Home Virto Commerce blog The TOP 7 .NET eCommerce Platforms to Consider in 2024: Expert Overview
Complete Guide to the Best ASP.NET eCommerce Platforms in 2022

The TOP 7 .NET eCommerce Platforms to Consider in 2024: Expert Overview

When it comes to selecting an ecommerce platform, choosing the right technology stack is one of the most essential things you must do as a CEO, CIO, or business owner. As you read this article, you're probably using or planning to use ASP.NET Core or NET ecommerce on your website. In this article, we are going to dive into .NET ecommerce open source more and discuss if .NET/ Asp.NET is good for ecommerce websites, if it is still in demand in 2024, and how it can help to build a stronger future. We will consider 7 most popular .NET ecommerce platforms:

  • Virto Commerce
  • NopCommerce
  • GrandNode
  • Kentico
  • Sitecore
  • Umbraco
  • WooCommerce
  • DNN
  • Sitefinity by Progress

Why Choosing .NET for an eCommerce Solution Is Good

You probably wonder: Is ASP.NET still good? Is .NET still used today? What is ASP.NET best for? We are going to take a look at some of the best ecommerce platforms built on ASP.NET technology and discuss what businesses must choose them.

We'll also touch on what makes each platform unique and why you might want to choose one over the other. But first, let's talk about the benefits of using an ASP.NET-based ecommerce platform.

Can I use .NET for ecommerce websites?

Sure! The question is: What websites use .NET? First of all, Microsoft uses it. Other famous websites like Outlook, GoDaddy, Dell and Xero also use this technology.

.NET is one of the most popular web development frameworks. It's used by some of the biggest brands in the world, such as Microsoft, Dell, and Toyota.

Some of the key benefits of using an .NET ecommerce open source platform are:

  • Scalability: ASP.NET is a very scalable framework that can accommodate large-scale ecommerce businesses without any issues.
  • Security: ASP.NET comes with built-in security features that protect your website from common attacks, such as SQL injection and cross-site scripting.
  • Performance: ASP.NET websites are known for their performance and stability.
  • Free development tools: Microsoft provides Visual Studio free for development applications for web, mobile, desktop, IoT, and other kind of apps, and supports more than 20 programming languages.
  • Popularity within global development community: ASP.NET and ASP.NET Core are within the Top 10 most-loved web frameworks, according to the Stack Overflow 2021 developer survey.

Great number of ASP.NET and .NET developers in the job market: Microsoft .NET and ASP.NET technologies are studied at most technical universities around the world, so your business can hire as many developers with different levels of experience as it needs.

For initiatives in ecommerce, it's critical for forward-thinking firms to recognize the importance of continuous tool development. Development tools are rapidly evolving topics. The ecommerce website you build, on the other hand, should be able to live at least ten years and be maintained and updated during that time—meaning, you must be sure you'll have access to both developers and software in 10 years. And this is where Microsoft shines above its competitors—ASP.NET has been around since 2001 and continues to evolve.

Vendors are positioning their platforms more often as ASP.NET than just .NET. This is because the ASP.NET framework is used to develop web applications, including ecommerce. At the same time, ASP.NET is just part of a more global development toolkit called .NET.

ASP.NET platform

.NET for an eCommerce: Trends and Future

Is .NET in ecommerce still in demand? Let’s see.

Around 17% of all developers in the world use ASP.NET Core. Last year, this number was around 7%. Around those learning to code nowadays, 36% of programmers have chosen .NET technologies. If we look into Google Trends, we will see that the number of people searching for this framework didn’t change during the lats 5 years.

This is a modern strong technology that enables companies to create robust ecommerce and fast websites. So, when you ask yourself, is ASP.NET good for the future, the answer is definitely yes.

ASP.NET Core and ASP.NET

7 .Net eCommerce Platforms to Consider in 2024

1. Virto Commerce

Virto Commerce is an open-source, API-powered, modular, composable, and headless solution specifically tailored to B2B companies. The current version is built on a .NET 6 LTS development toolkit, an open-source solution for both medium and enterprise-level businesses.

Since its first release in 2015, Virto Commerce continues to be an open-source, enterprise-ready B2B and B2C ecommerce platform based on Microsoft framework, and Cloud-native. High-end technologies like Liquid and AngularJS were put into creating this ecommerce platform.

Virto Commerce strengths

What is the best ASP.NET Core ecommerce? Virto Commerce offers one of the best ASP.NET ecommerce solutions. It is open-source, modular, API-based and fits all businesses from middle to enterprise.

Virto Commerce stands out with its atomic-like modulated architecture, even compared to other modular platforms that are chaotically integrated. Using synchronous and asynchronous integration methods, Virto can incorporate practically any services and applications the client has in the corporate IT space, including an ERP, CRM, CMS, or PIM.

  • Open-source code transparency is part of Virto’s culture and is published in GitHub.
  • Modular Virto Atomic Architecture for faster innovations, ability to match and create new features and fast development.
  • Features an advanced and rich set of B2B scenarios compare to other ecommerce platforms. Virto Commerce allows customers to have the ability to create the functionality that best matches their business strategy.
  • Azure AI capabilities (cognitive search, machine learning) integrate with ecommerce architecture.
  • Headless, API-first platform with all the functionality available through API layers; xAPI (GraphQL) is primarily an intermediate layer between clients and enterprise services, while Rest API (OpenAPI) is used for master data management and back-office operations as well as for integrations.
  • A master theme is available to start an ecommerce store, with the capability to use a customer’s CMS for better productivity.
  • Free trial, testing, and onboarding are all available.

The strength of Virto from 2021 onward is evident by the tremendous expansion of its product line. In addition to the classic Virto Commerce .NET-based platform, which can be installed locally or in the cloud, the SaaS version named Virto Commerce Cloud and the specialized Virto Marketplace version were all introduced in 2021-2022.

For customers who want to focus entirely on their business without getting sidetracked by technical issues, the brand-new Virto Start version is offered, which includes full support for installation and customization from Virto Professional Services. The Virto Start version has been available since May 2022.

Virto Commerce weaknesses

  • Designed for implementing unique business scenarios that would not be interesting for small companies.
  • Designed for rapid implementation of any unique business scenarios, so it does not have a lot of no-code configuration options.
  • Created on a modern technological stack that requires a tech team with up-to-date skills (GraphQL, declarative deployment, etc.)

Virto’s market differentiator

Virto Commerce has the most technologically advanced .NET-based B2B ecommerce platform on the market. Customers have unique integration capabilities to connect B2B ecommerce together with existing corporate applications to form one cohesive ecosystem. With the Virto platform, customers have a wide choice of installation environments, including on-premises, in the cloud (Azure, AWS, etc.), and as an SaaS application.

2. nopCommerce

Compared to Virto Commerce, nopCommerce presents a different class of system, although it is also built on Microsoft .NET technologies. For lightweight and customized B2C stores in the SMB sector and as a quick startup for online trading projects, nopCommerce looks preferable. This is because nopCommerce features a great variety of design themes and the possibility to use an already pre-installed version in the partner's data center.

nopCommerce strengths

  • Open source: Facilitates rapid development and allows users to understand the logic of the platform or make changes to the project without depending on the vendor team.
  • Allows users to run their application on different Windows/Linux platforms.
  • Has a plug-in-based extension model and a large number of ready-made plug-ins and widgets (WordPress-like extension model).
  • Cost: The platform is free in its basic version.

nopCommerce weaknesses

  • The monolithic nature of the nopCommerce solution does not allow for flexible scalability of development and deployment infrastructure.
  • No option to perform independent development of the presentation and back-end parts with independent delivery to the environments.
  • It is not possible to horizontally scale the database; in which case, there will always be a performance bottleneck.
  • In the case of platform customization, you have to make changes to the original platform code, which significantly complicates the process of obtaining updates and increases the compilation time of the project.

3. GrandNode 

GrandNode is one of the ASP.NET ecommerce solutions based on nopCommerce. You probably know that a fork in programming is when a team of developers takes open-source code and starts to redevelop it according to their own vision.

The main feature of GrandNode is the MongoDB database in the back end of this application. It is possible to migrate data from nopCommerce SQL database to GrandNode MongoDB database. To do this, install the GrandNode Feeds plug-in in nopCommerce.

Any user or developer who has worked with nopCommerce can easily adapt to the GrandNode database environment.

GrandNode strengths

  • Powerful, advanced configuration.
  • Infinite personalization & customization.
  • Ready-to-use plug-ins and themes.

GrandNode weaknesses

  • Inherits all the weaknesses of nopCommerce except SQL database.
  • Complexity for installing vendor updates for customized solutions based on GrandNode (as well as nopCommerce).

4. Kentico

Kentico has a well-established ASP.NET ecommerce software with a product history dating back to 2004. Kentico has chosen to present products as an ecosystem of digital experiences, similar to Optimizely's approach. The Kentico Xperience is a platform that provides all the tools and resources necessary to launch and manage an online store, drive content, and run digital marketing campaigns.

Kentico features a responsive design with total control and tailored marketing features to help manage all marketing activities and customer statistics. Kentico has many website theme choices. For online store owners, Kentico offers a number of powerful ecommerce extensions, from payment gateways to currency converters and more.

Kentico strengths

  • The flexible, extensible design allows clients to seamlessly integrate third-party products and services into their business without sacrificing important features or functionality.
  • Provides access to data on how customers are interacting with offerings through insights gained by analyzing browsing behaviors in addition to direct control over marketing campaigns.
  • The list of Kentico’s valuable features includes multilingual support, multi-currency support, and multiple payment and shipping methods.

Kentico weaknesses

  • The heterogeneous product line disperses the team's efforts to improve ecommerce-specific functions.
  • Functionality specific to B2B businesses is rather insufficient.
  • Some customers point to an inactive online community for the ecommerce product.

5. Sitecore

Sitecore OrderCloud is an ecommerce solution promoted as part of a digital experience platform with extendable marketing automation capabilities. OrderCloud’s architecture has enabled B2B features, standardized W3C web standards, extensible data models, and rich feature-sets.

The Sitecore team does not disclose the development framework in the main website and only the documentation for developers can tell you that it is based on ASP.NET Core. And the ASP.NET Core version is not explicitly mentioned, which is unusual for professional documentation.

Sitecore strengths

  • Supports the ecommerce app with advanced marketing automation and customer data analytics capabilities.
  • Allows a customer’s preferences, behavior, and context to create a lifetime of personalized engagements for ecommerce efficiency.
  • Abandoned cart recovery automation, automated order confirmation and notification, in addition to A/B testing and optimization.
  • Wide choice of extensions.
  • Strong online community of development teams.

Sitecore weaknesses

  • Not suitable to be run by inexperienced teams.
  • Users report difficulties installing or upgrading the system. Need to remember many things on the development and setup side; otherwise, something might break.
  • Relatively long learning curve needed, which can lengthen implementation times and drive up costs.

6. Umbraco/Ucommerce

Ucommerce is an enterprise-level ecommerce platform that brings powerful features and functionality to Umbraco's CMS system. Ucommerce for Umbraco has been available since 2009 and is undoubtedly the most mature and well-used ecommerce platform for Umbraco. If you want a better analogy, it's like using WooCommerce on a site run by WordPress.

Both Ucommerce and Umbraco are based on .NET, which is why you see this “sweet Twix couple” here. The trending approach of providing a digital experience platform can be seen here as well with the Uccelerate content editing accelerator.

Umbraco strengths

  • Features an easy and quick start to an online store website with Umbraco, followed by Ucommerce Accelerator Store for Umbraco.
  • Has a free version of Ucommerce for Umbraco for a smaller store with basic content and commerce needs.
  • The enterprise version of Ucommerce for Umbraco offers many stores, multiple catalogs, multilingual content, multi-currency, varying price points, and shipment options.

Umbraco weaknesses

  • As an add-on, Ucommerce only works with Umbraco, and possibly with Kentico, Sitecore, or Merchello.
  • Does not support marketplace or multi-vendor functionality.

7. WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a .NET-based plugin for WordPress. It is tailored to make a fully functioning ecommerce store from WordPress website. WooCommerce only operates within the WordPress framework, so before using it you have to host your WordPress website and WooCommerce store.

WooCommerce strengths

  • The solution is built with SEO in mind.
  • It is mobile-responsive.
  • The WooCommerce solution is affordable even for small businesses.

WooCommerce weaknesses

  • Native features (without plugins) are extremely poor.
  • It can be extended with plugins, but each third-party plugin is paid additionally, which creates risk and decreases performance.
  • Each new plugin downgrades performance (by design). This means it doesn’t fit big sellers.
  • It doesn’t offer any integration options and integrated with WordPress only.

.NET eCommerce Platforms Comparison Table

Customizability
Scalability
Integrations
Open-source
Performance
Pricing

Virto Commerce

+++ +++ +++ + +++ High
NopCommerce + + + ++ Low
GrandNode +++ + + ++ Low
Kentico ++ + + + ++ High
Sitecore +++ ++ + + Low
Umbraco/Ucommerce ++ + ++ Middle
WooCommerce + + + Free

Conclusion

I have reviewed seven ecommerce platforms based on .NET ecommerce open source that are actively developing using the latest technologies. All platforms have an ecosystem, including an online community, forums, and implementation partners.

Would I single out any platforms in particular? If you are considering a platform for B2C commerce, and your business has low sales turnover, I recommend nopCommerce or GrandNode. For enterprise and medium-sized B2B businesses, go with Virto Commerce.

Book Your Discovery Session with Our Digital Experts

I am sure this review gives you a thorough idea of the ASP.NET ecommerce software market. Before making a final decision, I recommend you to install a demo of one or more platforms and see which one meets the specific needs of your business best.

Read more to learn about .NET ecommerce here: .Net eCommerce Platforms Overview.

Oleg Zhuk
Oleg Zhuk
Oleg is a leading technologist and has grown professionally from being a senior C++ and C# developer to solution architect.
Jan 14, 2024 • 15 min
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