6+ Best eCommerce Platforms for Any Business that are Worth to Try
In past, there was a time when selling or purchasing goods or services without a physical experience did not seem possible. If someone wants to buy any product or try any service then they had to visit the location.
But, these days everything possible with the internet. You can buy anything online from pencil to laptop or motor vehicles to aircraft. This is all possible because of an eCommerce platform. It has made life easier for both customers and sellers. So, if you own any type of business and wanted to take your business online in 2021 then there are plenty of options available. Choose the most suitable eCommerce platform and showcase the best version of your business online.
So, let’s get started with the best eCommerce platforms to choose from for your business!
First, what is an eCommerce platform?
In simple terms, an eCommerce platform is a place where you can create an online presence for your business. This is the place where you can sell your products and services online and fulfill them without any hassle. With the help of an eCommerce platform, you can not only fulfill the orders but also accept payments online. So, an eCommerce platform is much more than you have to think of.
Types of eCommerce platforms
To make your online selling possible, you will require a hosting solution that stores your information on a server that permits internet users to visit your site. Simply, your online store has a dedicated server space from a hosting provider.
Some of the eCommerce platforms have built-in hosting, while others require open-source hosting or self-hosting.
Many website builders offer a hosted platform and so without any hassle, you can start with an eCommerce business. However, third-party hosting and additional fees are always attached with this type of website builder. For instance – Shopify includes website hosting in every offered plan. All website updates and Shopify updates will be done hassle-free. So, you will have more focus and freedom on your business. But, with website builder purchase you will have to pay extra for the hosting.
Self-hosted platforms are mainly open-source. This is the situation when an eCommerce platform does not provide any hosting facility and the merchant has to use his own server space or rent a space from a hosting provider. Though it will save you money but it is more on the complex side. You are the one who is responsible for maintenance, updates, and bug fixes. For that, you will require a lot of internal resources and time.
Types of available eCommerce
Here are four types of eCommerce:
1. B2C – where you sell your products and services directly to an individual customer. It is also known as direct-to-customer.
2. B2B – When your business sells to another business online is called B2B eCommerce. This includes wholesale buying.
3. C2B – it is also called re-selling where customers can sell products based on their social media reach. They can sell your products via word-of-mouth publicity, good feedbacks, and reviewing your products.
4. C2C – in this type, consumers can also sell their products online through the Facebook marketplace, Instagram, and eBay.
In short, each type of eCommerce business will help you with better reach and generate high conversion for your business.
Main features to look for when reviewing eCommerce platforms
Cost is one of the important factors to consider based on your business size. An eCommerce platform cost can be anywhere between free to hundreds of dollars. But, most of the sites will offer a free trial without asking for credit card information. So, after experiencing free trials, you will get a better idea of the suitable eCommerce platform.
When your eCommerce platform is not compatible with SEO, you will not go to have any customers online as no one can find your store in the first search. So, whenever you choose any eCommerce platform, it should have a built-in SEO tool because better SEO will make your store easier to find.
According to one research, more than 125 million consumers own smartphones only in U.S. and more than 60% of the consumers make a purchase online. So, you must choose an eCommerce platform that is mobile responsive.
To stick in the online competition, site speed matters a lot because within seconds of the gap consumers purchase from other merchants. This means you will need a fast and reliable eCommerce platform that brings more conversion without any hassle.
Last, always choose an eCommerce platform that delivers a better user experience to your consumers and you. With less programming knowledge, you will able to set up your online space. And once it will live, it can be easily navigated by your customers.
Best 7 eCommerce platforms are worth to try in 2021
This is one of the best options for eCommerce. It offers robust features and complementary tools. With Shopify, you can sell directly from your website, your social media account, and a retail store. It is suitable for novice users. Shopify also has Shop Pay that handles online payment processing. It is a one-stop shop for those who is setting a new eCommerce store without changing the platform.
- Price: Basic Shopify: $29/month; Shopify: $79/month; Advanced Shopify: $299/month; 10% discount on annual plans and 20% on biennial plans when paid upfront. Check out pricing here.
- Free trial length: 14 days
- Customer support options: Callback phone support; email support; support provided in 19 languages; community forum; support content
- Integrated sales channels: Facebook, Instagram, Google, Walmart Marketplace, eBay, and Amazon
- Mobile app features: Suite of mobile tools to fully manage your online business
- POS: Yes
When it comes to the user-friendly website builder, Wix always comes first. You can customize templates using its drag-&-drop page builder. It is very easy to create a website for free on Wix. But, you have to upgrade Wix to use the eCommerce feature. It also allows you to track orders, accept online payments, and also sell on various channels. If you have less inventory of your business, Wix can be the robust eCommerce platform for you.
- Price: Business Basic: $23/month; Business Unlimited: $27/month; Business VIP: $49/month
- Free trial length: No free trial
- Customer support options: Callback service available 24/7
- Integrated sales channels: Facebook and Instagram require third-party app Ecwid
- Mobile app features: The ability to manage your website, though lacks key business tools like inventory management; requires a separate app to use mobile POS
- POS: Yes
This platform offers a lot of customization options and web hosting features. But, it is difficult to register your domain name via BigCommerce. To try it, you first need to purchase and register a domain name elsewhere. It includes various important features like SEO tools, international selling, and third-party marketplaces.
- Price: Standard: $29.95/month; Plus: $79.95/month or $71.95/month when paid annually; Pro: $299.95/month or $269.96/month when paid annually; Enterprise custom pricing
- Free trial length: 15 days
- Customer support options: 24/7 technical support via phone, email, or chat
- Integrated sales channels: Google Shopping, Facebook, price comparison engines, eBay, Amazon, Walmart, Etsy, and Instagram
- Mobile app features: View analytics, update orders, manage inventory and products, and search for customers; some features are Android-only
- POS: Yes
This is the perfect example of a non-hosted eCommerce platform that is specially made for developers who want to deliver customized solutions for their clients. If you are looking for a complete tailor-made solution for your eCommerce store then Magento would be the perfect option for you. However, to use Magento, you will need an expert level of coding knowledge and advanced development skills.
- Price: custom pricing only
- Free trial length: no free trial
- Customer support options: phone support and online help center/technical support resources available
- Integrated sales channels: Amazon
- Mobile app features: n/a
- POS: third-party extensions availables
Those who know WordPress then they must be familiar with WooCommerce. It is a vital add-on to the popular blogging platform WordPress. If you own a WordPress website and wanted to sell your services and products online through your site then use the WooCommerce plugin. WooCommerce is not a hardcore eCommerce platform but it is an option for those who want to sell online.
- Price: average monthly fee is up to $30; WooCommerce estimates costs to be $120/year for hosting; $15/year for domain name registration; up to $100/year for your site theme; up to $108/year for shipping; 2.9% plus $0.30 per sale; up to $348/year for marketing and communications; up to $79/year for SEO; up to $65/year for SSL certificate
- Free trial length: none, but offers a 30 day money-back guarantee
- Customer support options: only available via live chat or email; no support offered for third-party apps and plugins
- Integrated sales channels: Google Shopping, Etsy, eBay, Facebook, Amazon, Pinterest, and Walmart; integrations are disjointed
- Mobile app features: add products, manage orders, and view analytics
- POS: native POS available
This is one of the affordable open-source eCommerce platforms that are perfect for beginners. If you have a less technical background, PrestaShop is best. But, it does not offer dedicated customer support. This tool also includes an online shopping cart, inventory tracking, and international selling. You will also have control over security and privacy settings.
- Price: free
- Free trial length: n/a
- Customer support options: technical support available through paid support plans; support provided via phone Monday to Friday, 9 a.m.–6 p.m. (GMT+2); help center, technical documentation, and community forum available online
- Integrated sales channels: Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and Facebook
- Mobile app features: n/a
- POS: available as add-on modules
Like Wix, you can use the drag-&-drop function of Squarespace builder. This is primarily a website builder and not a specific online selling platform. So, when you use it, you will need to add eCommerce functionality. This is the best eCommerce platform for mobile. So, if your target audience is mobile users then try Squarespace. Because it delivers a unique mobile experience that matches the overall style of your online store.
- Price: Personal: $16/month or $12/month when paid annually; Business: $26/month or $18/month when paid annually; Basic Commerce: $30/month or $26/month when paid annually; Advanced Commerce: $46/month or $40/month when paid annually; Enterprise pricing also available
- Free trial length: 14 days, and you can opt for a one-time seven-day trial extension
- Customer support options: email available 24/7; live chat available Monday through Friday, 4 a.m.–8 p.m. ET
- Integrated sales channels: Shopping Feed extension to sell on Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and Google Actions
- Mobile app features: website editing, scan shipping labels, order management, inventory management, and customer communication
- POS: available via mobile app
Non of the eCommerce platforms is 100% perfect. They are just the solutions that work best according to your business nature. We hope that this article helped you evaluate different options for the eCommerce platform and choose the best platform for your business.