
a. The platform costs are higher compared to competitors and add-ons are also chargeable.
b. The user interface is disorganized making navigation complex.
The Salesforce community offers abundant documentation, videos, walkthroughs, and interactive tutorials to educate and resolve issues of business owners. The community also allows you to attend events and connect with Salesforce experts.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud is free to set up. Its B2B Commerce plans are based on per order — for instance, Starter at $4, Growth at $6, and Plus at $8.
On the other hand, B2C Commerce plans are based on a percentage basis — for example, Starter at 1% Gross Merchandise Value (GMV), Growth at 2% GMV, and Plus at 3%. Another category is B2B2C Commerce, which is available for 1% GMV.
Live site examples
Puma, Cargill, Coca Cola, Stonewall Kitchen
Weebly is a beginner-friendly solution for starting an online store. The CMS platform offers eCommerce and blogging features for business owners. It helps you create a high-quality online store in 11 languages and reach out to a wider audience.
a. Easy to use drag and drop website builder.
b. Lots of pre-built themes are available on the platform and the builder also allows you to use your own theme.
c. Weebly Mobile App allows you to build and update your website on the go.
d. Weebly App Center offers various add-ons to enhance your website’s capabilities.
e. Websites built using Weebly can be easily exported to a new builder.
a. Customer support services and channels are dependent upon the plan opted.
b. Blog feature has limited functionality compared to WordPress or other popular eCommerce platforms.
c. Most plugins and add-ons are paid.
Weebly opens doors to an interactive community, allowing you to learn more about the platform with rather ease.
Weebly is priced at a monthly cost of $12 for its Pro plan, $25 for its Business plan, and $38 for the Business Plus Plan, when billed annually.
Live site examples
Merchant Method, The Pretzel Princess, Backwoods Beer Soap, Dharma Yoga Wheel
Previously known as 3dcart, Shift4Shop is a feature-rich eCommerce solution aimed at helping manufacturers achieve their full potential in the eCommerce ecosystem. Shift4Shop’s rich suite of business tools and shopping cart functionality assists with inventory control, security, marketing, and customer service.
a. Shift4Shop offers 100+ customizable templates with full access to HTML and CSS.
b. The platform offers Level 1 PCI compliance, thus safeguarding sensitive data.
c. You can use advanced SEO and marketing tools to reach out to a wider audience.
d. It easily integrates with back-end systems.
e. Shift4Shop’s optimized code ensures the crucial elements of a page load first.
a. It offers limited support for mobile apps, which can be a downer.
b. Its base platform requires multiple add-ons for CRM, taxes, shipping, and so on.
c. Its customer service can be improved.
The Shift4Shop customer community support is robust and helps new store owners as they set up their stores. The Online eCommerce University and Forum offer a lot of free resources.
Shift4Shop’s End-to-End Ecommerce version is free for life — although it is for US customers only. To benefit from this plan, you must use Shift4Shop Payments as the payment solution for your eCommerce store. Other than that, you can opt for monthly plans such as Basic for $29, Plus for $79, and Pro for $229.99.
Live site examples
CozyCoverz.com, TruTech Tools, eLeMeNO-Pee, Stockade
Zyro is a useful builder to design custom websites and set up online stores without any coding knowledge. The platform offers features such as a drag and drop editor that allows you to set up your manufacturing business online and streamline operations. Zyro integrates with all kinds of inventory management software and CRM tools for delivering optimal performance.
a. Zyro’s library has a lot of fully customizable templates. Five elements of different designs can even be put together to create a unique one. Access a library of images from the backend.
b. The platform enables responsiveness for both desktop and mobile experiences.
c. Its grid system is useful when customizing layouts, and you can also leverage in-built AI tools to simplify the store setup process.
a. Domain name handling is complex.
b. Functionality is limited and may not be useful as you scale your business.
Zyro offers support through their knowledge base and customer service including live chat.
Zyro offers two eCommerce plans — the Ecommerce plan is for $19.90 and avail the Ecommerce Plus plan at $25.90 per month.
Live site examples
Stoic Shirts, Forrest, The Daily Doodle Art, Notebook Therapy
osCommerce is an open-source self-hosted platform that helps you set up a scalable online store for your manufacturing business. It can be easily customized and extended, and .
a. The platform has the capability to build a concise and detailed catalog of 10000+ products.
b. Enjoy its efficient order processing and inventory management functionalities to better manage and track orders.
c. Its single checkout option allows end customers to buy and add products from different online stores.
a. It does not have many features and functions.
b. Practical knowledge of programming and coding is required for optimal usage of the platform, which may not be always possible to have.
c. Security and software updates are not automated.
osCommerce has a wide and enthusiastic community, comprising over 296,887 store owners, developers, and service providers.
osCommerce is completely free for download. You need to purchase a hosting plan of approximately $5 per month and a domain name for $10 per year.
Live site examples
JetPens, Vivid Racing, Sump Pumps Direct, Sport Compact Warehouse
It is a feature-rich and easy-to-use eCommerce store builder. The open-source platform is focused on worldwide commerce. OpenCart helps you create visually appealing store designs with an intuitive interface. There are a lot of pre-built offers, discounts, and coupons that can be used to increase sales.
a. OpenCart allows you to set user privileges and role-based access for user groups.
b. The platform offers highly customizable templates.
c. You can utilize plenty of third-party modules, add-ons, and extensions to enhance eCommerce storefront capabilities.
d. OpenCart does offer sufficient marketing features for new manufacturing businesses to get started.
a. The platform does not support large stores.
b. There are several bugs and technical issues on the platform.
OpenCart has a community forum for users to share their experiences and receive answers to their questions.
OpenCart is a free-to-use platform. It offers professional technical support on a chargeable basis. The pricing is on a query basis or for continuous customer service, you can avail of Premium Support at $99 per month.
Live site examples
Shorelines Distribution, British Red Cross (Gift Shop), Missy Empire, Everbuild
It is an open-source, Joomla-based eCommerce platform. It is written in PHP and works flawlessly in a PHP / MySQL environment. The platform offers many customizable features and can also be used as a catalog. VirtueMart supports add-in modules for product management and order fulfillment. It downloads as a bundled version of Joomla.
a. The platform supports Nested categories to improve the structure of the eCommerce manufacturing shopfront.
b. The native review and rating system helps improve the customer experience.
c. VirtueMart supports multi-currency transactions, allowing you to reach out to a wider audience across the globe.
a. Knowledge of CSS is required for integration with Joomla.
b. The platform lacks advanced features such as social media and mobile integrations.
c. Customer service is insufficient and browsing through support documentation is cumbersome.
VirtueMart has a discussion forum where users and developers can ask questions, seek advice, and resolve queries.
VirtueMart is free-to-download. However you will have to pay for add-ons, integrations, and hosting.
Live site examples
You Can Print, Ripe Publishing, Barossa Fine Foods, Rosen Classroom
GoDaddy is a website-building platform and it has all the right tools to help you set up an online store for your manufacturing business. It offers a wide range of services such as SSL certification, security, and other prominent eCommerce solutions to help you make the most of your platform and drive sales successfully.
a. GoDaddy offers the widest range of tools compared to other eCommerce website builders.
b. Unlimited products with multiple variants can be listed on a GoDaddy website.
c. The platform features marketing and performance analysis tools.
d. It supports most of the global payment solutions and also provides shipping services through trusted carriers such as DHL and USPS.
a. The platform does not support social media selling.
b. Scalability of GoDaddy is limited.
c. Plus, the use of ADI limits creativity.
The GoDaddy Community is the perfect spot for inspiration and advice. Its blog and forums offer answers to the most common business queries.
GoDaddy offers a one-month free trial of its website builder. But if you want to use the paid version, it is available for $19.99 per month or $239.88 per year.
Live site examples
Gogi Korean Restaurant, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, San Gabriel Valley Humane Society, Women Working in Technology
18. Square Online
It is a straightforward platform that helps you build an intuitive and functional online store for your manufacturing business. Using this eCommerce platform is simple and straightforward, and does not require web design or coding knowledge. Access a new way of selling with Square Online. Its unique pricing allows small merchants to use the features for free.
a. Square Online offers the most sophisticated features at a reasonable price, making it ideal for small business owners.
b. The platform offers an extensive dashboard providing insights into sales, customer journeys, and cart abandonment.
c. It is loaded with pre-built marketing features, including paid advertisements and email marketing.
a. The platform does not offer shipping support.
b. It is not suitable for stores with high sales volume.
c. Using the Square payment gateway is compulsory to avoid higher transaction fees.
The Square Online Community is perfect for connecting with fellow sellers to ask for help and ideate new features.
Square Online is available for free. There are two annual subscription plans — use Professional for $12 per month, Performance for $26 per month, and Premium for $72 per month.
Live site examples
Beauty Marked Vintage, The Green Pharmacy, Is Press, Embroidery Super Deal
This is a suitable eCommerce platform for setting up online businesses, especially if you are amateur with a limited budget. Moreover, EKM allows you to quickly design and build a custom store even without any technical knowledge. A free domain name and SSL certificate are included in the service for the first year.
a. EKM offers several customizable themes suitable for various industries.
b. The platform is equipped with order processing and marketing tools to save your time.
c. Integration with PayPal and other payment solutions enables easy and transaction fee-free payment collection.
d. You get 24/7 server monitoring and unlimited bandwidth to keep your store running hassle-free.
a. Membership plans are limited by revenue your business generates.
b. VAT is applicable upon the standard fee.
c. Help desk assistants are sometimes not courteous.
The EKM community provides its members access to the latest news, platform-related tips, and tutorials.
There are several monthly pricing packages offered by EKM, including the Basic plan at £34.99, a Standard plan at £69.99, Advanced plan at £209.99, and Pro plan at £599.99. VAT is also levied on each of these plans.
Live site examples
Dan Test Platform, Dan Taylor Modelworks, Dandelion Baby Clothes, Dance Shoes International
The eCommerce platform helps small store owners to set up an online presence. BigCartel offers a large number of pre-built themes with various customization options to help build eCommerce sites suitable for different industries.
a. BigCartel is easy and free-to-use.
b. In addition to using themes, you can personalize the website's code.
c. Both the frontend and backend of sites built on BigCartel are optimized to load quickly.
d. The CMS dashboard is very intuitive and has an icon-based navigation menu.
e. Multiple products can be added using a CSV file, which is brilliant if you deal with high-volume product categories.
a. It does not have a search function.
b. The platform offers limited payment options.
c. BigCartel does not support advanced capabilities and therefore, is not suitable for larger manufacturing businesses.
BigCartel has a comprehensive blog to help users and keep them updated with product launches and events.
BigCartel is free to use for manufacturing stores selling up to five products under its Gold plan. The Platinum packaging is available for $9.99 per month and applies to up to 50 products. For listing 500 products, opt for the Diamond plan for $19.99 per month.
Live site examples
Nic Annette Miller, The Hype Machine, Regan Smith Clarke Clothing (RSC), Jim Golden Studio
How to find the best eCommerce platform for your manufacturing business
Manufacturers can record increased sales as soon as they move their operations online. With the right online shopping platform, they can also reach out to a larger target audience and build long-lasting relationships with existing customers.
Plus, there is always an option to integrate the platform with diverse business solutions and digitize their marketing efforts. If you play your cards right, there is no stopping you from winning the eCommerce game because everyone wants a piece of the pie.
You know how important it is to find an appropriate online shopping platform. But how do you find the best option for your business? On the basis of these five elements:
1. Setup and ease of use
You do not want to choose an eCommerce platform that is tough to install, use, customize or scale. Technology is supposed to simplify your job, not toughen things for you. Therefore, ask yourself for the following questions:
- Is the eCommerce platform easy to learn?
- How easy is it to integrate the platform with other tools?
- Do you have to look up any pre-built integrations or APIs?
- Will you need to conduct training workshops for your employees?
- Does the vendor offer excellent tech support, user manual and tutorials?
- Can the third-party tools be integrated without any complicated workarounds?
- Will you be able to personalize the store and sell your products or services easily?
Once you are able to find convincing answers for all these questions, you will know exactly what type of eCommerce platform you should get.
2. Setup flow
You must confirm if the platform has an easy setup flow and you are able to understand everything you need to do before the launch. This includes:
- Bulk-uploading products from CSV files — an ideal option for a fast-growing catalog.
- Domain name registration — This can cost you extra but determine if this is taken care of by your vendor.
- Payment processing — The more options for customers, the better. No one likes to be forced to pay using a mode they do not prefer.
- One-click app marketplace — You will want to deploy a plethora of one-click applications without having to hire developers. Make sure these tools connect and update in real-time and without any hassle.
3. Type of eCommerce platform
There are two ways any eCommerce site can be hosted — cloud and self-hosted. Although both options have their pros and cons, it does make sense to opt for an eCommerce platform on the cloud so you do not have to worry about the nitty-gritty of managing the core backend. Plus, the vendor will notify in case you need to upgrade the platform or install any new plugins.
Different eCommerce platforms will offer different features. What might work for your competitor may not work for you. Therefore, it is important for you to review the functionalities you may require for scaling up your business. Some popular features include built-in marketing support, mobile-friendliness, customer service, payment modes, product discounts, and so on.
If you have finally shortlisted a few eCommerce platforms, you must determine the one which is giving you maximum value for money. While it may seem obvious, the truth is different platform offer different features at different prices,
Some platforms have a base rate and then charge subscriptions based on how you want to optimize or scale your eCommerce site.
Therefore, before making a decision, it might be worth identifying the features you need and choosing a platform providing those features at the lowest price.
Ready to build your online store?
With 20 eCommerce platforms listed above, we think it is clear that manufacturers can comfortably make their debut in online retail. However, please note the success of your eCommerce business lies in the combined efforts of how well you execute your business model and what type of tech stack you choose.
When choosing a platform, it is tempting to opt for a popular one or the one that seems to offer the maximum features. However, you must first consider your business objectives, products or services, and customer requirements.
If Wix works for your competitors, it does not mean it is perfect for you. The right eCommerce platform is one which has all the functionalities you need with the flexibility to personalize the experience to win and retain customers and sharpen your competitive edge.
At Intuz, we understand how overwhelming it can get to make a choice. For more than a decade, we have been the trusted partner for many eCommerce businesses. And we are more than happy to help you make the decision for your manufacturing company.