Choosing the best E-commerce platform for your business.

Choosing the best platform for your company’s Ecommerce is not a decision you should take lightly. In addition to the fundamental questions like, does this fit my budget and is the platform easy to use, you need to consider a myriad of details. For example, you will need to know about how various platforms handle SEO considerations, the ability to add backend features, plug-in options, and more.

This guide will allow you to see how five of the top Ecommerce platforms (WooCommerce, Shopify, Squarespace, Magento, and Neto) stack up against each other.

This guide will allow you to see how five of the top Ecommerce platforms (WooCommerce, Shopify, Squarespace, Magento, and Neto) stack up against each other.

 

Quickly Compare the Top Platforms

  1. WooCommerce
  2. Shopify
  3. Squarespace
  4. Magento
  5. Neto

 

SEO Considerations

You likely already understand just how vital SEO is to your business and, therefore, your Ecommerce platform. Since an estimated 93 per cent of all internet activity starts with online searching, your site must excel in areas Google emphasizes. Otherwise, you miss out on a treasure trove of sales and contacts.

The following are critical areas that influence where your Ecommerce store will land on the SERPs and how the right Ecommerce platform can help you use them to your advantage.

  • Auto XML Sitemap – The XML sitemap exists on your webserver to help search engines find and index your site. (Not to be confused with the HTML Sitemap which does the same for human searchers) As you can imagine, manually maintaining a sitemap with hundreds or thousands of product pages would be exceptionally time-consuming. For this reason, an Ecommerce platform that will automatically generate and update as you add or delete pages is practically nonnegotiable.
  • Canonical URLs – A Canonical URL is the original web address of a page that appears in more than one location.
    For example, a website may sell pet stain remover on its home cleaning supplies page and its pet care page. Without a canonical URL, Google bots will see these pages as duplicate content. Having duplicate content is a sure-fire way to drop on the SERPs.
  • Independent H1 Headings – Your H1 tag is the primary heading on your category and products pages. These must be relevant to the search terms your prospective clients are using to shop. So, if you carry adjustable dog safety harnesses and this is a relevant term your customers would use, you can see how the match would benefit you.
  • Independent Image ALT Tags – An image ALT tag is a bit of text that describes an image on your page that bots cannot view. For example, dog raincoat- yellow is an ALT tag that allows bots to understand the product even though they technically cannot ‘see’ it. These tags are usually created automatically, but you will increase your visibility if you can adjust the tags to relevant search terms. If the coat’s brand name is ‘Fido Rain Away,’ it could easily be overlooked by bots. Adding the ALT ‘tag dog raincoat, yellow’ tells bots precisely what you are selling; your product will match customer searches.
  • Independent Meta Descriptions – Your product Meta description is the text appearing below your listing in the SERPs. The Meta description helps influence whether a searcher will choose your site or the site of a competitor. You can see how independent control of this facet can give you an edge over other sites.
  • Independent Navigation Links – The navigation link is the text seen for categories and products in your site navigation menu. Instead of using the auto-generated text from the platform, having control over this information allows you to offer streamlined spot-on details. This will improve your useability and the site visitors’ experience on your website.
  • Independent Page Titles – Your page title shows on the tab section of a browser and as part of a bookmark if the customer saves your page to their desktop. Often, Ecommerce platforms use names and categories that are identical to those in your store. A better option is to create page titles that include a keyword or search term. This action will enhance your SEO.
  • Independent Page URLs – The page URL is in the address bar of a web browser. It is common for Ecommerce sites to automatically generate identical names and categories for URLs, in the same way, these generate for page titles or navigation links. Controlling your URLs to ensure they are relevant and not excessively long will improve SEO and help your potential customers find you.
  • Integrated Blogging Platform – Having numerous quality links that lead to your website will help ensure your site has a prominent spot on the SERPs.

Relying on the distinctive qualities of your products is one way to attempt to get such links. A better (and more likely) way is to create relevant, engaging, and helpful blog content that readers will want to share.

An Ecommerce platform that allows you to create such blog posts is beneficial in that you can post your blog content without a great deal of effort.

  • Social Sharing buttons – We have all seen these icons. They make it possible to take your newest purchase from the shopping cart to all of your social media profiles in just a few clicks. Increasing your product visibility in this way is a no-brainer. You want to make it as easy as possible for the dog-mom who just bought an orthopedic bed for her Great Dane to show it off to everyone who follows her.

 

Comparing the Top Ecommerce Platforms

Top e-commerce platform comparison chart.

 

WooCommerce (Powered by WordPress)

Woocommerce website homepage.

If you have your website through WordPress, you may want to have a look at WooCommerce. Using the WordPress plugin should be straightforward. WooCommerce is a powerful favourite. In the United States, it runs 55 per cent of Ecommerce sites.

SEO Factors and WooCommerce

  • Auto XML Sitemap – WooCommerce users can turn to the Google Sitemap Generator for XML sitemap creation.
  • Canonical URLs – Users can make adjustments
  • Independent H1 Headings – Typically generated when you enter your product name
  • Independent Image ALT Tags – WooCommerce users can manually set ALT tags
  • Independent Meta Descriptions – By using one of several plug-ins, you can create Meta descriptions in WooCommerce
  • Independent Navigation Links – WooCommerce users can customise their site navigation links
  • Independent Page Titles – Users can customise page titles
  • Independent Page URLs – WooCommerce users can alter the page URLs
  • Integrated Blogging Platform – Since WooCommerce is a part of WordPress, which is a site for blogging, users have access to numerous blogging tools
  • Social Sharing buttons- WooCommerce users need a plugin to add social sharing buttons.

Other Key Features

  • Customisation Features – Users of WooCommerce can use hundreds of plugins to ensure their store meets their expectations.
  • Price – Using WooCommerce is technically free. However, you will run into fees for services such as hosting or domain costs. The platform is one of the most flexible. It allows users a significant degree of control over costs.
  • Technical – WooCommerce is exceptionally user-friendly. You do not need to be a technological expert in using the site. Additionally, users do not need coding expertise.
  • Plugin options – WooCommerce has a seemingly endless supply of plugins. Some are free, and others have basic editions that are free but offer professional versions that come with a price tag. The plugins are easy to install. With 980 plugins available just on WordPress, the odds of finding what you want are in your favour.
  • Business and Industry – WooCommerce excels in the following sectors.

• Beauty and Cosmetics
• Electronics
• Fashion
• Food and Beverage
• Home Furnishing

 

Shopify

Shopify is an excellent choice for small to medium-size businesses.

TheEcommerce platform Shopify is an excellent choice for small to medium-size businesses. It is mobile-friendly, cloud-based, and comes with built-in marketing tools.

SEO Factors and Shopify

  • Auto XML Sitemap – Shopify has Auto XML sitemaps that can be customised.
  • Canonical URLs – Shopify users can make changes by accessing the layout theme file and adding some code to the canonical URL area.
  • Independent H1 Headings – H1 headings are auto-generated on Shopify when you enter a product name.
  • Independent Image ALT Tags – Users can manually add Alt tags on Shopify from the administrator page.
  • Independent Meta Descriptions -Shopify users can easily create Meta descriptions.
  • Independent Navigation Links – Every Shopify theme has a slightly different design, but it is possible to have independent navigation links.
  • Independent Page Titles – Titles can be modified through your Shopify admin under themes
    Independent Page URLs – It is possible to change your URLs in Shopify.
  • Integrated Blogging Platform – Shopify has a built-in blogging platform that features a sample blog to help you get started.
  • Social Sharing buttons – You can add social sharing buttons on Shopify by installing a plugin like the Elfsight Socialshare Button app. It requires no coding or expert capabilities.

Other Key Features

  • Customisation Features – Shopify offers an impressive selection of themes for its users. Additional design changes are possible by using the Shogun App for Shopify
  • Price – Shopify features a three-tiered pricing system designed to fit your needs. You can choose from,
  1. Basic Shopify – This plan is best for new e-commerce companies. $29.00 per month
  2. Shopify – A good choice if you have a growing business with a single retail store. $79.00 per month
  3. Advanced Shopify – This plan is best for growing businesses with two or more retail locations. $299.00 per month
  • Technical – Shopify is fully hosted, so you only need to sign up and choose your store design. Because of its codeless store-building tools, Shopify is easy to use.
  • Plugin options – Shopify has hundreds of plugin options, many are free, and some require payment. Shopify users can install these without expert assistance.
  • Business and industry – The most successful businesses using Shopify include,

• High-end fashion
• Beauty and skincare
• Specialty niche/ one-item store
• Your items

 

Squarespace

Squarespace targets smaller online retailers, especially those who appreciate artistic approaches to their marketing.

The Ecommerce platform, Squarespace targets smaller online retailers, especially those who appreciate artistic approaches to their marketing. It is a plug and play platform and boasts some excellent templates for its users.

SEO Factors and Squarespace

  • Auto XML Sitemap – Squarespace does offer automated XML Sitemaps.
  • Canonical URLs – Squarespace generates canonical URLs ensuring search engines are seeing the correct version of your page.
  • Independent H1 Headings – Users can create their H1 headings as they see fit
  • Independent Image ALT Tags – It is highly recommended for Squarespace users to add ALT tags to their images. The alternative is the image file name will automatically become the text.
  • Independent Meta Descriptions – You can edit your META descriptions in Squarespace.
  • Independent Navigation Links – Squarespace offers users customisable navigation links.
  • Independent Page Titles – Squarespace page titles can be changed from the Home Menu.
  • Independent Page URLs – Squarespace users can change their URLs.
  • Integrated Blogging Platform – Users of Squarespace can add a blog to their site from the “Content Manager” tab.
  • Social Sharing buttons- Squarespace has an easy-to-use option to add social sharing buttons.

Other Key Features

  • Customisation Features – Squarespace does not feature the same degree of customisation found in WooCommerce or Shopify.
  • Price – There are four pricing tiers available on Squarespace.
  1. Personal $16.00 a month
  2. Business $26.00 a month
  3. Basic Commerce $30.00 a month
  4. Advanced Commerce $46.00 a month

*It is worth noting that Squarespace charges a 3 per cent transaction fee on all purchases made in the store.*

  • Technical- Squarespace is a plug and play Ecommerce platform. Technical expertise is not generally necessary. The drag and drop features and the numerous templates are helpful for users without exceptional skills in the tech field.
  • Plugin options – Squarespace users can connect payment processors, access analytics, and easily organise their store with plugins. However, there is no way to access third-party plugins, which limits functionality.
  • Business and industry – Squarespace is an excellent platform for numerous kinds of small businesses. Those who feature artistically oriented items are usually very much at home on Squarespace. Other areas that do well on Squarespace include,

• Beauty and cosmetics
• Fashion
• Toys and games

 

Magento

Magento is an excellent eCommerce platform for larger enterprises.

Magento is an excellent Ecommerce platform for larger enterprises. It was built with this purpose in mind. Although it is open source and self-hosting, customisation can be a challenge for those without tech skills.

SEO Factors and Magento

  • Auto XML Sitemap – XML sitemaps are built automatically on Magento.
  • Canonical URLs – Magento users can add canonical URLs, although many users claim the process can be complicated and time-consuming.
  • Independent H1 Headings – The extension SEO Meta Tags allows Magento users to create H1 headings.
  • Independent Image ALT Tags – You can generate ALT Tags in Magento with the extension Image Alt Tags Magento.
  • Independent Meta Descriptions – Using the extension SEO Meta Tags, users can create independent Meta descriptions.
  • Independent Navigation Links – Magento puts the user in control of all navigation links.
  • Independent Page Titles – From the admin panel, Magento users can create independent page titles.
  • Independent Page URLs – Users can create independent page URLs with the extension URL Rewrites Regenerate & Customize for Magento.
  • Integrated Blogging Platform – The best blogging tools you can use on Magento, come from extensions.
  • Social Sharing buttons – Magento users can add social sharing buttons via several extensions.

Other Key Features

  • Customisation Features- Magento offers users options for customisation. However, these come with an extensive learning curve.
  • Price- There are two price tiers for Magento
  1. Magento Open Source – The open-source option is free to download and use. However, you can expect charges for all the site aspects such as hosting, themes, add-ons, and more.
  2. Magento Commerce – If you plan on using the high-end version of Magento, expect your costs to come from a sales rep. The price of Magento Commerce is between $15,000 to $50,000 per year.
  • Technical- Unless you have expertise or time to learn on your own, hiring a Magento is your best option.
  • Plugin options- The Magento library contains over 5,000 extensions. However, these are not easy to use.
  • Business and industry- Magento is well-suited for a wide variety of enterprises including,

• Food and Beverage
• Sporting Goods
• Home Furnishings
• Cosmetics
• Electronics
• Fashion Apparel

 

Neto

Neto has built-in management tools and boasts a quality customer service department.

Neto is the complete multi-channel, cloud-based Ecommerce platform built in Australia and widely embraced worldwide. The platform has built-in management tools and boasts a quality customer service department.

SEO Factors and Neto

  • Auto XML Sitemap – Neto users receive an automatically generated XML Sitemap.
  • Canonical URLs – Users can access Neto’s Canonical URLs add-on to place these URLs.
  • Independent H1 Headings – Neto users can create independent H1 headings.
  • Independent Image ALT Tags – Automatically generated ALT tags can be changed by changing the template.
  • Independent Meta Descriptions – Neto users can create independent Meta descriptions.
  • Independent Navigation Links – Neto users can create independent navigation links.
  • Independent Page Titles – Page titles can be customized in Neto.
  • Independent Page URLs – Users can customize their URLs in Neto.
  • Integrated Blogging Platform – Neto has a native blog function that requires no extensions.
  • Social Sharing buttons – Neto users can add social sharing buttons to their sites.

Other Key Features

  • Customisation Features- Neto does offer customisation opportunities for users. The platform also offers 40 themes for users.
  • Price- Neto offers users three preset price points and what they call a custom price point that is suitable for businesses making over one million Aus. Per year. The other price tiers are,
  1. Basic- $109 per month
  2. Plus- $289 per month
  3. Premium $389 per month
  • Technical- Neto can be complicated from a technical standpoint. However, numerous tutorials can assist you in learning the ins and outs of the platform.
  • Plugin options- Neto has approximately 90 addons for its users. Although the choices are small, Neto received praise for the quality of its apps and add-ons.
  • Business and industry- Of the various industries using Neto, the lion’s share are in the retail and automotive sectors.

As you can see, even the best of the best Ecommerce sites have a few quirks that can be a challenge for some businesses, particularly those without the staff or spare time to devote to set-up and maintenance.

If this sounds like your situation, consider partnering with the experts at Digital Hitmen. Our team of professionals will work with you to create a top-notch Ecommerce site on the perfect platform for your company.

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