In 2020, retail ecommerce sales worldwide amounted to 4.28 trillion US dollars and e-retail revenues are projected to grow to 5.4 trillion US dollars in 2022. With these massive shifts to online shopping, it’s more vital than ever to have the most effective digital infrastructure for your business.
Scaling a successful online business with multiple distributors and several independent sellers starts with choosing the best ecommerce platform for your needs. And that is not an easy task. You need to find the right partner.
In order to scale your operations with influencers, affiliates, or direct sellers, at a certain point, you’re going to need one of the established ecommerce platforms that can grow with your company
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated transformation on many levels. On TrustRadius, the ecommerce software category grew 85% from January to May 2020.
Direct selling companies understand the importance of the right technology to run their business smoothly & efficiently. And they have plenty of options to choose from.
If you want to find the best ecommerce software solutions for managing all the business operation complexities, you are in the right place.
We’ve summarized the key factors to consider when choosing your ecommerce platform, as well as a list of the best technology options that will help you decide.
Read on & find the right ecommerce software solution for your company!
Factors to Consider When Choosing an Ecommerce Platform
To thrive in today’s market, you need an ecommerce platform that will allow you to deliver on the expectations of modern consumers. You need the tools to sell the right products, provide amazing shopping experiences, and fulfill orders efficiently.
Before you start your research, determine your needs in ecommerce and direct selling. List down your front-end and back-office needs, potential integrations, customer and inventory management needs, and overall performance.
The next crucial step is to set a budget. Think about how much you’re willing to spend on your ecommerce platform. When setting your budget, be sure to consider the “non-obvious costs” that come with implementing a new solution.
There might be an overall ecommerce solution cost, but also potential development costs, maintenance fees, transaction fees, hosting costs, or consultation fees.
Once these steps are covered, you can start your ecommerce platform research.
Go through the factors below and keep them in mind when looking for the right solution for your ecommerce business.
- SaaS-based VS. open-source software
- Platform scalability & reliability of servers
- Security features
- Configurability & stress-free customer journey
- Inventory management
- Multi-channel integrations
- SEO friendliness
- 24/7 support
The Best Ecommerce Platforms
While most ecommerce platforms are flexible enough to support different business and product types, certain solutions might be just ideal for your direct selling company.
Here are some insights to help you decide which solution is right for your company.
BigCommerce Enterprise is considered one of the best ecommerce solutions that allow you to scale and grow smarter.
This well-known open SaaS platform provider has highly flexible APIs and overall great features for robust companies.
With BigCommerce Enterprise, you can list, optimize, advertise, sell and fulfill products across 100+ channels including Google, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Amazon, eBay, Walmart, and Target.
Businesses that have already used BigCommerce claim that these are its main benefits:
- Omnichannel capabilities. With BigCommerce, you can effectively compete in today’s omnichannel world.
- Customizable design themes. BigCommerce offers 10 free themes and 130 paid themes to create your customized shop.
- Fast response time. BigCommerce claims to offer a 20% faster server response time than other ecommerce platforms and a 99.99% median uptime.
- Professional SEO features. With BigCommerce, page titles and headers are easy to edit, URLs specific to products are a cinch to change, and other advanced SEO tools are available.
- Advanced analytics. The platform shows your store’s performance, its interaction with customers, and provides dashboards of orders, sales channels, and conversions.
- 24/7 support. The platform offers 24/7 live support via phone, chat, or email.
- Great built-in sales features. No need to install additional apps.
The main drawback is that BigCommerce uses complicated terminology and has a pretty confusing editing interface. Therefore, BigCommerce is not the most easy-to-use ecommerce platform.
Moreover, for some users, the price of BigCommerce might be a setback. Even if you sign up for the cheapest, Standard plan (29.95 USD/month), you’ll likely face platform transaction fees, credit card fees, and add-on fees. Pro plan for bigger companies with complex operations starts at 299.95 USD/month.
If you want to keep it simple, Wix Enterprise might be a solution for your company. This platform gives you the freedom to create, design, manage and develop your web presence exactly the way you want.
With Wix Enterprise solution, you can create, collaborate, launch and manage your projects at scale with an all-in-one platform tailored to your business needs.
The biggest advantage of Wix is its simple website builder with ecommerce functionality that is very easy to use. Yet, with Wix, you can manage your brand globally and locally.
Here are some reasons why you should consider Wix:
- Beginner-friendly. The biggest advantage is how simple & user-friendly it is even for those who have limited tech knowledge.
- Attractive design & sleeker templates, for free. Its best feature is that it helps you showcase your products and variants beautifully. In the customization and design fronts, this is one of the best ecommerce software solutions out there.
- Scalable hosting. With Wix, your sites are always up and running on our secure, stable networks —no installation needed.
- Advanced security & privacy. Keep your data secure and monitored with state-of-the-art security standards, while complying with privacy and data protection laws.
The main drawback is too much creative freedom that can get in the way of ecommerce best practices.
One of the best ecommerce solutions is Shopify Plus and therefore, it cannot be missed out on our list of recommended ecommerce solutions.
Shopify Plus is the ecommerce platform for enterprise high-growth, high-volume brands, coupling speed and agility with the scalable foundation they need to grow bigger, faster.
With Shopify Plus, you can scale faster, build custom apps, and rebrand with specialized service partners and certified app partners.
Shopify also allows integrations from other platforms (like DirectScale) to take advantage of its industry-leading technology while keeping the functionality of your more niche affiliate/direct selling business model.
Shopify stands out with these awesome features:
- Unlimited extensibility. Shopify Plus offers customization through their app, integrations, and partners.
- Easy to use. In comparison to BigCommerce, it is more user-friendly as you don’t have to worry about technical stuff at all.
- Attractive designs. There are 70+ quality designs & themes that are also mobile-friendly. You can also create your design.
- 24/7 support. Unlike open-source solutions, Shopify has a 24-hour customer support team.
- Comprehensive analytics. With Shopify, you can expect actionable dashboards, Google analytics, product reports, and much more.
- Localized customer experience with global storefronts.
The main drawback is Shopify Plus has limited backend customization. While flexibility on the frontend is unbounded, any integration on the backend has to work with their API. This poses a risk for some brands that use a specific inventory or fulfillment provider.
Moreover, Shopify is massively reliant on apps and integrations, having fewer built-in features than other platforms.
Adobe Commerce (powered by Magento)
First released in 2007, Magento (now Adobe Commerce by Magento) is a feature-rich, end-to-end ecommerce solution that offers merchants complete flexibility and control over the user experience, content, and functionality of their online channel.
With this platform, you can build multi-channel commerce experiences for B2B and B2C customers on a single platform. From catalog to payment to fulfillment, our future-proof technology gives you a commerce platform that’s endlessly flexible, extensible, and scalable.
It is built on open source technology which means it receives constant development originating with its large open-source community.
In 2018, Magento was acquired by Adobe so if you’re a big fan of Adobe’s other products and have extensive developer skills, this platform could be a solution for your company.
Businesses that have already used Magento claim that these are its main benefits:
- Very scalable. Because it’s open-source, you have access to the backend to customize everything in your store.
- Total ownership. You’ll have full access to Magento’s code, meaning you’re free to develop it on your own with any customizations you desire.
- Apps, plugins, and add-ons. When it comes to variety, Magento is one of the best solutions out there for a large partner ecosystem for third-party apps and add-ons.
- Easy site content creation. Use modern, drag-and-drop tools to quickly create compelling content and shopping experiences without the need for developer support.
- Good multi-brand solution. Manage all your brands and serve all customers—business and consumer—via digital channels, from one platform.
The main drawback of Adobe Commerce is that if you don’t have technical expertise, you should probably go for some of the user-friendly solutions mentioned in this list.
Moreover, the analytics and reporting tools of this platform are not the most advanced. Other companies report unsatisfactory customer support.
We’ve saved the best for last! DirectScale is a cloud-based software solution created in the USA that aims to help companies manage orders better, communicate more efficiently, improve their logistics, and much more.
Using their decades of MLM industry experience, DirectScale offers more than just an ecommerce management platform.
DirectScale took the best of Shopify and built upon it to strengthen and improve not only the customer experience but also the Admin controls specific to our industry needs.
It has designed unique revenue optimization tools on top of its commissions’ engine. By aggregating all of your sales data alongside our compensation profiler and editor, DirectScale gives you not only the insight but the ability to drive the growth of your business.
All of the functionalities that this software solution offers are complete and configurable right out of the box.
Take your business to the next level with these great features of DirectScale:
- All-in-one ecommerce management for direct sellers. The effective branding, design, and functionality of DirectScale Ecommerce guide your customers through a frictionless online shopping experience creating an experience they’ll want to come back to time and again
- User-friendly & flexible software. DirectScale is user-friendly and anyone who has basic internet knowledge can operate it. That’s how intuitive it is!
- DIY configurability. You are in control, you don’t need to contact IT. With DirectScale, you can create a personalized web office experience that fits your needs and allows you to target distributors at every step of the sales funnel.
- Stress-free management of sellers. Manage all your direct sellers’ activity, transactions, and behaviors with our software and app. Whether you work with influencers, affiliates, distributors, or employees, DirectScale can manage it all.
- Training and self-development. Provide proper learning materials and training to your seller so they have a better grasp of your business plan.
- Easy & self-managed commission payouts. Auditing and modifying your commission payouts and compensation plans will be easier than ever. Users will be able to modify and audit their compensation plans and commission payouts on their own and with no extra costs.
- Scalable business operations. As it is a cloud-based solution, it eliminates lost sales due to volume peaks and server overloads. DirectScale will keep up with your momentum as you go. It will grow alongside your business and scale back when you’re going through slower times so you can save money and never worry about updating your platform.
- Custom branding. Make your branding noticeable and always at the top of your user’s mind by creating unique login and landing pages with your company’s branding. Building brand recognition and loyalty is something many companies struggle with, but it’s easy to do with DirectScale.
- Up-to-date REST APIs. Updated REST APIs allow users to modify the platform and reconfigure it to better suit their needs.
- Unlimited customer support & no upgrade fees.
This article sums up all important factors to consider when choosing your ecommerce platform for your direct selling company.
Moreover, it introduces 5 examples of great ecommerce platforms that could be ideal for your business: BigCommerce, Wix Enterprise, Shopify Plus, Adobe Commerce, and DirectScale Ecommerce.
It’s worth knowing that every software offers either a free plan or a free trial so you can test the solution before purchasing.
However, if you want to truly reach your full potential, we recommend trying our platform DirectScale Ecommerce powered by Rave Retailer.
The effective branding, design, and functionality of DirectScale Ecommerce guide your customers through a frictionless online shopping experience creating an experience they’ll want to come back to time and again. The brilliantly simple yet powerful checkout process drives your online sales by guiding your customers through an enjoyable buying experience. The entire platform is more manageable and is easier for both your buyers and admins to use. And its unmatched attribution ensures your representatives and influencers get the appropriate commissions every time.