What Are The Best Ecommerce Platforms In 2021?
Updated: Jun 30, 2021
With the retail landscape changing rapidly everyday and is becoming a highly competitive space. It is best to keep up with the best in E-Commerce platforms for your businesses. There are numerous platforms you can use, we will highlight the most popular and explain the pros and cons of each one. Lets browse through our Top 5 eCommerce platforms for your business.
The king of the eCommerce world is Shopify. Without a doubt the most popular ecommerce solution on the market today with over 1.7 million businesses worldwide and have made over $314 billion in sales so far on the platform. There is a wide range of businesses varying from small to large. The main goal for the founders Tobias Lutke, Daniel Weinard and Scott Lake, was they wanted to create a simple to use platform for anyone to create there own online store easily. They have done just that.
The platform provides a full content management system which users can change the functionality and layout very easily. New users can get a basic store set up very quickly. There are quite a few templates to choose from on the Shopify Theme Store. There are also some great third party templates which are typically much faster than the templates provided on the Theme Store. Some of the most powerful themes include Flex(Insert Link Here) and Turbo(Insert link here) from Out of the sandbox. They also provide 14 day free trials for you to try the theme(Payment Required).
Booster theme is also a great theme to utilize. There theme is one of the fastest, if not the fastest theme out there. Did you know that your Ecommerce conversion rates drop by an average of 4.42% with each additional second of load time?
Basic Shopify - Best for new businesses looking to get online
Standard Shopify - Best option for businesses with 1 store and growing.
Advanced Shopify - Best for established businesses with more than 1 retail store.
Shopify Plus - For large enterprise customers. Contacting Shopify is required
What is the difference between Shopify and Shopify Plus?
When you are first beginning with eCommerce it is recommended to stick with regular Shopify to save on costs. It's recommended you upgrade to Shopify Plus when your business is generating $1 million or more in revenue/yearly. Shopify plus has a dedicated team working all hours to make sure your business has adequate support. Both Shopify and Shopify Plus have multi-channel selling capabilities. Let's break down some of the main differences.
With Shopify’s standard plans, you can customize your theme using the editor, however, it is very difficult to switch themes doing this method.
Shopify Plus allows a high degree of customization, giving you access to Shopify’s theme language, Liquid. With Liquid, you’ll be able to make changes to the code for the greatest control of customization.
Another feature you’ll want to keep in mind while weighing Shopify vs Shopify Plus is staff accounts. The basic Shopify plan permits only a few limited staff accounts.
When scaling your store you may want to add more permissions to excess staff when your business is growing. Shopify Plus gives you the ability to have unlimited accounts.
Shopify Flow: Flow allows you to set up automations for every aspect of the business, including customer support, marketing, inventory control, order management, risk management, and more.
Wholesale channel to help users with a high volume of B2B sales.
Script Editor is what allows you to create personalized experiences at the shopping cart/checkout stage. Small pieces of code help to apply discounts or customize shipping and payment options for customers. This helps reduce cart abandonment.
Why use Shopify?
Shopify if one of the easiest tools to get started in ecommerce. Majority of the items needed are simple and can be done with minimal clicks. There are a ton of resources for learning, we even have a lot of videos on our YouTube channel here. Let us know what you think!
A wide variety of high end themes are available free on the Shopify Theme Store. With some third party developers using the Shopify platform to create powerful themes right out of the gate. If your a developer looking for a challenge you can create your own themes using Liquid language.
If your having issues implementing a custom feature on your site, there is likely an app for it. A massive selection of free and paid apps are available on the Shopify App Store. Some developers have put in some serious time for making Shopify even easier. We recommend a lot of them when creating stores for our clients, it is typically worth the up front investment in the beginning before scaling to a much larger store, more on scaling.
Not only is Shopify easy to use, it is an easy transition to scale into a much larger store. With Shopify Plus the transition is seamless. They have a massive list of partners so you have all of the tools you need for your business, check out the full list here. If your business is a massive success and your worried about transitioning to a custom built site, Shopify Plus has you covered.
Shopify offers users unlimited hosting for their stores, in-depth analytics of how visitors are using the store, functionality for marketing such as SEO optimization, a coupon engine, gift cards and email marketing tools. You can test out Shopify with a 14-day free trial.
Another heavyweight in the ecommerce platform space. BigCommerce is so much more than just an ecommerce site builder. It has some great store management capabilities out of the box that help you stay on top of your business. Some of these cool native features include a robust product catalog, flexible shipping & real-time quotes, coupons and more.
In order to use BigCommerce, the only thing you need to do is sign up through bigcommerce.ca(free trial), and you will be able to start building and customizing your e-commerce store right away.
Setting the functionality aside, BigCommerce also takes care of the things going on under the hood. For example, it hosts your online store and handles its security. The servers at BigCommerce employ hacker deterrent security provisioning and hardware firewalls.
BigCommerce stores are also able to withstand even sudden spikes in traffic, in case a product of yours goes viral one day.
Standard - $29.95/month
Plus - $79.95/month
Pro - $299.95/month
Enterprise - Contact there sales department
All plans include, No Transaction Fees, Products, File Storage, Bandwidth and Staff accounts.
Why use BigCommerce?
BigCommerce is designed for businesses that are growing fast and wants limited restrictions during the increase in sales.
What BigCommerce offers:
12 free templates
The ability to sell an unlimited number of physical or digital goods
A drag-and-drop page builder
Integrations with PayPal
Unlimited staff accounts
Search engine optimization (SEO)
Automated image optimization
Integration with various third-party apps
Product review functionality
The platform offers really good e-commerce features in terms of handling your orders, products, customers (there’s a built-in CRM), marketing tools, and analytics. Everything is truly optimized to hold hundreds or thousands of products in the database and make your everyday work with the platform as hassle-free as possible.
Before you make your decision, estimate how many products you plan on launching within the first year. Doing so will also help you gauge on which plan you should choose.
The biggest advantage over other ecommerce platforms is 0% transaction fees. Having no transaction fees means your business keeps more profits and can sell for a fair price to your customers.
Best in-class SEO
BigCommerce auto-populates SEO-friendly URLs for product pages, category pages, and more, so you can spend more time optimizing other areas of your site.
Descriptive URLs support SEO optimization and improve rankings. Default options are primed to be SEO-friendly, but you have full control over settings if you determine there’s a better strategy for your business.
BigCommerce ensures that every unique page on your site has only one URL, so you won’t be negatively impacted in search results for duplicate content.
Site speed impacts search rankings, so making sure your site loads fast is key for SEO. The BigCommerce content delivery network (CDN) works in the background to make sure your site loads quickly for both shoppers and search engines.
Wide range of social channels including:
Sell your products on Amazon with no extra effort. Publish listings right from your control panel and manage a single inventory for both channels. Every order is synced back to BigCommerce so you never oversell.
Easily list any or all of the products in your store’s catalog. Products, options, and inventory levels are automatically synced, so they’re always accurate—no manual updates required.
Integrate into the Facebook Commerce Backend Platform to power product listings, sync inventory, and manage orders, all from your BigCommerce control panel.
Edit your listings directly in Google Merchant Center and manage your Google Shopping campaigns in Google Ads.
Effortlessly move shoppers from your Instagram posts to your online store. Our Instagram integration allows you to showcase up to five products with detailed product views and descriptions. From there, shoppers can tap right into your site.
Bigcommerce is a great solution for your ecommerce needs. The offer a 14-day free trial for you to get your business running. There is currently a promotion where you can get 1 month free after you pick your plan.
The extremely popular website creator, also has fantastic ecommerce capabilities. Wix eCommerce is a feature rich ecommerce builder, without giving up control for your brand. Wix powers over 750,000 stores and adding more everyday. Wix ecommerce is perfect for a small store with limited products.
The best way to start is with a free plan, it doesn't cost you anything and everything is hosted by Wix. You can use Wix ADI to build your site with some simple questions about your business. Once the questions are answered you will see placeholder images and content for you to change, or you can completely customize it yourself.
Wix Ecommerce costs:
Business Basic: $20 US/month. The best plan for ecommerce (smaller online stores and websites with online booking etc.).
Business Unlimited: $25 US. Get professional ecommerce features and more storage (35GB).
Business VIP: $35 US. Priority support for store owners and the full array of ecommerce features.
Enterprise: Contact the Wix team for costs
Why use Wix Ecommerce?
If you have used Wix to build a website, you know how simple it is. Creating an online store with Wix is very similar. An online store can be added with only one click. The store-related menus are well structured and it’s quite easy to understand. Help texts are usually just one click away. A wide variety of professionally designed templates for online stores. These templates are optimized for mobile devices. Using the editor allows you to customize both desktop and mobile versions.
Build recurring revenue with store subscriptions. Offer weekly or monthly orders and delight customers with curated, themed subscription boxes.
List and sell your products on multiple sales channels. Manage everything from your Wix dashboard: online and mobile storefronts, Facebook, eBay, Instagram and Amazon shops.
Drive traffic to your store from search engines like Google. Automatically create SEO patterns and apply the same logic across product pages to save time and rank on search result pages.
Open your business to a wider audience. Create an SEO-optimized website for a global audience. Add a currency converter to display prices to customers in their own local currencies.
Managing your business
Track and process all store orders with one dashboard, from purchase to delivery.
Handle all of your business transactions with Wix Payments. Accept payments online where you can manage all transactions, refunds and payouts from a dedicated dashboard.
Monitor your business performance with Wix analytics. Analyze revenue, marketing campaigns and top selling products. Create reports to show data you require. Create a data driven business plan and learn from your most profitable audience and products.
You can trial Wix Ecommerce plans for 14 days similar to other Ecommerce platforms. They refund your money no questions asked before the 14 time period.
Magento is an ecommerce platform built on open source technology. Magento has been the best platform for enterprise brands as it provides them with total control. The company has bounced around a few times, acquired by eBay in 2011 and became independent again in 2015. Later acquired by Adobe in 2018. Adobe commerce cloud was announced in 2019, this is a massive update due to the fact it integrates with all of Abobe's amazing tools, however, this comes at a cost.
Open source: With Magento being open source it is free to download and customize as you like, you will need to pay for hosting and development costs.
Adobe Commerce Cloud: Costs for Commerce and Commerce cloud vary considerably depending on your business needs. You can be looking up to $140,000/year depending on what your business requires. You will need to contact them for a customized quote.
Magento Open Source is a great way to get your business started.
Why Use Magento/Adobe Commerce?
Being one of the best platforms for ecommerce, they offer a wide variety of features:
Magento is Open Source, customize it however you like.
Responsive and Customizable Themes
Third Part Integrations
Speed and Scalability
SEO Features Include:
Google site map creation and site map auto generation
SEO-friendly URLs with rewrite control
Metadata editable at both product and category levels
A popular search terms page that’s auto-generated
Shipping Features Include:
Shipping discounts with USPS
Support available (at a cost)
Bulk label printing capabilities with multiple carriers
Multi-location shipping and fulfillment
Rules to automate the shipping process and in-cart rating
Dynamic and static in-cart rating options
Tracking updates by email, or on a branded tracking page
Highly customizable User Experience
In the increasingly competitive digital world of today, it is important for businesses to stand out in every way, and it is even more important for businesses to be as accessible to every user they possibly can. With Magento, not only can you design an amazing user interface, but you can also make your store design is responsive for all devices. When user experience with your store is uniform across devices, they know they can reach you anytime, anywhere and you don’t have to worry about lost business due to lack of accessibility.
Every business has it's own unique approach to presenting products to there customers. A poorly designed store where customers can't find or see what they are looking for, doesn't do the job for your business. Magento is highly customizable for any business needs.
Speed and Scalability
Great user experience starts with speed. No one sticks around and waits for websites to load. Google reports that 53 percent of users will abandon a site within 3 seconds of it not loading, this increases to 90% at 5 seconds. Speed can make or break your business, Magento's Speed and Scaling is top notch.
Magento is open source so it is free, at this time there is not a free trial version for Adobe Commerce.
WooCommerce powers a whopping 28% of all online stores. That is the most popular ecommerce platform on the internet according to percentage. Most people get confused and think it is a site builder similar to Shopify or the others listed in this article. However, it's an open source Wordpress plugin. So instead of signing up for a complete hosting to checkout platform, it is a third party integrated app within Wordpress. This will require you to do some additional work to get your website up and running. Things you will/should need:
If you have a team with developers on your team, this is fantastic. However, if your new to the space and looking to get started WooCommerce may be a slight challenge. You will have very minimal support, which means doing your own research to solve problems, this can cut into revenue if you don't already have the right team set up. Waiting for answers on the forums can be painful and tedious.
Why use WooCommerce?
If your business/website is already powered by WordPress and are familiar with how to use it, WooCommerce is definitely a good choice. There are a wide range of themes for you to download and customize.
There is quite a large community behind WooCommerce, which means there are a ton of additional plugins and extensions you can use for your store.
Store Administrator Accounts
Having customer and admin account's with different roles is no problem for WooCommerce. Your customers can also do guest checkouts without an account
There is a large selection of free and paid themes available. Customizing themes may be difficult, which is why it is recommended you have a developer on your team for customizations.
Our favorite platform to build ecommerce stores on is Shopify. The community and the large scale of plugins and themes is second to none. We have built multiple stores and have had very minor issues to deal with, the support team at Shopify is fantastic!
If you're looking to begin your ecommerce journey for your business, we can help. Click here for a free consultation on the solutions we can provide your business.