What’s the best ecommerce platform for your online business?

So you have a great product and you’re ready to open your online store, but you’re not technical and want to get started selling right away. Luckily there are many ecommerce platforms for you to choose from. These platforms make it easy for novice users to start their online business instantly. Some of these platforms also get your store ready to accept credit cards and other payments such as PayPal. The decision to go with a platform is a big one, so let’s take a look at the different options and see which ones provide a better overall value before you decide.

1.Shopify

Shopify offers a beautiful and extremely easy to use experience for small to medium size businesses. Along with 70 integrated payment gateways, they’ve also recently implemented credit card processor Stripe into their platform, which allows users to accept credit cards instantly. They also have widgets which you can add to any blog including Tumblr. Adding your products to Shopify is very easy thanks to its user-friendly interface, and they many different themes to choose from to display items the way you’d like. Along with highly rated customer service, they’ve also  launched Ecommerce university, where you can talk with other shop owners who exchange tips and answers for problems you may have. You can get started with a free 14 day trial to test out the service. Take a look at all their features here and different pricing plans here.

Pricing: Starter plan starts at $14/Month

ExamplesSMS Audio by 50 Cent (Ran by celebrity 50 Cent)

 

2. Magento

Magento is the most popular ecommerce platform with more than 125,000 merchants worldwide. Their software is open source, which means you can customize it to your needs but will need a developer to do so. They have three plans which consist of community, go, and enterprise. Community is free but comes with very basic features and lacks tech support. However, should you need it they have a very robust community forum where you can seek help. Go, similar to Shopify, offers a free 30 day trial and offers month to month contracts which is good for beginners. It also comes with many features which you can see here.  Enterprise is mainly for medium to large scale businesses as the price starts an annual rate of $15,500 a year, but it comes with many extensive features and support.

Pricing: Community- Free,  Go-Starts at $15 month, Enterprise $15,500 year

Examples: Sabon NYC  2pennyblue   Beardcraft  Undscvrd

3.Tictail

Tictail which has been dubbed the “Tumblr for ecommerce” is relatively new but is increasing in popularity due to its ease of use and management services. It allows you to set up a store in virtually seconds and has many beautiful themes to choose from. The main highlight of this platform though is the built in marketing and sales management feature which helps you stay on top of your social media channels and inventory letting your new business grow smoothly . It comes with a plenty of features but you will need to purchase add-ons which let you use your own domain name,run a discount campaign, and more. Also a great bonus is there are absolutely no fees to have an account.

Price: Free with the option to purchase add-ons

Examples: Cutieverse  Tea Rose love  Urban Trait

 

4.PrestaShop
PrestaShop

Prestashop is another very popular eCommerce platform which is open source and completely free. It boast 2.8 million downloads and has many features you will need to build and maintain your store. They also offer the option to further customize your store by purchasing add-ons, which are quite pricey. If you don’t like any of the free themes, they have plenty of templates to choose from to achieve your desired look.

Price: Free with option to purchase modules and templates

Examples: Rusty Cage  Vusion Glasses  Browse More Shops

 

5. Volusion

Miva Merchant

 

Volusion is one of the oldest and most established platforms. It offers an all-in-one ecommerce solution with plenty of features. It comes with many free design templates, mobile integration, and even social media tools. One standout feature is the ability to have daily deals, allowing you to promote specials on a daily basis. The company also boasts 24/7 customer support, which you probably need when starting your new online business.

Price: Free 14 day triail with plans starting at $15/month

Examples: Walls360  Tower paddle boards  More examples here

 

6. BigCommerce

miva

Bigcommerce has an abundance of advanced and essential features that make building an online store simple and easy. As soon as you visit their site, you are greeted with a live chat pop up, which is a testament of their great customer service and support. Some features include drag and drop design process and a wish list feature. They also offer a step-by-step on how to list your products in Google shopping.

Price: Free 15 day trial with plans starting at $24.95

Examples: Circuit Boss  Giant Teddy

 

7. Miva Merchant

Miva Merchant

Miva has many partners and stores. All their plans have no product limit, which is a big difference compared to the others. They will also help you with design if you’re looking for something specific, and integrating advanced email marketing tools.

Pricing: 30 day trial with money back guarantee and many different plans

Examples: Headblade  Bedbathhome

 

As you can see, there are many ecommerce platforms to choose from to build your online store. The best option for you depends on which features are important to your business. If you’re already trying any of these platforms, please share your feedback to help others and newcomers!

 

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Posted August 14, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    @George

    I’d divide up these platforms into SaaS and non-SaaS. The hosted platforms all have the same disadvantage — if it doesn’t do what you need, you might be stuck. In that sense, Magento Go may be a win because there is an “upgrade path.” But Magento has its own problems. Personally I don’t know why anyone uses Shopify. It’s so spartan and basic that it’s broken if you ever grow. Very good marketing machine behind it, but it lacks the ability to create subcategories, which is unforgivable.

    That, and all of the above have terrible search out of the box. Sasha would pan every single one of them (and probably enjoy it 🙂 ).

    • ECOTTAdmin ECOTTAdmin
      Posted August 14, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      Hey Jamie,

      Thanks for the suggestions. You are right about the hosted solutions but still is a viable option for those who cant afford developers and configuring their host. Interesting to hear about shopify and hopefully users will their feedback on this service here. O and Sasha definitely didint approve them! haha

  2. Posted November 22, 2013 at 3:44 am | Permalink

    Hi George,

    I totally agree with Jamie that all platforms used for hosting have a same disadvantage, if it not works then the owner might stuck, Although I am not familiar with every platform, but after reading the experience of others I prefer Magento.

  3. Posted December 9, 2014 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    Hey guy! Thanks a ton for the info. Just for your information- StoreHippo.com is a new age m-commerce platform which builds and creates your online stores powered by a high technology stack with user friendly features. The stores built by StoreHippo are fast, have consistent performance under heavy load and allow customization at a level that is not possible on other platforms.

  4. Posted March 9, 2015 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing this list of leading eCommerce platforms along with consice reviews.

    In addition to those listed above, there are several others that can be worth a look too:

    WooCommerce
    3dCart
    SquareSpace
    osCommerce
    LemonStand
    coreCommerce
    AmeriCommerce
    bigCartel
    ZenCart
    Wix
    Weebly

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