If you’re planning on opening an ecommerce store, you need a site platform suited to your needs. Here’s a breakdown of the best ecommerce selling platforms.
By 2014, we already had 12 to 24 million eCommerce websites. Imagine how many more we have now, taking into account the various online store solutions.
Selling platforms are making it easier and easier to start an online store from the ground up. Marketplaces like Amazon and eBay also provide a good opportunity for entrepreneurs to test the waters, so to speak.
However, what if you want to build a dedicated website for your products? Don’t worry; today, it’s as easy as signing up as a seller on online marketplaces.
Check out the best eCommerce platforms today and see which ones suit your needs best.
WooCommerce may be the most popular, though, thanks to its integration with WordPress. This is the platform that 60.4% of websites use. According to the previous article, it has 25% of the market share.
WooCommerce is an eCommerce plugin for WordPress. It turns any WP website into an online store with a simple click.
Although it’s a plugin, it acts as a full-fledged eCommerce platform. It has product, order, and customer management features. The best part about it is it’s free, although some upgrades come at a cost.
It has many useful extensions, such as PayPal checkout and other payment gateways. You can also offer subscription-based services and memberships.
Through plugins, it can also integrate with QuickBooks, Amazon, eBay, and other platforms.
Things like mobile-friendliness and bandwidth don’t depend on WooCommerce, though. Mobile optimization, for instance, depends on the theme you choose. The bandwidth also depends on the hosting provider of your WordPress site.
Because of its popularity, many third-party providers offer themes for your online store. You can use them as they are, or you can access the CSS to make some tweaks and make it perfect.
When it comes to eCommerce software distribution to the top 1 million sites, Shopify occupies 20% of the market.
A part of its popularity is thanks to its ease of use. Smaller eCommerce sites can launch their online store in a jiffy.
You only need your email address to sign up, and then you can start building your shop right away. You can use one of the hundreds of themes it offers or you can edit the HTML and CSS.
It also has different monthly plans for your different needs. It starts at $29 and it can go up to $299, which is better for bigger stores with a higher volume of orders.
To start selling, you have to add products, which is quite easy to do. You only need to give it a title, a description, the category, and so on. Then, upload an image and you’re all set.
One of its advantages is the huge app marketplace. If you need an added function on your website, you can find it in the marketplace.
Shopify supports different payment gateways. If you want to sell somewhere else, it can integrate with social media and marketplaces. It can also provide you with the right tools to start selling even in a physical store.
For bigger enterprises, BigCommerce may be a better choice. Examples of enterprise-level merchants that use this platform include Toyota and Payless.
In terms of market share, though, it only holds 3%. Nonetheless, that doesn’t say anything about its capabilities.
It’s built for powerful websites with advanced security and industry-leading uptime. It has built-in integration with a variety of powerful eCommerce tools and apps. For automation, product promotion, email marketing, and such, all you need is to look at its app store.
BigCommerce also lets you sell through other selling platforms, like Amazon and social media. It doesn’t lack in product management and order fulfillment features either. What sets it apart, however, is that it has 40 payment processing options–all with no transaction fees.
Don’t let the big names in the industry intimidate you. It’s also perfect for new and small businesses starting an online store. You can choose from its plans, starting from $30 to $250, based on your needs. For enterprises, you have to contact them to inquire about their pricing.
While BigCommerce appeals to anyone wanting to start an online store, Magento caters to enterprises for the most part.
It’s an open-source subscription-based eCommerce platform that requires technical knowledge about programming and developing. It’s not for beginners who want to start small.
Even with the high barrier to entry, 10% of the top 1 million websites use Magento, as per the previous article.
It has all the basic functions of eCommerce platforms. It has product, order, and customer management features. It offers different payment options and it supports the use of discount and coupon codes.
It also lets users sell on other marketplaces and platforms through integrations. The app store has everything you need, from store themes to customer service plugins.
What’s great about Magento is that you can do anything you want. You can adjust its functionality and design according to your needs and preferences.
It gives you almost total control over your eCommerce website. Its variety of features and options allow you to build the best website for you.
You can download it and install on your servers, or you can make use of its hosted cloud version. For the latter, though, you’ll have to get in contact with them.
Wix is another platform that allows you to set up your online store in a few clicks. It’s one of the best platforms for beginners because of its easy-to-use editor. You only have to drag and drop the page elements to build your website.
It’s free to build a website on Wix but note that you need to pay to sell some things. It’s first and foremost a website builder. This means it’s unlike the other tools on this list that are pure eCommerce platforms.
Its selling features may be a bit basic. There are extensions on the app store that can add functionality to your online store, though. It also comes with hosting already, so you’ll already have that part covered.
It also has ready-made templates for online stores. Wix even gives you access to stock photos you can use on your website.
Because of its no-frills features, it’s a good option for newcomers who want to get a website going right away.
If you like the idea of drag-and-drop editing, you can also consider Squarespace. Its templates are easy to use and easy to adjust according to your taste and style.
If the aesthetic of your online store is your priority, you’ll love this platform. It started as an app focusing on the visual appeal of websites. Later on, it started to add selling functionalities. Today, it can compete with other sales platforms in terms of features and offerings.
For that reason, it’s popular among creatives and artists.
It has standard eCommerce features, such as inventory management and order fulfillment. It’s great that it provides valuable data about your website’s performance, too. It tracks conversions, revenue, and other data about your website like traffic source.
Depending on your plan, you may also get more features like accounting, label printing, and recovery of abandoned carts.
If you choose annual payment, you can get an eCommerce plan for as low as $18 per month. It costs $26 per month if you choose to pay monthly.
It also has an advanced plan that costs $46 per month. To start selling, though, you only need at least the business plan.
OpenCart is another popular choice for eCommerce websites. Like Magento, you can download and install it on your services, but it has a hosted cloud version, too.
It has a wide array of offerings. You can sell an unlimited number of digital and physical goods. You can set unlimited categories, and it has built-in support for different currencies. It also supports product ratings and reviews out of the box.
Because it’s open-source, it offers you high customization capabilities. It also has a huge marketplace where you can find extensions, themes, and gateways to further customize your site.
Its biggest advantage is its powerful analytics. You can see an overview of your website right on the interface. From here, it also lets you build and control multiple online stores.
While the platform itself is free, you need to pay for the things you buy from the marketplace. On average, an extension or them can cost $100.
If you get the cloud-hosted solution, prepare to pay at least $30 to $200 monthly.
How to Choose from the Best Selling Platforms
Each one of the selling platforms above has appealing features. How can you choose only one? First, consider your budget then consider your needs.
We provided you with a basic idea of what each one can do. But the best way to know which to choose is to test them all. Lucky for you, most–if not all–of these provide free trials.
If you want to learn more about eCommerce, check out what other resources you need. Take a look at our other blogs, too, to get more ideas.