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Clash of the Ecommerce Titans : Magento Go Vs Shopify Vs Bigcommerce Vs Volusion

September 17, 2013
Clash of the Ecommerce Titans : Magento Go Vs Shopify Vs Bigcommerce Vs Volusion

Ecommerce platforms essentially assist online businesses and shoppers in managing a myriad of functions such as inventory, creation of accounts, wish lists, maintenance of order histories and assessing margins. While the involvement of a solution provider such as Pay Pal may suffice a smaller ecommerce portal, growing businesses that keep innovation as their benchmark, and introduce newer products everyday may need a more robust support.

The most popular solutions offered in this space are by Magento Go,  Shopify, BigCommerce and Volusion.  However, each one of these tools has its own set of pros and cons.

1.  Magento Go

magento go

Considering Magento Go is the most advanced self hosted ecommerce platform, setting up a Magento Go ecommerce website requires expert involvement. Built by the developers for the developers, one needs to have advanced knowledge in HTML/CSS/PHP to optimize the tools of this platform to create a website.

To be able to take advantage of everything Magento Go has to offer, one needs to have a minimum of intermediate expertise in HTML/CSS/PHP. Also, Magento Go as a platform is not able to take advantage of the extensive plug in library offered by other variants of Magento. In this aspect, Shopify and BigCommerce are more preferred due to their relatively more extensive plug-in library. Magneto Go supports shipping outside of the US in a number of countries with its tie-up with UPS

Pros of Magento Go

  • Can be customized to a greater extent.
  • Easy to use reporting and inventory management solutions

Cons of Magento Go

  • Cannot leverage extensive plug-in library that is  offered for Magento Community Users.
  • Demands a steep learning curve for even simply activities such as installing a theme.
  • No in-built blog functionality like Shopify.

2. Shopify

Shopify pros and cons

Among all platforms, this one is the easiest to set up. One does not require much expertise in coding to create a customized portal that is effective. The website can be created without having to write a single line of codes. However, due to the ease in setting up, this platform offers minimum room for customization.

Another flaw in this platform is the fact that they expect developers to use a ‘Shopify’ specific programming language to customize templates. Shopify comes with a very limited template library of only about 200 templates. This platform focuses on shipping products only within the US hereby limiting your delivery bandwidth.

Pros of Shopify

  • Extremely easy to setup
  • User-friendly when one needs to make small customizations
  • Affordable and provides sufficient technical support

Cons of Shopify

  • Limited options for customization
  • Relatively small library of templates
  • Fewer options for reporting

3. Bigcommerce

Bigcommerce pros and cons

This platform is able to effectively compete with Shopify with respect to ease in setting up of online store. This platform too, does not expect you to be an expert in coding to create a customized website.

A big advantage over Shopify is that BigCommerce does not expect you to learn any special programming language for customization of templates. However, getting creative with your design on this platform may not be as challenging as it is on Shopify.

The built-in templates on this platform are also not as aesthetic as the ones offered on Shopify. However, developers are able to purchase third party themes that allow the ecommerce websites to stand out in comparison.

BigCommerce is able to facilitate shipping all over the world.

Pros of BigCommerce

  • Setup is Extremely easy
  • Allows you to use HTML/CSS for editing the themes
  • Provides support for International Shipping

Cons of BigCommerce

  • Built-in Templates are not aesthetic enough
  • The customization features on BigCommerce are more complex than those offered by Shopify
  • They offer limited support for third party applications.

4.  Volusion

Volusion pros and cons

Volusion too is quite intuitive and easy to use. The installation process is quite painless. This platform is written in ASP.NET, making it a Windows based ecommerce solution. With a little bit of research, developers are able to set up a website on this platform within minutes

With basic expertise in standard programming languages, developers can create some extremely appealing ecommerce interfaces using Volusion. With innovative features such as vZoom image resizing and other such plug-ins and templates, the Volusion platform is the most customizable and consequently appealing to online shoppers.

Volusion too facilitates international buying and shipping.

Pros of Volusion

  • Easy to Setup
  • Easily customizable
  • Good for international shipping

Cons of Volusion

  • Ideal only for Windows based ecommerce platforms
  • Does not provide a blogging tool like that one which is available in Shopify
  • Fewer content management features

With every platform offering its own set of advantages and drawbacks, selecting the right platform is a personal decision that needs to be taken in sync with your business goals.

My personal choice from the above set of ecommerce platforms will be Shopify, simply because of the ease of setting it up and the cool inbuilt blog feature.

You may also be interested in reading :

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  • Best Magento Extensions To Boost Sales Of Your E-Commerce Website

Best Magento Extensions To Boost Sales Of Your E-Commerce Website

August 12, 2013
Best Magento Extensions To Boost Sales Of Your E-Commerce Website

Turning to the top 100 thousand busiest sites on the internet, according to Alexa, a February eCommerce survey found the largest market share of eCommerce software continues to be with Magento.

This is not surprising as its open, modular architecture, extremely flexible platform, makes customization and adding new functionalities much simpler and manageable. And despite the fact that it has been around only a few years, it has been gaining more and more popularity among web designers and e-commerce website owners.

Here we look at best Magento extensions that can help your business acquire, convert and retain more customers.

 

GoMage Advanced Navigation

GoMage’s Advanced Navigation extension is designed to optimize your Magento store, by improving navigation and product filtering which in turn allows customers to quickly find what they are looking for. With its integrated ajax filters, selected data gets refreshed promptly, or certain attribute filters can be hidden, allowing customers to experience a more agreeable shopping experience, rather than waiting for the entire page to refresh.

AheadWorks Blog

By easily integrating this Magento Blog extension on your Magento website, you create an effective platform through which you can interact with your regular customers or even casual visitors. By encouraging visitors to engage in a two way conversation you can leverage this platform to provide official information about your store, promotions, upcoming deals, and products. This platform can also be used as an effective tool to ‘interact’ and find ‘live’ feedback from your customer.

RewardPoints

An inbuilt reward program can really act as an effective marketing tool that not only promotes specific products, but also encourage customers to come back and spend more on your site. With Reward Points extension of Magento, you can set exactly the number of points that a customer can earn for some actions they perform e.g.: Sign up, purchase products, review or tag products, take polls etc. and in turn they can redeem these collected points while purchasing a product to get additional discounts.

M2E Pro

This free extension (did I say FREE..o yes!) helps in completely integrating your Magento website into the eBay platform. With the ability to import eBay transactions and create Magento orders, you can easily manage all your product listings, synchronize stock levels, product details, pricing structures and many other tasks that reduce time for listing maintenance. By reaching out to a wider audience through these platforms, both eBay and Amazon, your business can significantly improve sales.

 Mega Menu

Consider these statistics. On an average, a customer stays on a particular web page for no longer than 20 seconds. It is thus important that your web design allows users to navigate through your pages with the minimum number of clicks possible. With the Mega Menu magento extension, you can help your visitors find the information they need as quickly as possible, consequently ensuring a higher sales turnover.

Daily Deal Extension

With the help of the Daily Deal Magento extension, you can easily manage one or more deals on products that you intend to release on your website. You can set up your promotion time – create daily, weekly and even monthly deals that can be displayed on your daily deal page, sidebar or product page. The more often you display deals, the more your customers will be encouraged to visit your website regularly!

Amasty Gift Extension

This magento gifts extension allows you to attract a wide customer base that is evidently more enticed by free gifts than big discounts. With this extension you can introduce free items to the cart, offers ‘buy one get one free’ offers and release a number of exciting gifting options to keep your customers interested!

 

With the support of these powerful and simple extensions, you can make sure your e-commerce business propel growth and realize revenues.

 If you have some custom magento extensions to be made or are having problems customizing an extension or the core functionality of magento, don’t hesitate to contact us and we will surely help you out.

Magento SEO

June 2, 2013
Magento SEO

Top Things To Remember: Magento SEO

 

Meta Information : “Meta” means “About the subject”. The meta tags of the page provide information to all search engines and help them categorize the pages better. It is of utmost importance that the meta tags of a particular page compliment its content.Search Engines change their policies regularly, so it is advised to provide all the information.

a. Optimizing Magento Pages: In Magento you can add meta information to the page by following the below given steps:

  • Log into your magento website’sback end.
  • Select CMS| Pages. The page displays all the pages present in the store.
  • Select the page whose meta information you want to add/edit.
  • Click on the “Meta Data” tab and add the “Meta Keywords” and “Meta Description” of the page

b. Optimizing Magento Products : This works just like optimizing magento pages but instead of the above steps you have to follow a bit different but similar procedure.

  • Log into your Magento website’s back end.
  • Select Catalog| Products. The page displays all the products present in the store.
  • Select the product whose meta information you want to add/edit.
  • Click on the “Meta information” tab and add the “Meta Keywords” and “Meta Description” of the product.

c.  Magento product URL rewrite: In Magento you can edit URL’s of specific products by following the specific steps

  • Log into your magento website’s back end.
  • Select Catalog| URL Rewrite Management. The page displays all the products present in the store.
  • Select the product whose URL you want to edit.

d.  Add Google Sitemap: In Magento you can add your store’s google site map by following the specific steps

  • Log into your magento website’s back end.
  • Select Catalog| Google Sitemap.
  • Click on Add Sitemap.
  • Give the appropriate file name and path and click on save.

These are some basic tips and tricks for optimizing your website on various search engines like Google, Bing, yahoo etc. For complete optimization of your magento e-store contact us today at info@theoctopustech.com

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