Ecommerce Platforms to Build Your Business: 8 Popular in 2021
⏱ Reading Time: 8 minutes
The market is wide and eCommerce platforms are endless. To choose a good one for your business is not an easy task. But it can sure have a huge impact on business growth.
To pick the right one that suits your needs, you need to dig deep into an exploration of eCommerce platforms, their features, advantages, and disadvantages to find a good one. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of 8 popular eCommerce platforms to help you choose.
But before we dive into eCommerce platforms, let’s define it first.
What Is an Ecommerce Platform?
An eCommerce platform is a piece of software that allows businesses to create online stores. It also gives you the tools to create and manage your site and provides the complete ease to manage your online store.
The main reason why people use eCommerce platform is that they are easy to use even for beginners. Moreover, entrepreneurs setting up their online stores using the eCommerce platforms have the support of the online community via forums, guides and platform’s customer support.
They also save you from doing unnecessary technical steps and let you focus more on the marketing and selling side of the businesses.
There are three main types of eCommerce platforms:
- Open Source
- SaaS (Software as a Service)
- CaaS (Commerce as a Service)
4 Most Used Ecommerce Platforms
There are a lot of eCommerce platforms on the market. But to thrive among the top 4 is definitely a good sign that they have benefits that make them stand out of the crowd.
Leading platform loved and used by many online entrepreneurs is WooCommerce. After WooCommerce we have Shopify, Magento, and OpenCart. These are all great platforms with great features, but it is up to you to decide which one of these eCommerce platforms suites your business the best. Let’s explore the benefits of every one of them to help you pick the right one.
Learn how to craft an amazing omnichannel strategy with the help of the Paldesk Omnichannel Guide!
Picture 1. Ecommerce statistics
WooCommerce is a flexible, open-source e-commerce plugin that works with WordPress and it is free. It is one of the most popular ways to build an e-commerce store for sites as it comes with additional features. Some of them include unlimited products and images, customizing store location, selling any product you like and more.
It is easy to install, you can add your products and fix settings.
Picture 2. WooCommerce installation
- it is free and extensible
- easy for beginners
- works on all devices
- it is secure
- highly customizable
- there is a free WooCommerce mobile app
- it is a WordPress plugin that doesn’t come with hosting so you need to buy a domain and web hosting
- extension store has 300 plugins and some of them are free while for some of them you need to pay a subscription
Pricing: Free (domain and web hosting costs)
Since WooCommerce works with WordPress, and WordPress is now one of the most used platforms on the Internet, read our other blog post about it: 10 Best WordPress Plugins for Excellent User Experience.
Shopify is a commerce platform that helps you to start, grow, and manage a business. Since there is no coding required, it is a good choice for people who don’t have tech skills.
This platform offers numerous templates for different niches that are all modern. Shopify integrates with more than 70 payment gateways with checkouts in more than 50 languages. That makes it easy to sell products to customers anywhere in the world.
Some of the Shopify features are unlimited orders, SEO, full blogging platform, multiple languages, mobile commerce ready and more.
- quick and easy setup
- great for beginners
- beautiful and customizable themes
- themes are mobile optimized
- 24/7 customer support (chat, phone or email)
- accept payments instantly with Shopify Payments
- track and manage inventory
- it can be expensive for a beginner
- the attributes of the products are limited to three attributes: size, color, and material
- if you want to expand the features of your store, you’ll need to spend additional fees.
- customization can add up to the expenses.
You can try Shopify free for 14 days, and after the free plan expires, you can choose a basic Shopify plan for 29$ per month. There are two more other plans – Shopify $79 and advanced Shopify $299 (also per month).
Check best Shopify apps to increase sales in 2021.
Magento is an advanced e-commerce platform on the market that is used by some of the largest companies in the world. It should be a priority for businesses and individuals who want to develop a long-term professional e-commerce website. And it is an ideal platform for fast-growing small businesses.
- it is free
- build on an open-source technology
- it offers powerful marketing, SEO and catalog-management tools
- advanced testing capabilities
- huge community users
- Magento Enterprise Edition is 18,000$ a year
- the programming skill is needed for the set-up and customization
- the free version needs some features and apps that are not free
Pricing: It offers a free solution, but if you want an enterprise edition, it is way too expensive. There is a free version named Community Edition, but it still needs a lot of plugins which are not free.
Also, you can set up Magento Live Chat with Paldesk. Paldesk is a live chat tool for online sales and customer support, designed to help Magento websites increase sales conversions and provide lightning-fast answers to customer questions.
Picture 3. Integrate Magento and Paldesk
OpenCart is an open-source platform and in the last couple of years it has become one of the leaders in building online stores. It owes its popularity immensely to its simple setup and use and its functionality. It also offers a lot of exciting features and it is completely beginner-friendly and perfect for small and medium eCommerce businesses.
- it’s free
- simple to set up/use
- many integrations
- dedicated support
- plenty of themes
- limited built-in marketing features
- it isn’t very SEO-friendly
- not always easy to customize
Pricing: The main software is free. There are some additional costs though (hosting plan, domain name, additional modules/extensions)
4 Ecommerce Software Platforms
An open-source eCommerce framework that allows users to build online applications and stores on Drupal. It is a great tool for developers. It is adaptable and it offers a lot of modules that are helpful for users to improve and increase its functionalities.
- free and open-source code
- fast speed
- rich source of modules
- large online community
- difficult to learn
- trouble in upgrading
- module compatibility is not always good
- problems with installing
Also, if you want to give your website the much-needed customer service boost, try with Paldesk – Drupal live chat & help desk module. Provide better customer service with live chat and help desk integration for your Drupal website. Increase your conversion rates and provide a brighter interaction for your visitors while they are browsing in real-time.
Picture 4. Integrate Paldesk and Drupal
Squarespace is a simple drag-and-drop website builder and web host for all types of businesses. It is easy to use because there is no coding required.
Templates this website builder offers are simple and elegant that come with mobile responsive capabilities. The process of creating a website itself is simple. Such as editing content, choosing templates or dragging and dropping items. Possibilities for editing templates are wide. And without a doubt, one of the best things about Squarespace is the quality of the templates offered.
- 24/7 customer support
- beautiful and elegant theme designs
- easy setup
- it offers marketing tools such as SEO, social media, blogging
- easy transition from website to an online store
- lacks in the payment gateway department
- no marketing automation integration and Amazon integration
- a limited selection of eCommerce integration options
- lacks app store features
Pricing: Basic: $26, Advanced: $40 (per month, billed annually). You can also get a free 14-day trial.
Set up Squarespace Live chat with Paldesk.
Volusion is an eCommerce platform that lets you easily create online stores, sell products, scale your business, and many more. It offers a lot of free themes and premium themes that you can customize and edit with a drag-and-drop builder. Themes are also responsive, from which 11 is free. Plus, Volusion integrates with eBay and Amazon.
- 1GB to 35GB of monthly bandwidth
- it has reliable onboarding process and help center
- 24/7 support via chat, phone, and priority support
- handle shipping rates
- SEO tools
- it has no built-in blogging capabilities or upselling/cross-selling features
- slower platform than the others
- lacks up cross-selling features
Pricing: Starts from $29 per month.
3rdcart is a SaaS eCommerce platform suitable for both smaller and medium-sized businesses. It offers numerous professionally designed and SEO optimized themes and over 100 payment solutions. Additionally, it offers inventory controls and unlimited product options
- unlimited storage
- great variety of checkout options
- SEO tools and social media services
- some knowledge is necessary to navigate through the platform, so it isn’t very suitable for beginners
- not so customizable
Pricing: Basic: $29, Plus: $79, Pro: $229. You can get a free 15-day trial.
Yo!Kart is a feature-rich multi-vendor marketplace platform powering 1000+ online ecommerce marketplaces all across the globe. It is a licensed based online marketplace software that offers a high level of security and flexibility to scale your business. This platform’s features and functionality allow entrepreneurs to grow to the global market and work seamlessly on the platform. Yo!Kart also offers customer-centric mobile apps for buyers and sellers for android and iOS.
- Easy and quick setup
- One time fee and no additional installation charges
- Self hosted and 100% Customizable eCommerce platform
- Separate dashboard for Admin, vendors, buyers
- Integrated with multiple payment getaways
- Integrated third-party APIs such as Quickbook, Shipstation, etc.
- One year free technical Support
- Flexible payment options
- It takes time to learn/familiarize with Yo!kart platform
- Themes are slightly expensive
Yo!Kart has a demo which the entrepreneur can explore and take a virtual tour. There are 3 packages and an additional startup package of Yo!Kart. The hosted solution is available at $250 and the basic self hosted solution starts from $999 and goes up to $6999.
It is not easy to choose the best eCommerce platform for your business without previous in-depth research. By knowing the needs and requirements of these platforms, you will be able to find a good fit. We hope this article will help you in finding a good one.
From mentioned eCommerce platforms, which one do you like the most? Let us know in the comments below.
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