The Current State of Ecommerce Platforms in Europe
Ecommerce sales in Europe are projected to reach around 509.9 billion euros in 2016. Although the rate at which people are shopping online is slowly decreasing, the sales are consistently strong.
And it’s not only about large conglomerates with huge sales teams either. Much of the money comes from small businesses, entrepreneurial efforts and even affiliate marketers.
The ecommerce landscape is a bit different in Europe than it is elsewhere around the world, but that doesn’t mean making a site to sell online is different, or difficult.
Europe is ripe with ecommerce platforms. Some of them are open source with free tools and powerful customization options. Others have more basic features and are meant for smaller businesses that don’t have a developer on board.
Seeing as how the landscape is so rich with ecommerce websites, it’s interesting to take a look at what the top ecommerce platforms are, along with which ones you should choose and what the future holds for these platforms.
What are the Top Ecommerce Platforms in Europe?
Although some of the numbers are impossible to figure out because of inflated user counts and private corporations, we have a good idea as to the most popular online store solutions all across Europe.
The list is as follows:
- Drupal Commerce
- OXID EShop
- RBS Change
If you’re aware of American ecommerce platforms, you’ll notice that many of them overlap, such as WooCommerce and Shopify.
However, some of these are far more popular in Europe than they are in the rest of the world. For example, you won’t see much of OXID or RBS Change in the United States. Keep in mind that this list is not the end-all-be-all of ecommerce solutions in Europe. You have quite a few options, and they just so happen to be the most popular right now.
Which Options are Recommended for Certain Business Types?
Not every business needs to go with one option like Magento. In fact, some might find it downright complicated. So, keep reading to see what are the best ecommerce platforms used for, and which customers they cater to.
- Magento – Free and open source, Magento is setup for developers and companies with a little extra money to get creative with their store. It can be cost effective, and it’s perfect for scaling up, but you generally need some sort of development knowledge.
- PrestaShop – We like this one for people who don’t want to pay much money. It’s also nice for those who need quality support.
- Drupal Commerce – Drupal is another option that requires lots of development knowledge. It’s open source and flexible, but restricting to beginners.
- OXID EShop – The German company has a small user base, but the features are plentiful. We like it for B2B, B2C and omnichannel.
- RBS Change – This is what we would call the French version of Drupal Commerce. It’s free, extremely compatible and the community is rather helpful.
- WooCommerce – If you’re making your ecommerce shop on a WordPress site, this is the best plugin for you to choose from. It’s free and super easy to setup.
- OpenCart – It’s clear that Europe likes the open source market, because here’s another one. OpenCart cuts down the steps it takes to get launched, so it’s probably the closest thing to a consumer product, without the price tag, but also with the ability to scale up fast.
- Shopify – This is one of the more comprehensive solutions on the market, as you can see from various Shopify reviews. Shopify has reasonable prices for a quick small business, but the advanced plans allow for scaling up quick. Any type of business could go with this. The only downside is that it’s not really for converting an existing blog or business site into an online store.
Recent Updates from the Hottest European Platforms
It’s tough keeping up with the most recent updates for all of these platforms, but some of them have been making moves that can certainly affect your decisions.
For example, Shopify recently changed its pricing structure to help make choosing a plan easier. They completely got rid of the smaller Starter plan and replaced it with a Lite Pan that goes for $9 per month. The strange part is that they changed their Unlimited Plan to what they call Advanced, pushing the price from $179 per month to $299.
A new Magento Marketplace is now live, giving you an incredible selection of interesting extensions. The most important part of this update is that the extensions are becoming more similar to that of WordPress plugins, speeding up the development process and opening up opportunities for beginners. They also released Magento 2.0, which has shown to have performance and scalability gains.
Another fresh update comes from the folks at WooCommerce, since they’ve released Storefront 2.0, with mobile design updates, typography refresh and more. The new best sellers section is designed to convince more customers to click through and buy, while the storefront looks pretty incredible when viewed on mobile devices.
The final big news for the European ecommerce world comes from Drupal Commerce. What they call Commerce 2.0-alpha4 has just been released, and it has checkout and revamped product attributes. Upgraded path APIs are also available for those who would like to start developing their own extensions or integrations.
The primary change comes in the form of the checkout. The flow was completely modified to include plugins that create multi-step forms. This gives the webmasters a little more flexibility in terms of what they want to build. After all, each of the companies using Drupal are going to be completely different. So, it makes sense that this update was released.
As for the other ecommerce platforms, updates come out all the time, but these are the most impressive as of late.
Are you all caught up with the current state of ecommerce platforms in Europe? If not, feel free to bookmark this page to remember which options to choose when you need to migrate or create a brand new store.
If you have any questions about the European market, please drop a line in the comments section below.
header image courtesy of Chris Allen