What Is The Best eCommerce Platform In The World Right Now?

Best ecommerce platform

Looking for that one perfect platform to launch your business to success? We can help you with that! For starters, the answer is really short: the best eCommerce platform depends solely on your needs. There is no best eCommerce website builder that is perfect for everyone.

With plenty of platforms available, it’s important to remember that they all have some strengths and weaknesses – despite everyone searching for the perfect option, the best choice is very much subjective. So the question you really should be asking is “what is the best eCommerce platform for my needs?” And this is what we’re going to talk about. At the end of this post, I hope, you will be made aware of all the great options and know perfectly what should you use.

But that’s not it. No matter which platform you choose – there are plenty of universal things that will help you be successful. By using the finest tips and tricks and combining them with the most advanced platforms, you will keep your customers happy and business profitable. What’s the point of having great tools if you don’t know how to use them? We’ll help you with that as well. So without further ado, let’s have a look at the best eCommerce tips and tricks and review the best platforms suited for your business.

How can you use eCommerce to make money?

The Internet is a terrific place which can answer you a lot of questions. Some of those answers, naturally, can make you lift your business up to the next level. I myself have spent numerous days and nights, looking for great business ideas and tips which may help me reach success. Until one night – it finally hit me. I was doing everything wrong all along!

You can become successful by changing your perspective!

Turns out the best entrepreneurs in the business don’t think like everyone else! You can find a lot of tips for creating a successful online shop or a lot of great lists, telling you what is the best eCommerce website builder or something like that. While reading those lists and articles, however, I kept noticing one pesky little trend. A lot of tips consist of how you can get the users to notice you – that means advertising, SEO, speed optimization and many other little things.

While crucial, they don’t really ask one important question.

What do your customers really want out of their online shopping experience?

People are always very quick to make adjustments by improving software or implementing technical updates. However, by taking the best eCommerce sites and comparing them to their underperforming competitors, I found 5 tips that all successful businesses shared with one another.

The results may surprise you – it’s not about the design elements, social media, SEO, or page loading speed. Instead, it’s all about functionality. Let’s see what really drives success.

Use search refinement to beat the competition

Customers want to find everything as easily as possible. Refine their searches so they can discover exactly what they’re looking for. Advanced searching options give customers the power to find garments in the perfect size, products in the right color, and equipment with the right specifications.

Allow users to search for specific price ranges, sizes, colors, options, models, etc. Users often rate “search” as the most frustrating part of eCommerce sites, so make sure you get this part of your website right!

Organise your search results

Refinement doesn’t stop with search options! Allow customers to refine their search results as well. This will benefit the overall experience by a lot. The options may include “Price – low to high”, “Price – high to low,” “Popularity,” aka “Best Selling,” “Featured,” “User Rating” (or “Editor Rating” if you do not have users rate products), and “New” or “Latest.” With these kinds of refinement options available, customers will have no problems finding just the right products – or browse the entire selection with the filters they care about the most.

Show customers the products and they will show you their money

Show customers as many products on one page as you can without slowing down page loading times significantly. Usually, this is up to around 50 products per page. Allow the users to scroll free! People look at hundreds of products every time they go shopping, so big product pages will help replicate the feeling of “window shopping” – it’s like they would if they were shopping in a brick and mortar store.

Most customers can’t stand shopping in stores that don’t allow them to see the products as they browse, or that show very few products per page. The fewer clicks it takes to find the desired product, the better. If at least one of your categories has more than 5 pages worth of products, you either have a huge shop or you do something slightly wrong.

Replicate the “window shopping” even more

There’s another thing you can do to be as real as possible. Show lots of up-close photos of the product from many different angles, so that customers can get a real feel for what the item looks like in real life. Customers love to get a sense of what they’re buying before they purchase it. Fancy, 3D interfaces or video reviews are even better! Use everything you can to give your clients the best visual look.

Visuals all over. source: nike.com

Also, use a mobile website. They will give your customers the freedom to shop from any device, at any time. The mobile market is huge and definitely is not a demographic that you want to ignore. Sure – some gurus may tell you that people only browse using their phones and never really buy. To that, I can answer very simply – 10% is better than 0 and you have to make sure your visitors feel happy on every device that’s possible.

A good deal of eCommerce management platforms make it easy to convert your website to a mobile version simply by turning on a function in their settings. Make sure you don’t miss out on this very important part of your market.

Deliver a high-quality buying and sharing experience

Make sure that customers can share their favorite products and purchases via social media by adding social media sharing functions to your eCommerce website.

This equals free marketing for your website every time a customer shares them! That’s definitely not something you want to leave out of your website’s design. Many platforms feature this as part of their design or have plugins available that allow you to add this. You don’t even need to look for a specific best eCommerce website builder to do so. A lot of this is available to get as a separate code, so definitely seek out this opportunity.

Also – make sure you put a lot of emphasis on social media yourselves. A visitor won’t just randomly start sharing every product they see. By adding your social media feeds on the website and filling them with interesting information, reviews or competitions, you will make your eCommerce website an interesting brand to follow. By being social and engaging you will give something back to your visitors.

Want to start a conversation or keep up with the pulse of your users? Include a spot for reviews or maybe even a question form. The opinion of your clients is as important as it gets. Just add a Captcha form or review the comments before publishing to avoid spam and/or other issues.

Transparency wins the hearts!

Make sure customers can see all of the delivery options before they start shopping. Many users won’t even shop if they can’t see this information. Rightly so, too! Some locations may have long shipping times and big fees. While that’s disappointing, it is important to be transparent about it.

Also, make sure that customers can see if an item is in stock before they reach the checkout. There is nothing more disappointing than going to checkout only to discover an item is out of stock! This kind of experience can permanently lose customers and stain your reputation.

Some companies also tend to forget that the work doesn’t stop when the money is received. By taking care of all the important details you will increase the overall experience and make the clients loyal to your brand. Also, make sure – when you send out an order confirmation, all of the details of the order have to be included. Allow any errors to be corrected before the order ships.

Keep the customer updated on the status of their order by email so they know you haven’t forgotten them! This includes not only confirmation of the order but also when the order is ready to ship and when it ships.

A wonderful final touch is an email letting the customer know when the package is expected to arrive soon as well. Put an extra touch of attention every step of the way – they will go a long way. You will be mentioned amongst the best eCommerce sites in no time.

Test, grow, evolve, change

This is one important step that is easy to forget but is absolutely vital to the success of your page. TEST IT OUT. Do a full run through of your eCommerce website as a customer to make sure that EVERY part of the website is functioning as it should be BEFORE you launch it. Think it’s already perfect? Great! Now go through it again.

Test every nook and cranny, try out weird action combinations and click on random buttons in different situations. This way you don’t run the risk of losing any new customers the day it launches just because of stray errors on the website. First impressions are important, you know.

Never stop adding new features and products to your eCommerce website that will continue to draw new customers and keep current customers coming back for more. Too many fantastic eCommerce websites allow themselves to become stagnant by not adding anything new to keep customers returning to their sites. Don’t become one of these websites. Constantly seek new ways to grow, evolve, and change. You need to inspire excitement.

What eCommerce platform should you choose?

With the tips mentioned just above, you should have a decent basis for commercial success. At the end of the day, it’s all about making the shopping experience as enjoyable and seamless as possible. You have to make a store so good, you yourself would enjoy using it! Take the tricks used by the best eCommerce websites, use them well and reach for the stars.

But what exact platform should you choose for your endeavors? Now that we talked about the most basic of hints, it’s time to start choosing a service provider! The search here can go many ways. In terms of technology, there are two types of eCommerce platforms – hosted and self-hosted. The hosted platforms are way easier to use and are often tailored to less-experienced consumers but it doesn’t mean it’s not going to do justice for power users as well.

In many ways, a hosted platform is a great starting point for a majority of users, as it’s going to help you create a beautiful-looking online shop with little to no website development knowledge.

These are our favorite, best eCommerce platforms right here. Have a look:

  • Shopify (Great option for the typical user. Good performance and website builder)
  • Volusion (If premium support is your cup of tea, Volusion is the way to go)
  • BigCommerce (Plenty of powerful tools and payment gateways)
  • Etsy (No monthly fees, but no customization, either)
  • BigCartel (Free plans available, great for beginners)

Shopify

Shopify is one of the most popular eCommerce solutions in the world. With a dedicated fanbase and a lot of success stories, it is very often seen as a #1 option for many people looking to sell online.

Established in 2004, it has been doing well since, setting up partnerships with companies such as Amazon and extending its business to physical “brick and mortar” shops as well. The company has recently introduced a physical card reader, which allows to sync shop purchases with an online store. The stock version of Shopify doesn’t have much going on for it – but there’s an in-house application shop which can help the users make the shop the way they want it to be. Some of these apps are paid – be wary of that, as a perfect online shop of your dreams may cost you even more. At least when you finally get you want, making a shop is going to be a breeze – Shopify website builder has plenty of great themes and is easy to use. It really feels like the best eCommerce website builder out there.

Adding products and checking out analytics is also quite simple, both on a desktop and a highly-rated mobile application. Also, stores hosted on Shopify servers have impressed us with their speeds. The only genuine disadvantage of Shopify is its price. With plans starting from $29 a month and fairly big credit card rates, you may see your profit margins reducing by quite a bit.

Pros

  • A very interesting app store, including plenty of applications to choose from.
  • Good performance and SEO optimization.
  • A good website builder.
  • A highly-rated mobile application (4.5+ out of 5 rating on Apple App Store).

Cons

  • True eCommerce plan starts with $29 a month.
  • Relatively big credit cards rates and transaction fees. They may significantly reduce your profit margins.
  • Add-ons in the application may cost you even more.

Shopify is the best eCommerce platform for…

A regular user who wants the best eCommerce website builder around. Shopify can help you make a very pretty website and there are multiple easy ways to manage it. Scaling your project up, using either the regular plans or a bespoke “Shopify Plus” solution is also rather simple. However, high monthly, credit card and transaction fees make it a rather expensive solution. Is it good? Sure. Yet if you’re sensitive about profit margins, there may be some better options for you – this is perhaps the best eCommerce website builder

Volusion

For every reason to use Shopify, there’s a reason to choose Volusion. Founded in 1999 by then-16-year-old developer Kevin Sproles, Volusion joined the list of eCommerce solutions in 2002. It is commonly regarded to being one of the best eCommerce sites in the world – with 185 million orders made, it has reasons to be seen as one.

While Shopify has an application shop, Volusion intends on making their tool as useful as possible right from the start – all the add-ons are available from the very beginning. This is a good online shop solution for the people who want to take matters into their own hands – for example, it requires a separate SSL certificate (can be purchased separately). It not only increases security but also that means the checkout is happening in your own URL, which is good for your brand. The starting price is also quite good – from $15 a month, this is quite inexpensive. Even with that price, websites hosted on Volusion appear to be very quick, which is always a great bonus.

Pros

  • True 24/7 Support. Chat response times are around 10 minutes and you can also use the phone service. Customer representative agents are knowledgeable and helpful.
  • Plenty of features, all readily available – no need for an app store.
  • Decent price – from $15 a month ($13.50 with a yearly plan).

Cons

  • Things such as newsletters or eBay/Amazon integration require more advanced plans.
  • Website builder could do with more templates.

Volusion is the best eCommerce platform for…

People looking for extra features and premium support. On top of offering a serious array of things you can do, Volusion also provides an “always-on” approach to customer service. Therefore, you always have a helping hand by your side. Although advanced features may require a more expensive plan, Volusion still attempts to be the best eCommerce platform – on a budget.

BigCommerce

A huge name in the world of eCommerce solutions, BigCommerce is popular with store owners all across the world. A powerful option, this company is also amongst one of the most recommended ones around.

While seemingly more expensive than its competitors, BigCommerce can provide quite a lot. $29.95 plan offers arguably the most bang for your buck. Unlimited bandwidth, unlimited items, professional reporting, gift cards and checkout codes are all available with the ‘Standard’ plan which is really quite good. The only stumbling block is the yearly sales you’re allowed – with the cheapest plan, you may not exceed $50,000 a year. Despite that, it’s still a powerful plan.

The real question is, whether you need all of this at the same time – but in sub-30 dollar category, BigCommerce has arguably the most features. On top of that, there are no transaction fees, which makes BigCommerce a great option if you plan to sell quite a lot.

If you plan to sell a lot, chances are you also plan to sell worldwide. BigCommerce has your back – with more than 60 payment gateways, it provides international solutions to 30 countries. Amongst the options, there’s Skrill, WorldPay, 2CheckOut and plenty, plenty of others.

Not everything is pretty though – we can’t wait to test BigCommerce in a full review to see how it does. Right now, looking through the blog posts of previous BigCommerce users, we have noticed that there are plenty of people disgruntled with some of the ways this company treats its clients. You can’t be the best eCommerce platform and leave so many angry faces behind! For anyone, really!

Amongst the most common complaints, there are examples of sudden price changes, downtimes and sporadic replies to support tickets. While testing the BigCommerce stores, we have noticed no such thing but we can’t speak for everyone. After all, it is only natural that after paying a hefty sum, people expect spotless performance and immediate answers – and may get very upset if something goes wrong. For now, though, it seems that the ball is in BigCommerce side of the court. If they can do something about those comments and improve – they will be a very solid hosted eCommerce solution.

Pros

  • While expensive, BigCommerce Standard plan actually offers a lot of great features.
  • Plenty of payment gateways.

Cons

  • Lackluster customer support.
  • Plenty of upset ex-users.

BigCommerce is the best eCommerce platform for…

Bigger international projects. Plenty of powerful tools even in the entry plan and loads of the payment gateways bode well if you’re planning to go international. If one day you’ll become huge, BigCommerce wants to be there as well – the company says it can offer a custom plan for enterprise users that will blow the competition away from the water.

Etsy

It’s a place for artists and crafts enthusiasts who make handcrafted goods and want to sell them online. It’s known as a popular place for DIY geeks who want to vend things to people all around the world.

By joining Etsy, you join one big international family. Etsy is a world within a world with a strong community – you may not even need a lot of marketing to get your first clients and later on, you may get enough attention to stay afloat and make a serious number of sales. If Etsy deems your goods interesting, you may get featured on its homepage or newsletters they send to the users.

On top of that, starting on Etsy is really quite cheap. There are no monthly fees. Etsy only takes a portion of what you earn. If you have a bad month, you don’t lose money!

However, this model is not always good. Despite not charging monthly fees, Etsy takes a solid chunk out of your money. $0.20 item listing fee, 3.5% transaction fee, and 3% + $0.25 payment processing fee make things rather expensive. There is a sweet spot where this type of payment is financially viable. However, if you sell more, it may not be a good option as you’ll get charged way more than a regular monthly fee would. Be wary of that. Also, make sure you know what you’re getting into. By joining Etsy and becoming a part of the family, you also give yourself up to its ecosystem. You can’t make your website look differently and you can’t have your own separate domain – it’s always going to be etsy.com/shop/yourshop. Being a part of the closed community is good for the start but later you may get seriously limited by it.

On top of that, community guidelines are very strict. The Internet is littered with responses and blog posts from disgruntled Etsy shop owners who had their projects removed. Etsy has a very strict policy of do’s and dont’s. If you think your shop may stir controversy, Etsy is not an ideal option.

Pros

  • No need to have any kind of marketing skill – if your goods look interesting, you will get enough publicity to sell well.
  • No monthly fees – you don’t risk anything substantial.

Cons

  • You are completely controlled by Etsy. No shop customization, URL or design-wise. A shop may get removed if it doesn’t fit the Community Guidelines.
  • No monthly fees mean increased fees for every product and sale – if you sell a lot of different products, it may become a problem.

Etsy is the best eCommerce platform for…

Independent artists. There are only 24 hours in a day – if you spend most of them painting, crafting, and creating beautiful things, you may not have a whole lot of time to run a shop. This is who Etsy is for. Create art – if it’s good, chances are you will be noticed and will have plenty of buyers. Etsy’s pricing scheme makes it difficult to sell a lot – but you don’t risk anything and get a good platform to showcase what can you do.

BigCartel

A favored place for designers and artists to sell things online, BigCartel is an eCommerce solution which attempts to empower the people with small budgets but big dreams.

This can be very clearly seen from one of the things – BigCartel is the only eCommerce solution in this entire list which offers a true free plan. That means no credit card details, no trial time. Just genuine, free hosted eCommerce.

On top of that, you may use a drop shipping service, like Printful. Just like that, a designer may sell custom prints, clothes or dishes – without having to save up extra money.

Of course, the plan is very limited – you are restricted to a custom BigCartel URL and can only store up to 5 products. Also, there is no analytics tool and other serious limitations are used. However, with a free plan that is only expected. If you wish to upgrade, the plans are also rather inexpensive. Unlike Etsy, here you are not limited to your success, as you only get charged for a transaction and can store as many products as your plan allows.

Although many people mention that the analytics or shipping calculator tools are not very powerful – and unlike in Etsy, the community factor is actually quite small. For most of the part, it means you have to do a lot of the marketing yourself and if you become a huge name, you may need to move away from BigCartel to get extra tools.

Pros

  • Free plan available.
  • Easy to use for beginners.
  • Monthly plan means you are not limited by your success.

Cons

  • Tools are not very advanced.

BigCartel is the best eCommerce platform for…

Designers and aspiring brands. We all have to start somewhere and for many, BigCartel offers a great ground zero with a free hosted eCommerce plan. Seamless integration with drop shipping platforms effectively means that your unique design will turn into a beautiful product and ship to your clients without you moving a finger. Although this platform lacks a lot of important analytics tools, you get the absolute basics – a webshop and a custom URL. Is this a good starting point before you strike gold? May as well be. This is not the best eCommerce website builder but could very well be the best option.


There are plenty of platforms you can choose – every aspiring entrepreneur may find just the right platform to fuel their dreams. Combining a suitable platform with some great usability tips is going to build a great foundation for the future. Make your website beautiful, make it functional and choose an eCommerce provider best suited to make your dreams come true. From then on, it’s smooth sailing!

Paul joined the Hosting.Review team right from the start as a content writer and marketer. He was the person responsible for establishing a trademark for in-depth web hosting evaluation and superb review articles. Before joining Hosting.Review, Paul was working on various projects as a freelancer. Paul spends his free time reading fantasy books and graphic novels.

Leave a Comment

    Get new blog posts by email: