Sep 01, 2023
Prasasti P. & Tashia T.
15 Best eCommerce Platforms for Creating an Online Store in 2023
In this digital day and age, creating an eCommerce website offers significant advantages. It can help broaden your target market, increase business discoverability, and boost revenue.
With many eCommerce platforms available, deciding which one to use to create your online store may require significant time and effort. Fortunately, we are here to help you.
This article explores 15 top eCommerce platforms to create an online store. For each eCommerce platform, we will provide brief overviews, their key features, pricing plans, pros and cons, and our verdict.
We will also explain some factors to consider when deciding the best eCommerce platform for your business, from ease of use to customer support quality. Without further ado, let’s begin.
Best eCommerce Platforms – Quick Overview
Before we dive into the full list of recommendations, here is a quick overview of the most popular eCommerce platforms we discuss in this article.
|eCommerce platform||Best for||SaaS/Open-source||Pricing||Transaction fees|
|Hostinger Website Builder||Small to medium businesses||SaaS||$2.99/month||None|
|WooCommerce||All business types||Open-source||Free||Depends on the payment gateway|
|PrestaShop||All business types||Open-source||Free||None|
|BigCommerce||Medium to large businesses||SaaS||$29-299/month||None, but there’s an annual sales threshold|
|OpenCart||Small to medium businesses||Open-source||Free||Depends on the payment gateway|
|Adobe Commerce||Large businesses||Neither, although some features are deployed as SaaS||Custom pricing||Depends on the payment gateway|
|Shift4Shop||US-based businesses||SaaS||Free, as long as at least $500/month is processed via its Shift4 payment system||None|
|Big Cartel||Small to medium businesses, artists||SaaS||Free-$19.99/month||Depends on the payment gateway|
|Volusion||Medium to large businesses, dropshippers||SaaS||$35-299/month||0.35-1.25% for third-party gateways|
|AbanteCart||Small to medium businesses||Open-source||Free||Depends on the payment gateway|
|Ecwid||Small to medium businesses||SaaS||$14.08-82.50/month||Depends on the payment gateway|
|Salesforce Commerce Cloud||Large businesses||SaaS||Custom pricing||Depends on the payment gateway|
|Joomla||All business types||Open-source||Free||None|
|Sellfy||Small to medium businesses, digital product sellers||SaaS||$22-119/month||2.9% + $0.30 for US, 3.4% + $0.30 for worldwide transactions|
15 Best eCommerce Platforms for Your Online Business
This section will discuss in detail the 15 top eCommerce platforms for starting an online business. We will review their features, pricing, and pros and cons.
1. Hostinger Website Builder – AI-Powered Site Builder for Small to Medium-Sized Businesses
Hostinger Website Builder is a user-friendly drag-and-drop site builder that lets people create a website in minutes without coding. It’s perfect for starting an online business easily and quickly.
It offers two easy ways to create a website. You can choose one of over 100 fully-customizable, designer-made, and responsive website templates. Alternatively, let AI create a fully-designed website for you, complete with custom images, text, and alt text.
This platform also comes with other AI-powered tools. Its AI Logo Maker can create a logo in seconds, while its AI Writer can write custom website copy for your site.
The builder comes with various useful eCommerce features. Its eCommerce management suite has an intuitive interface, helping you manage inventory and orders easily. It lets you sell up to 500 products without transaction fees and supports over 20 payment options worldwide.
Hostinger Website Builder also supports various third-party integrations to extend your site’s capabilities. Examples include Google Analytics to help you keep track of website performance and Messenger Live Chat to provide an easy way for customers to contact you.
In terms of support, Hostinger offers 24/7 assistance via live chat or email. In addition, it provides various learning materials like its written tutorials and helpful videos found on its Hostinger Academy YouTube channel.
Pricing and Plans
The site builder is also included by default with all Hostinger web hosting plans.
- Beginner-friendly – people without coding or web design experience can easily create a website in minutes.
- AI-powered – choose to AI generate an entire website with custom images and text or use tools like its AI Logo Maker or Writer to help with website-building tasks.
- Built-in search engine optimization (SEO) tools – numerous SEO tools like meta titles and descriptions, sitemap, and image alt text can boost your site’s rank on search engine results pages and drive traffic.
- Limited number of integrations – although this builder has many built-in features, it only supports a few third-party integrations.
The Hostinger Website Builder is a great option for beginners and small to medium-sized business owners looking for a quick and effortless way to create an online store and start selling online.
Its numerous AI tools can help with website-building tasks or even generate a full-fledged site in seconds based on user prompts.
2. WooCommerce – Great eCommerce Store Plugin for WordPress
This plugin lets you add essential online store functionality to an existing WordPress website. Once you install and activate it, control your online shop directly from the WordPress dashboard.
WooCommerce provides various eCommerce features, from inventory management to payment processing. You can expand its functionality with hundreds of extensions, including store management, shipping, and marketing tools.
This free eCommerce platform also offers live chat support for its premium extensions. In addition, it provides online guides and support forums where you can seek advice from WooCommerce professionals and everyday users.
Pricing and Plans
WooCommerce is free to download and install. However, you’ll need a domain name, hosting service, and a WordPress site.
Hostinger’s WooCommerce hosting plans include a free SSL certificate, a free domain name, and up to 100 domain-based email addresses.
Other costs to consider include paid customization options like extensions and themes. The WooCommerce Extensions Store offers many add-ons, ranging from free to premium extensions costing up to $299/year. Premium WordPress themes listed on third-party websites can cost around $30-400/year.
If you choose to use WooCommerce, check out our article on WordPress SEO tips to boost your site’s rank on search engine results pages and increase discoverability.
- Wide range of WordPress themes – since WooCommerce integrates with WordPress, it’s compatible with WordPress’ extensive official and third-party theme catalog.
- Additional eCommerce functionality – WooCommerce extensions and WordPress plugins let users add more eCommerce features to their online store.
- Large online community – its large community can help solve any issues related to your eCommerce store.
- Requires multiple extensions – WooCommerce doesn’t come with many features by default, so you’ll need to manually add them.
WooCommerce is one of the best eCommerce solutions due to its versatility. Combining it with WooCommerce extensions, WordPress plugins, and themes lets you turn your existing WordPress site into a customizable, feature-rich online store.
3. PrestaShop – Advanced Open-Source eCommerce Platform
The platform has various features, such as a product management system, multiple payment processors, and customizable checkouts.
Read our PrestaShop tutorial for a full guide on how to maximize this eCommerce platform.
It also offers a suite of modules called PrestaShop Essentials to boost sales and conversions. These modules include PrestaShop Checkout, Marketing, Paylater, Social, and Metrics.
PrestaShop Checkout and Paylater help facilitate secure and personalized payments. Meanwhile, business owners can use PrestaShop Marketing and Social to boost brand visibility by syncing product catalogs to Google, Facebook, and Instagram.
Regarding eCommerce analytics, PrestaShop Metrics provides an overview of sales data and store performance using Google Analytics synchronization.
Check out the PrestaShop Add-Ons Marketplace to find more modules and website templates.
Another unique feature of this eCommerce platform is PrestaShop Experts. It connects merchants with trusted parties who can help handle specific business functions like design or content management.
Pricing and Plans
PrestaShop’s software is free to install. You only need to purchase a hosting plan and a domain. However, you may have to pay for additional templates and modules.
The platform also offers fully-managed hosting, PrestaShop Hosting, with prices ranging from €250-650/month. Some of its features include larger resource pools, 24/7 hosting support, and daily or hourly data backups.
- Advanced product management – easily create product categories, set a minimum purchase quantity, and customize notifications for out-of-stock products.
- Customizable products – customers can select product variations and upload files for personalization.
- Comprehensive checkout options – design a one-page checkout and simplify the account creation process to minimize cart abandonment rates.
- Limited free add-ons – additional templates and modules may increase setup costs.
- Manual exchange rate – you’ll need to create a cron job to enable automatic exchange rate updates.
- Limited technical support – dedicated support is available if you purchase its Support Plan starting at $272.
PrestaShop is one of the best eCommerce solutions offering customizable products. It’s a great option for an eCommerce store with advanced product management and checkout options.
4. Shopify – Complete eCommerce Site Builder
Shopify is a popular eCommerce website builder letting you create your own online store within minutes with its intuitive drag-and-drop builder and pre-made templates.
It has many useful features. For example, its abandoned cart recovery lets store owners send emails to customers, inviting them to complete their purchases.
Another useful Shopify feature is its fraud analysis, which identifies potentially fraudulent orders paid with credit cards, lowering the risk of chargebacks.
Shopify is compatible with over 100 payment solutions. However, depending on the plan, it charges additional transaction fees, ranging from 0.5-2%. To avoid this fee, customers in eligible locations can use Shopify Payments.
This platform offers 24/7 phone support, live chat, and email. This makes Shopify great for beginners and store owners who self-manage their sites.
Pricing and Plans
Shopify has three pricing plans. When billed yearly, Basic costs $29/month, Advanced costs $299/month, and Plus starts at $2,000/month. It also offers a three-day free trial.
The Basic and Advanced plans are for small to medium-sized businesses. Meanwhile, Plus is suitable for high-volume businesses. It supports a headless solution, separating a store’s front-end and back-end.
See our full guide on headless commerce to learn more about why this solution can significantly boost your site’s engagement and conversions.
In addition, this eCommerce platform offers the Shopify Starter plan. For $5/month, it lets you create customizable product links you can share via social media posts or messaging apps.
- Dedicated customer support – provides 24/7 support through various channels.
- Built-in abandoned cart recovery – this helpful feature to drive conversions is available on all plans.
- Fraud analysis – prevent chargebacks by identifying fraudulent transactions.
- Additional transaction fees – this applies if you use third-party payment gateways and accept card payments.
- Few free templates – Shopify’s theme store has limited free templates. Third-party themes are available via marketplaces like ThemeForest.
Shopify is ideal for small to large businesses that need an eCommerce solution to sell online. It’s user-friendly and comes with many templates and third-party integrations.
5. BigCommerce – Best eCommerce Solution for Medium to Large Businesses
BigCommerce is a reliable SaaS eCommerce website builder for medium to large businesses, including B2B companies and wholesalers.
One of its standout features is omnichannel selling. Use this tool to connect your eCommerce store to various marketplaces while keeping inventory management in one place.
This popular eCommerce platform offers customer segmentation based on background and online shopping habits. You can also provide a personalized shopping experience with item recommendations and promotions.
BigCommerce also offers social media integration and SEO tools to help drive more traffic to your website and improve its search engine rankings.
Pricing and Plans
BigCommerce offers three main pricing plans, ranging from $29-299/month. Its Enterprise plan is available for a custom price.
The platform doesn’t charge transaction fees but has an annual sales threshold. Each tier has its own limit, starting at $50,000/year for the Standard plan. Exceeding this amount will require site owners to upgrade their plans.
BigCommerce comes with plenty of features by default. If you want to add more functionality to your online store, the BigCommerce Marketplace offers numerous integrations, apps, and themes.
- Multi-channel selling – manage your inventory in one place, even when selling across multiple platforms.
- Unlimited staff accounts – set specific permissions so that each team member can only access certain tasks.
- No transaction fees – no additional fees for using third-party payment gateways to accept payments online.
- Personalized shopping experience – the customer segmentation feature tailors experience to shopping habits.
- Headless commerce support – allows businesses to make site changes without compromising eCommerce infrastructure.
- Annual sales limit – you’ll need to upgrade your plan if you exceed the sales threshold. The platform will charge an extra fee if you already use its highest non-custom plan.
- Steep learning curve – the advanced tools may not be suitable for beginners.
BigCommerce is a great eCommerce platform for large-scale businesses, thanks to features such as advanced eCommerce analytics tools and bulk order management. Small businesses may find better options elsewhere, given that its basic plan is pricier than many competitors.
6. OpenCart – Best for International Selling
OpenCart is an open-source self-hosted eCommerce software with many built-in tools. Its intuitive dashboard has all the data to keep track of your store’s performance, like total order volume and sales analytics.
This eCommerce platform utilizes a module system for customization. Although not as intuitive as a drag-and-drop builder, it is simple enough for beginners to create an online store.
OpenCart stands out from other self-hosted solutions with its advanced built-in features, including a multi-store admin, unlimited products, product filtering, and a marketing analytics tool. On other solutions, these tools are often only available through extensions.
The multi-store feature lets you manage multiple stores from one interface with varying settings, prices, and themes.
OpenCart also has a built-in affiliate system and lets you set different rates for each partner. It comes with 36 payment methods, which include PayPal, bank transfers, and cheques.
This eCommerce platform has a marketplace of extensions for various purposes, such as advanced shipping solutions and abandoned cart recovery. If the default payment processors don’t suffice, download additional payment options here.
Moreover, OpenCart offers multiple currency and language options by default. With other popular eCommerce solutions like WooCommerce and PrestaShop, this functionality is only available with a plugin.
Pricing and Plans
OpenCart has no monthly fees, and the software is free to download. You only need web hosting and a domain name to get started.
Users can choose from various free and paid extensions from the marketplace to create a feature-rich eCommerce store. Premium extensions start at $20.
In addition, it offers a premium eCommerce solution called OpenCart Cloud that is hosted on Amazon Web Services. Prices range from $59-199/month. Users can also enjoy a seven-day free trial period.
- Guest checkout – customers can shop without creating an account.
- Advanced built-in options – there are numerous integrated features, so users don’t need to add many extensions.
- Multiple currencies and language support – great for attracting a global audience.
- No drag-and-drop functionality – you can only customize the store’s design using OpenCart’s module system.
- No built-in SEO features – you must install extensions to optimize your online store for search engines.
With many advanced features, OpenCart is an effective eCommerce solution for medium to large businesses. Its built-in multi-currency and multi-language features make it an excellent choice for selling internationally.
7. Adobe Commerce – Feature-Rich Platform for Large and Enterprise-Grade Businesses
Powered by Magento, Adobe Commerce is an eCommerce platform designed for B2C and B2B merchants to create large-scale online stores.
It offers two self-hosted solutions – Magento Open Source and Adobe Commerce. The former is free, while the latter is a paid option. It also provides an enterprise-grade cloud-based solution named Adobe Commerce on Cloud.
Adobe Commerce’s main selling points include extensibility, integrated B2B functionality, Live Search, Product Recommendations, and Payment Services.
Users can extend the platform using extensions and themes found on its marketplace. Merchants can provide personalized experiences using customer-specific catalogs, pricing, content, and promotions thanks to its integrated B2B functionality.
Powered by Adobe Sensei, its Live Search delivers quick and personalized search results. Meanwhile, Product Recommendations suggest relevant products based on trends, similarities, and shopper behavior.
The platform’s integrated payment solution, Payment Services, facilitates secure global eCommerce sales using PCI DSS, 3DS transaction security, and the latest encryption standards. It supports local currencies and various payment methods like debit and credit cards, PayPal, Venmo, and Apple Pay.
In terms of support, this B2C and B2B eCommerce platform lets users submit requests via a ticketing system. Note that this ticketing support is only available to users with Adobe Commerce accounts.
Pricing and Plans
Magento Open Source is free, while Adobe Commerce’s pricing is only available upon request. The latter offers the same features as the former but with extra features, like designated cloud infrastructure resources, go-live process coaching, and dedicated escalation management.
Although no specific price is given, Adobe Commerce has two main pricing packages – Commerce Pro and Managed Services. You can request a demo before purchasing its subscription.
- Staging environment – lets you update your site safely and prevent potential losses due to downtime.
- AI-powered customer personalization – enhance customers’ shopping experience by providing personalized product recommendations and search results.
- Secure transaction technology – process payments securely using technologies like encryption, 3DS, and PCI DSS.
- Limited customer support – ticket support is only available if you have an Adobe Commerce account. Users of the open-source platform must rely on Magento’s knowledge base, documentation, and community forums.
- Steep learning curve – installation and customization require technical knowledge, so beginners may find the platform difficult to navigate and set up.
Adobe Commerce is one of the best eCommerce solutions for those that favor advanced features for large-scale businesses. However, creating a complete online store may require prior experience or developer assistance.
8. Shift4Shop – Feature-Rich eCommerce Software for US-Based Merchants
Shift4Shop is a SaaS eCommerce solution with an intuitive interface similar to the WordPress dashboard or a user-friendly site builder. This platform is currently only available for US business owners.
This platform stands out because of its checkout customization feature. eCommerce store owners can use a three-page or one-page checkout method. There’s also a guest checkout option to prevent customers from abandoning their carts.
That being said, Shift4Shop still provides customer accounts. With it, visitors can keep track of their order status and access a feature that automatically places recurring orders.
Shift4Shop also supports digital products and event ticket sales. It will automatically send buyers an email with an encrypted download link, so you don’t need to do it manually for each order.
In terms of payment methods, this platform is integrated with Shift4. This payment system supports credit cards and digital wallets like Google Pay and Apple Pay.
Other notable Shift4Shop features include over 100 free themes, fraud protection, abandoned cart recovery, website migration assistance, advanced inventory management, and SEO tools.
Pricing and Plans
Shift4Shop offers its End-to-End eCommerce for free as long as the business processes at least $500/month with Shift4 via their eCommerce stores.
This plan includes domain registration, web hosting, and a site builder. Other features include unlimited products, an integrated blog, and no revenue limits.
This site builder also offers an Enterprise plan for high-volume businesses. It starts at $1,999/month and includes unlimited staff user accounts, automatic software updates, and a customer relationship management (CRM) solution.
- 24/7 customer service – round-the-clock tech support is ready to help you with any issues.
- Feature-rich – Shift4Shop has plenty of built-in advanced features, letting you create great eCommerce websites without hassle.
- Multiple checkout options – streamline the process and enable guest checkout so customers can make purchases quickly.
- Digital downloads – sell software, eBooks, photos, or online courses.
- Limited app library – compared to its competitors, Shift4Shop has fewer apps to extend your store’s functionality.
- US-only platform – the platform is only available to US-based merchants.
Shift4Shop is an excellent choice for US-based business owners who want to create a basic online store. With its free plan, users get many built-in features that typically cost money on other eCommerce platforms.
9. Big Cartel – Best for Artists
Big Cartel is a cloud-based eCommerce solution for artists and creative freelancers. To sell online, users can simply pick a theme, upload product images, and add the prices. It supports checkout for both online and offline sales.
Big Cartel also has a click-and-drag customization tool that makes it easy to design your website. However, you must use the code editor to apply advanced customization.
To access functions like analytics and digital product support, you’ll have to use third-party extensions. Furthermore, Big Cartel supports three payment gateways – Stripe, Apple Pay, and PayPal.
Creating an eCommerce store with Big Cartel gives you a URL containing the bigcartel.com domain by default. Fortunately, all Big Cartel plans let you connect a custom domain. It helps boost branding and makes it easier for customers to find your website via search engines.
Pricing and Plans
Big Cartel has three plans. The free plan lets merchants list up to five products with one image per item. Its features include real-time statistics, shipment tracking, and sales tax autopilot.
The other two plans let merchants list up to 50 and 500 products, priced at $9.99/month and $19.99/month, respectively. Both allow sellers to display five images per product and offer extra features like bulk editing and theme code editing.
Big Cartel doesn’t charge listing fees, and apps and integrations are generally free. Still, you must pay the subscription or transaction fee set by each extension.
- Free plan available – for small businesses and individuals, the free plan is an excellent option to start selling online.
- In-person checkout support – Big Cartel facilitates offline purchases, processing payments using Stripe or cash.
- Wide selection of free themes – save money when building a website with various free themes to customize your eCommerce business.
- Limited payment processors – it’s only compatible with three payment gateways.
- Complex customization – Big Cartel’s paid plans come with a theme code editor, but it requires basic coding skills to use.
- No PCI compliance – The online store platform itself is not PCI-compliant, meaning each store owner is responsible for adhering to PCI regulations.
Big Cartel is an excellent platform for artists who want to create a simple and straightforward site to sell online. However, it’s not the most beginner-friendly platform. You need to install third-party apps to enable more features and edit theme code.
10. Volusion – Best for Dropshipping Businesses
Volusion offers a user-friendly, straightforward interface. Combined with the drag-and-drop site builder and free themes that suit various niches, users can create their eCommerce stores within minutes.
This hosted solution’s dedicated dropshipping tools make it one of the best dropshipping platforms. Additionally, Volusion provides abandoned cart reports and product ratings and reviews.
Volusion has an advanced inventory tracker that lets users monitor the store’s inventory status and set low stock notifications. Its analytics tool provides in-depth reports, helping you manage and scale your business better.
Furthermore, its mobile app helps you run your eCommerce business on the go. Sellers can easily update prices, snap product pictures, and check the inventory from their phones.
If you need assistance, Volusion’s customer service team is available 24/7 via live chat, email, and phone. However, phone support is not available for users of the Personal plan.
Pricing and Plans
Volusion offers a 14-day free trial and three main plans ranging from $35-299/month. Each plan has different yearly Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) limits. In addition, the Prime plan is designed for high-volume businesses. Its pricing is available upon request.
In general, the more advanced the plan, the more products you can list and the more staff accounts you can create.
Volusion Payments, the platform’s Stripe-powered payment solution, charges no transaction fees. Unfortunately, it is only available to US merchants. Third-party payment gateways are available but with transaction fees ranging from 0.35-1.25% depending on the plan.
- PCI compliance – Volusion ensures its sellers are PCI-compliant, regardless of the plan they are on.
- Advanced commerce features and tools – includes tools like a store management app, inventory tracker, and barcode generator.
- Round-the-clock support – provides 24/7 support via various channels like live chat, email, and phone.
- No dedicated tools for blogging – you’ll need to use other platforms to launch a blog for content marketing and integrate the URL to your Volusion site.
- Only US-based suppliers – Although international shipping is available, the dropshipping solution only accommodates US suppliers.
- Transaction fees – users using a third-party payment processor are subject to transaction fees depending on their subscription plan.
Volusion may be the best platform for running a dropshipping business, as its dedicated features make it easy to connect with vendors. However, the US-centric supplier options can be a significant drawback, especially if you target an international market.
11. AbanteCart – Great for Beginners
AbanteCart is an open-source eCommerce platform. It’s a good option for those without a technical background since it offers a beginner-friendly interface with comprehensive tools.
Some notable features include multi-store management, a customer dashboard, and product customization.
The multi-store feature lets you manage numerous digital storefronts from a single admin interface. Meanwhile, the product customization feature allows customers to personalize their purchases with text and images.
The customer dashboard is one of AbanteCart’s most unique features. It lets customers see their order status and history. You can also add more functionality to your customers’ dashboards via extensions on the AbanteCart Marketplace.
Adding products to AbanteCart is a two-step process that takes only a few minutes.
This eCommerce platform also lets you embed products in an existing site or blog to attract more customers and sales. In addition, it allows an unlimited number of product listings and media files for each product.
Furthermore, AbanteCart supports digital product sales. It provides all the necessary tools for digital product management and fulfillment. For example, you can incorporate digital product licensing via separate extensions.
Its marketplace also offers payment processing software and social login tools. There are also themes, but their designs are quite outdated compared to other eCommerce platforms.
Pricing and Plans
AbanteCart is one of the best free eCommerce platforms. You only need a suitable web hosting plan and a domain name to use it.
While some of the themes and extensions on AbanteCart’s marketplace are free, premium options start at $10.
- Easy product management – add new products to your eCommerce store by following simple steps. There are also plenty of user manuals to help you get started.
- Product embedding – embed products in an existing website or blog to drive more sales.
- Customer dashboard – buyers get a comprehensive dashboard to manage their accounts, orders, and digital products.
- Limited customer support – customer support is available as a premium service. Sellers must rely on existing documentation or reach out to other users via the community forum for help.
- Outdated themes – the available themes look less modern than other platforms, so you may have to customize them extensively.
With a user-friendly interface and many features, AbanteCart is a good option for newcomers and small business owners looking for a free eCommerce solution.
12. Ecwid – Simple eCommerce Widget for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses
Ecwid is an eCommerce platform that provides an easy way for people to sell digital and physical products through their online store or website.
Merchants can simply sign up for an account and use Ecwid to create their online store. Alternatively, they can integrate the platform with an existing site, social media page, or online marketplace. It can also connect to a Point of Sale device for in-person sales.
With Ecwid’s cloud-based platform, you can add your store to multiple websites and manage all of them from a single control panel. Users can also use its mobile app to manage their stores on the go.
Because it is a SaaS solution, your online store and its data will be stored and processed on Ecwid’s servers. If you connect it to an existing website, your site’s server resources will remain untouched. Furthermore, security updates are maintained by the Ecwid team.
In addition to automated marketing tools for eCommerce, Ecwid can also automate inventory tracking, shipping, and tax calculations.
Finally, this shopping cart software offers a wide range of support options – help center, live chat, email, and scheduled phone support.
Pricing and Plans
Ecwid offers four plans – Free, Venture at $14.08/month, Business at $29.08/month, and Unlimited at $82.50/month. All plans let you sell via an online store, set up social media advertising, and use unlimited bandwidth.
You can use the Free plan indefinitely. However, it comes with very limited features. For example, you can only sell via an online store. To connect to social media platforms and online marketplaces, you must upgrade your plan.
- Managed eCommerce hosting – eCommerce hosting is included in all Ecwid packages, including the free plan.
- Multi-channel selling – lets people sell through their online stores or connect the platform to existing websites, social network platforms, and online marketplaces.
- PCI compliance – Ecwid is Level 1 PCI compliant, which is the highest level of compliance.
- Very limited free plan – the Free plan limits sellers to five products, doesn’t support digital products, and has no gift card or discount coupon functionality.
- No 24/7 support – except for the knowledge base, other support methods are only available from Monday to Friday.
Ecwid is ideal for small to medium-sized business owners who want to sell products and services across multiple channels, including online stores, blogs, social media platforms, and online marketplaces.
13. Salesforce Commerce Cloud – Best for Large Businesses Looking To Improve Digital Store and Customer Experiences
Salesforce Commerce Cloud is a cloud-based B2C and B2B commerce solution. It helps large businesses create personalized buying experiences across mobile, web, and social networks. Business owners can access a unified view of inventory, products, promotions, and customer activity across channels.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud offers headless commerce, which lets businesses make frequent and quick changes with minimal deployment risks. It also facilitates simplified payment integration with built-in fraud prevention.
The platform uses AI to provide shopper behavior data, informing pricing, marketing, and product development business decisions. This technology also offers customers relevant product recommendations and search results.
Additionally, Salesforce Commerce Cloud can help businesses handle routine operations like order-taking tasks. This allows sales teams to do other, more important tasks.
Its support is available 24/7 through the knowledge base, live chat, and phone.
Pricing and Plans
The pricing for Salesforce Commerce Cloud varies depending on each customer’s needs. Get in touch with the sales team to receive a package offer that’s tailored to your budget and requirements.
- Omnichannel eCommerce – monitor your front-end and back-end operations via a single platform.
- AI-powered personalization and analytics – AI collects customer shopping data, recommends products, and provides search results for buyers.
- Round-the-clock support – 24/7 support is available through various methods, even on holidays for severe cases.
- Steep learning curve – its advanced features could make the platform difficult for beginners to set up and navigate.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud is a great eCommerce solution for large B2C and B2B businesses selling via various channels. More importantly, those looking to optimize their digital store and customer experiences.
14. Joomla! – Best for Complete Control and Flexibility
Joomla is a popular open-source CMS. However, it is not a dedicated eCommerce platform. You must install an extension to add a shopping cart functionality to your site, similar to adding WooCommerce to a WordPress site.
J2Store’s features include eCommerce templates and product and order management. It supports over 75 free and premium payment plugins, including well-known providers like PayPal, Stripe, and Authorize.net.
Although J2Store doesn’t have an eCommerce analytics extension, Joomla offers analytics extensions for your online store. Joomla also has built-in SEO tools that let you edit meta descriptions, focus keywords, and modify the robots.txt file.
Joomla has a steeper learning curve than WordPress, but it provides forums and tutorials to help beginners build an eCommerce site to suit their online business needs.
Pricing and Plans
Joomla’s open-source software is free to download, but you’ll need web hosting and a domain name to use it. Fortunately, Hostinger offers Joomla hosting plans, which include a free SSL certificate and 24/7 support.
Meanwhile, the J2Store extension is available in free and pro versions. The pro version starts at $79 for six months and includes features like coupons and invoice templates. You’ll also get the PayPal plugin for free.
While J2Store’s extensions are limited and mostly premium, Joomla provides a variety of extensions, many of which are free.
- Multiple shopping cart extensions – many add-ons to enable eCommerce functionality on Joomla sites.
- Great flexibility – Joomla lets you freely customize a website to your liking.
- Extensive product types – J2Store supports physical products, digital downloads, subscriptions, and ticket bookings.
- Limited free extensions – only a few free extensions are available on J2Store.
- Lack of integrated eCommerce functionality – features like analytics, abandoned cart recovery, and promotional tools aren’t available by default, so you’ll have to install extensions.
Joomla is a great alternative to WordPress, offering similar flexibility to create an online store. But since it’s not an eCommerce platform, you’ll need to add eCommerce functionalities using extensions from Joomla and J2Store. Joomla, with its steeper learning curve, is generally more suitable for advanced users.
15. Sellfy – Best for Selling Digital Products
Sellfy is an eCommerce platform designed to sell merchandise and digital products.
Online store owners can let customers purchase and download files directly from the website. It also lets you embed buy buttons and share product links directly to your social media profiles, such as Facebook and YouTube.
Most notably, this platform has a Pay What You Want feature, which is excellent for collecting donations or testing new product prices. Set a minimum fee and let customers manually input the amount they want to pay for a specific product.
Another great feature is automatic store translation for buttons and checkout pages. It is set according to the visitors’ location and preferred language. You can also manually translate product categories, email templates, and other store aspects.
In terms of digital product security, Sellfy comes with anti-fraud measures such as limited download attempts, unique download links, and PDF stamping.
This eCommerce platform is also PCI-ready. However, it only offers PayPal and Stripe as payment processing options.
Pricing and Plans
Sellfy offers three paid plans from $22-119/month, billed yearly. For each plan, the platform offers a 14-day free trial.
The plans are based on an annual sales threshold. Users can make up to $10,000/year in sales with the Starter plan, while the Premium plan has a sales limit of $200,000/year.
If you exceed the sales limit, you must upgrade to the next subscription level. Otherwise, you’ll be charged a 2% overage fee on the revenue that surpasses the limit.
The Business and Premium plans also provide an abandoned cart recovery feature and an option to remove the Sellfy branding from your eCommerce site.
- Supports various types of products – sell digital, physical, print-on-demand, and subscription products all from one platform.
- Advanced built-in features – include the Pay What You Want tool, automatic translation, and ad tracking.
- Limited payment gateways – only compatible with PayPal and Stripe.
Sellfy is an eCommerce platform ideal for businesses selling digital items and merchandise. It’s also an excellent option for entrepreneurs selling physical, print-on-demand, and subscription products.
How to Choose the Best eCommerce Platform for Your Needs
eCommerce platforms simplify the creation of an online store. To select the ideal option for your business, consider these factors in your research.
Pick the Most Intuitive One for You
Managing an online store is a challenging task. Therefore, you must choose an eCommerce platform that makes the process seamless and intuitive. Look for a user-friendly interface to easily list items, accept online payments, and manage inventory.
If you opt for a SaaS platform, all you need to do is create an account, choose a plan, and start building the site. This eCommerce platform type usually handles security and updates for you, making it great for beginners.
If you choose an open-source eCommerce platform, you’ll need to find a hosting provider and purchase a domain before downloading and installing the software. You’ll also be responsible for updating features and implementing the proper security measures. Therefore, this option is best for more experienced users.
Pay Attention to the Core eCommerce Features
An important aspect to consider is the number of products you can sell. Some eCommerce platforms limit product listings in their more affordable plans. Ensure that your chosen platform lets you list all your products on the online store.
It’s also crucial to look for features that enhance the customer experience, like personalized product recommendations or a shipping tracker.
Here are some key eCommerce features the platform should offer to help you manage your online store:
- Product filtering and categorization – help customers find specific products easily, especially if the store offers various items.
- Product variations – if you sell items in different sizes or colors, the platform should allow you to add and manage product variations.
- Promotions, discounts, and coupon codes – offering these can help you generate more sales, especially during the holiday season.
- Inventory management – track product availability in real-time to keep up with demand.
- Abandoned cart recovery – The platform should be able to automatically email cart reminders to customers. This can help recover lost sales.
- Shipping – offer various delivery methods so your customers can select their preferred option, decreasing cart abandonment rates.
Consider Its Design and Customizability
Web design plays an important role in improving customers’ online shopping experience. It encourages them to browse longer on your online store and drive purchases. In fact, 38% of people will leave an eCommerce site if they find its web design or content unappealing.
A good eCommerce platform provides customizable templates or themes, saving users the task of designing the site from scratch. Look for a platform that offers modern, responsive designs to ensure mobile-friendliness.
Many eCommerce platforms also come with an intuitive drag-and-drop visual editor. This helps you build a website quickly without editing code. It’s a great feature for beginners who don’t have web development and design experience.
Look For Suitable Payment Options and Third-Party Integrations
Another crucial consideration is how the platform processes online transactions. Giving your customers multiple payment options will improve their shopping experience and benefit your eCommerce store’s conversions.
Identify the platform’s default payment gateways and check whether you need to pay to integrate popular processors. Having a variety of third-party payment providers is important, as it can make or break a sale.
Check for any transaction fees to consider when developing your pricing strategy. Keep in mind that some platforms charge a percentage of your revenue if you surpass a specific plan’s sales threshold.
Don’t Forget SEO and Other Marketing Features
eCommerce marketing features are crucial for expanding your customer base, promoting your brand, and growing your eCommerce business.
Here are some marketing tools you should look for in an eCommerce platform:
- SEO – increase the organic traffic of your eCommerce site by optimizing it for search engines. These tools let you add meta descriptions and create SEO-friendly URLs.
- Social media integration – integrate your brand’s social channels to strengthen its relationship with customers and drive sales.
- Mailing list subscription – create email marketing campaigns and subscription-only content to improve communication. Add sign-up buttons or banners and send newsletters about ongoing promotions, product launches, and special deals.
- Analytics – analyze your site’s traffic sources and customer behavior to optimize your growth strategy. Adjust the website’s layout, content, and marketing materials to generate more sales.
Blogging is another excellent feature to have on an eCommerce platform. Blog posts can help strengthen your marketing campaigns and SEO strategy. Sharing informative articles about your business and including relevant keywords can also help improve the website’s discoverability.
Find the Best Value for Money
When looking for the best eCommerce platform for your business, consider the long-term costs. Pick several eCommerce platforms or plans that suit your needs, then compare their features and expenses.
If you choose a SaaS eCommerce platform, you must pay monthly or yearly subscription fees. Meanwhile, a free and open-source platform requires you to purchase a hosting service and domain name and pay their renewal fees.
Remember that there might also be additional costs for marketplace integrations, themes, or extensions.
To summarize, choose a scalable eCommerce platform that fits your budget and can support your business growth reliably.
Check Their Customer Support Quality
You may encounter issues when building or maintaining your website. Therefore, choose an eCommerce platform with reliable customer support and extensive documentation to help you solve any problems.
All eCommerce platforms have different levels of support. Some may be limited to email and ticket support, while others may provide 24/7 phone or live chat support.
Access to any support type is useful but consider your expertise and needs. For example, if you have no experience building or running eCommerce stores, you may find that 24/7 support is preferable.
The best eCommerce platform for you depends on your business’ size and needs. Proper research is necessary to decide which platform offers the best features to optimize your business potential.
If you’re still unsure about which option to choose from our eCommerce platform comparison list, take a look at our final recommendations:
- Hostinger Website Builder – best for small to medium-sized businesses. A beginner-friendly platform for a quick and effortless online store setup.
- WooCommerce – best for WordPress users. Designed specifically for WordPress websites, it has the best compatibility with the CMS.
- Adobe Commerce – best for enterprise-grade businesses. Offers lots of advanced features for large businesses with big budgets.
- Ecwid – best eCommerce platform for small businesses selling via multiple channels. Provides a straightforward way to create a simple store that sellers can connect to existing websites.
- Sellfy – best eCommerce platform for selling digital goods. Supports various types of products, from digital to print-on-demand.
It is also important to consider these seven factors when choosing the best platform for selling online:
- Ease of use
- Core eCommerce features
- Design and customizability
- Available payment methods and third-party integrations
- SEO and marketing tools
- Value for money
- Customer support quality
Now that you know the pros and cons of the 15 top eCommerce platforms, make your choice and start building your eCommerce site today.
Best eCommerce Platforms FAQ
Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions about eCommerce platforms.
What Is an eCommerce Platform?
An eCommerce platform is software that facilitates the buying and selling of products or services over the internet.
Some features often found on this platform include product pages, marketing and analytics tools, shopping carts, online payment gateway support, design customization options, and an inventory and order management software.
Why Use an eCommerce Platform?
Using an eCommerce platform lets you access features specifically designed to streamline online sales processes. This frees up your time to focus on other important tasks, such as improving product quality and maintaining good customer relationships.
What Are the Types of eCommerce Platforms?
There are two common types of eCommerce platforms – open-source and software as a service. The former is often free and better suited for users looking for control and customizability. The latter is an all-in-one solution best for those looking for convenience and ease of use.
What Is the Fastest eCommerce Platform?
When measuring page loading speed, BigCommerce tends to be the fastest eCommerce platform. Big Cartel and Shift4Shop are also relatively fast platforms. Meanwhile, the speed of a WooCommerce store depends on the quality of its web hosting provider.
How Much Does an eCommerce Platform Cost?
An eCommerce platform can cost anywhere from free to hundreds of thousands of dollars. More expensive doesn’t necessarily mean better – it all depends on the scale and needs of your business.
Simple eCommerce platforms catering to small and medium-sized businesses are typically more affordable than all-in-one solutions targeting large enterprises.
How Does eCommerce Payment Processing Work?
The customer enters their debit or credit card information at checkout, and the payment gateway relays this data to the payment processor.
After the bank approves the transaction, the processor sends this result to the payment gateway so the approval is visible on the eCommerce website. Afterward, the processor sends the funds to the seller’s account.
Can I Integrate eCommerce Platforms With Other Systems?
Many eCommerce platforms integrate with other systems like enterprise resource planning (ERP), CRM, or inventory management software.
Many also support third-party integrations for various purposes, like email automation, marketing, multi-channel selling, accounting, and customer service. Some have dedicated add-on marketplaces that feature hundreds or thousands of extensions.