10 Best E-commerce Platforms to Use
For retail, digital is the future. E-commerce platforms are reinventing the way startups are selling. Read on to learn more about this technology.
E-commerce platforms are becoming the new norm as the retail industry ups their game. In the modern retail world where buying products is just a click away, you need to ensure your clicks are working. Your e-commerce platform has to be as reliable and accessible as a real-life store. It needs to be interactive and easy to navigate. This is why choosing your online store builder is crucial.
Now, there are a lot of factors in choosing your software. But before we get into that, let’s first understand the dynamics of e-commerce. It pays to know how the industry works before diving into the tools it offers.
What is E-commerce?
To start, let’s define the term “e-commerce.” E-commerce is the buying and selling of goods using the Internet. All transactions are done online such as the order placement, payment, and logistic details. Needless to say, we’ve come a long way from the traditional form of selling.
Nowadays, we’re leveraging the power of e-commerce platforms to create an online store. An e-commerce platform is a type of software that lets you manage your operations online.
It captures the functions of an online store by integrating all the tools needed in one designated platform. Your customers will have the ability to browse your products, purchase it, and track it once it’s shipped.
Building an E-commerce Website
Now that we understand the concept of e-commerce, it’s time to choose your platform. When it comes to choosing the platform for your e-commerce website, you have some factors to consider.
First, you need to establish your vision of the website, how it looks, how it will function, and how you will manage it. Then, you have to measure sustainability. Decide whether or not you can maintain your e-commerce website as transaction fees can pile up in the long run. Lastly, how scalable do you need your website to be? Do you have big plans for it in the future?
Best E-commerce Platforms
Once you’ve figured out what you need in a website. It’s time to narrow down the list of tools that may suit those needs. Here are the top e-commerce platforms:
BigCommerce provides a very accessible and user-friendly e-commerce platform for startups. The intuitive platform allows you to build a robust e-commerce website with its range of backend features.
With a straightforward interface and layout, it’s easy to navigate even for non-tech-savvy business owners. It features customer groups and segmentation, search engine optimization (SEO), and web hosting. It’s notable for its seamless integration with Facebook allows you to sell multi-channel.
Price: BigCommerce Plan starts at $29.95
- Storefront Design
- Storefront Conversion
- API-Driven Commerce
- Headless Commerce
- Cross-Channel Commerce
Powering over a million businesses worldwide, Shopify is a catalytic engine for startups. Their online store builder allows for easy and efficient customization on design, payment, and shipment process. What makes their e-commerce brand stand out is the fact that everything is integrated into one platform; from storefront to marketing.
Shopify is perfect for new businesses that are just getting their feet wet in e-commerce. The platform provides all the basics of creating a store while leaving a lot of room for upgrades. Scaling your website will be a breeze through third-party extensions and plugins.
Price: Basic Shopify plan starts at $29
- Drag-and-drop store builder
- Customized Themes
- Payment Options
- Shopify Mobile App
3dcart is one of the pioneers in e-commerce founded in 1997. They’re currently powering over 17,500 merchants worldwide and has built a pretty solid portfolio in scaling brands. Their platform has a wide range of built-in features that makes it easy to create and customize an online store.
3dcart is best for startups looking for a reliable platform that’s easy to scale. Startups can take advantage of all-inclusive features such as Web hosting and domain names. This cuts down the cost for additional eCommerce tools or services.
Price: Startup Store Plan starts at $9.50
- Website Builder
- Customizable Shopping Cart
- Order Management
- Inventory Management
- Marketing and SEO
- Secure Hosting
- Customer Support
WooCommerce offers a customizable, open-source eCommerce platform built on WordPress. The founders started off selling themes on WordPress called WooThemes before pivoting to e-commerce. In 2011, they finally launched their WooCommerce plugin that enabled users to transform their website into a professional eCommerce storefront.
WooCommerce is ideal for startups that created their website initially on WordPress. The online store can easily integrate with any WordPress site, giving you full access to a wide selection of themes and other functionality extensions.
Price: Free download
- Mobile-optimized Shopping
- Geo-location Support
- Catalog Management
- Inventory Management
- Shipping options and Calculator
- Search Engine Optimization
- Product reviews
Unlike other e-commerce platforms, Volusion offers a straightforward setup that doesn’t require you to go through an app store. Their robust system features professionally designed themes, custom domains, and built-in functionalities.
With this in mind, Volusion is best for businesses that want a fast and easy set up of their website while still leaving room for future growth.
Price: Personal Plan starts at $29
- Responsive Themes
- Rich Content Editor
- Custom Domain
- Navigation Editor
- Product Category Pages
- Search Functionality
- Homepage Slideshow
- Logo + Favicon Upload
- CSS Editor
Running over 300,000 e-commerce stores worldwide, Prestashop has come a long way as an open-source e-commerce software. Backed by a diverse community of web, online retail, coding, and open source enthusiasts, the company offers a wide array of tools and resources for free.
With PrestaShop, startups can create a fully functioning online store from scratch. Store elements are fully customizable to match each user’s taste and internal functions and can be enhanced by integrating the site with some add-on modules.
Price: Free download
- PrestaShop Web Agencies
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Store Builder
- Integrated Customer Service tools
- Customizable Themes
- Shipping Configuration and Partnerships
- Quick Install Features
- Designer Guide
- Mobile Commerce
- Intuitive Interface
- Ecommerce Analytics
Weebly is a widget-based site builder that primarily operates in the web browser. It features a drag-and-drop interface that allows users to customize their website without requiring code or web design knowledge. This approach makes it easy for non-tech-savvy startup owners to inject personality in their store without worrying about the technicalities.
Weebly is known for being user-friendly and minimalistic. This platform is great for users who are relatively new to building websites.
Price: Pro Plan starts at $12
- Drag and drop website builder
- Content elements
- Video Backgrounds
- Custom Headers
- Full-Width Image and Color Backgrounds
- Site search
- Password Protected Pages
- Unlimited Uploads
- Favicon Integration
Next is Squarespace, another platform that offers drag-and-drop functionality. The SaaS company provides website and e-commerce store building and hosting. They feature pre-built website templates to create web pages.
Squarespace is ideal for businesses that need the most basic functionalities. The platform is better used as a supplementary tool for the main website builder.
Price: Personal Plan starts at $16
- Abandon cart auto-recovery
- Digital products
- Personalized products
- Product import/export
- Real-time shipping rates and tracking
- SEO tools
- Upselling and cross-selling
- Gift cards
- Automatic discounts
- Limited integration options
The platform boasts of a powerful system and has a library of over 5000 extensions. This is suited for startups that have already gained traction as the platform requires a larger budget in development.
Price: Free download of Magento Opensource
- Integrated checkout, payment, and shipping
- Mobile-optimized shopping
- Global selling
- Catalog management
- Extended Functionality via App marketplace
- Instant purchase
- Site search
- Customization options available
Wix is coming on strong with its innovative cloud-based website builder. It offers a boatload of impressive templates and designs that are sure to fulfill all aesthetic needs. Their resource-strapped platform is easy to navigate and customize.
Wix is ideal for startups that don’t have a dedicated web designer. Their site builder is also easy to navigate, including all the basic functionalities.
Price: Business Basic Plan starts at $17
- Digital products
- Product galleries
- Shipping options
- Discount codes
- Inventory management
- Abandoned cart recovery
- Payment options
Build your E-commerce Website
Starting an e-commerce business is not a walk in the park. A lot of startups fail to properly launch their online presence because they didn’t set it up correctly.
Building an e-commerce website takes more than just making it look pretty, it has to work great too. One website error can throw off any potential client for good. Hence, you’ll need a website that looks and feels professional. But, how do you achieve that? Simple, hire professionals.
Full Scale is an offshore development company dedicated to help startup owners launch and scale their business. We’ve got top-notch talents in the tech industry ready for deployment. Hire the best developers, project managers, QA specialists, creatives, and more!
Ready to scale up your business? Talk to us!