Best Ecommerce Platforms For Small Business & Start ups

by bloggingforest

What is Ecommerce?

E-commerce or electronic commerce means buying or selling of products or services over the internet.

Ecommerce can have various forms depending on transactional relationships between businesses and consumers.

  • Business to Consumer (B2C) : Selling of goods and services by Business to Consumer (e.g. you buy trousers from online retailer)
  • Business to Business (B2B) : Selling of goods and services by a Business to another Business (e.g. A business sells software for another business to use)
  • Consumer to Consumer (C2C) : Selling of goods and services by a Consumer to another Consumer (e.g. You sell your old TV on eBay to another consumer).

Why Ecommerce ?

The history of ecommerce starts with the first online sale in August 1994 when a man sold a CD by the band Sting to his friend through his website NetMarket.  Recent study shows that over half of the American population prefers online shopping. Nowadays, Ecommerce has become part of our lives and a $4.2 trillion global ecommerce sale is projected by .

Thus, it is the need of the time to be the part of the online business. So, you must have decided to start your ecommerce store. But choosing the best ecommerce platform is not easy as there are hundreds of different options.

I am making this decision easier by revealing the best ecommerce platforms so that you can find the suitable solution for your ecommerce store.

What can these ecommerce solutions do for you?

In earlier days, it was not easy to create online store and sell online. But now-a-days website builders and top ecommerce platforms make it relatively easy. For instance, you won’t need coding experience to manage your ecommerce store.

But how do these ecommerce platforms simplify your life to run these online stores?

  • Launch your ecommerce store without programming knowledge
  • Online processing of orders and payments
  • Easy management of tax and shipping needs
  • Strong reporting systems to track inventory and order
  • Multi-channel sales integration e.g. Amazon, eBay, Social media integration

It does not mean that you won’t need to work hard to create a successful online store. But these tools let you focus on increasing sales of your business, as you will be free of works like uploading products to your store or updating plugins and extensions.

Review of Ecommerce Platform

Our review is based on our practical experience. Our assessment of every platform is based on

  • Price
  • Features
  • Security
  • Performance

Our 4 Step Process to Assess Various Ecommerce Platforms

1. Signing in with Each Ecommerce Platform

For accurate assessment, we have signed up all the ecommerce platforms, but not a 14-days trail. We have chosen their cheapest plan (basic plan). It ensures enough data and time to compare it against other ecommerce platforms.

We have chosen the basic plan to maintain consistency among all the ecommerce platforms.

2. Reviewing Features of Ecommerce Platforms

Our review of features of ecommerce platforms are based on

  • Price
  • Ease of use
  • Product page customization
  • Inventory management
  • Marketing tools
  • Payment options
  • SSL certificate

3. Assessing Customer Support

Customer support is a crucial component of any ecommerce platforms review.

We want customer support 24/7, whenever you need it.

Our assessment on customer support is based on the two most important criteria; the response time taken to resolve your query and the accuracy of customer support answers.

4. Assessing Performance

We have taken these factors while considering the performance of various ecommerce platforms.

  • Our own practical experience
  • Our customers’ review of the online store, we have created using the ecommerce platforms.

Why Trust on Our Reviews

These reviews are done by our expert team members having more than 12 years of experience.

Our team members have work experience with SaaS companies in the ecommerce sector.

We are working with some big ecommerce brands.

We have experience of setting up online stores for different types of business such as small businesses, drop shipping etc.

Table of contents

  • Best Available Ecommerce Platforms
  • Best Free Ecommerce Platforms
  • Best Ecommerce Platforms for SEO
  • Best Available Ecommerce Platforms for Small Business
  • Best Ecommerce Platform for Local Brick and Mortar Business
  • Best Available Ecommerce Platforms for Dropshipping
  • Best Available Ecommerce Platforms for Large Business
  • Benefits of Using Ecommerce Platforms
  • Costs of Best Ecommerce Platforms
  • Criteria for Choosing the Best Ecommerce Platforms
  • Design Considerations for Best Ecommerce Platforms
  • Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Ecommerce Platforms
  • Conclusion and Recommendation

Best Available Ecommerce Platforms

Best ecommerce platforms should be user friendly. It should have updated software tools for selling products online. Every Ecommerce platform is not suitable for every business. Each of them has a specific set of software that makes it specific for a particular business. So, you should choose the best available ecommerce platforms as per the size and need of your business.

The chosen ecommerce platform should have features like adding details of products, payment gateways, offer coupons and discounts, and updating the inventory automatically. The software should be robust that it can manage shipping and fulfillment. This will enable you to focus on running your business and taking it to a new height.

The online platform which you have chosen provides users easy access to the products they want. Remember, internet users, want everything to be done instantly as they have a very short attention span.  If the chosen platform has above features it helps in getting high conversion rates.

In this article, we’ll provide details of the best available ecommerce platforms in . You can choose as per your needs and requirements.

But, if you are in a hurry and you don’t want to go through the full article, let me give you a quick overview of the best ecommerce platform mentioned in this article.

BigCommerce and Shopify are the best ecommerce solutions for big businesses. You can create large online stores easily using these platforms.

WooCommerce is best suited for the websites that are built on WordPress Platform and need an online selling option. It also appeals to big projects too, but it may require some technical knowledge. However, it makes it possible to create multilingual stores.

Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly are a good ecommerce solution if you want to create small and simple online stores. These tools are fitted with many options for content marketing creation such as product pages, email marketing tools, etc. So, these tools may be suitable for you if your strategy is based on this.

Weebly is best suited for the small businesses with low budgets. Its online store includes all-in-one solutions, even the free one.

List of Best Ecommerce Platforms

1. Wix

Best Ecommerce Platform for Small Business, Online Stores and Artists ($22/month)

Wix is a fast-growing website builder and is well known over the last few years. It allows users to upgrade to full ecommerce functionality for $22 per month.

It provides hundreds of designer-made templates and beautiful product galleries.  It also provides promotions and gift cards, easy order management, and shipping. It is the biggest website builder hosting more than 160 million websites.

It automatically optimizes your online store on mobile, including iPhones and Android devices. You can also customize the look of your mobile ecommerce site with its online store builder tool. You don’t need to know programming and coding. You can create a stunning website with Wix without having in-depth knowledge of HTML and CSS.

You can arrange your products in a marvelous layout using the product galleries of Wix. These product galleries work well even in mobiles in the stacked format.

If you have a particular design in mind, you just need a quick way to build it. Also, you don’t have to bother about security, updates, etc. which is lacking in WordPress.

You are just seven steps away from creating your online store :

  • Sign up for free or Log in to your account
  • Select a template from the Online Store category
  • Edit the text and type your business name
  • Click on “My Store” and “Manage Your Store”
  • Add products to your store which you have created
  • Select “Business Setup” to add Payments, Shipping, and Store Settings
  • Publish your site and connect to your own domain

Finally, Wix offers a secure checkout, multiple payment options, and solutions, discounts and coupons, 24/7 customer support, global tax provisioning, and shipping, which will help you sell more.

Pros

  • Hundreds of free, amazing themes
  • Drag and drop website builder
  • Automation of marketing tools         

Cons

  • Poor SEO
  • Weak integration with Amazon

2. BigCommerce

The Best Ecommerce Platform for Large Businesses ($29.95 per month)

BigCommerce is the best ecommerce platform for large businesses.

It was founded in 2009 in Sydney (Australia), and since then it is always among the top choices when it comes to creating an online store. From time to time, it has upgraded itself to fulfill the demand of its merchants. It is a solution that is fully focused on ecommerce, powering around 100,000 online stores. Over 500 people all over the world are using BigCommerce and making a handsome profit.

Here you can create your store that fulfils your business needs with the design tools, features, and support to get you up and running. I recommend BigCommerce ecommerce platform. It has best-in-class SEO features, multiple payment gateways, 24/7 support, advanced product options, and can scale with your ecommerce business.

BigCommerce is a robust all-in-one ecommerce platform providing everything you need to start your online store. It actually has more native features which make it easy for you to manage sales across multiple channels.

It is a very good ecommerce platform in terms of uptime, loading speed, security, and other performance metrics. They offer unique features for B2B stores, wholesale shops, and WordPress users. If the user is not familiar with coding, then also he can customize his online shop by using the templates available.

Here’s what typically happens.

A small business owner decides to get into ecommerce and chooses a platform like Shopify because of their name recognition and easy integration. After 6-12 months, when their business grows, they pay extra for apps and add-on features to help their ecommerce business to grow.

After some time, they hit a growth ceiling. They may realize that they are paying hundreds of dollars every month for apps, but SEO is lacking, or they’re outgrowing their platform. So, I recommend you to kick start your business with the best available option which is indeed BigCommerce.

BigCommerce Home Page

They are the most open SaaS ecommerce platform on the market including open source and zero transaction fees.

BigCommerce offers two types of plans :

(i) BigCommerce – For enterprise offering

(ii) BigCommerce Essentials – For small businesses

Both the plans are built to scale with your business growth.

They are a good option for small businesses because of their features and built-in functionality. But it requires better learning when compared to Wix.

They work equally well when comes to enterprise brands looking for a comparatively cheap platform and move to software as a service (SaaS).

Ford, Toyota, Skullcandy, and others in the Fortune 1000 trust BigCommerce and are easily making over $100 million in annual sales without hiccups.

In December 2018, they initiated BigCommerce for WordPress which enabled users to manage their front end content on WordPress and their back end ecommerce with BigCommerce.

BigCommerce uses APIs which makes WordPress site work at a higher speed, which you will not find with other ecommerce options like WooCommerce, which installs multiple plugins to work and hinders performance.

It provides a convenient user interface for your online store. It provides excellent Shipping features. Here you get discounted carrier rates and also acquire the ability to print shipping labels and manage fulfillment right in your dashboard.

It offers free SSL certificates, with a clear pricing structure, and the best part is zero transaction fees. Their themes are mind-blowing as they are fully responsive and optimized with conversion rates in mind. Here you get a total of seven free themes.

I recommend BigCommerce for medium to large businesses and you can get started with a 15-day free trial. Their basic plan enables you to get a branded online store and domain name with the facility to sell on Amazon, eBay, and social media like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. The various plans offered by BigCommerce are given below:

  • Standard plan— $29.95 per month
  • Plus plan— $79.95 per month
  • Pro plan— $249.95 per month

You can save 10% off on Plus and Pro plans with an annual contract.

Each plan comes with added features and benefits. When you use BigCommerce’s pricing, your stores will automatically be upgraded to a new plan if they reach certain sales milestones in a year.

The 12-month sales limits are as given below:

  • Standard plan — Up to $50,000
  • Plus plan — Up to $150,000
  • Pro plan — Up to $400,000

So for example, if you sign up for the Standard plan, you’ll automatically be switched to the Plus plan if you surpass $50,000 within the last 12 months.

Pros

  • Very flexible and scalable.
  • It excels with multi-channel selling.
  • Robust SEO performance.
  • It has fantastic theme designs.
  • It comes with a comprehensive abandoned cart feature.

Cons

  • Slow loading speeds.
  • It is expensive for high volume stores.
  • It does not provide cart abandonment for entry-level plan.
  • No one-click selling feature.

Try out BigCommerce

3. Shopify

Excellent Ecommerce Software for Your Online Needs (Plan starts from $29/month)

Shopify is one of the best ecommerce platforms for selling business. If you plan to start dropshipping business and rely on Facebook Ads or Instagram marketing, Shopify is the best choice.

Shopify has over 1 million merchants and is the most successful online store builder. It helped its merchants to sell over $180 billion.

Continuous innovation is going on at Shopify all the time and they launch new features and explore new opportunities. It is helpful in the improvement of the platform and makes it user-friendly.  The Shopify platform allows businesses to customize the source code and adapt it to their needs.

Shopify was launched in 2004 and is a Canadian multinational company. It becomes the fastest-growing Saas company in no time. Tobias Lütke, Daniel Weinand, and Scott Lake were dissatisfied with the existing online selling products on the market. They developed their own ecommerce product using web application framework Ruby on Rails, and built Snowdevil’s online store, and launched it after two months of development

According to GoogleTrends, Shopify is the most popular ecommerce platform. It bags the number 1 position among various ecommerce platforms. It has bagged 30% market share in countries like the USA, United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada.

Shopify Pricing Plans

Shopify plan starts from $29 and goes up to $299. It offers its own custom pricing for the enterprise Shopify Plus platform.

All plans include free SSL, unlimited products, inventory management, multilingual support, easy buy buttons, discount codes, abandoned cart recovery, marketing features, and 24/7 support.

A 14-day free trial is also available. You can create your online store and test yourself.

Why Use Shopify

When you think of ecommerce, your mind straightforward goes to Shopify. One of the reasons Shopify gained popularity is because of its easy integration.

Even the most inexperienced users can set up an online store with relative ease.

It is easy to design a good looking website and add products using Shopify. But, it doesn’t mean that you will be successful just because you have an online store. You also need to market your business.

Shopify is a good ecommerce platform but it has also some drawbacks.

First, it has a poor SEO feature. The URL structure locks into their format; you cannot change sections of it. There are many unstructured URLs in Shopify sites well beyond the pages, products, collections, and slug restrictions.

Second, they have fewer product options than Wix and BigCommerce. Shopify is limited to only 100 product variants which are not enough if you have a lot of different product combinations. For example, if you are selling t-shirts, and have different sizes and colors, you cannot add all of them to your online store.

Apart from above limitations, Shopify is a reliable ecommerce platform that works well for small businesses.

Pros

  • Fast load time
  • very easy to set up
  • Online support of certified partners
  • Selling on a click
  • Multiple channels and social media selling integration
  • Many free and paid themes with varied designs

Cons

  • Poor SEO feature
  • Cannot customize the checkout process
  • Apps can be added up but it is costly
  • Need a developer for advanced features

Try out Shopify 14-day free trial for any of its plans

4. WooCommerce

Ecommerce Platform for WordPress (Free + Paid Plugin)

WooCommerce is an ecommerce plugin, as opposed to an all-in-one ecommerce platform. It is a simple open-source ecommerce plugin for WordPress launched in 2011. WooCommerce is the best single platform to run ecommerce and affiliate sites together.

WooCommerce is the world’s most popular ecommerce solution with nearly 75 million downloads. Nearly 25% of all online stores across are powered by WooCommerce and have become one of the most popular ecommerce solutions in the market today.

Any website running on WordPress can be turned into an ecommerce store, using WooCommerce. You can download and install WooCommerce to your WordPress site free of charge. It is just as simple as installing any other WordPress plugin. But you should have your domain, hosting, and WordPress account already set up.

However, for advanced functionality similar to other ecommerce platforms discussed here, you have to add paid extensions. You can customize your online store by adding 300+ extensions from the WooCommerce Store.

The website gets slowed down after the installation of the WooCommerce plugin and extensions. This is its major drawback.

In spite of the above drawbacks, there are reasons that so many people use WooCommerce.

First, it is highly customizable and you can customize it as per your need. Since it is an open-source plugin, a large community of WooCommerce developers adds new functionality very easily as per the need of the online business.

As WooCommerce runs via WordPress, the customization for your online store is virtually limitless. You will only have to add features that you want to use. So, you won’t need to worry about anything cluttering your dashboard.

Second, in terms of SEO, WordPress is the best platform. With highly customizable SEO and the ability to have more control over the search results, WooCommerce is a preferred extension of the WordPress platform.

We can install BigCommerce and WordPress plugin on the WordPress site. But WooCommerce is much faster as it is a “headless commerce” solution that works via an API.

You can easily integrate payment gateways, social media, email marketing, subscription tools, 1-click selling, and shipping, and store management features. Many of these extensions are free, but others are priced up to $200 per extension.

Pros

  • Very good SEO performance
  • Easy integration with social media
  • 1-click selling 

Cons

  • Slow loading speed
  • Lots of extensions needed

In general, if you have a WordPress site and want to add ecommerce functionality for free, you should try WooCommerce.

5. Square Online

For Retailers and Local Businesses Planning to Start Online (Free – $72/month)

Square Online is an ecommerce platform of Square, the popular POS system.

It helps retailers to move their businesses online.

 It is a robust standalone ecommerce platform but has great options also for retailers and local businesses such as curbside pickup and local delivery.

How to create an online presence with Square Online:

  • Create website using the pre-made templates, add pages with page editors, and add your store details.
  • Add products to the added store.
  • You can launch your store for free. You have to pay 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction only.
  • For more advanced features, you can select from various paid plans.

Square online has a very easy setup and a flexible option made for retailers and local businesses looking to move online easily and quickly.

You can sell directly from social media accounts and then expand to a full online store when you are ready.

Another plus point of Square Online is its secure online payments and the ability for customers to pay via Google Pay and Apple Pay.

Square Online has a number of unique features for small businesses :

  • Online ordering of products for online stores
  • Online bookings of services through Square Appointments
  • Various tools for online stores
  • Donations can also be accepted on nonprofit websites

Square Online Pricing

Free plan, which includes unlimited products, SEO tools, an SSL certificate, integration with Instagram, inventory sync with Square POS, pickup and on-demand delivery, gift cards and coupons, and many more. You have to pay only 2.9% + $0.30 transaction fee per transaction. One drawback of the plan is that you cannot use your own domain name.

For extra features, you have to upgrade to one of the paid plans of Square online.

Professional ($12/month): It includes a custom domain name free for one year and no Square branding.

Performance ($26/month): It has features such as the recovery of lost sales with abandoned cart emails, on-site customer reviews, and fulfillment of orders through discounted shipping labels.

Premium ($72/month): This plan has the lowest transaction fees, the highest discounts on shopping rates, and a real-time shipping rate calculator.

You can upgrade to one of the above plans as and when your online business grows. If you are going to start your online store to sell online, I recommend you to start with the Free or Professional Plan, scale up your business and select the higher-tier plans as per your need.

In general, Square Online is a good choice if you are an offline retailer or local business and looking to move your business online.

Pros

  • Very good SEO performance
  • Easy integration with social media
  • 1-click selling 

Cons

  • Slow loading speed
  • Lots of extensions needed

6. Zyro

Ecommerce Platform Best for Multi-Channel Sales ($12.99/month)

Zyro is a popular website builder. It has released its long-awaited Zyro ecommerce platform in early .

Its new online store builder is a complete ecommerce platform and it comprises all of the great features developed over the years as a website builder.

Zyro Ecommerce

Zyro ecommerce platform has the following outstanding features :

First, it is simple and easy to use. You can set up your online store with the drag and drop feature of the platform. You need not require coding knowledge and start selling products through your online store in minutes.

Its drag and drop website builder feature allows you to create the perfect online store and customize it to fit your brand. It is very responsive, so you will be able to see your changes in real-time.

Second, it enables online stores to sell products across multiple channels including Amazon, Facebook, and Instagram.

Third, it provides everything you need to run an online store such as inventory management, more than 50 payment options, discount coupons and vouchers, shipping and tax management, email messages and notifications and free hosting.

Fourth, it has an AI tool. Using this tool, the AI Writer generates text for your website in no time. It means you need not have to worry about creating compelling copy yourself.

As Zyro ecommerce is a new platform, many advanced features are still under development stage. At present, it has 70 ecommerce themes to choose from. And their team is working to increase the number of themes to 150 soon. Good for a new platform!

You can use any Zyro template for your online store. You just need to go to the elements section in the editor and “add e-shop functionality.”

Zyro Ecommerce Pricing

Zyro offers free as well as paid plans.

Zyro offers very competitive pricing. You can get up to 85% off if you sign up for a 3-year term. It has added two new ecommerce plans: Ecommerce (most popular) and Ecommerce +.

Ecommerce Plan : $22.99/month (or $8.99/month for a 3-year term). This Plan provides a free domain for a year.

Ecommerce + Plan : $29.99/month (or $13.99/month for a 3-year term). This plan adds features like recovery of lost sales with abandoned cart emails, multi-channel sales, and multi-lingual stores.

In general, you can try Zyro, if you want a simple-to-use, multi-channel ecommerce platform. You can start with a free plan to test, then upgrade to an ecommerce plan or ecommerce + plan as per your need.

Pros

  • Simple and easy to use
  • Multiple channel inclusion
  • In-built AI tool           

Cons

  • Advanced features still under development stage
  • No free trial

Sign up and use Zyro Ecommerce Platform

7. Squarespace

Best Drag-and-Drop Ecommerce Platform ($26/month)

Squarespace is one of the best website builders in the drag-and-drop category.

Squarespace was built by a NewYork based builder. It was launched in the market in 2003. Since then, millions have not only created their websites, but also online stores. Squarespace occupies a 5% market share in the US.

Squarespace is a successful name when talked about website builders. In fact, it is a renowned name. They are continually increasing their online store capabilities and today they are one of the top ecommerce platforms. They come with sleek templates and design capabilities. You can build a beautiful website with Squarespace. You can very easily create many templates on your website and switch between them as and when you wish.

They come with a drag-and-drop feature, which makes them a famous choice. For print-on-demand ecommerce business, they are the best recommendation.

It allows you to install Printul and ShipBob from the app section as it has full integration with ShipStation.

Squarespace has dozens of ecommerce benefits. You can sell unlimited products and manage your subscriptions. It also provides flexible product variants. Here you can sell both physical and digital products. It has mobile-optimized checkouts and you can add gift cards also. You also get abandoned cart recovery. This list goes on and on.

It comes with four main pricing plans. Two are website builder monthly plans and two are online store monthly plans.

The Personal plan does not provide any ecommerce capabilities. For selling your products, you should opt for the Business plan. But here you have to pay an additional 3% transaction fees to Squarespace, and still, you won’t get all of the useful ecommerce features. This is a drawback to this plan.

It has a fully integrated ecommerce platform built-in to every plan except for the entry-level plan.

Below mentioned two plans come with a set of features that include no transaction fees, checkouts on your own domain, ecommerce analytics, social media selling, POS, and other features that you expect for an ecommerce shop.

Personal Plan: It costs $12/month.

Business Plan: It costs $18/month.

By using the additional two plans, you can launch gift cards, abandoned cart recovery, subscriptions, and a few other higher-level features. Only you need to do is to complete the sign-up process and get enrolled in the Advanced Commerce plan.

Basic (Online Store): It costs $26/month.

Advanced (Online Store): It costs $40/month.

In addition to this, it also provides 24/7 support and a 14-day free trial to test out its features.

By using Squarespace, one who has minimal technical knowledge can also create a website very easily.

But Squarespace has certain drawbacks and needs to improve itself in certain areas of service. It straightway impacts the SEO and site speed, which is one of the main ingredients for running a successful ecommerce platform.

Squarespace biggest limitations are its payment processors and third-party apps. They only support Stripe and Paypal accounts. You can integrate with very few third party apps.

Pros

  • You can set up your online store easily
  • Very good for simple stores
  • Beautiful design
  • SEO friendly platform
  • You can also sell products on your blogs by adding a ‘buy button’.
  • It has a POS system to sell in-person

Cons

  • Not useful for a dropshipping business
  • No integration of email marketing automation
  • Amazon integration not available
  • No app store for more features and functionalities
  • No automation of store’s taxes
  • Charging of extra transaction fees in the lower plans

8. 3dcart

Best Ecommerce Platform for Small Business Sites ($26.10/month)

3dcart was built in 2001 and since then more than 22,000 ecommerce platforms have been running their business using it. However, 3dcart is a great option to consider for those who have built online stores in the past. They can take the advantage of the capabilities that 3dcart possesses.

Unlimited storage and no transaction fees make 3dcart a popular choice. You can also use its POS. In addition to these, it also supports multi-channel selling.

In order to use 3dcart, you should have a basic knowledge of coding and development to customize your themes and templates because it is devoid of a drag-and-drop builder.

3dcart is one among the fastest-growing ecommerce platforms with robust SEO features, 50 free themes, and 100 plus payment options.

3dcart Features

They have recently upgraded with new shipping settings and promotional tools. Now you can display all of your orders, shipping, and rates on your checkout page instead of displaying just one at a time. Then rates are automatically updated when a buyer checks out with their credit card or PayPal account.

Advanced Promotion Manager enables you to choose multiple Customer Groups to offer a promotion at once. This is an excellent option for B2B brands that want to target both consumers and retailers with an online shopping cart.

The SEO features are strong and because of this they are touted as “the best ecommerce platform for SEO”. Here you can create custom URLs, dynamic meta-tags, link titles, and many more.

3dcart has well-developed security features and is 100% PCI compliant. It has a built-in Facebook store which gives you the facility to sell even outside your ecommerce platform.

3dcart is the most suitable choice for you if you have a small business that needs strong SEO, marketing tools, and ecommerce functionality without the need for advanced enterprise features. The strong feature of this platform is its Built-in SEO tools.

Overall Score

In spite of being an old platform, 3dcart is not as famous as BigCommerce and Shopify. It is due to many reasons. It is not for beginners, the builder is also not very visually appealing, the templates are obsolete, customizing the store consumes a lot of time except for experienced users because there’s no drag-and-drop functionality, etc.

One of the strongest points of 3dcart is in its shipping. It provides advanced shipping solutions with no API requirement.

3dcart comes with a wide range of plans, ranging from $19 per month for a Startup Store up to $114.50 per month for a Pro Store plan. It provides a free trial for 15 days and 30 days money-back guarantee. All plans have the domain registration, no transaction fees, unlimited bandwidth, 200+ payment gateways, Web hosting, a Facebook store, a built-in blog, Integrations with third-party online marketplaces, API access, free domain for one year and 24X7 technical supports.

Conclusion: Let me conclude this topic about 3dcart with its pros and cons.

Pros

  • Better blog feature than other SaaS ecommerce
  • Supports all the integrations you would need
  • Great business user management tools (email, QuickBooks, inventory, etc.)

Cons

  • Templates are outdated
  • Negative feedback on customer support
  • Potential issues upgrading
  • Not for beginners
  • Admin dashboard for managing the site is not user-friendly

Try out 3dcart 15-day free trial

9. ShopBase

Best Ecommerce Platform for White-Label, Print-on-Demand and Dropshipping Business ($19/month)

ShopBase is a great tool for you to perform dropshipping business and if you are looking to white-label your products.

It offers higly customizable, mobile-optimized storefronts which are developed by its design team. Every page has its own unique settings, and you can also edit the HTML and CSS of every page.

ShopBase works largely as a cross-border channel. It is built for users planning to start dropshipping, white labels, and print on demand products from a single dashboard.

It helps you to rebrand products from your supplier with your logo and make them seem like they are shipped from your store.

ShopBase uses such a technique that gives your products a refined look, builds your customers’ brand loyalty.

It is also useful for print-on-demand business. ShopBase, through an app extension, is best known for personalization of print-on-demand products such as hoodies, T-shirts, sweatshirts, leggings, etc.

ShopBase also provides a packaging solution that broadens the drop shippers order fulfillment success rate.

Just like other ecommerce platforms for drop shipping, ShopBase also lets you enjoy a 14-day free trial package once you complete the sign-up process. Even, a beginner can create an online store in a few minutes.

Some of the key features of ShopBase are :

  • Web hosting with unlimited bandwidth
  • Inclusion of SSL certificate with every plan
  • 99.99% uptime and 24/7 downtime monitoring
  • Powerful online store builder with free and well-designed store templates
  • Very fast site loading speed (3x faster than any other ecommerce platform)
  • Easy migration to ShopBase tool, it is free to migrate from another ecommerce platform like WooCommerce or Shopify to ShopBase.
  • Product sourcing and fulfillment services for a dropshipping business
  • Automatic optimization of your product pages and checkout page to increase conversions

There are only a few limitations with ShopBase.

  • First, you can integrate ShopBase with only a few Apps as compared to other ecommerce platforms.
  • Second, ShopBase is suitable only for a white-label business, dropshipping, and print-on-demand business. If you are planning to another online store, it is not for you.

ShopBase Pricing

You can create your online store using ShopBase at a starting price of $19/month. Its Basic Plan provides everything you need to start and run your online store and make your first sale.

ShopBase is the best choice for you, if you are planning to start dropshipping, a white-label or print-on-demand business.

Pros

  • Very fast loading speed
  • Auto-optimization of product pages and checkout page
  • Product sourcing and fulfillment services     

Cons

  • Limited app integration
  • Suitable only for a white-label business, dropshipping and print on demand business.

Try out ShopBase 14-day free plan

10. PrestaShop

Open-Source Platform with Developer Community (Free)

PrestaShop is a freemium cloud-hosted ecommerce platform written in PHP with support for MySQL databases. Founded in 2007, it’s trusted by over 300,000 merchants and offered in 75 different languages. 

This free version comes with many benefits which you will not get on any of the free platforms. The main benefits which you can avail are listed below:

  • Tons of Apps Available
  • Strong SEO feature
  • Flexible and Free
  • Slower Load Times (Very fast loading speed)

For the free downloadable version, you need to pay for web hosting, SSL certificate, and other modules to complete your store. Also, if you are not user friendly with HTML, CSS, or PHP, you’ll have to pay a developer.

PrestaShop Homepage

To get started with PrestaShop, you need to download their software and you get a pre-installed site that is hosted by IONOS. It comes with easy installation, a coding environment, daily backups, and 24/7 technical support.

Here you have access to the 14 days free trial. There are ten free themes available in the admin. You should have little knowledge of HTML and CSS as the theme customizer doesn’t have a drag and drop functionality.

PrestaShop is a big community that includes over 1 million community members, 1,000 contributors, and 250+ agencies. Community members are free to ask questions in forums and meet other members at meetups. Contributors maintain and optimize the open-source code. With its 250+ agencies, it is always ready to help build ecommerce sites.

With PrestaShop you can avail the following benefits:

  • You can choose your own domain name.
  • Customization of the design of your store is easily available.
  • You can easily add products to your catalog.
  • You can configure your payment methods.

In addition to the above benefits, they also provide an Add-ons Marketplace with over 5,000 free and paid modules, themes, and other services.

These add-ons developed by PrestaShop include SEO tools, wishlists, newsletter sign-ups, and more. Now it is up to your business demand, how much you need to spend.

Presently, they provide 33 free add-ons for basic integrations like PayPal checkout, Mail chimp email marketing, Google Ads, review add-ons, etc.

But if you want to sell on Amazon, you need to buy their Amazon Marketplace add-on for $229.99.

Pros

  • Multiple apps integration available
  • Robust SEO feature
  • Its open-source nature
  • Its big and ready-to-help community

Cons

  • Slower than the other ecommerce builders
  • Limited integration of marketing automation
  • Developer skill needed to work with this platform
  • No multichannel functionalities on the hosted version

11. Ecwid

Best Online Store Builder for Existing Websites ($35/month).

Ruslan Fazlyev, in 2009, co-founder of X-Cart, launched Ecwid forsmall business owners. It allowed them to sell their products and services online. Since then it has grown rapidly and presently over 1 million merchants have chosen Ecwid for their ecommerce store.

Ecwid Ecommerce Platform

Ecwid is one of the best and one of the most popular ecommerce platforms available. It has a customer base of 1.6 million small businesses. G2 Crowd awarded it as the “fastest ecommerce implementation platform”.

If you are ready with a website and want to add a new store or shopping capabilities, Ecwid is the best choice for you. It provides a platform that is simple and easy to use.

Its flexibility enables you to sell on a number of sites such as Amazon, eBay, Instagram, Facebook, etc.

Ecwid Social Media integration

You can have an easy reach to an enormous number of buyers throughout the world on different platforms just by using a single dashboard.

Ecwid has an in-built integration with some of the famous platforms like Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress Business. If you have your website on one of these platforms, then Ecwid is the best ever option for you to get start your work.

This platform has well developed customizable features, which enables you to display your products on all the devices the customers use. Targeting the customers becomes an easy task as you can highlight the brand elements like logos, colors, and messages.

Creating, managing, and tracking all your advertisements become very easy when you choose Ecwid. Making your business advertisements for Google or social media platform like Facebook is also very easy on this platform.

Ecwid has integration with more than 50 payment gateways such as First Data, PayPal, Square, Stripe, WePay, and more via an in-built functionality with the best POS systems. This makes payment an easy process.

In addition to this, Ecwid ensures end-to-end data encryption with the secure customer and merchant payment details. Ecwid has been certified as ‘PCI DSS validated Level 1 Service Provider’.

Features that make Ecwid better from others include saving favorite products, Inventory tracking, Smart shipping calculations, Automatic updates, Comprehensive customer address book, Managing product options, and an Easy checkout process.

Let’s talk about Ecwid limitations. It provides service only in one language i.e. English. It also does not provide any support over the telephone.

With its free plan and diverse pricing schemes, it overcomes its limitations. By using the free plan of Ecwid, you can sell up to ten physical items in a month.

In order to get the most out of Ecwid, you need to join its premium plans. It offers three paid plans which are given below:

1. The Venture plan allows you to sell 100 physical or digital items for $12.50 per month.

2. The Business plan allows you to sell 2,500 items for $29.17 per month.

3. The Unlimited plan for $82.50 per month, allows you to sell an unlimited number of items.

Get started with the entry-level plan and as your need grows, you can upgrade to a better plan at any time.

Ecwid serves as an alternate platform for WordPress users, due to its great benefits and specialization of sales from multiple marketplaces.

Ecwid is compatible with many platforms. You can turn any of your website into an ecommerce platform with Ecwid.

Pros

  • Well developed customizable features
  • Multiple payment gateways integration
  • Advanced security features   

Cons

  • Support only English language
  • No phone support

Try out Ecwid and create an online store.

12. Volusion

Best User-Friendly Ecommerce Platform ($29/month).

Volusion was founded in 1999 and launched in 2002 by a then 16-year old boy named Kevin Sproles. It acted as a pioneer in ecommerce business. Over 180,000 websites have used this platform to sell their products online for more than 20 years. Volusion stores have made a revenue of more than $28 billion.

Volusion Ecommerce Platform

Volusion is a versatile ecommerce platform that has a lot of functionality and a new Content Builder, which acts as a challenger for the Elementor WordPress plugin in ease of use.

Volusion provides a platform where you can easily create your store, sell your products, and grow your business.

If you have a platform where you offer a lot of products, this will be your best ever choice.

High quality of customer service is offered by Volusion. The quality and level of support depend upon the plan you choose.

Various plans offered are discussed below:

Personal — $29 per month- It provides unlimited products, online support, and zero transaction fees. But it does not provide telephonic support.

Professional — $79 per month

Business / Startup — $299 per month

Professional and Startup plans provide more in-house support. Volusion sites have an in-house SEO and marketing team that can help with digital marketing and getting visibility on search engines.

Business Plan also provides quick web design fix, SEO optimizations, or other assistance to improve website performance.

Volusion provides a 14-day free trial with 30-day money-back guarantee. Overall it is unbeatable in providing  great customer service.

There are different shipping rates as the plan you choose. You can choose higher tier plans to avail of better discounts.

Your plan gets automatically upgraded if you achieve certain sales milestones.

Volusion too has its limitations. Lots of its themes appear outdated when compared to other ecommerce platforms. Volusion is also devoid of built-in blogging capabilities, so you need to use WordPress or another CMS for that feature. This platform is only meant for online stores selling physical products. It does not support digital downloads.

Pros

  • Easy to set up
  • High-quality customer support
  • Robust SEO    

Cons

  • Slow loading speed
  • Only sell physical products, digital products cannot be downloaded and sold.

Try out Volution 14-day free trial

13. Weebly

Best Ecommerce Platform Small Businesses (Up to $38/month).

Weebly is a classic website builder. It is founded in 2006 and at present, it has nearly 700,000 paid subscribers. Weebly has a market share of approx 12% in the website builder space.

In 2018, the giant ecommerce company Square acquired Weebly for a whopping $365 million.

This platform is best suited for new small businesses that don’t need an advanced web presence.

Weebly’s free plan uses a simple widget-based site builder that operates in the web browser. It is a drag-and-drop website builder, and it automatically generates a mobile version of each website.

The built-in email marketing automation feature is a plus point of Weebly. If you had to purchase any other website builder and an email marketing service separately, you might pay an extra $5-20 per month.

Another plus point is its product options. You can manage hundreds of products, manage, and track inventory. You can also boost the buying behavior of customers by showing the remaining number of products (such as Only 2 Left!).

You can fully integrate Weebly’s ecommerce module with other pages of your website (e.g. your blog). It is available in 15 languages.

Weebly Pricing Plans

Weebly has three price plans : Pro, Business, and Business Plus. Although all of them support ecommerce, the higher tier plans (Business and Business Plus) are better suited for ecommerce businesses. This is because the Pro Plan lacks many relevant ecommerce features like custom shopping, inventory management, and discounts and coupons.

Their ecommerce functionality begins with their $25/month Business Plan, which also provides a free domain.

Weebly is not as robust as other ecommerce platforms like Shopify or 3dcart. However, if you are running a small business and need a simple website and want to add some ecommerce functionality, Weebly will serve your purpose.

Pros

  • Stunning low cost and free designs
  • Powerful email marketing tools
  • Simple and easy to use dashboard
  • Free mobile app for every website
  • Complete value for money

Cons

  • Charges additional transaction fee
  • Lacking in SEO feature
  • Very basic inventory management

14. PinnacleCart

All-in-one Online Store Solution ($79.95/month).

PinnacleCart is an ecommerce platform providing an all-in-one solution for online store. It is built keeping in mind the user experience and conversion rate optimization.

It has a robust SEO feature that helps in indexing of your site on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

You can syndicate your products and services to shopping platforms such as Amazon, eBay, etc. thereby increasing your product visibility. You can place your products on other websites or blogs using ‘Buy Buttons’ and users can purchase your items from those pages.

You can do dynamic product listings using the enhanced product tools of PinnacleCart. These listings dynamically create unlimited categories and product attributes, showcase different images, and manage inventories.

These features work well for digital products and services.

PinnacleCart has a number of integrations with other software tools. Its control panel allows you to manage every aspect of your online business in one place and you can quickly connect to apps like Quickbooks, Avalara, Shipwire, and many more through their Apps Center.

PinnacleCart Pricing

PinnacleCart has three pricing plans – Standard, Advanced, and Enterprise. The Pricing of the plans starts from $79.95/month.

The $79.95 Startup Plan includes zero transaction fees, unlimited products, and 5 admin accounts. It also has a one-page checkout, real-time shipping quotes, Google Shopping, product syndication, and a shared SSL.

The $199.95/month Advanced Plan adds additional benefits like unlimited admin accounts, a dedicated SSL, unlimited disk space and bandwidth, and priority support.

If you want to host your ecommerce site on your own server, you can purchase a perpetual license of PinnacleCart for $1,495 per domain. It includes all the features in the advanced plan, one year of access to upgrades, one year of technical support, and 20% off additional license purchases.

In general, PinnacleCart is a robust all-in-one ecommerce platform that is built with user experience and conversion rate optimization in mind.

PinnacleCart is a good choice for you if you are planning to create an online store and dynamically add products and easily sync your products with other platforms like Facebook, Amazon, and eBay.

Pros

  • Multi-lingual
  • Robust SEO
  • Great user experience

Cons

  • Costlier than other ecommerce platforms

Try out PinnacleCart with a free trial.

15. Sellfy

Best for Bloggers and Creators ($19/month)

Sellfy is a cloud-based robust ecommerce platform that allows you to sell digital products, physical goods, and subscriptions – all from one place. Originally, it was a cloud-based ecommerce solution enabling digital content creators to sell their digital products online. Such digital creators like writers, illustrators, designers, musicians, etc. sell digital products like eBooks, videos, music, and courses through this platform.

But now they offer a complete ecommerce platform with all features necessary to sell physical products also.

Sellfy has a user-friendly dashboard and the users can set up a customizable Sellfy storefront to display their digital products in a few minutes. They can add product widgets or embed “Buy Now” buttons to their own website or blog.

You won’t need to install multiple apps for your ecommerce site since Sellfy provides tools for payment gateways, discount coupons, email marketing, upselling features to increase your sales, and more.

It is best for creators, bloggers, and small businesses looking to sell their digital products, subscriptions, and physical goods on their website, via buy buttons, and on their social media profiles. Sellfy storefront has individual product pages, which enable users to showcase their products from different angles with multiple images and previews. It can integrate your website and product pages with your Instagram page, Soundcloud, Vimeo, or YouTube channel, with buy now buttons.

Some of its key features include:

You can easily add your logo, change colors, etc. due to its easy customization feature.

It allows you to add your own custom domain.

You can choose any language you want for your store.

Easy integration of payment gateways like PayPal and Stripe

It provides in-depth analytics to track best performing products, analyze traffic channels, and more.

Extensive integrations with more than 1000 tools

PCI-DSS compliance

Sellfy Pricing Plans:

Sellfy offers three pricing plans :

  • It comes with a 14-day free trial period
  • Starter Plan : costs $19/month
  • Business Plan : $39/month

Premium Plan : $89/month

You can sell your products online, embed “buy now” buttons, add shopping carts, integrate with multiple payment options, and powerful analytics in all the plans.

You need not have to pay any additional transaction fees.

You get email credits and upselling features, priority customer support in the Business and the Premium Plans.

The Premium Plan also offers migration services to switch from a different provider.

Pros

  • Easy customization
  • Multi-lingual
  • Integration with multiple payment gateways           

Cons

  • Charges additional transaction fee

16. nopCommerce

Open-Source Ecommerce Platform based on Microsoft’s ASP.NET (free)

nopCommerce is a popular open-source ecommerce platform based on Microsoft’s ASP.NET Core framework and MSSQL server 2012 or higher.

It was officially launched in the year 2008 for small and medium-sized businesses. Builtwith.com report says that nearly 40000 online stores are using nopcommerce platform. Some of the major brands such as Volvo, Puma, Reebok, DHC skincare, Columbia, Medindia, and Speedo use this platform for their online businesses.

Microsoft’s ASP.NET technology, native optimization, and just-in-time compilation increase performance for large websites.

You can download, install, and use nopCommerce free of charge. The community forum of nopCommerce provides free support. There is an optional fee for premium support services, white-labeling, and partnership program.

nopCommerce has more than a thousand plugins and themes. It is available in multiple languages, currently more than 30.

This platform is free, with no transaction fees or monthly fees.

nopCommerce admin panel allows you to upload unlimited products, manage multiple stores and vendors, calculate shipping rates, and use its in-built marketing tools.

This platform is best for developers, small businesses, and enterprises with complex business needs.

But there is a limitation. Unlike other website builders like Shopify, Wix, you’ll need a developer well versed in JavaScript, HTML, and CSS to develop a responsive and robust ecommerce site.

It is not very hard to learn this technology, but tougher for small business owners who want a simple online store that can be created quickly using the drag and drop feature of the website builder.

You can try nopCommerce, if you are searching for a free platform for your fully-customized website.

Pros

  • Open source platform
  • Thousands of plug-ins and themes
  • No transaction fees or monthly fees 

Cons

  • Well versed developer with knowledge of JavaScript, HTML, and CSS needed

Tabular Comparison for of all ecommerce platforms

S. No.Name of Ecommerce PlatformsStrengthShortcomingBase Price
1.Wix1. Hundreds of free, amazing themes 2. Drag and drop website builder 3. Automation of marketing tools1. Poor SEO 2. Weak integration with AmazonFrom $22/month with 14-day trial
2.BigCommerce1. Flexible and Scalable 2. Robust SEO feature 3. Drag and drop website builder1. Costly for high volume stores 2. No 1-click sellingFrom $29.95/month with 15-day trial
3.Shopify1. Superfast loading speed 2. Very easy set up 3. 1-click selling1. Poor SEO 2. Checkout not customizableFrom $29/month with 14-day trial
4.WooCommerce1. Very good SEO performance 2. Easy integration with social media 3. 1-click selling1. Slow loading speed 2. Lots of extensions neededFree
5.Square Online1. Very easy set up 2. Inbuilt marketing tools 3. Direct selling from social media accounts1. Limited scope for customization 2. Forced to use Square gateway to avoid transaction feesFree
6.Zyro1. Simple and easy to use 2. Multiple channel inclusion 3. In-built AI tool1. Advanced features still under development stage 2. No free trialFrom $12.99/month
7.Squarespace1. Very easy set up 2. Beautiful Template Designs 3. Very good for simple stores1. Limited app integration 2. Limited payment gatewaysFrom $26/month with free trial
8.3dcart1. Better blog feature than other SaaS ecommerce 2. Support multiple integrations 3. Great business management tools1. Outdated templates 2. Poor customer supportFrom $26.10/month with 15-day free trial
9.ShopBase1. Very fast loading speed 2. Auto-optimization of product pages and checkout page 3. Product sourcing and fulfillment services1. Limited app integration 2. suitable only for a white-label business, dropshippingFrom 19/month with 14-day free trial
10.PrestaShop1. Free and flexible 2. Robust SEO 3. Hundreds of apps available1. Slow loading speed 2. Limited integration of marketing automationFree
11.Ecwid1. Well developed customizable features 2. Multiple payment gateways integration 3. Advanced security features1. Support only English language 2. No phone supportFrom 35/month
12.Volusion1. Easy to set up 2. High quality customer support 3. Robust SEO1. Slow loading speed 2. Only sell physical productsFrom 29/month with 14-day free
13.Weebly1. Stunning free designs 2. Simple and easy to use 3. Powerful email marketing tools1. Poor SEO 2. Additional transaction feeFrom $12/month with free trial
14.PinnacleCart1. Multi-lingual 2. Robust SEO 3. Great user experience1. Costlier than other ecommerce platformsFrom $79.95/month
15.Sellfy1. Easy customization 2. Multi-lingual 3. Integration with multiple payment gateways1. Charges additional transaction feeFrom $19/month with free trial
16.nopCommerce1. Open source platform 2. Thousands of plug-ins and themes 3. No transaction fees or monthly fees1. Well versed developer with knowledge of JavaScript, HTML, and CSS neededFree

Best Free Ecommerce Platforms

Are you planning to build your ecommerce website and looking for the best free ecommerce platform?

Ecommerce platforms used to cost a huge amount in earlier times. It kept away many small businesses from creating an online store. But nowadays, there are many readily available free or open-source ecommerce platforms.

To be very true, there is no 100 % free ecommerce platform that will fulfill all your needs. There are some limitations in every open source ecommerce platform.

I would recommend you go with a paid option over a free one because a small fee will save you precious time and you can focus on running your business.

In this article, we’ll provide details of the best free ecommerce platforms from which you can choose as per your needs.

Best Ecommerce Platforms for SEO

Why is SEO so Important for Ecommerce Platforms ?

95% of all internet activity starts with a search. It means you’re going to have a hard time running an online store if users are unable to discover your website through Google.

Here comes the importance of ecommerce SEO. Today, most of the ecommerce platforms are packed with a variety of features that will be helpful in optimizing your ecommerce store. But SEO involves a lot of factors – including site speed, URL structure, page titles/content, and HTTPS – you will have to find the platform that does well with all of them.

Best Ecommerce Platforms for Small Business

Are you running Small Business ?

If you are running a small business and want to set up an online store without draining your bank account, you are in the right place. We have done research based on what the small businesses are looking for?

Pricing, creative control, or sales features?

In the case of B2B ecommerce platforms, you need a software solution that is easily manageable by multiple users and reduces time to complete orders.

Following are the list of the best ecommerce platforms for small business:

1. Wix

Wix is the best platform for small businesses because of its beautiful templates and easy to use software tool. From its simple dashboard even a beginner can manage everything without any knowledge of complex coding.

2. Shopify

Shopify is one of the best ecommerce platforms for small businesses. Any small business owner can create and manage his online store, without any issue, on Shopify. Its tool provides automation in shipping and tax rates which saves business owners time. They can utilize that time in growing their business.

3. 3dcart

3dcart is also a good ecommerce platform for small businesses because of its easy to use nature and good SEO features. Small businesses will get benefit from the clean URL structure leading to a hike in sell conversion rate. It will lead to the growth of the business.

Best Ecommerce Platform for Local Brick and Mortar Business

Most local brick and mortars business only need a basic simple store. If you’re a local bakery looking to accept payments on your website, you won’t need so many features on your ecommerce platform. Here, you can ignore marketing automation or multichannel integration because you won’t need it.

Don’t get into the lurch of greedy developers.  So, you clearly tell your developers what features and payment gateway you need in your online store. You don’t need an abandoned shopping cart recovery feature in this business.

We recommend the following platforms for this business.

  • Shopify
  • Wix
  • Weebly

Best Ecommerce Platform for Dropshipping

What is Dropshipping ?

Dropshipping is a type of business in which you need not require to keep the stocks of the product. Here, you sell the product and pass on the sales order to the wholesaler, who then ships the order to the customer.

You are not in control of many things such as product quality and returns might be a hurdle in the dropshipping business. The dropshipping software which you use must easily integrate with wholesalers, proper inventory management, and automated shipping tools.

The last thing you want not to happen is someone orders a product on your site that’s out of stock with your wholesaler.

Features Considered

We have considered the following features while recommending the best ecommerce platforms for dropshipping.

  • Its ability to sync with supplier’s inventory
  • Support of dropshipping plugins
  • Automating through various plugins and apps
  • Tracking of order and inventory management in automation
  • Free or paid dropshipping integration

On the basis of the above features, we recommend the following platforms for a dropshipping business.

  • Wix
  • Shopify
  • BigCommerce

Best Ecommerce Platform for Large Businesses

If you are the owner of a large business and run your ecommerce store, you want complete control and server autonomy. In that case, you need a dedicated server or VPS server from a web hosting company and set up your ecommerce business. In such a case, ecommerce platform like Shopify will suffice.

And, if your store is set up without bothering about web hosting technicalities, then a platform like BigCommerce could suffice.

Here, your orders are in hundreds and thousands. So you’ll need an ecommerce platform that gives you enough flexibility to connect software. In addition, you also need seamless integration of warehouse management and other inventory management systems.

We recommend the following platforms for large businesses.

  • BigCommerce
  • Shopify

Benefits of Using Ecommerce Platforms

The statement of Bill Gates “If your business is not online, your business will run out of business.” turned out to be prophetic.

The ecommerce market is now massive and is expanding with every passing day.

According to a recent study, over half of the US population prefers to shop online.

If you want to grow your business, your online presence is a must. If you are looking for increasing your customer base, you need an attractive and engaging website.

So, let’s look at the following list of benefits of e-commerce for businesses and customers, you will get the sense that e-commerce is the need of time.

1. No Geographical Limitations

If you have an offline or physical store, you are limited by the geographical area where you can provide service. Setting up multiple outlets in different areas is an expensive affair. So, it is very difficult for small traders and businesses to set up multiple stores.

But with an online store, there is no geographical limitation and the whole world becomes your market. Even, small traders and businesses can set up their ecommerce stores at a nominal cost of around $30-50.

2. Acquisition of New Customers

Offline stores are driven by branding and relationships. Besides these two, online stores are also driven by traffic from search engines. Users sometimes follow a link in search engine results and land on an e-commerce website that they have never heard of. This is an additional way of acquisition of customers by the online stores.

3. Lower Costs

Lowered costs are one of the most tangible positives of e-commerce. Lower online costs are due to :

  • Cost-effective advertising and marketing
  • The automation of checkout, billing, payments, inventory management, and other operational processes lowering the number of employees
  • No need of a prominent physical location

A part of those lowered costs might be passed on to customers within the sort of discounted prices.

4. Reduced Travel Time and Cost

Customers need not have to travel long distances to reach their preferred physical store. They can reach the online store, with just a few clicks of a mouse.

5. Remain Open 24/7

Online store timings are 24/7, the whole year. E-commerce stores remain open all the time throughout the year. “Always open” store is more convenient for customers’ viewpoint. And for the merchant’s point of view, this increases the number of orders they receive.

Costs of Best Ecommerce Platforms

How much Ecommerce Platforms Cost?

This is an important question, as every one of us will not have a big budget to spend on the ecommerce tools. Here, I’ll give the idea of the cost you have to bear for these ecommerce platforms.

  • BigCommerce, Shopify, and Volusion Pricing plans start from about $29.95 a month. If you need more advanced features, such as advanced reports, email marketing tools, etc. you’ll have to upgrade to a higher plan at around $79 a month.

Before choosing an ecommerce platform, you should consider the following things :

  • Shopify collects extra-transaction fees if you don’t use their payment methods.
  • BigCommerce has set a limit on the sales you can process with each plan. If you cross the limits, you will be forced to upgrade your plan.
  • Volusion has set a product limit you can sell with each plan. It also has a yearly threshold sales limit.
  • CMSs like WooCommerce and PrestaShop seems to be free as they are open-source solutions. However, you will need a hosting service that will cost nearly $20 a month. You may have to pay for templates or plugins as per your needs. And above all, if you don’t have programming knowledge, you have to hire a website developer which will be expensive, as they charge on an hourly basis.
  • You can create your online store a bit cheaper using Ecommerce platforms like Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly. They cost around $10-20 a month. However, Squarespace will charge extra transaction fees (3%) on its lower plans.
  • And if you already have a website, Ecwid is the cheapest alternative, starting at $12.50 a month for a functional online store where you can sell up to 100 products. They have also a free plan with certain limitations in which you can sell 10 products only.

Criteria for Choosing the Best Ecommerce Platforms

Go through each platform’s performance based on the following metrics.

1. Ease of Use

First-time online seller should be able to launch and run a store on their own without hiring a developer.

On the basis of ease of use metrics, Shopify and BigCommerce are similar. You won’t need to be the master of web development and there is a ton of support available on both platforms. Wix and 3dcart are not far behind and come close to Shopify and BigCommerce.

Wix is not the best ecommerce platform and WooCommerce is the best for beginners and startups in terms of costs and optimization.

In this category, we recommend the following ecommerce platforms.

  • BigCommerce
  • Shopify
  • WooCommerce

 2. SEO

SEO is crucial for any online business. You’re going to have a tough time running an ecommerce store if users cannot discover your website through a search engine. Many platforms have great SEO in-built tools to boost your website. But all the ecommerce platforms with SEO tools are have not the same result. Some are better than others.

We have tested the best ecommerce platforms for SEO on the basis of page load time, mobile optimization, SEO tools, and average organic traffic of top online stores using these platforms.

In our study, WooCommerce is the best for SEO.

On the basis of our study, we recommend staying away from Shopify if SEO is your top priority. It still needs lots of improvement. On a scale of 1 to 5, we give WooCommerce 5, whereas Shopify gets only 2.5 whereas the median is 3.7.

3. Load Time

Load time is an indicator of how fast your site is. It is the measure of how long it takes a page (or pages) on your site to fully load.

A slow site is a killer in ecommerce business. Potential customers run away from slow sites.

In online business, speed is money. Each second you gain in website loading speed translates directly into sales gained. A one-second improvement in load time equals to 7% increase in sales conversions.

According to research, most consumers want sites to load in 3 seconds or less. But for the top 500 ecommerce stores, the median load time for sites is 10 seconds.

The platform you use makes a big difference. WooCommerce sites load in 3.4 seconds, while 3dcart sites load in under 3 seconds. The average Magento site loads in 5 seconds.

If you are running an online store on a self-hosted platform, you can optimize it for speed. You can speed up the page loading speed, but that takes time, effort, and cost. But, most self-hosted sites don’t bother. The average load time of Magento sites is 5 seconds. You cannot collect any credit card payments with that slow site.

In this category, we recommend the following platforms.

  • WooCommerce
  • 3dCart

Design Considerations for Best Ecommerce Platforms

Your website should give customers a rich and smooth experience that entices customers to visit your site. Not only they visit your website, but also stay there and buy products from your online store.

Here, the design of your store plays a crucial role. The complicated design of the website slows the loading speed of the page. This results in going all out of online stores. The design you choose should be with the aim to gain potential customers. The same also goes for the navigation, and checkout process.

You should keep in mind the following points while designing your ecommerce platform.

1. Customization

2. Theme Selection

3. Ecommerce Mobile Performance

4. Mobile User Experience

Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Ecommerce Platforms

1. How can I make my ecommerce website optimized for mobile and multiple displays?

It is the need of the time that ecommerce website should be optimized for mobile and
multiple displays because by 2021, more than 54% of the eCommerce sales will be done through mobile.

You can optimize your ecommerce website for mobile and multiple displays by adopting the following tips.

(i) Keep your website lighter and faster for mobile. Google offers many tools to help optimize the speed of your site.

(ii) Get your website searchable on the mobile device. In addition to great keyword and SEO, you can use the rich snippets tool. It provides your customer more information, and it will take up more of the small mobile screen, potentially edging a competitor out of view.

(iii) Optimization of User Experience / User interface (UX/UI)

Your website should have a responsive design. This means your website’s content gets automatically resized according to the user’s device which is great because it’s consistent for all devices.

It is frustrating for a mobile user to deal with a site that’s not optimized for their device. Your website’s user interface should be quick, fluid, and simple so that users should be able to navigate your site in a few swipes and clicks.

(iv) The quick and easy checkout process

Make the checkout process short and easy, and only ask for the relevant information. Your website should provide a one-click checkout button at the cart for the users so that they can do transactions without hassle.

2. I want to include my own backend coding (like in PHP), Can WordPress or any other site builders allow me to do that?

Yes, you can add custom PHP code to your WordPress site. Step by step guide to install your PHP code is given below :

  • Install the Insert PHP Code Snippet plugin and then activate it.
  • Set up your code snippet by clicking the “XYZ PHP Code” function.
  • Click on the “Add New PHP Code Snippet” button.
  • Input a Tracking Name for the snippet and input the PHP code.
  • Click on the “Create” button on the bottom.

Now, you will see a shortcode created for the PHP code snippet. You can copy and paste this code into any area of WordPress that allows the use of shortcodes.

3. Which ecommerce platform is best for a simple one-product ecommerce website?

There are many businesses just selling one product. So, they need an ecommerce platform that is best for a simple one-product ecommerce website.

We have done a detailed review based on the features like costs, transaction fees, ease of use, customization, and app integrations.

Best ecommerce platforms for simple one-product ecommerce website include :

1. WooCommerce :

WordPress and WooCommerce is the most flexible platform regarding design out of all the other ecommerce platforms. It will be the best choice if you are looking for high customization. It supports 25+ payment gateways, a quick checkout process, pre-order, and reviews with no monthly fees.

2. Shopify

Shopify is one of the most popular ecommerce platforms for a simple one-product ecommerce website. It is easy to set up an ecommerce website using Shopify. It also offers in addition to built-in SEO features like title, tags, meta descriptions, and reviews.

3. Wix

Wix was initially a website builder, but now it offers features for building online stores. With the in-built drag-and-drop website builder, this is one of the best options for beginners.

4. How to bring traffic to your ecommerce website ?

You can bring traffic to your ecommerce website by adopting the following tips.

(i) By Linking Instagram account

Instagram is an excellent social media channel to showcase your products and is becoming popular with its wide reach. So, you should set up Instagram shopping by connecting your product catalog to Instagram and drive traffic to your ecommerce website.

(ii) By Writing Guest Posts

Guest posts are helpful in building trust and brand awareness. They also drive a bunch of referral traffic to your e-commerce store.

(iii) By the Addition of Structured Data

You need to focus more on user experience for better SEO. Structured data add extra snippets of information to your search results. Information such as stock levels, price, star ratings is helpful to users. It makes your results more clickable and therefore brings more organic traffic to your ecommerce website.

(iv) By Performing Competitor Research

You can find valuable traffic sources that send visitors to competitor sites by performing competitor research. You can discover what works for your industry and utilize it for driving traffic to your ecommerce website.

(v) By Sharing Content via Email

More than 80% of the marketing professionals consider email as the most effective marketing channel for sharing content with prospective customers. The number of email accounts is three times more than that of Facebook and Twitter combined together.

People are more likely to see your content via email than social media channels. So, email is certainly a powerful tool for bringing more traffic to your ecommerce website.

5. Is Ecommerce Costly ?

It is not costly to start ecommerce but is challenging to be highly successful in. You don’t require much money to establish ecommerce store. You just need a website and a list of products or services you want to sell. Alternatively, you can use dropshipping suppliers to outsource the inventory and shipping processes.

6. Which Ecommerce Platform Can Be Set Up Easily?

You can easily build a website, add products, and market your business online using ecommerce website builders. However, some ecommerce platforms are easier to use than others. Some of the simplest and the easiest ecommerce platforms based on usability and simplicity are Shopify, Wix, and BigCommerce.

7. Why should I create Ecommerce Website if I Can sell on Facebook ?

Yes, you can sell products and services on Facebook Marketplace even without a website. You can add product information, including product names, descriptions, prices, photos etc. on the Facebook page but you cannot customize them as per your choice.

8. Can I sell Online for Free ?

If you don’t want to spend money on ecommerce platform, there are certain ways to sell products and services online for free. Some of these are Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, eBid, etc.

Conclusion and Recommendation

 Best Recommended Ecommerce Platforms

There’s no perfect ecommerce platform, but still, I am here with a list of top choices.

Choosing the best ecommerce platform is based on your needs. We are going to recommend you consider a few as front-runners.

  • BigComerce is the best overall platform for any business model and has excellent performance for SEO.
  • WooCommerce has similar features and apps and is catching up with market leaders like Shopify. It is perfect for white label ecommerce sites. It is awesome for affiliate marketing. And it is the best option if you want to run both a white label and affiliate marketing sites together.
  • Shopify is the best ecommerce platform for dropshipping including print on demand business.
  • Wix is our recommendation if you are going to start your first online store. If you are running a local bakery that takes a few online orders, we recommend Wix over Squarespace or Weebly. Wix has come a long way in a few years and is best for small stores.

Many ecommerce platforms are doing a great job in creating an online store. Each platform has distinct features. Some platforms are suitable for small businesses, some for large businesses, some for dropshipping, and others for white label marketing. You should choose the ecommerce platform as per your business need keeping in mind the pros and cons of the platform.

Final Words

Unlike managing an offline store, online store management requires additional effort. Business owners and managers have to understand the technicality of selling, inventory, and sales management on the internet.

You should outline a plan before investing money in an ecommerce platform. Besides the creation of ecommerce platform, you need to fulfill some other tasks to start selling. You need knowledge of digital marketing and SEO so that your store gets noticed.

How to build an ecommerce store is one thing but selling products or services from the online store is another thing. So, work accordingly and be ready to get the fruits from the ecommerce website.

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