Our lives are being taken over by eCommerce. The number of Prime members on Amazon has surpassed 200 million globally, according to Statista.
However, Amazon FBA is not the only choice for online entrepreneurs. There are over 477 different eCommerce platforms out there. Outside of Amazon, you can still run a profitable store.
However, choosing the best eCommerce platform can be a daunting task.
In this article, I’ll share with you the best eCommerce platforms in the market.
Below are the criteria I have used for selecting the best online store solutions:
- These are the best options for small businesses.
- These are the top cheap, free, and open-source options you can choose from.
- These are the platforms with the best themes and website designs.
- Enterprise solutions for large brands.
So, let’s get started!
What are eCommerce Platforms?
An e-commerce platform is a specialized software tool that helps businesses sell products online. When selecting the best option for your business, there are several factors to consider, as each platform offers unique features.
For instance, your needs will differ if you are selling three products compared to 100 products. Additionally, some platforms allow for dropshipping, where the company ships the products on your behalf, rather than you fulfilling orders yourself.
The main goal of e-commerce software is to make it easy for you to add products, offer coupons and discounts, and automatically track inventory on your website. It should also assist in managing the shipping and fulfillment aspects of your business, allowing you to focus on running your business.
Best eCommerce Platforms
The best eCommerce platform for small businesses ($16/month).
Wix is a popular website builder that allows users to easily create an online store for a monthly fee of $20. They offer a wide range of designer-made templates, promotions and gift cards, beautiful product galleries, and easy order management and shipping.
Additionally, your online store will automatically be optimized for smartphones and tablets, including iPhones and Android devices.
With Wix’s online store builder tool, you can customize the look and feel of your mobile eCommerce site without needing to have a full understanding of HTML or CSS.
The extensive product gallery allows you to present your products in a professional and conversion-optimized manner, both on desktop computers and mobile devices.
Overall, Wix is known for being user-friendly and easy to use for both website building and e-commerce capabilities.
To create your online store, there are literally only seven steps you need to take:
- Please log in to your account or sign up for a free account.
- You can choose a template from the Online Store category.
- Edit the text and add the name of your business.
- Click on “My Store” and then “Manage Your Store”.
- You can now add products to your store.
- Select the “Business Setup” tab to add Payments, Shipping, and Store Settings.
- Publish your site and connect it to your own domain.
Moreover, Wix’s secure checkout, 24/7 customer support, multiple payment options, global tax and shipping methods, coupons, discounts, and more are some of the features that it offers to help increase your sales.
Try Wix for free and start selling your products online today.
The best eCommerce platform for large businesses that are built to scale ($29.95/month).
BigCommerce is a leading e-commerce platform that offers advanced features such as best-in-class SEO, 40+ payment gateways, and advanced product options. It also provides 24/7 support and the ability to scale with your business up to $100 million in annual sales.
Many small business owners start out using platforms like Shopify, but over time they may outgrow the platform and end up paying extra for add-ons and apps to help their business grow. BigCommerce is an open SaaS platform that has an open API, no transaction charges, and a welcoming partner ecosystem. They offer two options: BigCommerce for enterprise businesses and BigCommerce Essentials for small businesses. Both options can be scaled as your business grows.
BigCommerce is also an accessible platform for small business owners, although there may be a bit of a learning curve compared to a tool like Wix. It’s also a great option for enterprise brands looking to replace expensive on-premise solutions like Magento with SaaS. Companies like Ford, Toyota, and Skullcandy have used BigCommerce and were able to easily transact over $100 million in annual sales.
In December 2018, Red Hat released BigCommerce for WordPress, a customer-facing content management system that allows users to manage their backend e-commerce using BigCommerce. This allows WordPress sites to load faster than other solutions offered by WordPress such as WooCommerce.
Their plans start at $29.95/month and include a branded online store and domain name, plus the ability to sell on Amazon, eBay, and social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Their interface is designed to make it easy to build your online store, including sections for orders, products, marketing, analytics, taxes, and your storefront.
BigCommerce also recently launched shipping features that allow you to print shipping labels from your dashboard and manage fulfillment to benefit from discounted carrier rates. Their themes are fully responsive and optimized for conversion rate optimization.
Overall, BigCommerce is a great choice for medium to large businesses and offers a free 15-day trial. Detailed information about their pricing structure and free SSL certificates can be found on their website.
This is a great eCommerce Software for Dropshipping ($29/month).
Shopify is a Canadian software company that has quickly become a major player in the eCommerce world. With over 400,000 merchants using their platform, it’s easy to see why it’s one of the fastest-growing SaaS companies in North America.
Creating a dropshipping store using Shopify is a breeze, even for those with little experience. I found it to be user-friendly and easy to navigate. However, having an online store alone doesn’t guarantee success. You’ll need to market your business to ensure it becomes successful.
While Shopify has its advantages, it also has some drawbacks. For instance, if you change the URL structure, you can’t change it back. This can cause issues, such as keywords being at a lower-level subfolder than important ranking factors like “tents.” Additionally, Shopify doesn’t have as many products as BigCommerce, which can be a problem if you have a lot of variations of a single product, like t-shirts in different colors, materials, and sizes.
Despite these shortcomings, Shopify offers a range of plans from $29 per month to $299 per month. Plus, Shopify Plus offers customized prices for enterprise customers. There’s no limit to the number of products you can add, and Shopify offers free SSL, discount codes, inventory management, multilingual support, easy buy buttons, cart abandonment recovery, marketing features, and 24/7 support. If you’re unsure, you can even test Shopify out for 14 days for free to see if it’s the right fit for you.
For Retailers and Local Businesses Looking to Move to the Internet (Free – $79/month)
Square, a popular point-of-sale system, has launched Square Online to help retailers move their businesses online. Square Online is an e-commerce platform that offers plenty of options for local businesses, such as curbside pickup and local delivery.
Setting up an online store with Square Online is easy and versatile for small businesses. You can create your website using premade templates, add products to your store, and accept online payments with options for Bitcoin, Apple Pay, and Google Pay.
Additionally, Square Online offers exclusive features such as online ordering for food from restaurants, retail tools for online and in-person sales, booking functionality, and donation options for nonprofit websites.
The best part is that there is a completely free plan that includes unlimited products, delivery options, and other benefits, with just a 2.9% + $0.30 transaction fee and $0.50 per delivery.
However, with this free plan, the domain name of your choice is not provided.
This new eCommerce platform is best for multi-channel sales ($3.59/month).
DreamHost recently launched its e-commerce platform, Zyro, which has been highly anticipated. With its new online store builder, available in early 2020, DreamHost has taken all of the great features it has developed as a website builder over the years to create a full-fledged e-commerce platform.
One of the main strengths of the platform is its ability to allow merchants to sell products across multiple channels, such as Amazon, Facebook, and Instagram.
Additionally, the platform is very user-friendly, with a drag-and-drop website builder and a quick setup guide, making it easy for users to create a website without any coding skills.
Zyro also offers features such as management of orders and inventory, over 50 payment options, commission-free sales, shipping and tax management, and multiple storefronts.
Overall, Zyro is a user-friendly and multi-channel e-commerce platform that is worth considering for your business.
The best online store builder for existing websites (Free – $14.08/month).
Ecwid is a popular eCommerce platform for small businesses, with 1.6 million customers. It was awarded the title of “quickest e-commerce implementation platform” by G2 Crowd.
It’s easy to use and perfect for businesses that already have a website and want to add a shop or shopping capabilities to it.
The platform is flexible and allows users to sell on various websites, such as Amazon, eBay, Facebook, and Instagram, all from one dashboard. It’s also great for beginners and is integrated with platforms like Joomla, Drupal, and WordPress Business.
Ecwid has a customizable storefront, allowing you to make your products more visible to customers regardless of the device they’re using. You can also create, manage, and track all of your advertisements from the dashboard. It also has seamless integration with over fifty payment gateways, making the payment process simple and secure.
Some of its other features include inventory tracking, saving favorite products, a comprehensive customer address book, managing product options, automatic updates, smart shipping calculations, and an easy checkout process.
However, it does have some limitations, such as only offering English-language services and no telephone support. But the diverse pricing plans, including a free plan that allows you to sell ten physical items a month, make up for these limitations.
The eCommerce Platform for WordPress (Free + Paid Add-Ons).
WooCommerce is a popular eCommerce platform that powers about 25% of online stores worldwide. It has been downloaded over 74 million times. Xcart is a simple and open-source eCommerce plugin for WordPress that was created in 2011. You can add the free WooCommerce plugin to your WordPress website to start selling online. However, for more advanced functionality, you may need to purchase extensions.
One downside of WooCommerce is that it can slow down your website. This is because it installs a total of four plugins when you add it to your site. Additionally, it may not be as scalable as other eCommerce platforms.
Despite these drawbacks, many people still choose to use WooCommerce because it is highly customizable. As an open-source plugin, there is a large community of developers constantly adding new functionality to it. Additionally, WordPress is a popular platform for SEO, and WooCommerce is a natural extension of it. It offers endless SEO customizations and greater control over search engine results.
That said, you’re not limited to just WooCommerce for WordPress as there are other eCommerce plugins available. I personally use BigCommerce for selling digital products on my WordPress site. It was much quicker as it was a “headless commerce” solution that was operated through an API rather than a website.
In conclusion, if you’re looking to add eCommerce functionality to your WordPress site for free, you should give WooCommerce a try.
The best plan for bloggers and creators ($19/month).
Sellfy is an easy-to-use eCommerce platform that allows you to sell digital products, physical goods, and subscriptions all in one place.
Originally designed for digital products like eBooks, videos, music, and courses, the platform now includes features for selling physical products as well.
With marketing tools and analytics integrated into the platform, and the ability to connect with over 1,000 third-party apps through Zapier, Sellfy is a great solution for bloggers, creators, and small businesses who want to sell their products on their website, social media profiles, and more.
It also includes features like email marketing, discount codes, and upselling options, and can be accessed from a variety of devices.
Try Sellfy for 14 days for free to see if it’s the right fit for you.
ShopBase is a popular tool for those who want to do dropshipping and white-label their products. Developed by a reputable design team, ShopBase’s storefronts are fully customizable and optimized for mobile devices.
Each page comes with its own unique settings, including the option to edit the HTML and CSS of every page. This allows users to increase their eCommerce conversion rates by editing every aspect of their checkout page. Additionally, ShopBase offers an abandon cart recovery program that sends email reminders to visitors to encourage them to complete the checkout process.
Some of the key features of ShopBase include unlimited website hosting with unlimited bandwidth, a free 256-bit SSL certificate, 99.98% uptime, a powerful online store builder, fast loading speeds, and the ability to import products and transfer stores from other platforms. They also offer premium product sourcing and fulfillment services for dropshipping merchants.
However, ShopBase does have a few downsides. The app store on the platform is not as large as other platforms, making it harder to integrate apps.
Additionally, if you do not plan on doing dropshipping, print-on-demand, or white-labeling, ShopBase may not be the best choice for you. They offer plans starting at $19/month, and their Basic Base plan contains everything needed to get your first sale and start growing your business. They also offer a 14-day free trial so you can test it out.
It is the best user-friendly eCommerce platform ($35/month).
Volusion is a reliable and comprehensive eCommerce platform that offers a wide range of features, including a new Content Builder that rivals the popular Elementor plugin for WordPress. It’s also budget-friendly, as the $35/month Personal Plan includes unlimited products, online support, and no transaction fees. F
or more in-house support, the $299/month Business Plan is a great option. An added bonus of using Volusion is that they have an onsite SEO and marketing team that can assist with digital marketing and help increase your website’s visibility on search engines.
Additionally, the higher tier plans come with $100 of quick wins each month, which can include web design improvements, SEO optimization, and other helpful assistance to improve your website’s performance.
Try it out for yourself with a 14-day free trial to see how Volusion can benefit your business.
The best Open-Source ASP.NET Ecommerce Platform (free).
nopCommerce is a free eCommerce platform that is built on Microsoft technology. It has been around for 11 years and is widely used, with over 60,000 live online shops and 150+ partners.
It is based on the ASP.NET open-source framework from Microsoft, which is used to build web apps using .NET technology. This technology makes it easier to create complex apps by reducing the amount of coding needed.
It also enhances the performance of a website with many users, thanks to its caching technology, native optimization, and just-in-time compilation.
The platform’s admin panel allows you to upload unlimited products, manage multiple stores and vendors, calculate shipping rates, and use built-in marketing tools all in one place. It also includes a free mobile version of your website without the need for extra coding.
It is suitable for developers, small businesses, and enterprises with complex needs. Notable clients include Microsoft, The North Face, and BMW Group.
If you’re looking for a fully-customized website or a great free platform, nopCommerce is worth checking out.
The best drag-and-drop website builder for eCommerce websites ($23/month).
Squarespace is a popular website builder that offers basic eCommerce features on its third most expensive plan. It has four pricing plans to choose from:
- Personal Plan for $16 per month
- Business Plan for $23 per month
- Basic eCommerce Plan for $27 per month
- Advanced eCommerce Plan for $49 per month
I personally used the Personal Plan to create my blog, but eventually switched to WordPress because Squarespace wasn’t suitable for my needs in terms of SEO, site speed, and customization.
The platform is easy to use and doesn’t require technical knowledge, but it sacrifices functionality and SEO benefits. If you’re already using Squarespace and just want to add an eCommerce store, it can be a good option because it allows you to create a mobile-friendly storefront, manage products, and integrate with shipping solutions.
Squarespace also offers 24/7 support and a 14-day free trial to help you decide if it’s the right platform for you.
The best solution for simple small businesses (Free – $25/month).
Weebly, founded in 2006, is a website builder that now has over 500,000 domains and holds 12% of the market globally. It’s a great platform for small businesses that don’t need an advanced online presence.
Weebly offers built-in marketing automation, saving you extra costs that you would have to pay for a separate website builder and email marketing service. They also have a wide range of products to choose from, making it easy to manage inventory and motivating customers to buy more.
Keep in mind that Weebly does not offer the same level of power as other platforms such as Shopify or 3dcart. It is best for small businesses with simple websites under ten pages and want to add some e-commerce functions.
Their eCommerce functionality is available with their $25/month Business Plan which includes free domain registration.
Here is my list of the best eCommerce platforms that I have found.
If you’re looking for the best eCommerce platform, I recommend Wix. It’s user-friendly and perfect for small businesses.
For larger businesses looking to scale, I suggest using BigCommerce.
And if you’re a dropshipper in need of good integrations, Shopify is the way to go.