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Entrepreneur

July 1, 2016 View Original Article

Top 4 E-commerce Solutions

WordPress or Squarespace? Shopify or Magento? With hundreds of e-commerce platforms to choose from for running your online store, selecting the right one can be a daunting task.

But it's a very important one. In fact, the e-commerce platform you pick for your business is as important as the location of a physical store: The wrong platform can hinder sales, alienate customers and turn simple sales tasks like calculating shipping fees into a logistical nightmare.

While most platforms offer similar functionality, small differences in ease of use and other options -- like provisions for coupons/discount codes, themes, and templates; and even payment getaway options -- can make a big difference for the customer's overall experience.

Starting to feel overwhelmed by the options? Below are the pros and cons for four of the most popular choices below:

Squarespace 

For folks who are new to the e-commerce world, Squarespace hits the sweet spot. It offers just enough customization capabilities to make your storefront your own, without overwhelming you with too many options. Squarespace earns bonus points for its award-winning templates and shoppable lookbooks. Squarespace’s e-commerce functionality is fully baked into its platform; just insert a product block into your website to get started. If your mission is to build a website (that also happens to sell products), then Squarespace is an obvious choice. Their templates are excellent, its CMS is intuitive and the photo editing/display tools are first-class. If your primary mission is an online store, however, you may find Squarespace a bit limiting. At the time of this publication, Squarespace works only with one payment gateway, Stripe, and not with PayPal, which may be a deal-breaker.

Are you worried about serving mobile customers? Be sure the platform you choose offers responsive design for smartphones and tablets. If your primary goal is a beautiful web presence [...] then Squarespace is your best bet.