Which e-commerce platform should I choose?
Today it is easier than ever to open an online shop. But it is nevertheless important to choose an e-commerce platform that suits your business needs. In this guide, we take a closer look at different e-commerce platforms and help you find a trading platform that suits you. We also share some of our best tips and advice for choosing an e-commerce system.
How to choose an e-commerce solution that suits you
There are many methods you can use when choosing an e-commerce solution for your business. A simple and effective method is the MoSCoW method which aims to help you identify and prioritise the requirements you believe the platform should meet. The method consists of four points under which you list the wishes and requirements you have. The four points are: must have, should have, could have and shouldn’t have.
- Must have - what you think the e-commerce platform must have.
- Should have - what you think the platform should have, but it's not crucial.
- Could have - what you think would be fun for the platform to have.
- Shouldn't have - things that don't matter because they don't add anything of value.
The methodology results in a clear set of requirements that you can use when comparing different e-commerce platforms. It also makes it easier for potential consultants to understand what you want.
Eight popular e-commerce services in Sweden
Here's our list of eight great e-commerce platforms that stand out from the crowd and are particularly popular in Sweden.
Shopify is an e-commerce platform based on making it easy for anyone to start selling online. The platform has a user-friendly interface and plenty of templates so you can quickly create an online store and get started with e-commerce.
With many integrations and your own App store, you can develop your online store to have the features you want. In addition, the integrations with social media are excellent.
The disadvantages include limited possibilities to customise the shop exactly the way you want if you have very specific requirements. In addition, the transaction fees for the payment solution can be quite expensive.
WooCommerce is a free e-commerce solution and one of the most popular options for web shops.
Although the solution is free of charge, it is a very powerful option. That's because it's actually a plugin in the WordPress CMS platform. This means that you get access to all the other plugins and customisation options available on this platform. These include plug-ins that integrate the online store with PostNord's shipping solutions and Portal Business.
Everything is also open source, making it easy to develop and customise the e-commerce platform with developers.
The disadvantages include that the start-up time to open an online store is a bit longer compared to Shopify and Wix. For example, you need to arrange hosting yourself.
Even if you get far with the free tools available in WooCommerce, sooner or later you'll probably also want to spend some money on some of the premium plugins that are available. With these, you can give your e-commerce solution the functionality you want.
Wix is another user-friendly e-commerce platform. Choose from over 500 templates, customise the design and add a payment solution. Then add products or import them with a CSV file. Getting started with e-commerce with WixStores doesn't get much harder than that.
As with Shopify, the lack of customization options is one of the main drawbacks of Wix. The trading platform is not built on open source which means that there are limited development opportunities.
Quickbutik is a complete e-commerce platform developed in Sweden. The platform is perfect for those who want to focus on the Swedish market and gather everything you need in one place - everything from web hosting and domains to templates and customer service.
Quickbutik doesn't offer as many features as Shopify, for example, but allows you to add code or "script" and do custom development. This can be a great advantage if you want to add external services. Because the platform is Swedish developed, Quickbutik offers all Swedish payment solutions - Swish, Klarna, PayPal, Stripe and others, which can be difficult to add on many international platforms. You also get access to several stylish design templates that you can customise to your liking.
Abicart is a user-friendly e-commerce service that makes it easy for both beginners and professionals to start an e-commerce business. The platform offers multiple payment solutions, integration options and design templates that allow you to make the webshop your own. The advantage of Abicart is that they partner with several different companies, which means you don't necessarily have to replace all your business, finance and logistics systems when you start using the platform.
The disadvantage of smaller e-commerce services adapted to the Swedish market is that they do not offer as many features as the international variants.
Magento is another open source platform for e-commerce and perhaps the main alternative to WooCommerce. It's free to use but there's also a paid version that includes hosting, AI functionality and analytics tools.
Unlike WooCommerce, Magento is not a plug-in to another system, it is a completely standalone e-commerce platform.
The security level is high and the platform is powerful even if there are not quite as many customization options as in WooCommerce.
The disadvantages include that you need some experience in developing web shops to get started with the free version. If you choose the paid version Magento Commerce, pagebuilder and support are included.
PrestaShop like WooCommerce, is an open source platform that allows you to build both large and small online stores. PrestaShop offers several plugins and built-in features making it an excellent scalable e-commerce platform that your store can grow in. You also have full control over the security measures you want to take to protect both your e-commerce and your customers' data.
On the downside, using PrestaShop means that the start-up time for opening an online shop is a bit longer because you need to arrange your own hosting, domain and email. The learning curve can also be quite steep, which means that sooner or later you may need to hire a developer to get to grips with the more technical bits.
Also OpenCart is a free open source option with several customization options. Since the platform is open source, many developers are working on creating various extensions. OpenCart therefore has a wide range of plugins and features that you can use. There are thousands of themes (some chargeable) and add-ons for things like product flows, reports, delivery methods and payment solutions to choose from. Despite its adaptability, it can be difficult for beginners to use the full potential of the platform as it requires some coding knowledge.
More e-commerce systems
The eight e-commerce platforms we've reviewed are some of the most widely used, but there are many more. Here is a list of more popular e-commerce systems. Some are fully supported for the Swedish market, while others are less tailored to Swedish conditions.
- Askås - Swedish e-commerce platform from Värmland
- BigCommerce - e-commerce solution for large companies.
- Weebly - alternative platform to Shopify and Wix
- Ecwid - for small businesses that want to sell on multiple channels.
- Big Cartel - e-commerce solution for artists.
- 3dcart - platform that is SEO-friendly from the start.
- Volution - great for selling subscriptions.
Factors to keep in mind when comparing different e-commerce systems
Cost - what is included in the price?
The first thing to do when comparing different e-commerce platforms is to look at the cost and get an idea of what is included in the price. Most platforms have different packages where you pay a certain amount per month or year to use the features included in the package. When researching costs, it is therefore important to be aware of what is included in each package solution. Don't choose a cheaper platform at the expense of what you need to run your e-commerce business.
Integrations - which solutions is the e-commerce system compatible with?
Another factor to keep in mind when evaluating and comparing different e-commerce systems is integrations and plugins. Is the platform compatible with the integrations you want to use?
For example, PostNord offers several integration solutions that facilitate everything from freight ordering to returns management..
With PostNord Portal Business, you make it easier not only for yourself, but also for your customers. For example, you can offer your customers several options for delivery. They can choose where the parcel will be delivered - to their door or to a delivery point and when the delivery will take place.
In the portal you will also find other practical functions:
- Skicka Direkt Business - book shipping in a few clicks and see all your shipments in one place.
- Track & Trace - track all your incoming and outgoing shipments automatically.
- Returns - facilitate the flow of returned goods and make it easy for your customers to send back their parcels.
- PostNord App - enables your customers to decide everything related to their deliveries and returns directly on their mobile
With PostNord's flexible integration solutions, you simply have more time for other important parts of your business. So make sure the e-commerce solution you choose allows and enables time-saving integrations.
Design and UX - ease of use is key
Most e-commerce platforms offer a range of themes and design options - some are free while others require an additional fee. In some cases, it may be worth investing in a premium priced or specially designed variant to stand out from the competition, while in other cases the theme included in the price will suffice.
However, it is important to remember that the design must be usable. In many cases, the user experience is more important than the price of what you are selling. Today's consumers don't just want to buy products - they want to shop on easy-to-navigate and engaging websites that look trustworthy.
It is also important that the platform can be used by you and your employees in an efficient way. Cumbersome administration with a lack of automation can create frustration and make it difficult to update and manage e-commerce. Therefore, when comparing different solutions, it can be beneficial to take a look at how the platform works behind the scenes and how you can work with the site's features.
Scalability - the e-commerce platform should grow with your business
A scalable e-commerce platform is more important than many people think. After all, it should work just as well when the demands on the site change, the company grows and traffic increases. With a scalable e-commerce platform, there is room for your business to grow as the market and conditions change.
Security - protecting your e-commerce and customer data
As an e-merchant, you handle sensitive data and therefore need to ensure that you choose an e-commerce platform that allows you to handle your customers' data securely. Most platforms have basic protection built in, but if you want to extend the protection it is important to make sure that the platform is compatible with the protection you want.
Payment solutions - is the platform compatible with Swedish payment solutions?
It should be easy for your customers to pay for their goods in a way that suits them. This means that the platform needs to be compatible with your customers' preferred payment options. It may sound obvious, but not all platforms are compatible with all Swedish payment solutions. So make sure the platform you choose has a wide enough range of payment options.
Want to read more about e-commerce?
For more useful information and advice - check out the main e-trade. page. For example, you can find advice on B2B e-commerce, sustainable e-commerce and e-commerce logistics.