With the multitude of e-commerce platforms currently available, getting your own online store is easier than ever. These platforms allow businesses to launch and manage their own online store with very little difficulty. However, finding the best one for your business can be a tricky affair. It will depend on the type of business you are running, and the level of functionality your site requires.
In this article, we will list the best e-commerce platforms available right now, providing insights on the major players, and giving you the facts you need to make the right choice for your online business.
Probably the best-known e-commerce platform in the world. Back in 2006, Shopify’s creators were inspired to design the platform because of the lack of simple-to-use e-commerce platforms available. Since then, the company has made it easy for business owners to look great and make money selling their products online.
The fact that you can get your store up-and-running within minutes is a testament to Shopify’s simplicity. They provide their users with a wide array of templates and many customizable options to choose from which is a large reason behind their popularity. In general, Shopify is great because it is accessible and easy; they accept from an extensive range of credit cards; are fully compliant and secure, and offer a superb 24/7 support service.
Established in 2009, BigCommerce puts a lot of stock in customer support, and comes with the promise to “support your business, not just your store.” They have developed a nice catalog of tutorial media for educating their users as well as providing top-notch phone and messaging support around the clock. If you’re still having trouble, they also provide access to a team of e-commerce experts who give out advice on analytics and Adwords while also offering guidance on online selling.
As with their rival Shopify, Bigcommerce has created a great variety of templates and themes. They have also gone a long way to make the platform compatible with other online shopping platforms like Amazon and Instagram.
The 15-day free trial is a little on the short side but marketing, analytics, and business concerns have all been well thought out and the platform provides neat tools to help you customize your commercial approach.
Using Ecwid is kind of like flying economy class with a discount airline; a little bit rough around the edges but it will get you there in the end. On the whole, they deliver all the main features of their e-commerce rivals with the added bonus that they are more affordable.
Unique when it comes to the design and layout options for its stores, Ecwid offer no themes per se, just the option to purchase some pre-made themes from a third-party app store. You have the option of customizing your store by altering image sizes and page layouts etc, so you can pave your own way with this platform.
Functionality wise, Ecwid is easy to get familiar with and the interface still provides a lot of possibilities. Though it does come with some issues, for example, there’s no support on the free plan, and you can only have up to 10 products in your store which is very limiting. A great start out option.
This veteran provider offers a wide range of site management tools and helpful resources. Since setting up in Texas over 20 years ago, Volusion has championed itself as the one-stop-shop of e-commerce platforms.
Users get a decent variety of templates and customizing options to choose from and can also have the site take on the look of a company’s existing website if so desired.
All the usual e-commerce bells and whistles are present and correct, from the project management and SEO tools to the order processing and payment gateway options. In addition, Volusion offers a good support system that includes blog guides and webinars. A good choice for any medium-sized business with a well-established clientele looking to move online.
This innovative and user-friendly platform allows for a stellar amount of customization. Founded way back in 1997, 3dcart is a true stalwart of the e-commerce scene. It began life as a sponge software, designed to soak up any e-commerce features that were proving popular along the way.
As with most platforms, you can design your own store or pick a template. Making changes to your store is simple and the software integrates well with social media and web services.
3dcart has also marked out its own niche territory by giving users the chance to request help with SEO, Social Media, Facebook ads and PPC consulting. They also offer expert assistance for setting up your store to make sure you have it tweaked to perfection. Great for people with little-to-no business or marketing experience.
Big Cartel has positioned itself as the artists choice in e-commerce platforms. They are limited in theme options but offer enough room to create and customize a unique design. This is a platform that provides all the standard e-commerce features, but it is definitely on the minimalist side.
This is BigCartel in a nutshell: simple and effective. The dashboard is simple and to-the-point, giving you the main stats and nothing more. They are a niche option so you should make sure from the start that their smaller scale and simple product is the right choice for your business.
Works best for creative business owners who don’t plan on expanding their product catalog.
CoreCommerce focuses on the small to medium size side of the market. It prides itself on transparency and simplicity, assuring its users that its easy to use platform is as straightforward and trustworthy as it gets.
They do not reserve bonus features or apps for more expensive pricing plans. The differences are determined instead by catalog size, email inventory, and the bandwidth requirements of the business.
The industry-standard 15-day trial offers you just enough time to see if you like what you’re dealing with. A good choice for internet skeptics.
Check out these worthy competitors if you haven’t seen anything you like on our main list.
Selecting the right e-commerce platform will depend on the type of business you are running, and how big you foresee that business becoming. With the well-known names such as Shopify, you can safely assume you are covered to grow and expand to your heart’s desire. However, if you are shopping around for the “off the beaten path” deal, then the smaller companies could be for you.
Diligence is the order of the day when it comes to setting up an online store. Always take into account the fact that your store needs to be easily updated and managed. You also want to offer a good amount of support to your customers because a good business reputation can be as good as a strong product or service, and a bad one can really ruin you.