9 Finest “Simple” E-Commerce Platforms (2018)

Selecting the very best e-commerce platform is just not a straightforward job.

The market is extensive and there are various elements to contemplate. Your alternative has numerous affect in your on-line enterprise, so it’s necessary to offer it sufficient thought earlier than signing up.

That will help you with that, we’ve in contrast the 9 hottest e-commerce web site builders. Ultimately, we hope you might be able to decide on which platform is the proper one for you.

What’s an E-commerce Platform and Why Ought to You Use One?

The primary query is what’s an “e-commerce platform”?

An e-commerce platform is a bit of software program that permits you to construct a web-based retailer and run a enterprise on-line. It provides you the instruments to create and handle your website together with merchandise and day-to-day operations.

It’s not ae-commerce capabilities constructed into one other platform. For instance, whenever you use WooCommerce so as to add a web-based store to your WordPress website, you aren’t utilizing an e-commerce platform.

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This publish will solely have a look at e-commerce options which are standalone platforms. As you will notice, a number of the finest e-commerce platform choices will let you embody their merchandise elsewhere as effectively.

There are a lot of completely different causes to make use of e-commerce platforms:

  • VERY EASY – Up to now, for those who wished a web-based retailer, you needed to construct the performance your self. Later there have been procuring carts however you continue to needed to have developer expertise to combine them into your website. Now we’ve got plugins. With e-commerce platforms, you get the whole lot in a single hand and may get began immediately.
  • CHEAP – E-commerce platforms should not tremendous costly, a few of them even value nothing. When you positively have bills when working a web-based store, it’s rather a lot lower than creating your individual answer from scratch. Plus, the extra you pay, the extra of what you are promoting are you able to normally hand over to technical options.
  • ONE SOLUTION FITS ALL – Particularly when going with a hosted answer, you’ll be able to let go of extra components of working your website. No must cope with internet hosting, safety, updates and the likes. As an alternative, you’ll be able to merely consider rising what you are promoting.
  • CUSTOMER SERVICE – Moreover, with a business answer you profit from the assist construction. Open supply options resembling WordPress are sometimes neighborhood pushed and you might be due to this fact depending on that neighborhood to offer assist. Whereas that may additionally work very effectively – if you’re in determined want of assist at Three am on a Sunday, it’s good to have a assure will probably be there.

9 Finest E-commerce Platform Choices

Alright, now that you’ve a greater thought of what to search for in an e-commerce platform, it’s time to speak about what’s on the market. Within the following, we’ll go over the benefits and drawbacks of a number of the hottest e-commerce platforms accessible, their pricing construction and who they’re most fitted for.

Full disclosure: I earn a fee at any time when you find yourself buying an e-commerce platform by means of my referral hyperlinks on this overview. This helps me to run WebsiteSetup as a enterprise. Thanks in your assist.

1. Shopify

Shopify has turn out to be one of the crucial well-known names within the e-commerce sphere. It’s a completely featured hosted answer with a whole lot of 1000’s of customers. We even have a full article about it, if the data beneath is just not sufficient for you.

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The commerce platform is tremendous straightforward to make use of and fast to arrange. Simply enroll along with your e-mail tackle and you can begin constructing your store and promoting immediately. The intuitive interface additionally makes it straightforward to create merchandise and contains web optimization options resembling title tag and meta description.

add products in shopify

Shopify affords dozens of free mobile-optimized, elegant themes. Extra can be found on buy. No coding is required to customise them, simply use your mouse to make adjustments.

shopify theme shop

Moreover, the platform affords top-notch assist by way of telephone, e-mail, dwell chat and Twitter which can be found 24/7. That’s moreover the detailed documentation and on-line boards the place you may get assist from different customers.

Shopify additionally helps numerous third-party cost gateways and has a big app market with over a thousand affords so as to add performance to your website with a couple of clicks.

Lastly, they provide further gross sales channels by offering you with the software program and {hardware} to promote inside bodily retailer places, social promoting and integrating with marketplaces like Amazon.

Cons

One of many largest drawbacks of Shopify is that prices can simply snowball. Moreover the bottom price, you pay for a lot of plugins, themes and options. Some are one-off funds, some month-to-month, some yearly. Plus, there are transaction charges if you’re not utilizing the built-in cost system. This may all get a bit difficult and onerous to plan with.

One other drawback when it comes to customizing your website is that Shopify makes use of its personal markup language referred to as “Liquid”. It’s based mostly on Ruby on Rails and makes it onerous to make adjustments utilizing coding your self.

Pricing

Shopify affords completely different pricing tiers with further options relying on which plan you might be on.

shopify best ecommerce platform pricing

There’s additionally Shopify Lite. It allows you to promote on social networks and embed merchandise by yourself web site website to make use of the procuring cart capabilities. This plan prices $9/month, which is sort of truthful.

Moreover that, there’s Shopify Plus for enterprise purchasers. You would need to inquire about costs however rumors say it begins at $1,200/month.

As talked about, along with the bottom value, you pay for apps and extra options. These actually span a variety of costs so be sure you analysis beforehand!

Additionally, don’t overlook bank card and transaction charges when utilizing third-party cost suppliers. These differ based on your plan.

Shopify affords a 14-day trial interval to take a peek beneath the hood earlier than committing.

Who’s It For?

Shopify e-commerce platform is very suited to novices due to the simple studying curve and glorious assist. Other than that, small and medium companies ought to discover all of the instruments they should begin promoting on-line.

Go to Shopify

2. Wix Shops

Wix logo

Wix is initially a web site builder that permits you to create web sites by way of drag and drop (learn our detailed overview). On prime of that, it additionally has options that will let you construct a web-based retailer.

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Like Shopify, the e-commerce platform is easy to make use of and fast to arrange. There is no such thing as a coding required, you possibly can actually drag content material wherever in your website with the user-friendly editor.

wix user interface best ecommerce platform

What’s cool is that they’ve over 500 templates particularly made for on-line shops and even present inventory photos you should utilize immediately.

Naturally, Wix affords a completely featured procuring cart with all of the performance you want. There are a whole lot of apps within the official app market to additional spruce up your web site.

Additionally, the service is totally hosted so there’s no want to fret about this half.

Cons

What you want to bear in mind, is that Wix is just not a pure e-commerce platform. It’s at the beginning an internet site builder that can also be able to promoting issues. Due to this fact, the e-commerce capabilities generally is a bit primary.

Maintain additionally in thoughts that you could’t change your website template after you have revealed your website, which is a giant disadvantage.

Pricing

Wix is subscription-based and affords completely different packages. Their paid plans are $5-$25/month. It is advisable choose not less than the E-commerce plan to get on-line retailer capabilities. That one begins from $17/month.

wix pricing

There’s just one increased plan, which provides higher assist and knowledgeable website overview. In addition they have a free plan to check drive the platform however it has actually restricted capabilities and no e-commerce choices.

Who’s It For?

Due to its barely restricted capabilities, Wix is most fitted for small companies with restricted stock and easier e-commerce necessities.

Go to Wix

3. BigCommerce

bigcommerce logo

BigCommerce offers a hosted e-commerce answer each as a full SaaS platform in addition to a procuring cart for different forms of web sites. It’s in all probability most just like Shopify. The 2 of them are sometimes talked about in the identical breath.

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The e-commerce platform comes with nice retailer administration capabilities. It affords a lot of instruments and options, e.g promotions, limitless product variants, choices to deal with returns, coupons and reductions. One other spotlight is the versatile transport choices that enable dwell quotes and fee calculation.

Moreover, BigCommerce integrates with Amazon, eBay and social networks. This allows you to promote throughout many alternative gross sales channels. It additionally has numerous advertising instruments with very granular controls, resembling full management over the URL format.

A number of APIs assist to make it customizable and versatile. BigCommeerce additionally has a big app retailer with extensions for all types of wants resembling e-mail advertising, automation and product promotion. You additionally recover from 40 cost processing choices with no transaction charges!

bigcommerce payment gateways best ecommerce platform

The benefits are rounded off by the multitude of templates to select from, the power to design your individual web site and a massive assist system that helps you enhance your e-commerce efforts.

Cons

Historically, BigCommerce has lagged behind in its template affords. Whereas they’ve caught up, customers solely get seven free templates to select from. Premium themes may also be a bit costly. Sadly, the design customization is just not at all times essentially the most user-friendly.

BigCommerce has no native POS options as in different options and comes with a gross sales restrict in your plan. It’s comparatively costly to get superior options like an deserted cart saver.

Pricing

BigCommerce plans value between $29.95 and $249.95. It can save you some cash on increased plans by paying yearly. There’s additionally an possibility for enterprise however it is advisable inquire about that. Moreover, themes value between $145 and $235.

bigcommerce pricing

Whereas all plans provide you with the whole lot it is advisable get began, with increased choices you get extra choices like superior buyer segmentation and product filtering.

The shortage of transaction charges makes BigCommerce extra engaging than different choices on this checklist. Use the 15-day trial to search out out if it’s best for you.

Who’s It For?

Massive companies or these anticipating quick development.

Go to BigCommerce

4. Volusion

volusion logo

This answer is one other cloud-based, hosted choice to construct a web-based retailer. It has been round since 1999 and has processed greater than $28 billion in gross sales throughout that point.

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Volusion is a drag-and-drop website builder with in-page enhancing. It affords a complete website search, many responsive themes (11 of them free) and the power to customise your individual.

Moreover that, it has strong e-commerce and product administration instruments like wealthy textual content product descriptions, native achievement choices, subscription choices, loyalty applications and extra. It additionally integrates with numerous cost suppliers and doesn’t include transaction charges.

Advertising and marketing choices embody web optimization options, social promoting, market integrations for Amazon and eBay, amongst others. Observe that a few of these are solely accessible on increased plans.

Customers additionally get 24/7 assist by way of dwell chat and telephone (the latter comes with the next plan). That is along with a complete data base with articles, guides and extra.

Cons

Sadly, Volusion’s pricing construction is a bit complicated, as a result of they’ve a set bandwidth restrict. When you run out, you need to pay for extra visitors. This may make planning forward a bit tough, particularly since their default bandwidth is comparatively low.

You must pay further for SSL, which is a should for any on-line store. Different opponents present it at no cost. Premium templates for Volusion are a bit costly.

Additionally, the platform affords no running a blog capabilities. You’ll be able to solely embody hyperlinks to different weblog websites within the menu. That is actually a shortcoming in a digital world that runs on content material advertising.

Pricing

Operating your store on Volusion will value you between $15 and $135 per thirty days. You get 10% off when paying yearly. You must name the service to vary to a yearly plan. On dearer plans, you get extra merchandise, bandwidth, higher assist and extra options.

volusion pricing

As talked about, every plan has a bandwidth restrict (1, 3, 10 or 35GB). Any visitors past that can value you $7/GB. This may rack up fairly rapidly. You additionally shouldn’t overlook concerning the transaction charges of your cost processor.

There’s additionally the funding into an SSL certificates. Those supplied by Volusion instantly are between $89 and $995. After all, you can too get your individual at no cost. Plus, if you’re going for a premium theme, it is advisable price range $180 for that.

Use the 14-day free trial to test it out.

Who’s It For?

Starter shops, novices, smaller to medium companies.

Go to Volusion

5. Squarespace

Squarespace logo

Just like Wix, Squarespace can also be an internet site builder working with drag and drop. They began out with a give attention to making visually interesting web sites. As of late, the location is placing extra vitality into e-commerce and letting their customers promote stuff on-line. By now they’re beginning to be a full-fledged e-commerce platform.

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The service has a easy and intuitive consumer interface and may be very newbie pleasant.

Squarespace content editing

The web site templates they provide are elegant, stunning, polished and all include cellular responsive capabilities. The give attention to design additionally makes Squarespace particularly appropriate for promoting merchandise that require high-quality imagery.

squarespace templates

Moreover that, you might have all the usual choices like product variants, stock administration, limitless merchandise, coupons, transport, the works. The platform additionally integrates with Shipstation for achievement and has an awesome customer support.

They supply many knowledge factors to optimize your website and conversions together with gross sales, income, visitors sources and extra. Advertising and marketing instruments embody web optimization settings, social media, running a blog and deserted checkout restoration. SSL is constructed proper into the platform.

Cons

On the aspect of disadvantages, Squarespace is considerably restricted in options. For instance, it has restricted cost choices (solely Apple Pay and PayPal) and is lacking necessary choices for extra advanced retailers and a lot of merchandise or variations.

Moreover, there isn’t a market for apps so as to add extra options and performance. Your capacity to customise your website by way of code and markup can also be very restricted. The platform integrates with solely a couple of third-party instruments and providers.

Pricing

You pay for Squarespace month-to-month. To begin promoting, it is advisable be not less than on the Marketing strategy, which is $18/month if billed yearly, in any other case $26/month. Observe that there’s a 3% transaction price on each sale.

Observe that you could waive the latter for those who get on one of many e-commerce plans ($26-$46/month). You additionally get further options for working a web-based store like label printing, accounting and automated restoration of deserted carts.

Who’s It For?

Squarespace has the same goal group as Wix and different web site builders. SMBs, novices and non-technical people who desire a easy method of promoting merchandise however should not wanting into constructing an enormous retailer.

Go to Squarespace

6. Magento

magento logo

Magento is type of the WordPress of e-commerce platforms. It’s a bit of open supply software program that you could obtain and set up by yourself servers. On the identical time, it additionally affords a hosted cloud model, type of like WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

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As a self-hosted answer, Magento provides you numerous management. With technical data, you possibly can change just about something you need when it comes to performance and design, plus select your individual server setting.

If the latter is just not your cup of tea, the cloud version is likely to be extra for you. For that, it is advisable contact the gross sales division to get a demo.

Whichever method you go, you profit from Magento’s lengthy checklist of options and choices. Membership subscriptions, recurring funds, reductions, the power to regulate content material per consumer are simply the tip of the iceberg.

You’ll be able to lengthen your website by way of the market. There are plugins and themes for all types of functions, from buyer assist to advertising to transport and website optimization.

magento marketplace

The platform is robust when it comes to multilingual web sites as effectively. You’ll be able to create separate websites for various languages. It additionally has a robust neighborhood behind it that’s continuously enhancing the platform and creating new themes and plugins. This additionally means numerous assist and accessible professional recommendation.

Cons

For the Group Version, all of the downsides of self-hosted platforms apply. Be ready to care for updates, safety and the whole lot else to verify your store runs correctly.

Whereas Magento has numerous options, consequently it may be somewhat useful resource hungry. This can require you to speculate money and time into optimization.

Moreover that, the platform is written in PHP, so if you wish to make significant adjustments, it is advisable have the required chops or rent somebody for it. Both method, anticipate to put money into growth.

If you’re choosing the Cloud model, remember that it’s made for Enterprise purchasers and priced accordingly. Extra on that beneath.

Pricing

Magento Group Version is the primary free e-commerce platform on this checklist. That’s proper, you possibly can obtain and use it with out paying a dime.

Like many different self-hosted options, it comes with prices regardless, particularly for internet hosting. Premium plugins or templates and occasional growth work may also be elements.

When you don’t need to cope with a lot of the above, there’s additionally the hosted model. As already talked about, it isn’t low cost. The quantity we discovered was $18,000/12 months for licensing.

Who’s It For?

Magento is much less appropriate for novices as different options. There are increased calls for to make it work. Due to this fact, it’s both for sellers with developer chops or the price range to rent somebody or pay for the cloud model.

Go to Magneto

7. OpenCart

opencart logo

We’re persevering with the theme of open supply e-commerce platforms. OpenCart is on the market to obtain and set up by yourself server. The service additionally affords a cloud model of its answer.

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This e-commerce platform has the whole lot it is advisable create and handle your store. You’ll be able to arrange limitless merchandise and product classes for each digital and bodily items. It comes with product evaluations and scores out of the gate and helps a number of currencies.

The dashboard provides you an outline over each necessary knowledge level of your store and you may even construct and management a number of shops from one interface.

admin interface dashboard

Other than that, the platform is extremely customizable with 1000’s of themes and plugin extensions. It additionally integrates with a whole lot of cost gateways.

As a self-hosted answer, it comes with all the advantages of administrating your website by yourself server. A big assist community by means of a devoted neighborhood and documentation helps you in a pinch.

When you go for the cloud model, you may get began in mere minutes. You additionally get entry to a separate theme and plugin retailer and have all of your internet hosting, safety and backup wants taken care of.

Cons

When you might have the advantages of internet hosting your website your self, you additionally need to cope with the drawbacks. OpenCart is just not at all times straightforward to customise and including new modules might be costly.

Moreover that, its native advertising options are fairly restricted. For instance, the default web optimization capabilities should not excellent.

The platform is just not at all times referred to as the quickest answer, so the self-hosted answer could also be not the best possibility for scaling into massive dimensions.

Pricing

The self-hosted software program itself is free. Needless to say it comes with the standard peripheral prices. Moreover, there could also be bills for extensions and themes that add round $100 on common to your price range.

You can too go for the cloud-hosted model, which prices between $30 and $200 per thirty days – half for those who pay for a 12 months prematurely. It additionally features a free SSL certificates.

Who’s It For?

OpenCart is appropriate for barely superior customers. If you should utilize WordPress, you might be in all probability effective working with this platform. Needless to say it has restricted capabilities for big shops with a whole lot of merchandise. If that’s your aim, you is likely to be higher off wanting into different choices or go for the hosted selection.

Go to OpenCart

8. Zen Cart

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Our subsequent contender is in the identical class because the final two. It’s open supply and self-hosted.

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As a result of it has a GPL license and resides by yourself server, Zen Cart, too, is totally customizable. Like different options, you’ll be able to make any adjustments you need even exterior of accessible extensions. The answer additionally has a superb popularity relating to safety and scalability.

Moreover that, it affords many configuration choices for merchandise, together with coupons, present certificates and a number of product photos. Within the advertising division, you possibly can reap the benefits of the built-in web optimization options and talent to ship HTML emails from contained in the platform.

A robust consumer neighborhood rounds off the advantages of Zen Cart.

Cons

A severe disadvantage of this e-commerce answer is the outdated consumer interface each on the back and front finish. You could have the power to vary not less than the font of your website. The lower than intuitive consumer interface will make caring for your website a little bit of a drag.

Zen Cart might be onerous to put in and improve. There may be additionally no devoted assist, so customers must fend for themselves. Its ecosystem is sort of small, so extensions and templates are onerous to come back by. The e-commerce platform comes solely with a handful of cost choices.

Pricing

Like different examples on this checklist, the software program itself free, however it is advisable price range for the structure to run and keep, together with an SSL certificates. Particularly for those who don’t have internet growth expertise, you possibly can anticipate to rent assist and must price range for it. Extensions and themes may also be a part of the invoice.

Who’s It For?

Zen Cart works effectively for medium to bigger companies with devoted IT assist or people with growth expertise.

Go to Zen Cart

9. Salesforce Commerce Cloud (previously Demandware)

salesforce commerce cloud logo

The ultimate entry on the checklist is one other totally hosted, cloud-based e-commerce answer.

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One of many essential advantages of Salesforce Commerce is the built-in omnichannel advertising. You need to use it each for e-commerce throughout many alternative channels (together with social and cellular) in addition to an working device in your bodily retailer.

Moreover that, it comes with predictive analytics that allow you to have a look at your buyer knowledge, order historical past, stock and promotional data throughout all channels. This provides you precious insights into your clients and permits personalization.

The platform additionally has an awesome assist system that simply hyperlinks you up with professionals and know-how suppliers who focus on it.

salesforce commerce cloud marketplace

Additionally, because it’s hosted, you don’t have to fret concerning the technical points of working your retailer. With the cloud know-how within the background, Salesforce Commerce is extremely scalable.

Cons

As a hosted answer this platform provides you much less management over your store. Actually, the web site additionally doesn’t make it fairly clear what it’s you might be really getting. I’m but to see a screenshot of the back-end. This makes it very onerous to grasp whether or not or not it might be a viable possibility.

Pricing

Pricing is just accessible upon inquiry. Remember that their enterprise mannequin is that they take fee from each sale you make.

Who’s It For?

This platform is clearly made for bigger purchasers. If you’re in search of an enterprise answer, this is likely to be it.

Go to Salesforce Commerce Cloud

Sorts of E-commerce Platforms Out there

When in search of the very best e-commerce platform for your self, you might have differing types to select from. Whereas there are a number of methods of distinguishing platforms, one of many essential variations is their sort of internet hosting.

  • Self-hosted — Means you obtain a bit of software program and set up it by yourself server. This provides you numerous management over your web site. It additionally places all of the accountability on you to maintain it secure, up to date and make adjustments manually. Open Supply e-commerce options typically have this mannequin.
  • Hosted — An alternate is to make use of software program that’s hosted by another person. SaaS (Software program as a Service) options are the commonest examples right here. The profit: much less technical overhead, fast startup, extra newbie friendliness. Most frequently additionally extra prices.
  • Blended — A number of of the choices beneath supply the chance to incorporate their procuring carts into different platforms (e.g. WordPress). That is additionally referred to as Commerce as a Service (CaaS) and generally is a viable and cheaper possibility.

After all, there are different methods to distinguish e-commerce platforms. A lot of them rely in your private wants. You may need to contemplate:

  • Prices
  • Scalability
  • Ease of Use
  • Customizations
  • Upkeep
  • Commerce Choices
  • Cell Capabilities
  • Advertising and marketing
  • Help

It’s a good suggestion that you simply really get clear for your self what issues to you most. This can make it a lot simpler to weed out these choices that don’t match the ticket.

What’s the Finest E-commerce Platform for You?

Standalone e-commerce platforms generally is a nice answer for beginning a web-based store. They provide all the required options and specialised performance to make promoting on-line a hit.

But, selecting the very best e-commerce platform is just not a straightforward job. There are just too many elements to have in mind and plenty of affords available on the market. By realizing beforehand what your wants and necessities are, you make it extra possible you can see a superb match from the checklist above.

Hopefully, this information has helped you in your choice. If it has, how a couple of low cost code in your newly opened store? No stress although.

What’s your private alternative for the very best e-commerce platform and why? Please tell us within the feedback part beneath.