best ecommerce platforms (Easy Step by Step Guide)


Mangesh Supe

by Mangesh Supe · Updated August 11 2021

best ecommerce platforms (Easy Step by Step Guide)

The online retail industry is an increasingly competitive field, even when discussing the e-commerce platforms that power it. 

The online retail industry is an increasingly competitive field, even when it comes to the e-commerce platforms that manage it.

Over 1000 eCommerce self-build platforms are available for businesses and individuals to use.

In order to find the right solution, you may not have enough time and energy to look at hundreds of options, so we have reviewed some of the most popular eCommerce solutions and compared them in detail to allow you to make a decision based on your needs.

1. Shopify

Initially started by a group of skiers in 2004, Shopify has grown to become the market-leading eCommerce solution with over 1 million customers in 175 countries and across all sizes and industries.

Shopify is one of the best e-commerce platforms for beginners and small to medium-sized businesses. 

Everything you need is already integrated into the platform, including storefront design, content marketing, performance analysis, and more. After setting up the basics, it's as simple as adding more features and functionality to the store using third-party extensions or even changing the website code.

The code-free website builder and intuitive interface make the learning process a breeze, and there are plenty of support resources available if you get stuck. 

Most users can choose from a wide variety of available templates or create one themselves. 

To provide even more flexibility, Shopify also offers full code access for advanced users, and independent developers can create add-ons to extend the store's functionality.

 How to create a Shopify online store

Supported Industries

Beauty & Cosmetics

Consumer Electronics

Fashion Apparel

Food & Beverage

Home Decoration

Digital Products

Website Building Features

Infinite product list

Customized domain name

Real-time sales statistics

Inventory Tracking

AI/personalization

Over 70 themes/templates

2. Shopify Plus

Shopify Plus is an upgraded version of the basic Shopify platform for enterprise-level users. In addition to the eCommerce platform itself, Shopify Plus offers additional services and benefits better suited for large multinational companies.

Thanks to its ability to simplify complex technologies, Shopify Plus is emerging as one of the best eCommerce platforms for enterprise customers, giving them the ability to handle large product line-ups across multiple channels. Large groups will gain access to a higher level technical framework, introductory support, and automation tools to operate at scale quickly.

Although built using the same platform as the lower-priced plans, Shopify Plus' focus on the enterprise market means it is more complex in terms of feature set and customizability. 

If you want to customize your eCommerce site, you will need to learn the proprietary front-end programming language Liquid or hire an experienced third-party reseller.

Supported Industries

  1. Beauty & Cosmetics
  2. Consumer Electronics
  3. Fashion Apparel
  4. Food & Beverage
  5. Home Decoration
  6. Digital Products

Website Building Features

  1. Infinite product list
  2. Customized domain name
  3. Real-time sales statistics
  4. Inventory Tracking
  5. AI/personalization
  6. Over 70 themes/templates

3. BigCommerce

BigCommerce was founded in 2009 by two Australians, Eddie Machaalani and Mitchell Harper, but has now relocated its headquarters to Austin, Texas, with 600 employees in offices around the world. 

To date, this company has helped online retailers make $25 billion worth of sales in 120 countries/regions.

With its rich feature set, BigCommerce is best suited for SMBs, and the basic package plan is suitable for most entry-level users but is priced much higher than the competition. 

Premium features like abandoned shopping carts and shipping integrations have the best industry experience, but you must upgrade to a higher plan to enjoy them. 

Plus, BigCommerce does not limit per-transaction fees but rather limits them based on your subscription plan.

BigCommerce is one of the most professional e-commerce website building platforms, a little better than Shopify in terms of usability, but with far fewer page templates. 

BigCommerce also makes it easier to edit and modify SEO (search engine optimization) related features (such as custom URLs, page titles, etc.). Still, the most significant difference is the ability to sell in multiple currencies, whereas Shopify and other platforms lack this support.

Supported Industries

  1. Fashion Apparel
  2. Health & Beauty
  3. Food & Beverage
  4. Manufacturing
  5. Automotive Industry

Website Building Features

  1. Unlimited product listings, unlimited traffic, and file storage
  2. Customized domain name
  3. Multi-currency sales
  4. 12 free themes and 160+ paid themes
  5. Integration with shipping and POS software

4. Magento

 View Details

It is one of the world's most popular open-source e-commerce platforms, initially released in 2009 and then replaced by Magento 2.0 in 2015 with an improved codebase and usability/stability features. Magento was then acquired by Adobe again in 2018 and is now available in two versions, Magento Open Source, and Magento Commerce.

Magento is best suited for small to medium-sized businesses that already have established needs and already have a specific time, human resources, and skills. 

This open-source platform is very powerful, with over 5,000 extension libraries but takes a lot of time to learn to use and requires a longer development time and more budget outlay than most competitors.

Supported Industries

  1. Beauty & Cosmetics
  2. Consumer Electronics
  3. Fashion Apparel
  4. Food & Beverage
  5. Home Decoration
  6. Sporting Goods

Website Building Features

  1. integrated checkout, payment, and logistics
  2. Global Sales
  3. Catalog Management
  4. Extended functionality through App Marketplace
  5. Instant Purchase
  6. Site Search

5. WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a free open source shopping cart plugin owned and developed by WordPress.

 WooCommerce is one of the most popular eCommerce options on the eCommerce market.

 For individuals and businesses that already have a WordPress site or are on a tight budget but still want a robust online store, WooCommerce is the best eCommerce platform with thousands of third-party themes and plugins that offer great flexibility to meet most needs.

Like most open source e-commerce platforms, WooCommerce has a challenging learning path for those who have never created a similar site before. 

While the plugins are relatively easy to install and use, users must use community forums and online guides to enhance their expertise. However, once these are mastered, customizing the site becomes very easy.

How to create a WooCommerce online store

Supported Industries

  1. Beauty & Cosmetics
  2. Consumer Electronics
  3. Fashion Apparel
  4. Food & Beverage
  5. Home Decoration
  6. Digital Products

Website Building Features

  1. Location Support
  2. Inventory Management
  3. Catalog Management
  4. Shipping Method and Calculator
  5. Search Engine Optimization
  6. Coupons and Discounts

6. Squarespace

Squarespace is a New York-based SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) company.

 Squarespace helps create and host commercial websites and online stores, enabling them to create web pages with drag-and-drop functionality and pre-defined templates. 

This platform is best suited for individuals and businesses with basic e-commerce needs. 

Although the features are useful, it can only be used as an assistant to the primary website builder. 

If you need a more specialized platform to handle larger inventories and orders, choosing Shopify or BigCommerce would be better.

With one of the cleanest design interfaces on the market, creating and modifying an eCommerce platform is a breeze, regardless of your level of experience. 

However, there are not many add-ons available in the default builder, nor is there an app store for third-party extensions, which can limit the functionality of your eCommerce site.

Supported Industries

  1. Artistic Design
  2. Beauty & Cosmetics
  3. Fashion Apparel
  4. Food & Beverage
  5. Toys & Games
  6. Digital Products

Website Building Features

  1. Shopping Cart Abandonment Auto Recovery
  2. Product import and export
  3. Real-time shipping and logistics tracking
  4. Up-selling and cross-selling
  5. Search Engine Optimization
  6. Gift cards, automatic discounts

7. Wix

Wix is a cloud-based website building platform that allows users to create online stores with drag-and-drop tools. 

With a wide range of pre-defined templates and layouts, even beginners and resource-poor businesses can easily build compelling and functional websites. 

On top of that, it is the best e-commerce platform for small businesses that cannot afford to hire a professional web designer, with easy-to-use website building tools and e-commerce components powerful enough to meet basic needs.

The most outstanding feature is its ease of use, which ensures that your website works perfectly at all times. 

Wix has many templates to suit your online business. 

The eCommerce module has most of the features that companies need but cannot be continuously extended by dedicated platforms like Shopify or Magento.

Supported Industries

  1. Artistic Design
  2. Beauty & Cosmetics
  3. Fashion Apparel
  4. Food & Beverage
  5. Toys & Games
  6. Sporting Goods
  7. Digital Products

Website Building Features

  1. Product Gallery
  2. Logistics Options
  3. Coupon Code
  4. Inventory Management
  5. Shopping cart abandonment recovery
  6. Payment Method

8. Big Cartel

 View Details

Big Cartel is an e-commerce platform for artists, started in 2005, focused on selling artwork, clothing, jewelry, photos, and other products in one place. For individuals and businesses looking for an alternative to Etsy, Big Cartel is the best choice. The website building tool itself is both intuitive and straightforward and helps artists maximize their potential.

The setup wizard can help you get started quickly and get you up and running faster than Shopify sites. 

However, this simplicity requires trade-offs, and Big Cartel's feature set is very limited and not suitable for businesses that sell a large number of products.

Supported Industries

  1. Artistic Design
  2. Fashion Apparel
  3. Photographer
  4. Creators

Website Building Features

  1. Multiple sales channels
  2. Coupon Code
  3. Inventory Management
  4. SEO Tools

9. Salesforce Commerce Cloud

 View Details

Salesforce Commerce Cloud (formerly known as DemandWare) is an enterprise-class eCommerce solution that offers a wide range of features ideal for multinational companies handling multi-million dollar orders. Salesforce Commerce Cloud is a great fit for enterprise companies with complex needs, powerful, and with enough customization, scope to cover virtually any business application -- whether B2B or B2C. As a Salesforce eco product, Commerce Cloud can benefit from integration with all other Salesforce products.

As an enterprise-class eCommerce platform, the Salesforce Commerce Support cloud offers a depth and flexibility unmatched by most other platforms, which presents a steep learning curve best handled by experienced programmers, hired consultants, or Salesforce developers.

Supported Industries

  1. Beauty & Cosmetics
  2. Fashion Apparel
  3. Food & Beverage
  4. Sporting Goods
  5. Toys & Games
  6. Car & Auto Supplies
  7. Chemicals

Website Building Features

  1. Product and Catalog Management
  2. Marketing and advertising tools
  3. Customer segmentation, social media integration
  4. AI/personalization, A/B testing
  5. One-Click Mobile Payment
  6. Complete development platform, including API support
  7. Multiple channels and retail locations

10. Volusion

 View Details

Founded in 1999, Volusion is one of the oldest e-commerce platforms on the market and has remained popular and stable despite competitors such as Shopify and Wix currently supporting over 30,000 stores and over $28 billion in sales.

Volusion is an excellent choice for startups and small businesses looking to get started quickly and where room for growth exists. 

Unlike other platforms that require you to browse the app store, many essential features are already included as part of the standard dashboard, and Volusion shows its long history in many areas. 

However, it is still a robust system that can meet most business needs.

Supported Industries

  1. Beauty & Cosmetics
  2. Fashion Apparel
  3. Food & Beverage
  4. Sporting Goods
  5. Consumer Electronics
  6. Home Decoration

Website Building Features

  1. Drag-and-drop page editor
  2. Free and paid themes
  3. Inventory Management
  4. Discounts and Coupons
  5. SEO tools, social media integration
  6. SKU Import/Export

11. Conclusion

The only question is, which side are you going to pick?

Let me know in the comments.

Share