Are you planning to start a web shop but not sure where to start?
The ecommerce platform that you choose to use will have a huge impact on how well your web shop will perform in the future. There are many platforms available to start building your ecommerce website, but how do you find the one that is best suitable for you?
We have reached out to 18 experts and asked them the question: which eCommerce platform would you recommend others to use and why?
Here’s what they recommend.
Top eCommerce Platforms 2021
1. Shopify (7 votes)
Shopify is one platform with all the ecommerce and point of sale features you need to start, run, and grow your business. You can sell products to anyone, anywhere: online with your ecommerce store, online marketplaces, and social media, and in-person with point of sale.
2. Squarespace (3 votes)
The Squarespace platform empowers millions of people to share their stories and create an impactful, stylish, and easy-to-manage online presence. From individuals and local artists to entrepreneurs shaping the world’s most iconic businesses
3. Volusion (2 votes)
Volusion is one of the oldest e-commerce builders. They offer web design, marketing and other tools to use for your online webshop. Their powerful ecommerce features give you everything you need: inventory management, payment collection and unlimited product options.
Read What The Experts Said
Find out what each expert had to say about their favorite software. Select the software from the list below.
We work very closely with many different clients using multiple e-commerce based website platforms. In my experience, the most easy-to-use platform is Shopify. Shopify is great for e-commerce marketing through ppc and seo. Also, it is very user-friendly and makes adding new pages and products a breeze! Shopify also has the cleanest apps that help website performance. For example, the Google Shopping app with Shopify allows you to set up Google Shopping Ads within minutes. I highly recommend Shopify for all e-commerce businesses!
I created muir-way.com in 2013 on the Shopify Ecommerce platform and have highly recommended it to other entrepreneurs. I completely designed the website myself using one of their paid templates with no prior web building experience. They have informative guides to help you along with the process, along with apps to optimize your website. All the software that I use, such as Klaviyo, JustUno, and Stamped work seamlessly with it. If you ever have a problem with your website, it is easy to hire a Shopify Expert to help you out. Shopify even has easy to access Capital Funding for established stores which I have accessed in the past. I can’t imagine a better platform to get started quickly on and scale your business to the highest level.
Volusion is an all-in-one tool for people to run their business online. The platform provides everything needed to create and manage an online store. It’s easy to use the platform, and product innovation is at the forefront with Volusion. The platform with responsive themes and comprehensive site-building options helps in creating a unique online store in minutes. One can create beautiful sites with smart ideas. The tool has powerful e-commerce features like inventory management, payment collection, and unlimited product options that give everything you need in an online shopping store.
The platform allows adding advanced functionality to online store sites with dozens of powerful apps and integrations. The tool has built-in SEO management, newsletters, and a CRM system that lets business owners reach more customers and grow their sales. Volusion is optimized for large e-commerce stores.
Volusion is not for small e-commerce businesses that have a product range of less than 10. It’s worth trying the companies that have hundreds of products at scale to sell online.
BigCommerce is another top option to consider Wix, Weebly, or Squarespace. Its a reputable and trustworthy e-commerce site builder. It’s a versatile platform with B2B specific features like bulk pricing rates, customer groups, custom pricing list, and the quote management, etc. the platform gives the easiest ways to build, run and grow online businesses in a much better way.
BigCommerce is much more than a website builder. It provides the tools that streamline online companies with a focus on best selling. The platform allows business owners to create a fully customized and responsive online store that speaks to the customers and showcases your products in the best way possible. BigCommerce has high-converting online store themes that are optimized for fast page-load across PCs, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. One fantastic thing, among many, about this platform is that it has the state of the art security that ensures the online stores are PCI compliant so businesses can focus on retailing its customers.
The platform allows online companies to build on another platform to migrate over BigCommerce. With the bulk product import/export or dedicated in-house catalog transfer team of experts, one can quickly move their running business on the Bigcommerce platform. It allows users to manage their stores from their phones. It lets corporations to manage orders, view customer details, and access key performance metrics for running a business on the go. The platform comes with multi-channel selling. It gives the option to sell on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google Shopping, eBay, Amazon, and POS.
Wix is the perfect e-commerce website builder for start-ups and webshop amateurs. The site is simple to use with a huge library of templates that are both appealing to the eye but also super easy to customize. Wix is great for pretty much any business in any industry looking to offer e-commerce, with mobile optimization and SEO functionality you’d be hard stretched to find a better platform for a new business.
It’s worth noting that Wix offers multiple payment methods, a global shipping option and the opportunity to apply discounts and coupons.
If you are looking for something slightly more advanced, I would recommend SquareSpace. SquareSpace allows you to build a modern and visually appealing webshop regardless of your technical and creative ability.
A great feature of SquareSpace is their mobile app, which allows you to make changes and customize your site from your handheld device. With built-in SEO tools, blogging support, analytics, and pretty much anything you’d want to make your e-commerce business a success, SquareSpace is a great option for small to medium-sized businesses that are running a webshop.
Our primary concern was to come up with the dashing design; that’s why we chose SquareSpace. It is a fantastic eCommerce theme that gives plenty of options. Each template is mobile friendly and responsive, which is crucial for SEO. Users can write their menus, fonts, borders, and colors could be customized.
Squarespace offers multiple blogging features to ease our burden, for example, post tagging, categories, drafts, comments, moderation, customizable URLs, and much much more. It also comes up with multiple author support that comes handy in publications. It can add Google analytics and Facebook conversions. We also have an option to publish and syndicate our podcasts.
The strange thing about this platform is it is not made for 100% eCommerce business but still competes with them. In the general category, it is on the top.
As far as E-commerce is concerned, it nicely showcases the products. It also gives an option to customize email receipts and many other features that fulfill our eCommerce purpose. Unlike other general website builders, it comes with an excellent donation system. It is not easy to use an eCommerce website builder, but it is intuitive. Our team learned the functionality entirely in a couple of days.
I think everyone heart about the Shopify platform since it is one of the world’s most recognizable eCommerce platforms. More than 100K websites are built with Shopify and made more than $155 billion USD in sales. One of the best features of Shopify is that all payments are handled directly through the platform. It’s pricing plans range suit to every size of business to run their eCommerce journey.
Reason to Use Shopify:
All popular payment gateways supported
Support Multi-channel i.e offline, online
Support Multiple Language
Squarespace is one of well known and industry leader eCommerce website builders because it shares 19% global market share. One of the reasons to choose Squarespace is anyone can build a creative and appealing eCommerce store regardless of technical skill.
It has a wide range of award-winning templates that are designed for an only eCommerce store. Product and inventory management is more advanced than any of the other eCommerce platforms.
Reason to Use Squarespace:
Manage and Edit your store with mobile app
Change the template at any point without losing content
No Transaction Fees
Volusion is popular among eCommerce store owners because it has many features built directly into the dashboard. The platform is using well-known companies such as 3M, Slickwraps, and Intel. Volusion gives you almost everything you might require to launch your online store and start selling products..
Reason to Use Volusion:
Can Easily be Customized
24/7 Support via Live Chat and Phone
More Selection of Templates
Here in Stacks Market company we have been using Elementor to build our customers’ websites for over a year now with 70+ websites designed and we never looked back.
Elementor is the first front-end visual drag and drop builder, it’s fast, beginner friendly and easy to use.
Through using it our designers are free to design the websites they want while our clients can make changes to their websites and see those changes in real time since Elementor took out the guesswork out of editing, but more importantly it took out the coding work out of editing since it doesn’t require any coding knowledge from its users.
I use Shopify to build and host my website for a few different reasons. They are hands down the leaders in the D2C space, and they just recently passed 1 million stores hosted on their platform. The setup is straightforward and simple, with plenty of resources on their site to help out. SInce it is so popular and widely used, many other resources out there (such as courses, YouTube videos, or blogs) will reference Shopify and give actionable tips on how to use the platform. Shopify also has always been quick to respond to any questions I’ve had through their live chat function. The one downside is that while there are a wide variety of useful apps on there, most of them you have to pay for. They range from $10-$100+ a month, but most do offer free trials for you to test them out.
We are using Woocommerce for our webshop, which is an open-source plugin for WordPress. It gives us more flexibility compared to Shopify, and since we have WordPress knowledge in-house it’s perfect for us.
Shopify has been an incredible platform to launch and grow our eCommerce business. The default features are solid, and its architecture makes it both flexible, yet simple, with the ability to make it more complicated and advanced as you grow the company. The pick and play and pay-as-you-go nature allow us to easily put every decision about adding functionality and features into an ROI calculation. Helping us make calculated business decisions. The customization capabilities of Shopify have allowed us to stitch together a mostly automated set of business and operational processes – which saves us money and time. Allowing us to scale without putting additional pressure on the business or our resources.
Of all the website builders for e-commerce I’ve tried so far Shopify is the best. It has a clean and easy to use interface.. In addition to providing a wide variety of free, responsive and attractive templates. You can easily extend Shopify functionality thanks to a huge variety of third-party apps (many of which are paid for.) Plus Shopify comes with a built-in blog that helps a lot in creating SEO content. You can also easily create AMP versions of product pages (Ultra-fast mobile pages). IOS and Android apps are provided to allow you to manage your store from anywhere. You can try Shopify 2 weeks to see if you like its page builder. If you don’t want to use the creator you can buy an existing Shopify store using their Marketplace.
I use WooCommerce’s integration with WordPress for my ecommerce store, and have also used Shopify in the past.
I recommend WooCommerce to Shopify, especially to anyone just starting out selling online, because it is much cheaper without Shopify’s high recurring monthly costs and expensive monthly recurring cost plugins, and just as effective and customizable.
Shopify is slightly more friendly to anyone who is less tech-savvy, but WooCommerce is easy to learn if you put a little time in.
Our online business Lillit Boutique has taken up Shopify as the tool of preference for setting up an online retail shop, in a short period of time.
In this decision process we have tested others tools and essentially compared mainly three.
ECWID is quite user-friendly, has some good website templates and is free for life, unless you require to add your own domain (and more advanced features as well) which was the case.
The main deterrents were the load time of the platform which was not fast enough. This would put us at risk of being impacted in our SEO ranking, since we were not meaning to use custom development for launch, to fix for this. Also if you are using dropshipping for your launch, you will be limited with ECWID.
3Dcart was the most attractive price wise, with equally good templates and allowed, at no extra cost, quite advanced tools to customise our store. Our favourite features were found, on the product and inventory management pages.
However, this level of customisation is where the issue lies if you are planning to setup the store website by yourself, for launch. Like WordPress, we found that a web developer or a UX expert would have been needed to make the most of this tool and actually setup the store, to the required standard.
We found it not as user friendly, similarly to ECWID, the load time was not optimal and dropshipping was limited and costly.
Although Shopify was not our first option, it ended up being our preferred choice in the end.
Setting up an ecommerce, is quite a lot of work, for the simplest of stores. We found that Shopify really reduced the time spent configuring, since it rates highest in than the other two platforms in terms of:
• The page load time, which is excellent
• Available apps which really automate and streamline a lot of processes, and it is possible to leverage quite a lot of free alternatives and still looking professional
• Finally, and particularly important for our launch as this is how we determined we would test our market, the integration with our favourite dropshipping stores is available for free!
Firstly, the e-Commerce website builder that we use at Bumblebeelinens.com is OScommerce. This out of the box (but highly customizable) platform allows for easy integrations for payment gateways like Paypal, sagepay and G2pay. However, unlike many other platforms it allows you to almost completely customize your theme, layout and checkout experience – which makes this useful for more tech savvy business owners. OScommerce, is built for those technological savvy business owners that either:
A) have to integrate with a lot of different platforms like ERP or CRMs;
B) Want complete control over their web stack.
If you want something that’s a little less technical, but has a degree of customization built into the framework – I would go with Magento. This platform is fairly robust all around, allows for a degree of customization when it comes to layout and theme, can integrate fairly well with many ERP / CRM systems, but can work right out of the box. Some drawbacks are; the theme is very difficult to tweak and if you want customization like OScommerce, it will take some fancy PHP work to make that a reality.
If you want everything done for you, (from payments to checkout experience and logistics) – Shopify is will be your best friend. Really scaling up, Shopify is one of the only eCommerce platforms that offer you every single feature that you would need. You do not need any technical skills, design skills or even need to build the store – they’ll do it for you! The drawback is, Shopify enterprise pricing can be as high as $5,000 USD or more in some cases. Also, at the end of the day – you don’t own any of the actual platform stack which means you’re stuck with them until you migrate off their platform.
eCommerce Platform FAQ
What is an e-commerce platform?
An e-commerce platform is a software that allows a web shop owner to manage their online sales and inventory.
Which platform is best for e-commerce?
Our expert are recommending Shopify, Squarespace and Volusion.
Why do I need an e-commerce platform?
It will make it significantly easier to manage your inventory and sales. Often, an e-commerce platform is an out-of-the-box solution requiring little to none technical knowledge.
Is Shopify the best option for me?
Our experts definitely recommend Shopfiy as a good option. It depends on your business model if Shopify is the best option in your case as well.