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What's the Best eCommerce Platform for Your Business? A Definitive List

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August 05, 2021
Average: 5 (1 vote)

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We have already shown you how to choose the best eCommerce platform for your business and how to automate your eCommerce business.

In this article, we'll break down the actual platforms, complete with their pros, cons, prices, and users, so that you won't have to go hunting for them.

Introduction

Do your customers prefer free shipping to fast shipping?

Answers to questions such as this make it crucial that businesses know exactly what their eCommerce platform offers.

Furthermore, by 2040, 95% of all retail sales are expected to be facilitated by eCommerce. It's no wonder that so many businesses are jumping onto the online selling bandwagon.

We'll give you a good place to start. (Be sure to know the eCommerce website must-haves beforehand.)

Top eCommerce Platforms to Choose From

The best eCommerce platform for your business will depend on your unique business needs. We've handpicked a list of some of the most popular – and reputable – ones for you to choose from.

Whether you require a hosted eCommerce solution or a self-hosted one such as Magento, we've got you covered.

1. Wix: For Smaller Online Stores

Wix consistently ranks as one of the best eCommerce platforms all around, but it is especially suited for smaller stores. This is because it is very beginner-friendly. It gives users a straightforward method of creating an online store or website.

Notable features:

  • Over 500 free mobile-optimized themes

  • Over 90 languages for global audience

  • Unlimited physical products and accounts from the cheapest plan

  • $300 worth of online ad credit

  • Supports multi-channel sales through eBay, Instagram and Facebook

  • Supports both direct and drop shipping

  • Abandoned cart recovery

  • Instant purchase buttons

  • Customizable checkout page

  • Loyalty programs

  • Wishlists

  • Customer accounts

  • Add to cart from gallery

  • Discount codes

  • 24/7 support through ticketing system

Challenges:

  • Subscription selling comes with higher tier plan

  • Live chat not included

  • Limited features in cheapest plan

Customers: DeviantArt, FinTechConsortium, University of Michigan

Pricing: Starts at $80/month, billed annually

2. Shopify: For Large Businesses With a Range of Products

The best eCommerce platform may not objectively exist, but Shopify comes close.

Like Wix, Shopify is considered one of the best (if not the best) eCommerce platforms today. It has over 1 million stores, $155B+ worth of sold items, and 2.1 million active users.

Shopify is easy to use, from managing your inventory to setting up product pages. The interface includes automatic image optimization and enables you to drag-and-drop products.

Notable features:

  • 73 mobile-optimized themes

  • Unlimited products to add

  • Abandoned cart recovery

  • Custom discount codes

  • Additional discounts on shipping costs due to Shopify's agreements with UPS, USPS and DHL Express

  • Gift cards

  • Allows you to integrate your website with Google Analytics for basic data

  • Integrated marketing tools (availability depends on country)

  • 24/7 customer support through live chat, phone and email for paying shop owners

Challenges:

  • Requires plugin app to process subscription services

  • Only 9 free themes

  • Creating custom reports requires Advanced Shopify plan

  • Cheapest plan includes only 2 accounts

  • 2% commission outside Shopify payments

Customers: Penguin Books Store, Tesla

Pricing: Starts at $29/month

3. Magento (Self Hosted): For Large Businesses

Magento is an open-source platform that allows you a lot of freedom for rich content. You will have full control over functionality, look and feel.

However, if you do not have experience with Magento, you may need to hire an eCommerce web design company.

Magento was acquired by Adobe in 2018.

Notable features:

  • Mobile-optimized

  • Dedicated guides, walkthroughs and forums for questions related to the platform

Challenges:

  • You have to set up the payment gateways or get an extension

  • Requires extensive expertise

  • No drag-and-drop tools, simple input modules or default dashboards

  • No direct technical support with open-source version

  • Paid version is expensive

Customers: Ford, Burger King, Land Rover

Pricing: Magento Open Source is free to download, but you will need to pay for various costs such as web hosting and web developer costs. Cost for Magento Enterprise starts at $2,000/month

4. Big Cartel: For Independent Artists

Big Cartel is specifically designed for artists, craftspeople, and other makers. In that aspect, it is somewhat similar to Etsy. Small businesses and independent artists can benefit greatly from this platform.

Notable features:

  • No transaction fees

  • You can sell through Facebook and tag items on Instagram

  • Customizable templates

  • Email support available from Monday to Friday, 9 am to 6 pm EST

  • Mobile-responsive

  • Products are automatically reformatted to fit any new theme

  • User-friendly onboarding process

  • Relatively risk-free choice due to free plan

  • User-friendly knowledge base

  • Domain name registration

  • Marketing tools

  • Has a mobile app

Challenges:

  • Only five images per product

  • No image editor – requires code

  • No customer login option

  • No abandoned cart recovery

  • Themes can be restrictive and offer little creative freedom

  • Limited payment and integrations options

  • Pricing based on how many products you sell, so it will be more expensive as your business grows

  • Ease of use drops after onboarding

  • Requires apps and plugins to unlock several features, such as selling digital products, accessing drop shipping, and creating promotional pop-ups

  • You will need to know how to code or hire a web developer to make the most of the platform

  • Not (Payment Card Industry) PCI compliant, so you need to follow guidelines on accepting and processing customers' card payment details

Customers: Miss Patina Ltd, Spark Media, inc.

Pricing: Starts free

5. Squarespace: For Value For Money

Squarespace is a good all-in-one, easy to use platform, in which the server is managed for you.

It is also ideal for small business owners and individual entrepreneurs, especially if they want their website to be image focused. Hence, it's particularly good for portfolios and brochures.

Notable features:

  • Free domain for first year

  • 100+ customizable and mobile-optimized templates

  • 1,500+ web fonts

  • User-friendly

  • Video backgrounds feature

  • Upload as many physical products as you want

  • Customizable promotional banners and pop-ups

  • Abandoned cart recovery

  • Customizable discount rules

  • Custom API integration

  • One central location to set up product pages, track orders, manage inventory, and manage customer base

  • Simple drag-and-drop tool

  • Access to website analytics, conversion metrics, customer base overview

  • 24/7 email support

  • Live chat support from Monday to Thursday

  • Squarespace claims that inquiries are answered within one hour

Challenges:

  • Subscription selling option requires Advanced Commerce plan

  • 3% commission with cheapest plan

  • Automatic tax calculations limited to US

  • No multi-currency selling

  • Can't switch templates after selecting one

  • Poor support experience

Customers: Winona Ryder, Sadie Williams

Pricing: Starts at $12/month

6. BigCommerce: For Fast-Growing Businesses

If you're an enterprise-level company, BigCommerce is for you. It is tailored for people and businesses that are yet unfamiliar with eCommerce web design. Furthermore, it offers a fair amount of value for money.

  • Has more built-in features than its competitors. This makes it very scalable

  • No transaction fees

  • Comprehensive feature set even at the cheapest price

  • No limit to staff accounts

  • Third-party real-time shipping calculations accessible with any plan

  • Professional reporting

  • Drag-and-drop page builder

  • Blogging functionality

  • Product review functionality

  • International selling

  • Discount coupons and gift vouchers

  • Excellent SEO and multi-channel integrations

  • 24/7 technical support through chat, email and phone

Challenges:

  • Lack of flexibility

  • No shipping discounts

  • Limits placed on yearly online sales. If you exceed these, you will have to upgrade your plan

  • Not easy to set up

  • Can't register domain name through BC. You will need to buy and register somewhere else and then port it over

Customers: Skullcandy, flydubai, Woolrich International

 Pricing: Starts at $29.95/month

Conclusion

We hope this article has given you an insight into the best eCommerce platform for your business. Which one are you thinking of going for? Let us know in the comments!

If you need a professional for customized eCommerce site development, BluEnt is just a click away. We've been operating since 2003 and have a team of dedicated, experienced eCommerce web developers. Check out how we've helped other businesses like yours, so you know exactly what we can do.

Ready to grow your business with an eCommerce web designing company? Contact us now!

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