20 best ecommerce platforms for websites in April 2018. Top ecommerce platforms list
Updated: April 17, 2018 | Virtocommerce | 6 Comments
20 best e commerce platform contenders
Best ecommerce platform
So, what is the best ecommerce platform? There are hundreds of options available on the market of e-commerce platforms with no single “best ecommerce platform” to really stand out, as they all vary in functionality, features, usability and offer many different choices of building a website, accounting for your personal needs, resources and preferences.
Some of the universal features that the best ecommerce platforms would have are:
- Availability of listing and displaying products, with the ability of comparison between them
- Allowing your buyers to put products into the “Shopping Cart”
- Allowing your customers to place an order from their cart later
- Collecting payments and offering multiple payment options for the orders
- Providing the store owner and the customer with information about the order
- Allowing the customer to place feedback or a review
And these useful features of the best online store platform do not stop there. Some of the top ecommerce platforms will provide you with certain eccentricities like unique design features, additional security options, marketing tools and so on. With all of that in mind, the best way to go is to choose a digital commerce platform that offers the maximum output for your business and provides you with the most convenience at the lowest cost.
Questions to ask yourself while choosing the best online store platform for your business
While picking the right e commerce platform for you, consider asking yourself the following questions:
- Stock size. What is the size of your inventory? Try to find the ecommerce platform where you will be able to create flexible product catalogs with the ability to list thousands of product items without losing website performance.
- Physical or digital. Do you provide online services or physical products? It will make you think about shipping costs and the ways your product will be delivered to your customer. There are ecommerce platforms that are specifically tied to physical or digital goods’ sales.
- Payment methods. Not all online store platforms choose third-party payment methods, and you need to consider this as well. PayPal is usually a good option that is easy to use in making arrangements with the best ecommerce platforms. Stripe is also the “must-have” for the platform in 2018.
- Self-hosted or hosted by the online store platform. The option of self-hosting a website is preferable to you in case you want to control the source code of your online store and modify it on a regular basis. Platform-hosted solutions save your time taking care of server management and system administration.
Considering that choosing a platform can be challenging and daunting, in this article, we wanted to review the top ecommerce platforms that will match your needs and will provide you with a perfect solution for your business.
B2B Ecommerce Case Studies from Virto Commerce
Retail equipmentObjective: B2C/B2B Online StoreProviding maximum scalability and centralizationfor expanding business internationally.
B2B GiftsObjective: PlatformConsolidate various system using single platform to manage gift certificates for largest companies in the world. Provides both B2C and B2B solutions.
Retail lightingObjective: B2C Online StoreCreate value through growth in profits by expanding the existing stores.
Retail blindsObjective: B2C/B2B Online StoreFlexible solution with maximum customization for the online window-treatment website.
Despite having a number of fantastic features, such as great customer service, advanced tools, and App Store, just like any other on the list of the best ecommerce platforms, Shopify lacks certain important tools. Content marketing is the biggest of them. Content marketing has become a huge must-have for an ecommerce website. If your buyers are educated about the solutions your product can provide, they are more likely to buy it. Shopify has a blogging software feature, but it can’t be compared to that of a Wordpress.
The good thing about this platform is a vast variety of how-tos, advice, and letters about running a successful store. It doesn’t seem very well-organized, but the information from the BigCommerce University will help you to set up and promote your website. Just like Shopify, it provides a hassle-free setup and security with intuitive features and an all-in-one solution for your website.
An important thing to consider with this platform is pricing. For a smaller online store, it can get too much very fast. There is a whole number of fees, like monthly fees, credit card fees, platform transaction fees and add-on fees that could drain your budget really quickly. Another one is customization. While having a great variety of built-in options, it lacks add-ons and themes for your website as well as good inventory management. Nevertheless, it’s still commonly named among the top ecommerce platforms.
If you are planning to have a serious platform, Magento would be a great choice. However, if you are just looking for a simple and basic solution that is easy to integrate on your own, Magento might be a bit of overkill.
Another area where Volusion excels is customer support. The team puts a tremendous amount of effort into making sure their clients have the best experience, thus putting a legit fight for that best ecommerce platform title.
Having these beautiful features as well as the full range of tools for marketing, Volusion, however, has some of the disadvantages of its own. Just like its two competitors, the big one is, of course, pricing. While having no transaction fees and lower credit card fees compared to the competitors, it does charge a lot of add-on fees, which may turn out to be expensive for a smaller company. Two other disadvantages include limited responsiveness and design options. In the age where most of the people surf the web via smartphones and tablets, it has become the best practice to have a responsive design. As for the design options, Volusion has a fairly limited choice of templates, while also making the new ones very expensive to use, which unfortunately doesn’t help it with the claim to be the best e commerce platform on the market.
The features are plentiful in this platform, and you can find that all of them are built-in, offering you things like blog, newsletter, email, and CRM. Also, if you are an advanced web developer, you may find some great options for you to get in there and customize your website.
While having useful apps and add-ons, 3dcart still lacks the variety of them unlike its competitors Shopify or BigCommerce.
The process of making a website is straightforward and intuitive, offering some tutorials for you along the process. The support is smooth and reliable, but without any interesting features that other companies don’t have. 3dcart also offers a big variety of responsive templates and a great set of tools for marketing and inventory.
You can also simply share the link to the product via social networks, to make it easy for the customers to purchase it. You can create either your personal Gumroad store (gumroad.com/your_shop) or have your personal domain created which will be hosted by the platform itself. Additionally, you can easily brand your products by creating simple colorful themes using root design features provided by the platform. Provide customer support via Gumroad’s e-mail system and ensure that they receive the best service possible. With Gumroad’s free plan you receive the basic features, while Gumroad itself takes 8,5% +30¢ per sale. When purchasing a Premium account for $10/month you only have to pay 3.5% +30¢ per sale, while also receiving a wider selection of tools to start selling online now.
The only downside is that they can’t allow you to create a personalized store as YOU want it. Wanting to combine the best of two worlds of ecommerce, Storenvy was created. It lets you easily launch you unique and customized store inside a Storenvy marketplace with the essential tools offered by the platform. Facebook store integration along with social-style “watch” and ‘’envy” buttons allow you to easily grow your store and attract more people to follow your products. The huge advantage of the platform is that it is free, making you able to upload up to 500 product listings, only taking 10% of each sale when your product is posted up front on the Storenvy Marketplace.
The addition of products is also that simple. You can just scroll down your store section and click “Store Item”. Then, you can start adding images, descriptions, price, shipping rates and more while only using a simple toolbar.
If you can’t get enough of tools, check out the App Market to find some essential plugins and add-ons and quickly include them in your website with just one click. The Wix pricing starts from $17/month which delivers domain name, form builder to your personal ecommerce store.
Tap another button, and you are editing the product listing, adding a description and uploading an image that can be easily zoomed. With such a flexible and robust platform as Squarespace, you can create an online store for any niche you would like with the right amount of tools needed!
Display all your products and quickly add elements like buttons, images, descriptions, surveys by using a drag-and-drop feature of the website, without any sweat. Prices start from $8/month plus 3% transaction fee per sale for the Starter plan. With the plan, you get the core features that will help in building your website and the ability to upload up to 10 products.
The developers have made a checklist of things to add to your website, making sure that you will not forget about anything before launching your own store. This includes logo, theme, design template, price, shipping, fees and other settings. Most of this stuff you can fill out using Big Cartel itself. The platform is intended for small stores, only allowing you to list up to 300 items maximum. However, it gives you as much freedom as enterprise solutions would. The plans’ pricing starts from free up to $9,99/ month for the Platinum one that includes all features for 25 products.
If your store is small and doesn’t have many products to put up, try this platform and it will quickly pay out all your money as Basic plans start from $9/months and allow you to upload 10 products.
The benefit also lies in that you won’t have to worry about choosing a theme for your store, as the platform does it naturally for you. Publish the store on Facebook or add the store to your personal website or blog. The store will organize your products in categories, having a search tool to scroll for the options and many more tools. Everything you would ever like to see in a full-fledged ecommerce store.
To further that more, you can spread your website across your audience by sharing the affiliate codes. The pricing starts from $5/month and with that plan you can upload 10 products with the essential features to launch your selling platform.
Promotions and special deals, incorporated by the platform will assist in increasing your sales, while store connection with social media accounts will help in marketing. Syncing with eBay and PayPal is perfect, allowing for quick checkout and payment, without any sweat. Pricing is a bit different from other stores and includes a one-time $495 purchase of Business edition that lets you upload multiple products, control your social media marketing and more.
Also included, is the filtered search option along with e-mail marketing and detailed analytics about the visiting rates of every single page of your store. Another great feature of the platform is that you can run multiple stores at ones by only using one account to manage them. You can also buy additional themes and templates along with customer support services to help you get the largest conversion rates possible. Pricing varies according to the add-ons installed on the platform.
However, if you do not tolerate coding, this can be perceived as a nightmare. The only thing that Foxycart handles itself is shipping tax calculation and confirmation e-mails. This is the most freedom you can get with an e-commerce platform, while still having the hardest parts taken care of. Prices for plans start at $20/month plus 15 cents per sale with the ability to upload an unlimited amount of products.
The service is flexible and gives you the right amount of freedom, while still handling all the hard parts of running an online shop. This can be seen as a perfect and cheap solution for all of your e-commerce needs that can be adapted to any web-hosting.
Digital commerce platform for your business - Conslusions
There is no single “best platform for ecommerce website” and the choice of the best ecommerce platform will always be upon you. None of the e-commerce platforms offer a “one size fits all” solution, and it’s up to you to consider different options depending on your solution. To choose the best e commerce platform you need to define the solution features and configuration that you need in advance. Test the ecommerce platforms with the necessary features using trial versions, compare support and documentation during the trial period – this will give you a better understanding of the customer service.