This comparison guide will examine the major 12 ecommerce platforms and provide guidance to determine which one is the best fit for your company’s needs.
It is an exciting time to start a new e-commerce venture.
You get the opportunity to choose your company name, develop your company logo and brand, and create your website.
And while it’s easy to focus on the needs of the present, it’s equally important to think about where your company is headed and what kind of additional resources you’ll need in the near future.
What Is An Ecommerce Platform?
A software application that enables online commerce to transact with customers is known as an ecommerce platform.
Web hosting, inventory management, payment processing, marketing, order fulfillment, and many other tasks can be handled by an e-commerce platform.
Despite the fact that most people believe that an ecommerce platform is just a tool that enables them to list products and receive payments online, a real ecommerce platform is much more than that.
Your e-commerce platform should act as a complete command center for your company, enabling you to manage everything from inventory to marketing.
You should be able to handle payments with it, and it should give you easy access to all the tools you need to sell products online, including (but not limited to) your own online store.
What Are The Types Of Ecommerce Platforms?
You will need some kind of hosting service to make your online shop available to the general public.
Internet users are able to read all the content of your website because hosting saves your information on a server that other users can access.
Each website is hosted somewhere, which means it rents space from a third-party supplier on a dedicated server.
While some e-commerce platforms require you to use self-hosting or open-source hosting, there are some built-in hosting options available with some platforms.
There are some website builders who provide a hosted platform.
In this scenario, you don’t have to stress about the hassle of self-hosting or hiring a third party to do it for you, not to mention the additional costs involved.
For example, website hosting is included in every Shopify package for online retailers.
Because Shopify doesn’t require you to do anything to update your store, it will ensure that your website is constantly updated.
Building your storefront on a hosted e-commerce platform gives you more freedom to focus on the day-to-day operations of your company, instead of wasting time extinguishing fires caused by outages and problems. needs to be fixed.
Self-hosted e-commerce platforms, also known as non-hosted platforms, require merchants to either use their own servers or pay a hosting company to rent the space from them.
Due to the fact that you are responsible for updates, maintenance, and bug patches, continuous website management is made more difficult as a result.
This demands a significant amount of internal resources which, if not spent here, could be put to better use elsewhere.
Self-hosted platforms are often open-source, and while you can use a third party to store data for your website, you self-host the platform.
Fees are usually required for services provided by third-party sourcing options, and these expenses can quickly pile up.
Most of the time, these hosting providers have a similar pricing system, which means that customers on the more affordable plans don’t get as much support from the company’s customer service department.
This can land you in trouble at crucial times, such as when unexpected press coverage results in increased traffic.
What Are The Best Ecommerce Platforms For 2022?
Here are the top ecommerce platforms:
A strong contender for the title of best software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform for online stores is Shopify.
You can find it through your site, at your retail store, on social media and third-party marketplaces, and everywhere you go thanks to our powerful platform that comes with complementary tools and capabilities for multichannel selling and dropshipping.
Items can be sold. You can grow your business fast without any learning curve by choosing from over a hundred paid and free themes.
In addition, Shopify will manage every part of your business, and you’ll have access to our industry-leading business tools, allowing you to build a comprehensive business command center.
Shop Pay processes payments and has low transaction fees, Shopify POS handles individual transactions, and Shopify Fulfillment can help you get things into the hands of customers.
Plus, it offers unrestricted online storage and bandwidth, which means you won’t have to pay extra fees as your company expands to accommodate additional customers.
Shopify users have access to competitive shipping prices from a variety of shipping companies including USPS, UPS, DHL Express, and more.
These are just a few examples of several robust apps that integrate into the Shopify ecosystem and work together in a seamless manner.
You can also take advantage of our vast collection of third-party apps which, when combined with Shopify, can significantly enhance your overall experience.
Shopify offers free basic features for business owners, such as an email marketing service, the ability to recover abandoned shopping carts, search engine optimization, and more.
The Shopify mobile app provides nearly the same functionality for managing your business on your desktop computer or your mobile device.
These capabilities include fulfilling orders, adding goods, viewing real-time sales and inventory adjustments, and more.
With all these powerful features, you won’t need a lot of specialized knowledge or a big budget to get your company off the ground, and you’ll be able to grow it into a global web brand without switching platforms.
- A simple and streamlined process to get you started quickly.
- Themes that can be customized.
- Sites that are quick and reliable.
- Support for the community Excellent marketing tools integrated right in.
- Sell both in-person and online.
- The Shopify App Store provides access to over 6,000 different applications.
- Excellent SEO right out of the gate.
- Easy to get a specific domain name.
- The Shopify Payments feature is only available in select countries.
Wix is a user-friendly website builder that allows users to drag and drop elements to build their website.
Wix also provides users with customizable templates, web hosting, and domain name registration.
You can build a free basic website with Wix, but if you want to use its e-commerce capabilities, you’ll need to switch to a paid plan first.
Wix provides some useful tools for users to use in the e-commerce aspect of their websites.
The wix ecommerce platform gives merchants the ability to develop abandoned cart campaigns, track orders, accept online payments, sell products across multiple channels, and sell products across multiple channels.
On the other hand, it is missing some elements which are very essential, especially for the firms focusing on the products.
Low stock notifications and other necessary inventory management functions are not provided, which is a limitation of the software.
If you have more than about 10 different products, you should look for a platform that has more advanced options for tracking inventory levels.
In addition, you will need to use a third-party app to integrate social commerce.
- Fully hosted.
- Simple to operate.
- Forever free plan.
- Great support.
- Tracking and analysis require paid plans.
- Selling the site is not possible.
Enterprise-level software businesses will find that the e-commerce platform provided by BigCommerce meets all their needs.
BigCommerce, like Shopify and Wix, offers site hosting in addition to a variety of configuration options.
BigCommerce does not allow you to register your domain name, thus you will need to acquire and register your domain name elsewhere before migrating to BigCommerce.
Features such as multichannel selling, overseas selling, and search engine optimization (SEO) tools on online and third-party marketplaces are quite valuable.
On the other hand, with these tremendous qualities also comes a degree of complexity.
Grace & Less decided to move away from the platform as it did not provide enough flexibility and was not user-friendly.
It switched to Shopify Plus, the enterprise option offered by Shopify, to allow it to get more out of just an ecommerce platform.
Brands quickly realized the benefits of having access to the entire ecosystem of Shopify’s business tools.
- Fully hosted.
- Capabilities across the entire spectrum of company management.
- Multiple payment options that charge no transaction fees.
- No built-in POS system Expensive themes.
- Design options are not user friendly.
4. Adobe Commerce (Formerly Magento).
Adobe Commerce is a non-hosted e-commerce platform designed for developers looking for a robust and versatile system that can be customized to their own needs.
And despite the fact that it brings a number of major challenges in the form of complexity and expense, it offers a lot of benefits for brands who want a platform that can be fully customized.
If you want to build and operate the entire infrastructure on your own, you need to have fairly extensive coding and programming skills.
Furthermore, Magento lacks the necessary capabilities to develop an integrated multichannel approach.
With Magento, there is no easy solution to enable social commerce or marketplace selling; The same can be said for currency conversion between different countries.
So, if you intend to expand your business to other countries, then maybe Magento is not the best e-commerce platform for you to use.
Despite having a poor user experience (UX), e-commerce website Character.com maintained its complex Magento site, which included thousands of products, dozens of integrations, and strong SEO.
Since Magento was both limited and difficult to use, Character.com decided to switch to Shopify.
The number of customers completing the checkout process increased by forty percent, and the company’s success forced it to upgrade to Shopify Plus to take advantage of even more capabilities.
- Free to start.
- No host.
- It’s easy to locate developers for personalized adjustments.
- Demand for some specialized knowledge.
- Not inherently search engine optimized.
- It might seem daunting to use for beginner users.
Because it is effectively an add-on to the widely used blogging platform WordPress, WooCommerce is particularly recognizable to individuals who are already familiar with WordPress.
WooCommerce is WordPress’ response to those who want to sell products online.
Traditionally, WordPress has been used for content-driven websites rather than e-commerce websites.
Since WordPress was designed first as a content management system (CMS) and second as an ecommerce platform, most of its ecommerce capabilities are either straightforward or rely on the installation of third-party apps.
And even when there are a large number of apps and plug-ins that you can incorporate into your shop, the more of them you employ, the greater the risk that you will damage something.
Will deliver Considering the limited number of support options available, it is not always worth taking the risk.
The overall uncertainty and lack of dependability of WooCommerce make it challenging not only to build an online store but also to keep it running smoothly.
In addition, because it is not hosted, you will have the additional responsibility and expense of managing your website hosting.
In addition, it does not comply with PCI standards, which puts your company at risk in the process of payment.
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With the Shopify Buy button, you can start generating revenue from your WordPress site without having to switch to an entirely new platform.
You can include the button, and you can start making money online from your site for as little as $9 a month.
- An alternative that is highly recommended for WordPress users.
- The open-source software that is highly modifiable.
- There are over 6,000 WordPress plug-ins and connectors available.
- Community of active developers and subject matter experts.
- WordPress requires users to be adept at high expenses for web hosting, customization, maintenance, and more.
PrestaShop is a low-cost, open-source e-commerce platform that is ideal for start-up companies that have some prior experience in the field of information technology.
Because there is no built-in customer service, and because integrations are not always successful, PrestaShop customers need to do a large amount of troubleshooting on their own with the help of the community.
Tools and features for businesses may include inventory tracking, online shopping carts, the ability to sell internationally, and analytics reporting.
On top of that, the privacy and security settings of your PrestaShop website are completely under your control.
When it comes to third-party hosting, countless add-ons and modules, and tedious setup, keeping your PrestaShop-powered online store up and running can be a challenge.
Free to use and freely available.
Global sales enabled via plug-ins for various payment methods.
Simple to operate.
- Scalability issues exist.
- Poor quality web page design.
- There is no recognized support group.
Squarespace is the next website builder on our list that offers an ecommerce platform option.
Like Wix, Squarespace has a drag-and-drop interface that requires little knowledge of technical details.
Since both platforms are primarily website builders and not online sales platforms, adding ecommerce capability to either one requires a considerable amount of customization work.
If you want to sell items online using Squarespace, you will need time and effort to set it up.
Furthermore, there are only two payment interfaces available, which are Stripe and PayPal.
You can also consider outsourcing it if you have the financial means to do so.
After you have Squarespace’s e-commerce functionality set up, you have access to some cool tools for tracking your inventory.
Plans at higher levels offer additional perks, such as gift cards and the option to sell merchandise on a subscription basis.
If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of the back end at Squarespace, you can turn your website into a full-fledged online store by simply adding a Shopify Buy button.
You can take advantage of Shopify’s extensive ecommerce technologies to do the rest by adding a short embeddable code to your Squarespace site and paying just $9 per month to Shopify.
You can track sales and growth trends, easily integrate orders and shipping, get global tax and currency support, and add an unlimited number of products when you’re done with them.
Other benefits include the ability to use a secure checkout system that is compatible with over 100 payment gateways.
- Hosted, thus no need to worry about maintenance or server cost.
- Templates that are professionally designed.
- No transaction cost.
- Excellent service for customers.
- Not limited to online retail only. Limited multichannel marketing and sales.
- No phone support.
- Themes that are difficult to override in CSS and HTML.
8. Big Cartel.
Big Cartel is a fully hosted ecommerce platform and website builder that was developed with the clear objective of catering to makers, artists, and craftspeople.
These are the types of businesses you often find on Etsy.
Big Cartel offers templates that can be customized, as well as tools for marketing and registering domain names.
Big Cartel sellers are only allowed to upload up to five photos for each product, despite the fact that the look and feel of their website can be customized.
Since there are also not many payments and integration options, it is far more difficult to grow a multichannel business on this platform.
Since your pricing is determined by the number of products you sell, it is possible that the price will become prohibitively expensive as your company and product collection expand.
- Cost-free to open shop and do business online.
- Simple and quick to set up shop.
- Ideal for creative types.
- Low degree of personalization available.
- Features lack both quality and depth.
Weebly is a simple website builder owned and operated by Square Corporation.
If you want a simple online store that doesn’t require a lot of maintenance, then this solution is a great option for you.
Weebly’s platform is easy to use and doesn’t require any prior technical knowledge, but the online store it offers is pretty basic.
You don’t have to pay anything to shop on Weebly.
Cost and benefit?
Unless you buy a paid ecommerce plan, you won’t be able to use your own domain name or get rid of in-app ads.
- Mobile editing app that is intuitive and user friendly.
- Fast site speed.
- Themes that can be customized.
- Rare tools for blogging.
- Offline editing of photos.
- Better support costs more.
If you own a store and want to sell items online, 3dcart offers a shopping cart that you can use.
The 3dcart ecommerce platform doesn’t have a huge number of functions, but it’s fairly easy to build a storefront that’s optimized for mobile use.
It has hundreds of pre-built features and templates that can be used to build and manage your store.
You can connect your 3dcart store with apps developed by third parties using its application programming interface (API) and apps.
- Comprehensive solution for shopping cart.
- Multichannel Retail Options.
- Strong marketing ability.
- Not ideal for beginners.
- A limited number of free themes.
- There is a severe lack of e-commerce capabilities.
One of the most established e-commerce platforms available now is called Volusion.
Since its inception in 1999, Volusion has been helping businesses establish an online presence with minimal fuss.
You are able to build basics, such as homepage and product pages, as well as integrate with over 30 different payment methods and sell an unlimited number of products.
There is no free plan option.
In addition, you are only allowed to sell tangible things through Volusion.
If you want to sell things like ebooks or music, you’ll need a different kind of e-commerce platform.
- Simple personalization and additional support available round the clock.
- Templates with a pleasing look and responsive design.
- Website builders and administrators that are easy to use.
- Premium templates can often come at a high cost.
- The free option has restrictions.
- Obliged to pay for an SSL certificate.
- May only sell genuine items in your store.
OpenCart is a free and open-source e-commerce platform known for its high level of customizability as well as ease of installation.
The opencart ecommerce platform enables the creation and management of multiple stores and gives a comprehensive dashboard with important indicators such as sales and the number of customers who have previously purchased from them.
You can design your own website using OpenCart, which offers over 13,000 modules and themes, as well as lots of integrations you can use to link your tools.
- Freely available source code with a focus on configuration.
- Hundreds of different types of integration.
- The platform is provided at no cost, and there are some ongoing development costs.
- Some marketing and sales functions are already included in the product.
- Not the fastest platform available.
- Self-hosted, which means you will have complete control over the hosting, creation, and maintenance of your website.
How To Choose The Right E-commerce Platform?
There are several factors to keep in mind when selecting an e-commerce platform that will give you the most success once you learn how to set up an online store and are now ready to do so.
It is possible that the best ecommerce software for you may differ from the best platform for any other merchant; To find out which one is ideal for you, you need to analyze your company’s specific needs and objectives.
Shopify is often the e-commerce platform of choice for merchants because it offers the simplest and most cost-effective shop building options.
However, there are other factors to consider in addition to the cost and frequency of use in daily life.
You need to think about the direction your company is heading and see in advance the demands you will have in the future.
You also need to locate a platform that can anticipate those needs.
Now, the challenge is to identify the most effective platform for business activity, be it online, in physical stores, or everywhere in between.
This indicates that you need the best suite of business management tools in your industry along with the best online store in your industry.
Look for a platform that makes regular investments in its technology and manages to stay one step ahead of the competition when it comes to commercial transactions.
Your website builder has the potential to become much more than just a platform on which you do business; Rather, it has the potential to become a medium of expansion.
Consider the following alternative courses of action when analyzing your options:
It’s important for me to be able to get money to sell my items, whether they’re online, offline, or to any of my customers, wherever they are.
It is imperative that I deliver my goods to my customers in the most efficient way possible for my company.
For my company to expand, I need to have an active and ongoing relationship with my customers.
I run my company on a day-to-day basis, which includes everything from managing my money to making sure my strategies are effective, learning new methods, and getting technical support whenever I need it.
Know Your Expenses.
While one’s financial condition should not be the only consideration, it is undeniably an important one.
It is possible to start with a hundred dollars, but it is more likely that you will invest more than this in your new business before you start seeing a return on your investment, especially in the beginning.
Hopefully, this information will help you choose the best e-commerce platform for your business.
Now it’s time to choose the perfect ecommerce platform for your business.
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