If you are going to start an online store and want to get profit with its help, you can’t do without an efficient e-commerce platform to manage your business. This is usually a purpose-built software with a pack of tools that enable you to be in full control of products, operations, website, and every other element related to online sales.
Since the variety of available platforms is truly overwhelming, we have done our best to narrow down the choice to 11 reputable and feature-rich software that can become reliable instruments for managing your trading activities.
While selecting these online shopping platforms, we considered such parameters as feature set, objective performance data, and cost. Looking through the descriptions presented below, you’ll be able to figure out what platform perfectly matches your needs. Make sure to learn more about eCommerce image optimization for attracting more clients and boosting sales.
Verdict: BigCommerce is often referred to as the best online store platform as it is used by such well-known brands as Clarks and Ben & Jerry’s and keeps extending its clientele base. The most notable feature is a well-developed search engine that appeals to many large retail companies.
The interface is really user-friendly with the possibility for absolute customization. If you lack programming skills, but still want to create an appealing online store, you can take advantage of adjustable templates meant for designing a website, organizing marketing and sales. Those with web development experience, can tweak the HTML and CSS and produce a truly unique shopping environment.
Verdict: Shopify eCommerce platforms are highly popular among small and mid-size businesses. As for today, they have over 1mln stores, more than 2 million active users, and $155B+ worth of sold products on the platform. Users can take advantage of an in-house payment processing platform, and enjoy sufficient discounts on shipping fees.
Choosing eCommerce Shopify platform, you get access to 73 mobile-optimized themes and the possibility to add as many products as you want. However, to enjoy such goodies, you need to download a plug-in app from the dedicated app store, which is used for processing subscription services.
Other praiseworthy features are gift cards, custom discounts, abandoned cart recovery, and embedded marketing instruments (email marketing, distribution via social media).
Verdict: 3DCart is a go-to tool for many people starting their online trading business because of a rich variety of features needed to create an appealing e-commerce website with a modifiable store, shopping cart, and a blog for promoting purposes.
It deserves a place among top eCommerce platforms because of a bunch of innovative features - a special module for ordering gift-wrapping services, a purchase order system, the possibility to tun a loyalty program and offer recurring orders. 3DCart is also fitted with numerous templates for facilitating the process of creating a web store.
However, experienced users can start everything from scratch. But remember about one inconvenience, namely the admin dashboard requires some time to grasp what is what.
Verdict: Wix is one of the most popular website builders for photographers. However, it is also helpful when it comes to designing trading websites with the help of drag-and-drop functionality. The impressive variety of templates and designs comes in handy for newbie users and those with limited funds when they need to build a functional and eye-pleasing website.
The main features of this service are an adjustable checkout page, abandoned cart recovery, add to cart from a gallery, instant purchase button, loyalty programs, wishlists, customer accounts, and discounts.
You can fully rely on this platform if you strive to develop strong branding for your online store as it offers a highly customizable storefront. Unlike other e-commerce platforms, Wix doesn’t charge any transaction commissions. The only fees come from payment processors.
Verdict: Volusion is a cloud-based, hosted eCommerce option that you can use to build a full-featured online store from scratch.
The platform surpasses rivals with its more profound product management mechanism, including variant pricing and diversified text product descriptions. Selling goods and handling orders is a breeze thanks to payment integrations and native fulfillment features.
If you want to attract even more buyers, male use of embedded SEO tools, marketplace integration and the possibility to sell products on social media. However, mind that you can use Volusion only if you deal with physical goods. It is useless for selling digital products.
Verdict: Weebly is an excellent free website hosting site. If you are looking for a simple tool to regulate your physical, digital and service-related sales, this is probably the best eCommerce software you can find. It allows adding packs of products and using integrated tools to control your stock levels.
There is also a mobile app that makes it possible to be well-aware of your trading status while being on the move. Another handy feature is the one meant for printing shipping labels from your home.
In addition to remarkable sales options, the software is supplied with instruments for expanding your website’s functionality. For instance, it is possible to start a blog to advertise the product line of your store.
Verdict: If you are striving to make your online store as appealing as possible, this is one of the best eCommerce platforms for the task. It offers numerous templates that are especially helpful for presenting your products in such a way that customers won’t be able to resist the temptation of spending some money.
What distinguishes this software from similar services is its promotional tools. You can supplement your products with various discount codes, attaching them to single items or a whole pack. Another attention-worthy feature is the inventory system.
However, while being a good eCommerce platform for small business, Squarespace tends to lag behind competitors when it comes to satisfying advanced online retail requirements and handling lots of inventory issues.
Verdict: Big Cartel is undoubtedly the best free eCommerce platform that can fully satisfy the needs of beginner makers, designers, musicians, and other creatives. Not only all the features and tools are available absolutely for free, but the software charges no transaction commissions.
Considering the provided toolset, it becomes obvious that the service is more suited for small stores and anyone looking for a website for occasional sales.
You have probably understood that the software is less efficient when it comes to adding different details about a product as there are no preconfigured templates for that. However, you can insert info manually.
Verdict: This isn’t a full-fledged e-commerce platform, but a free plug-in designed for any WordPress website and capable of turning it into a productive online store. You can even go further and upgrade your trading environment with paid extensions, themes for a storefront, and integrations.
There are also a couple of simple themes that you can use to create an online store. Alternatively, you can buy premium themes to separate your store from the websites created with the help of free themes. The service support different payment gateways ranging from standard credit cards to integrations with PayPal, etc.
Inventory management, shipping rates control, and tax calculation is carried out in the WordPress interface.
Verdict: Magento eCommerce platform runs on open source code and is meant for small businesses and developers. It is mobile-friendly, but doesn’t have pre-made templates that allows creating an online store in almost an automated way. However, the open-source nature allows for unlimited flexibility and customization. The developer has created a separate Magento Marketplace full of different handy extensions.
Since the platform is available absolutely for free, it appeals to many users, but only those of them aware of programming can make good use of all the offered tools. Their less experienced colleagues are likely to get confused with different options (integrated checkout, shipping modules, and payment) that require manual setting up.
Verdict: This is an open-source eCommerce platform that is regularly improved and upgraded to meet modern industry demands. The service is multi-language and is popular in different countries. There you can find an integrated developed fraud detection that is offered for free.
The dashboard is the main working space where you can add modules, build and customize an online store. The dedicated marketplace is the best source of over 50 free modules for shipping options, marketing instruments, live chat plug-ins, reporting, etc.
The tech support is community-based, but you can look through detailed guides and a public forum to find answers to FAQ.