Online website builders give everyone the ability to set up an online business easily and without any knowledge of web development and the coding environment. Whether you're expanding your brick-and-mortar operation to the internet or you wish to create an online shop to support your hobby or start a new business while providing value to your visitors, eCommerce platforms are an easy way to get set up. You'll be able to quickly set up a point of sale for your customers, manage your online marketing through integrated content management systems (CMS) and hopefully see growth and profit as a result of reaching out to new premium markets. Our comprehensive reviews will introduce you to some great companies which will help you choose the best eCommerce platform for you. Take a look at our selection and see which one works best for you.
- Suitable for B2B and B2C companies
- Drag and drop site management tools
- SEO integrations
- Stencil CLI framework
- Fully customizable checkout
- AMP support
- Wix ADI
- Built-in SEO tool
- Clean builder
- High-quality eCommerce templates
- eCommerce instructional videos
- Selling services
What Is the Best eCommerce Platform?
If you're new to the whole concept of eCommerce websites, you might not know exactly what features you'll need for a fully functional online store. Aside from not having to worry about the technicalities like bug fixes, hosting, caching, system backups, general backend and server maintenance etc., here are a couple of features you should keep a lookout for:
Inventory management - Most eCommerce platforms will have some type of an inventory management system to help you keep track of your products, orders, stock levels, or any problems that might come up without requiring extensive spreadsheet management, filing and documentation. Some platforms come with bonus functions that allow you to automate the process in any way you want and receive customizable alerts when necessary.
Multi-channel integration - You'll probably see a website that claims to be the best multi channel eCommerce platform. What does that mean? It means that you can sell your products on different channels with a unified inventory that is constantly synchronized. Although this feature could be considered basic and unimpressive, it is essential for the majority of the best online stores.
Discount/gift codes - It is important to provide your customers with incentives to buy a product and discount/gift codes are the best way to do it. It can be a seasonal promotion, a discount tied to an event or something else entirely. These codes give you a lot of creative freedom.
Abandoned cart - This is a very popular feature that's bound to be a part of the best webstore platform's offer. Essentially, this feature saves any unfinished purchases and (automatically) sends reminder emails to customers. Apparently, the abandoned cart feature can drastically improve your sales.
Account creation - This feature works similarly to the abandoned cart feature. Users who make a purchase can be prompted to make an account and, that way, become a loyal customer of the store.
Blog section - Including a blog in your online store has a number of benefits. First of all, it is a great way to reach your audience. You can let them know about any news, product releases or promotions you have going on. You will find a blog section in any top online store builder because it also helps you improve your SEO - the visibility of your website on a search engine such as Google.
Landing pages - Creating a landing page is another great way to generate leads. Instead of making an entire website into a promotion for a certain event, you can simply create a landing page and show the special offer only to the users who are supposed to see it.
Shipping options - You might expect to find limited shipping options for an eCommerce website and you would be right. However, there are many additional elements that platforms can include to improve this process. The best platform to sell online will provide you with special deals with shipping companies, shipping calculators, custom tags, and much more, offering options such as drop shipping for your online business.
Our search for the best eCommerce website builder starts off with a reliable methodology. We've compiled a list of important factors we take into consideration when writing our reviews. They are:
The first order of the day is the interface. We try to find out if the software is intuitive and easy to use and we check if it has any bugs. If we're after more control and are willing to put hundreds of hours into learning to code or pay a developer, platforms such as WordPress start becoming a viable option. Considering that we're evaluating website-builders, we expect them to be user-friendly and, more importantly, beginner-friendly. There's no point in having a capable eCommerce platform if you need to spend hours getting to know the basics. We appreciate a clean and simple dashboard that doesn't overwhelm the user or offer unnecessary information.
The best eCommerce platform needs to offer outstanding visuals in order to compete in today's demanding market. We expect templates to be well-designed, UX focused, customizable, and responsive. So many platforms today use AI to come up with a fast website solution, but does it really live up to the custom-designed standards? Sure, speed is important but not if it comes at the expense of the site's visual appeal. Afterall, this is an online store we're talking about. The visuals need to attract the customers.
Since our goal is to evaluate eCommerce platforms and find the best one, we'll be focusing mainly on eCommerce-specific features. Multi-channel selling is a standard feature, as well as inventory management, but we need to go way beyond that. Can you add/automate apps? What payment processing methods will you be able to offer your buyers? Does the platform support payments through services such as PayPal? Is there an abandoned cart feature? Can loyal customers create their own accounts and keep track of their purchases? Can you add customer support and loyalty programs? Does the platform support access for multiple users? Can you manage sales tax through the platform as well as any other taxes that may be applicable for the sale? Features are the main focal point and you should keep in mind if your platform of choice will be able to support your business venture as you continue to grow and as your needs get more complex.
Apps & Extensions
Apps are a great way to add more functionality to an eCommerce platform. They can deal with payments, orders, or even security that is essential when you're dealing with money transfers. Of course, it is not necessary for eCommerce website builders to have their own store if they allow third-party apps and extensions. The only problem with third-party software is that the company can't guarantee their safety or functionality.
You can have the best platform in the world but if you can't afford it, what's the point? We'll always present you with the cheapest subscription plan to give you a vague idea but you'll have to check the company's website for the full pricing. Keep in mind that the most basic website building plans usually don't allow store integration. The best platform for eCommerce websites costs slightly more.
The Best eCommerce Platform Solutions
- ⦿ Supports multiple channels, locations, and currencies
- ⦿ Numerous third-party integrations
- ⦿ Automatic software updates
Operating in the commerce industry since 1998, NetSuite is one of the most widely used enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions and sits among the top-rated eCommerce site builders. Developed by Oracle, this cloud hosted platform lets its users streamline business management procedures by integrating and automating key functional areas such as finance and accounting, billing, inventory management, order management, CRM, HR analytics and performance management, eCommerce, and email marketing.
NetSuite caters to companies of all sizes and industries. No matter whether you run a large B2B software company or a small, family-owned apparel store, this platform's solutions will help you reduce IT costs and do away with any operational inefficiencies. That way you'll be able to concentrate on making revenue-generating decisions instead of worrying about back-office procedures.
For the purpose of this review, we'll focus on SuiteCommerce, NetSuite's eCommerce product. As one of the top eCommerce software solutions, SuiteCommerce helps you link every aspect of your multi-location, multi-channel retail business by connecting in-store and eCommerce POS to inventory, order management, financials, marketing, and customer service.
Not only does SuiteCommerce work perfectly as a part of the NetSuite ERP platform, but it also performs splendidly as a SaaS eCommerce solution in its own right. Given its rich set of features and customization options, it's a great choice for companies dealing with both business (B2B) and individual (B2C) customers. Moreover, the platform offers support for multiple languages, countries, and currencies.
As one of the best eCommerce platform solutions, SuiteCommerce understands that merchandising and your brand is one of the most important aspects of your business, so it lets you reflect that by offering rich design capabilities. Thanks to the huge library of pre-built design themes and extensions, along with a long list of additional features such as site search powered by Elastic, faceted navigation, and the ability to save shopping carts and create lists, building your eCommerce store has never been more enjoyable.
Users can make the most of the drag-and-drop tools to customize predefined layouts, edit pages, and manage content. Thanks to SuiteCommerce's scheduling capabilities, you can also make changes to your site and save them for future deployments instead of publishing them straight away.
Our eCommerce software comparison has shown that SuiteCommerce features some of the most elaborate SEO and marketing functionalities. To increase click-through rates, you can make the most of SEO-friendly URL links, customizable article formatting (H1, title, meta tags), and the Schema.org markup. The platform also lets you influence the buyer decision process and present related products, up-sells, and cross-sells all based on popular merchant-driven rules such as browsing behavior. With the Bronto Marketing Platform integration, you can drive sales by setting up cart abandonment, popup signup, and similar email- and site-based campaigns.
One of the traits of the best eCommerce-builder platforms is a wide range of accepted payment options. SuiteCommerce supports credit cards, invoicing, gift cards, and promo codes. Your shoppers can make purchases as guest users or choose to create an account. No matter which option the users decide to go for, their shopping experience will be secured with HTTPS support and multilevel fraud protection from start to finish. As far as shipping goes, NetSuite's eCommerce solution integrates seamlessly with companies that provide shipping label printing and tracking information.
This eCommerce website builder reviews all the information that it processes and lets you create reports and gain valuable insights into your company's standings.
Unlike its competition, NetSuite doesn't offer a list of pre-set pricing packages. Given that the cost depends on the exact eCommerce features and additional services you decide to go for, along with the number of users, we suggest you sign up for a product tour and request a quote from the provider.
- ⦿ Optional coding customization
- ⦿ Google Cloud platform
- ⦿ Akamai Image Manager
Appropriately named, BigCommerce is one of the largest eCommerce platforms on the web with dozens of high-profile clients all over the world. However, this doesn't mean that it's not suitable for small businesses with high aspirations. Even companies that are just starting out can enjoy a host of great features you get with the basic plan. If you're thinking of giving this platform a go, here's what you can expect.
Advanced users might appreciate the fact that they can use Stencil CLI to locally edit themes without affecting the live storefront. What's great about this tool is the fact that you can simultaneously test the custom theme across different devices to make sure it works perfectly on all of them. This might not be the online retail platform feature beginners will benefit from but it certainly gives you options.
Speed is one of the main priorities for any online shop, so it's no surprise that eCommerce BigCommerce invests so much in providing you with a smooth online experience. The Google Cloud platform ensures the availability of your resources at all times, while AMP support means that your shop will load quickly on any mobile device. In addition, there is a built-in Akamai Image Manager that optimizes both your images and your videos to provide optimal speeds. BigCommerce also utilizes a content delivery network system to further improve the functioning of your online store.
As you would expect from the best eCommerce platform, there is no limit to the number of products you can add to your store. Note that while there are no limitations to the number of products you can add, there is a revenue limit for each plan. Every subscription plan also comes with unlimited bandwidth and storage, so it's one less thing to worry about. Each plan has no transaction fee. This doesn't mean that you won't have to include various payment gateway fees, since they are independent and obligatory.
Like many top eCommerce platforms on the web, BigCommerce also lets you organize multi-channel selling with minimum effort. Your inventory automatically syncs on all channels and your store's offers immediately get updated. For example, if one of your products gets sold out on Facebook, it will instantly become unavailable on all other channels. That way there's no chance of overselling or any other misunderstanding happening with the customers regarding product availability.
The cheapest subscription plan costs $29.95. Even though it's a basic plan, it offers a lot of great features including coupons, product reviews, real-time shipping quotes, and professional reporting tools. The best eCommerce package is the Plus plan at $71.95 per month (if you pay annually). The main benefit is an increased sales limit and a handful of effective customer-centered features.
- ⦿ CSV upload
- ⦿ Customizable stock alerts
- ⦿ Zapier automation
Founded in 1997, 3dcart is a veteran in the world of eCommerce platforms with more than two decades of experience in the business. Today, they offer premium website solutions for shops of all sizes. Here is a short overview of their platform.
People who decide to open an online shop usually don't know much about programming. That's why it's important for the best web store builder to have an intuitive and easy-to-grasp interface with modern graphic design options. Although eCommerce software by 3dcart doesn't require coding, users often complain about its demanding learning curve. Thankfully, the website provides a catalog of comprehensive video tutorials and guides to help you get started. The library contains dozens of free and premium templates with high-quality responsive designs. The themes are designed in such a way that the most important elements load first. This is beneficial not only for the customer experience, but also for SEO.
You can add as many pages as you want to your templates, including the extremely lucrative landing pages and product guides. The best website platform for eCommerce makes it easy to add new products with absolutely no coding involved. If you have a lot of them organized in a table, you can simply upload the entire CSV file. The platform will do the job for you. The inventory control feature is a built-in system that lets you track stock levels and manage your products. The fully customizable stock alerts will warn you when the supplies are running low or if you're fresh out of stock. You can also create a waiting list to make sure you don't lose any of those eager customers.
Some of the features that make 3dcart the best platform for online stores include Zapier automation, Abandoned Cart Saver, and two-factor authentication. Thanks to the 3dcart's partnership with Zapier, you can connect and automate as many apps as you want, giving you a much more efficient online experience. With a generous selection of over 1,000 apps, it's only a matter of choosing the right ones. The Abandoned Cart Saver feature makes sure unfinished purchases don't get lost, so you can set up the email campaign to get those buyers back. Finally, 3dcart also provides you with a two-factor authentication system to ensure your security never gets compromised.
Like many other top eCommerce sites, this one also provides you with multi-channel synchronization. Your entire inventory is updated across all channels when there's a change to the stock levels. In order to boost sales, you can turn on the single-page checkout option. It dramatically increases conversion rates. With over 100 payment gateways at their disposal, your visitors will easily find their preferred method. Since every shop you create is in compliance with PCI standards, there will be no security issues.
There are no transaction fees or order limits regardless of the subscription plan you choose. The cheapest way to gain access to 3dcart's online store platforms will cost you $17.10 a month, if you decide to pay annually. It is a great option for businesses that are just starting out and don't expect to go over the $50,000 limit. The main difference between the plans, besides the sales limit is the amount of features you get. The costlier the plan, the more features you get to improve your online presence.
- ⦿ Multi-channel integration app
- ⦿ Product variations
- ⦿ In-house analytics
Shopify is the gold standard and the first name that comes to mind when someone mentions eCommerce platforms. With over 1.2 million users around the world, it's certainly among the top 10 eCommerce platforms on the web in popularity. Here is everything you need to know.
This is a paid platform, but before you spend any of your cash you have a chance to test out the service through a free trial. Enter an email address, name your store, answer a couple of basic questions, and you're good to go. You can immediately add a product, customize the Shopify eCommerce themes, or connect it to your own domain.
Much of the platform's functionality relies on apps, so it's noteworthy that Shopify's store has over 1,200 of them in its store. One of the reasons why Shopify is the best eCommerce platform for dropshipping is the existence of nearly a hundred great dropshipping apps. Most of them are free but if you've got your eye set on a specific paid one, you can almost certainly find a trial version first. Shopify eCommerce gives you a lot of advanced shipping options to play around with. It is possible to create shipping rates based on value, location, or weight. Thanks to their partnership with some of the biggest companies in the world like DHL and USPS, your packages will always find the right address.
There is a built-in inventory management system that lets you keep track of the stock levels in your store. With Shopify's best platform for eCommerce, you can automate the process to make it more efficient. For example, out of stock products can automatically be marked and hidden from customers. That way there's no chance of misordering. Inventory management also gives you the option to create plenty of variations for products with different prices. Your customers can browse the objects by type, price, size, color, or any other category.
Apps play a central role with Shopify. You will need an app for essential elements like multi-channel integration and the option to sell your products digitally. Apps also step in with some top eCommerce solutions for email marketing you'll certainly make use of. You can additionally improve your SEO, analytics, or even your security using apps. On top of that, Shopify comes with integrated sales channels such as Facebook, eBay. Amazon, Google, Walmart Marketplace and Instagram.
So, what are some of the built-in features then? First of all, Shopify provides you with some basic SEO tools. Whenever you add a new product, you get guidelines from the platform on how to improve its visibility. In addition to that, there is also a decent in-house analytics tool that shows you earnings, customer return rates, and real-time visitors. Obviously, this doesn't mean that you can't install third-party apps like Google Analytics. It's also worth mentioning that this platform comes with a built-in automatic calculator for taxes that is extremely useful.
The lowest price you can get for Shopify's best online eCommerce website builder is with the basic plan at $29 a month. You get everything you need to set up an online shop while you choose the amount of features you want by installing additional apps. Keep in mind that with the basic plan, you have to pay a 2% transaction fee unless you also opt for the Shopify payment gateway.
- ⦿ Quote creation
- ⦿ Financial apps
- ⦿ Instructional videos
Wix is one of the most popular website builders on the planet – and for good reason. It is the best eCommerce platform for beginners mainly thanks to its AI-based automatic site generator and a host of online shopping-focused features. But how does it work?
classic builder or let the automatic Wix ADI do the work for you. Of course, even after the AI generates your site, you can change the layout anyway you want. The generator simply saves you a bit of time.
After you select the type of store you want, the best eCommerce site builder suggests features you might need like, popup chat, subscribe forms, or a page with your selection of paid subscription plans. If you already own a store elsewhere, you can easily import it with a couple of clicks at the start. At the end of the process, the ADI lets you choose the theme you like and the layout you will be using before coming up with the final product.
When it comes to the classic Wix eCommerce website editor, you will notice right away that the interface is beginner-friendly. You edit the pages on-site as you see them, and the dashboard only appears after you've clicked on an element. That way there's no unnecessary clutter on the screen. Wix's best eCommerce website builder for beginners gives you short instructional videos at the start to help you find your way around the program. Even the classic builder is fairly intuitive so, for example, if you want to add a new section to your site, the eCommerce software will automatically suggest the pages you should have with pre-made features.
Adding products to your store is really simple - it's like filling out a form. You write down the name, description, and add an image. One of the reasons why Wix might be the best eCommerce platform for SEO is the fact that you can enter metadata for each product and, that way, improve your search engine rankings. Even if you're not familiar with optimization techniques, you can still be effective by adding a custom URL, title, and a description of the product. The preview will show you exactly what your page will look like in Google's search results.
Though Wix is a universal site builder with various features, it has a specific financial section on the dashboard focused on eCommerce. This is where you can set up various payment methods for your visitors, create invoices, quotes, or connect financial apps for an improved online experience.
Every Wix eCommerce plan comes with the best eCommerce website builder and a website hosted by Wix. The most basic business plan costs $17 a month. It comes with unlimited bandwidth, 20 GB of storage, and a free domain for a year. As a part of the package, you get two great apps - Site Booster and Visitor Analytics - completely free.
- ⦿ Instructions for each template
- ⦿ Unlimited products
- ⦿ Customer accounts
For years now, Squarespace has been one of the most popular website builders on the internet. A trend setter well-known for its wide selection of beautiful templates, the platform helped build over two million websites worldwide. In recent years, the company decided to tread a new path and work towards becoming one of the best eCommerce platforms on the web.
One of the most recognizable traits of Squarespace websites is the unique and elegant design of the themes. The same can be said for the company's introduction of Squarespace eCommerce templates. You can find a suitable design for almost every industry and be amazed by the trademark quality of the layouts. Now, even though the themes are fully customizable, you can't just go around changing everything without affecting the delicate balance of the elements. That is why every template has its own unique set of instructions. Based on this, you would be right to assume that this isn't exactly the easiest eCommerce platform for beginners. It takes some getting used to.
Squarespace offers plenty of high value instructional videos and guides, including one specifically focused on creating eCommerce websites. If you're willing to dedicate some of your time to learning this interface, you'll be rewarded with an incredibly powerful site-building experience.
As you might expect from any decent eCommerce platform, this one also offers inventory management for tracking and organizing your products. There is no limitation to how many products you can add to the store. Moreover, Squarespace's best online store builder lets you include as many product variants as you'd like. Your visitors will be able to browse through different sizes, colors, and other features.
While numerous eCommerce platforms let you sell both physical and digital products, Squarespace eCommerce goes a step further. With this platform, you'll be able to sell services as well. The platform doesn't have its own app store, but it allows for third-party extensions that can dramatically improve your website. A lot of these extensions are specifically aimed at eCommerce sites and online shopping features. To get the most out of your best eCommerce platform, make sure you activate the Customer Accounts functionality that lets your buyers set up an account before or after a purchase. This has a tremendous effect on your customer return rate.
The cheapest plan is the business plan at $18 a month. It comes with a free custom domain name for the first year, unlimited bandwidth and storage, and advanced website analytics. Keep in mind that this plan demands a transaction fee of 3%. If you want to get rid of the transaction fee, you'll have to upgrade to the Commerce plan at $26 a month.
Squarespace is a great choice for young companies because it offers over a hundred high-quality templates that look elegant and professional. Although the interface takes some getting used to, overall, it's a good long-term investment. If you're looking for something easier, you should try Wix because its ADI does all the work for you. All you need to do is answer a couple of questions and choose the designs you like.
Shopify is certainly among the best online eCommerce platforms. This website builder offers a number of great eCommerce features and has over 1,200 apps in its store. With Shopify, you can create custom labels and shipping rates tailored to your customers' specific needs. Abandoned cart recovery is a built-in feature, while multi-channel integration isn't. You will have to get an app specifically for that.
The first thing you need to do is define what it is you need. Are you looking for a quick way to integrate a store into your existing, established website? Try Wix. Are you looking for the best SEO eCommerce platform where you can easily add metadata to all your products? Simply use Shopify. Do you want to be around huge, famous companies that seem to know what they're doing? Check out BigCommerce.
According to our reviews, both 3dcart and Wix offer the cheapest eCommerce plans at $17 a month. Second place belongs to Squarespace at only a dollar more - $18. However, not everything is about the price. Before you decide to buy what you think is the best eCommerce platform, make sure you use the trial mode to see if it fits your needs.