Choosing an e-commerce solution for your online store can be a very frustrating experience. The more you research, the more choices you discover then you end up suffering from a severe case of analysis paralysis. Reading through the features of every single available online store builder you come across can prove exhausting. Coming across another list of e-commerce builders can be infuriating. You need a shortcut.
Though selection may be challenging, it does not mean that you should take a shot in the dark and pick just any e-commerce solutions provider. There is a simple way to find the e-commerce solution that you need to launch your online store. Base your selection on your online store needs. By asking yourself the right questions, you should be able to narrow down your choices of e-commerce solutions to a very manageable number.
Do I need a hosted or self-hosted e-commerce solution?
You can start by narrowing down to the right category of e-commerce builder that you need. You have two choices: hosted e-commerce solution and self-hosted e-commerce solution.
Self-hosted online store builders are standalone programs that require you to install them on your hosting account. They demand that you set up, configure and manage your host to power your e-commerce website.
In a hosted e-commerce solution, the service provider manages all the technical aspects of running your website. You only need to sign up, build your store using simple e-commerce websites templates provided and with a few clicks you can have your online store up and running in the shortest time.
To decide between the two, you can ask yourself the following questions:
Does my online store require a unique features?
If you only require a basic functional store that is focused more on business tasks, a hosted e-commerce solution is ideal. However, to build a heavily customized store or if you want to build custom tools that are very specific to your needs, you require a flexible self-hosted solution.
Am I comfortable with the technical side of running an e-commerce site or hiring a technical team?
If the answer is yes, then you need a self-hosted e-commerce solution. It is ideal if you are interested in the technical aspects of running an online store and are willing to invest time learning and implementing them. It is also suitable if you are also willing to hire a reliable developer or a team of technical staff to handle the tasks.
After narrowing down on the category of e-commerce solutions, you can then choose the most popular of either. Shopify or BigCommerce are popular hosted e-commerce solutions while Magento and WordPress are popular self-hosted solutions.
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