I have used the Shopify platform, which I have linked below using my referral link. If you click it and sign up for Shopify, I will earn a small commission.
Anyway, in an effort to find the perfect platform for me, these are the things I found to be most important.
1. Your budget.Obviously, this can make a huge difference in what is available to you. If you need low or zero start up costs, you'll want something like Etsy, Wix, or StoreEnvy.
This is probably the most important factor when deciding on what features you can and will have or what platform you use. Regardless of what you want, if you can't afford it... Well, then you won't have it.
2. Layout and design.E-commerce platforms like Etsy have a pretty fixed layout and design, with minimal customization by shop owners. However, SquareSpace and Shopify offer a lot of options for templates and design (some paid and some free). Big Cartel is another popular, customizable option.
3. Number of productsDepending on how many products you will or plan to have listed at one time, you might choose one e-commerce platform over another. On platforms like Etsy, you pay a small fee per listing. On platforms like Big Cartel or Shopify, a certain amount of listings are included in your plan.
Of course, it might also be a good idea to look at the maximum number of listings offered or where it tops out at on that platform.
4. Extra featuresAfter you've got the basics down, you might want to consider what extra features you need now or that you might want later. This is probably one of the biggest reasons people move away from platforms like Etsy and onto more versatile platforms like Shopify.
Based on my own research, I found Shopify to be the most versatile and affordable at the same time. This is because Shopify offers and add on "store" but many features are free or very low cost.
On the other hand, if you're going to be using a lot of add on features, it might be more cost effective to have them included in your plan.
Add on features might include shopping cart recovery, loyalty rewards programs, subscription services, and more.
What e-commerce platform are you using? Which is your favorite? What one would you like to try! Tell me in the comments below!