Top 5 eCommerce platforms for small to mid-sized businesses in 2022

Top 5 eCommerce platforms for small to mid-sized businesses

Before jumping to the top eCommerce platforms for small to mid-sized businesses, it is essential to understand the need and importance of an eCommerce website for a business. 

While many sectors suffered during COVID-19, eCommerce was one such sector that has seen the highest growth and is set to continue well in 2022. Online sales have strengthened like nothing before in the absence of open brick-and-mortar stores.  

For many businesses, the switch to eCommerce has been a setback. Still, it is one that many influential brands have managed to overcome and begin to reap the advantages in terms of revenue. 

Making the transition to the internet is not as easy as it seems for small and medium-sized businesses. With retailers around the country dealing with the financial fallout from the lockdowns, it’s understandable that many small businesses are wondering if it’s worth it.

E-commerce is becoming a more significant element of the retail industry and the economy. Small businesses could consider selling online as a source of money and a method to engage with their customers and build their brand. While brick-and-mortar stores aren’t going away anytime soon, online purchases are becoming an increasingly important component of how we shop around the world.

The entry of Small Businesses into the realm of eCommerce

Many small business owners simply dabbled in digital commerce at first, but the situation has steadily evolved. The relevance of eCommerce has been recognized by small enterprises. They understand that, while internet shopping has many advantages for consumers, it also has many advantages for merchants.

This is precisely why, in addition to having a physical storefront, many small businesses are now operating their online stores. eCommerce websites offer a wide range of advantages to small enterprises. The most important are listed below.

What are the benefits of eCommerce to small businesses?

     1. Low Operational Costs

     2. Increased Revenue

     3. Greater Customer Acquisition

     4. Social Recommendation

     5. Customer Buying Analytics

     6. Online Presence

     7. Full advantage of Customer Advocacy

     8. Larger Marketing ROI

Top 5 eCommerce platforms for small to mid-sized businesses

Top 5 eCommerce platforms

 

Shopify

Shopify is one of the most popular and widely used eCommerce systems for enterprises. For small enterprises, it is one of the best eCommerce website builders. This website builder’s user interface is extremely user-friendly. You don’t need any IT or coding skills to set up your store. Many businesses like Shopify because it allows them to create a high-quality, customizable store without having to learn how to code or design. Shopify is a platform that caters to both small and large eCommerce enterprises. If your little business grows and expands beyond a small business, you won’t have to worry about moving platforms. You can upgrade to a plan that is better suited to larger businesses. When it comes to design, you have hundreds of themes to choose from. Shopify has a wide range of themes to suit a wide range of enterprises. If your little business grows and expands beyond a small business, you won’t have to worry about moving platforms. The nice part is that all of these solutions are mobile-friendly. Thanks to responsive design, your website will adapt to whichever device a visitor is using. Regardless of the style you choose, you won’t have to worry about customizing your website for mobile consumers. If you run into any problems when building your site, Shopify’s customer service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist you. You can contact them if you have any questions, complaints, or need help managing features on your website. When it comes to the financial side of your website, there are no transaction fees if customers buy things from it. Shopify also provides fraud detection services to keep customers safe. Overall, Shopify is a great choice if you’re searching for a user-friendly website builder that’s also simple to customize. Optimizing your website for search engine (SEO) is very straightforward with the help of a Shopify SEO expert.  

WooCommerce

If you want to host a blog for your business, WordPress is a good option. WordPress may also be used to create an online store for your small business. You may easily develop a working website for an eCommerce business using the WooCommerce plugin. WooCommerce enables you to build a completely customizable website for your company. It’s an open-source eCommerce plugin that allows you to integrate eCommerce into your website. This plugin has gone viral among small businesses that already use WordPress. WooCommerce allows you to add eCommerce features to your website. You make it simple for customers to browse and buy your stuff. It’s an extremely user-friendly plugin that you may use to quickly build a website. When you invest in WooCommerce for WordPress, you gain access to a large developer community that will assist you in creating the ideal website for your company.  

BigCommerce

BigCommerce is another amazing eCommerce platform. This platform is great for creating eCommerce websites for both small and large organizations. BigCommerce provides a comprehensive range of eCommerce tools to assist you in the development of your website. You can also include social media on your website and sell your products there. BigCommerce makes it simple to expand your business and sell your products on other platforms. Using your BigCommerce site, you may create stores on other sites like Amazon and eBay. It’s an excellent method to broaden your company’s reach while maintaining consistent brand identity across platforms. BigCommerce, like Shopify, provides 24/7 customer assistance for all of your needs. You can enlist their assistance in the creation of your website. BigCommerce can also help you handle your payments and shipping. It’s a versatile platform that makes it simple to construct and maintain your website.  

Magento

Fast-growing small and medium businesses can benefit from Magento’s many useful and interesting features. By permitting multi-address delivery and a forum that nearly answers everything about them, the versatile and powerful eCommerce platform makes online purchasing simple and economical. Magento includes templates, widgets, and add-ons, allowing for a wide range of customization options. This open-source platform, on the other hand, is perfect for business owners who have immediate technical experience. It necessitates a great deal of coding, designing, and setup, all of which are not user-friendly and may lead non-technically knowledgeable business owners to engage a specialist to handle such chores.  

Wix eCommerce

Wix eCommerce is a wonderful alternative if you have a minimal product assortment. Small businesses with less than 50 distinct goods can use this platform to construct attractive websites. Creating a good website is simple and straightforward. A drag-and-drop theme is used to build up Wix eCommerce. You have the freedom to add and delete features as you see suitable for your company. This makes creating your own unique storefront a breeze. Wix eCommerce, like other website builders, offers a variety of attractive website themes. To build a website with Wix eCommerce, you don’t need a lot of design experience. To use Wix, you don’t need to know how to code. It’s simple to create your own website using Wix Code, even if you don’t know how to code. Wix eCommerce is an excellent alternative to help you design your website if you’re a small business with a limited product selection.  

Top 5 eCommerce platforms feature comparison

Comparison between eCommerce platforms

Conclusion:

An eCommerce platform helps small and medium enterprises earn revenues and create credibility by doing more than just making websites more attractive with interactive functions that highlight products. It also enables businesses to deliver product information and real-time updates while they operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. eCommerce platforms also assist firms in managing their earnings, keeping track of their inventories, expanding their growth, and improving their market position.

Small and medium business owners can use e-commerce platforms to reach a wider spectrum of customers, gain access to larger marketplaces, and stay competitive as they extend their global sales.

The Future of eCommerce in 2022- [8 Never before trends]

With multi-lingual, multi-currency support given by businesses, global eCommerce trends have been shifting from local sales to borderless commerce. The worldwide expansion of eCommerce, which is anticipated to reach 21.8% by 2024, offers enormous possibilities for eCommerce store owners to explore cross-border trade and business, as well as international online retail.

The eCommerce industry is expected to benefit the most from the coronavirus epidemic, according to experts. Penetration rates are anticipated to rise from 15% presently to 25% by 2025 (MarketWatch, 2020). That’s a growth rate of 67% in five years.

Preparing for the Future of eCommerce in 2022

eCommerce trends in 2022

eCommerce Trends in 2022

Given the numerous possibilities, it’s likely that eCommerce will change significantly in the next few years across the world. Here are a few exciting eCommerce trends to get you started:

1. Preferred payment methods

In the coming year, eCommerce payment habits will change. By the end of 2025, it is anticipated that cryptocurrency market revenues will reach $60 billion, which might set a trend. Payments will happen directly between the buyer and the seller instead of via payment getaways in contrast to current conditions. This will also minimize eCommerce frauds and intermediary fees.

Add extra BTC support as a company owner to allow customers to conduct transactions in bitcoin, which will become a cheaper, more convenient, and secure payment solution for internet retailers.

2. B2B instead of B2C

Predictions say that B2B firms will reach $6.6 trillion in sales by the end of 2021. This increasing trend, driven by SaaS and technology companies, helps to smooth out operations while also boosting profits for businesses. So if you’re into B2B business, get ready to handle bigger purchases and volume-based discounts, as well as simplify reorder management

3. Consumerism with a Green Twist

Poor environmental records have an influence on customers’ online purchasing decisions, according to a recent GlobalWebIndex study. This emphasizes the need for firms to implement more sustainable practices such as buying from fair-trade suppliers in order to create a greener eCommerce environment. As a result of this changing attitude among customers who are more concerned about the environmental effects of your company, it may be prudent to adjust.

4. eCommerce with an API Driven Design

The use of Headless Commerce is another emerging practice that has the potential to significantly impact eCommerce in the future. The adoption of Headless Commerce is a trend that may have a significant influence on eCommerce in the future.

If you want to keep up with the latest fashions, headless is a good choice since it allows you to customize your backend, SEO, content marketing, and digital experience features.

5. Online Shopping is on the Rise

Mobile devices are more appealing to customers, such as millennials and Generation Z consumers, because of their simplicity. According to Payvision, the figures for this are anticipated to rise 18.8 percent this year before rising further to $3.79 trillion in 2022. As a result, you should enhance your online store’s mobile purchasing experience in order to keep up with the competition and reap the rewards. Make sure your business is mobile-friendly by optimizing its mobile response time and other factors.

6. Analytics are becoming increasingly important

According to Deloitte, 49% of respondents believe that analytics aids them in making good judgments, while 16% feel that it helps them better enable major strategic objectives. Analytics has long been a trend because it concentrates on consumer behavior and conversion directly. Analytics are numerical measurements used to develop eCommerce traffic solutions and growth.

The best way to determine which channel is the most effective for leading customers to your store is by concentrating on factors like campaign click-through rates and conversion counts. As a result, deploying analytics in order to provide useful reports will always be worthwhile, even if it does not result in immediate success. 

7. The future is brimming with AI, AR, and VR

According to Statista, the AR commercial market is anticipated to reach $15.497 million in 2022 and surpass $18 million by 2023. eCommerce organizations are enthusiastically diving into the world of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality to create social media censors, preview layouts, virtual trial rooms, and interactive user manuals.

These efforts to embrace deep technology encourage customers to have more customized experiences by allowing them to try the product as if in a physical shop. If you operate in the fashion, cosmetics, or accessory sectors and need technology that can help you provide a personalized experience while influencing consumer purchasing decisions, this is your sign to get started.

8. Omnichannel Approach

Customers prefer to look at store content in many ways, therefore companies must come up with new techniques to sell their products.

An omnichannel strategy is a multichannel approach that strives to provide the best customer experience possible, whether on a mobile device, a desktop computer, or in a physical store. Business owners may attract consumers via both an offline and online presence, unifying brand experiences, thanks to omnichannel. You can also use an omnichannel strategy to improve client service and communication with customers across several channels by adopting one.

Conclusion

To remain competitive, e-commerce firms must keep an eye on the industry’s evolving patterns. Be prepared to follow the changing trends so that you may take advantage of the fantastic prospects in the eCommerce environment in 2022 and beyond.

A Comprehensive Guide to Building An eLearning Platform Like Udemy or Coursera

It’s critical to have a decent education. Traditional education systems, on the other hand, are becoming increasingly costly these days. The College Board has reported a 3% yearly rise in private and public college tuition fees during the previous two years. This has prompted many people to seek alternatives for high-quality learning via online courses offered by Udemy or Coursera. In response, there has been a trend toward developing eLearning platforms like Udemy or Coursera that offer low-cost or no-cost high-quality education.

The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has hugely impacted several industries and has rendered their standstill. However, e-learning is one of the few industries that have opened brighter avenues for people amidst these challenging times. While people are indoors, they are looking forward to these services. This makes the learning market a lucrative prospect for entrepreneurs and you are right if you are thinking of developing an eLearning site.

Originally, the word ‘learning was first introduced in 1999 at the CBT systems seminar narrating online lessons. Since then, learning evolved into the concept of MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) gradually, providing people all over the opportunity to study courses of world-class Univer,eLearning sites and also obtain degrees.

Initially, distance education was free of cost. However, with an increase in the popularity of distance courses as well as the number of renowned universities and teachers joining the MOOC platforms, the payment system was included. The MOOC platforms have so far proven themselves to be quite profitable. Udemy and Coursera are some of the most popular representatives of the MOOC providers. By now, there are over 50 MOOC platforms present that are functioning in 23 countries around the globe.

eLearning Growth Outlook

Online learning and education systems are clearly becoming more popular. There’s no denying that the growing need for online training and education systems is driving up. But you must look at the numbers to validate your concept in practice. According to Statista, the worldwide eLearning market will reach $243 billion in 2022.

By 2025, North America alone is forecasted to constitute about 40% of the entire $120 billion eLearning markets. Technologies such as AR, VR, Artificial Intelligence, big data, machine learning are helping with the growth of the eLearning market. All this makes the idea to develop an eLearning site a brilliant one.

However, establishing an eLearning successful eLearning sites like Udemy or Coursera is not a child’s play. It requires thorough and continual efforts to turn your idea into a full-fledged launched marketplace. So, what goes into making a learning platform a successful one? You will get all your answers here.

Types of e-Learning Solutions

types of e-learning solutions
e-Learning solutions

Fundamentally, there are two major types of e-Learning solutions which are as described below:

  • Synchronous

This is real-time learning where the teacher and the learners are online and interact with each other at the same time from different locations. The delivery and receiving modes of the learning resources are mobile, Internet, video conference, or chat. Here, the participants can interact, share their ideas and get detailed solutions to their queries during the session. This type of e-learning is getting popular all over because of enhanced technology and internet bandwidth capabilities.

Learning from the sources of:

  • Audio and Video Conferencing
  • Chat
  • Virtual Classroom
  • Application Sharing
  • Webinars
  • Instant Messaging
  • Asynchronous

This is a pause-and-resume kind of learning where the teacher and the learner cannot be online at the same time. This type of e-learning may use technologies such as blogs, emails, eBook’s CDs, DVDs, discussion forums, etc. Here, learners can learn at any time, download the documents provided to them, and interact with teachers as well as with co-learners. Many of the learners usually prefer asynchronous learning rather than synchronous because learners can take up online courses at their favorable time without affecting their other daily commitments.

Learning from the sources of:

  • Message boards
  • Self-paced online courses
  • Discussion forums and groups

Udemy and Coursera represent these two types of elearning platforms. While Coursera majorly cooperates with universities and colleges (Synchronous), Udemy works with individual teachers who upload the content on the platform (Asynchronous).

Key Features to Build an Extensive eLearning Platform like Coursera

The success of your eLearning website is going to be determined largely by its core features. It is thus very important to choose and implement the right features carefully to your website. To develop an online e-learning platform like Udemy or Coursera, you can divide the key features into three main segments – the common features, the student profile features, and the teacher profile features.

  1. Common Features

These are the features that will be useful to anyone who is using the website. The common features are going to be used both by the teachers as well as the students on your platform.

  • Account Creation

This feature is a must-have feature that will assist the teachers and the students to create their accounts on the website and also to personalize their experience on the platform. This feature would assist the users in managing the various courses that they join and upload, and also assist the students to learn without any obstruction.

  • Profile Management

This is the next common feature that you require for your online eLearning site. The users who create their profile using the appropriate information would be able to use the profile management feature for managing those details, adding or removing the courses, managing the certificates, and also following the teachers. This feature should be as seamless as possible for easy and smooth navigation.

  • Customer Support

Just like any other service, customer support is going to be extremely crucial for your eLearning website. This feature will allow the users to contact customer support whenever they face any issue with the website, their account or to upload a course. 24/7 customer support will enhance the user-friendliness of your website.

  • Business Collaboration

Online education websites such as Coursera have benefited a lot from using this particular feature. Big organizations and companies collaborate with online learning sites to introduce their organization-specific courses. This helps them to train their employees in a centralized manner and also track the progress data.

Through this feature, you would be able to work in collaboration and also earn generous revenue as well. If you build your eLearning platform site with popular business organizations, it will also help to increase the popularity of your website.

  1. Student Profile

This will make a better experience for the students who will sign up on your website to learn. Here are some of the crucial student profile features you will require for your website:

  • Search, Category, and Filtering

Many courses are available on the website, and students want a feature that will assist them in organizing and selecting the right course for them. A search, categorization, and filtering functionality are required to meet this demand.

The search option will assist users in finding a particular course based on specific keywords. The category feature will sort out the available courses according to a subject, certification type, expertise level, pricing, and other criteria. The filtering option allows students to filter their way through the various categories in order to locate the course they’re looking for.

  • Recommendations

This feature will show the users the relevant courses they have already enrolled in. The recommendation feature will help them in discovering more courses to advance their skillset.

  • Tag

This is yet another part of discovering new courses feature. This way the students on your website can follow tags which are relevant to their field. Whenever there are new courses added with that tag, it will be visible to the students on their recommendations page or the homepage.

  • Easy Payment Options

There are going to be some paid courses on your website. The user thus will require a secure payment option to pay for these paid courses. The payment option integrated on your website should be easy to handle, and most importantly, a secure one.

  1. Teacher Profile

In order to make your website functional like Coursera, you will require teachers who will upload new courses and content on a regular basis. For this, the teachers would require some crucial profile features. Below are the two most crucial teacher profile features you will require for your elearning website:

  • Course Creation and Updates

This one is the first and most important feature. The teacher should be able to create a course as per their expertise and skills. In addition to this, the feature also lets the teacher update the course with new content.

  • Dashboard

This feature includes courses’ updated list, performance, insights, and revenue. The teachers must keep track of the courses that they have uploaded on the profile, the total number of users who have enrolled for their courses, the total revenue amount generated as well as an overall insight of all their activities on the website.

Factors to Consider While Developing an ELearning App Like Coursera

Building a renowned eLearning app like Udemy or Coursera demands a rigorous analysis into the possible factors that can have an influence on the development process as well as the outcome.

Here are a few important factors to consider:

  • Optimum UX/UI Design

Do you realize that after an unpleasant experience, 88 percent of users will never return to a website? The design of your eLearning platform has a significant bearing on how long your audience stays. As a result, collaborating with professionals to strategize the complete UX/UI design is critical. It must have the correct balance of simplicity and high performance. Some of the consequences of excellent UX design are as follows: Ensure that your eLearning website provides all of these necessary efficiencies to its consumers.

  • Ease of Maintenance

Irrespective of how perfect you get something like the Coursera app from your developers, it will encounter issues in the future. This is not because of any shortcomings in the development process, but this is how everything works. Elearning platforms require regular support and maintenance in order to ensure their seamless and steady functionality.

Usually, all the companies that provide Coursera mobile app development provide constant support and maintenance after the project has been delivered.

  • Data Security and Compliance

Can a website ever work well without keeping its data secure? It takes just 3 days for an app to fail. The inefficiency of a platform to secure the personal data of the users can bring the app to an end abruptly without any warning.

This makes it very important for any business to check the PCI-DSS compliance on their very own. Ensure that you have the license to integrate payment gateways. Furthermore, while developing an eLearning application, all the app store rules, and other industry guidelines must be stringently followed.

  • Scalability

The eLearning platform that you are getting developed by an app development company must be able to scale up with the future requirements. When you hire an app developer, it is important to ask them about their efficiency on the same. A proficient developer will be able to build a scalable eLearning app that will be able to accommodate their increased traffic as well as workload.

  • Changing Requirements

Nothing runs smoothly without regular updates. Every now and then, Coursera adds new and complex features. Over the years, their monetization efforts have gone off without a hitch. Is it possible to do so if you don’t have a strong research and development team in place? It’s critical to integrate new sophisticated capabilities as well as strategies to make your eLearning system more useful for users. As a result, continuing research and development are required in order to progress your eLearning platform.

Technical Stack Required to Build An ELearning Platform

Do you know what goes into the making of a perfect education website like Udemy or Coursera and to launch it? Let’s have a look at the tech stack required to build your own amazing eLearning solution. We will discuss the frameworks, tools, and programming languages used by Udemy and Coursera. This will help you to choose the right technologies for your eLearning site.

Tech Stack Used by Udemy

  • Backend

There are several programming languages available to choose from when we talk about the server-side. At first, Udemy used PHP in collaboration with a custom MVC framework. Although, the company later switched to Python and the process is still incomplete.

As for databases, MySQL is the best choice for Udemy. Additionally, Elasticsearch is an amazing tool for search and analytics.

  • Frontend

For Udemy, the core front-end technologies have been JavaScript, HTML5, AngularJS, and CSS3.

  • Third Party Tools and Integrations

To achieve various business goals, Udemy makes use of several applications and tools. These include Slack, Dropbox, Zendesk, Salesforce, and Trello.

Tech Stack Used by Coursera

  • Backend

The first lines of the Coursera learning platform were written on PHP, which later shifted to Python and Goes for a short period and finally settled upon Scala in collaboration with the Play framework.

Just like Udemy, Coursera uses MySQL to manage relational databases. Additionally, the company uses Nginx as a web server and Cloud Storage such as Amazon S3.

  • Frontend

Coursera uses JavaScript, Bootstrap, and ReactJS as the client-side technologies.

  • Third-Party Tools and Integrations

Coursera makes use of several collaborations and productivity applications such as Slack, Jira, G Suite.

All About The Latest Trends in The Elearning Industry

So what are the latest trends in the eLearning industry that we can look forward to in the year 2020? Let’s find out here.

Given the large number of trends, we have categorised them into three main sections:

  1. Elearning Trends that will help to achieve high performance gain, learner engagement and behavioral change
  • Personalized learning
  • Mobile learning
  • Mobile apps for learning
  • Performance support tools
  • Digitization of ILT
  • Social learning
  • Informal learning
  • Self-directed learning
  1. Elearning Trends that will deliver high Impact and Immersive Learning Experiences
  • Microleaning
  • AR/VR and MR or Immersive Learning
  • Gamification
  • Video-based learning
  • Curation and User-Generated Content
  1. Elearning Trends that will help to access the impact and Maximizes ROI
  • Learner Analytics
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Learning
  • Learning Experience Platforms (LXPs)

Wrapping Up:

As eLearning has become a significant part of the education industry, developing a unique and renowned online learning website demands rigorous planning and research. If you wish to stand out among the existing players like Coursera or Udemy, you need to deliver an outstanding experience to your audience.

With more than 12 years of experience in mobile app development for various successful global clients, we carry expertise in strategy implementation, development, and deployment of applications for our esteemed clients. We can transform your vision of building an exceptional eLearning website into reality. Connect with our experts today.