More and more consumers are choosing the option to buy online instead of running from one store to another. According to Statista, a German company specialising in market and consumer data, the revenue generated by e-commerce grew by 23 percent in 2020 in Germany alone compared to the year before. Many companies and brands are therefore making the decision to offer their products in their own online shop. As building an online shop can be especially difficult for inexperienced people, e-commerce platforms are available. In this article, we will show you what they do and which platforms there are.
E-commerce platforms are there to help you build an online shop and manage it. That means the platforms are not only helpful with designing the shop or listing products. They are rather an access point where retailers can find everything they need when it comes to building and managing an online shop.
Some examples show which tasks an e-commerce platform will provide support with:
In principle, e-commerce platforms are divided into two types: externally hosted and self-hosted. We will show you the differences in the following paragraphs.
Every website and every online shop needs hosting. That means the space on a server on which all information concerning a website is stored. With externally hosted e-commerce platforms, the hosting is already included in the package.
Usually, retailers then pay a fixed monthly fee, and the provider takes care of the set-up and updates concerning the hosting. The benefit of this type of platform is that users have more time to focus on their core business. However, this comes with less freedom of choice.
With self-hosted e-commerce platforms, retailers themselves take care of the hosting of their online shop. This can be done on an own server or by renting server space from a hosting provider. The ongoing administration and maintenance must then however be done independently, which takes time.
Self-hosted e-commerce platforms do come with more freedom of choice, though. That means retailers have the option to design their online shop just how they want it.
The question of whether a platform fits a certain retailer is an individual decision. Various factors play a role in this, such as technical expertise, the company’s size, which functions are important for the online shop, and how much time the company wants to invest into managing it. The following is a small selection of e-commerce platforms.
E-commerce is becoming ever more important in 2022. That is because this year, the monthly revenue of online retail has been much higher than that of brick-and-mortar retail once again. With the right e-commerce platform, companies no longer face the challenges that come with an online shop but are rather supported with building and managing one.
About the author:
BASIC thinking is an online magazine and is one of the widest reaching tech platforms in German-speaking countries. The magazine reports about social media, marketing, and business topics daily. This article was written by Christina Widner from BASIC thinking GmbH and BASIC thinking International.