ECommerce is more prominent than ever, and there is no sign of a slowdown. But with that growth, deciding the best eCommerce platforms for your business has become increasingly challenging. There are few jack-of-all-trades platforms. Instead, every service caters to a unique target audience.
Some are larger and more significant than others owing to better features, pricing, and intuitive customization, among other factors. If you are starting an online business, then this stage of the process is going to be critical.
In this article, we will give a brief overview of the functionality of the giant eCommerce platforms of the industry. We will also evaluate each option’s pros and cons to allow you to distinguish better what is best for you.
The Leading, Best ECommerce Platforms
Although it was established in 1999, Volusion didn’t become an e-commerce solution provider until 2002. Since automated digital downloads after payment are now not permitted, it’s a fantastic solution for people selling tangible goods.
Volusion offers a simple drag-and-drop website builder with in-page editing. There are several expensive themes, as well as 11 free themes.
You’ll also need to spend about $180 on an SSL certificate in addition to those costs. Again, that is a sizable additional expense that some other best e-commerce platforms offer for nothing.
Additionally, it lacks blogging functionality. A major letdown in this day and age when establishing SEO with blogs is paramount. You will need a third party, such as WordPress, along with a plugin or other method to link the blog to your shop.
All the primary action areas are located in the top navigation menu of the dashboard, which has a beautiful organization. From there, you may also handle marketing and inventory management. SEO, selling on Google, eBay, and Amazon; social selling, incentives, and coupons are some other marketing alternatives.
You can only sell a certain quantity of items at their pricing. The first two plans, which have monthly costs of $29 and $79, have limits on 100 and 5000 goods, respectively. They used to have a bandwidth restriction, but that is no longer the case, so that may change in the future.
The dashboard has many learning resources on how to design your shop with Volusion step by step, launch, and expand your online company. Beginner assistance is essential.
It’s a reliable platform overall for subscription e-commerce businesses. Although not printed on-demand, dropshipping is also beneficial. There are several issues with the Amazon integration. That may not matter, however, depending on your consumption needs.
- Wonderful onboarding and support center
- Sitemaps provide a lot of freedom.
- Built-in recurring/subscription payments
- SMB welcoming
- Well-designed dashboard
- Simple marketing and inventory systems
- It has no cross or up-selling features
- It is a relatively slow platform
- There is no built-in blogging capability.
- Many websites have messed-up URLs.
Over 22,000 online companies, including PCMag, have used 3dcart (now Shift4Shop) since it was made available to the public in 2001. They provide several useful features, like limitless storage and no transaction costs. Additionally, they provide a POS system and facilitate multi-channel sales. The business changed its name to Shift4Shop in 2021.
Despite being older than industry leaders like BigCommerce and Shopify, Shift4Shop doesn’t perform as well as them, which is obvious. Beginners shouldn’t use it. The builder is not particularly aesthetically pleasing, and even though there is a lovely onboarding video when you get into your dashboard, the whole process is confusing.
They feature more industrial-looking templates, but they seem old. Because there are no drag-and-drop capabilities, personalizing the shop takes a long time to grasp and become accustomed to, even for seasoned users. Thankfully, a community of developers is ready to help with theme creation and other adjustments.
One of their more specialized areas is shipping; they provide sophisticated shipping solutions without needing an API.
Like BigCommerce, Shift4Shop limits the number of sales you can make with each plan. The cheapest package, at $19 a month, enables up to $50,000.
Although the value is excellent overall, it is losing out by omitting abandoned cart saving as a fundamental functionality.
- Superior blog features compared to other eCommerce
- Supports all the necessary integrations
- Excellent tools for managing business users
- Templates follow trends, but they’re seldom the most innovative.
- Negative customer service reviews
- Not for those lacking in tech know-how
- Potential upgrade problems
Wix is a significant player in the eCommerce industry and offers incredible value to sole proprietors and small eCommerce organizations.
The eCommerce tools offered by Wix have significantly improved over the last several years; they now include dropshipping, print on demand, abandoned cart recovery, and multi-channel integration.
They’ve had substantial SEO problems in the past. Some issues have not been rectified, including the brief additional string in some URLs for blog articles and product sites. That is not the best situation for SEO, particularly for big eCommerce companies.
In addition to the restricted capabilities, the storage capacity is 20GB, which may not be enough if you deal with a lot of bulky digital items or other materials as you expand.
It is rather suitable for beginners. In terms of on-page customer assistance when building the shop, Wix comes out on top.
There is drag and drop functionality for adding exciting videos and features to build the website you want. Of the more than 500 themes available, 72 are free. However, except if you utilize their ADI, you’re locked with the theme you choose when you publish your website.
- Plenty of excellent free themes
- Low cost is great for people who want to start a business with no money
- Easy to use and set up
- Support for various requirements on-site
- It has a significantly negative SEO reputation; Despite making changes, it still had a lackluster performance on tests.
- Many websites lack security.
- Lacks sophisticated automation and upselling capabilities
- The template is confusing to modify and customize completely
Often considered the best overall eCommerce platform, BigCommerce borders on perfection for major retail firms because of its robust product search engine.
It’s also a wise decision for those who wish to launch an online shop or who already run a traditional business but want to include internet orders in their operations. Any specialty or sector may succeed thanks to the tools that are accessible.
Offers customizable templates to build your store, sell, and advertise your items. The interface lets you personalize your online store without knowing how to code. It’s designed for folks without much web development experience, but it also gives tech-savvy users the option to modify the HTML and CSS.
You can find sophisticated and customer-focused designs in the shop, but very few are free. There are two specific free themes, each with variants, making only seven free themes in total.
There is a sizable development and design community. Using the partner directory, you can easily approach specialists for a helping hand.
The cheapest plan has a monthly cost of $29.95. Other extras are professional reports, gift cards, limitless bandwidth, and checkout coupons. It is ideal for basic shops that do not generate sales of more than $50,000 annually, although you do not get a custom SSL or abandoned cart saver. The sales cap increases with the level of the plan.
- Excels support multi-channel selling
- Fantastic Theme Designs and Strong SEO Performance
- Adaptable and scalable
- It offers a sophisticated abandoned cart feature
- Variable speeds in tests
- Costly for retailers with significant volume
- No one-click upsells or selling
- The entry plan does not include cart abandonment
Sellfy was established in 2011 as a platform for online sales of just digital goods like eBooks. No matter what business strategy you use, you may quickly create your online shop thanks to the platform’s expansion throughout time. It’s a simple website builder that you can use right away without any technological expertise.
You have three choices if you want to begin selling online with Sellfy you can either link your current website to your Sellfy shop or Integrate your shop with a unique domain. Alternatively, you could use “Buy Now” and other embed options to generate sales from other platforms.
Premium is $29/month, while the most expensive one costs $159/month before yearly discounts. Sellfy is one of the more economical solutions compared to other eCommerce sites.
Compared to competitors such as Shopify, you may significantly reduce your costs when considering the tools and eCommerce capability you receive as standard. However, you’ll need to spend money on some pricey third-party applications to benefit from features like recurring subscription billing.
A core selling point of Sellfy is that you can launch your shop in under five minutes. While the Free plan restricts the kinds and quantity of items you may sell, upgrading to a premium plan can offer an unlimited amount of physical, digital, and subscription products.
You may sell various print-on-demand (POD) items with Sellfy without depending on a provider like Printify or Printful since it has its print-on-demand platform.
- Many avenues for selling online
- Absence of any transaction fees
- All priced programs include email marketing.
- Supports integration with Wix
- A limited selection of payment methods
- For the majority of third-party connections, Zapier is required.
- Essential marketing tools, such as 1-click upsells, are absent
- Lackluster SEO ratings
- Users of the free plan may sell up to 10 physical items, but a custom domain is not included.
Shopify lags much behind BigCommerce in performance but is somewhat superior in a few areas, such as 1-click upsells after a purchase. The drag and drop interface of Shopify makes it simple to set up an online business. Most people who are new to website creation can quickly pick it up.
For straightforward shops wishing to accept payments through a mobile app, they also offer the Shopify POS, which is also perfectly viable for more complex shops.
However, you should note that SEO is an area where it significantly underperforms.
Additionally, they incur transaction fees if you don’t use Shopify Payments, which is problematic. Despite that, Shopify Payments is still a decent choice that you can live with.
- Very intuitive and straightforward to set up
- Many licensed partners available to assist you
- Speedy loading
- One-click sales
- Allows for social marketing across multiple channels
- Visually appealing themes with varied designs
- SEO consistently receives dismal ratings.
- A large number of apps are must-haves; which can quickly become pricey
- For sophisticated functionality, you need a developer
- There are just ten free themes available right now. The cost of paid themes varies from $100 to $200.
- You cannot customize the checkout procedure
Another platform that supports drag-and-drop is Squarespace. They were established in 2003 and provide modern templates and design skills.
Try these out if you don’t require many features. Specifically, Squarespace is great for print-on-demand businesses. The costs are also relatively affordable compared to competitors.
To begin selling, you must at least subscribe to the Business website plan, which costs $18 per month when paid yearly. You should be aware that transaction costs cost 3%.
However, with any of the eCommerce options between $26 and $40, you may avoid it.
Additionally, the top package enables you to sell subscriptions and gift cards, obtain abandoned cart auto-recovery, and provide adjustable discounts.
All of the standard capabilities you would anticipate from an e-commerce platform are included in the bundle and are organized on the side menu.
However, designing a website is not simple at all. Their drag and drop editor has room for improvement and is often unintuitive. It can take a while before you get the hang of it. Despite that, you will undoubtedly like having access to marketing, inventory, social selling, SEO, and analytics capabilities after you have completed the website design step.
ShipStation has integrated with Squarespace, and you can download Print and ShipBob from the app store. It is also possible to calculate delivery costs in real-time from well-known carriers such as FedEx, USPS, and UPS.
Payment processors and third-party apps are the major drawbacks. They only accept Paypal and Stripe. The applications only interface with a minimal number of outside tools.
- Easy To Set Up
- Outstanding For Simple Stores
- Beautiful Designs
- Powerful SEO tools
- Connects to ShipStation and ShipBob
- No integration with Amazon
- No dropshipping
- No automatic marketing integration
- There is no app store for additional features and functions.
- For the price, it should be faster
Probably one of the best e-commerce systems is ShopWired. It offers services to clients worldwide and places highly in terms of features, usability, performance, and other factors.
The feature set is comparable to other dominant competitors, and the pricing is reasonable. All packages come with 1-click upsells, customizable items, digital products, product export, and more.
With ShopWired, you can access many services for which Shopify and BigCommerce charge extra, such as reviews, ratings, and abandoned cart recovery.
The B2B functionalities that ShopWired provides are one area in which it truly shines. Creating bulk discounts, credit accounts, trade accounts, and a quotation request system is simple for business owners.
ShopWired and BigCommerce lead the industry in terms of performance. ShopWired ranking as one of the quickest of all major, best eCommerce platforms. That said, mobile device speeds could be better, but desktop speeds are lightning fast.
- Simple and intuitive
- B2B friendly
- Brisk Loading
- Custom theme design
- No Amazon integration
- Some applications and extensions require code
- Mediocre SEO traffic
WooCommerce is among the best ecommerce platforms for hosting an affiliate website and an online store in a two-in-one package. However, albeit not by much, more traditional eCommerce platforms such as BigCommerce see more sales.
Any website may be converted into an operational eCommerce shop using WordPress. Additionally, there are extensions for social networking, email marketing, 1-click purchasing, and shipping.
However, scalability is a significant concern. Most users have seen a slowdown after adding more goods and clients.
When it comes to pricing, WooCommerce has no cost. Only a few add-ons have a charge, and some WordPress themes are pricey. There are excellent free themes, so you may not even need those add-ons.
If you are comfortable with WordPress, WooCommerce will come naturally to you. It only has to be installed, and then you can add your items and adjust the settings.
Those unfamiliar with WordPress will find the technical nuances challenging to understand. That includes configuring your plugins, purchasing hosting, and setting up WordPress.
- The ideal platform for SEO is WordPress
- There are several marketing choices and integrations available.
- Many WordPress professionals are on hand.
- Very adaptable
- 1 Click selling apps are present
- Hard to troubleshoot
- Quality hosting is expensive.
- Extensions required for rudimentary features
Best Ecommerce Platforms: Conclusion
If you have made it this far, congratulations, you (hopefully) have a much clearer picture of where things stand regarding eCommerce platforms.
Differentiating between them by sorting out which ones are aimed at your specific niche is crucial, and understanding the advantages and drawbacks of each option will help you decide the best platform to suit your needs.
Whether you choose to go with an industry giant or a more up-and-coming competitor; Whether you decide to commit to an expensive plan or opt for free options. There is no definitive ‘correct’ answer. There is only a more informed decision to be made.
After all, this decision could potentially determine how your business pans out. It is all but a requirement to make an informed judgment.