We compared the Top E-Commerce Platforms.
There are many e-commerce platforms out there, from great marketing features, fantastic SEO, fantastic functionality, and more. These are some of the best e-commerce platforms around.
One of the most well-known and celebrated E-Commerce platforms around, Shopify is easy to use, boasts a ton of features, with powerful analytics. Founded by Tobias Lutke, Daniel Weinand, and Scott Lake in 2006, this e-commerce giant saw the need for a better platform for online businesses and built one.
According to Shopify, it is incredibly easy to get an online store set up and to the marketplace within minutes, with the capability to choose between a wide range of templates and complete customization. There are fantastic security benefits and customer service with Shopify. It features acceptance of most major credit cards, Level 1 PCI Compliance, encryption for added security, and a great customer support team available 24/7.
Because this particular platform comes with full CMS, you can manage the functionality and the layout of your online store when the need arises, regardless of if you need to manage your online store from the convenience of your mobile device or your desktop computer. For support on your end to your customers, Shopify gives you a live chat option and video support.
Additionally, this platform gives you unlimited storage, analytics, SEO optimization, and marketing functionality. Shopify comes with a free 14-day trial to test it out, as well as email marketing tools and coupon discount generators for your website or brand.
· Quick load times for your website
· Easy to set up
· Multiple support options available
· Multiple channels and social network selling
· Customizable themes with various designs
· Not the best as relates to SEO
· The checkout process is streamlined and not customizable
· Can be costly
With access to web design expertise, fantastic customer support, flexible product management, and a fully-fledged CMS, Bigcommerce will be a great addition to your online business. While there is a lot of excellent customer support available, they also offer comprehensive guides and articles to get started and be successful. Like Shopify,l Bigcommerce provides a ton of great themes, templates, and customization options available to get started and have a great looking website.
Including a fully-featured CMS for running an entire website, you will be able to benefit from product management, SEO, and plenty of marketing tools and analytics. Payments and shipping details can be customizes depending on the needs of the business, with new support for shipping services such as Amazon. They offer automated order processing, flexible tax rules, and support for multiple currencies depending on the physical location of your online business. Like Shopify, this platform also comes with a free 14-day trial.
· Flexible and scalable
· Great for multiple-channel selling
· Has great SEO performance benefits
· Features great customizable themes
· Comprehensive "abandoned cart" feature
· Inconsistent speeds for your website
· For larger businesses, this can get a little pricey
· Cart abandonment will be on higher tier pricing plans
· Does not offer 1-click selling
One of the oldest providers, Volusion, features a custom design service, an array of management tools with multiple resources for help, and a 14-day trial. This particular platform has been in service for almost 20 years, starting in Texas back in 1999. There is no credit card needed to start the free trial, and this is a great all-in-one solution for any type of E-Commerce needs.
Volusion, like many other platforms, offers a multitude of templates to choose from when establishing your website, as well as customizable options available. Additionally, if you aren't able to find the perfect model for your space, Volusion offers a custom design service that is sure to fit into your brand.
As you would expect, this platform a lot of product management tools, such as SEO optimization, affiliate marketing, social media, and email marketing, and various payment options available for your website or business. Volusion also offers plenty of third-party apps from its partners and a comprehensive knowledge base for the E-Commerce community.
· Fantastic orientation period and customer support department
· Flexibility with Sitemaps
· Built-in options for subscriptions
· SMB friendly
· A well-organized user interface dashboard
· Concise inventory and marketing system
· There are no cross-selling features
· Some sites lack proper URL structure
· Among the slower end of the SaaS platform spectrum
· Sites can tend to look dated with this platform
The User-Friendly 3D Cart is great for customization options available, with a lot of innovative features and additional services. This particular platform was founded in 1997 and is the oldest available listed here. It was set up as a one-stop-shop for any e-commerce needs when created, with six core values in mind: innovation, service, solutions, trust, happiness, and prosperity.
Many of this platform's innovative features work to offer extras for your consumers, such as gift-wrapping, loyalty programs (optional), and the ability to have recurring orders in your system, similar to a monthly auto order. Because many of these features tend to be more specific, this gives you the ability to tailor the needs of your business, specifically in a way to suit your business model.
Online stores can either be designed using the multitude of available templates, with customization options available, with a quick-edit option available to make changes on the fly. Product images and services will be at the forefront of your business page, with integration to zoom in and feature specific products to correlate with sales and specials. Like other platforms, users will have the ability to blog directly from 3dcart, with tools for marketing, email subscriptions, and coupon codes.
This platform is regularly updated with new features added frequently, such as the home page editor, HTML builder, and scheduled promotions. Another great feature is the "make an offer" option, which allows you and your consumers to sort of haggling on a specific price for a service or product, with a quota system that provides your consumers with a quoted price.
There are also professional services provided by 3dcart, such as help with SEO, PPC, social media, and conversion consulting. Additional help can also be provided to you to make sure that your store is looking its best from day one, with customer support provided 24/7.
· Hosts a better blog than a lot of SaaS e-commerce platforms
· Support for any type of integration that would be needed
· Features a ton of excellent business management tools
· Older style templates
· Some negative feedback for the customer support departments
· Probability of issues upgrading your service level
· Not the best for beginners
This platform was founded in 2006 and currently has over 40 million satisfied customers; it is an excellent option for a simple store built into your website or blog. It should be noted that it does have a higher price point per month that other providers, and for marketing or SEO, it may not be suited for your needs. While it may not have some of the finer tuned features that others do, it is still an excellent choice for startup companies.
There are three pricing plans available (all of which are good for e-commerce), although the business and performance plans will work better for online businesses. The lowest tier isn't necessarily a bad option, although it will lack some e-commerce features that you may need to utilize. Additionally, you won't have the opportunity to sell digital products, and for physical goods, you are restricted to 25 products, all with a 3% transaction fee.
To customize your template, you can take advantage of the drag and drop editing tool for HTML and CSS, with a lot of free and premium themes to choose from. (Not all items will be suited for mobile devices, so make sure to choose accordingly). It is an easy to use platform that offers essential tools to build a simple yet functional online store.
· Great value for the cost
· Has decent low-cost and free designs to choose from
· Powerful email marketing tools
· Easy to use dashboard and user interface
· Mobile app
· Each sale will charge a transaction fee
· Not good for SEO
· Amazon does not recognize Weebly
· Basic inventory management systems
Another drag-and-drop easy-to-use platform, Squarespace, was founded in 2003, with updated templates and design options. If you do not need a ton of additional features and are looking for something more basic, this is a great option, especially for print on demand and e-commerce businesses. The pricing plans are reasonable and start selling. You can begin for as little as $18/month with 3% transaction fees.
To avoid these fees, you can opt-in for a more expensive monthly plan, with the highest tier plan being able to generate discounts, has abandoned cart recovery, and the ability to sell subscriptions and gift cards. However, the major downside with Squarespace is the website design; it is not the easiest to use, and in some cases, Weebly is a better option for basic web design.
Once you do get past the web design flaws, you will be able to enjoy the easy access to marketing, SEO, inventory, and analytics. Integrated into Squarespace is ShipStation, which allows you to install Print and ShipBob from the application section, with real-time shipping calculation from UPS, FedEx, and USPS. However, third-party payment processing is still pretty light, with support only from Paypal and Stripe.
· Easy to set up
· An excellent option for essential stores
· Fantastic graphical designs
· Solid SEO tools
· Integrated with both ShipStation and ShipBob
· No dropshipping
· Marketing automation is not integrated
· Amazon is not integrated
· For the price, not the fastest
Larger brands (such as Nike and Cisco) trust Magneto, and it should be noted that coding is a big part of the package. It means that if you have a developer or plan on getting one in the future, you can do amazing things with this platform. You will be able to customize to your heart's content until you achieve the look and feel that you want for your business and brand.
One of the best aspects of the Magneto platform is the community; it has a ton of developers willing to work with you for the good of your store, or even answer a few questions for free. Additionally, there is a marketplace where you can get extensions or themes that add to your platform's overall functionality.
While the most used plan for Magneto is the free version, there are paid programs that are great options for e-commerce businesses and enterprises. While the paid options are costly, it is faster because the information is stored on the cloud, and comes with a lot of additional features for upselling and email campaigns. Regardless of what you choose, you will have many features that you can use, such as SEO, discounts, recurring payments, and subscriptions.
· Plenty of features are included
· Has a strong SEO functionality
· 1-click selling and buying
· A great community with lots of users
· Highly customizable
· Flexible as relates to web hosting
· Some of the themes are expensive
· Slow-down times
· Development skills required
· No support team to speak of
· A lot of space and memory is required to run smoothly
Wix is an ok option for a primary and straightforward store; you will have excellent design options for this platform, although, considering the pricing, it would be wise to go with a different platform. Although many reviews give this platform top ratings, it lacks some basic features that would be ideal for an e-commerce business. (Such as abandoned cart recovery).
They have a track record of having issues with SEO, such as short extra string to the URLs of blog posts. While this isn't a bad option if you are starting, as you grow your business, you will find that switching to a better platform is the best option. Putting aside for the time being the limited amount of features available, the 20 GB max storage is just not a viable option to have.
An excellent option to run both e-commerce and affiliate marketing in one platform, Woo Commerce, may be better options for features, but not by much. It works in conjuncture with WordPress to transform any website into a fully functioning e-commerce store. There are plenty of extensions available that integrate payment options, social media, email marketing, and shipping. If you are already familiar with WordPress, then this is an excellent option for you that will be a breeze to set up and start using.
However, if you are not familiar with WordPress, you may find that you will have trouble wrapping your head around some of the more technical aspects of Woo Commerce. This can include features such as buying hosting, installing WordPress, and setting up your page with themes and plugins. Although this can all be solved with tutorials online, the main issues lie in scalability, specifically slow-down as you add more products and consumers.
The cost is high (its free), although some extensions and themes can have a hefty price point. You may not need to spend any type of money on these as some decent themes will be free.
· WordPress is an excellent platform for SEO
· 1-click selling applications available
· WordPress experts are available for support
· Multiple themes that are free and highly customizable
· Lots of marketing options available
· Good hosting for this platform can be expensive
· Troubleshooting is always going to be a pain
· There is little to no support available
· Extensions for basic features will be needed
For the best overall value, PrestaShop is a great option; it was founded in 2007 and is an open-source cloud-hosted e-commerce platform. There are options available, and you can either download the software for free or opt-in for a pay-per-month option. While the term "free" always seems to be the better option, this isn't exactly the case here, as there are additional costs and headaches associated with it.
For the free version, you will still need to pay for web hosting, SSL certificate, and other required features to finish your online store. Additionally, if you are not technically inclined with the knowledge that a developer has, you will need to hire one to help run your business. While there are options available with the free version, it is fundamental, and it would be advised to go with the monthly paid plans.
The paid version, PrestaShop Ready, is similar to other platforms in that you will need to have access to a trial period (16 days), with the option to pay straight off the bat. Ten included free themes, and although you may need some basic knowledge of HTML and CSS, this is not too hard to grasp. There is an onboarding video, and the dashboard is a very streamlined user interface.
· A lot of integration with applications available
· Strong focus on SEO
· Options for self-hosted or third-party hosted
· A great community that is eager to help
· Slower than other providers
· The add-ons can add to the price a lot
· A developer may need to adjust some features