8 Best Ecommerce Platforms to Build Your Online Store

While building a successful online store involves many steps and decisions, it all starts with choosing the best ecommerce platform for you and your business.

Ecommerce platforms let you start selling online without the need for a bottomless budget, expert coding skills, or a degree in web design. They come pre-packed with ecommerce-specific features and designs to make setting up your store as easy as possible.

Once the store is all set up and ready to go, it will be up to you to promote and drive traffic to it (luckily, Ampd can help you with that). But, for now, let us focus on how to choose the right ecommerce platform that will set you up for success.

Best Ecommerce Platforms: Pros, Cons, and Features

From multichannel functionality to drool-worthy SEO and cool marketing features, these are all-time best ecommerce platforms:

BigCommerce

BigCommerce was founded back in 2009 by two Australians, Mitchell Harper and Eddie Machaalani. Today, it is headquartered in Austin, Texas with over 750 employees spread across multiple offices all around the world.

BigCommerce is a leading open SaaS solution, offering sophisticated enterprise-grade functionality, performance, and customization, combined with ease-of-use and simplicity.

The main site building features within BigCommerce include:

  • Unlimited product listings
  • Custom domains
  • Unlimited bandwidth & file storage
  • Reporting
  • Multi-currency sales
  • Ratings and reviews
  • Gift cards
  • Integrations with shipping and POS software
  • Page builder
  • 12 free themes and over 160 paid themes

Best For...

BigCommerce is the best ecommerce platform for small- to medium-sized businesses that require an advanced tool to create complex or large catalogs. The platform includes numerous features out of the box, and, similar to other platforms, allows you to extend functionalities with third-party applications. In addition, BigCommerce works well for both B2B and B2C businesses.

Price

Pricing for BigCommerce is divided into four levels:

  • BigCommerce Standard: $29.95/month
  • BigCommerce Plus: $79.95/month
  • BigCommerce Pro: $299.95/month
  • BigCommerce Enterprise: available upon request

For the Plus and Pro options, you can receive a 10% discount if paid annually.

Pros

  • Excels with multi-channel selling
  • Flexible and scalable
  • Fantastic theme designs
  • Strong SEO performance
  • Comprehensive abandoned cart feature

Cons

  • Gets expensive for high volume stores
  • Inconsistent speeds in consecutive studies
  • No one-click selling or upsells
  • Cart abandonment isn’t on entry plan

Shopify

Founded in 2004 by a group of snowboarding enthusiasts, Shopify quickly became one of the best ecommerce platforms on the market, with over 1 million clients across 175 countries. Shopify’s retailers vary in sizes and come from countless different industries.

Shopify’s site building features include:

  • Custom domains
  • Unlimited product listings
  • Inventory tracking
  • Real-time sales statistics
  • AI/Personalization
  • Over 70 themes and templates available

Best For…

Shopify is a great platform for SMBs and ecommerce beginners that need detailed guidance through the store set up. Everything you may need is already integrated into the platform: from content marketing to storefront design, to performance analytics. Once you have the basics figured out, it’s easy to upgrade your store with third-party extensions.

Price

  • Basic Shopify: $29/month
  • Shopify: $79/month
  • Advanced Shopify: $299/month

Pros

  • Super easy to set up
  • Lighting fast load time
  • One-click selling
  • A lot of certified partners to help you
  • Great themes with varied designs
  • Allows multiple channel and social selling

Cons

  • Unable to customize the checkout process
  • Certain studies report poor SEO rating
  • Apps can become costly
  • Need a developer for advanced features

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is an open-source free shopping cart plugin for WordPress that was developed by and is owned by Wordpress. Today, it is among the most popular ecommerce options out there and can be found on 30% of all online stores.

Site building features of WooCommerce include:

  • Mobile-optimized shopping
  • Catalog management
  • Geo-location support
  • Inventory management
  • Search engine optimization
  • Shipping options and calculator
  • Product reviews
  • Coupons and discounts

Best For…

WooCommerce is the best ecommerce platform for small online retailers who already have a website built with WordPress. It is also a great choice for those operating on a tight budget but still looking for a robust online store. WooCommerce includes thousands of third party plugins and themes, making it incredibly flexible to accommodate most needs.

Price

WooCommerce is free to download, with add-ons and extensions.

Pros

  • One-click selling app available
  • A lot of WordPress experts available
  • WordPress is the best platform for SEO
  • Highly customizable
  • Numerous marketing options and lots of other integrations

Cons

  • Troubleshooting can get difficult
  • Good hosting can be pricey
  • You need extensions for simple functions
  • Virtually zero support

Wix

Wix is a cloud-based drag-and-drop website builder that allows users to easily create online stores. It has a wide range of designs and templates that make it simple for resource-strapped business owners and beginners to build their own functional and compelling websites.

Site building features of Wix include:

  • Product galleries
  • Digital products
  • Shipping options
  • Inventory management
  • Discount codes
  • Mobile optimization
  • Abandoned cart recovery
  • Payment options
  • Other functionalities available with extensions

Best For…

Wix is the best ecommerce platform for small business owners who don’t have the resources to hire a dedicated web designer. The website builder itself is simple to use, and the ecommerce functionality is enough to fulfill basic needs. The functionality can be extended with plugins, but businesses with more complex product lines may be better off with a different, dedicated platform for ecommerce.

Price

  • ecommerce: $17/month
  • VIP: $25/month
  • Business Basic: $23/month
  • Business Unlimited: $27/month
  • Business VIP: $35/month
  • Enterprise: $500/month

The pricing here can be quite confusing. ecommerce and VIP plans allow you to build an online store on your website, but only the Business plans will let you collect and process payments. The Enterprise plan offers more levels of consultation and support, but doesn’t include any more features than the Business VIP plan.

Pros

  • Incredibly simple to set up and use
  • 72 free themes
  • On-page support for numerous needs

Cons

  • Has an iffy SEO reputation
  • Many websites are not secured
  • Difficult to fully customize templates
  • Lacks advanced automation and upselling features

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Magento

Magento is among the most popular open-source platforms for ecommerce in the entire world. The original version was released in 2009 and was later replaced by Magento 2.0 in 2005 with more stability/usability features and an improved code base. In 2018, Magento was purchased by Adobe and now comes in two versions: Magento Open Source and Magento Commerce.

Magento Open Source comes with the following site building features:

  • Mobile-optimized shopping
  • Integrated checkout, payment, and shipping
  • Catalog management
  • Global selling
  • Instant purchase
  • Extended functionality via App marketplace
  • Site search
  • Customization options available

Best For…

Magento is ideal for small- to medium-sized businesses that have already established demand and have sufficient time, skill, and manpower to build their own website. The platform is incredibly powerful and contains a library with over 5,000 extensions. However, it requires a larger budget and a longer development time as compared to most of its competitors.

Price

Magento has two main pricing tiers:

  • Magento Open Source: free to download and use, but expect additional costs for website hosting, development, themes, add-ons, and more.
  • Magento Commerce: prices are quoted by a sales representative and can range between $15,000 and $50,000 per year.

Pros

  • Strong SEO
  • Robust and feature rich
  • Lots of users and community
  • One-click selling
  • Flexible to choose where you want to host the software
  • Scalable and highly customizable

Cons

  • Easily slowed down
  • Pricey themes
  • Virtually no support
  • Requires development skills
  • Requires ample memory space to perform well

Squarespace

Square is a New York-based SaaS company that provides ecommerce store and website creation and hosting to customers. Customers use pre-built website templates and drag-and-drop functionality to create their web pages.

Squarespace offers the following features with its ecommerce extension:

  • Personalized products
  • Abandoned cart auto-recovery
  • Digital products
  • SEO tools
  • Real time shipping rates and tracking
  • Product import/export
  • Gift cards
  • Upselling and cross-selling
  • Limited integration options
  • Automatic discounts

Best For…

Squarespace is a great ecommerce platform for small business owners or entrepreneurs with only basic ecommerce needs. The ecommerce extension is effective, but only as an add-on to the main website builder. Businesses that have more advanced online retail requirements or those that handle large amounts of inventory would do better with other dedicated platforms.

Price

Squarespace offers four pricing levels:

  • Personal: $16/month
  • Business: $26/month
  • Basic Commerce: $30/month
  • Advanced Commerce: $46/month

Pros

  • Great for simple stores
  • Easy to set up
  • Solid SEO tools
  • Beautiful designs
  • Integrates with ShipBob and ShipStation

Cons

  • No marketing automation integration
  • No dropshipping
  • No app store for more functionalities and features
  • No Amazon integration
  • Could be faster for the price

Amazon

Started in 1994 by Jeff Bezos, Amazon is now a massive online retailer with a market capitalization of 1.6 trillion U.S. dollars. In addition to serving as an online retailer, Amazon allows for businesses and individuals to sell and display their products on the platform, reaching millions of potential customers worldwide.

Amazon store features include:

  • Images with text overlays
  • Shoppable collection pictures
  • Bulk and out-of-stock product management
  • Links to your store on the sponsored ads
  • Amazon store scheduling
  • Background video modules
  • Ability to revert back to a previous version of your Amazon store

Best For…

Amazon is a great ecommerce platform for merchants selling hobby or niche products, or products that are absolutely unique to them. General merchandise retailers that offer similar products to many other companies may find Amazon overly-saturated and competitive.

Starting selling on Amazon is easy and doesn’t require building a separate website, which makes it an ideal platform for businesses that want to start immediately or have a limited budget.

Price

Amazon offers two monthly selling plans:

  • Individual: $0.99/item sold plus additional selling fees
  • Professional: $3.99/month plus additional selling fees

In addition, Amazon charges a referral fee for each item sold, which can range from 8% to 15%.

Pros

  • Instant access to a global audience
  • Set up and start selling immediately
  • Ready-made brand reputation
  • Built-in customer service
  • Easy returns and refunds service
  • Sales reports data
  • FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) service available

Cons

  • Fees payable to Amazon for every sale
  • A highly saturated platform
  • No design options
  • No control over your store page
  • You must adhere to Amazon’s rules
  • You don’t own customer relationships
  • Undercutting tactics by competitors

Walmart

Walmart is a well-known retailer, but it is also among the fastest-growing marketplaces today. Similarly to Amazon, Walmart enables merchants to sell and display their products on the platform and continues to implement new features that make it easier for brands and sellers to reach Walmart’s giant customer base.

Walmart store features include:

  • Mobile-optimized shopping
  • Checkout, payment, and shipping through Walmart
  • Catalog management
  • Discounts and price reductions
  • Customer ratings and reviews

Best For…

Walmart prohibits the sale of vintage, used, or handmade items. In addition, it doesn’t encourage low-end imports and high-end luxury products. Therefore, it is best for retailers selling general products that are moderately priced. Similar to Amazon, Walmart Marketplace is an excellent platform for sellers that have a limited budget or want to start immediately.

Price

Walmart doesn’t charge regular monthly fees. Instead, you can expect to pay a referral fee on each item sold, which can range from 6% to 20% of the selling price.

Pros

  • No regular fees
  • No inventory limitations
  • Instant access to global audience
  • Higher seller credibility
  • Reasonable competition
  • Returns to local stores

Cons

  • Walmart approval required to set up a store
  • Strict removal if the item is too pricey
  • Application and approval required to participate in Walmart Fulfillment Services
  • Referral fees on each item sold
  • No control over your store page

Set Your Ecommerce Store for Success with Ampd

While there are countless ecommerce platforms available out there, the key to success lies in choosing the best ecommerce platform that is right for you and your business.

To ensure that your online store brings you the revenue you want, it is important to invest in Google Ads that will drive even more traffic and conversions.

The good news is that Ampd’s unique ad automation platform can take all the legwork out of setting up and managing Google Ads for your online business. Get Ampd now.

click here to get ampd

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