Infograph: The 80/20 Guide to Finding the Perfect Ecommerce Platform

by JunLoayza on May 30, 2013

infograph-perfect-ecommerce-platform

The vast majority of ecommerce platform reviews have it wrong: they start with the platform in mind instead of the entrepreneur in mind.  At Ecommerce Rules, we put the entrepreneur first.

We’ve analyzed the 9 types of entrepreneurs and recommended the perfect ecommerce platform for each one – lets get started.

Click on the image below to see a larger view:

Infograph: Guide to Finding the Best Ecommerce Platform

The 80/20 Guide to Finding the Perfect Ecommerce Platform – An infographic by the team at Ecommerce Rules

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1. The Retail Entrepreneur looking to start a fashion retail company

Characteristics:

  • Aims to create a new brand
  • Seeks an easy-to-implement platform that is expandable as well
  • Lacks exposure: current customers are friends and family
  • Features wanted: discounts, free shipping, and other promos

Best Ecommerce Platform: Storenvy

Storenvy has created a powerful niche in its fashion-oriented community.  While many platforms such as Shopify allow you to create a beautiful storefront, only Storenvy is FREE and has a highly trafficked marketplace that will buy your products from day one.

This is HUGE!  It’s the difference between selling products from day 1 vs. struggling to drive traffic and customers for your store.

Pros:

  1. Free
  2. Easy set up – no developer required
  3. Easy customization (for colors, logos, and styling)
  4. Access to highly targeted marketplace
  5. Deep social integrations
  6. Can use your own domain
  7. Available API for advanced customization

2. The Fashion Blogger looking to sell clothing from their closet

Characteristics:

  • Wants a cost-free platform
  • Easy to set up: no online selling experience required
  • Looking to sell to a fashion-oriented marketplace
  • Has a fashion blog with an audience that is ready to purchase

Best Ecommerce Platform: Posh Mark

As a fashion blogger, you need a solution that will take care of EVERYTHING for you: credit card processing, item listing, customer marketplace, and shipping.  All you should focus on is your fashion blog and taking pictures of your clothing.  Well, this is exactly what Posh Mark does!

Sure Ebay allows you to list your items and Storenvy has a big marketplace as well, but Posh Mark excels in its simplicity and it’s super highly targeted marketplace.

Pros:

  1. Free
  2. Easy set up – no developer required
  3. Access to highly target marketplace
  4. Deep social integrations
  5. iPhone friendly
  6. Shipping is taken care of

3. The Corporate 9-5’er looking to start a side business

Characteristics:

  • Has a stable income
  • Has money saved up to invest in a company
  • Seeks long-term growth as opposed to short term gain
  • Open to selling whatever will generate profits

Best Ecommerce Platform: Shopify

Shopify is an easy-to-setup yet robust platform that is in the same league as Volusion and Big Commerce.  What makes Shopify stand out from its competitors is its great customer service and extensive marketplace for apps, which allow you to infinitely expand features for your store.

As a corporate 9-5’er, you have a stable income and your nights and weekends to work on your side project.  This means you have the time and resources to learn about SEO, social media marketing, and conversion optimization for ecommerce stores to gradually improve your store on a continuous basis.

Pros:

  1. Many themes to choose from to create a unique store
  2. Easy to set up – no developer required
  3. Easy customization (for colors, logos, and styling)
  4. Vast app store to add on features
  5. Can use your own domain
  6. Available API for advanced customization
  7. Included blogging platform
  8. Robust CMS to track customers and market to them
  9. 24/7 customer support
  10. Easy international shipping

4. The Lifestyle Designer looking to build a drop-shipping company

Characteristics:

  • Aims to build a lifestyle business
  • Needs a platform that is easy to set up, customizable, yet doesn’t require a developer
  • Wants to minimize hours worked
  • Needs a solution that links order processing, inventory, and shipment

Best Ecommerce Platform: Shopify + eCommHub

Although drop-shipping has many benefits: no inventory, sell someone else’s product, someone else handles shipping and fulfillments, it does come with it’s fair share of challenges: order processing, inventory management, product fulfillment, and customer service.

When building a lifestyle business, it’s important that you adhere to the following principles:

  1. Stay lean
  2. Keep costs low
  3. Automate EVERYTHING

While Shopify is a great platform for any entrepreneur, it doesn’t quite have the order routing features that are needed by default, which is why it’s so great that Shopify has an extensive app store.  eCommHub is a Shopify app that simplifies the customer fulfillment process when working with multiple drop-shipping companies.

Pros:

  1. Many themes to choose from to create a unique store
  2. Easy to set up – no developer required
  3. Easy customization (for colors, logos, and styling)
  4. Vast app store to add on features
  5. Can use your own domain
  6. Available API for advanced customization
  7. Included blogging platform
  8. Robust CMS to track customers and market to them
  9. 24/7 customer support
  10. Easy international shipping
  11. Simplifies operations and management between retailer and drop shipper

5. The Artist/Designer looking to sell do-it-yourself items online

Characteristics:

  • Wants a platform that is cost free
  • Easy to set up: no development experience required
  • Looking to sell to a marketplace that wants do-it-yourself/one-of-a-kind products

Best Ecommerce Platform: Etsy

Etsy is to do-it-yourself products as Storenvy is to fashion/cute products.  Not only is Etsy free to use and easy to set up, it boasts the leading marketplace for users that want one-of-a-kind, do-it-yourself products.

You may be asking, “Why don’t I just use Storenvy to sell my one-of-a-kind products?” Well it’s true, you absolutely could, but to maximize your exposure and target the right audience, Etsy is definitely the place to go.

Etsy is the home for arts and crafts, vintage clothing, and handcrafted jewelry.

Pros:

  1. Free
  2. Easy set up – no developer required
  3. Access to highly targeted marketplace

6. The Internet Entrepreneur looking to build the next Fab.com

Characteristics:

  • Aims to raise funding
  • Is an engineer or has an engineer on the founding team
  • Needs a robust system that is infinitely expandable
  • Looking to create an innovative shopping experience for an untapped market

Best Ecommerce Platform: Magento

An Internet entrepreneur is not looking to build a lifestyle business; rather, you’re looking to build the next breakthrough store, such as Fab.com.  An Internet entrepreneur aims to raise funding and has an engineer on the founding team.  This is why Magento is the perfect platform to build your store.

Magento is infinitely expandable, allowing you to create innovative customer experiences that revolutionize the online shopping process.  The goal is not to do what others have done; rather, it’s to innovate and create a new way to shop online.

Pros:

  1. SUPER customizable
  2. Innovation friendly: create unique features that no other platform has

7. The Stay-at-home Mom looking to generate some more income

Characteristics:

  • Has time to sell items online but doesn’t have online marketing expertise
  • Needs a super simple platform
  • Looking for a huge marketplace that is ready to buy
  • No up front costs

Best Ecommerce Platform: Ebay

Moms understand how swap meets or garage sales work, so they’ll understand how Ebay works.  Furthermore, moms are usually looking to make some quick cash on the side (short term gain) as opposed to building a business selling products (long term gain).  For this reason, Ebay is the best platform to sell your kid’s old stuff: video games, music equipment, toys, stuffed animals, sporting goods, and even school supplies.

Pros:

  1. Established marketplace that will buy anything
  2. Easy to set up
  3. Free

8. The Innovator looking to test their product

Characteristics:

  • Aims to build a brand new, revolutionary product
  • Doesn’t have the capital to complete the product and begin manufacturing
  • Needs to easily test to see if people will buy the product

Best Ecommerce Platform: Kickstarter

Kickstarter is an innovators dream come true.

The Lean Startup Philosophy teaches us to sell before the product is finished.  The goal is to find out if people will buy the product and receive feedback as fast as possible.

Kickstarter takes the Lean Startup Philosophy one step further and provides a platform where an innovator can raise funding, sell the product, and get press – all before the product is complete and ready to ship.

Pros:

  1. Raise funding
  2. Sell your product before it’s complete
  3. Free
  4. Easy to set up
  5. Get press opportunities
  6. Deep social integrations
  7. Highly targeted marketplace

9. The Unemployed in desperate need of money

Characteristics:

  • Needs money now
  • Not looking to build a long-term business
  • Does not understand online marketing

Best Ecommerce Platform: Craigslist

If you’re in desperate need of money, then Craigslist is the best place to sell the stuff you own that you don’t want anymore: sell your old bike, your old TV, or your old furniture.  It’s great because the people shopping from you are local and can pay you in cash in person.

Pros:

  1. Local marketplace
  2. Get paid in cash now

About the author

JunLoayza Jun Loayza is the President of Ecommerce Rules. In his entrepreneurial experience, Jun has sold 2 internet companies, raised over $1,000,000 in Angel funding, and lead social media technology campaigns for Sephora, Whole Foods Market, Levi's, LG, and Activision. Find Jun on Google or Twitter

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Gerald Reus May 30, 2013 at 12:45 pm

This is a fabulous infograph! Just what I was looking for :)

JunLoayza May 30, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Thanks Gerald! We put a lot of work into this. Glad you liked it and found it valuable.

Tom May 30, 2013 at 6:47 pm

This is awesome – I think another category could be added for Demandware as I feel like they’re on an entirely other level than anything else out right now – perhaps “The Internet Mega Merchant”

Jun Loayza May 31, 2013 at 8:49 am

Very interesting Tom. I’ll check out Demandware. Though I can see that they’re more focused on mega companies as opposed to startup companies. The infograph is focused on entrepreneurs that want to start a new business and what platform is best for them.

Cheers!

Jan Koch May 31, 2013 at 7:34 am

I love this infographic, it’s brilliant :-)
Thanks for putting so much efforts into it.
Btw. I just signed in for your newsletter as well, I looking forward to the interviews in Week 1 + 2.

Best regards,
Jan

Jun Loayza May 31, 2013 at 8:50 am

Terrific! Let me know what you think.

The drop-ship domination system launches in a couple of weeks. Be on the look out!

Tristan King July 2, 2013 at 7:21 am

Great analysis of the different platforms. Nicely presented, too.

Jun Loayza July 31, 2013 at 10:28 pm

Thanks so much Tristan! Great site you got there.

Greg August 16, 2013 at 10:13 am

Hi Jun! Another ecommerce platform, which would be perfect for the Internet Entrepreneur would be Avetti Commerce. Ever heard of them? Probably not, as they have been keeping a low-key profile. They actually performed a benchmarking test to see who has the fastest open source ecommerce.
Customization is key, but so is speed to capture all possible sales. http://www.avetticommerce.com/ecommerce-performance-benchmarking

Kata OS September 25, 2013 at 7:35 am

Hi Jun!
AbanteCart is an ideal ecommerce platform for my small online business. I expected small issues in installation and preparation, but all actually went very smooth. I used softaculous on my host to install, and managed to set site up in about 10 minutes.

Kata OS October 18, 2013 at 12:35 pm

The shopping cart I chose is AbanteCart because of the code it outputs and it has so many great features. It has great UI, rather secure with a fantastic layout. Also installation of extensions is very easy.
I also tried CS-Cart. It is easy to set up and manage it. There are much more features in comparing with other shopping carts.

Leo November 7, 2013 at 2:39 pm

Great info graph! Btw, what about wordpress based ecommerce? If you noticed, WooCommerce is the fastest growing ecommerce platform on Builtwith.com. And on Google Trends, WooCommerce has overtaken both Shopify and will outgrow Magento within 1-2 years!

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