One of the worst mistakes a retailer can make is to partner up with the wrong ecommerce platform. The decision to go with a platform is a big one, and most likely you’ll hop on a few calls with several before you decide.
In this article, we’ll focus on the best ecommerce platforms in 2020 and how to choose the right one for your business.
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An ecommerce platform is software that allows businesses to launch, host, and manage their online store. While different ecommerce platforms offer different features, all of them give merchants the opportunity to build a branded online storefront to sell their products.
This ecommerce platform list is meant to provide general overviews to send you down the path best suited for your business.
We compare 10 of the most well-known ecommerce platforms and shopping carts today on the basis of pricing, functionality, user-experience, and overall value.
When it comes to choosing software for your ecommerce store, the possibilities can seem endless. There are a ton of factors to consider, including:
- Should you sell on a marketplace or an ecommerce platform — or both?
- Which features and tools do you need? Which can you safely pass up?
- Can your chosen technology support your current sales volume, as well as growth as your business scales?
- What’s your technology budget?
There is no one size fits all and every brand should evaluate their needs before choosing a platform that is best for their business.
We’ve reviewed the top 10 options on the market today to help you figure out which is the best fit for your business. Different businesses have different needs depending on their business model, sales volume, and a variety of other factors.
Here are the top 10 ecommerce platforms available to online sellers in 2020:
Shopify is one of the most popular ecommerce platforms in the world, in part because of how simple it is to quickly launch a new store. This makes Shopify particularly popular with smaller ecommerce brands doing a lower order volume.
Depending on added features and order volume, Shopify’s monthly pricing can range from $29 to $299. Despite limited customization options, Shopify is a great option for SMB ecommerce merchants.
2. Shopify Plus
Shopify Plus is Shopify’s enterprise ecommerce solution tailored to merchants who have outgrown their original Shopify setup and need more advanced features and customization options. Unlike Shopify, Shopify Plus also allows merchants to create a customized, responsive checkout experience.
Pricing depends on a variety of factors, including order volume, technology, design, and customization. Shopify Plus also provides dedicated account managers, which can be a huge advantage for merchants with a more complex setup.
While more expensive than other options, Shopify Plus can be a great choice for scaling enterprise businesses.
With a wide variety of built-in features and customization options, BigCommerce appeals to both enterprise-level ecommerce merchants like Toyota and Natori and those who are just starting out.
Features include industry-leading uptime, advanced security, payment and order fulfillment partnerships, and a wide variety of built-in integrations with leading ecommerce apps.
BigCommerce can be an expensive option with a bit of a steep learning curve, but it’s popular for a reason — it offers a full-fledged store without complex backend hurdles, making it a great choice for a wide variety of merchants.
Magento is tailored mainly to enterprise-level ecommerce businesses. As an open-source ecommerce platform, Magento requires programming and developer resources, creating a higher barrier to entry than plug-and-play platforms like Shopify.
That said, Magento offers a wide variety of features for enterprise sellers, including the ability to offer discounts, support recurring payments, unlimited product listings, and much more.
The basic version of Magento is free, but the enterprise version can cost upwards of $20,000 annually. For large online stores, Magento can be a great choice, but we don’t recommend it for small or midsize businesses with smaller product catalogs.
WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin that allows ecommerce merchants to turn their WordPress sites into online stores.
One of the most popular ecommerce platforms in the world, WooCommerce includes its own secure payment processor and shopping cart. The open source platform can be a great option for smaller brands with WordPress development resources on-hand.
WooCommerce is one of the only free ecommerce platforms, though it costs additional money to completely integrate the shopping cart.
If you expect your business to scale quickly, consider choosing a different platform — WooCommerce can slow down as additional customers and products are added to your store.
Squarespace is known for sleek drag-and-drop templates that make it easy to build beautiful websites. On top of that, they offer many of the tools and features needed to build an ecommerce store. While Squarespace is popular with artists and creative with smaller product catalogs, they offer unlimited product listings, including multiple variants and SKUs.
They also support recurring payments and subscriptions, marketing tools for abandoned cart recovery, and a variety of other more advanced features. Pricing starting at $18/month make it a great and affordable tool for growing ecommerce brands.
Wix is one of the most basic ecommerce platforms, making it great for brand new online stores. With 72 free themes and a super simple setup, Wix is a no-frills option that offers just enough features for small sellers to get started, but can’t necessarily scale alongside fast-growing stores. Wix’s online store hosting is also one of the most affordable ecommerce platforms, starting at just $20/month.
8. Big Cartel
Big Cartel is an ecommerce platform tailored to artists looking to sell their work. Merchants can customize one of Big Cartel’s free themes or code their own unique design.
Other features include the ability to use a custom domain, inventory tracking, real-time sales stats, and the option to add promos and discounts to certain items.
Monthly pricing is based on how many products a merchant lists, starting at a free membership for 5 products or fewer and going up to $29.99/month for 300 listed products.
With limited features and scalability, Big Cartel is a good choice for creative merchants with a smaller product catalog.
9. Salesforce Commerce Cloud (Demandware)
Formerly known as Demandware, Salesforce Commerce Cloud is a cloud-based ecommerce platform tailored to B2C retailers.
As part of the Salesforce product suite, Commerce Cloud integrates with a range of other CRM and marketing services, making it a great choice for enterprise-level businesses that rely on Salesforce’s other products.
Other features include order management, AI and personalization, and globalization options for international businesses.
Commerce Cloud can handle high volumes of traffic and sales, but with a high price tag and complex technological requirements, it’s a poor fit for smaller brands just getting started selling online.
Last but not least, Volusion is a smaller ecommerce platform aimed at newer ecommerce sellers. Volusion offers a variety of pricing tiers, making cheaper for smaller merchants and more expensive as you grow.
All tiers allow discount code creation, a wide variety of free themes, and in-site blogging capabilities. However, its integrations and app options are limited, making it more of a standalone tool.
Volusion’s tiered pricing ranges from $14/month for its most basic “mini” plan to $135 for its “premium” level.
Which ecommerce platform do you use for your online store? Is it one on the list, or did we miss it? Let us know in the comments below!