Coding a website can be daunting, especially without development experience. Whether you are new to website building or are a developer looking to save time, a user-friendly site builder will make your life simpler.
Our e-commerce platform reviews are the result of over 40 hours of research on 60+ e-commerce platform companies from across the web. These reviews and our e-commerce platform guide help small businesses and startups find the best e-commerce platforms for their business.
Shopify is ideal for new businesses that want to create an online presence or existing businesses that want to switch to a new e-commerce platform. There are more than 6,000 apps that integrate with Shopify, so you can customize your site to your exact specifications. If you have any trouble getting your site started, you can also contact customer support 24/7 and reach an expert who can assist with everything from setup to SEO.
There are hundreds of templates to help users without coding experience build an instant online store, and those familiar with HTML and CSS can build their own website from scratch. The vendor charges a monthly fee to use the platform, and you need reliable internet access to manage your store.
BigCommerce has the templates and tools you need to get your products listed online immediately. The platform downloads to your computer or can be accessed from a mobile device online. It integrates with most popular e-commerce apps, so you can run everything from inventory to shipping seamlessly. BigCommerce has full reporting, so you can look at customer data and gain insights on what works and what doesn’t, and the software includes enhanced security, so you can ensure your customers' information is kept safe. The solution has a flexible API that takes up to 400 calls per minute without slowing down your website, so it can handle your busiest days. Expert support is available online or on the phone during normal business hours, so you can get answers to questions quickly. You can try the software for 15 days and compare it to other programs to see if it has what you need to run your business effectively.
Squarespace is designed for business owners who want to start an e-commerce site quickly. Unlike some of its competitors, Squarespace doesn't offer a free plan, but the paid plans include unlimited storage and bandwidth. You can pay by the month or year, and if you plan on paying by the month, you can purchase a custom domain to make your site look more professional. Yearly plans are available at a discount. Squarespace doesn't limit the number of pages on any plan. You can include a personal blog or podcast to help keep customers engaged and add comment and like buttons. Squarespace has many built-in marketing and e-commerce tools, and dozens of third-party extensions.
Customer service is available 24/7 if you need help customizing your site, and you can generate reports that show you which products are best sellers and which ones generate little or no interest.
The Ecommerce plan of GoDaddy Websites + Marketing includes the GoDaddy Online Store ecommerce platform, which provides you with everything you need to build and manage your own online storefront. With GoDaddy Online Store, you'll be able to add and edit product listings, set up discounts, accept a variety of payment methods, and promote your store on social media. You'll have access to a user-friendly page editor, email marketing tool, and many other useful features as well.
Pros & Cons
Feature-rich ecommerce solution
Cannot revert to free version after you've paid for premium plan
Square Online allows business owners to create a basic website to sell products online. Users can include pictures, pricing, and product information so customers can browse, order products, checkout through an integrated shopping cart, and pay securely.
One unique feature of Square Online is that it works for restaurants that want to set up online ordering, curbside pickup, and local deliveries all from a single location. With this e-commerce platform, you can also create free e-gift cards. It also offers in-house and on-demand delivery, Instagram integration, inventory management, local delivery, SSL security, and more. Square Online has its own POS products that are made in-house, including a magstripe reader, desktop terminal, and contactless card reader. If you’re undecided about which products you need, you can speak to the sales team and get answers to your questions. There’s also an online support center with helpful tips, articles, and videos.
Ecwid makes it easy to get your products online so you can sell them from nearly any website, including social media. Initial setup is free, and you can keep the free account as long as you like, which makes it an affordable option for sole-proprietor start-ups. It integrates with tools like Mailchimp and Google Analytics, which help you grow your business faster. There are also numerous plug-ins, like WordPress, so you can link your e-commerce store to an existing blog or website. Ecwid contains point-of-sale solutions, so you can manage your inventory and configure shipping from a single location. Customers can shop without creating an account, which allows for faster transactions and greater customer satisfaction and encourages repeat business. Live support is available whenever you have questions, so you don’t have to wait to get an answer through email.
Shift4Shop is designed to help you increase traffic and sales for your business. It's an all-in-one e-commerce site that lets you customize the appearance, sell digital downloads, track sales, and maintain your inventory, all from a single software application.
Shift4Shop is a web-based application, so you can access it from anywhere you have a reliable internet connection. It also includes cloud storage, so you can keep your customers' information readily available and secure.
There are hundreds of integrations available, including Facebook, Google Partner, Mailchimp and FedEx, so you can streamline the entire order process, and powerful analytics that let you see where you're making the most money and what you need to change. Shift4Shop has a flexible shopping cart, so you can integrate with most payment processors to get your money quickly.
Sellfy contains the tools needed to get an online e-commerce site up and running in just minutes. It configures shipping and taxes, integrates with multiple payment systems, and includes the tools necessary to advertise on social media or an existing website.
The unique features of Sellfy are digital product delivery and built-in print-on-demand. You can create a shopfront and sell e-books, videos, music, audio, custom printed t-shirts, and mugs all from one place, without inventory. You can create promotions and sales and generate discount codes to entice customers to buy and to increase sales. You can also generate marketing campaigns to notify existing or potential customers of new products.
The site includes analytics, so you can see which products sell and which ones you need to discontinue.
Pros & Cons
Built-in marketing features
No transaction fees
Digital product support and built-in print on demand
PinnacleCart is specifically designed for companies experiencing a high growth rate and those that anticipate rapid growth. It's ideal for beginners because it has a variety of drag-and-drop features that help get a site operational almost immediately. You can add an unlimited number of pictures to help show off your products or add videos and written descriptions that make the site into a more interactive experience. The platform doesn't charge transaction fees for your shopping carts, so you can keep more of your profits. PinnacleCart works with the world's leading business applications, including PayPal, Amazon, Google Analytics, and QuickBooks, so you can streamline every order from start to finish, and you can keep every transaction secure by choosing one of the SSL options.
Weebly is an e-commerce platform that works well for businesses of all sizes. If you're new to online selling, Weebly includes the tools needed to help you get noticed and help your business grow. You can start out with a free site and move to a paid version once it begins to generate income and you need additional features. There are hundreds of customizable web page designs, so you can create a storefront that reflects the culture of your company, and each site comes with step-by-step guidance on how to build it and get it launched. When you start selling products, there are e-commerce tools to streamline order management, shipping, and payment processing. For payments, Weebly integrates with Square, which takes care of taxes and shipping estimates.
Pros & Cons
Mobile app available
Meets industry standards for security
Auto-save feature so work doesn't get lost
Free site has Weebly domain name
Limited blogging tools
Square payment processing isn't available everywhere
Wix has the tools and templates necessary for small businesses to create professional-looking e-commerce sites. You can choose a theme, then add colors and add-ons, including a gallery, calendar, and other applications. There's an online tutorial to help get you started, or you can contact customer support's team of professionals to walk you through the process. Wix offers a basic free plan, but if you need your own domain or shopping cart, you'll have to pay for one of the premium plans.
Wix sites are optimized for SEO. You answer a few questions about your website, including where you're located, the products you sell, and a list of identifying keywords, and you'll receive a personalized SEO plan to help ensure your site reaches the top of search engines. Another positive feature is that Wix sites are optimized for mobile users.
Pros & Cons
Paid custom domain names
Optimized for mobile use
Free site contains ads
Paid options are more expensive than most competitors
WooCommerce is an e-commerce plug-in that's added to the WordPress website builder to turn any standard WordPress website into a fully functioning online storefront. Once operational, you can take orders, receive secure payments, configure shipping fees, and track orders, all in a single location. WooCommerce integrates with some of the most popular extensions, including PayPal, Facebook, Stripe, and TaxJar. You can choose from one of the available templates or create a complex store from the ground up. Customer support is available from remote workers in over 58 countries, which ensures you can get answers to your questions about setup and operations any time of day. The platform offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for the paid options, so if you aren't completely satisfied, you can cancel your subscription.
nopCommerce is an open-source e-commerce platform that's completely free for businesses of all sizes. It includes an array of tools to customize your storefront to your exact specifications, and there are plenty of third-party themes to get your storefront operational quickly. You can upload unlimited products into your online catalog and use built-in marketing tools to share your store and promotions on social media and other sites, including blogs. There are hundreds of add-ons available in the software marketplace, including plug-ins for shopping carts, shipping, and payment gateways, and each site you create is PCI-DSS-compliant to help protect against cyberattacks.
nopCommerce installs conveniently on Mac- and Windows-based computers, and if you have any issues during installation or setup, support is available during normal business hours.
Pros & Cons
Integrates with hundreds of services
Free to use
Support available only during business hours
Free version includes a copyright watermark on each page
Volusion is ideal for new or existing businesses that want to start an e-commerce website. It's different from other solutions because all you need to do is design your site and upload your products. The platform handles everything else, including payment processing and content management. When designing your site, there are hundreds of themes and templates, or you can customize the templates to create a unique site. The platform includes built-in SEO tools to help your products get to the top of search engines, and it integrates with Google Analytics so you can instantly see how well each product performs.
If you need help with anything, the company has a team of e-commerce experts available 24/7 to answer questions.
Magento is an e-commerce platform built on open-source technology. It provides merchants with a flexible shopping cart system that integrates easily with most payment systems to help streamline the POS process. It also has a variety of customizable features, which gives businesses control over the look and functionality of their online storefront. It includes SEO and marketing tools for reaching customers and maximizing profits and catalog management tools to track inventory and orders.
To assist with programming or setup questions, Magento offers live and online support, and the software includes a downloadable app so you can manage your company sales from anywhere. There's a free demo available, so you can see the application in action.
Pros & Cons
Available mobile application
Works for both B2B and B2C businesses
More expensive than most other e-commerce solutions
Miva is a cloud-based e-commerce platform that helps businesses design, build, manage, optimize, and scale their online storefront. It's structured to accommodate small to medium-sized companies and provides custom quotes to ensure you get exactly what you need on your business website. The platform includes a built-in inventory management system that monitors how much and what you sell as well as shipment tracking. You can create and market promotions, design online catalogs, handle multiple storefronts at once, and manage your shopping cart from start to finish with available payment processing integrations. Other integrations include warehouse management, enterprise resource planning, and tax calculations.
Miva is flexible to adapt as your business grows. The built-in analytics help you cut costs, increase your order value, and drive revenues.
X-Cart is designed for established businesses that want to start selling their products or services online. There are multiple templates available, and users have the ability to completely customize the look of their site using HTML and CSS. Each site includes digital marketing, so you can create promotions and ad campaigns and share them with other websites and on social media platforms. The platform works with more than 120 payment gateways and you can accept international currencies, which makes it possible to take your business global. You can also choose to host your site through X-Cart or one of its partners.
You can optimize your store with more than 25 analytic tools, including Google Analytics, Yandex, and Metrica, so you can see which products are making the most money and when and where customers are reaching you.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud is ideal if you need to maintain multiple sites. It includes a single dashboard so you can see everything in a glance and simplify your product management. You can create and optimize a new site or convert an existing one. Tools are available to help you build and launch special product campaigns and promotions, and analytical reports help you see which products are doing the best. Each site includes next-generation auto-intelligence, which helps deliver a better experience for your customers. Commerce Cloud lets you reduce the number of abandoned carts in the system and convert them to sales, optimize your customer checkout procedure, and include payment accelerators to reduce customer wait times.
Salesforce integrates with some of the most popular marketing and sales applications, so you can streamline your inventory ordering, accounting, and shipping processes.
Pros & Cons
Tailor the website shopping experience to each customer
CS-Cart is an online marketplace that allows thousands of stores to sell their products and services through a single storefront. Multi-vendor marketplaces attract customers because shoppers can find more of what they need in one location. Available online, CS-Cart has over 500 features, so you can customize each listing to attract more customers. The design tools don’t require any coding experience, so you can create your own e-commerce site in minutes, and the software integrates with other popular programs, so you can ship, maintain inventory, and monitor your customers, all from a single location. CS-Cart comes with 90 days of free technical support, so you can get answers to your questions while you're still learning how to operate the program, and there are regular updates to keep your site up and running efficiently.
PrestaShop is an open-source e-commerce platform with numerous options for companies that need an online storefront. There are hundreds of templates, so you can choose one that best suits your business and get started almost instantly. If you know coding, you can create a custom store from scratch. If you aren't sure of your coding skills but don't want to choose a template, there's a team of experts who can help build your site for you.
PrestaShop makes it easy to manage your product line, track orders, build customer relationships, and track all your statistics through analytics. It's also a good choice if you plan on marketing your store globally or in different languages because it has the tools to help you convert from English. You can create a site completely free or test the demo, and there are premium add-ons you can include for an additional fee.
Yo!Kart is an e-commerce builder that helps vendors launch several online stores and manage them all from a single location. It works well for both start-ups and existing businesses and offers SEO tools, excellent customer support, and quick setup. Compared to its competition, Yo!Kart is much more expensive, which may make it a less desirable option for new companies with limited funds. There are multiple tools available for payment integration, commission tracking, referrals, and order management. It includes advanced security, which ensures your customers' information is safe, and allows for localized settings so you can better serve your target audience in their own language, currency, and time zone.
Pricing is relatively high, but once you pay the initial fee, you own the rights to the program. The vendor offers a free demo so you can try the software before making a purchase.
Installed - Mac Installed - Windows Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
24/7 (Live Rep) Business Hours Online
Deployment: Mac, Windows, web-based, cloud, SaaS
Customer service: 24/7 (live rep), phone during business hours, online
How We Chose the Best E-Commerce Platforms
An e-commerce website can help boost an existing business or kick-start a new one, so it's important to choose the best one to meet your organization's needs. We evaluated the most popular platforms and chose the top 20 based on the number of e-commerce and marketing features and the types of reporting each one provides.
The best e-commerce sites contain features that simplify inventory management, order management, kitting, tracking shipments, and other essential processes. E-commerce features make it possible to streamline your storefront and manage all the processes in a single location.
Marketing features help you locate potential customers and make it possible to grow your business quickly. E-commerce sites that include email marketing and campaign management rank high on our list.
Detailed e-commerce reports paint a clear picture of which products work and which ones aren't moving. By using information gleaned from reports, you can improve your e-commerce site and increase sales.
What Are E-Commerce Platforms?
An e-commerce platform is an online software application that allows businesses to manage their website, products, sales, marketing, and inventory, all in a single location. Any company that wants to create an online presence to sell products and services can benefit from an e-commerce platform. These sites make it possible to expand an existing brick-and-mortar store to reach online shoppers or to establish a new business. They also make it possible to reach international customers quickly. With more shoppers purchasing necessities and gifts online, an e-commerce platform can help you improve your company’s bottom line.
Why It Matters
Unless you have knowledge of HTML or CSS, you’ll want to look for a platform that features easy-to-use, customizable templates. This makes it easy to get your products loaded and online quickly.
Many people prefer to search for items and shop on their cell phones or tablets, so it’s important to choose an e-commerce platform that’s optimized for mobile shoppers.
Integrations allow you to streamline your entire POS system so you can control everything from a single location. This also reduces the time spent entering information from one software application into another.
Website security keeps your customers’ information safe from cybercriminals. This makes it important to look for a platform that includes enhanced security features, such as SSL certification and two-factor authentication.
Multiple Payment Options
Choosing a platform that allows for multiple payment integrations helps ensure your customers can use their preferred payment method.
The Cost of E-Commerce Platforms
Some e-commerce platforms offer free versions, and many bill by the month for their paid plans. Some companies offer yearly payment options at a discount, while others charge a percentage of each transaction and a monthly percentage of profits. Other companies prefer to charge a flat one-time fee, which gives the user licensing rights. Fees are often all-inclusive, but some vendors charge additional fees for plug-ins, add-ons, and extras such as custom domain names and extended tech support.