Starting and running an ecommerce site has never been easier. The best ecommerce platforms are suitable for online retailers of all sizes, regardless of industry, inventory size, or sales volume. This guide will help you create a new business from the ground up or take your existing brick-and-mortar operation online.
Customers are becoming accustomed to paying for more items, services, and memberships online, whether buying a physical product or reserving a salon appointment. Ecommerce sales will account for 14.3 percent of retail sales in the United States by 2022. Yet, in the United States, 28% of small businesses do not have websites, making it difficult for customers to purchase with them and, as a result, losing out to competitors that use dedicated ecommerce platforms to create a smooth shopping experience. Over a dozen prominent ecommerce platforms were evaluated based on pricing, feature set, simplicity of use, scalability, and other factors. Here are a few of our favorites.
Shopify – Best Overall
- Basic Plan – $29 per month
- Shopify Plan – $79 per month
- Advanced Plan – $299 per month
Shopify is a beautiful alternative for businesses with little in-house technical assistance because it’s an all-in-one ecommerce platform that’s simple to set up and run. Shopify’s point-of-sale (POS) technology allows users to sell products from an online store, social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, and in-person.
Shopify has some of the most robust inventory management tools of all the platforms we looked at. Customers can view stock levels and orders, create product pages with metadata, photos, and price rules, and quickly build elaborate product pages. Shopify also automates shipping operations by printing labels and emailing clients tracking information. PayPal, Apple Pay, and major credit cards are all accepted by Shopify’s payment processor.
Bigcommerce – Runnerup
- Standard Plan – $29.95 per month
- Plus Plan – $79.95 per month
- Pro Plan – $299.95 per month
Similar to Shopify, BigCommerce facilitates building beautiful online stores and selling through social platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, and marketplaces, including eBay and Amazon. The app store also offers many services, including shipping, marketing, accounting, and customer relationship management (CRM).
SEO and analytics are two ways that BigCommerce differs from Shopify. BigCommerce’s SEO improves page load times for better customer experiences, as well as allowing customers to alter page titles, metadata, and product URLs to maximize the likelihood of their products appearing in Google search results. Many of Shopify’s advanced SEO features are only available as add-ons.
Unlike Shopify, which only offers extensive reporting and analytics on its more expensive plans, BigCommerce includes comprehensive reporting and analytics with every plan. Users may go deeper and build custom reports on revenue, consumer habits, order details, and more, in addition to accessing real-time data on orders, customers, and conversions.
Volusion – Best Budget Solution
- Personal Plan – $35 per month
- Professional Plan – $79 per month
- Business Plan – $299 per month
With dozens of themes and a drag-and-drop page editor, Volusion makes it simple to create a sophisticated ecommerce site. For smaller vendors, order and inventory management are essential and sufficient. Regarding reporting and analytics, Volusion keeps things simple, allowing users to track traffic, product performance, and abandoned shopping carts.
However, there are a few downsides to Volusion’s simplicity. To begin with, users are not allowed to sell items through social media platforms or online marketplaces like eBay and Amazon. Furthermore, compared to Shopify and BigCommerce, Volusion’s add-ons and connectors are far fewer. Volusion, on the other hand, is an excellent option for ecommerce enterprises that are just getting started and don’t want to be overwhelmed by complicated platforms and capabilities.
Wix – Best User-Experience
- Business Basic Plan – $27 per month
- Business Unlimited Plan – $32 per month
- Business VIP Plan – $59 per month
Wix’s drag-and-drop editor and hundreds of professional templates make it simple to create a great ecommerce site in minutes. While creating and maintaining an essential personal website is free, accessing Wix’s ecommerce features requires upgrading to a premium plan.
Wix has approximately 50 payment gateways available worldwide, including its own Wix Payments. Wix’s elegant and straightforward interface allows you to manage inventory and orders and generate revenue and conversion rate analytics.
Finally, Wix has more add-ons and integrations than Volusion, but less than Shopify or BigCommerce, allowing businesses to grow their ecommerce capabilities as needed. Wix enables you to sell on eBay, Amazon, Instagram, and Facebook.
Ecommerce platforms, which are an extension of the simple online shopping cart, can act as a company’s whole website, allowing vendors to sell and transport physical goods and digital goods or subscriptions. To help track, evaluate, and enhance sales, they come with sophisticated analytics, reporting, and inventory management.
The customer experience is just as crucial as the backend. Customers can shop online, read all the data about the goods they want, choose how they want them sent, and make a purchase in as few steps as possible using the top ecommerce systems.