With more and more people shopping online each year, there’s never been a better time to start your online store.
To make it an easy process, you must choose the best suitable platform for your eCommerce site. It depends on many factors like the products you want to sell, your experience level and your customization requirements. List down all of your requirements to narrow down your choices accordingly
It can be overwhelming to select the right platform for your business when there are countless options to choose from. Here is a list of 8 best eCommerce platforms and their top features which will help you choose the best one for your business.
WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin built to add eCommerce functionality to existing WordPress websites. It powers approximately 30% of stores online today. With 129+ million downloads and the highest market share to date, it’s one of the most popular eCommerce platforms. WooCommerce plugin provides you with almost all the features that are available in the other open-source platforms. It will be user-friendly, cost-effective if you have a small business and if you’re familiar with WordPress.
The best thing about WooCommerce is that it’s free to download, install, and use, forever.
With the power of WordPress behind it, your customization options are unlimited. It will be easier to understand and access the platform if you are already using WordPress and 100% familiar with it.
More than 800,000 powered stores and over 1 million active users, make Shopify one of the best eCommerce platforms for large stores. With over 1 billion orders processed so far and total sales for merchants of more than $55 billion, Shopify tops in sales features with lots of high-quality tools to support your store.
Powerful eCommerce features combined with a straightforward process make Shopify the best overall for ease of use. Whether you’re just starting or you already have a large business, Shopify offers affordable plans for all. With a 14 day free trial (no credit card details required) and over 100+ themes to choose from, there’s nothing to lose!
Boasting a few renowned names - including Clarks and Ben & Jerry’s as clients, BigCommerce is a well-known eCommerce platform with over 60,000 active websites. The online stores that use BigCommerce have been growing at almost double the industry average. It’s well known for its range of high-quality in-house features. It has a wide library of themes ready to make your online store succeed.
The only drawback of BigCommerce is that it uses a lot of complex terminology in its descriptions, which is tough to understand if you don’t have good knowledge of such special terms.
With over 165 million users and 4.499 paid customers, Wix is one of the most easy-to-use eCommerce platforms. It provides you with simple alternatives to build a complete website with serverless computing and hassle-free coding. It’s the best fit for you if you are to set up a brand new online store.
Overall, Wix does a great job of combining the ease and design of a website builder with good eCommerce features. With Wix, you can capture leads, build customer relationships, and accept payments right from your website. However, due to its simplicity and lack of important sales tools, the platform is not viable for fast-growing or large-scale online businesses.
If you want to make your online store as visually effective as possible, Squarespace is the right choice for you. It has a comprehensive selection of online store templates to match your specific needs. Squarespace is a strong choice for combining a stylish storefront with classic eCommerce features. It allows you to sell unlimited products on any of its eCommerce price plans and gives you the option to upload the items in bulk or one at a time.
On the contrary, It is one of the hardest-to-use eCommerce website builders. If you want speedy growth on a large scale, Squarespace might not be the right choice for you. Its shipping and payment options are limited as compared to Shopify and BigCommerce.
Magento is another one of the most popular eCommerce platforms among companies who want to start small and upgrade down the road without switching platforms. There are two sides to Magento, there's the open-source solution similar to the idea of WooCommerce and there’s hosted solution. The open-source solution is free, but you need to buy your hosting and domain. With the launch of its latest incarnation Magento 2, the platform has reached a higher level, helping to create effective solutions for B2B eCommerce firms.
If your company isn’t all tech-savvy, it can be quite risky to choose Magento as long as you can run and grow your business along with it.
Volusion was once a leader in the industry but things have changed with the emergence of so many all-in-one eCommerce solutions. After a fairly major revamp a couple of years ago it is much more promising now. Best known for its sales features, customers can safely store their details for a faster and easier shopping experience through your store.
Talking of ease of use, Volusion doesn’t offer extra little features for running your store as smoothly as possible. For example, it doesn’t allow you to sell digital products or add blogs to your store. Volusion costs you $99 to install an SSL certificate on your site, an essential feature that allows customers to safely submit their details to your store. Considering other eCommerce platforms include this for free, it’s a big drawback of Volusion.
Open Cart is an open-source solution, best for selling digital products online. OpenCart supports multiple stores from a single interface while customizing and localizing each store. It is especially useful for merchants with multiple independent brands and retailers that sell cross-border. It offers a $99 per month service available for businesses that want dedicated customer support.
Open Cart allows developers to build extensions and themes that might not be secure. So, you are at risk of downloading a bad theme for your site. Another drawback is that being lightweight makes it fast but also limits its functionality.
Different eCommerce platforms offer different features. When planning to build your eCommerce website, always think about these factors:
We hope this article helps you to choose the best eCommerce platform for your business. If you have any more suggestions of options to add to our list, you can put them in the comment section below.
Anuja is the Co-founder and CEO of RedAlkemi Online Pvt. Ltd., a digital marketing agency helping clients with their end to end online presence. Anuja has 30 years of work experience as a successful entrepreneur and has co-founded several ventures since 1986. She and her team are passionate about helping SMEs achieve measurable online success for their business. Anuja holds a Bachelors degree in Advertising from the Government College of Fine Arts, Chandigarh, India.