The internet has revolutionized how we do business, and now more than ever, entrepreneurs and business owners can connect with customers from all corners of the globe. But with so many eCommerce platforms, how do you choose the right one for your online store?
Here’s a list of the top ten eCommerce platforms currently dominating the market. From tried-and-true solutions to custom-built options, these platforms are designed to cater to every business need.
You can quickly build a successful and profitable online business with the right technology.
- Saas eCommerce platforms are an effective solution for quickly and affordably launching and managing online stores
- When choosing a platform, it is essential to carefully consider features such as custom themes and templates, drag-and-drop design tools, scalability, customer support, and third-party integrations
- Any eCommerce platform that you select should have flexible shipment management and monitoring capabilities
- Look for a platform that offers secure payment processing, customer relationship management, and analytics tools
- Shopify is the leading all-in-one platform that provides comprehensive features, making it an excellent choice for novice and expert merchants.
eCommerce Platforms Types
eCommerce platforms are software applications that enable businesses to conduct transactions and sell products and services online. Different types of eCommerce platforms are available, each with unique features, benefits, and limitations. Here are some of the most common types of eCommerce platforms:
Hosted eCommerce Platforms
These platforms are cloud-based solutions where the service provider hosts your online store, and you pay a monthly or yearly subscription fee. Hosted platforms often offer a range of features, including website design templates, payment gateway integration, shipping, and inventory management. Examples of hosted eCommerce platforms include Shopify, Hostinger, and Bluehost.
Self-Hosted eCommerce Platforms
In this platform, businesses host their eCommerce store on their web server. Self-hosted platforms offer more control and customization options than hosted platforms but require higher technical expertise. Examples of self-hosted eCommerce platforms include Magento, WooCommerce, and OpenCart.
SaaS eCommerce Platforms
SaaS (Software as a Service) eCommerce platforms are increasing in popularity due to their cost effectiveness and the ability to scale with a business’s needs. Using a SaaS platform, merchants can launch their online store relatively quickly and with minimal upfront costs.
The provider often hosts this eCommerce platform, meaning the merchant does not need to purchase or maintain server hardware. Examples of popular SaaS eCommerce platforms include Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Magento, and Volusion. It’s essential to research each forum and choose the one that meets your business needs.
Enterprise eCommerce Platforms
Enterprise platforms are the way to go if you run a more significant business with complex eCommerce requirements. These platforms offer advanced features, scalability, and security that are not typically available on other eCommerce platforms.
Some popular enterprise eCommerce platforms include Shopify Plus, Oracle Commerce, and Netsuite. These platforms are designed to handle high volumes of traffic and transactions, support advanced integrations and customization, and provide top-tier security and compliance features.
Mobile eCommerce Platforms
Mobile eCommerce has become increasingly popular as smartphones, and other mobile devices have become ubiquitous. It allows users to easily shop and make payments directly from their mobile phones or tablets, providing a seamless and improved user experience.
This technology has opened up new business opportunities, as customers can now purchase products from anywhere, anytime. Mobile banking and payment apps also provide quick and secure payment options, while platforms like Apple Pay offer a convenient and secure payment solution.
Marketplace eCommerce Platforms
These platforms offer a convenient way for businesses to showcase their products on established eCommerce marketplaces like Amazon and eBay. By leveraging the marketplace’s extensive customer base, companies can expand their reach and potentially increase sales. However, it’s important to note that competition from other sellers who offer similar products is a common challenge.
Social Media eCommerce Platforms
These platforms enable businesses to market and sell their products or services directly on social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Social media eCommerce platforms provide an efficient and convenient way for businesses to engage with customers who frequently spend time on these platforms.
Niche eCommerce Platforms
These online marketplaces cater to specific industries, interests, or product categories. These platforms are designed to serve a particular audience or a specific type of product. They often offer unique features and specialized services unavailable on general eCommerce platforms like Amazon or eBay.
Niche eCommerce platforms can be valuable for businesses specializing in niche products. They provide a focused audience and allow companies to market their products to highly targeted customers. Some examples of niche eCommerce platforms include Etsy, which focuses on handmade and vintage items, and Houzz, explicitly designed for home décor and renovation products.
Choosing a Platform for eCommerce
When selecting an eCommerce platform for business, it is essential to consider the features and functionality necessary for success. To help you make the right choice, here are some of the key features and functionality to look for:
It is crucial to have a dependable payment processing system to provide customers with a safe and secure shopping experience. When searching for a platform, prioritize those that support multiple payment gateways, allow for recurring payments, and offer robust fraud protection.
Utilizing a platform that offers these key features can provide customers with various payment options and streamline the checkout process. Strong fraud protection measures can also help safeguard your business from potential financial losses due to fraudulent activities.
To effectively manage the products you are selling, it is essential to have a reliable product management system in place. When searching for a platform, prioritize those that offer user-friendly inventory control, the ability to upload products in bulk, and customer review functionality.
Additionally, it should include essential features like product categorization, high-quality product images, and streamlined inventory management.
Consider the platform’s ability to handle increasing products, traffic, and sales as your business grows. Ensure that your chosen platform can take your current and future business needs.
A robust search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is crucial to increasing online visibility. To enhance your chances of being discovered, consider utilizing a platform incorporating SEO-friendly features such as optimized product descriptions and meta tags, strategic keyword placement, and seamless social media integration.
An analytics system is an essential element of any successful eCommerce store. To ensure optimal performance, selecting a platform that offers comprehensive reports on web traffic, customer behavior, and sales is vital.
Engaging customers and increasing sales require a well-crafted marketing strategy. To achieve this, looking for a platform that provides various features such as targeted advertising, email campaigns, loyalty programs, discounts, and coupons is essential. These tools help you effectively connect with your target audience and encourage them to purchase.
Implementing robust security measures to safeguard your online store against potential cyber threats is crucial. When selecting a platform, prioritize those that provide secure servers, advanced encryption technologies, and an authentication system.
With this, you can enhance the protection of your sensitive data and customer information, increasing customer trust and loyalty and preventing financial losses due to cyber attacks or data breaches.
Creating a visually appealing and user-friendly website is crucial for attracting and retaining customers. When selecting a platform, prioritize those offering customizable themes and templates and intuitive drag-and-drop design tools.
Utilizing such a platform allows you to design a unique and visually stunning website that perfectly showcases your brand and products. This can help increase customer engagement and loyalty, leading to improved sales and profitability for your business.
With the increasing use of mobile devices, choosing an eCommerce platform that offers a mobile-responsive design is essential to ensure that your store is accessible and easy to use on mobile devices.
Delivering top-notch customer support is a crucial component of any successful eCommerce platform. Your platform should offer a range of customer-centric features, including live chat, phone support, and FAQs.
Moreover, it’s essential to integrate with third-party customer service software to provide your customers with a seamless and practical experience. A robust eCommerce platform can streamline customer support processes, foster trust with your audience, and ultimately increase customer satisfaction.
In eCommerce, having reliable shipping options is critical to your success. An effective platform should offer you the flexibility to easily manage and monitor shipments, including details like shipping rates and delivery estimates.
It’s also essential for the platform to seamlessly integrate with third-party shipping carriers, empowering customers to choose the best shipping option that fits their unique needs.
Best eCommerce Platforms
eCommerce is rapidly growing in popularity as businesses embrace the convenience and flexibility of online shopping. The key to a successful eCommerce venture is selecting the right platform. Various eCommerce platforms are available, each with unique features and benefits.
Shopify is the ultimate all-in-one solution for businesses of all sizes looking to establish an online presence. It provides many features and modules that enable merchants to create an online store and sell products through various channels, including web, mobile, brick-and-mortar locations, pop-up shops, social media, and online marketplaces.
Furthermore, Shopify is entirely cloud-based and hosted, enabling you to access it from any compatible device with an internet connection. We handle software and server upgrades and maintenance, allowing you to run and access your business anywhere.
Wix is a powerful eCommerce platform enabling businesses to manage, scale, and grow their operations efficiently. With Wix, companies can quickly set up shop in minutes using the intuitive interface, while their enterprise-grade security ensures a safe and secure shopping experience for customers.
Thanks to its industry-leading speed and scalability, companies can quickly scale up operations on the platform without ever having to worry about outgrowing their hosting plan. Additionally, Wix’s multichannel integrations make it easy for companies to manage and expand their business across multiple channels while maintaining a unified system.
With its comprehensive management tools, businesses can effortlessly track sales, monitor inventory, and analyze customer data – all in one place. Wix also offers a high-resilience infrastructure to ensure maximum uptime and availability of the platform, even during periods of peak demand.
Squarespace is an efficient eCommerce solution that empowers you to establish and oversee your online store hassle-free. Using Squarespace Commerce, you can effortlessly configure a payment processor to facilitate credit card transactions, PayPal payments, refunds, and donations.
Moreover, Squarespace offers an array of exclusive templates designed exclusively for online commerce, allowing you to create visually appealing product displays and promote sales.
It’s worth noting that Squarespace levies a transaction fee on each sale you make, and the fee varies depending on the subscription plan you opt for.
Square Online is a comprehensive eCommerce platform that enables sellers of all sizes to grow their businesses. From enterprise-scale operations and large companies to one-person operations just starting, Square provides the tools needed to power an online store.
The platform offers customizable website themes, payment processing through integrated hardware, secure shopping carts, inventory management, automated tax and shipping calculations, customer review integrations, and more.
Sellers can also easily access their store performance data via the dashboard to monitor sales trends, customer analytics, and more.
Ecwid is a versatile eCommerce platform that empowers businesses of all sizes to establish an online presence quickly and easily. With Ecwid, you can sell products and services across multiple channels, including web, mobile, social media, and online marketplaces.
It provides a wide range of features and modules that enable merchants to customize their online store according to their needs, including customizable design templates, product catalogs, and payment gateways.
One of the main benefits of Ecwid is its flexibility. It integrates seamlessly with your existing website, whether a WordPress site, a Wix website or any other platform. It allows you to create a storefront that blends in with your website’s design, providing a consistent user experience for your customers.
WooCommerce is a popular eCommerce platform that allows merchants to create and manage online stores directly within a WordPress website. It offers many features and functionalities to help businesses sell physical and digital products, manage inventory, process payments, and track orders.
WooCommerce also provides access to thousands of third-party extensions and plugins that enable merchants to customize their online stores’ functionality according to their needs.
BigCommerce is a robust eCommerce platform designed for businesses of all sizes. It offers a comprehensive suite of features, including advanced inventory management, shipping and fulfillment, payment gateways, and marketing tools to help merchants establish and grow their online businesses.
BigCommerce also provides access to a vast selection of third-party integrations and plugins, allowing businesses to customize their online stores’ functionality to suit their unique needs.
Weebly is a leading eCommerce platform that offers powerful tools and resources to businesses of all sizes. With Weebly, you can quickly launch an online store and start selling products in no time. The platform offers a fully integrated shopping cart with secure checkout so customers can purchase with confidence.
Additionally, Weebly provides plenty of room to store your inventory and manage supply levels, allowing customers to view the remaining items. This helps create urgency and encourages customers to buy quickly. Weebly also includes a powerful filtered product search that makes it easy for users to find exactly what they want.
Shift4Shop is a feature-rich eCommerce platform designed to serve businesses of all sizes in various industries. With Shift4Shop, users can access an intuitive website builder, order and product management tools, customer marketing features, and more – making it easy to start selling products or services online immediately.
Big Cartel is an eCommerce platform designed for artists, designers, and independent creators who want to sell their products online. It was founded in 2005 and has become famous for small businesses looking for a simple and affordable way to sell their products online.
One of the key features of Big Cartel is its simplicity.
The platform is easy to use and requires no coding or technical skills to set up and manage a store. This makes it ideal for artists and creatives who may need to gain experience with web design or development.
Big Cartel also offers a range of customization options, allowing store owners to create a unique look and feel for their store. This includes customizing the store’s color scheme, font, and layout and adding custom pages and menus.
Benefits of eCommerce Platforms
eCommerce platforms offer a variety of benefits to businesses, whether they are just starting or well-established. Here are some key advantages:
Increased Accessibility to a Global Market
Online stores powered by eCommerce platforms offer small businesses a unique opportunity to access customers worldwide. With the right venue, you can make your goods and services visible to millions of potential customers with a button.
This opens up avenues for increased income and visibility of your business that would not be available through traditional brick-and-mortar stores. For example, if you own a clothing business in the US, an eCommerce platform can help you reach customers in Europe and Asia who would otherwise not have access to your products.
Greater Flexibility and Scalability
One of the chief benefits of using an eCommerce platform to power your online store is its increased flexibility and scalability. With a traditional brick-and-mortar business, you’re limited by geographic location, staffing, and physical space for inventory storage.
But with an online store powered by an eCommerce platform, you can quickly expand your reach to customers worldwide and scale your operations accordingly.
With an eCommerce platform, you don’t have to worry about physical storage space; you can access a virtually limitless digital inventory that automatically updates as customers make purchases.
Improved Customer Reach and Engagement
With a well-designed store, you can attract potential customers worldwide who may have yet to find your business. Additionally, an online store makes it easier to communicate with customers.
You can stay in touch with your customer base through email newsletters and social media and keep them informed about new product releases, upcoming sales, and other important news.
Streamlined Inventory Management and Order Fulfillment
A good eCommerce Platform can help business owners streamline inventory management and order fulfillment processes. This is particularly beneficial for businesses that sell large volumes of products and require accurate tracking of stock levels, as well as efficient shipping and delivery processes.
A reliable eCommerce platform will allow easy integration with existing inventory management tools, allowing users to track stock levels and orders in real-time. This helps keep inventory counts accurate, minimizes the risk of over- or under-stocking, and enables businesses to fulfill orders quickly and accurately.
Enhanced Data Analytics and Tracking Capabilities
eCommerce platforms provide businesses with a powerful toolset for tracking and analyzing key metrics. Through these tools, companies can gain valuable insights into their product offerings, customer base, and overall store performance.
Armed with this knowledge, businesses can make data-driven decisions that boost profitability and enhance the shopping experience for their customers.
Data analytics tools enable businesses to identify trends and patterns in customer behavior, such as popular products and shopping habits. This information can inform decisions around product offerings and marketing strategies, helping businesses optimize their operations to meet customer demand.
Improved Payment Processing and Security Measures
When running an online store, one of the essential considerations is payment processing and security. Fortunately, many eCommerce platforms have ensured customers’ confidential information stays safe when making purchases.
Advanced encryption techniques, secure payment gateways, and other measures help protect customers from potential security risks.
Most eCommerce platforms offer various payment options, including credit and debit cards, digital wallets, and cryptocurrency. This ensures that customers can pay for their purchases in the way that is most convenient to them.
Ability to Personalize and Customize Customer Experiences
The ability to personalize and customize customer experiences is one of the most significant benefits of using an eCommerce platform. Personalization allows merchants to tailor their content, products, and services to meet customer needs more effectively.
You can do this through personalized product recommendations, targeted marketing campaigns, or customized checkout processes. By leveraging an eCommerce platform, merchants can easily create a unique and engaging online shopping experience that keeps customers returning.
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when choosing an eCommerce platform for your online store. It’s essential to consider your unique needs and goals, such as the size of your business and your budget, when selecting a platform.
Luckily, many great options are available, and the top ten platforms listed here are a great place to start your research. But don’t just take our word for it – read customer reviews and explore each platform’s features.
If you still need to decide which eCommerce platform is the right fit for your business, HostAdvice can help. Our comprehensive reviews and comparisons of web hosting and eCommerce platforms can provide valuable insights to help you make an informed decision.
Next Steps: What Now?
- Learn How to Start an eCommerce Business
- Explore the Best eCommerce Website Builders
- Find The Best Ecommerce Hosting Providers