What is an Ecommerce Platform?
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.
What is the Best Ecommerce Platform?
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.
Top 5 Ecommerce Platforms in 2020
We’ve reviewed the top 5 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 5 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.
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.
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.
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.