There are seemingly millions of different considerations when it comes to choosing the right eCommerce platform for your brand’s online store. How can I successfully drive conversion? Which platform is the most customisable? What about SEO? How much is it going to cost? And there’s a world of options – between Magento, Shopify, WooCommerce, Opencart, BigCommerce, Big Cartel, Volusion, Squarespace Commerce, 3dcart and PrestaShop, You couldn’t be blamed for feeling a little bit overwhelmed when it comes to making your choice.
For brands operating in the fashion and lifestyle sphere, there’s another layer of complexity. Your digital offering needs to inspire beyond the purchase. You’re appealing to an inherently aesthetically biased (and, let’s face it… potentially scrupulous) audience. You’ll need something highly customisable with advanced shipping and CRM integrations, merchandising capabilities and a focus on automated marketing. For potentially high-value purchases, you’ll need a secure payment gateway and a straightforward returns and exchanges back-end system. To help you out, we’ve put together a brief guide to choosing the best eCommerce platform for your business.
Luxury brands like Harvey Nichols, Charlotte Tilbury and Rebecca Minkoff have all turned to Magento Commerce to power their eCommerce experiences. Why Magento? It’s flexible, it’s well respected. It’s appealing for premium brands because it’s a platform designed to be highly customised. Depending on where you are in your brand’s journey, you can also choose between the Open Source and the paid version of the platform – Magento Commerce. There are benefits to both, but you’ll choose the Commerce if you’re at a point where you’re beginning to consider growth through boosting AOV. The user segmentation capabilities mean that you can target your promotions based on location or specific customer attributes. You can also tailor product recommendations, upsells and cross-sells based on established rules.
As a fashion creative agency based in London, we’ve done a lot of work with Magento – undoubtedly a leader in this area. We worked with luxury children’s footwear brand, Magento, to build a beautifully bespoke Magento eCommerce. You can take a look at the project here.
WooCommerce is the eCommerce platform for WordPress. You’ve heard of WordPress, right? You probably have… after all, it the software that makes up around 26% of the web and the world’s most popular content management system. This is obviously the most natural option if you’re moving from a content-only site to an online store and it works with the majority of WordPress themes so you won’t need to adjust your aesthetic if it’s something you’re already happy with. Although its known as something of an all-rounder, many of its features like advanced order and inventory management tools are ideal for fashion brands. It’s also got a lot of key conversion-boosters like one-click refunds and guest checkouts, so you can rest assured that you’re staying ahead of the optimisation game.
With an easy-to-use back-end system, WooCommerce is great if you’re coming to the world of eCommerce without a hugely advanced level of development expertise when it comes to managing your store after the go-live. It’s entirely open source so you can customise absolutely everything and there’s also a worldwide community of developers willing to contribute to the WooCommerce conversation.
The best website builder for small businesses, Shopify is a great place to start for ambitious brands launching to market. It’s easy and it’s fast, which is one of its main benefits. They’re also something of a favourite with Millennial targeting brands – Kylie Cosmetics, Skinny Dip and Bootea are all sailing the Shopify ship. You can choose from over 100 free, fully responsive store themes with the potential colours, imagery, and fonts with ease. No design skills required. It’s a great option for brands at the beginning of their journey without loads of time or budget to allocate to design. It offers a comprehensive dashboard to help you make sense of your data, plus Mailchimp integration – so you can get marketing to your database ASAP. They also put out a huge amount of helpful content in the form of advice and guides to making the most out of your online Shopify store.
We worked with candle and fragrance brand IIUVO, to create a minimal, user-friendly site that made the most of their beautiful imagery.
OpenCart is a powerful, open source shopping cart system which is totally free to download and use. And the great thing is that there’s no limit when it comes to the size of the business. You can add an unlimited number of products to your store and an unlimited number of manufacturers, so if you are launching to market with a big catalogue of products. And on the other side of that is great filtering capabilities.
OpenCart also has over 13,000 modules and themes. It’s a lot. So, finding a design that works for your brand is pretty much guaranteed.