The 6 Best Ecommerce Platforms
As the world is shifting online, there is a growing need for every business, large or small, to maintain a positive online presence, even more so after the pandemic. The first step towards doing so is to set up an online store. Ecommerce stores help you increase awareness for your brand and lead to a significant increase in sales.
Now, setting up an online store from scratch can be overwhelming, especially for beginners. You would have to take care of website development, hosting, domain name, customer security, payment processing, and the list is endless.
Therefore, it is probably a better option to use an ecommerce builder that offers the right features as per your requirements. However, that comes with its own set of problems. One of the most common problems is ironically the abundance of ecommerce builders in the market. Many people struggle while deciding which platform would be the most suitable one for their business.
So, here is a list of the six best ecommerce platforms recommending the perfect platform for you whether you are a beginner or an experienced developer, whether you are just starting out, you run a small business or have an established large venture.
For a complete ecommerce package and dropshipping: Shopify, “One of the best beginner-friendly ecommerce platforms with a complete package and beautiful themes to build an online store in no time."
For large ventures or those with an existing online presence: BigCommerce, “A leading ecommerce builder with tons of features like abandoned cart, multiple staff accounts, professional themes and professional reporting that are perfect for scaling up without paying any transaction fee.”
To customise your store without any limits: WooCommerce, “A powerful and extensible free ecommerce platform that comes with a beautiful content management system, WordPress, while allowing its users to develop without any limits and completely control their data.”
To easily build a store without any technical skills: Wix, “A popular and reliable website builder that provides complete beginners and small businesses with an affordable and easy-to-use solution with comparatively more freedom to customise their store without any code.”
To create beautifully designed and on-brand stores for small businesses: Squarespace, “A convenient and flexible platform with amazing designs and easy-to-use interface to help small businesses create visually attractive stores at affordable rates.”
Developer friendly platform to scale up large business: Magento, “One of the most widely used ecommerce platforms with excellent flexibility that provides large and fast-growing ventures with some of the best features to scale up through SEO, marketing, CRM and inventory management.”
Recommended Ecommerce Platforms
Founded in 2006, Shopify has recently become one of the most used ecommerce platforms as it provides the complete tool kit to build and design an online store right from scratch. With plans starting from as low as $9, Shopify offers a balance between ease of use and functionality. It provides an extremely easy to use interface, including every feature you might need for your store. Although the platform can handle large stores with a number of products, its extremely easy and simple dashboard makes it perfect for beginners as well.
The main features included in Shopify’s monthly package are:
- Unlimited number of products and file storage
- Discount codes for customers
- Detection of fraudulent activity on your store
- Included hosting, domain name and an SSL certificate
- Multichannel selling options like product tagging on Instagram
Hence, Shopify is the one-stop destination for all your ecommerce needs.
Are you someone who has outgrown their previous ecommerce platform and are looking to scale up your business? Or are you someone with an established large venture and growing inventory and want to expand your business online? If yes, then BigCommerce is the go-to platform for you.
One of the most trusted and powerful platforms, BigCommerce provides 4 plans in all starting from as low as $29.95 per month. However, the platform delivers value to its customers for each plan with features like:
- No transaction fees
- Amazing loading speed as it has implemented Google AMP
- Amazon linking and product importing
- Multi currency and multilingual stores
- Allows comparatively more customisation without any code
- Multiple staff accounts
While the platform is great for large ventures, it is not recommended for small businesses because:
- It can get expensive for small businesses as the platform charges some amount as and when you exceed the specified sales limit
- The platform offers tons of features and options. This can be a bit overwhelming for those with small businesses as they can get confused and caught up while trying to find the options they require.
If you are someone with technical skills and would like to have control over your store without any restrictions, WooCommerce is the platform for you. This free of cost WordPress plugin is perfect for scaling up your business and design your store in whichever way you want. The platform boasts an incredible collection of various features with an easy-to-use interface to allow you to succeed in your ecommerce journey.
WooCommerce is one of the most loved ecommerce plugins as it allows you to:
- Choose from a large collection of paid and unpaid themes,
- Integrate built-in payment gateways with your store
- Boost your SEO through product ratings and reviews
- Include unlimited products be it digital, physical or affiliate
- Access various plugins for any of your needs
However, WooCommerce is not suitable for beginners without any technical skills or the budget to hire a professional developer. The platform has a bit of a learning curve, and one should know about web design, hosting, web security, and domain to get the most out of it.
This simple yet powerful platform provides an affordable and effective solution to anyone (with or without technical skills), looking to start an ecommerce store. The platform is perfect for beginners. Its flawless drag and drop editor makes it extremely convenient for you to design the store and even move around every component according to your requirements.
Wix ecommerce also provides a hassle-free way to automatically create a store using its Artificial Design Intelligence or ADI. All you have to do is answer a few questions about your business, and design preferences and the ADI will create a ready-to-publish store for you along with images and content. The platform provides its users with a lot of other features, including:
- Wix Code, that allows you to customise the templates without any code limitlessly
- Mobile application
- Integrated SEO tools like email marketing and newsletters
- Multichannel selling capability
- Abandoned cart recovery feature
However, one of the limitations of this platform is that it cannot handle a large number of products. Even though the user can add up to 50,000 products in the store, the loading speed increases considerably after adding a few products. Hence, the platform is suitable only for small to mid-sized businesses.
Squarespace is the platform for you if you are someone who wants to build a stunning online store for your small business but don’t have the required designing or technical skills.
Started out as a SaaS content management system, Squarespace has now emerged as an ecommerce builder popular for its stunning designs for an on-brand storefront. Some of the main features offered by the platform include:
- Backend inventory management
- Unlimited number of products and transactions
- Ready-to-use themes without any customisation requirement
- Ecommerce plans starting from $26 per month
Thus, it’s an all-in-one package providing everything you need to run your small business while maintaining a branded online presence.
Magento is the perfect platform for established large ventures looking to scale up their business and build a strong online presence. It is one of the most powerful open source platforms that provides its users with endless opportunities to build an ecommerce store.
You can either:
Download the free, open-source Magento software, but you will need to hire an experienced developer or,
Sign up for the Magento Commerce plan, which will require you to request a quote from the company based on your requirements.
Moreover, the platform provides an extensive collection of features covering almost anything and everything you need to successfully run an ecommerce store, from marketing, SEO, inventory management to shipping and checkout analytics. Some of the most appreciated features include:
- Inventory sync with the store
- Multi-store support
- Segmentation of customers via demographics, location and more
- Wish list sharing
- Targeted recommendations to customers
- Customisable URLs for user-friendly SEO
However, the platform has a steep learning curve and requires at least some development skills. Moreover, Magento can be a bit expensive for newbies or small ventures, whether you are using the open-source platform or Magento Commerce. Hence, it is not recommended for beginners or small businesses.