Over the years I’ve had plenty of customer’s ask me: “What is the best website platform to go with?” From startups, to SME’s and even large companies, there is so much information out there to digest.
For quite a while I used to sprout the same old responses bantered around in the marketplace – give Magento a go, or Zencart, Prestashop and so on…
But this article is not a take on how feature rich, cheap or expensive a platform is, I will be coming from a different angle altogether – shipping. Yes a boring topic for some, however, it’s one of the most important things to get right quickly if you’re selling online.
Our company Smart Send has a long history (11+ years) in courier/freight aggregation and more recently we have developed our Smart API solution, which provides access to shipping quotes, seamless fulfillment, tracking and shipment labeling options for e-commerce websites.
We’ve invested serious time and money into developing and perfecting pre-built shipping plugins and apps that work with certain website platforms and it’s during this time, we can now categorically provide an answer to this age old question of which is the best platform to use.
Why we Recommend Shopify:
No server / Hosting hassles
A Shopify store does away with the expense and pain of a self-hosted solution, just Register, choose your apps and your theme and you’re pretty much away!
Server configuration is one of the biggest roadblocks when self-hosting your eCommerce solution.
Easy to develop for
Shopify apps run on the web servers of the people who make them, so there are no surprises that can cause unexpected errors. Many other self-hosted e-commerce solutions add a layer of headaches – the merchant has to ensure that the web server specs are adequate and not causing problems.
Easy to support
It’s easy for customers to get help, even with just the default Shopify support tools (Smart Send includes an in-app support widget too).
Simple and powerful integration
Shopify provides easy-to-use integration specs that allow apps to extend store functionality, while keeping an eye on security (kind of like a Facebook app, you choose what the Shopify app has access to).
Plays Nice With Others
With some platforms, adding a new app or plugin can bring everything to a screaming halt. Shopify keeps everyone away from the parts that keep your site going, letting apps add functionality rather than destroy it. This means less support time and cost for app developers.
Easy to find an app
Shopify’s app store is laid out in a way that makes it easy to find the app you need, and to get your own apps found.
From the horse’s mouth; Rhys Furner, Shopify’s APAC Head of Partnerships and Business Development, says:
“Shipping for any e-commerce store is a key foundation to creating a smooth and seamless customer experience. But with all businesses, saving time, reducing costs and focusing on the things that matter like your customers, products and marketing is becoming even more important in a growing and more competitive online space. Shopify allows merchants to seamlessly connect to a range of shipping apps (including Shipping Unlimited by Smart Send) to streamline this process for you.”
From our perspective, Shopify has definitely been the easiest platform to develop shipping solutions for and our Shipping Unlimited app is by far our best solution to date due to the above reasons. If you’re a merchant starting out or you’re trading currently but looking to change platforms, we can highly recommend Shopify to help grow your online business and scale quickly.
About Smart Send
Smart Send is Australia’s longest serving online courier/freight aggregation service. Casual senders and SME’s get easy access to competitive shipping prices along with a simple and convenient method for delivery of their goods using a “door to door” service.
There is no need to register or have an account and SmartSend do not require a minimum monthly spend to use our services (regular senders can sign up as a VIP for free and receive improved pricing and features).
Please download our Five Tips for Shopify Shipping Success tip sheet.