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There’s no single “best” way to perform an eCommerce store. It is determined by your products, your market, and the style you’re most comfortable with.
That’s why there are different eCommerce platforms in the marketplace to serve different needs. The secret is knowing which is most beneficial for you.
Within this guide, we compared the most notable 7 eCommerce platforms and that means you can have all the key details and discover which really is a perfect fit for your unique business needs.
We’ll cover their features, pricing, pros, cons, and whom they’re recommended for some, so take a peek below.
Let’s get started!
Among the most popular eCommerce platforms, WooCommerce provides everything an eCommerce owner needs and it’s technically free. On the downside, it can require a little bit of elbow grease to generate and update.
Unlike the other eCommerce platforms upon this list, WooCommerce is in fact just a WordPress plugin. That’s one of its greatest strengths, and therefore all the top features of WordPress are at your disposal. Any plugins or themes for WordPress can be co-opted for your WooCommerce store but you’ll likewise have a big set of WooCommerce-specific extensions and plugins you could choose from.
The drawbacks of WooCommerce will be the drawbacks of WordPress. First, you’ll need to get the right hosting provider, which manages your site’s security and your customer’s financial data, not forgetting how much traffic you can accept. Additionally, you need to find the best hosting arrangement for your needs.
Second, you need to get the hands dirty with the design, which can take time if you’ve never used WordPress before. It’s not that WordPress is hard – it’s actually quite user-friendly – but there are a lot of small tasks you must do to really get your site to look and function how you want, like searching for the right plugins or tweaking site preferences. Using a professionally-coded WordPress theme which step-by-step WooCommerce setup guide makes sure nothing slips through the cracks.
• The entire WordPress library of plugins.
• WooCommerce-specific plugins and extensions with a variety of eCommerce features.
• Easy blog integration.
• Unlimited products.
• Technically free, nevertheless, you still have to cover hosting
• Depending on which features you want, you may spend from $0 – $200, or even more on plugins/extensions.
• Own your own data.
• Scalable price, starting at $0.
• Native platform for blogging.
• No limits for products or images.
• As open source software, WordPress has lots of communities to ask for help and support.
• Hosting not included.
• Small learning curve for WordPress if it’s your first time.
WooCommerce is a superb platform for beginners and experts alike, so long as you have some period to spare on building it (if you don’t want to do that, consider finding a WordPress developer).
But once you obtain the hang of it, you can enjoy almost limitless customization options. That means it is also recommended for individuals who want to design their website, but don’t want to work with coding.
Exemplory case of Online Stores Using WooCommerce
All you need to learn about BigCommerce is in the name: it can things big. This eCommerce platform is perfect for big enterprises and stores with a sizable selection of products, or else small stores planning an imminent expansion.
As a sophisticated eCommerce platform, BigCommerce offers plenty of features. It’s made for professionals so that it has more advanced options than others upon this list.
While that’s great if you want customization and understand the guidelines for web design, it does mean a steeper learning curve. BigCommerce isn’t as user-friendly as the other eCommerce options here, although they do their finest to onboard new users.
That big suite of features is reflected in the high cost. For small stores just getting started, you’ll be spending money on features you won’t need yet so that it makes it hard to justify the price. Rather, BigCommerce is most beneficial for already-established stores that desire a bit more “power under the hood.”
• Accommodates large amounts of products.
• Highly customizable.
• Security included.
• Migration and importing options.
• Built-in SEO enhancements.
• Tools for bettering conversions.
• No transaction fees.
• BigCommerce Standard: $29.95 per month.
• BigCommerce Plus: $79.95 monthly.
• BigCommerce Pro: $299.95 per month.
• BigCommerce Enterprise: Varies.
• Advanced suite of features to gratify complex business models.
• Lots of intricate customization options.
• Can sell as many products as you want.
• Harder to make use of than other eCommerce platforms.
• A bit pricey if you’re just getting started.
Established stores or stores that sell a lot of products maximize out of BigCommerce. New and small stores won’t wrap up by using a lot of the features anyway. BigCommerce is a heavyweight eCommerce platform, so only use it if you want everything extra power.
Exemplory case of Online Stores Using BigCommerce
Another popular eCommerce platform is Shopify, which focuses primarily on convenience and simplicity. While a WooCommerce site might take days to create, you can launch a fully functional Shopify site in only minutes. The downside, though, is the fact you don’t have as many options for customization as you do with WooCommerce.
Shopify is for people who don’t want to bother too much with the look and coding aspects of running an e-commerce store. The site is heavily template-based, which means you simply choose your theme and fill in your information.
After picking your theme, almost every other aspect is locked in. While that’s a great time-saver, it inhibits customization: no special visuals, creative widgets, or optimizing navigation.
While that’s frustrating for people who have bold ideas, it’s perfect for folks focused only on the business enterprise. Shopify has all the eCommerce accommodations you’ll need, such as options for different kinds of promotions, and a built-in rating system.
• User-friendly interface.
• Template-style design.
• Out-of-the-box functionality.
• App store for extra features.
• Shopify Lite: $9 monthly.
• Basic Shopify: $29 monthly.
• Shopify: $79 monthly.
• Advanced Shopify: $299 per month.
• Shopify Plus: $2,000 – $40,000 monthly.
• The most user-friendly of all eCommerce platforms.
• Can create a store efficiently.
• No design skills required.
• Great for social media integration.
• Works well for both small and large stores.
• Limited customization.
• Difficult to stand out from other Shopify sites.
• Third-party gateway transaction fees can get pricey.
As we mentioned above, Shopify is ideal for folks that want to target solely on the business enterprise. Shopify may be limited as it pertains to create options, but it’s an open book for business strategies, sales promotions, and social media marketing.
Because it’s so convenient and user-friendly, it’s perfect for folks that want to create a side business or eCommerce store as a hobby or side-gig. There’s hardly any time investment and it doesn’t require much maintenance.
Exemplory case of Online Stores Using Shopify
Next to typically the most popular eCommerce platforms like WooCommerce, Shopify, and BigCommerce, Volusion is the underdog. It doesn’t offer just as much as its more established rivals, nor is its name as recognizable. Despite that, Volusion is slowly climbing the ranks as an alternative to Shopify for convenience and speed.
Where Volusion really shines is a subscription and recurring payments. Ideal for subscription boxes and similar business models, Volusion offers this kind of payment straightaway.
You could still find these options on some platforms – for example, WooCommerce has subscriptions plugins – however, in general, you have to locate those add-ons yourself, or even pay extra on their behalf.
Because it doesn’t offer many advanced functions, Volusion can focus more on usability. For instance, it incorporates an effortless drag-and-drop site editor, so you can rearrange site elements as you want.
That kind of bare-bones simplicity works well for first-time site builders, but experienced eCommerce managers will miss many of the features other platforms give free of charge, such as SSL certificates, blogging capabilities, or even selling digital products. On the plus side, there are no transaction fees, and you may have all the bandwidth you want.
• Drag-and-drop site editor.
• No transaction fees.
• Unlimited bandwidth.
• Responsive themes for heavy mobile traffic.
• Accepts subscription and recurring payments.
• Personal: $29 monthly.
• Professional: $79 monthly.
• Business: $299 per month.
• Prime: Custom.
• Low-cost eCommerce platform, especially considering there are no transaction fees.
• One of the one eCommerce platforms to innately allow subscription and recurring payments.
• Easy site editor attuned to first-timers.
• Limited features.
• Must buy your SSL certificate elsewhere.
• No blogging integration.
• No selling digital products.
Considering the low priced and easy site editor, Volusion is most effective for small eCommerce businesses. It’s a good platform to really get your feet wet – you won’t need advanced functions while you’re just learning the fundamentals.
Additionally, Volusion is ideal for stores that use the subscription/recurring payment model. It’s a little niche among eCommerce stores, but Volusion suits them nonetheless.
Exemplory case of Online Stores Using Volusion
Although smaller rather than as well-known, 3dcart prevails above the other eCommerce platforms in a single area, and it’s not 3D images or VR – it’s SEO. The self-called “best eCommerce platform for SEO” lives up to its name with features like breadcrumb links and canonical URLs.
A whole lot of SEO is set behind-the-scenes, in areas most site-builders don’t enable you to modify: how you submit your website to find engines, the website architecture, URL structure, or even the code itself.
Knowing this, 3dcart optimized those areas for you, which means you don’t have to worry about them. You get all the benefits of a template site-builder, but with the assurance of top-notch SEO.
3dcart suffers from the same limitations as Shopify, though: not much customization. That’s particularly bad, due to the fact 3dcart’s themes are a little outdated.
However, also like Shopify, 3dcart offers plenty of eCommerce features for marketing, sales, and promotions. They throw in a generous amount of perks as well, even at the lowest price tier: no transaction fees, 24/7 support, security, API access, unlimited bandwidth, and unlimited products.
• Internal SEO design.
• Themes pre-built for SEO.
• Unlimited products.
• Unlimited bandwidth.
• No transaction fees.
• Startup Store: $17.10 monthly
• Basic Store: $26.10 monthly
• Plus Store: $71.10 per month
• Power Store: $116.10 per month
• Pro Store: $206.10 monthly
• Everything relating to this platform, top to bottom, is made for SEO.
• Plenty of perks, including 24/7 support.
• Easy template-style site designer.
• Little in the way of customization.
• Templates might use updating.
If your business design revolves around SEO, 3dcart is the eCommerce platform for you. Otherwise, 3dcart serves lots of the same needs as Shopify, if you like this quick-and-easy setup, it’s a nice alternative if Shopify doesn’t have what you would like.
Exemplory case of Online Stores Using 3dcart
Big Cartel is a niche eCommerce platform for artists, craftspeople, and other artisans who prefer to sell what they make. If that’s the sort of business you run, Big Cartel is perfect… but for the majority who don’t make their own goods, it’s easier to look elsewhere.
Everything about Big Cartel caters to small, creative businesses, like the artistic site design options. The most appealing feature to independent creators is the low cost – no listing fees and no transaction fees. All you pay is the monthly fee, and there’s even a free account that includes the majority of the features anyway.
However, if you’re no independent creator, plenty of other eCommerce platforms offer more appealing deals. A lot of the creative design options aren’t applicable to much more serious brands.
• No transaction fees.
• No listing fees.
• Artistic design options.
• Code editing.
• Gold: Free
• Platinum: $9.99 monthly
• Diamond: $19.99 monthly
• Titanium: $29.99 per month
• Comparatively cheap next to the other eCommerce platforms.
• One of the greater creative and inspiring site builders.
• Transparent business practices.
• Only relevant for a tiny group of sellers.
It’s no secret that Big Cartel is preferred for artists and craftspeople. Their market may be small, but they focus on it well. Whether or not you’re an unbiased creator, you’ve still got to select from Big Cartel and Etsy.
The advantage to Big Cartel is owning your own store: it’s better for branding and even more scalable if you have high ambitions.
Exemplory case of Online Store Using Big Cartel
In the manner Big Cartel targets artists, Ecwid likewise targets smaller businesses. From setup to costs, everything is attuned for startups and small-scale companies.
Ecwid falls in the same group as Shopify and 3dcart: easy, convenient setup, but limited customization options. To show their commitment to smaller businesses, they even give a free plan where you can list up to ten items. However, once your store reaches a certain size, Ecwid’s benefits don’t appear so beneficial.
For the business enterprise side, Ecwid offers almost all of the most common eCommerce features like coupon codes and an SSL certificate, and also allows digital goods. They may have an excellent selection of social media options in addition to the option to market on Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest, and Google Ads.
Similarly, higher payment tiers can hook up their stores with other sales channels like Amazon, Etsy, and eBay. This makes Ecwid a great central base when operating a multichannel eCommerce brand.
• Easy setup and user-friendly site designer tools.
• Syncs directly with social media stores.
• Integrates with other sales channels.
• No transaction fees.
• Free Plan: Free.
• Venture: $15 monthly.
• Business: $35 per month.
• Unlimited: $99 per month.
• Great social media capabilities.
• Perfect for a multichannel strategy.
• Designed for small businesses – inexpensive and user-friendly.
• Not many interesting design options
• Not scalable – best for small business, harmful to big business
By design, Ecwid is recommended for smaller businesses. The low cost is good for just getting started and it integrates easily with other channels so you can still utilize it as lifelines. Moreover, social media integration and marketing is a superb fit for young businesses looking to get their name out there.
Exemplory case of Online Store Using Ecwid
THE VERY BEST Ecommerce Platform for Your Online Store
Just how many products do you want to sell? Where do “design and customization” fit into your priorities? How much money are you able to spend? How advanced is your technical knowledge?
The answers to questions will help you determine the best ecommerce system for you.
The particular perfect platform for selling high-end necklaces might be the worst one for selling made-to-order Tee shirts. Consider your company’s needs before deciding on your system.
Now it’s your turn: which system is your personal choice? Why do you conclusion upward choosing that contrary to the others? Tell all of us in the comments.