Find the Best E-commerce Platform for You
Online business has become increasingly popular in almost all parts of the world. The array of e-commerce platforms is wide and many a business-folk spend sleepless nights trying to determine which platform is best for them. If you’re in such a commercial quagmire, then your solution is here in this article.
Before we go far, it’s prudent not to assume that everybody knows what an e-commerce platform is. An e-commerce platform is software that allows you to build and manage an online store to sell goods and services.
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E-commerce Platform Software Has Two General Forms
These two forms include software that you download and use to set up shop, and software that is hosted for you.
They both have much of the same functionality and great stores, and companies, have been built using both types.
The difference is that with downloadable software, you have a more work to do, but you have full control over your website and all its data.
With the hosted models, you can still own the brand and other elements of your store — but you give up some control for the conveniences of the hosted platform.
Costs vary from platform to platform, as we cover in detail here, but the leading e-commerce platform software for download (WooCommerce) and the leading hosted e-commerce platform (Shopify) run just about equal — with WooCommerce having a slight pricing edge.
In this article, you are about to find the most authentic detailed analysis of the top 12 e-commerce platforms. Read on to to see how these platforms compare so you can select the best option for you.
Note that the first two e-commerce platforms on this list are tied for first place.
Shopify is the industry-leading, hosted e-commerce platform available today. It gives its users a platform through which an array of services are provided such as marketing, shipping, and customer interaction means so as to be able to run an online store for small traders.
1. WooCommerce (Tied for 1st)
Shopify the industry-leading, hosted e-commerce platform available today. It gives its users a platform through which an array of services are provided such as marketing, shipping, and customer interaction means so as to be able to run an online store for small traders.
Third on our list is another great platform, BigCommerce.
The next biggest hosted e-commerce platform for an online store after Shopify is BigCommerce. It has grown since its inception in 2009 to have over 456 employees. It’s a full SaaS platform as well as a shopping cart for other websites.
PrestaShop is an open-source e-commerce platform and is one of the most outstanding e-commerce applications around. Founded in 2007, this open source software has been built into a strong industry leader with their solid platform and a community of over 250,000 users in 60 different languages.
Volusion is similar to Shopify and BigCommerce platforms where you are effectively renting your store on a monthly basis on their platform. In exchange you get the conveniences and power of a large, hosted e-commerce platform.
3dcart is a feature-rich platform that enables you build and launch your e-commerce store. It functions as an all-in-one platform similar to Shopify or BigCommerce, but isn’t as user-friendly for the store owner or the shopper.
Weebly is a popular all-in-one website builder and platform. Some 50 million websites have been built here. Most known for more basic websites, it was purchased in 2018 by e-commerce company Square, and has expanded its e-com applications.
Squarespace is another website building and hosting platform with an e-commerce platform. Started in 2004, it has grown to host over a million websites. The great strength of Squarespace is the design of its sites, which are among the best looking websites on the web.
Magento provides little to no assistance in helping you get set up and they are the least intuitive software listed here. But, it’s designed with developers in mind. It does what it’s designed to do incredibly well.
Wix is a hosted all-in-one website builder best suited to online portfolios and small businesses. They have added e-commerce functions for online store capability. They offer stunning website designs, but not as much functionality as some on this list.
OpenCart is an open-sourced shopping platform. It works similar to Woocommerce in that there is a large marketplace of independently developed themes, add-ons and extensions which can be used to build and customize your store.
12. Zen Cart
Rounding out our list of the best e-commerce platforms is Zen Cart.
Zen Cart is an open-sourced, community-based e-commerce platform with a completely customizable source code, so you’ll want to have some technical skills if you’re going to use it.