An eCommerce platform is a type of software that allows the purchasing and selling of products online anywhere across the globe. eCommerce can follow various business models, such as business to business (B2B), business to consumer (B2C), and consumer to consumer (C2C). With so many ways to sell and buy online, using eCommerce solutions is important for any business, as it allows you to reach an audience anywhere in the world.

Whether you’re a startup or a successful small business, knowing how to use an eCommerce platform is important. In this guide, we’ll cover what an eCommerce platform is, the different types, how to find the best eCommerce platform, and more.

What Are the Different Types of eCommerce Platforms?

While there are various business models a company can fall under when using an eCommerce platform, such as B2B or B2C, there are different types of eCommerce platforms a business must choose from first. eCommerce platforms can run on various types of software to help a business’s website run. These types of eCommerce solutions include:

  • SaaS: SaaS, an abbreviation for software as a service, refers to software stored in the cloud rather than on your own computer, which can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection and computing device. An eCommerce platform that uses SaaS offers many benefits, such as not having to download large files or software to your computer, ease of use, affordability, security, and integration capabilities. In most cases, new or small businesses will start with an eCommerce platform that uses SaaS.

    Pietra is an example of an eCommerce platform that uses SaaS, and we can help turn any business idea into a thriving eCommerce business.

  • PaaS: PaaS stands for platform as a service and is when a company’s own software can be integrated with other business applications. PaaS is also hosted on the cloud by the provider, but gives companies the tools and applications it needs to manage their eCommerce workload.

  • Proprietary software: Unlike SaaS and PaaS, proprietary or on-premise software is when a company hosts its own eCommerce solutions. While this can give businesses more autonomy and creativity, it can be very expensive, time-consuming, and complicated.

Now that you know about the different types of eCommerce platforms and the software that can power them, let’s take a look at how to choose an eCommerce platform for your business.

How to Choose an eCommerce Platform

If you’re ready to start selling online, you may be wondering how to choose an eCommerce platform that works for your business. Here’s what you should consider when looking for the best platform for an eCommerce website:

  • Price: Most eCommerce platforms will charge a monthly fee to use their services. As with any financial decision, make sure to review the price to ensure it aligns with your budget. Pietra has a few plan options starting as low as $39/month.
  • Integrations: As a business, you’ll have several software that will need to work together to deliver the perfect customer experience, such as your CRM and payment transaction software. This means the eCommerce platform you choose should work harmoniously with them. Pietra, for example, can easily integrate with several programs, such as Shopify and Instagram, to grow your business.
  • Customer Service: When using an eCommerce platform, quality customer service is a must to ensure your website is running properly and customers can access it easily. Pietra is prepared to support you with processing returns and exchanges in a timely manner to get your customers the best experience.
  • Scalability: The best eCommerce platforms will be able to grow with you as you scale your business. Pietra is completely scalable and can help manage eCommerce businesses of all sizes. This make it easier to connect as many sales channels as you want, organize supplier communication and shipments, and more.

These are just some of the many factors to consider when searching for the best platform for an eCommerce website. No matter the solution you choose, ensure it’s easy to use, can integrate with your current website, and grow with you.

Why Choose Pietra?

At Pietra, we offer more than just eCommerce solutions. We can help you turn any business idea into a thriving venture, whether it’s starting your own candle business or opening up an online apparel shop.

With Pietra, you can work with freelance designers to create a logo, brand guidelines, and more. You can also use our fulfillment services to ensure your products get to your customers’ doorsteps, use our sourcing marketplace to find envelopes and packaging, and find suppliers or manufacturers to help create your products.

Once your business is up and running, you can start selling on Pietra’s Creator Marketplace. With your own online shop managed by our team, you can boost sales and grow your audience and get a shareable link for your social media channels like Instagram and TikTok.

In addition to the Creator Marketplace, Pietra seamlessly integrates with Shopify, allowing you to manage backend tasks like order fulfillment while running your website on Shopify. If you’re looking for an eCommerce platform for wholesale, Pietra is your answer. To learn more, browse our Pietra eCommerce FAQs.

What are the Benefits of Using an eCommerce Platform?

Some of the top reasons you should work with an eCommerce platform include:

  • Heightened security: eCommerce platforms have extensive security measures, such as encryption, to ensure payments and customer data are secure.
  • Improved customer experience: When integrating an eCommerce solution with your existing software, you can greatly improve your user experience by streamlining the purchasing process.
  • Trackable inventory: Keeping track of inventory can be a challenge. However, eCommerce solutions with inventory management help ensure shelves are stocked and inventory is moving.

Start Selling With Pietra

Pietra is your all-in-one eCommerce solution. With Pietra, you not only have the ability to open your own Pietra Shop, but you can work with freelance designers to help build your website or design logos, find wholesalers to source products, and fulfill your orders so you can place your products in the homes of people around the world.

Learn more about how Pietra works and the ways we can help you bring your next business idea to life.