With so many top ecommerce platforms on the market, it can be challenging for business owners to choose the right system for their business.
A good ecommerce platform should be affordable, easy to use and allow you to create a successful online store.
To help you choose the right platform, we put together a list of the 15 best e-commerce solutions with their key features, pros and cons.
The Best Ecommerce Platforms: Overview
Here is a quick overview of the best e-commerce platforms available on the market.
- Adobe Commerce (previously Magento)
- Big Cartel
The Best E-Commerce Platforms: Reviews
From multi-channel features to essential marketing functionality, most ecommerce content management systems offer a great variety of options.
However, business owners need to identify the features they require to run an online store and generate sales as efficiently as possible.
Here are our top 15 ecommerce software solutions together with their main features, advantages and disadvantages.
Adobe Commerce (previously Magento)
Adobe Commerce is one of the largest ecommerce systems on the market. Brands, such as Cisco and Nike choose Adobe Commerce for their international online stores.
Previously known as Magento, this platform has so many features that you can create a fully customizable online shopping experience.
This makes Adobe Commerce a powerful, open-source software solution for a variety of larger B2B and C2B businesses.
However, this also means that you need a developer or development team that is familiar with Adobe Commerce.
A big advantage of this ecommerce system is that Magento (Adobe Commerce) has a large community that shares troubleshooting tips and development tricks.
You can use Adobe Commerce for free but there is also a paid plan for large ecommerce companies. This paid, enterprise plan comes with an expensive license fee.
But also smaller businesses and start-ups who are looking to grow fast can use the long list of features that Adobe Commerce provides as standard.
- Excellent variety of features: The wealth of features allows marketers to create a feature-rich ecommerce store
- Strong SEO: Robust search engine optimization features help your online store rank high on Google
- Hosting flexibility: You can host Adobe Commerce with any hosting provider of your choice, giving you greater flexibility on server size and budget.
- Customizable: Adobe Commerce has a large number of features that can be fully customized to suit your brand and marketing strategy.
- Requires a development team: As a large system, Adobe Commerce requires specific web development skills which doesn’t make it suitable for beginners.
- Expensive: Compared to other ecommerce solutions on this list, Adobe Commerce is one of the most expensive.
Shopify is a robust platform that’s suitable for ecommerce beginners. If you want to launch an online store with a few products, then Shopify is a good e-commerce option.
The platform has essential core features, like product management and checkout pages. It also allows you to offer drop-shipment to your customers.
Shopify also has some strong upselling features on checkout and product pages. However, there aren’t as many customization options as with Adobe Commerce or WooCommerce.
The platform has a drag-and-drop interface that is easy to use for beginners. This means that marketers and ecommerce store managers won’t need extensive development knowledge.
While Shopify offers hundreds of apps and additional plugins, some of these apps come with an additional cost.
For brick-and-mortar stores, Shopify POS allows business owners to take payments via a mobile app. This means you don’t need to set up a separate point-of-sale system.
- Quick and easy setup: Shopify allows business owners to set up their online store within minutes.
- Fast load times: Compared to Magento and WooCommerce, Shopify websites load faster which creates a better customer experience.
- 1-Click Selling: You can set up one-click selling, so customers can buy from your online store with a single click.
- Social selling: One of the biggest features that makes Shopify so powerful is that you can sell your products on social media with just a few clicks.
- Low transaction fees with Shopify Payment: While most payment providers for ecommerce stores, such as Square or Stripe, charge transaction fees, they are a lot lower with Shopify Payment.
- Poor SEO features: When it comes to search engine optimization, Shopify only has the basic features, such as adding a meta description. You can’t even change the URL structure to optimize your website.
- No customization options for checkout pages: Shopify doesn’t allow you to individually customize any of the checkout pages. This means you may not be able to offer a fully branded checkout experience.
WooCommerce, as part of WordPress, is the best single ecommerce platform that has all essential features.
As WordPress is open-source software, an experience deb developer can fully customize all areas of your website. WooCommerce also has a big community that provides support.
While WordPress is the main content management system (CMS), you can add WooCommerce as a solid plugin to turn your website into a functional ecommerce store.
With the different customization options, you can find a variety of integrations for email marketing, shipping, social media and various payment gateways.
Although WooCommerce is quick and easy to set up, some website owners found that the additional products and checkout functionality slow their site down.
However, the risk of low site loading speeds can be mitigated by custom development and limiting the use of plugins on your WordPress website.
If you have experience with WordPress, Magento and other ecommerce providers, then WooCommerce doesn’t require a big learning curve.
- Powerful SEO features: WordPress and WooCommerce offer robust SEO functionality that allows you to customize product pages.
- Highly customizable: As WooCommerce is a plugin for WordPress, you can fully customize it to fit your branding and store requirements.
- Access to many integrations: Integrations allow you to create a feature-rich storefront. WooCommerce and WordPress both provide a variety of integrations.
- WordPress expertise widely available: As WordPress is a popular CMS platform, there are many front-end and back-end developers trained in WooCommerce.
- No support: WordPress has a large developer community but there is no specific support from WooCommerce available.
- Extensions slow down the website: The more plugins and extensions you add to your site, the slower your ecommerce store runs. You can avoid this by keeping the add-ons to a minimum and coding custom features yourself.
Squarespace has a neat drag-and-drop editor that gives you the ability to launch an ecommerce store within a few minutes.
Although their interface isn’t as easy to use for beginners as Weebly or Wix, it doesn’t take long to get a good understanding of where everything is.
The sleek design and mobile-friendly templates aren’t just versatile but they also look good on different devices and operating systems.
While most people use Squarespace for their content websites, the software is also suitable for ecommerce stores.
This being said, you need the Business website plan to get all the ecommerce features that allow you to create products and start selling.
The tiered pricing system means that the more you pay for your website plan, the more functionality you can add to your online store.
The top plan gives you the option to sell gift cards and subscriptions. You can also integrate abandoned cart recovery features and offer discounts.
Squarespace’s analytics features give you an extensive overview of your product performance.
- Great looking designs: Squarespace offers some of the most beautiful web designs and templates for their ecommerce stores.
- Extensive SEO tools: Squarespace provides a variety of SEO tools that allow you to change the title, slug and meta description of each product and page.
- Easy to set up basic stores: If you want to set up just a few products with a modern-looking website, then Squarespace gives you all the essential functionality.
- No dropshipping option: Squarespace doesn’t offer any dropshipping capabilities which can limit the type of online store you can have.
- No additional apps or plug-ins: Unlike Shopify or WooCommerce, Squarespace doesn’t have an app store that allows you to add more functionality to your site.
- Limited integrations: The Squarespace platform doesn’t provide any integration with Amazon or other marketing systems. Their only payment integrations are Stripe and PayPal.
Wix started out as a small ecommerce company but they have grown a lot in the last years.
This software platform is most popular with small ecommerce businesses and solopreneurs. They offer print-on-demand capabilities, abandoned cart recovery and dropship as standard.
While Wix struggled with serious SEO issues in the past, the platform has overhauled its offering for search engine optimization.
You can now add meta descriptions and titles. However, there are also some problems that remain, such as the rigid URL structure.
This can pose an issue if you are a large ecommerce business who wants to rank high on search engines, such as Google.
While Wix has added a whole host of features to its repertoire, some of the functionality remains limiting, including the restricted storage space.
This means that you will need to switch to another ecommerce platform when you add more products and additional content pages, such as a blog.
Although this isn’t ideal for fast-growing online stores, the Wix website builder is ideal for beginners.
The strong support features make learning how to manage content in Wix is easy and fast.
- A lot of free themes: Wix offers a great choice of free themes, although you can also pay for more advanced templates.
- Simple to set up and use: This easy-to-use ecommerce platform is straightforward to set up. It allows you to manage your product content and images in a simple way.
- On-page support: If you need help or you have questions about a feature, then you can use the Wix on-page support chat.
- No upselling functionality: You can’t upsell any other products on your Wix website.
- Few customization options: Wix is mostly hard-coded which means most templates aren’t customizable.
- Site security issues: Wix is considered one of the most vulnerable website builder when it comes to site security.
- Can’t change theme: This ecommerce software doesn’t allow you to change your theme, which means you have to choose your site template carefully.
Weebly is known for its ease of use and simplicity. It is ideal for online store beginners, start up businesses and content creators.
Weebly is owned by the same company as the payment gateway Square. While Square is a payment provider, Weebly offers retailers to create their own online presence at an affordable price.
In fact, Weebly has one of the best offerings when it comes to value for money. You have access to the basic features of the ecommerce platform with a free plan.
This allows you to create an online store without any up-front investment. However, you can only use essential functionality.
For more customization, users need to purchase Weebly’s Professional plan which includes inventory management, an SSL certificate, an automatic tax calculator and a free domain.
With the limited features to launch a website, Weebly is ideal for small businesses with a small budget.
- Free plan with basic functionality: Weebly provides a free plan with the basic features to get you started.
- Unlimited storage: One of the best benefits with Weebly is that you get unlimited bandwidth and storage which allows you to create a large store with a lot of content.
- Automatic shipping calculator: Weebly offers a practical shipping calculator that automatically works out shipping costs for individual items and bulk buys.
- Not the best themes: Some of Weebly’s themes don’t look well designed.
- No custom domain with a free plan: While the free plan gives you plenty of good features, Weebly only give you a custom domain with their paid plan.
Designed originally as an ecommerce platform that can sell digital products, Sellfy now offers its users a variety of selling options.
The easy-to-use website is suitable for website beginners who want to launch their own online store within minutes.
You can use your Sellfy store as a stand-alone website or connect it to another content site, such as a blog.
Sellfy also gives you the option to use your own custom domain for your store. As the platform doesn’t offer custom domains, you will need to buy this yourself.
The most expensive of Sellfy’s paid plan is only a fraction of the price of Shopify which makes the platform excellent value for money.
This being said, if you want to fully customize your ecommerce store, then you will need some of the expensive third-party apps.
Most of these apps are subscription based which means they add to your regular maintenance costs.
One of the biggest benefits with Sellfy is that you can set up your store with a variety of product types, including subscription products, digital products and physical products.
What makes Sellfy more unusual is that you can also expand into print-on-demand. This is ideal when you are selling POD products.
With the good amount of storage space on a paid plan, you can sell an unlimited number of items.
- Free plan with no credit card required: Sellfy offers a free plan and a four-day trial without any credit card details.
- Sell physical products: You can sell both digital and physical products (although the physical products are limited to ten).
- Includes Wix integration: If you have a Wix website, then you can integrate your Wix site with your Sellfy store, making content management easier.
- No transaction fees: One of the biggest advantages with Sellfy is that you don’t need to pay any transaction fees.
- Only a few payment gateways available: You can choose only from a limited number of payment gateways with Sellfy.
- Third-party integrations require Zapier: Users need to install Zapier to work with most of Sellfy’s third-party integrations.
- Few marketing tools: Some key marketing tools, that you can find in other ecommerce platforms, are missing. This includes upsells and one-click options.
ShopWired is one of the most recent website platforms entering the ecommerce industry.
With customers worldwide, ShopWired may have a similar price tag to BigCommerce and Shopify but they also offer features that can easily keep up with the big players.
While ShopWired doesn’t offer a plan, all their tiered plans come with important and expert functionality, one-click upsells, digital and personalized product management.
Some of the features that you need to pay for with other ecommerce systems come as free plugins with ShopWired. This is, for example, reviews and abandoned cart recovery.
Unlike some of the larger ecommerce platforms, ShopWired is set up for B2C, C2C and B2B functionality.
With the individual B2B features, ShopWired allows their store owners to credit accounts, manage a quote request system, apply bulk discounts and create trade accounts.
This is usually functionality that requires custom coding with other systems, such as Adobe Commerce or WooCommerce.
- Specific B2B features: The platform offers a variety of B2B functionality, from creating trade accounts to implementing quotes.
- Fast load speeds: ShopWired sites come with fast load speed times that create a smooth user experience.
- Custom theme designs: You can use ShopWired’s custom theme design service to help to build a branded template for your store.
- Some add-ons require coding skills: You may need an understanding of web development to install some extensions and apps on ShopWired.
- No Amazon integration: ShopWired doesn’t offer an integration with Amazon which might make it more difficult to sell your products.
This makes it ideal for larger retailers and businesses who focus their marketing efforts on search engine optimization.
You can also use BigCommerce as a stepping stone to launch your first online store. BigCommerce allows users to expand their store with ease.
Their powerful tools make it possible for users of any industry and niche to design and create a successful online presence.
You don’t need any coding knowledge to fully customize your online shop. Change the design of your website and customize the template within minutes.
This doesn’t just save you money in the long run but it also saves a lot of time, which you can use to market and sell your products actively.
The beautifully designed BigCommerce themes are fully customer focused with the aim to make your products look good and entice potential customers to buy.
While you don’t need any coding experience with BigCommerce, they also offer a partner directory that helps you find developers if you need extra support.
Similar to ShopWired, BigCommerce doesn’t offer a free plan, although you can try the platform with a free trial.
Their cheapest Essentials plan offers a solid choice of features, such as unlimited bandwidth, analytics and reporting, selling gift cards and setting up discount codes.
These features make even BigCommerce’s basic plan good value for money.
- Beautiful theme designs: BigCommerce has a great choice of powerful themes that entice customers to buy your products.
- Easy order management: You can manage your orders in one simple dashboard.
- Strong search engine optimization performance: Each plan allows you to change core SEO features to improve your search engine rankings.
- No upselling feature: BigCommerce doesn’t offer one-click selling or upselling functionality. This makes it more challenging to sell other products during the checkout process.
- Expensive for large online stores: If you are selling a larger number of products, then their top plan is expensive, compared to other ecommerce platforms.
Volusion is a simple website builder with in-page editing functionality. You can choose from a large number of themes, although only a handful are free.
With the price of some themes going over $100, store owners need to choose carefully what theme they want to use.
Volusion is designed for selling physical products because there is no option yet to download digital products after checkout.
In addition to the template costs, you also need to pay for an SSL certificate to make sure your ecommerce store is securely processing data.
This is a big upfront investment, especially if you are a small business on a small budget.
Another drawback of Volusion is that there is no option to create a blog.
Blogging has a big impact on where you rank on Google, so the lack of this additional content can impact your search engine rankings.
This being said, you can use another website builder, such as Wix or WordPress, to create a blog and then link it to your Volusion store.
Volusion offers store owners multichannel selling and inventory management in an easy-to-use dashboard.
There is also a good choice of marketing options, such as selling on Amazon and eBay.
You can also create coupons or rewards that allow your customers to save money on their purchases.
- Well-structured dashboard: You can access everything you need, including learning materials, directly from your Volusion dashboard.
- Integration subscription payments: You can set up subscription or recurring payments on individual products.
- Big help center: Ideal for beginners: Volusion has a help center to get you started with the basic setup of your online store.
- No blogging features: There is no option to create a blog with Volusion, so you need to use a separate third-party website builder if you want to build a blog.
- No Cross-selling and up-selling functionality: You won’t be able to feature additional products on other product pages or during the checkout.
Previously known as 3dcart, Shift4Shop is a popular ecommerce system with large online businesses, such as PCMag.
With no transaction fees and unlimited storage, this platform comes with most of the standard features.
Shift4Shop also offers its own POS that allows you to sell physical products from your brick-and-mortar store and integrate this together with your online sales.
Although they offer some support for beginners, one of the biggest drawbacks with Shift4Shop is that the system is complex to manage and navigate.
The website editor isn’t the standard drag-and-drop and it also looks old-fashioned. The same applies to their frontend templates that haven’t kept up with design standards.
In addition to the clunky website builder, it is also difficult to customize your store without any web development knowledge.
Another disadvantage is that they limit the volume of sales you can have with each plan. The lowest plan allows you sales of up to 50,000 units.
- Excellent shipping options: Shift4Shop allows you to create complex shipping options without the need for an API.
- Blog options: Unlike some ecommerce competitors, Shift4Shop offers you the option to create a full blog with all the essential features.
- Management tools for business users: The platform provides all the tools you need to set up an online business-to-business store.
- No abandoned cart feature: Unlike Shopify which offers abandoned cart recovery as part of their plan, Shift4Shop doesn’t provide this feature at all.
- Not for beginners: Shift4Shop’s web builder is difficult to handle for beginners.
- Outdated templates: While the platform’s themes are functional, they don’t have the same appealing look and feel as some other sites.
As a product from web hosting provider Hostinger, Zyro is a SaaS platform that is suitable for small businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs.
What makes Zyro more unusual compared to the other ecommerce platforms on the market is that it doesn’t just offer a website builder but also a variety of AI features.
You can change the backgrounds of images, create a blog with all its content and add a business name together with a slogan.
You can use the free themes to get you started with your ecommerce site and then customize individual pages and sections to give your new online store a branded look.
Zyro allows users to sell both physical and digital products which means it’s flexible enough for different business models.
When it comes to pricing, Zyro is one of the cheapest SaaS platforms. While you need to select their Business plan to get all the ecommerce features, it is easily affordable.
- Unlimited bandwidth and storage: You get unlimited storage and bandwidth with all plans, so you can upscale your business at any time.
- Includes marketing integrations: Marketing integrations come as standard with all plans which means you can promote your website easily.
- AI tools for image design: Zyro offers some handy features to manipulate images and the design of your site.
- Only basic SEO features: You can only change basic search engine optimization elements which might hold your Google rankings back.
Big Cartel is one of the cheaper ecommerce platforms that allows you to create both small or large online shops. You can get up to five products with the free plan.
The drag and drop editor helps you put together your product and content pages in a few minutes.
What makes Big Cartel competitive is that they offer a variety of free plans that allow you to connect your own domain name. This is usually a paid feature with other ecommerce systems.
Big Cartel is popular with creatives which makes it the ideal platform for business-to-consumer stores and consumer-to-consumer shops.
With the paid plans, you can also sell digital and in-store products. If you want to sell on social media, then you can integrate your Big Cartel store with Facebook.
In addition to the solid marketing features, you also get a robust order and inventory management system that allows you to track and process orders quickly.
While Big Cartel is easy to use, there aren’t many customizable features.
Overall, the platform is aimed at small businesses that want to set up a basic site quickly and without a big budget.
- Free plans: A choice of free plans gives you different options. Plus, you can add your own domain name.
- Cheap paid plans: If you want to use some of the more advanced ecommerce features, then you can opt for the affordable paid tiers.
- Easy order and inventory tracking: Track all customer orders and manage your inventory in one dashboard.
- No option for selling services: While you can sell digital products with Zyro, the platform isn’t designed for selling services.
- Only a few customization options: Customization is limited with Zyro which can restrict the look and feel of your site.
GoDaddy is well-known as a web hosting platform but you can also create your own ecommerce website with its drag-and-drop interface.
It is quick and easy to build a site with different physical products and various payment options, such as Google Pay, Apple Pay, credit cards, and PayPal.
GoDaddy offers a good choice of social media integrations that allow you to connect your social accounts with your online store.
You can even send out up to 25,000 emails with their paid website plan which you need to use GoDaddy’s ecommerce features.
It is easy to add promotional banners, videos, and other content to your GoDaddy site.
Although there are few customization capabilities, the quick setup and easy dashboard make GoDaddy ideal for first-time sellers and small businesses.
- Accept different payment options: The robust variety of payment options allows your customers to choose the way they want to pay.
- Social media and email integration: You can connect your e-commerce store with your social media profiles and email provider to promote your products.
- Expensive: GoDaddy is expensive for the features that the platform offers.
- Requires a paid plan: The ecommerce functionality requires a paid plan which isn’t cheap.
CoreCommerce’s ecommerce platform has been designed for small and medium-sized businesses that want to build an online presence.
What makes CoreCommerce unique in the ecommerce space is that it offers all features on all plans.
Their pricing depends on the number of products you add to your storefront, storage space, bandwidth, and the number of email accounts.
The cheaper plan allows you to sell 150 products which is much more than many competitors.
CoreCommerce also encourages social selling as they offer every customer ad credits for Facebook.
Similar to the competition, CoreCommerce provides features, such as order processing, store design, marketing and product management.
Another feature that makes this ecommerce provider stand out is that customers get a lot of customization options, secure hosting and blogging as standard.
If you don’t want to sign up for a paid subscription with CoreCommerce, then they also offer a 30-day free trial where you can try out all the features.
- All features for all customers: No matter what plan you are, you get the same ecommerce features.
- Blogging engine included: You can create a blog and blog content with CoreCommerce’s blogging engine.
- Standard customization: Customization capabilities come as standard, so you can make your site look and feel like your brand.
- Limited storage: The cost of your paid plan depends on your required bandwidth and the storage space you need.
How To Choose E-Commerce Platform That’s Right For You
The ecommerce space continually evolves, and so do the technology and features of online stores.
Choosing the right e-commerce system for your business needs allows you to quickly set up an ecommerce shop, generate sales and grow your business.
Not all platforms work for all sellers. For example, some sellers only need a site for five products which means you don’t require software with a large inventory.
You may even have a brick-and-mortar store that you want to expand into the online space.
In order to save time and money, you need to manage the inventory and order capabilities of your physical and online store in one dashboard.
In addition to the standard features, you also need to consider how easy it is to use, your resources, your budget, and any customization options you need.
Here is a list of all the factors that you need to keep in mind when you are looking for an ecommerce platform that meets your needs.
Choose The Right Type Of Ecommerce Platforms
Before you start looking at the individual features of potential ecommerce software, it is a good idea to find out what type of ecommerce platform you need.
Ecommerce systems are typically divided into two categories: self-hosted and cloud-based.
Self-Hosted Ecommerce Systems
A self-hosted ecommerce platform means that you need to find a hosting provider that can host your site on their servers.
While this can take some time and it is an additional cost, it can give you a lot more control over security, scalability and uptime.
You will also need additional technical expertise when you are hosting your website yourself. This being said, many hosting providers offer excellent support and learning material.
Cloud-Based Ecommerce Systems
On the other hand, cloud-based ecommerce platforms are one system that includes hosting. You don’t have to pay anything extra for hosting your domain.
This also saves you money and resources on server maintenance. However, you are dependent on your platform’s hosting arrangements, bandwidth and storage space.
One of the biggest disadvantages with cloud-based hosting is that you cannot scale your site, unless you upgrade your plan with your ecommerce platform.
Some platforms also offer only a limited amount of storage and bandwidth which means that you might have to move your site if you exceed their limits.
B2B Or B2C Ecommerce
Another consideration to keep in mind before exploring the different ecommerce systems is what specific features you need for your business model.
B2B, C2C and B2C companies have very different requirements.
For example, as B2B online store manager, you might need the ability to generate quotes and set up trade accounts for your customers.
Most ecommerce platforms support a great variety of business-to-consumer features but there are fewer software providers that offer specific B2B functionality.
Your Business Size
The size of your business can also play a role in what type of ecommerce platform you require. Most small businesses use only the basic functionality to launch their site.
This being said, it’s also important to keep your growth plans in mind, so make sure that you choose a platform that allows you to scale up.
If you are already an established business with a lot of content and products, then you need to look for an ecommerce platform that caters to medium and large businesses.
These MLB platforms usually come with a lot more standard features out of the box but they usually require regular maintenance and web development experience.
Ease Of Use
One of the key features that you need to consider when setting up a new ecommerce system for your business is ease of use.
Whether you as the business owner use the platform every day or you have an ecommerce team who look after the content, an easy-to-use ecommerce platform saves time and resources.
Most systems offer a drag-and-drop editor that allows marketers and ecommerce professionals to quickly build product pages.
The platform should have a dashboard where you can access all important features, from the website builder and order management to product inventory and shipping setup.
Your online store is the first impression potential customers get of your brand. That’s why it is vital that your ecommerce shop looks great.
All ecommerce platforms offer templates and themes that you can use as the base for your store design. Some of these templates are free, while others may have a cost attached.
Depending on your branding, you may be happy with a basic template design. However, many online businesses choose to fully customize their ecommerce store.
Customization doesn’t just allow you to integrate all your required features into your site but it also gives your website the look and feel that reflects your brand.
As the website design is also an important part of your customer’s experience, you need to make sure that each page, especially the product pages, is fully optimized for conversion.
A successful ecommerce website uses design in a clever way to sell its products effectively.
Physical Or Digital Products
Although the majority of ecommerce platforms are geared toward selling physical products, not each system allows you to sell digital products, gift cards or subscriptions.
Some platforms even offer print on demand capabilities where you can offer a POD service to your customers.
The type of product you want to sell is important to consider with your long term strategy.
If you are sure that you don’t want to offer these products in the future, then you can choose an ecommerce platform that only lets you sell physical items.
No matter what type of product you sell, you need a way to manage all the content for your product. This should include product variations, price, inventory, and product reviews.
A top ecommerce platform also gives you a flexible product page builder that lets you create your own pages that contain all essential product information.
The more products you manage with your website, the more content you will need to manage.
This means that your ecommerce software should offer an easy-to-use interface to handle all products in one place.
Payment Options And Payment Processing
The ability to take payments and process customer payments is essential for an ecommerce site.
While all e-commerce platforms offer some form of payment processing, there are variations in what type of payment options they provide to customers.
Most platforms use either their own payment gateway or integrate with a payment provider, such as Square or Stripe.
Make sure that you offer as many different payment options as possible.
The majority of online stores provide not just credit card and PayPal payment options but also Apple Pay, Google Pay, and other online payment facilities.
When it comes to payments, it’s also important to keep in mind that payment gateways usually charge a transaction fee. They may also charge additional fees, such as a processing fee.
It’s worth comparing different payment providers with your chosen ecommerce platform. While these fees don’t seem like a lot at first, they can add up with each sale you make.
Unless you want to sell only digital products or services, you need a robust shipping engine in place with your ecommerce site.
Ensure that your chosen platform offers different shipping options and shipping integrations.
The right shipping options depend on your business. For example, if you only sell small items, then you can stick to standard shipping options.
On the other hand, large items may require freight shipping that you can only set up with a shipping integration to freight carriers.
Product Inventory Management
As part of your ecommerce store, you need some way to track your product inventory to ensure you don’t run out of stock or oversell products.
Most good ecommerce systems offer a way to manage your inventory but there are variations when it comes to the individual features.
Some platforms only allow you to keep track of the number of products available, while others let you know when stock is running low.
It’s also a good idea to check for handy stock features such as customer email notifications when an item is back in stock.
Not business owners need a way to manage customer orders but also buying customers have to have the ability to view and amend their orders.
An ecommerce platform should provide the ability to create customer accounts. Some platforms also offer a loyalty scheme setup, order history and wish lists.
The more customer-centered features you can offer, the more likely your customers will buy from you again and recommend your store.
Mobile Optimization And Operating Systems
As part of your website design, you need to ensure that your store looks good and works well on desktop, tablet and mobile devices and different screen sizes.
A well-designed website template should be mobile-friendly and responsive, so it adapts to the correct device.
You also need to consider different operating systems. If you know that your customers typically use Apple phones, then make sure you test your website on this iOS.
Analytics And Reporting
Reporting and analytics are essential to understand how your customers shop on your site. This can help you improve your ecommerce store and generate more sales.
Make sure that your chosen ecommerce platform provides a form of reporting that shows average order value and conversion rate.
This being said, not every ecommerce system offers detailed analytics but marketing integrations with reporting tools, such as Google Analytics.
Marketing tools are vital for your ecommerce strategy and to promote your store on social media.
Make sure that the ecommerce solution has a good variety of marketing features, such as abandoned cart emails and coupons.
You should also check the type of marketing integrations you need. Most ecommerce platforms come with standard email integrations to common email providers, such as Mailchimp.
It’s also a good idea to check if your platform offers social selling. This allows you to sell your products directly on Facebook and other social media channels.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO is a key element for every website, especially ecommerce stores. It’s essential to help you rank at the top of search results in search engines.
Make sure that your chosen platform offers solid SEO tools that allow you to adjust the meta title, meta description and URL of every page.
There are also technical SEO elements that a good ecommerce platform lets you customize, although you may need a web developer for the coding work.
As an ecommerce store processes payment data and other sensitive customer details, security is a core element of each ecommerce platform.
Check that your ecommerce system is PCI compliant. Your site should be password protected (ideally with double authentication).
For an online store, an SSL certificate is a must-have as this indicates to website users that all data is encrypted and safe.
Whether you have only five products or five hundred can make a big difference to the load speed and content management of your website.
Simple ecommerce platforms restrict the storage space that you can use. This means that you can only upload a certain number of products, images and other content.
If you are a startup or small business, then you won’t need a lot of storage first. However, it’s a good idea to keep in mind that you may run out of space if you want to scale up.
While most ecommerce providers offer clear documentation for their features, it’s worthwhile finding a platform that provides good customer support.
If you are an ecommerce beginner, then you may have questions about certain functionality or you just want help with your setup.
On the other hand, if you are an ecommerce pro and you need some help with troubleshooting an issue, then fast customer support can save you time and money.
Also known as omni-channel selling, selling your products through a variety of different channels can help you generate more sales.
Make sure that your chosen platform supports your omnichannel strategy. Look for features such as social selling or point-of-sale integration.
Integrations are vital for an ecommerce business as most e-commerce systems don’t offer all services, such as email marketing or CRM.
Make sure to check what other software you currently use in your business and what you want to integrate into your new ecommerce platform.
Integration doesn’t just make internal business processes smoother but it can also improve the customer experience.
How much customization you need for your website depends on your type of business.
If you sell only a few products and you are good to use the basic features, then you can pick an ecommerce platform that offers only limited customization options.
If you need to customize every aspect of your online store, then look for a platform that matches your needs and any features you require.
With every business looking to grow, it’s important to keep your growth strategy in mind.
Identify how quickly you want to scale your business and make sure your new platform can accommodate your future plans.
If your ecommerce platform isn’t flexible enough for your business to scale, then you might have to switch platforms later on. This is expensive and time consuming.
One aspect that’s not often considered when looking for an ecommerce platform is localization capabilities.
If you want to sell your products to customers in multiple countries, then you need a software that allows you to integrate different currencies and languages.
Check that your chosen platform supports the localization features that you need to set up your international online store.
Build And Maintenance Costs
When you are looking at the costs of building and maintaining an ecommerce website, then you’ll find that they can vary widely depending on your requirements.
While some ecommerce platforms offer free plans and free trials, you still need to invest time and some money into the setup of your site.
The more complex your ecommerce store, the more expensive it will be to build, design and maintain after launch.
With a wide range of e-commerce systems and software on the market, business owners can choose the platform that offers the best value for money.
The best ecommerce solution provides all the features you need to build, design, launch and promote your own online store.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Best E-Commerce Platform?
The best ecommerce platform is the system that fits your business needs. Different businesses have different requirements for their online stores.
Big ecommerce platforms, such as Adobe Commerce and WordPress, are most popular with large businesses because they allow their users to scale up business operations fast.
What Is The Best B2B E-Commerce Platform?
Most ecommerce systems also work for business-to-business selling.
However, there are also a few platforms that have specific B2B features, such as creating trade accounts and quote requests.