Almost half of the Internet users buy online - that's just statistics. You most likely do, too.
eCommerce is both the present and the future. So, businesses need an online presence to stay competitive. Luckily, thanks to eCommerce platforms, this is now easier than ever. There are countless solutions on the market that offer easily adaptable and powerful tools to build, manage and improve your eCommerce business.
But what is the best option for you? Well, having a look at the best ones around is a good way to start searching. I’ve based my research on sales features, security, personalization, and each provider’s support system.
Here's the list of what I think the best eCommerce solutions for your business are:
- Shopify (Best all-around eCommerce solution)
- BigCommerce (Best security features)
- Volusion (Best selection of free themes)
- Wix (Most affordable subscriptions)
- WooCommmerce (Best self-hosted eCommerce solution)
Price: Starts at $29/month.
Headquartered in Ottawa, Shopify is a hosted eCommerce platform that offers a choice of three plans, all of which offer an eCommerce site with unlimited product listings and a blog. You’ll also be able to get in touch with customer support 24/7 via email, live chat, and phone.
Additionally, no matter which Shopify account you choose, you’ll be able to manually create orders and you’ll get a free SSL certificate, making your online store more trustworthy to customers.
Furthermore, each Shopify plan comes with an “abandoned shopping cart recovery" feature. Thanks to this, your website will automatically send visitors an email if they leave your online store without checking out.
Best of all, Shopify allows you to integrate your online store with some of the most popular platforms on the web. From Facebook to Instagram, and marketplaces like eBay and Amazon, selling on Shopify is like selling in more stores than one without having to do more work! Plus, the platform comes with built-in tools that help you create, execute, and analyze campaigns on Google and Facebook.
One thing that I didn’t like about Shopify, though, is that there are only 10 free themes to choose from. That wouldn’t be a problem usually, but if you don't like any of the free ones, you’ll have to pay anywhere between $140 and $180 for the others.
On the plus side, however, Shopify does come with a 14-day free trial and you don’t have to input any payment details to get started!
- Multiple integrated sales channels
- Unlimited product listings
- Free SSL certificate
- 24/7 customer support
- Few free themes to choose from
- No reports feature if you go for the most affordable plan
Price: Starts at $29.95/month.
BigCommerce is another hosted eCommerce solution that comes with 4 plans to choose from. Every plan comes with 0% transaction fees, unlimited product listings, file storage, and bandwidth, as well as unlimited staff accounts.
But, what I think makes BigCommerce one of the best eCommerce website solutions out there is its variety of sales channels. From one account, you can create your own personal online store that integrates with Google Shopping, Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram, as well as eBay and Amazon.
Additionally, every plan offers single page checkout, shipping label discounts, and real-time shipping quotes. You can add product ratings and reviews to your store and customers won’t hesitate to visit you online because your domain will come with free site web HTTPS and dedicated SSL.
While BigCommerce is among the best platforms you can use to scale your online business, there is a catch with the various plans it has to offer.
With the basic plan, you can only make sales of up to $50k a year. While this won’t be an issue for those of you starting out, it may not be feasible for more established companies. BigCommerce also only has 7 free themes for you to choose from, with paid ones starting at a rather steep $145!
Despite this, other plans allow you to make sales of up to $150k and $400k per year respectively. The platform also offers 24/7 customer support via phone, although if you’d prefer to email or use the live chat, you’ll need your support pin - something you only get once you create an account.
- Integrates with multiple sales channels
- Free site web HTTPS and dedicated SSL
- Customizable enterprise plan
- Abandoned shopping cart feature
- Sales limit on all plans
- No live chat or email support without creating an account first
- Only 7 free themes to choose from
Price: Starts at $29/month.
Volusion is a hosted eCommerce platform with powerful site editing tools. Similarly to BigCommerce, Volusion offers a choice of 4 plans to choose from, one of which is fully customizable. All plans come with 0% transaction fees, unlimited bandwidth, and online support.
Plus, you’ll enjoy a selection of 11 free themes and 34 premium themes to choose from.
Aside from giving you the chance to create an online store, Volusion equips you with a blog and the opportunity to send out regular newsletters to your customers.
But, this only applies to Professional ($79/mo), Business ($299/mo), and Prime (custom price) users, all of which are considerably more expensive than the Personal plan.Volusion guarantees 99.9% uptime while also providing all customers with a PCI-certified checkout process.
You can also choose from a huge variety of payment methods depending on your individual preferences.
It also has a great Help Center and is available to answer all queries via phone and live chat.
The solution comes with a 14-day free trial that doesn’t require you to input any payment details.
This leads me to where I believe Volusion lacks a little
Unlike others mentioned above, the platform’s most basic plan doesn’t allow you to integrate your store with eBay or Amazon. You also can’t take phone orders.
Not only this, but the Personal plan only allows you to create one staff account and you can only list 100 products before you have to upgrade to a more expensive subscription.
- Largest choice of free themes
- Four plans to choose from
- Various payment methods available
- PCI-certified checkout process
- The personal plan doesn’t integrate with eBay or Amazon
- The personal plan only allows you to list 100 products
Price: Free plan available. Business and eCommerce plans start at $20/month.
Wix is a website building platform that comes with special features dedicated to the store owners. Thanks to its drag-and-drop interface, you can create a beautiful online shop without spending a fortune.
Among the most affordable platforms out there, Wix comes with a store manager feature that allows you to track orders and manage your inventory from your desktop and mobile. You can also integrate your online store with a variety of payment methods commission free - some of which include credit cards, Paypal, and offline payments.
Furthermore, Wix allows you to set customized tax and shipping rules based on the various destinations you serve and you can boost your SEO by adding a blog to your store.
Wix offers a free plan that comes with unlimited pages and a choice of hundreds of templates.But, for best results, the provider offers a choice of 3 competitive subscriptions, all of which are considerably cheaper than other services. Every Business and eCommerce plan removes Wix ads, comes with a free domain, and integrates with Google Analytics.
But, what makes the solution stand out is the fact that Wix is 100% commission free and comes with unlimited bandwidth. You’ll also get $300 worth of ad vouchers with every subscription as well as a site booster and form builder app worth $60 and $48 respectively.
Wix has a comprehensive help center but unfortunately, this redirects you to the login page unless you already have an account. This means that you can only contact customer support once you’ve signed up.
- Free plan available as well as 3 competitive subscriptions
- 100% commission-free
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Integrates with Google Analytics
- Doesn’t have the same selection of security features
- No access to customer support until you create an account
- Doesn’t integrate with other sales channels
Price: Free to use.WooCommerce is an open source, self-hosted solution that is managed on GitHub and built by more than 350 contributors from across the world. Thanks to its powerful ties to WordPress, all you have to do to get started is sign up for WooCommerce by opening a WordPress account.
With WooCommerce, you'll be able to choose from countless themes. But the solution also offers a Storefront theme which comes in different variations. And aside from there being a selection of free versions to choose from, the paid ones are reasonably priced at less than $40.
What I love most about WooCommerce is that each website is fully customizable. You can edit any part of your website from the landing pages to the buttons. Unfortunately, if you have a specific vision in mind, you’ll also need to know some basic coding skills, or find someone who does.
WooCommerce comes with a built-in blogging feature where you can embed products using shortcodes. You can also use these shortcodes to create landing pages that link straight to checkout, thus offering customers a more seamless buying experience.
As with BigCommerce, you can add reviews and ratings straight to your website as well as a “Verified Owner” label to give your visitors peace of mind. Furthermore, WooCommerce allows you to add an unlimited number of pictures and galleries. You can also add as many products as you like.
What about the price?
WooCommerce is a free piece of software that also offers a variety of paid extensions. But, you need to keep the hosting fees in mind as these can be quite expensive depending on your individual needs. You’ll also have to consider buying an SSL certificate to add a layer of security to your site.
- Free to use
- Great opportunities for customization
- Unlimited images, galleries, and product listings
- Lots of free and affordable themes to choose from
- Coding experience required for more advanced online stores
- Can cost more in the long run due to hosting
Best eCommerce Solutions For Your Specific Needs
Choosing the best eCommerce software isn't easy, but to help your decision further, here's a short breakdown of what each of these providers do best:
- Shopify offers the most unique selection of features;
- BigCommerce offers the best service for enterprises;
- Volusion has the best payment and checkout options for customers;
- Wix has the most user-friendly interface thanks to its drag-and-drop feature;
- WooCommerce offers the best opportunities for personalization;
Whichever of these providers you decide to use, I'm sure you'll be pleased with the ease of use and features offered by each.
If, however, you feel my list didn't cover one of your favored eCommerce website solutions, please let me know in the comments section below!