Ecommerce Basics: What is an Ecommerce Platform?

Ecommerce is rapidly changing the way people buy and sell goods. With ever-evolving technology, it’s no wonder businesses are turning to digital solutions to help them keep up with their customers’ needs. As a business, an ecommerce platform is essential for running a successful online store that can meet those demands – but what exactly is it? In this blog post, we’ll uncover the basics of an ecommerce platform and why they’re such an important part of succeeding in today’s business world.

What is an ecommerce platform?

An ecommerce platform is a digital service that allows businesses to conduct sales, marketing, and other activities related to ecommerce online. Many ecommerce platforms provide an end-to-end solution that can include inventory management solutions, payment processing solutions, ecommerce website hosting services, ecommerce software integrations, mobile apps for online shopping, analytics suites to measure performance metrics, as well as additional ecommerce marketing options such as email and affiliate programs.

With an ecommerce platform, businesses can increase their online presence while helping potential customers quickly find and purchase their products or services. Ecommerce platforms provide businesses with a cost-effective way to reach new customers and allow businesses to easily manage complex back-end tasks related to ecommerce, including deliveries, order processing and customer satisfaction, without hiring IT resources.

Types of ecommerce platforms

Ecommerce platforms have been gaining massive attention in online marketing due to their incredible efficiency and ability to set up an e-store easily. Furthermore, ecommerce solutions vary, ranging from hosted ecommerce solutions for small businesses to self-hosted ecommerce platforms for larger retailers needing more customisation and control. For instance, platform specialists like Shopify come with plenty of features such as website hosting, SEO capabilities and secure payment gateways already built into the package so that anyone can get an ecommerce store up and running quickly.

Alternatively, more technically proficient users can opt for open-source ecommerce platforms like Magento or Woo Commerce, allowing complete flexibility over how the eStore looks and operates. Ultimately, depending on your business’s needs, an ecommerce platform is available to fit your requirements.

What should a business consider when choosing an ecommerce platform?

When it comes to ecommerce, selecting the right ecommerce platform is critical for a successful online presence. There are many ecommerce platforms, each with features and benefits. Businesses should consider factors such as the range of features available, scalability, payment methods accepted, security protocols in place and associated marketing support while selecting the ecommerce platform that best suits their needs.

Budget and Cost Structure

The cost of setting up an ecommerce store can vary greatly depending on the platform you choose. Some platforms are free to use, while others require upfront or monthly fees. Before selecting, it’s important to understand exactly what is included in the cost structure and how that fits into your budget.


Your ecommerce platform should be able to accommodate your current business needs and any future growth you anticipate for your brand and product line. When evaluating different platforms, look for features such as inventory management, order processing, shipping integrations, customer segmentation tools, etc., that will make it easier for you to handle larger volumes of orders with minimal effort.

Security and Safety Features

Security is a key factor when choosing an ecommerce platform because it impacts customers’ ability to trust your site and make purchases through it. Look for platforms with built-in security measures, such as secure payment gateways and SSL certificates, that encrypt data during transmission. You may also want to consider features like two-factor authentication or CAPTCHA codes that help keep bots from accessing sensitive information associated with user accounts.

Examples of ecommerce platforms


Wix is undoubtedly one of the most popular ecommerce platforms available online. It allows businesses to display products for sale, accept payments, streamline customer relationships, track inventory and even improve marketing efforts. Wix’s intuitive site builder makes creating ecommerce stores easily accessible to any business that wants to get started in ecommerce. The platform also provides powerful features such as customisable templates, product search capabilities and integrated digital marketing options to help you tailor your ecommerce website to promote your products best and reach potential customers.

With its user-friendly setup and numerous customisation options, Wix is the perfect ecommerce platform for new businesses looking to start selling online and experienced sellers who want to increase their sales potential.


Shopify is a feature-packed ecommerce platform that provides unparalleled ease and convenience for online businesses. From setting up an online store to managing customer relations, Shopify has all the tools to get your ecommerce business off the ground quickly and without hassle. And with its intuitive interface, customers can easily browse your products and services without confusion.

Plus, Shopify also offers powerful marketing tools such as analytics and automated campaigns, so you can track your ecommerce success wherever you go! With Shopify’s comprehensive ecommerce package, it’s no wonder it is becoming one of the most popular platforms for online marketing today.


WooCommerce is the perfect ecommerce platform for entrepreneurs or small businesses to get started with online marketing. It is user-friendly and flexible; it can be used to build a store from scratch or enhance an existing WordPress site. With its advanced tool stash, you can customise almost any aspect of your ecommerce site’s look and feel and how it operates.

Even if you don’t have coding expertise, WooCommerce makes ecommerce simple, allowing customisation without having to touch code. From start to finish, this platform provides everything you need to build a successful ecommerce website that meets all your business needs.

Magento (aka Adobe Commerce)

Magento, now known as Adobe Commerce, has become a choice ecommerce platform for many businesses. It is affordable yet versatile and offers features that allow you to build any type of ecommerce store imaginable. With advanced search engine optimisation, marketing tools, and support options, Magento is an excellent ecommerce platform that helps your business take advantage of the huge potential of online marketing.

From large companies to small entrepreneurs, it can help all types of businesses generate more customers and sales. If you want to get the most out of your ecommerce efforts, consider using Magento on your website today.


PrestaShop continues to be one of the most popular ecommerce platforms due to its various features that help e-retailers grow their business and attract customers. From search engine optimisation functionality to an integrated POS system, there is a wide range of features that e-retailers can access for added convenience. PrestaShop also offers extensive options for customising storefronts, product catalogue structures, and payment methods, making it an effective platform for online marketing campaigns.

Furthermore, with PrestaShop’s user-friendly interface and its ability to be integrated into existing systems, e-retailers can use automated processes reduced operational costs while expanding their customer reach.

What features do ecommerce platforms have?

Inventory Management

One of the most important aspects of any ecommerce platform is its inventory management capabilities. This feature allows you to keep track of your products and ensure that customers can easily find what they’re looking for when browsing your store. Many ecommerce platforms come with built-in product catalogues, allowing you to quickly add new products and adjust existing ones without manually updating each page.

Payment Processing

Another key feature of any good ecommerce platform is its payment processing capabilities. A reliable payment processor will allow customers to make purchases quickly and securely while providing you with the necessary data to track sales and trends over time. Many ecommerce platforms offer integrated payment solutions, allowing you to process payments directly from within the platform itself.

Marketing Automation

Finally, many ecommerce platforms include marketing automation features designed to help businesses increase their reach online. With marketing automation, businesses can send targeted emails or text messages based on customer activity or purchase history. This feature can be used with other digital marketing strategies, such as search engine optimisation (SEO) or pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, to maximise your visibility online and drive more sales.

Hosted vs unhosted ecommerce platforms

A hosted platform, such as Shopify or BigCommerce, offers users a turnkey solution for setting up their online store. With a hosted platform, the provider takes care of all the technical aspects of setting up and running an online store—from hosting to security. All users need to do is plug in their content, images, and products, and they’re good to go. Hosted platforms are generally easier for beginners to use than unhosted platforms, but they can be more limited in terms of features and customisation options.

On the other hand, an unhosted platform, such as WordPress or Magento, gives users more control over their site’s design and functionality. Users independently manage hosting, security, and other technical aspects with these platforms. It requires more technical knowledge than a hosted platform but provides far more flexibility when customising your shop’s look and feel or adding additional features. Of course, this also means that any problems with your website will also be your responsibility to fix!


Ecommerce platforms provide online retailers with the tools they need to market and sell their products effectively. Each platform offers different features and capabilities, so it’s important to research your options carefully before deciding which is best for your business. Ultimately, finding the right ecommerce platform will enable you to grow your business, attract more customers, and increase sales. Good luck!

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