BigCommerce is the best overall ecommerce platform. Its robust product search engine makes it ideal for larger retail brands. It’s also a good choice for people who want to start an ecommerce store, or who have a brick and mortar store and want to expand their operations to include online orders. Its available tools make it possible for any niche or industry to be successful.
Shopify is the best platform at selling. If you plan to drop ship, rely on Facebook Ads or Instagram marketing – this is the best choice. I wouldn’t use Shopify if I was going to rely on SEO. I also wouldn’t use Shopify if I were creating a large store with many products. I’d use BigCommerce instead.
Shopify is slightly better in several areas over BigCommerce such as post-purchase 1-click upsells – but far behind in terms of performance. I’ve used Shopify on my site before and have worked with many Shopify sites in the past, but I like WordPress better because I have an affiliate revenue model in addition to products.
Wix ecommerce has come a long way in a few years. When I first started writing ecommerce platform reviews in 2017, Wix wasn’t even on my list. Once they got added to my list, I gave them a really poor rating and would not recommend them.
Now, Wix is a major force in the ecommerce space and they deliver amazing value for solorprenuers and small ecommerce businesses. Wix’s ecommerce features have evolved drastically in a few years, they now offer multi channel integration, abandoned cart recovery, dropship and print on demand capabilities.
WooCommerce is the best single platform to run ecommerce and affiliate site under one roof. But the true ecommerce platforms like BigCommerce and Shopify sell better, but not by much. It works with WordPress to turn any website into a functional ecommerce store. Also, there are extensions available for integrating payment gateways, social media, email marketing, 1-click selling, and shipping.
Magento’s most used free, but there’s a paid level for enterprise solutions for large ecommerce businesses. It is expensive; the annual licensing fee runs in tens of thousands of dollars. That’s huge, but it’s on the cloud, faster, and comes with additional features including automatic trigger-based email campaigns and automatic cross /upsell.
Whichever you pick, you’ll enjoy the long list of features that you can extend. Things like discounts, recurring payments, ability to grind SEO, adjust content per user, membership subscriptions, unlimited products, and more.
3dcart has served over 22,000 online businesses with clientele including PCMag. They have some practical features like unlimited storage and no transaction fees. You can also use their POS, and they support multi-channel selling.
Founded in 2006 and with about 40 million customers, Weebly is a great option for someone looking for a simple store with marketing automation built in. That will cost you $38 per month vs. using Shopify and Active Campaign ($29 + $17). But if you plan to do any type of marketing, you’ll quickly outgrow Weebly. Don’t use Weebly if SEO is important to you.
Until recently, there hasn’t been a solid focus on ecommerce, and as such, you wouldn’t find some of the sophistication that other top platforms have. Nevertheless, it remains an excellent choice for startup entrepreneurs or those who do not wish to hire a developer.
Founded in 2007, PrestaShop is an open-source and cloud-hosted ecommerce platform that gives the best overall value.
While the word “free” automatically makes most of us salivate, the other costs you will accrue with the free version might make the PrestaShop Ready look like a better option especially if you don’t have the technical skills.
Volusion was founded in 1999 but launched in 2002 as an ecommerce solution provider. It’s a great option for those selling physical products because for now automatic digital downloads after payment is not allowed.
Volusion provides an easy to use website builder with drag and drop and in-page editing. There are 11 free themes and a good number of premium themes. Those cost about $180, and you’ll also have to purchase an SSL certificate. That is a hefty extra cost that some other platforms provide for free.
It also doesn’t come with blogging capabilities which is a huge downer mostly in this day where building SEO with blogs is king. To get that, you’ll need to use a third party like WordPress and a plugin or other means to connect the blog to your store.
Squarespace is another one of those platforms that offers drag-and-drop. Founded in 2003, they have sleek templates and design capabilities. If you don’t need a lot of features, try them out. It’s also great for print on demand ecommerce business.
The prices are quite low. To start selling, you need to at least be on the Business website plan that’s $18/month when billed annually. Note that you’ll have to pay 3% on transaction fees.