You have a product or service to sell. You’re ready to connect with eager customers and start building a business.
The only thing you need to set up shop is an ecommerce platform — a website that allows customers to buy from you online Ecommerce platforms come in many shapes and sizes, but the best ones share several key characteristics:
- They make it easy to create and customize your online store, with user-friendly tools that don’t require coding or design skills.
- They handle all the important technical details, including merchant accounts, payment processing, website hosting and security measures.
- They let you manage inventory, process orders and accept payments without requiring any specialized knowledge.
- They integrate with other software that your business needs to run smoothly, including point-of-sale (POS) systems, accounting software and marketing tools like email service providers.
There are dozens of great ecommerce platforms available today — so many, in fact, that it can be overwhelming trying to choose the best one for your business. To help narrow down your choices, we’ve researched and tested them all so we could create this guide to the best ecommerce platforms available today.
Best Ecommerce Platforms
What Are Ecommerce Platforms
When it comes to ecommerce, there are a lot of platforms that can be used. The most popular platform is Shopify. It has been around for a while and has some great features, but it does have a few drawbacks as well.
We are going to take a look at what are the best ecommerce platforms and why you should use them instead of Shopify.
What are the best ecommerce platforms?
There are many different ecommerce platforms out there, such as BigCommerce and many others. There are pros and cons to each one of them, so it’s important that you have an idea of what they do before you make your decision.
Ecommerce platforms can be used for just about anything! They are great for selling physical products, digital goods (such as ebooks), or even services like virtual assistant work or web development services.
Ecommerce Platforms – Introduction
The world of ecommerce is a very competitive one, and can be a tricky place for new businesses to start. It is a very good idea for potential online retailers to understand more about the basic elements of ecommerce platforms, as this will help them to make better decisions when choosing their own systems.
There are many different factors that will effect how successful your business can be. It is important to understand what these are so that you can maximize your chances of success.
One of the most important things is how easy it is for customers to find your website, and how easy it is for them to shop there. The best way of doing this is by having an easy-to-navigate website with well-designed shopping cart software.
A good ecommerce platform will allow you to sell products directly from your website, which means that you do not have to worry about setting up a physical shop or hiring staff members to deal with customer queries. This means that you can focus on other important aspects of running an online business, such as marketing and SEO (search engine optimization).
Another key element is ensuring that you are able to promote your site effectively in order to attract more customers.
What Are the Best Ecommerce Platforms?
We started by creating a comparison chart that breaks down the features offered by each of the top platforms. Then, we dive deep into the pros and cons of each option, with a robust discussion about their similarities and differences to give you a better idea of how these platforms work.
Here are some things to know about our ecommerce platform reviews: We’re affiliated with three of them.
Nexcess is a global provider of managed web hosting solutions, offering a broad range of web hosting and cloud services to help power eCommerce stores.
All plans include on-demand phone and chat support, as well as an average 5 minute response time for urgent tickets.
Turbo Boosted Magento Hosting
Nexcess servers are built to deliver the highest levels of performance and scalability — you can rest assured your online store will always be running at optimal speed.
Magento Certified Developers & Engineers On Staff
Our expert team members have more than 20 years of combined experience with Magento development and hosting. The entire Nexcess team is also Magento 1 & 2 certified.
- Affordable pricing with a lot of features
- High-quality customer support
- Great load times and uptime
- Excellent security features
- No unlimited plans
- No free domain names. The lack of unlimited plans could be an issue for some users, but they’re not really necessary in most cases.
And if you need more resources and can’t afford to upgrade to a more expensive plan, you can always transfer your site to another provider that offers the resources you need.
Wix.com Ltd. is an Israeli software company, providing cloud-based web development services. It allows users to create HTML5 websites and mobile sites through the use of their online drag and drop tools. As of April 2018, Wix had 4.1 million subscribers.
Mobile Optimization and Marketing
With one click you can turn your site into a mobile friendly version for smartphones and tablets. Your visitors will be able to access your site from anywhere with a single click from their mobile phones or tablets.
The Wix mobile editor makes it easy to update your mobile site even while on the go, so you can keep your content fresh wherever you are!
Marketing Tools & Promotions
Give away coupons or discounts to share the love and get new customers through the door with our coupon widget!
-SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
BigCommerce is a hosted ecommerce platform that allows you to set up a store and sell online. It’s designed for fast-growing businesses and offers all the tools you need to create an online store and grow your business.
BigCommerce offers a fully hosted ecommerce solution. You simply sign up for an account, choose from a range of professionally designed templates, add your products and content, and start selling.
There’s nothing to install or download — everything you need is included in your plan. There are no transaction fees with BigCommerce. That means you can keep more of the revenue you generate from selling online.
You can choose from over 130 professional looking themes (templates) to design your store. Each theme is mobile responsive so it looks great on any device (desktop, tablet or smartphone).
BigCommerce includes all the features you need to launch and grow your business: product catalog, shopping cart, payment processing, order management, shipping calculator and more. As part of your plan, you can also use the included marketing tools to promote your business: email marketing, discount coupons and more.
Grow your business with the top-rated ecommerce platform. From day one, BigCommerce has always been designed with the goal of making it as easy as possible for you to build a store:
A built-in solution that lets you create a beautiful and engaging storefront that works seamlessly across desktops, smartphones and tablets. A powerful engine that helps you manage your catalog and inventory, process orders and payments and make data-driven decisions.
A trusted partner that supports you every step of the way with award-winning support, expert service professionals and a thriving community of commerce experts who help turn your dreams into reality.
A partnership with Shopify means a better way to sell. With Shopify’s streamlined checkout, your customers can purchase seamlessly across any device. Sell on Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger with a single link.
Grow your list with contests and giveaways. Connect your store to MailChimp, Klaviyo, or other marketing tools to give your audience customized shopping experiences.
You can even create coupon codes right in the platform to reward loyal customers and encourage repeat sales
Whether you’re new to sales or looking for ways to improve your ecommerce business, our free guides will help you develop new skills and reach more customers. Shopify is a commerce platform that allows anyone to easily sell online, at a retail location, and everywhere in between.
It’s computer software platform and retail point of sale (POS) system. Shopify offers online retailers a suite of services “including payments, marketing, shipping and customer engagement tools to simplify the process of running an online store for small merchants.
The company reported that it had more than 600,000 businesses in approximately 175 countries using its platform as of March 2017. Shopify is the most popular e-commerce platform worldwide.
1. Easy setup and management of your entire business. Safe and secure shopping cart and checkout experience for your customers.
2. Hundreds of free and premium themes to give your online store a professional look and feel.
3. Mobile optimized website so that your customers can visit you using any device (mobile, tablet or computer).
4. Free blog for you to share news about your business, upcoming events, products or services, sales or coupons etc.
5. Unlimited number of products and product variations (color, size etc). You can also sell digital products such as music, videos, images, software etc.
Shopify Experts is the place to find qualified developers and designers who are experienced in providing ecommerce stores.
Shopify experts make it easy for you to get a high-quality professional design for your website. Here’s how it works:
- Log into your Shopify admin
- Click Themes
- Click Visit Shopify Theme Store
- Click Browse Premium Themes
- Customize a theme by clicking the Customize button of your desired theme
The Square Online Store is an ecommerce website builder with all the features you need to create your own online store. It’s easy to create a fully customizable online store that accepts payments and helps you manage products and inventory.
When you sign up for Square Online Store, you get access to Square’s extensive online tools and services, including: Your own free website domain, such as yourstorename.squareonline.site
Website design tools Built-in marketing tools Integration with other Square services like Square Point of Sale, Square Invoices, and Square Appointments
Square Online makes it easy to create a free, beautiful website with no coding required. You can easily customize your site with features like images, videos, maps and more.
Square Online is mobile-friendly, so your customers can browse and buy from you on any device.
You’ll have the tools you need to manage your inventory, accept payments online, reach new customers through marketing campaigns, and monitor your success through reporting. Square Online is a full-featured online store that helps you sell your products and services online.
With Square Online, you can manage your inventory, accept payments and create a beautiful online store using our customizable templates.
Build your store: Choose from a range of beautiful templates or start with a blank canvas. You can also sell on Facebook and Instagram if you have a Square account.
Manage orders: Use a single dashboard to manage orders from all sales channels. You can also process payments and issue refunds.
Engage customers: Send automated follow-up emails, add customer profiles, collect feedback, and more.
Collect payments: Accept credit card payments, Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, and other payment methods. Square handles all the heavy lifting so you can focus on growing your business.
Easily customizable website
Choose from dozens of templates to create your own online store. Add product photos and descriptions, update your inventory quantity, and customize your website with your logo and brand colors.
Unlimited products and categories
Add as many items to sell as you like in up to three product categories on your website. Sell accessories alongside clothing, or add a category that features seasonal items or gift bundles.
Connect with customers anytime
Accept orders 24/7 by listing all of your items through Square Online Store. Your customers can shop directly on your site and view all of the items you offer.
Plus, you’ll be able to track sales through your online dashboard so you can easily see what’s selling best and when it’s time to order more inventory.
A website builder for everyone Zyro is an easy-to-use, intuitive website builder. It’s the perfect way to create a website for your business, personal brand, or side hustle. Just enter a few details about your site and let Zyro do the rest.
You don’t need any coding expertise to build a beautiful online presence with Zyro. The platform is packed with features that will help you create an impressive design without writing any code.
Drag and drop elements on your page, choose from multiple layouts, or customize fonts and colors to match your brand. Grow your business with Zyro Zyro provides everything you need to get an awesome website up and running fast.
You can even integrate it with third-party services like MailChimp, Blogger, Etsy, and PayPal to automate tasks like sending emails or collecting payments. Start building your website in minutes with Zyro’s AI-powered builder! Zyro is the easiest way to make a website.
Build your online presence in minutes using Artificial Design Intelligence. No coding skills needed.
Zyro is the easiest way to make a website. Build your online presence in minutes using Artificial Design Intelligence. No coding skills needed.
Fully responsive design to ensure that your website works great on any device, from mobile phones to tablets and desktops – Over 100 templates and designs included at no extra cost.
Easy drag-and-drop editor – add and move elements of your website wherever you want, without having to code anything Blog functionality Integration with Google Analytics and SEO tools Customizable domain name
Simply choose a template and customize it to suit your needs with our powerful drag & drop editor.
Add items from our extensive library of elements or upload your own. You can even add custom code to complete the professional look of your site.
Create quality content
You’ll never run out of ideas for your site with Zyro’s AI Writer tool, which generates content based on the keywords you provide. Just enter the keywords and select your language, then click the ‘Generate Content’ button and let AI Writer do its magic. It’s so easy!
Engage with visitors
Our Chatbot Creator helps you engage with visitors on your website and turn them into customers. Just customize one of our ready-made templates to suit your needs, and you’ll be able to chat directly with potential customers in real time — no programming knowledge needed!
It’s free, it’s easy. Ecwid is a premium e-commerce platform that makes it super-simple to sell on your website and across the web.
Ecwid can be added to any existing site (no need to start from scratch), and you’ll be selling in minutes.
Make money anywhere. Ecwid’s shopping cart is mobile-ready, so you can sell on social media sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Google+. You can even set up an online store for your brick and mortar business with Ecwid’s POS system.
It’s safe & secure. Ecwid is PCI DSS certified, so you can rest assured that your customers’ payments are secure.
Create an Online Store
Our easy-to-use shopping cart software lets you build your entire store in minutes using our powerful drag-and-drop product editor. No coding needed!
Fully Customizable Storefronts
Choose from over 100+ customisable themes to make your storefront unique – it’s quick and easy to set up your own look and feel.
Unlimited Products & Categories
Sell as many products as you like and organise them into categories of your choice. Unlimited bandwidth means more traffic for you!
- Easy to set up and use.
- Very versatile.
- Has a free version.
- Extensive integration capabilities.
- Fully responsive design.
Some features are basic compared to other e-commerce systems. No blog function, which limits SEO benefits.
No telephone support for the free plan.
8. Shift4 Shop
Shift4 Shop makes it easy by combining everything you need into one package. Just set up your store, list your products and start selling. We offer several ready-made templates to help you build your site quickly and easily.
And when you’re ready for a more customized look, Shift4 Shop provides powerful tools to let you design the site that best suits you or your business. Shift4 Shop is a powerful eCommerce platform for independent retailers.
With intuitive tools and flexible design options, you can use Shift4 Shop to create your own personalized shopping experience to match your brand and business, sell across multiple channels, and grow your customer base.
Shift4 Shop is designed to be easy to use, even for people with no technical background. You can get started quickly with a free trial, with no credit card required or long-term commitments. Start selling today!
– Multiple Design Options
– Mobile Storefront
– Checkout Customization
– Payment Page Integration
– Customizable Product Pages
– Built-In Wishlist
– Gift Cards
– Inventory Management
Sell anything, anywhere. With WooCommerce, you can sell both physical and digital goods in all shapes and sizes, offer product variations, multiple configurations, and instant downloads to shoppers, and even sell affiliate goods from online marketplaces.
Capture more revenue with recurring payments. WooCommerce Subscriptions lets you introduce a variety of subscriptions for physical or virtual products and services.
Create product of the month clubs, weekly service subscriptions or even yearly software billing packages. Add sign-up fees, offer free trials, or set expiration periods.
Optimized for growth and scale. WooCommerce is built to allow store managers to run an eCommerce site themselves, no web developer needed.
There are endless options for extensions across all your logistical & technical requirements. Built with developers in mind – WooCommerce was created with developers in mind, too.
With its sturdy codebase and template files that allow customization without touching core files (and hundreds of hooks & filters if you do), developers can build truly custom sites — without having to hack the core code.
If you are new to WooCommerce, this is a great place to start. It will give you a brief overview of what WooCommerce is and how it works for both store owners and developers.
Sell anything – physical or digital products and downloads.
Tax & Shipping
Set up tax rates based on location, offer flat rate or free shipping & more.
Coupons & Discounts
Offer discounts with coupons, set expiration dates and more.
Product Sorting Options
Allow customers to sort products by price, popularity and more.
Secure Payments via PayPal
Accept payments securely with PayPal Standard.
Sellfy – Sell your products online Wish you could start your own ecommerce business?
Sellfy makes it easy for anyone to sell digital products straight from their own website. Our platform helps you create a nice looking, professional store in minutes and start selling your products online without the need of any programming skills.
Sellfy handles everything from secure payment processing to speedy product delivery for you, so you can focus on the most important thing – creating and sharing your amazing content with the world.
- The ability to set up a store in minutes
- A full range of customization option
- s A variety of payment solutions available, including Stripe and PayPal
- An intuitive and user-friendly dashboard
– Priority support
– Featured seller status
– Discounts on 3rd party services
– Exclusive discounts on Sellfy subscription plans
ShopBase is an all-in-one e-commerce platform that lets you start, grow and manage your business. When your store is powered by ShopBase, you don’t need to install any third-party software or edit code just to get basic features like shipping and returns, or even gift cards.
It’s all included with your ShopBase store.
- ShopBase lets you easily add products and manage inventory.
- You can also print shipping labels and fulfill orders in just a few clicks.
- Take control of your data: With ShopBase, all your data is yours.
- Export it at any time to your computer, or migrate it to another platform if you choose to leave ShopBase for another service.
- ShopBase offers beautiful and responsive templates optimized for desktop and mobile devices.
- All themes are free and come with full source code so you can customize them as much as you want.
Account manager – A dedicated account manager is available to assist with your success.
Support team – This personalized support team will provide you with guidance, tips and tricks for your store.
Product experts – Members of our product experts work directly with our best customers to help them reach their goals through monthly webinars and workshops.
Ease of use – Volution has always been an easy to use shopping cart. They have a nice user interface and the design process is very simple. I have found it quite easy to make changes to my store and add new products.
Free SSL certificate – This is a great feature that is included with all plans. Every site we work on needs an SSL certificate and most hosting companies charge a fairly large monthly fee for this.
The fact that Volusion includes it with every plan is a big plus.
Nice marketing features – I really like many of the marketing features offered by Volusion. The abandoned cart email is something I like a lot as well as the ability to give store credit for reviews.
Great customer support – Volusion has always had great customer support. Whenever I have called or chatted online they have always been able to answer my questions quickly and accurately.
While Volusion does offer some decent themes, none of them are anything special and most are pretty basic in design. You also don’t have access to any HTML or CSS files so you can’t make any design changes yourself unless you want to make the changes in the WYSIWYG editor.
nopCommerce is the most popular ASP.NET ecommerce shopping cart in the world based on Microsoft technologies. This open source shopping cart contains both a catalog frontend and an administration tool backend, which allows store owner to easily manage products, product categories, customers, orders, discounts coupons, localized content pages and more.
nopCommerce is available for free. It has everything you need to get started in selling physical and digital goods over the internet.
- It’s open-source and free for everyone.
- It’s easy to deploy and customize.
- It has an active support forum with over 200,000 members.
- It’s stable and secure.
- It’s based on Microsoft technologies.
- There are thousands of third-party plugins and extensions available for download from the official site.
- Product, customer and order management
- Built-in SEO and marketing tools
- Mobile shopping cart Multilingual and multi-currency support
- Customer reward points
- Robust administration area
PinnacleCart is a great choice for anyone looking for a powerful, flexible and customizable ecommerce platform. It’s packed with features and can easily scale as your business grows.
PinnacleCart is an online store builder that offers an array of tools to help you create, maintain and grow your online business. The company’s goal is to provide you with the right tools to succeed.
And it does this by offering features like a drag-and-drop website builder, inventory management, marketing automation, customer relationship management (CRM) tools, social media integration and more.
PinnacleCart also offers a number of built-in payment gateways and shipping providers, as well as free hosting with every plan. Plus, PinnacleCart boasts top-notch security measures and mobile optimization so your store looks good on every device.
Three pricing plans are available for PinnacleCart: $29.99 per month for the Starter Plan; $79.99 per month for the Professional Plan; and $159.99 per month for the Enterprise Plan.
Each plan offers unlimited products, file storage space, bandwidth and email accounts, along with a free domain name and SSL certificate. Free 24/7 phone support.
PinnacleCart is your single source for everything you need to grow your business online:
- Easy to use tools to build professional online stores
- Tools to design a unique store that’s right for your business
- Marketing tools and sales incentives to increase traffic and sales
- Payment processing and shipping integration that fits your needs
- Robust reporting platform that gives you critical insights into your business
- Advanced customer management tools including wish lists, gift registries, and more
Squarespace, a New York-based web publishing platform, provides creative tools that power the future of the web. Web publishing has evolved from static HTML pages to a dynamic, interactive medium fueled by data and visually rich content.
While the possibilities are endless, these new technologies have created significant challenges for developers — requiring lots of time and money to build, update and scale. Squarespace empowers anyone to create and maintain an exceptional, modern website without coding or engineering skills.
With Squarespace, you can choose from beautiful award-winning templates, edit each page with our powerful drag & drop interface, add media like images and video, and even customize your style settings on mobile. This means you have full control over every pixel on your site — allowing you to design it precisely how you want it to look.
- Audio Player
- Blogging Commerce
- Commerce Platform
- Contact Forms
- Content Management System (CMS)
- Custom Templates
- E-Commerce Platforms and Ecommerce Software Form Builder
- Ease of use Squarespace’s drag and drop interface combined with its pre-built templates means that you can build a website in less than an hour. If you have never built a website before, Squarespace has the learning curve needed to get you going and it’s very easy to use.
- Templates and Designs Squarespace offers some of the best designs in the industry. You will not be disappointed with the design options that are available. One of the best features about Squarespace is that you can preview all the templates before committing to one. You can change templates at any time and all your content will remain intact so there is no need to worry about losing your content.
Squarespace, Inc. is an American website building and hosting company which is based in New York City, USA. It provides software as a service for website building and hosting, and allows users to use pre-built website templates and drag-and-drop elements to create and modify webpages.
PrestaShop is an e-commerce software that adds value and allows you to create online stores. With PrestaShop, you will have a complete store, with an attractive design, powerful marketing tools and all the features needed to sell online: promotion, payment, internationalization and more.
PrestaShop has been downloaded over 300,000 times since 2007. It is open source (under OSL License) so it is free to download and use Benefits of PrestaShop
Free software available for download for everyone; Simplicity of installation and updates; Easy management of your catalog and your orders; A wide range of modules and themes to extend the functionality of your e-commerce site;
SEO features are integrated into the software – friendly URLs, meta tags for products and categories; Multi-store management from one single back office; PrestaShop is translated in more than 60 languages.
- Find and buy products easily with instant search results Filter products by many criteria (attributes, features, price range, etc.)
- View detailed product descriptions, images and videos
- Add products directly to the cart from the catalogue pages
- Email a friend about products
- Print product information pages for future reference
- Create wishlists for later use or purchase by others (optional)
- Open Source
- Ecommerce Feature Set
- PrestaShop Marketplace
- Low Cost Solution
Weebly is a website builder with a focus on simplicity and ease of use. Its straightforward tools enable anyone to create a professional, mobile-friendly website without needing any design or programming knowledge.
Weebly’s platform is free, but users can upgrade to one of several paid plans to get additional tools and features. Weebly’s simple editor makes it easy to create a sleek website with almost no technical knowledge. The interface is intuitive and allows users to drag and drop content blocks around the page.
While Weebly does not offer as many templates as some of its competitors, it does have over 200 modern-looking themes to choose from. These templates are fully customizable using the same intuitive tools used to build the rest of your site.
Users can change fonts, backgrounds, colors, spacing and more without having to write any CSS code. In addition to the theme customization options, Weebly also provides access to settings that control your site’s SEO meta tags (title, description, keywords), navigation menus, font styles, contact form
Drag and Drop Editor
One of the best parts of Weebly is the drag and drop editor. You can literally drag and drop elements wherever you want on your website. If you want to move something, just click on it and drag it to where you would like it.
It’s super easy to use, looks great and allows you to create a beautiful website in no time.
Websites This is a big one for those who are looking to get their websites ranked higher in Google searches.
Weebly sites are all very SEO-friendly, which means that your content will be crawled by Google easier than if you were using other site builders. That can mean more traffic for your site over time.
Another great feature is the responsive themes that Weebly offers. This means that your site will look great regardless of what type of device or screen size is being used to view it.
They look great on desktops, tablets and smartphones so people can easily view your site from anywhere.
- Extremely easy to use.
- Free plan available.
- Beautiful, modern templates.
- Great mobile experience.
- Integrated ecommerce tools.
- A great feature set for a DIY website builder
Yo!Kart is a multi-vendor eCommerce software that enables you to build your own marketplace similar to Amazon or eBay.
It’s an all-in-one ecommerce solution for entrepreneurs who want to kickstart their own venture without worrying about the technicalities of building it from scratch. You can setup your own ecommerce website at a fraction of the cost as compared to what it would take if you built it from scratch.
- Utility features
- Checkout Process Orders
- User Accounts
- Flexible Product Catalog with Custom Fields
- Inventory Management
- Pricing and Promotions
- Multi-Language, Multi-Currency and Multiple Taxes
– Multiple sellers
– Multiple vendors sell products through your marketplace.
– Seller commissions
– Commissions on sales can be set per product, or globally for all products.
– Seller ratings and reviews
– Sellers get rated by the buyers for the quality of service.
– Seller invoices
– Sellers receive invoices for their sales and commissions.
– Seller store front
– Each seller gets his own store front, with his name in the URL.
Selz is a great option if you want to sell digital products such as ebooks and music. It’s also a good choice for anyone who wants to sell physical products, like t-shirts or coffee mugs.
It’s very easy to get started with Selz.
You don’t need to know anything about coding, you can just sign up for a free 14 day trial and start selling almost immediately. You can customize your store with the help of template themes, or add your own HTML code if you want a custom design.
Selz has all the features you need to create an online store, including an integrated shopping cart, secure checkout pages and integrated inventory management. It has a number of built-in payment gateways, including Stripe and PayPal, so it’s really easy to get paid.
Selz also provides useful marketing tools to help you promote your online store and products. There are reports that let you see how many people have viewed your product pages, and email marketing tools that allow you to engage with customers by sending out updates on new products.
- Creating a great looking store
- Setting up an effective marketing strategy
- Developing an effective sales funnel for your store
- Optimizing your checkout and payment processes
What Are Ecommerce Platforms?
Ecommerce platforms are software applications that allow online businesses to manage their website, sales, and operations. Small business owners use ecommerce platforms to conduct business online, including processing transactions and tracking inventory.
Ecommerce platforms range from simple shopping cart solutions to flexible, open-source applications that enable you to build a comprehensive online store. The best ecommerce platform for you depends on your business model and budget.
If your company is just starting out and you don’t expect extremely high volumes, you may be able to save some money by using a simpler platform designed for smaller merchants. However, if you’re ready to expand and expect significant growth, then an enterprise-level ecommerce application might be the way to go.
Integrate Your Ecommerce Platform With Other Business Systems
For companies looking for a fully integrated solution that includes order management from point of sale systems, real time shipping quotes, and inventory management capabilities, there are a number of ecommerce platforms available. Many can be customized for your specific business needs and integrated with other third-party applications such as accounting software.
What is the Best Ecommerce Platform For SEO?
When you consider the virtual storefront that is your ecommerce website, you probably think first of sales. But if you want to compete in a crowded online marketplace, your site needs to be visible to search engines — and thus shoppers — in the first place.
That’s where SEO comes in.
If SEO is important to you and your business, selecting an ecommerce platform that’s optimized for SEO can give you a head start over sites built on less SEO-friendly platforms. While every platform has some degree of SEO functionality, they vary significantly in their ability to support your ecommerce SEO goals.
Here are some basic principles to look out for when comparing platforms:
Customizable URLs and product pages.
Some platforms create dynamic URLs for each page on your site, which are difficult for search engines to parse. Look for a platform that allows you to customize URLs so they’re relevant and descriptive of the content on each page.
The meta tags included with every page are critical for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as they tell Google what a page is about
What Are the Best Ecommerce Platforms for Small Business?
When it comes to ecommerce platforms, there are many options to choose from. And while there is no perfect solution, one that may be the best fit for your business depends on your specific needs.
When evaluating ecommerce solutions, you’ll want to consider six main criteria:
When choosing an ecommerce platform, you’re using a software-as-a-service (SaaS) product, which typically has a recurring monthly cost. You’ll also incur transaction fees and other costs for payments and shipping services.
What does the platform do well? What does it lack? Be sure the platform offers all of the features you need, including things like email marketing tools, customer relationship management systems and inventory management software.
The ability to get help quickly when you need it is critical in any technology product. Find out what kind of support each platform offers and how they differ in their approach to customer service. Also find out how easy it is to get answers through tutorials and documentation.
How flexible is the platform? Is it customizable or scalable enough for your needs? If your business changes over time, will the platform be able to accommodate that change Integration with other software.
What Are the Best Ecommerce Platforms for Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a low-risk method of ecommerce, where the seller (you) accepts orders from customers but doesn’t keep any inventory. Instead, you purchase the product from a third party and have it shipped directly to your customer.
This model has several benefits: You can start an online store without carrying any inventory. You can test different products without risking money on unsold stock.
You only pay for the product when you make a sale, so there’s no upfront investment required.
With that in mind, here are some of the best ecommerce platforms for dropshipping:
Shopify — The leading ecommerce platform for dropship sellers, and our top choice overall. It offers fast setup, built-in marketing tools, extensive payment options and mobile support for your customers.
You can even access its API to integrate with other services or build your own integrations from scratch.
BigCommerce — A more advanced alternative to Shopify, which offers more features but is also more difficult to use than Shopify’s beginner-friendly interface.
However, it’s a good choice if you need more advanced features as you grow your business.
WooCommerce — The leading self-hosted platform for large businesses that need maximum customization.
What Are the Best Free Ecommerce Platforms?
When you’re just starting out with an ecommerce venture, it’s understandable that you might not want to make a big investment before you’ve seen proof of concept.
Here are some of the best free ecommerce platforms available:
Squarespace is a favorite tool for small business owners who want to create a professional online presence.
This website builder offers affordable monthly plans with no transaction fees, and its store builder is easy to use. Squarespace also offers drag-and-drop templates that make creating an online store quick and simple.
But if you have trouble designing your store, Squarespace also has award-winning customer service that can help you build your site.
You can sell up to 10 products on your Squarespace site. If you need more, the lowest paid plan offers unlimited products for $12 per month.
Weebly is another website builder that allows users to set up professional online stores without any technical experience or programming skills.
Like Squarespace, Weebly has a drag-and-drop template editor that makes it easy to customize your ecommerce store. And like Squarespace, Weebly offers templates specifically for building an online shop. In addition, Weebly provides unlimited storage and bandwidth for all subscription plans.
What Are The Benefits of Using an Ecommerce Platform?
If you’re starting an ecommerce business and looking at building your first website, you may be wondering what the benefits of using an ecommerce platform are. There are a lot of reasons why it’s better to use a dedicated ecommerce platform instead of trying to build a site from scratch.
Here are just a few:
Ecommerce platforms like Shopify have the advanced features you need built right into the package. Things like shipping labels, coupon codes, abandoned cart emails and more are all features that would be very difficult to replicate on your own.
In addition to advanced features, ecommerce platforms also have a lot of fundamentals covered. You don’t need to worry about things like order fulfillment or having secure payment gateways — these things are all taken care of for you.
Security is another big one. It’s extremely difficult to make sure your site is properly encrypted and that you comply with all legal requirements for selling online without expert help. In contrast, most modern ecommerce platforms will manage this for you behind the scenes so that you can focus on growing your business without worrying about security breaches or legal issues.
1. Ecommerce Platform Benefits Easy Scalability
When you’re running a business, scalability is the ability to grow your revenues, profits and workforce as needed. It’s a good thing when it comes to your business, but scaling can be difficult if you don’t have the right infrastructure in place.
You may want to scale up for several reasons: You’re growing your product line. If you add new products or services, then your costs will increase from paying for more inventory or additional labor hours.
Your sales are increasing: If you’re selling more goods or services, then your fixed costs will stay the same but you’ll need to invest more money in raw materials or labor hours. This is a good problem to have, but it needs to be handled carefully so you don’t run out of cash flow.
You’re expanding into new markets: This can mean hiring new employees, moving into a new building or setting up shop in a different city or state. Any of these options will require capital investments and can also create unexpected challenges.
2. Ecommerce Platform Benefits Excellent Customer Support
If you’re running an online store, you’re going to need a way to communicate with your customers. Sure, they can send email, but many people find it easier to simply use the phone.
But what if you don’t have a phone number yet? Most of the time, getting a telephone number means renting an office or hiring someone to sit and answer the phone.
Even automated answering services are expensive, and callers usually hate them anyway.
What if there was a better way? What if you could get a toll-free number that you can use from your cell phone or computer? .
You would never miss another call from your customers. And you wouldn’t have to pay for office space or employees until your business grows enough to support them.
That’s where eCommerce platform benefits excellent customer support comes in. With this feature, you can get your own toll-free number that rings directly to your cell phone—or any other phone number you want! When someone calls that number, they won’t even know they aren’t talking directly to you.
3. Ecommerce Platform Benefits Social Media Integration
The importance of social media in retail marketing cannot be overstated. It is a primary means of customer outreach, and also a major source of traffic to your site.
Social media integration has become standard for ecommerce platforms, but there are different levels of this feature, and some platforms do it better than others.
Facebook is the king of social media, and not just in the U.S. In most countries, Facebook has significantly more users than any other social network. All of the popular ecommerce platforms offer some form of Facebook integration — usually with an app that lets you post products from your store directly to your Facebook page.
Some platforms take this one step further and let you set up a mini-storefront on Facebook itself. This gives you a direct sales channel on the social network, which could be particularly useful if you run a lot of promotions and want to increase visibility for those offers.
Platforms differ in their approach to other social networks like Pinterest, Instagram and so on. The best way to find out is to research each platform individually to see which ones offer what kind of social media integration.
4. Ecommerce Platform Benefits Built-In Ecommerce Marketing Tools
In addition to the payment processing tools we talked about above, ecommerce platforms also offer features that assist with marketing and promotion. Some of these tools are a natural fit because they can be built right into the shopping experience.
Built-In Ecommerce Marketing Tools.
Many ecommerce platforms will give you access to a variety of different marketing tools that you can use to promote your ecommerce business, promote individual products, and make it easy for customers to share your products with their friends and family on social media.
Discounts and coupons
Coupons are one of the most effective ways to encourage visitors to make a purchase from your store. This is especially true if you’re running a special promotion or offering discounts during a holiday weekend.
According to research from customer service software company Desk, offering customers an incentive like free shipping or a discount code can increase sales by almost 26%. When used strategically, coupons can be an effective way to drive sales and increase customer loyalty by providing value to your customers in exchange for sharing their personal information with you.
5. Ecommerce Platform Benefits SEO
SEO is an essential part of any business model, whether it’s ecommerce or not. If you want to be found and you want to attract users to your website, you need to make sure that your SEO is up to par.
Each day, companies are competing against each other for the best ranking on Google and other search engines. Not only does this require time and effort on the side of marketers, but it can also eat into your budget if you have to hire an outside marketing agency or a full-time marketing employee.
However, when running an online store, you can make use of your ecommerce platform’s built-in SEO tools in order to get ahead of this game. Although these tools might not be as powerful as some outsourced services, they can still help boost your presence in search engines and drive more traffic to your site.
Why Is SEO So Important?
In today’s day and age, most people rely on search engines in order to find information about a product or service they are interested in.
Whether it’s a simple Google search or a query in Bing or Yahoo!, consumers often turn straight to the web when they want more information about something they are considering buying.
Tips And Strategies For Using Ecommerce Platforms
The best ecommerce platforms make it easy to build a website and sell online. But in order to really maximize your sales, you’ll have to take a few extra steps.
Here are some tips for using ecommerce platforms to boost sales:
Know Your Customers
It’s important for you to know your customers. As the business owner, you need to be aware of their needs, wants and demands so you can create products and services that will satisfy them. This can be done through market research, questionnaires and surveys.
By knowing your customers, you will also be able to identify opportunities that will allow you to provide better products and services.
Develop Your Brand
Ecommerce platforms allow you to develop a brand identity which will help set you apart from your competitors. You can do this by creating a unique logo, choosing a specific color scheme or even writing an engaging “About Us” page.
By developing your brand identity, you will also be able to establish trust among your customers because they will recognize your brand as being authentic and reliable.
Optimize Your Site For Search Engines
Your site should be easy to find when people search for keywords related to what you’re selling on Google or Bing.
1. Using Ecommerce Platforms Focus On Mobile Users
Mobile is increasingly important in retail. According to a study by Criteo, the market share of mobile devices for ecommerce purchases will increase from 37 percent in 2018 to 53 percent in 2020. As the number of mobile users increases, you need to ensure that your ecommerce store is keeping up.
If you’re using WooCommerce, Shopify or another open source platform, there are three ways you can create a mobile-friendly site:
Create a responsive site.
A responsive website automatically adapts to display on any screen size. This means it will look good on desktop computers and mobile devices alike.
2. Create a separate mobile site.
Some sites create two websites — one for desktop users and one for mobile users. The advantage of this approach is that you can tailor the design specifically to each device type. However, it requires more development time and maintenance than a responsive site.
3. Create a native app.
You can also create an app that’s designed specifically for phones and tablets. A native app could be used if your customers need specific functionality, such as being able to scan barcodes or make payments with their phones
2. Using Ecommerce PlatformsMake Your Ecommerce Website Visually Appealing
To create a visually appealing ecommerce website you don’t need to be a proffesional. There are many things that you can do in order to make your website look better. Visuals play an important role in the success of any ecommerce site.
Here are three things e-retailers should consider when it comes to crafting a visually appealing website:
- Use high-resolution photographs. “High-quality photos translate into higher conversions and more revenue,” says Luke Hakes, director of business development for Pixelz, a Seattle-based provider of image editing services for online retailers. “On average, we’ve seen companies increase their conversion rates by up to 5% after improving their product images.”
- Use color to attract attention. Color is also key to making an ecommerce site visually appealing and driving sales, says Web marketing expert Jim Belosic, CEO of ecommerce technology provider ShortStack, who recommends giving visitors options regarding how they view your products using color swatches or filters.
- Make your site easy on the eyes and fast loading.
3. Using Ecommerce Platforms Provide Ease of Navigation
If you’re a retailer, you want your website to be easy to navigate. You don’t want visitors to have to search for what they’re looking for.
Your website should be easy to use and let customers find what they need quickly. If your website is confusing, customers will go elsewhere.
The same applies if you use an ecommerce platform for your online business. You want the ecommerce platform to be easy to use, so that customers can find what they want quickly and check out within a few clicks.
Research shows that nearly 80% of people who visit a website say it’s important for the site to have ease of navigation. This means that if your website isn’t easy to use, you’re probably not going to make many sales.
A study by HubSpot found that almost 80% of people say the most important thing on a website is ease of navigation.
What Does Ease of Navigation Mean?
When someone talks about ease of navigation, they mean that it’s simple to use the website and find what you’re looking for. The best websites are simple and straightforward, so that customers can find exactly what they need in as little time as possible.
4. Using Ecommerce Platforms Data and Analytics
Keeping track of your key performance indicators (KPIs) is crucial to the growth and profitability of your ecommerce store. The average ecommerce conversion rate is 2.86%.
Optimizing your store’s data and analytics can help you reach or exceed that goal, leading to a better bottom line.
Fortunately, most ecommerce platforms give you access to many of the most important metrics. Here are five key metrics that you should be tracking on a regular basis with your ecommerce platform:
- Visits: Total number of visits to your site, including returning visitors and those who are visiting for the first time.
- Sessions: Number of individual sessions that take place on your website within a given time period. A session is one visit to your site, during which one or more webpages may be viewed.
- Users: The number of unique visitors to your site over a given time period. This metric excludes returning visitors and counts each person only once per tracking period (usually 30 days).
- Pageviews: The total number of pages viewed on your site during a given time period, including multiple views of individual pages by the same visitor.
- Bounce Rate: The percentage of visitors who leave after viewing only one
5. Using Ecommerce Platforms Provide Stellar Customer Service And Live-Chat Options
Ecommerce platforms provide stellar customer service and live-chat options. These tools help you connect with customers, answer their questions and solve problems.
They also help drive sales by providing a human touch to ecommerce, which can be perceived as impersonal and disconnected.
Here are some of the ways that ecommerce companies are using live chat to improve their customer service:
1. Live chat increases conversion rates by facilitating impulse purchases. When customers have a question before making a purchase, live chat is often the quickest way for them to get an answer from a real person.
2. If a potential customer can’t find what they’re looking for or has trouble finding the information they need, chances are good that they’ll abandon the site and go somewhere else. Live chat helps prevent this by having someone available to answer questions in real time.
3. Customers who use live chat are more likely to convert into paying customers than those who don’t (source). Live chat is now a standard feature on most ecommerce sites, with 88% of U.S. consumers saying it’s one of their preferred methods of communication with customer service representatives (source).
6. Using Ecommerce Platforms Omnichannel Strategy
the study of consumer behavior. Over the past decade, the definition of omnichannel has evolved to include a more holistic approach to customer experience.
This is not just because technology and methodology have advanced, but also because consumers have come to expect a seamless experience across all shopping channels — online, brick-and-mortar, mobile and catalog.
The way omnichannel is defined today is simple: it’s all about being everywhere your customers are with a consistent brand message and an equally consistent level of service. It’s about being accessible and providing convenience at every touchpoint.
It’s about listening to what customers want and giving it to them in the format they prefer.
Omnichannel retailing is more than just meeting consumers where they are (or where you think they are). It’s about using data to understand who your customers really are — as individuals, not just as members of a demographic group or a market segment or even a cohort.
The most successful companies are those that can create a user-friendly, personalized omnichannel strategy that puts the individual at the center of everything.
How to Choose an Ecommerce Platform
Choosing an ecommerce platform is the first step you should take when building a website to sell products. Not all ecommerce platforms are created equal, and different businesses have different needs.
We’ve outlined some of the most important things to consider when selecting your ecommerce platform.
You’ll want to find out how much it will cost to build your online store. Some platforms charge you a monthly fee, while others charge transaction fees. You’ll also want to factor in the costs of any upgrades or add-ons you may need as your business grows.
Even if you don’t have any coding knowledge, it’s still important that you can customize the design of your store’s front end to make sure it matches your brand’s image. For example, if you sell gourmet foods, your online store shouldn’t look like an electronics website.
Make sure that whatever platform you choose allows for full customization and has available templates that match up with your company’s overall look and feel.
The last thing you want when selling products is for someone to hack into your store and steal customer data or credit card information. One way to ensure this doesn’t happen is by using a platform that complies with PCI DSS standards for security and privacy.
Ecommerce Platforms – Frequently Asked Questions
How do ecommerce platforms work?
Ecommerce platforms are online tools that allow you to create a website and sell online. They usually include an integrated shopping cart that lets you add products, set prices, and manage inventory.
They also usually offer marketing tools and reporting features to help you measure the success of your store. Many also offer various third-party integrations, which allow you to connect with other systems like accounting and inventory management software.
How do I choose the right ecommerce platform?
The best ecommerce platform for you will depend on your business needs. If you’re just getting started, you might want to look for a platform with free plans, or a low-cost plan just to get started with.
If you’re moving over to a new platform from another ecommerce solution, then it’s worth looking at making sure all of your current features will transfer over (e.g. domain name, SSL certificate, payment gateway etc).
If you’re planning on selling a lot of products it may be worth looking at an ecommerce platform that has multi-channel selling options so that you can list products on marketplaces like Amazon, eBay and Etsy as well as your own website.
Best Ecommerce Platforms – Wrap Up
We’ve presented a lot of information in the above posts, and we don’t expect you to remember it all. So here’s the TL;DR version: If you have a small budget and are just starting out, you should consider using Shopify as your ecommerce platform.
The platform is easy to use and has great customer support.
Shopify offers a 14-day free trial, so you can give it a test run without spending any money up front. If you’re looking for something more advanced or want to sell on multiple sites simultaneously, you should give BigCommerce a try.
It’s easy to use and has some great features and integrations that will help your business grow. BigCommerce also offers a 15-day free trial if you want to test drive the platform first.
We know that choosing the right ecommerce platform is a big decision. Each of the platforms we’ve suggested has its strengths, and our goal is to help you find the one that works best for your business.