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9 Best "Easy" E-Commerce Platforms (2018)

Choosing the very best e-commerce platform is just not a simple process.

The market is huge and there are lots of components to take into account. Your alternative has a number of influence in your online business, so it’s necessary to give it sufficient thought earlier than signing up.

To enable you to with that, we’ve in contrast the 9 hottest e-commerce web site builders. In the tip, we hope you might be prepared to decide on which platform is the proper one for you.

What is an E-commerce Platform and Why Should You Use One?

The first query is what's an “e-commerce platform”?

An e-commerce platform is a chunk of software program that permits you to construct a web-based retailer and run a business on-line. It offers you the instruments to create and handle your website together with merchandise and day-to-day operations.

It’s not ae-commerce capabilities constructed into one other platform. For instance, whenever you use WooCommerce to add a web-based store to your WordPress site, you aren't utilizing an e-commerce platform.

woocommerce logo

This submit will solely have a look at e-commerce options which can be standalone platforms. As you will notice, a few of the greatest e-commerce platform choices permit you to include their merchandise elsewhere as properly.

There are many alternative causes to use e-commerce platforms:

  • VERY EASY – In the previous, for those who wished a web-based retailer, you had to construct the performance your self. Later there have been purchasing carts however you continue to had to have developer expertise to combine them into your website. Now we've got plugins. With e-commerce platforms, you get all the things in a single hand and might get began immediately.
  • CHEAP – E-commerce platforms are usually not tremendous costly, a few of them even value nothing. While you undoubtedly have bills when working a web-based store, it’s loads lower than creating your individual answer from scratch. Plus, the extra you pay, the extra of your business are you able to normally hand over to technical options.
  • ONE SOLUTION FITS ALL – Especially when going with a hosted answer, you're able to let go of extra elements of working your website. No want to cope with hosting, safety, updates and the likes. Instead, you're able to merely think about rising your business.
  • CUSTOMER SERVICE – Additionally, with a industrial answer you profit from the assist construction. Open supply options akin to WordPress are sometimes group pushed and you might be due to this fact depending on that group to present assist. While that may additionally work very properly – in case you are in determined want of assist at Three am on a Sunday, it’s good to have a assure it is going to be there.

9 Best E-commerce Platform Options

Alright, now that you've a greater thought of what to search for in an e-commerce platform, it’s time to discuss what’s on the market. In the next, we'll go over the benefits and downsides of a few of the hottest e-commerce platforms out there, their pricing construction and who they're most fitted for.

Full disclosure: I earn a fee every time you find yourself buying an e-commerce platform via my referral hyperlinks on this evaluation. This helps me to run WebsiteSetup as a business. Thanks on your assist.

1. Shopify

9 Best "Easy" E-Commerce Platforms (2018) 1

Shopify has grow to be one of the crucial well-known names within the e-commerce sphere. It’s a completely featured hosted answer with a whole lot of 1000's of customers. We even have a full article about it, if the data under is just not sufficient for you.

Pros

The commerce platform is tremendous straightforward to use and fast to arrange. Just join along with your e mail deal with and you can begin constructing your store and promoting immediately. The intuitive interface additionally makes it straightforward to create merchandise and consists of search engine optimization options akin to title tag and meta description.

add products in shopify

Shopify gives dozens of free mobile-optimized, elegant themes. More can be found on buy. No coding is required to customise them, simply use your mouse to make modifications.

shopify theme shop

Additionally, the platform gives top-notch support through telephone, e mail, stay chat and Twitter which can be found 24/7. That is besides the detailed documentation and online forums the place you will get assist from different customers.

Shopify additionally helps a number of third-party payment gateways and has a big app marketplace with over a thousand gives to add performance to your website with just a few clicks.

Finally, they provide extra gross sales channels by offering you with the software program and {hardware} to sell inside physical store locations, social promoting and integrating with marketplaces like Amazon.

Cons

One of the most important drawbacks of Shopify is that prices can simply snowball. Besides the bottom charge, you pay for a lot of plugins, themes and options. Some are one-off funds, some month-to-month, some yearly. Plus, there are transaction charges in case you are not utilizing the built-in cost system. This can all get a bit difficult and arduous to plan with.

Another drawback when it comes to customizing your website is that Shopify makes use of its personal markup language known as “Liquid”. It is predicated on Ruby on Rails and makes it arduous to make modifications utilizing coding your self.

Pricing

Shopify gives completely different pricing tiers with extra options relying on which plan you might be on.

shopify best ecommerce platform pricing

There’s additionally Shopify Lite. It permits you to promote on social networks and embed merchandise by yourself web site website to use the purchasing cart capabilities. This plan prices $9/month, which is kind of honest.

Besides that, there's Shopify Plus for enterprise shoppers. You would have to inquire about costs however rumors say it begins at $1,200/month.

As talked about, as well as to the bottom value, you pay for apps and extra options. These actually span a variety of costs so make certain to analysis beforehand!

Also, don’t neglect bank card and transaction charges when utilizing third-party cost suppliers. These fluctuate in accordance to your plan.

Shopify gives a 14-day trial interval to take a peek below the hood earlier than committing.

Who is It For?

Shopify e-commerce platform is particularly fitted to novices due to the straightforward studying curve and wonderful assist. Aside from that, small and medium companies ought to discover all of the instruments they want to begin promoting on-line.

Visit Shopify

2. Wix Stores

Wix logo

Wix is initially a website builder that permits you to create web sites through drag and drop (learn our detailed review). On high of that, it additionally has options that permit you to construct a web-based retailer.

Pros

Like Shopify, the e-commerce platform is easy to use and fast to arrange. There is not any coding required, you may actually drag content material wherever in your website with the user-friendly editor.

wix user interface best ecommerce platform

What’s cool is that they've over 500 templates specifically made for online stores and even present stock images you need to use immediately.

Naturally, Wix gives a completely featured purchasing cart with all of the performance you want. There are a whole lot of apps within the official app market to additional spruce up your web site.

Also, the service is totally hosted so there’s no want to fear about this half.

Cons

What you want to consider, is that Wix is just not a pure e-commerce platform. It is at first an internet site builder that can be able to promoting issues. Therefore, the e-commerce capabilities generally is a bit fundamental.

Keep additionally in thoughts that you may’t change your website template upon getting printed your website, which is an enormous disadvantage.

Pricing

Wix is subscription-based and gives different packages. Their paid plans are $5-$25/month. You want to decide at the very least the E-commerce plan to get on-line retailer capabilities. That one begins from $17/month.

wix pricing

There’s just one greater plan, which provides higher assist and an expert website evaluation. They even have a free plan to check drive the platform nevertheless it has actually restricted capabilities and no e-commerce choices.

Who is It For?

Because of its barely restricted capabilities, Wix is most fitted for small companies with restricted stock and easier e-commerce necessities.

Visit Wix

3. BigCommerce

bigcommerce logo

MassiveCommerce gives a hosted e-commerce answer each as a full SaaS platform in addition to a purchasing cart for different varieties of web sites. It’s most likely most related to Shopify. The two of them are sometimes talked about in the identical breath.

Pros

The e-commerce platform comes with nice retailer administration capabilities. It gives numerous tools and features, e.g promotions, limitless product variants, choices to deal with returns, coupons and reductions. Another spotlight is the versatile delivery choices that permit stay quotes and charge calculation.

Additionally, MassiveCommerce integrates with Amazon, eBay and social networks. This permits you to promote across many alternative gross sales channels. It additionally has a number of marketing tools with very granular controls, akin to full management over the URL format.

Multiple APIs assist to make it customizable and versatile. BigCommeerce additionally has a big app store with extensions for all kinds of wants akin to e mail advertising, automation and product promotion. You additionally recover from 40 payment processing options with no transaction charges!

bigcommerce payment gateways best ecommerce platform

The benefits are rounded off by the multitude of templates to select from, the power to design your individual web site and a large support system that helps you enhance your e-commerce efforts.

Cons

Traditionally, MassiveCommerce has lagged behind in its template gives. While they've caught up, customers solely get seven free templates to select from. Premium themes can be a bit costly. Unfortunately, the design customization is just not all the time essentially the most user-friendly.

MassiveCommerce has no native POS options as in different options and comes with a gross sales restrict in your plan. It’s comparatively costly to get superior options like an deserted cart saver.

Pricing

BigCommerce plans value between $29.95 and $249.95. You can avoid wasting cash on greater plans by paying yearly. There’s additionally an possibility for enterprise however you want to inquire about that. Additionally, themes value between $145 and $235.

bigcommerce pricing

While all plans offer you all the things you want to get began, with greater choices you get extra choices like superior buyer segmentation and product filtering.

The lack of transaction charges makes MassiveCommerce extra engaging than different choices on this listing. Use the 15-day trial to discover out if it’s best for you.

Who is It For?

Large companies or these anticipating quick progress.

Visit BigCommerce

4. Volusion

volusion logo

This answer is one other cloud-based, hosted possibility to construct a web-based retailer. It has been round since 1999 and has processed greater than $28 billion in gross sales throughout that point.

Pros

Volusion is a drag-and-drop website builder with in-page enhancing. It gives a complete website search, many responsive themes (11 of them free) and the power to customise your individual.

Besides that, it has stable e-commerce and product administration instruments like wealthy text product descriptions, native success choices, subscription choices, loyalty applications and extra. It additionally integrates with a number of cost suppliers and doesn’t include transaction charges.

Marketing choices include search engine optimization options, social promoting, market integrations for Amazon and eBay, amongst others. Note that a few of these are solely out there on greater plans.

Users additionally get 24/7 support through stay chat and telephone (the latter comes with a better plan). This is as well as to a complete data base with articles, guides and extra.

Cons

Unfortunately, Volusion’s pricing structure is a bit complicated, as a result of they've a set bandwidth restrict. If you run out, you've got to pay for added site visitors. This could make planning forward a bit tough, particularly since their default bandwidth is comparatively low.

You have to pay additional for SSL, which is a should for any on-line store. Other opponents present it at no cost. Premium templates for Volusion are a bit costly.

Also, the platform gives no blogging capabilities. You can solely include hyperlinks to other blog sites within the menu. This is mostly a shortcoming in a digital world that runs on content material advertising.

Pricing

Running your store on Volusion will value you between $15 and $135 monthly. You get 10% off when paying yearly. You have to name the service to change to a yearly plan. On dearer plans, you get extra merchandise, bandwidth, higher assist and extra options.

volusion pricing

As talked about, every plan has a bandwidth restrict (1, 3, 10 or 35GB). Any site visitors past that can value you $7/GB. This can rack up fairly rapidly. You additionally shouldn’t neglect in regards to the transaction charges of your cost processor.

There’s additionally the funding into an SSL certificates. The ones supplied by Volusion instantly are between $89 and $995. Of course, you can even get your own for free. Plus, in case you are going for a premium theme, you want to funds $180 for that.

Use the 14-day free trial to test it out.

Who is It For?

Starter shops, novices, smaller to medium companies.

Visit Volusion

5. Squarespace

Squarespace logo

Similar to Wix, Squarespace can be an internet site builder working with drag and drop. They began out with a deal with making visually interesting web sites. As of late, the location is placing extra power into e-commerce and letting their customers promote stuff on-line. By now they're beginning to be a full-fledged e-commerce platform.

Pros

The service has a easy and intuitive person interface and may be very newbie pleasant.

Squarespace content editing

The web site templates they provide are elegant, lovely, polished and all include mobile responsive capabilities. The deal with design additionally makes Squarespace particularly appropriate for promoting merchandise that require high-quality imagery.

squarespace templates

Besides that, you've got all the usual choices like product variants, stock administration, limitless merchandise, coupons, delivery, the works. The platform additionally integrates with Shipstation for success and has an incredible customer support.

They present many knowledge factors to optimize your website and conversions together with gross sales, income, site visitors sources and extra. Marketing tools include search engine optimization settings, social media, blogging and deserted checkout restoration. SSL is constructed proper into the platform.

Cons

On the aspect of disadvantages, Squarespace is considerably restricted in options. For instance, it has restricted cost choices (solely Apple Pay and PayPal) and is lacking necessary choices for extra advanced retailers and numerous merchandise or variations.

Furthermore, there isn't any market for apps to add extra options and performance. Your skill to customise your website through code and markup can be very restricted. The platform integrates with solely just a few third-party instruments and companies.

Pricing

You pay for Squarespace month-to-month. To begin promoting, you want to be at the very least on the Business plan, which is $18/month if billed yearly, in any other case $26/month. Note that there’s a 3% transaction charge on each sale.

Note that you may waive the latter for those who get on one of many e-commerce plans ($26-$46/month). You additionally get extra options for working a web-based store like label printing, accounting and computerized restoration of deserted carts.

Who is It For?

Squarespace has the same goal group as Wix and different web site builders. SMBs, novices and non-technical people who need a simple method of promoting merchandise however are usually not trying into constructing an enormous retailer.

Visit Squarespace

6. Magento

magento logo

Magento is type of the WordPress of e-commerce platforms. It’s a chunk of open source software that you may download and set up by yourself servers. At the identical time, it additionally gives a hosted cloud model, type of like WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

Pros

As a self-hosted answer, Magento offers you a lot of management. With technical data, you may change just about something you need when it comes to performance and design, plus select your individual server atmosphere.

If the latter is just not your cup of tea, the cloud version could be extra for you. For that, you want to contact the sales department to get a demo.

Whichever method you go, you profit from Magento’s lengthy listing of options and choices. Membership subscriptions, recurring funds, reductions, the power to modify content material per person are simply the tip of the iceberg.

You can lengthen your website through the marketplace. There are plugins and themes for all kinds of functions, from buyer assist to advertising to delivery and website optimization.

magento marketplace

The platform is powerful when it comes to multilingual web sites as properly. You are in a position to create separate websites for various languages. It additionally has a powerful group behind it that's always bettering the platform and creating new themes and plugins. This additionally means a number of support and out there knowledgeable recommendation.

Cons

For the Community Edition, all of the downsides of self-hosted platforms apply. Be ready to maintain updates, safety and all the things else to ensure your store runs correctly.

While Magento has a number of options, consequently it may be a little bit useful resource hungry. This would require you to make investments money and time into optimization.

Besides that, the platform is written in PHP, so if you would like to make significant modifications, you want to have the mandatory chops or rent somebody for it. Either method, anticipate to put money into improvement.

If you might be choosing the Cloud model, remember that it's made for Enterprise shoppers and priced accordingly. More on that under.

Pricing

Magento Community Edition is the primary free e-commerce platform on this listing. That’s proper, you may download and use it with out paying a dime.

Like many different self-hosted options, it comes with prices regardless, particularly for internet hosting. Premium plugins or templates and occasional improvement work can be components.

If you don’t need to cope with a lot of the above, there's additionally the hosted model. As already talked about, it isn't low-cost. The quantity we discovered was $18,000/yr for licensing.

Who is It For?

Magento is much less appropriate for novices as different options. There are greater calls for to make it work. Therefore, it's both for sellers with developer chops or the funds to rent somebody or pay for the cloud model.

Visit Magneto

7. OpenCart

opencart logo

We are persevering with the theme of open supply e-commerce platforms. OpenCart is offered to download and set up by yourself server. The service additionally gives a cloud model of its answer.

Pros

This e-commerce platform has all the things you want to create and handle your store. You can arrange limitless merchandise and product categories for each digital and bodily items. It comes with product opinions and scores out of the gate and helps a number of currencies.

The dashboard offers you an summary over each necessary knowledge level of your store and you'll even construct and management a number of shops from one interface.

admin interface dashboard

Aside from that, the platform is very customizable with thousands of themes and plugin extensions. It additionally integrates with a whole lot of cost gateways.

As a self-hosted answer, it comes with all the advantages of administrating your website by yourself server. A big assist community via a devoted community and documentation helps you in a pinch.

If you go for the cloud model, you will get began in mere minutes. You additionally get entry to a separate theme and plugin retailer and have all of your internet hosting, safety and backup wants taken care of.

Cons

When you've got the advantages of internet hosting your website your self, you even have to cope with the drawbacks. OpenCart is just not all the time straightforward to customise and including new modules may be costly.

Besides that, its native advertising options are fairly restricted. For instance, the default search engine optimization capabilities are usually not superb.

The platform is just not all the time generally known as the quickest answer, so the self-hosted answer could also be not the best possibility for scaling into massive dimensions.

Pricing

The self-hosted software program itself is free. Keep in thoughts that it comes with the standard peripheral prices. Additionally, there could also be bills for extensions and themes that add round $100 on common to your funds.

You may go for the cloud-hosted model, which prices between $30 and $200 monthly – half for those who pay for a yr upfront. It additionally features a free SSL certificates.

Who is It For?

OpenCart is appropriate for barely superior customers. If you need to use WordPress, you might be most likely nice working with this platform. Keep in thoughts that it has restricted capabilities for big shops with a whole lot of merchandise. If that's your purpose, you could be higher off trying into different choices or go for the hosted selection.

Visit OpenCart

8. Zen Cart

zen cart logo

Our subsequent contender is in the identical class because the final two. It’s open supply and self-hosted.

Pros

Because it has a GPL license and resides by yourself server, Zen Cart, too, is totally customizable. Like different options, you're able to make any modifications you need even outside of available extensions. The answer additionally has a great popularity when it comes to safety and scalability.

Besides that, it gives many configuration choices for merchandise, together with coupons, reward certificates and a number of product photos. In the advertising division, you may reap the benefits of the built-in search engine optimization options and talent to ship HTML emails from contained in the platform.

A strong user community rounds off the advantages of Zen Cart.

Cons

A severe disadvantage of this e-commerce answer is the outdated person interface each on the back and front finish. You have the power to change at the very least the font of your website. The lower than intuitive person interface will make caring for your website a little bit of a drag.

Zen Cart may be arduous to set up and improve. There can be no devoted assist, so customers want to fend for themselves. Its ecosystem is kind of small, so extensions and templates are arduous to come by. The e-commerce platform comes solely with a handful of cost choices.

Pricing

Like different examples on this listing, the software program itself free, however you want to funds for the structure to run and preserve, together with an SSL certificate. Especially for those who don’t have internet improvement expertise, you may anticipate to rent assist and want to funds for it. Extensions and themes can be a part of the invoice.

Who is It For?

Zen Cart works properly for medium to bigger companies with devoted IT assist or people with improvement expertise.

Visit Zen Cart

9. Salesforce Commerce Cloud (previously Demandware)

salesforce commerce cloud logo

The last entry on the listing is one other totally hosted, cloud-based e-commerce answer.

Pros

One of the primary advantages of Salesforce Commerce is the built-in omnichannel marketing. You can use it each for e-commerce across many alternative channels (together with social and mobile) in addition to an operating tool in your physical store.

Besides that, it comes with predictive analytics that allow you to have a look at your buyer knowledge, order historical past, stock and promotional data across all channels. This offers you invaluable insights into your prospects and permits personalization.

The platform additionally has an incredible support system that simply hyperlinks you up with professionals and know-how suppliers who concentrate on it.

salesforce commerce cloud marketplace

Also, because it’s hosted, you don’t have to fear in regards to the technical features of working your retailer. With the cloud know-how within the background, Salesforce Commerce is very scalable.

Cons

As a hosted answer this platform offers you much less management over your store. Honestly, the web site additionally doesn’t make it fairly clear what it's you might be really getting. I'm but to see a screenshot of the back-end. This makes it very arduous to perceive whether or not or not it could be a viable possibility.

Pricing

Pricing is just out there upon inquiry. Be conscious that their business mannequin is that they take fee from each sale you make.

Who is It For?

This platform is clearly made for bigger shoppers. If you might be on the lookout for an enterprise answer, this could be it.

Visit Salesforce Commerce Cloud

Types of E-commerce Platforms Available

When on the lookout for the very best e-commerce platform for your self, you've got differing types to select from. While there are a number of methods of distinguishing platforms, one of many major variations is their kind of internet hosting.

  • Self-hosted — Means you download a chunk of software program and set up it by yourself server. This offers you a number of management over your web site. It additionally places all of the duty on you to maintain it secure, up to date and make modifications manually. Open Source e-commerce options usually have this mannequin.
  • Hosted — An different is to use software program that's hosted by another person. SaaS (Software as a Service) options are the commonest examples right here. The profit: much less technical overhead, fast startup, extra newbie friendliness. Most usually additionally extra prices.
  • Mixed — Several of the choices under supply the likelihood to include their purchasing carts into different platforms (e.g. WordPress). This can be known as Commerce as a Service (CaaS) and generally is a viable and cheaper possibility.

Of course, there are different methods to differentiate e-commerce platforms. Many of them rely in your private wants. You would possibly need to take into account:

  • Costs
  • Scalability
  • Ease of Use
  • Customizations
  • Maintenance
  • Commerce Options
  • Mobile Capabilities
  • Marketing
  • Support

It’s a good suggestion that you just really get clear for your self what issues to you most. This will make it a lot simpler to weed out these choices that don’t match the ticket.

What is the Best E-commerce Platform for You?

Standalone e-commerce platforms generally is a nice answer for beginning a web-based store. They supply all the mandatory options and specialised performance to make promoting on-line a hit.

Yet, selecting the very best e-commerce platform is just not a simple process. There are just too many components to take note of and lots of gives in the marketplace. By realizing beforehand what your wants and necessities are, you make it extra seemingly you will discover a great match from the listing above.

Hopefully, this information has helped you in your choice. If it has, how a few low cost code on your newly opened store? No stress although.

What is your private alternative for the very best e-commerce platform and why? Please tell us within the feedback part under.

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