ProBT is the go to Tech solutions partner of choice for many of the region’s leading enterprises, SMEs and technology challengers.



Nairobi - Kenya

Tech Trends

How to start an ecommerce Business and the best platforms to consider.

Electronic Commerce (eCommerce) or internet commerce is the selling and buying of products and services using the internet and the transfer of money for transaction execution. Generally, eCommerce is the selling of physical products online.

Starting an eCommerce business is exciting since you choose a business name, create a logo, and branding and build a website. It is however important to think about the future of your business and the tools that would be needed.

What is an eCommerce platform?

This is a software application that enables product pages, reviews, transactions, customer support and returns and order fulfilment.

As a business person/entity seeking to have their business online, choosing the best eCommerce platform is amongst the key decisions to make.

What are the most popular eCommerce options?

  • Open-Source
  • SaaS (Software-as-a-service)
  • Headless commerce

Open-Source eCommerce platforms

This platform is hosted either in the cloud or on-premise and all programs and patches are updated manually.

This platform is mostly used by development and IT–heavy organizations who want to control their eCommerce environment.

All maintenance; security, product updates, hosting, and PCI compliance are taken care of by the business owner.

SaaS eCommerce platforms.

SaaS is hosted in the cloud and remove the complexity of running an online business.

This is a cheaper option in terms of development cost as compared to open-source platforms.

All maintenance; product updates, security, PCI compliance, hosting and any other task that comes with managing software is catered by the SaaS provider.

Headless commerce platforms.

These platforms are hosted in the cloud with a shopping cart decoupled from the Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress or Drupal.

SaaS technology is used due to its low cost of ownership and its provision for API flexibility.

Headless commerce allows faster go-to-market with a significantly low cost of ownership.

Headless commerce providers work with the following decoupled solutions:

  • Content Management System (CMS) for blogging and building pages.
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) -data collection
  • Email Service Provider (ESP)
  • Product Information Management (PIM)- to sell through various sales channels.
  • Order Management System (OMS)-inventory management.
  • Point of Sale (POS)-payment processing.
  • Marketplaces; example-Amazon, eBay.

Which are the top 5 platforms in 2022?

  1. Shopify– is the best SaaS platform for eCommerce. Shopify allows for multichannel selling and drop shipping. This is a unique feature that enables you to sell directly on social media, through your website, through third-party marketplaces and at your retail shop.           

Shopify offers customer support in 19 languages with a community forum, email support and callback phone support. Shopify is integrated with FacebookInstagrameBayAmazon and Marketplace.

2. Wix – is a drag-and-drop website builder that offers customizable templates, registration of domain name and web hosting and hence a user-friendly platform.

The platform lets merchants track orders, accept online payments, and sell products. However, the platform lacks some features that are imperative for product-based businesses. 

Wix offers 24/7 callback services. Integrated sales channels like Facebook and Instagram require a third-party app.

3. BigCommerce– this is a platform well-suited for enterprise software companies. Just like Wix and Shopify, BigCommerce offers web hosting and a lot of customization options.

However, BigCommerce does not allow you to register your domain name.

BigCommerce offers 24/7 technical support through phone, email or chat and is integrated with FacebookInstagrameBayEtsyWalmart, and Amazon.

4. Adobe Commerce (formerly Magento)- is a non-hosted platform for developers who prefer customizing the products they need. This platform requires one to have advanced coding and development experience/skills to manage the infrastructure.

Adobe Commerce has a setback since there is no easy way to turn on social commerce selling and global trading.

Adobe Commerce offers phone support and technical support with Amazon as the only integrated sales channel.

5. WooCommerce– is commonly used by those who know WordPress and it is an add-on to the popular blogging platform. WordPress is traditionally for content-driven websites, not eCommerce, so WooCommerce is WordPress’s answer to those who want to sell online. 

Customer support is only available via live chat or email; no support is offered for third-party apps and plug-ins. WooCommerce is integrated with AmazoneBayEtsyWalmart, and Facebook.


JM Kitetu

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *