Ecommerce sales are booming. According to Shopify, sales are expected to reach $4.9 trillion in 2021; a jump of nearly $2.1 trillion when compared to the sales of 2018. Behind all of these ecommerce stores are ecommerce platforms that do the heavy lifting, allowing businesses to manage their website as well as sales. However, the market for ecommerce platforms is a large one and there are lots of factors to consider when choosing the right one for your business.
In this article, we will evaluate the top 20 Ecommerce platforms on the market and help guide you in choosing the best one for you.
Note: this overview includes all different types of Ecommerce Platforms from Open Source, SaaS (Software as a Service) and CaaS (Commerce as a Service).
So what is an ecommerce platform?
An ecommerce platform is a platform that enables everyone to easily create, customise and host functional online stores, create, sell and market products, manage inventory, accept and process payment, offer real time shipping quotes and track shipping, and many more. In return, users pay the platform monthly fees.
So what are the major benefits of using an ecommerce platform?
First of all, ecommerce platforms save you time and let you focus more on the marketing and selling side of the businesses. They let you create, customise, and launch online stores and start selling right away, instead of spending a huge amount of time on coding, designing websites and online stores, and maintaining the web hosting and server.
Ecommerce platforms are also very secure and experience little to no downtime. Plus, you will also be able to provide great customer service to your customers with seamless payment and shipping integration.
Note: in this overview, there are three main types of ecommerce platforms: Open Source, SaaS (Software as a Service) and CaaS (Commerce as a Service) we cover, to give you a taste of each.
Shopify is one of the leading and most popular all-in-one ecommerce platforms in the industry. It offers everything you need from ecommerce branding to online store builder to shipping and payment. Plus, it’s extremely easy to set up and offers certified experts to help you seamlessly migrate your existing store to Shopify. Its other strengths include one-click selling and fast load time. However, Shopify might not be the best when it comes to SEO and does not allow you to customise the checkout process.
Pricing: Basic Shopify: $29, Shopify: $79, Advanced Shopify: $299 (per month)
BigCommerce is another leading ecommerce platform trusted by brands such as Ben & Jerry’s and Skullcandy. It allows you to build, customise and design online stores and market and sell products all without a line of code. But if you have web development skills, you are able to tweak HTML and CSS to suit your needs. Besides, it boasts strong SEO and is highly scalable for mid-size growing businesses. On the downside, BigCommerce doesn’t have one-click selling or upselling and robust load time like Shopify does.
Pricing: Standard: $29.95, Plus: $79.95, Pro: $249.95, Enterprise: Custom (per month, billed monthly)
Magento is a highly flexible and solid ecommerce platform that is trusted by renowned brands such as Nike and Cisco. In addition to page builder, content staging, merchandising, and instant purchase, Magento offers advanced features such as order management and customer service, inventory management, business intelligence, and cloud deployment. The platform is packed with tons of features, a large community of active users and experts, and a thriving marketplace. Another great benefit is the flexibility to host the software wherever you want. But Magento is best suitable for those with web development skills and its themes can also be expensive.
Pricing: Quotation needs to be requested on the website
WooCommerce is a popular, all-in-one ecommerce platform for WordPress that powers over 28% of all online stores with over 64 million downloads. It allows you to simply install on any WordPress website and turn them into ecommerce stores. You can also add extensions to integrate payment gateway, one-click selling, email marketing and more into the platform. One of the greatest benefits is that by hosting ecommerce stores on WordPress, you get to enjoy one of the best SEO performances in the industry. But the platform is not scalable and offers little to no support.
Pricing Quotation needs to be requested on the website
3dcart claims to be “the best ecommerce platform for SEO” and is used by thousands of online stores. It provides an all-inclusive ecommerce solutions, ranging from store and shopping cart design to product and order management to secure hosting and mobile ecommerce. It also supports hundreds of integrations such as FedEx, QuickBooks, Stripe, and Amazon. What is even more interesting is that it lets you send coupons and gift cards to your customers and create your own affiliate program. The bummer is its steep learning curve for beginners.
Pricing: Startup: $19, Basic: $29, Plus: $79 Pro: $299
nopCommerce is a highly flexible and scalable platform trusted by such brands as Volvo and The North Face. It can power not only simple basic stores but also large customized ones with thousands-items catalogs.
Besides an unlimited number of products to download, a variety of marketing tools, shipping, and payment integrations, and strong SEO, nopCommerce offers advanced functionality: multi-vendor and multi-store. Any customizations are available due to the open-source code. The platform is based on secure Microsoft technologies.
Volusion is another ecommerce platform that lets you easily create online stores, sell products, scale your business, and many more. It offers dozens of free themes and premium themes that you can customise and edit with a drag-and-drop builder. If you are new to ecommerce, the good news is that it has reliable onboarding process and help center. Unlike some, it offers a built-in subscription system complete with recurring payments for subscription merchants. However, one of its biggest limitations is that it has no built-in blogging capabilities or upselling/cross-selling features.
Pricing: Personal: $26.10, Professional: $71.10, Business: $269.10 , Prime: Custom (per month, billed annually).
Known as a drag-and-drop website builder, Squarespace also provides an all-in-one ecommerce platform with solutions such as website design, domain hosting, online store building, and marketing. It comes with impressive designs and themes, robust SEO tools, and easy setup. Integration-wise, you can integrate it with ShipBob and ShipStation for your ecommerce fulfillment needs. But it doesn’t support Amazon integration and marketing automation integration. Also, it is great for small and simple stores, but not large-scale ones.
Pricing: Basic: $26, Advanced: $40 (per month, billed annually)
A well-known website builder, Wix also offers an ecommerce platform that is great for beginners who want to run small stores. Though the platform is not as feature rich as others, it comes with plenty of free templates and is easy to set up and use. Its on-page customer support is also top-notch in the industry. However, the platform is really held back by its poor SEO performance and limited features and integrations for scaling. And its paid plans are considered expensive given its limitations.
Pricing: Free with limited features, Ecommerce: $16.50, VIP: $24.50 (per month)
Weebly is a solid ecommerce platform that comes with website, ecommerce, marketing, and customer support features. It’s one of the very few ecommerce platforms that provide ecommerce marketing automation in its paid plans. It’s also worth pointing out that it’s available as a mobile app on Android and iOS too. Overall, it’s highly affordable and adds great value with its marketing automation features. Weebly’s SEO performance and inventory management could be better.
Pricing: Free with limited features, Pro: $12, Business: $25 (per month, billed annually)
11. Big Cartel
Big Cartel is a popular UK ecommerce platform designed for artists and markers, with nearly one million users. It comes with readily made templates for drag-and-drop customisation and also allows users to customise by tweaking HTML and CSS. It is mobile and SEO-friendly and easy to set up. Another impressive feature of the platform is its ability to sell digital products online or in person. But it charges according to the number of products you sell, which can be a bit of a setback for those who have a lot of products.
Pricing: 25 products: $9.95, 100 products: $19.99, 300 products: $29.99 (per month)
EKM is another leading UK-based, all-in-one ecommerce platform that offers everything from domain hosting to payment gateway. It comes loaded with over 150 templates, free live chat feature, and even built-in payment gateway (which is optional). It’s also worth noting that the transaction fees it charges for payment gateway are not exactly the cheapest in the industry. Another bonus is that users are able to add their own WordPress blog to their ecommerce websites. For those who are based in the UK and want to give it a try, you can start with 28-day free trial with free domain name and SSL certificate.
Pricing: Basic: £32.49, Standard: £64.99, Advanced: £194.99, Pro: £541.66 (per month, billed monthly)
CoreCommerce is an all-in-one ecommerce platform that caters to large scale stores and usage. It boasts built-in SEO, CRM, and blogging capabilities and supports multi-language and multi-currency. All of its paid plans, except personal, also offer unlimited file storage and bandwidth. Plus, it supports marketplace integration with Amazon, Facebook, Ebay, and more. On the downside, it charges high processing fees on its own payment gateway and charges extra fees for using other payment gateways.
Pricing: Personal: $19, Pioneer: $41, Progressive: $71, Pro: $144, Premier: $203, Enterprise: $540 (per month, billed annually)
X-Cart is an open source and highly flexible ecommerce platform that claimed to have powered over 38,000 online stores in 111 countries. The unique benefit of X-Cart is that unlike others that charge subscription fees, it sells lifetime licenses to clients. Plus, it’s open source, which gives you full control over everything from customisation to scalability. With lifetime license, you also get to enjoy high level of security and privacy as it runs on your own server. With this platform, however, you do have to run and manage your own web hosting, which can incur high costs.
Pricing: Free with limited features, Business: $495, Multivendor: $1495, Ultimate: $5995 (Lifetime license)
PinnacleCart is one of the few ecommerce platforms that lets you host your online stores on your own server or host with them. All of its paid plans also boast unlimited products, unlimited administrative accounts, and zero transaction fees. Cart abandonment remarketing and predictive search are some of the impressive features the platform offers. PinnacleCart supports over 30 payment methods and has built-in real time shipping tools. Unfortunately, the feature-rich platform comes with hefty price tags that are higher than most on the market.
Pricing: Startup: $44.95, Standard: $94.95, Advanced: $199.95, Enterprise: Custom (per month)
Bluepark is another UK-based ecommerce platform that offers a wide range of ecommerce solutions ranging from web hosting to order fulfillment. Interestingly, it supports as on-site as well as off-site payment processing and supports multi-currency with auto detection. Another outstanding feature is its comprehensive inventory management, which is catered to large-scale businesses. SEO friendly, unlimited bandwidth, and full HTTP support are also among its rich set of features. But the templates it offers are basic at best and might not be ideal.
Pricing: Retail Park: £24.99, Business Park: £39.99, Enterprise Park: £59.99 (per month)
17. 1&1 IONOS
1&1 IONOS is a website builder and ecommerce platform that offers all-inclusive solutions from template design to marketing apps. It allows unlimited products, provides SSL Certificates, and supports as many as 10 payment methods. Another great benefit is that it has an integrated shipping solution. For those on a tight budget, the good news is it only charges $1 per month for the first six months for any of the plans. But, oddly, it doesn’t offer any free trial and only annual billing is available.
Pricing: Essential: $20, Business: $30, Pro: $50 (per month, annually billing)
Ecwid is among the few ecommerce platforms that offer a forever free plan with solid features for getting started. Its free plan includes unlimited bandwidth, mobile responsive shopping cart, and ability to sell on multiple websites simultaneously. All of Ecwid’s paid plans come with Android and iOS store management apps. For unlimited plans, you can even have your own branded storefront apps published by the platform for you. The drawback is the platform’s online store design is restrictive compared to others.
Pricing: Free: $0, Venture: $15, Business: $35, Unlimited: $99
ShopWired is another reputable and solid ecommerce platforms for merchants that are based in the UK and Europe. It comes with full blogging capabilities, content management system, and built-in SEO. The platform is also built for scaling and high traffic and performs automatic backups. Unlike others, ShopWired also offers advanced wholesales features such as trade and credit accounts, bulk discounts, and group pricing. If you are curious and want to give it a try, check out its 14-day free trial!
Pricing: Pro: £24.95, Advanced: £49.95, Premium: £69.95
123Reg is an affordable, cloud-hosted ecommerce platform that offers free web hosting and email accounts in all in its plans. Built-in analytics and performance tracking for online stores is one of its unique features. It seamlessly integrates with major shipping carriers such as UPS and FedEx and works with up to 30 payment gateway providers. 123Reg’s online stores can also sell digital goods such as video and audio files, design, and documents. Its minimum 12-month contract with no free trial is a bit of a disadvantage though.
Pricing: Online Shop 10: £10.04, Online Shop 100: £16.74, Online Shop Unlimited: £33.49
Start setting up shop…
Start selling and make money in no time without getting bogged down in coding and design by trying one of these top 20 ecommerce platforms. Any one of these platforms can make the management and administration of your online stores easy, get rid of downtime, and make payment and shipping processes painless for you and your customers. Trust us, your customers will thank you in the end!
Once you’ve done that, you’re next task will be to ensure you are providing a first-rate online customer experience. And the best way to do this is to start listening to the voice of the customer. Learn more here.
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