Eccomerce is a process through which people or businesses sell products or services over the internet. So, if you’re wondering how it works or its importance, this article has everything you need to know. Including the Best Ecommerce Platforms for your next online store.
With the e-commerce software, you can manage all online shop processes, from adding or removing products to calculating taxes and fulfilling orders. The demand for such technology will continue rising since, by 2025, global retail e-commerce sales will reach $7.4 trillion.
Research also shows that over 71% of retail website traffic comes from mobile devices. Thus, whether you have a retail or wholesale online shop, making sure your site is mobile-friendly is equally important and mandatory. That’s why most online businesses have mobile apps.
That being said, let’s dive into the 11 most popular eCommerce platforms globally.
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Top E-Commerce Platforms for Everyone
Statista reported that as of July 2022, WooCommerce was the loading e-commerce software platform globally, with a global market share of 36.68%. Squarespace Online and Woo Themes were ranked 2nd and 3rd, with a market share of 14.49% and 14.42%, respectively. Shopify’s e-commerce platform was ranked 4th, followed by WixStores and Amazon.
Here are the 11 best ecommerce platforms you can set up your online business in, including information on what they’re best for. So, let’s dive into them one by one, shall we?
1. Squarespace: Best E-Commerce Platform
Squarespace is one of the best (if not the best) ecommerce website builders in the industry. And it is best suited for everyone, including complete beginners and established brands. It helps you create an outstanding online store using its world-class easy-to-customize designs.
With Squarespace, you can create a really awesome website, as it has the best quality designs and features, and reliable sales tools for your online business. You can showcase your products while the customers can browse and add items to their cart, check out, and leave reviews.
Benefits of Squarespace Platform:
- Allows users to sell both physical and digital products and services.
- Helps you optimize meta descriptions and URLs for all pages for SEO.
- Google Analytics is available for every plan.
- Has blogging tools like post categories, comment moderation, and scheduling.
- Costs $16-$49 per month when you pay annually
Starting an E-commerce Website on Squarespace:
- Identify an ecommerce template and start your free trial.
- Register a business domain or transfer an existing name.
- Create your store, add products, and integrate a payment processor.
- Service providers can create appointments through scheduling tools.
- Categorize your store and content with an easy-to-use web builder.
- Grow your store with email marketing and SEO tools.
One of its disadvantages is that you cannot edit the sitemap, as it is updated automatically. And although the prices start at $16 per month, you need to pay more to access certain features, like unlimited contributors, remove transaction fees, and accept donations and product reviews. And they don’t have a free plan, but you can change your plan or cancel it anytime.
Still, you can set up an online store in a few clicks. Then learn how to promote it online through in-built Search engine optimization (SEO), Email marketing, and reliable SEO tools.
2. WooCommerce: Best WordPress Plugin
WooCommerce is a free plugin that transforms your WordPress website into a customizable eCommerce store. It adds amazing features like order tracking, customer engagement, and inventory management, enabling customers to track delivery status.
To date, the plugin has had over 5 million active installations on WordPress, over 27 million downloads, and powers 99% of all WordPress stores. It is easier to use, making it a reliable tool for everyone, including beginners, to create and customize their online stores from scratch.
However, one limitation of WooCommerce is that it is meant for WordPress users. So, despite it being free, you’ll still need a WordPress site (WordPress.org, not WordPress.com). And you have to acquire web hosting packages from reliable third-party providers like Bluehost.
One of the reasons why the WooCommerce plugin is so popular and reliable is that it is easy to use. So, even if you’re not a tech person, you can still create a professional-looking online store. Not to mention there’re many tutorials and online resources to help you get started.
3. Square Online: Best for Small Businesses
Square Online is one of the best ecommerce platforms with flexible payment plans, best suited for small businesses. Its reliable support team makes it a fabulous option. Not to mention that their easy-to-customize templates are responsive on desktop and mobile devices.
The platform allows you to sell products, has in-built inventory management, a point of sale (POS) system, and accepts online payments. Unlike Squarespace, this site has a free plan that comes with SEO tools, accepts multiple payment types, and facilitates selling on social.
With the paid plans that cost $29-79 per month (billed annually), you enjoy other features. Some of these include free domain registration for one year, personalized ordering, accepting PayPay payments, and allowing customers to create accounts where they can reorder.
Still, its flat pricing model can be too expensive for large businesses, making the platform more suitable for small businesses that don’t want to commit to long-term contracts. So, if you’re a small business, this is the best website for you that guarantees value for your money.
4. Shopify: Alternative for Small Businesses
Shopify allows you to build and customize your online store and sell in multiple places. You can integrate it across multiple channels like online marketplaces and social media sites like Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram. Or on the web, pop-up shops, and mobile and in person.
It is one of the best platforms to set up an ecommerce website, whether you’re a small or large business selling products (digital and physical) and services (in-person and virtual). The site allows you to set up and manage your online store, POS system, and inventory under one roof.
However, one of the limitations of Shopify is that it does not offer a free plan; you have three days for a free trial across its three paid plans that starts at $21 per month (billed annually). With this basic paid plan, you get access to basic reports, add 2 staff, and up to four inventory locations. All plans have eCommerce automation, customer segmentation, and 24/7 support.
5. Ecwid: Beginner-Friendly Platform
Powered by Lightspeed, Ecwid is an easy-to-use and beginner-friendly software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform. In all its plans starting from $0 to 82.5 per month (billed annually), you can integrate it into WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, Joomla, Blogger, and Tumblr and start selling online. And the platform is as well best for adding e-commerce features to an existing website.
One advantage Ecwid has over other ecommerce platforms is that it does not charge transaction fees, even when you’re using the free plan. Not to mention that its shopping cart are mobile-responsive, and you get access to automated tax calculators and inventory tracking.
With the paid plans, from $14.08 per month ($19 per month when billed monthly), you get way more features. You can add at least 100 products, add gift cards and coupon discounts, access advanced SEO tools, schedule order pickups, and add custom fields at checkout. The only disadvantage is its restrictions in integrating sales channels into Facebook and Instagram.
6. Wix eCommerce: Alternative for Beginners
Wix is a one-in-all e-commerce platform perfect for small businesses, creatives, and complete beginners. It has great SEO tools, hundreds of apps, and over 800 customizable and professionally designed templates. So, this is a perfect fit for you if you have no tech skills.
Like other ecommerce platforms, Wix helps you sell through your site, in person with a POS system, and on social media and sales channels. You can manage all processes from a single dashboard, from adding products to managing shipping and payments. And your store can handle high traffic and sales volume and process up to 750 transactions per second.
Their business and e-commerce plans start from $17 to 35 per month and come with a one-year free domain, unlimited bandwidth, and secure online payment. And you can manage multiple currencies, add unlimited products and make online bookings for appointments. This platform is the best fit for those seeking to start an online business.
7. Weebly: Best Value Website Builder
If you don’t have technical web design skills or want to set up a small online business, Weebly is the best option. You can sign up and start selling online in a few clicks. And even add products, integrate a shopping cart, and secure checkout from your ecommerce website.
Although their free plan does not include an online store, their paid plans start from $12-38 per month (when paid annually). All its plans allow you to add a shopping cart, accept payments through Squire and other third-party providers, and have SEO tools and unlimited storage.
Like most ecommerce platforms, Weebly offers unique designs with a customizable theme that helps you showcase your products. And its drag-and-drop features help you create, customize and launch your online store quickly, regardless of whether you have technical skills.
8. Magento: Best for Scalable Business
Magento is a powerful ecommerce platform helping small, medium, and large businesses to create and manage an online shop. And unlike Shopify, it does not charge any transaction fees. You can use its unique features and extended customizability to create a scalable business.
This platform allows you to create multiple stores from a single admin panel, enabling you to save time and effort in managing your sales. Not to mention its multi-language and currency features, as well as order management, shipping, and international support capabilities.
The cost of developing a basic Magento store (from $12,000) can be too high for small or upcoming businesses. But you can spend as little as $200 if you do SEO & digital promotion and develop the store on your own or find a cheaper hosting option. Fortunately, the website gives you various options and awesome features to help scale your business.
9. Zyro: Most Affordable Platform
Zyro is one of the cheapest eCommerce platforms, best suited for those looking for a low-budget store quickly. Powered by Hostinger, this platform helps you sell physical and digital products and services. Or even accept donations and bookings for appointments.
Although Zyro doesn’t offer a free plan, their Business plan costs $3.59 per month (first-time offer), making it the cheapest option on the list. The plan has free hosting, and 24/7 support, accepts online payments, and lets you add up to 500 products but charges a 1% transaction fee.
However, although it promises 24/7 customer support, sometimes it may take too long to get a response from them. But not all the time. And you can enjoy their awesome automation tools like falcon generator, blog title generator, and image background remover.
10. BigCommerce: Best for Large Businesses
If you intend to start a large or fast-growing business, BigCommerce is the best option for you. Its in-built tools and features help you start and grow your online store. The platform also has creative reporting tools that allow you to track and improve your store’s success. You can set up an ecommerce website quickly, customize your store, and sell unlimited products.
The platform, however, does not have a free plan; but has a 15-day free trial, after which you have to pick a plan, which starts from 29.95 per month (billed annually). But unlike other ecommerce platforms, they do not charge transaction fees, and you can add unlimited products.
With BigCommerce, you get unlimited bandwidth and file storage, add unlimited staff accounts, create a single-page checkout, and ensure your store is mobile responsive (most online sales happen on mobile devices). You can even group and segment your customers and send targeted marketing campaigns.
11. Big Cartel: Best for Creative Businesses
Big Cartel is a great platform for artists and makers to start an online store and showcase their artistic products. Since 2005, over a million creators have managed to sell their t-shirts, clothing, and other stuff like prints and merch with Big Cartel. You can, too, if you sign up now.
Its free plan allows you to add up to 5 products, comes with customizable themes, and you can set up a custom domain. But with the Platinum plan, you can add up to 50 products ($9.99/month) or even 500 products if you consider the Diamond plan ($19.99/month).
Unlike most ecommerce platforms, Big Cartel does not charge a bunch of fees, including transaction costs. So, if you’re an artist, this is the best platform to create an online store and showcase and sell your creative products online. And get digital marketing and SEO insights.
Conclusion: What Next?
Ecommerce involves buying and selling products (physical and digital) and services (in-person and virtual) over the internet. It is facilitated by e-commerce software that allows businesses to create an online store, manage inventories and products, and accepts payments.
The following are the 11 most reliable ecommerce platforms globally:
- Squarespace: Best E-Commerce Platform
- WooCommerce: Best WordPress Plugin
- Square Online: Best for Small Businesses
- Shopify: Alternative for Small Businesses
- Ecwid: Beginner-Friendly Platform
- Wix eCommerce: Alternative for Beginners
- Weebly: Best Value Website Builder
- Magento: Best for Scalable Business
- Zyro: Most Affordable Platform
- BigCommerce: Best for Large Businesses
- Big Cartel: Best for Creative Businesses
So, choosing an e-commerce platform depends on your budget, gaming other factors like the number of products you want to sell, where or whom you want to sell to, and your business structure. For instance, you can go for Zyro if you want the cheapest eCommerce website.
Let me know the platform you’ve used and your experiences. And if you want help with SEO or content marketing for your online store, contact me for instant help.