Last Updated on March 8, 2021 by Arif Chowdhury
What is the eCommerce Platforms?
Nowadays you can see eCommerce platforms everywhere in your day-to-day life. Let’s say you want to buy a pair of sneakers from the Bata website, this website specially designed as an online market place where different kinds of products displayed with images, details, and prices. You can even pay online using your credit/debit card. And they will ship your product within 1-5 business days depending on your location.
This is called an eCommerce platform & it is much different from a typical website or blog. Real-life examples can be Amazon, eBay, BestBuy, etc. with their millions of customers purchasing from online. All other physical outlets, showroom feature can also apply here i.e. discounts offers, coupons. However, it is much cost-effective and faster in operation than the physical showroom. For example, when you visit a showroom there are several salesmen to help you to find your desired product, you ask them about price, they accept cash from you or through Point of sale, then pack your products.
How It Can Change Everything?
In an eCommerce website, you do not need a single assistant or salesman or manager whatsoever. The whole website will manage itself from displaying your products to accepting payment from customers. You can even get automatic statistics report of sales & expenses every day in real-time, besides, this report made by software, therefore, it is 100% accurate and honest, unlike physical showroom report that made by manager hence, no guarantee about accuracy neither honesty.
So, in my opinion, large businesses started to maintain their showroom using the eCommerce platforms as nowadays peoples also tend to shop online rather than visit in a showroom.
In 2021, there is a huge collection of eCommerce platforms available in the market. Over 578 of this platforms exist. Yes, that number is correct. And, choosing the right one from this huge collection can be a real challenge.
To make things easy for you I have written down reviews of a collection of my favorite eCommerce software.
Trust me, I have years of experience in these software. Tested by myself and reviews are all based on that. Among the huge list of these software, I am going to give you a custom-made choice based on my personal experience. So, let’s get started.
Powerful eCommerce Platform with Free Plan
Wix is one of the most popular among eCommerce platforms, it contains hundreds of free and premium theme, you can use those to build your online store within 10 minutes using drag and drop editor. You can offer promotions, coupons, a gift card to engage your valuable customers and make them return. It designed to help you manage sales orders, maintaining inventory, and shipping procedures.
They are offering you instant account creation and it’s completely free with $0 cost per month. If you satisfy and need an advanced feature for farther growth of your business then upgrade your plan.
If you start eCommerce business by using the Wix platform, you do not have to have advanced knowledge in HTML or CSS neither you have to hire a professional web developer, as Wix has a built-in drag & drop website builder with custom made stunning landing page. It has also a mobile-friendly feature for other devices like android, iPhones to automatically optimize your website view.
Easy 1-2-3 Drag & Drop Online Store Builder
You have created an online store but you do not have any products to sell? Surely you can’t sell affiliate products in your eCommerce site because affiliate products have their website. Therefore, what the option then?
Wix also has a solution for that. Start a dropshipping business and sell high-quality products from thousands of suppliers according to your choice, you do not have to hold inventories or face shipment hassle. You will set your price and sell right from the website and products will deliver from the supplier’s warehouse.
As for pricing plans, Wix has high competitive subscription plans for its customers. For eCommerce business price start with $17 per month for Business Basic plan. It offers you unlimited bandwidth & 20GB of online storage. You will also get a free domain for 1 year. Enough feature for a starter business.
However, If you want to get boost right from the beginning for your large eCommerce website then choose Business Unlimited or VIP price will be a maximum of $35 per month. Think about it, a physical showroom would cost you 20 times more than this. And the most beautiful part is – you can test their service for completely free as long as you want.
Master of eCommerce Platforms for Large Business
For a serious and large organization, BigCommerce is best. It has some features that outclass other eCommerce platforms i.e. it covers almost all kind of known payment gateway, drives more customers with built-in marketing and SEO features, seamless integration with almost all types of apps, built-in stunning website builder and hosting, can handle orders more than $150 million per year.
Most honest offer maybe a 15-days risk-free trial period, enough to understand how their platform works and this will help you to make an informed decision.
If you have a big organization, then my advice is to start using the BigCommerce platform right from the beginning without thinking a second option. Because their platform specially designed to handle millions of orders per month and its pricing model is also scaled with it, therefore for a small business it will be a waste of resources and costly. Because their lowest pricing model is similar to the Advance model of other eCommerce platforms.
Work smarter & make complex management easy
They are offering you two exclusive products – 1. Essentials and 2. Enterprise. Essentials designed for medium to large business owners and Enterprise designed for a large organization that needs complete customized eCommerce solutions.
Their Essentials eCommerce solution has kind of same features like other eCommerce platforms though their learning curve might be a little higher. Though, it has open APIs, SaaS, and zero transaction fees.
BigCommerce can be an inexpensive SaaS eCommerce solution for a large organization who wants to migrate from an expensive platform to save thousands of dollars from their annual turnover.
In December 2018, they have launched Next-generation eCommerce solutions for their clients named “Headless Commerce”. This new feature enables organizations to manage their visual content with WordPress software, while behind the whole platform will manage by a powerful BigCommerce engine.
Built-in SEO suite take care of site optimization
You get a powerful built-in SEO suite thus no need to worry about optimizing your site.
Now, what about the pricing model? For Essentials solution price start from $29.99 per month for a small organization with some limited feature, and the Pro plan cost is $299.95 per month. However, if you choose an annual bill payment option then an automatic 10% discount shall apply. Finally, choose the Enterprise plan for large organizational needs with a custom pricing model, you have to call them to get a custom rate.
In any case, if you are unsure about plans, just try them out for 15-days and decide later.
Designed for eCommerce Solution – Free 14-days
Shopify is the most well-known eCommerce platform trusted by over 1 million businesses globally.
It began in 2004 launched by a Canadian company and become one of the most trusted SaaS eCommerce solutions. You may have already heard about them, as they have known for not only eCommerce solutions but also website building platforms, email marketing campaigns, social media ads campaigns, and many more.
They are offering you to test out their amazing platform for a risk-free 14-days trial.
Birth of Shopify is on a whim, Scott Lake, Lütke, Daniel Weinand, and Tobias build their open-source web application with Rails and Ruby because they are not satisfied with the current mobile application existed in that time, and this is how Shopify was born.
Even a 7-year kid can set up an online store
Shopify gained mass awareness only because of its flexible user-friendly interface along with perfect marketing to the hearts of its clients.
Drag and drop features enable their clients to build a dropshipping online store within 10 minutes. Even the most inexperienced computer user can also build an online store with the help of their platform.
With their pre-designed professional themes and custom-made plugins, you can easily build a powerful and well-designed online store, however, building an online store is just the beginning. Your site needs online marketing features and optimization for SEO to become successful.
There are some limitations in SEO optimization, for example, you can’t change the format of the online store URL, by default it will be same as always. If your website URL is hobby.com and one of your product’s sub-url is under collections URL hobby.com/collections/xxx then, you won’t be able to change it to hobby.com/xxx.
Virtual Assistant will manage your business 24/7
Another shortfall can be a limitation in product variants. Shopify is limited to 100 product variants i.e. colors, size, materials, fabrics, etc. Therefore, if your organization is big then Shopify might not suit your needs, you should consider looking for the BigCommerce platform.
Shopify has 3 different subscription plans, starting from $29 to $299 from Basic to Advance. All of them have more or less the same features i.e. free SSL, discount codes, coupon codes, inventory management, and so forth.
However, If you choose Basic plan then your transaction fee will be a little bit higher than Advance plan, for example, Online credit card payment fees are 2.4% for the advance plan while in the basic plan it is 2.9% then again for third party payment processor fees is 2.0% for the basic plan while only 0.5% for the advance plan. In the beginning, it might not affect your revenue much, however, when you start to get more sales, it will cut down a huge chunk from it.
Therefore, when your sales grow upgrade to Advance plan to be on the safe side.
Excellent eCommerce Platform – Start Free
One of the fastest-growing and popular eCommerce platform with a customer base of more than 1.6 million. However, it is best suited for those who already have their website and want to add shopping features within it. But if you do not own a website, that’s okay. They are offering you easy to use drag and drop website builder to create an online store within 10 minutes then just add products you want to sell online.
Sell anywhere even on Amazon or eBay
Built-in integration with third parties is another feature of Ecwid as you can easily integrate with WordPress or Joomla. And optimized for device friendly views enables you to target a broad audience from iOS to Mobile.
Manage store from anywhere using mobile apps
Some Key Features of Ecwid:
- Managing and tracking inventory using a dashboard
- Smart Shipping Calculator
- Robust security system (PCI DSS Validated)
- Awarded by G2 Crowd for – “Fastest ECommerce Implementation Platform”
- Offers more than 50+ secure payment methods
- Downloadable PDF guide for social media & online marketing training
Ecwid has 4 different subscription plans available for you to try out. Starting from $0 to $99 per month. If you are not sure, why don’t you use their Free plan? Let’s give it a try.
Intuitive eCommerce Feature with 30-days Free
With 3dcart eCommerce platform, you will have access over 200+ built-in features along with 50 free themes for your new online store. And off course it is SEO-Ready online store, thus you won’t have to worry about SEO optimization.
Another beautiful thing is, it has powerful Pre-Built SEO Optimization features. You might not find this feature on every other eCommerce platforms, but 3dcart is different. Every part of your online store is pre-designed and optimized for SEO thus it will eventually increase your organic traffics, all you have to do is concentrate to build customer relationships. Let the all-in-one eCommerce solution do the heavy lifting for you.
Do not worry about integration with other application that is valuable to your business connections. Facebook, Stripe, Google, MailChimp, etc. all integration can be done with a fingertip.
3dcart has 5 different subscriptions plans available for you to try out. From “Start-up Store” to “Pro Store” ranging from $9.50 to $114.50 per month. If you are not sure what to do, my advice is – Try their Free 14-days trial first, then the decision is yours!
Fully Customizable Plugin for WordPress Site
WooCommerce offers you flexibility like other eCommerce platforms, you can build your store in WordPress the way you like most and then start selling simply as that. Marketing is also flexible because – WooCommerce giving you access to reward your customers with coupons, incentives, points and rewards, gifting, and many other ways.
You can write blogs to up to date your customers, SEO optimization is built-in therefore, you won’t have to worry about that. Then promote your products by linking with other relevant products to maximize the organic reach.
You can even automate email marketing tasks. It is also built-in within this eCommerce platform. You also have an A/B testing feature in your hand to analyze email-marketing performance.
You can reach your customer by leveraging other popular 3rd party channel i.e. Facebook, YouTube, Amazon, eBay by seamless integration with your online store.
Finally, WooCommerce experts are providing you their knowledge to help you to get started with lots of tips and tricks about marketing and promotions.
You don’t know how to use coupons to drive more customers? You have no idea how to use the first $50 in social media marketing?
No worries, learn from experts, and try it in your business.
Though WooCommerce is a free plugin to transform your WordPress site to a full-featured Online Store, there are premium plugins as well for you to try with better features.
Start an Online Store within Just 5 minutes
Sellfy is a simple and flexible yet very effective and powerful eCommerce platform available. You can add any type of product you want, sell on your website, or social media channels. There are built-in marketing tools to help you get started i.e. email marketing, coupons, discount, etc.
Drag and Drop feature to build your online store
You can connect your domain to an online store, there is a built-in shopping cart for your customers to add multiple items and there is a store language feature it will change your online store language based on customer location and language.
Some Key Features:
- It is fully optimized for mobile devices
- Embed option for your product virtually anywhere
- Built-in email marketing feature
- Up-sell and discount codes
- Tracking pixel options for social media ads
Built-in Dashboard for Automatic Analysis
Besides, your online store going to receive secure transactions and anti-fraud protections that will keep your client information safe. Sellfy is protected by a PCI-DSS security system, it has another feature that called PDF stamping – you won’t have to edit a pdf file for every buyer, Sellfy unique feature will do that for you. It has also a limited download option available thus buyers can’t share your file with other peoples.
Integration with 1,000+ third party application
Sellfy has 4 different subscription options available. Start from “Starter Package” to “Premium Plan” from $19 to $89 per month. However, if your sales volume is more than $200K per year, then you may contact them for a more customize plan that suite your needs.
Perfect for Drop Shipping eCommerce Solution
Very flexible and easy to use even for beginner, 1-click ready online store. First thing, it is well designed and pre-optimized for SEO, thus you won’t have to tweaks for better performance.
It also connected with Drop Shipping or POD service provider. They take care of all the complex and heavy tasks, where your job is to sell online hassle-free.
Professionally Pre-Designed Themes to choose
Online store themes must have to be eye-catching to attract customers and ShopBase has thousands of them. It’s also mobile-ready, means every theme has been pre-optimized for any device i.e. iOS, Android, iPhone, etc.
It is fully customizable as well, you can edit HTML and CSS of your store to make it more personalized that suite your needs.
They have varieties of third party payment gateway to choose from i.e. PayPal, Stripe, BlueSnap, Visa, Mastercard etc.
ShopBase has 3 different subscription plans. Basic Base, Standard Base, and Pro base. Starting from $19 to $249 per month. If you just started then Basic Base subscription plan is for you, however, for enterprise-level you might need Pro Base plan. And of course, if you are not sure, take a risk-free 14-days trial.
Oldest & Renowned eCommerce Solution for many years
Volusion is an all-in-one eCommerce platform that offers you expertly pre-designed themes with custom domains and intuitive functionality.
Responsive themes – No matter from which device your customers are accessing your store themes will adapt automatically. Drag and Drop easy to use store builder feature for a beginner or advance users.
Hundreds of Pre-Designed SEO Optimized Themes
With Volusion you can sell your products the way you want. It has a fully customizable product page, you can add multiple photos, videos of products, and brilliantly showcase before your customers.
Another feature – Powerful pre-optimized SEO as well as automatic built-in analytics dashboard for you to track your store performance at a glance.
Built-in email marketing options, with the ability to give incentives to your customers with coupons, discounts, event promotions, gift vouchers, and many more.
Sell your products the way you like most
They have powerful yet seamless integration option with third party software worldwide i.e. PayPal, Stripe, FedEX, Amazon, Constant Contact, etc.
Volusion has 4 subscription plans starting from “Personal plan” to “Prime plan”, ranging from $29 to $299 per month. And Prime plan has a custom rate that you have to contact with them directly.
And of course, as usual – You may start their risk-free 14-days FREE trial without needing any credit card at all.
Free Open Source eCommerce – No holding back
First thing first – It is a solid Free eCommerce platform with thousands of free features just like a paid platform. They have 11 years of experience in this field, 60,000 live online shops are running with their free eCommerce platform, 10,000 new stores are growing with them each year.
nopCommerce supports 1,500+ third party application and surprisingly they have 250,000+ community members worldwide! Yes, and it’s still growing. And it is not for just small business, nopCommerce can handle the needs from small to large organizations.
Now, why should you choose nopCommerce? The answer is simple – Free with thousands of benefits and nothing has to pay. It is free, there is no monthly charge or even transaction fees whatsoever. Highly secured with PCI-DSS compatibility feature. And you have the option to use multi-vendor and multi-store functionality called B2B and B2C to get the ultimate performance for Enterprise level business.
Finally, you can integrate nopCommerce with almost all third party i.e. Facebook, Amazon, eBay services just like a paid platform. And, because it is an open-source platform, there is no limitation in customization.
So, when there is Free there is nothing to lose except gain, now let’s get started, shall we?
In this digital era, everything becomes computerized and accessible from the internet. No need to look for outside examples, right now you are reading this guide from your desktop, laptop, or android phone (maybe iPhone). After reading you may start following my guide from where? Of course from the internet. Your parents may buy groceries from an online shop, or perhaps clothes, shoes, or any other products. Maybe you even bought your laptop from an online store recently.
So, it is not a science fiction movie anymore. It is real, we are no longer in 1990. It is 2021 and everything is getting more and more digitalize.
Maybe our grandfathers started their first business from a local shop and now we will start our first business from an eCommerce platform. Not much difference, that was physical and it is digital. Our advantage is we do it from home with comfort.
In any case, if you like my eCommerce guide do not forget to give me thanks in the comment section below 😉 or if you need to learn more about the eCommerce platform do not hesitate to ask me as well.
Further reading on Cliobra: if you are going to start a business soon you might be needed it – “Best Email Marketing Software for 2020” & for making a professional website don’t forget to check this out – “Best Website Builder for 2020”