11 Best Ecommerce Platforms to Start Your Online Business in 2021
You are probably reading this article because you are evaluating some of the best eCommerce platforms to start your own online business today!
Although there is a small hiccup; how do you decide which is the best eCommerce platform for you and your budget?
There are literally dozens of eCommerce platforms available to choose from and making the right decision is crucial.
To set the scene we will start by asking a couple of questions to better understand what an eCommerce Platform is and why you need one to succeed.
What is an eCommerce Platform?
In simple words, an eCommerce platform is an all-inclusive software package that provides business owners the ability to build an online store as well as manage it holistically.
Some of the most known platforms are Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magento.
Each solution has its own merit, and depending on what you actually want to achieve will determine your selection process.
What are the benefits of using an eCommerce Platform?
Using a platform that was built with the solemn purpose of managing eCommerce shops comes with a lot of benefits.
Although, these benefits do not come cheap, in some cases at least.
Some of the benefits are:
- Provided customer support/services(depending on platform)
- Intuitive administration processes
- Easily create e-shop interfaces
- Increased site performance
- Advanced security measures
And if you decide to not pursue the “safe” road of using a platform for your eCommerce needs prepare for a bumpy road.
What I mean is that you will either need to build one by yourself which might sound like a good idea if your bank account has more than six zeros. And the other solution is to use a plugin which ultimately will not allow you to really grow your business the way you intend.
Are you pressed for time here is a quick comparison table for you:
Without further ado…
WooCommerce is the most used eCommerce management solutions and one of the most user-friendly solution out there.
With an astonishing 28.33% market share according to Datanyze across all eCommerce solutions, WooCommerce is a force to reckon with.
It’s worth mentioning that WooCommerce is an open-source eCommerce platform and a dedicated WordPress plugin.
The latter means that you will need to have an active WordPress website in order to utilize that platform. Thus making it super popular among bloggers and SMEs!
Fun Fact: WordPress powers more than 30% of the total Websites on the Web! (Source)
Let’s take a closer look at what WooCommerce offers.
In terms of design WooCommerce comes prepacked with Storefront which is the free standard theme that they offer.
These are some of the customization and design feature included within:
- Huge range of additional themes
- You can customize even the buy button
- Easily embed products on any page with shortcodes
- Split products into categories
- Product ratings and reviews
- Customize your store based on location
- Unlimited Products and Product Images
Now when it comes to selling your goods WooCommerce offers a range of features tailored to make the selling experience feel like a breeze!
- Selling both digital and physical products
- Add affiliate products directly to your store
- Unlimited product variations
- Huge range of Shipping options and rates(even free shipping)
- Tax options
Makes WooCommerce highly desirable.
Finally, managing orders and customer information will help you to easily grow your store and not fall behind in sales! If you fancy WooCommerce we’ve written a pretty detailed WooCommerce tutorial for you to follow.
WooCommerce advantage against other top eCommerce platforms like Shopify is that it’s a completely free eCommerce platform to use! (As long as you have a functional WordPress website).
A great alternative to WooCommerce is Sellfy which can be integrated easily into WordPress.
They allow you to sell downloads and/or other digital goods.
What are the pros of using WooCommerce?
- Free to download and use as long as you have a WordPress website
- Learning to use WooCommerce is both easy and intuitive
- Due to the large adoption of WooCommerce support material and resource are largely at hand
- The process of installing the plugin might seem daunting although minimum technical knowledge is required
- Out-of-the-box features like product reviews and rating systems
What are the cons of using WooCommerce?
- You can only use WooCommerce if you have an active WordPress web page
- The main features are free although if you want to get on the next level you might need to invest in some additional extensions which can be costly
- Keeping up with both WordPress and WooCommerce updates will be a time-consuming process but mandatory to ensure maximum performance
Is WooCommerce for me?
WooCommerce is primarily for people who are accustomed to the WordPress platform and already have their own WordPress site and want to start selling products or services on the side.
It is a great starting point into the world of eCommerce therefore even if you do not have a WordPress website you should consider getting one just for WooCommerce!
A great way of increasing your WooCommerce store presence and revenue is with the use of email marketing and email automation.
WooCommerce offers some pretty basic email marketing functionalities. Although using a dedicated email service provider like Moosend can make a tremendous difference.
And to make things easier Moosend’s direct integration with WooCommerce will allow you to set up amazing email automation on the fly. Automation like cart abandonment email, welcome emails and thank you for your purchase emails have never been easier!
You can easily start email marketing for free with Moosend and engage with up to 1,000 subscribers without even entering your credit card. Register here for FREE!
If you’ve been around you’ve definitely heard of Shopify. One of the biggest WooCommerce competitors.
Shopify has managed to achieve tremendous growth over the last years with over 500,000 paying customers, Shopify will definitely hit your radar on your quest to choosing the best eCommerce platform for you.
Let’s take a quick look at what Shopify offers and at which pricing point.
What makes it so appealing to so many users is that Shopify provides you with an easy to use drag and drop website builder where you do not need any sort of technical knowledge as long as you know how to move a mouse!
It’s similar to other popular WYSIWYG website builders, although in this instance you will be building a fully functional eCommerce store!
In addition to the website builder, you will be pleased to find a huge range of free and premium pre-made themes that are exceptionally designed
Most of these themes are fully customizable making it super easy to make changes where you see fit.
Another great aspect of Shopify is store management.
You will be astonished by how many things you can achieve with it.
To name a few:
- Analyze customer profiles
- Set up a dropshipping store
- Create Customer accounts
- Refunds management
- Segment your customers
- Set up fulfillment solutions like Amazon
- One-click order fulfillment
Practically everything an e-shop needs to ran smoothly! But what about product management?
Shopify has your back again with features like:
- Advanced Inventory Tracking
- Digital Products(downloadable goods)
- Product Variations(multiple sizes, colors, etc.)
- Organize Product with Filters
- Multiple Images
- Product Specific Meta Tags for SEO
What are the pros of Shopify?
- There is no need to worry about website hosting as Shopify provides you with it at no extra cost
- Their intuitive and eye-catching dashboard area will make you fall in love with instantly
- Pristine marketing and promotional features (SEO, Social media, etc)
- Shopify support is available across multiple channels like live chat, twitter, and Facebook
- Premade themes that are mobile-optimized and ready to start printing you money
What are the cons of Shopify?
- Limited product variations options
- Costs can pile up over time (themes.plugins, etc)
- Transactions fee apply if you use Shopify’s payment system, so make sure to properly evaluate this
- Under the hood, Shopify uses its own markup language called Liquid which makes it hard to make changes to the code by yourself
Is Shopify for me?
Shopify is one of those eCommerce platforms that can please both beginners and seasoned e-commerce professionals. It’s a great choice for beginners that are looking into starting a serious eCommerce business at minimum cost while using a platform that’s easy to navigate through.
Bonus: Compare the two giants of eCommerce website building WooCommerce vs Shopify.
Even if you are looking for some really specific features for your eCommerce store Shopify has an App store where developers have created some amazing apps to add to your e-shop.
Some notable Shopify apps are Oberlo that allows dropshipping stores to discover thousands of products and import them directly to Shopify and Printful which is a t-shirt designer and fulfillment service.
Additionally, Shopify offers a great range of learning material as well, like this on how to find the right supplier for your product idea!
Time for a reality check, all of the above features are amazing, but how much does Shopify charge for its services?
3. Yo!Kart eCommerce Platform
YoKart is a well-versed ecommerce platform that enables an entrepreneur to set up his own multi-vendor marketplace.
The platform is known for quick and easy setup of ecommerce marketplaces.
As mentioned on Yokart’s website, there are more than 1000+ marketplaces powered by this flexible solution and are running successfully across the globe.
Let’s dive right into the features:
In terms of design and UX, YoKart stands high.
The platform offers consistent UX across all screen platforms and comes with features like responsive design, intuitive separate seller/buyer dashboards, business-user control, reporting & analytics, streamlined checkout, and IOS & Android mobile apps.
With so many eCommerce platforms share the same set of functions or features, the real difference comes while managing inventory or products. This is where YoKart stands out with its following product management features:
- Product import/export catalog
- Keep track of inventory
- Easy in-built product review management system
- Upload up to 1 lakh products
- Multiple product variants
- Smart product recommendation feature to attract buyers
- Also, you can allow your vendors to sell digital products
To meet the demand of every business (Startups, SME, and Enterprise); YoKart comes in 3 pricing packages such as Go Quick ($1299), Go Custom Lite ($3999), Go Custom ($6999).
Except for design, features are the same in all the packages. In Go quick, you will get default design, whereas in Go Custom lite & Go Custom, you will get a custom design.
Additionally, mobile apps are available for buyers and sellers which come at a minimal price.
What are the pros of Yokart?
- Comes with the number of in-built features
- Fully customizable & Scalable platform
- Lifetime license means no recurring fee and zero transaction charges
- Flexible payment terms for marketplace owners
- 12 months of free technical support & multiple support channels
- What are the cons of YoKart?
- No upgrade strategy
- No free themes
- To customize, you need to have a skilled PHP developer, otherwise, you have to contact YoKart’s team.
Is YoKart for me?
If you are looking to set up a B2B or B2C multi-vendor marketplace then YoKart is definitely the right choice for you. However, if your requirements symbolize a single vendor store, then you must opt for another solution.
4. 3dcart eCommerce Store Software
Today there are a lot of new eCommerce platforms that are trying to compete for the number one spot, 3dcart, however, has been a trailblazer in the industry. They are one of the first e-commerce platforms to offer a software solution for online stores back in the early 2000s.
What draws users to 3dcart is the multitude of features and add-ons that are available at their disposal.
They boast being simple to start but have everything you need to grow your business.
There are often platforms that prove to be simple to set up but lack the necessary tools for an expanding business, which can end in the need to migrate. 3dcart doesn’t have this issue.
It also has a simple WYSIWYG editor, lots of SEO tools, and a ton of marketing add ons.
If you prefer, you’re able to customize your own website with the 3dcart platform if you have the expertise or manpower to do so, however, there are over 60 free and premium website templates that you can use to build your store.
3dcart also excels in backend processes like shipping, payment gateways and more.
Here are some highlights:
- Real-time shipping and tax calculation which means no surprises during checkout
- Over 200 payment gateways provide you with industry-leading payment options
- Unlimited Bandwidth and no transaction fees
- Built-in advanced reporting
- PCI DSS Certified Security
- 24/7/365 tech support
Building an eCommerce store is never enough though, which is why 3dcart put a lot of emphasis on marketing. One of the things that make 3dcart really powerful is its suite of marketing tools.
Some worthy mentions include:
- Targeted email marketing and drip campaigns
- Promotions, coupons, gift cards, affiliate programs, bonus points, and tell a friend features all help build customer loyalty
- Gift registry
- A suite of advanced SEO tools
- Abandoned cart saver
- Sales Conversions Tools
- Analytics and reporting
- Blog functionality for content marketing
- Tons of integration with third-party marketing apps
3dcart tries to focus on a combination of function and aesthetics in their approach to help you build easy to use, high converting stores that are easy to manage and analyze.
What are the pros of 3dcart?
- Easy to set up with an easy to use admin dashboard
- An array of marketing tools to help you grow and optimize your eCommerce store
- Many template options to choose from for conversion-friendly eCommerce website design [Bonus: Website Design Checklist!]
- 24/7/365 customer support means you will never go without help
- Hosting and security included with the platform
What are the cons of 3dcart?
- A multitude of features can take some time to learn
- Some add ons come at an extra monthly or one time cost
- Monthly packages capped at growth tiers
Is 3dcart for me?
3dcart is a software that is suitable for eCommerce companies of any size.
Whether you’re just a one-man shop getting started with your drop shipping company or an enterprise eCommerce company manufacturing your own products, 3dcart has all the tools you would need to sustain an eCommerce business online.
3dcart is an eCommerce platform you will want to spend time exploring. There is no end to helpful features that can impact your bottom line in a big way. From promotions, email newsletters or email drip campaigns, 3dcart is built with a revenue-driven mindset.
Tools like abandoned cart saver can help you go a long way in increasing conversions and getting more value for your marketing efforts.
It also has a lot of third-party integrations with accounting tools, shipping tools, and even dropshipping support that can help you go around the manufacturing problem most new eCommerce businesses have.
As far as pricing for 3dcart, it will depend on the size of your business. They have plans starting as low as $19 monthly for those just starting out and it comes with any tools you may need to grow your eCommerce store.
5. PrestaShop eCommerce Platform
It is a featured-packed solution and similar to the other top eCommerce platforms it offers you the ability to create products and assort them into categories and sub-categories as well as an advanced inventory management system.
A cool feature that comes with it is the ability to let your customers upload photos and specs if you offer products that are customizable, making your store AMAZINGLY user-friendly if you are targeting that niche.
In terms of e-store customization you will be able to:
- Add various payment methods and Shipping options
- Assign shipping carriers based on geographical delivery zones
- Implement SSL Certification to enhance security
While in terms of design and usability you can:
- Easily configure product pages and product display
- Configure your on-eShop search engine
- Display results with additional product information
- Add advanced filters and sorting parameters
- Create pages that contain legal information
Although one feature that will really catch your eye is how PrestaShop allows you to insert a product search engine to your 404 Pages. You might even see a bump in sales with this feature!
Additionally, PrestaShop understands how important a checkout page is, therefore, a huge range of available features are available for you to implement. Features like, displaying a summary order page and order validation will allow your customers an enjoyable journey through your checkout.
And to make things a bit more interesting PrestaShop offers a complete solution of features that allow you to market your e-shop on autopilot. From product suggestions to promoting specific products across your e-store and even custom product sliders, you will be one step ahead of your competition.
What are the pros of PrestaShop?
- PrestaShop is completely free to download and use
- You will be surprised by how many things you can customize (technical knowledge is a must)
- You’ll be part of one of the strongest eCommerce communities providing you with amazing ideas and solutions to your problems
- Support resources are available across PrestaShop’s discussion forum
- PrestaShop’s integrates with numerous other applications through Modules
What are the cons of PrestaShop?
- You have to pay for dedicated support from the PrestaShop team
- Installation and configuration will require you to have the technical knowledge or outsource the implementation to a developer
- Not multi-store feature available
- Extending the functionality of your eShop with Modules can become quite pricey
Is PrestaShop for me?
PrestaShop is a great solution for Small to Medium enterprises that are not looking for a sophisticated solution. Friendly reminder; if you have limited technical knowledge PrestaShop might not be the best solution for you unless you outsource it!
Finally similar to other free eCommerce platforms PrestaShop has its own app store where you can download what they call Modules to extend your e-shops functionality. Although PrestaShop is completely free to use, said modules are not.
Some cool modules to considering investing are:
Moosend’s Cart Abandonment and Automated Workflows which allows you to increase your conversions with efficient cart abandonment emails and product recommendations with just a click of a button.
You will be able to easily track user actions across your eCommerce store and segment them based on the revenue they’ve generated.
And to make things even easier for you each time a customer signs up to your store or completes an order his contact details are automatically synced to your Moosend Account! (no developers needed)!
To use this module you will initially need to register for an account with Moosend which is a fully-fledged Email Marketing platform and one of the best Mailchimp alternatives out there.
If you are just starting out you can take advantage of our FREE forever plan up to 1,000 unique subscribers. Click here to register for FREE!
Customer Rating and Reviews Pro which allows you to embed review and rating sections to your products to help you build trust among your new visitors as well as provide you Google Rich Snippets functionality to ensure your products are displaying nice and pretty into Google’s search results pages.
6. Magento Open Source eCommerce Platform
Magento is a well-established open-source eCommerce Platform offering eCommerce solutions to a plethora of e-shop entrepreneurs.
It thrives on flexibility and with a collective of over 300,000 developers and 1,000 trusted partners(Source), makes it one of the most trusted and seasoned platforms out there.
Fun Fact: Not long ago Magento was acquired by Adobe for approximately $1.68bn!
To use Magento you will have to follow one of these two routes:
The “freeway” is called Magento Open Source where you have to download and install it to your server which will definitely require you to have some sort of technical knowledge, therefore you might need to outsource this to a web developer.
And the paid approach called Magento Commerce which is self-hosted, which means that you will not need to worry about installing or configuring. Which can be quite pricey almost $2,000 per month.
In terms of features, you will not be disappointed as it’s one of the most featured packed platforms out there it covers all the needs of an eCommerce store.
If we were to list all the features of Magento we would be here all day.
So here are some of the most notable ones:
- Customer Segmentation and Personalisation
- Up/Cross-Sell with Dynamic Rule-Based Product Relations
- Instant Purchases
- Drag And Drop Page and Product Page Builder
For a complete breakdown of Magento’s features check this pdf.
What are the pros of Magento?
- Offers a free version
- Their well-rounded interface makes it easy to create your store without looking around on the web on how to use it
- Customize the design and functionalities of the platform to meet your needs(technical knowledge is a must)
- The huge range of eCommerce features will satisfy even the most demanding business owner
- Extend the functionality of your eCommerce store with additional plugins accessible through their Marketplace
What are the cons of Magento?
- The paid version is really expensive ranging from $15,000 up to $40,000 per year
- Configuration can be confusing due to the tremendous amount of settings you can customize
- The free version will require you to manually maintain your eCommerce store
- Outsourcing the development of your store is a must unless you are a PHP genius
Is Magento for me?
Magento is definitely a hefty eCommerce solution their diverse set of settings and options make it a great option for entrepreneurs who want to grow their business exponentially. Magento is definitely not a solution that a beginner should start with.
As with most eCommerce platforms Magento gives you the ability to incorporate additional functionalities with Extensions. These come as free or paid and you can find them on Magento’s Marketplace.
From Accounting and Finance to Marketing and Site Optimisation you will surely find what you are looking for. Especially if you are running the Free version of Magento these extensions will help you a lot!
And if you are looking for an email marketing solution for your Magento store, Moosend has a direct integration with it.
Some of the benefits of partnering your Magento store with Moosend are:
- Easy to install with one click(Plugin)
- Easily manage your email campaigns and track engagement
- Auto-sync new customers to your email list
- Reward customers with Loyalty Sequences
- Seamlessly onboard new customers
- Track customers’ journey
- Tackle cart abandonment with premade cart abandonment workflows
- Product recommendation and special offers
To use all of these AWESOME features you will need to have a Moosend Account.
To get you started you can register completely for free and test our amazing email marketing features up to 1,000 subscribers. Click here to register!
7. OpenCart eCommerce Platform
OpenCart is an open-source shopping cart solution and completely free to download and use. That means that you will be able to customize not only the features that they offer but the platform itself to make it fit your specific needs.
Although technical knowledge is a must when it comes to using OpenCart due to its open-source nature, you or an experienced web developer will have to oversee the installation and configuration process.
What’s cool though is that OpenCart offers you free customer support and updates no strings attached!
Their technology has been implemented into well over 300,000 websites and with its open-source philosophy makes it one of the most trustworthy free solutions out there.
Now in terms of features, you will not be disappointed you might have some doubts since it’s a free solution although it comes packed with all the functionalities an eCommerce store needs to succeed in its first steps.
Initially, through the administration dashboard, you will be able to take a glimpse at the overall performance of your eCommerce store.
Through the admin dashboard, you are able to manage user roles and customers directly giving you the ability to organize and manage your eShop with more ease.
An awesome feature that you do not see very often with eCommerce solutions is that OpenCart allows you to manage additional stores through the same interface making it super easy for Developers and Web Development Studios to manage projects.
Now in terms of eCommerce functionalities, you will be able to add Unlimited Products and Unlimited Categories. As well as:
- Setup advanced eCommerce filters
- Multi-currency and Multilingual Support
OpenCart also offers you an easy way of people subscribing to your email newsletters so you can easily start doing email list building and sending out some basic newsletters.
Although sending out a simple and basic newsletter does not cut it anymore, you will need to set up some email automation at some point like:
- Cart Abandonment Emails
- Product Recommendations
To do that you will need to install a separate extension that allows you to track user actions on your e-shop. These extensions can be found at the OpenCart Marketplace.
Moosend directly integrates with OpenCart allowing to setup amazing email automation with literally a click of a button and most importantly completely FREE!
In order to use these features, you will need to have a Moosend account!
Make sure to subscribe to our FREE forever plan and start sending out amazing email campaigns up to 1,000 subscribers! Click here to register.
In regards to Shipping and Payments.
OpenCart integrates with 36 payment methods that come prepacked with it, however, if you are looking for a particular method not available among those you can find additional payment methods in the marketplace.
And if you offer subscription-based services you do not have to look further as OpenCart allows you to set up recurring payments.
For shipping, OpenCart integrates with some of the largest distribution companies worldwide like FedEx, Royal Mail, and UPS.
Finally, design-wise OpenCart comes with a standard theme pre-installed which means when you set it up a clean and robust theme will also be included which will be perfect if you are starting out. And if you are looking for something else you can install other themes to take your OpenCart website design to the next level.
What are the pros of OpenCart?
- Free to download and use on your own server
- Out-of-the-box advanced features like product reviews and rating
- Unlimited products without compromising on performance
- All the stats and information you want directly shown on your dashboard
- You can customize your platform to fit your business needs
- Support available across community forums and websites
- Cloud version available at a low pricing point of $25 per month
What are the cons of OpenCart?
- The self-hosted version can be tricky to configure and customize(Cloud version much easier)
- Extending the functionality of your eCommerce store with extensions can cost a lot
- Marketing features are not flexible and you will definitely be required to get additional extensions
Is OpenCart for me?
OpenCart is definitely a solution that will require a lot of technical knowledge if you opt-in to go for the self-hosted version which is free. It’s a great option for a small eCommerce store that looks to expand into the mid-size zone. Due to the limitations that the platform has when it comes to customization, OpenCart is not the best solution for large eCommerce projects.
8. CS-Cart eCommerce Platform
CS-Cart is one of the lesser-known eCommerce platform solutions with just 35,000 stores using it.
The main reasons for such low adaptation in contrast to other eCommerce platforms might be that it does not have a free version per se nor it’s open source. Making it less desirable to be picked up by aspiring eCommerce developers.
Besides the traditional shopping cart solutions, CS-Cart also has a special weapon in its arsenal and that’s Multi-Vendor Marketplace solutions that mean if you want to start the new eBay or Etsy, CS-Cart might be the right place to start your research.
At this point, we are going to only discuss the Shopping Cart solution it offers since creating a Marketplace type business is not everyone’s cup of tea.
Let’s take a look at some of the most distinctive features it offers.
In terms of designing and customizing your store you are expected to find:
- Built-in Drag and Drop Editor
- Huge range of premade themes (more than 200)
- Built-in Theme editor (make changes in real-time)
Additionally managing your store with CS-Cart is pretty straightforward without a lot of flashy aspects.
It offers a powerful Admin Panel with a ton of features and settings to mingle with. And similarly to OpenCart, you can take a glimpse into the overall performance of your eCommerce store directly through there.
And if you are one those people that are always on the GO. They even have a mobile app where you can seamlessly manage your eCommerce store, although to access it you will need to be subscribed to their CS-Cart Ultimate plan. (Don’t worry we are going to talk about pricing in just a sec!)
In contrast to other eCommerce platforms, one of the coolest features of CS-Cart is that it has an integrated CMS. If you do not know what that is, it’s a Content Management System think of it as WordPress which is handy to have.
It will allow you in addition to your product pages to create extra pages either for promotional endeavors or simple information pages such as Privacy Policies, Contact Us, etc.
Furthermore, In terms of product options CS-Cart offers:
- Fully customizable product options with design elements
- Combine various product options such as display other images based on the selected option
- Price and Weight modifiers
An interesting feature that they have incorporated is Sequential Options. With Sequential options the customer has to select the first option and only if that’s selected then he can continue to the second option.
Other additional product management features include:
- Selling Digital Products
- Importing/Exporting Products (CSVs)
Let’s take a quick look at what CS-Cart has to offer in terms of shipping methods and payment.
CS-cart offers more than 50 payment options and gateways for you to choose from directly from the start.
While on the shipping part CS-Cart integrates with FedEx and USPS providing real-time shipping rates at the checkout. Real-time shipping costs mean that the delivery cost is not fixed and is calculated right on the spot based on the location of the address and the rate of the shipping carrier.
CS-Cart also has its own Marketplace where you can find add-ons to extend the functionality of your eCommerce store.
Such as the ability to integrate it with an email marketing platform like Moosend.
Moosend has a direct integration with CS-Cart and the add-on is completely free to use.
With our add-on, you would be able to track customer actions across your eCommerce store and set up awesome email automation like cart abandonment emails and product recommendations.
To start using this you will need to have an account with Moosend, which is super easy to create own! We even have a free forever plan where you can test us as long as you want and up to 1,000 subscribers. Click here to register for FREE!
But how much will all this cost?
The simple version of CS-Cart costs $385 while the Ultimate $865. Both plans provide you with unlimited use of the platform although technical support and updates to the platforms are limited to one year.
After that, you will need to renew your license to continue receiving updates and support.
For a complete comparison of both of the plans, you can visit this page here.
What are the pros of CS-Cart?
- Powerful administration features to help you succeed all the way through from the start
- Multi-vendor solution if you are looking for a marketplace type of eCommerce solution
- Hassle-free installation and configuration process ( no technical knowledge required)
- Huge range of Marketing tools with functionalities that most eCommerce platforms are jealous of (complete SEO features)
- Extending the functionality of your eShop with add-ons
What are the cons of CS-Cart?
- Support is based on a credit system after your credits run out you will need to top-up to receive their services
- Slow performance on some occasions based on overloading addons
Is CS-Cart for me?
CS-Cart is one of the few eCommerce platforms that both beginners and advanced users of eCommerce can get their hands on. They are featured packed although not complex to intimidate the novice users. It’s a great solution that will provide you with the scalability your eShop is going to need in the future.
9. BigCommerce eCommerce Platform
BigCommerce is one of the newest eCommerce platforms out there and has recently seen a lot of popularity, with over 40,000 websites adopting it and more than 500 new domains using it every month, BigCommerce is bound to become a fierce competitor for other best eCommerce platforms.
Let’s dive right into the features.
BigCommerce offers a great and powerful website builder that will allow you to customize even the tiniest detail of your eShop to make it fit your vision.
You will be able to initially choose one of the e-commerce themes that they offer which unfortunately comes at an extra price although they’ve included a couple of freebies like the Akamai Image Manager which allows you to optimize images and achieve higher performances.
Selecting your theme only opens the door to some amazing features like:
- Ability to customize every aspect of your theme
- Test all your changes before publishing(a major plus for developers)
- Enjoy a 99.99% average uptime with their hosting services
- Easily migrate your existing store and products to BigCommerce
In contrast with other eCommerce platforms, BigCommerce offers a ONE-ON-ONE launch service where you would be able to talk with BigCommerce’s team and figure out what is the best course of action for your eShop.
In regards to the overall management of your eCommerce store, BigCommerce has some quality features:
- It offers a fully-fledged eCommerce CMS solution which allows you to seamlessly add and edit products or even create a blog to accompany your store
- Product options which allow you to add product SKU, prices and images
- Integrate with the leading payment providers to never miss on any sales
- Manage your inventory from one place and update product quantities on the product level to always provide the right quantities to your customers
One feature that really stands out is the ability to sync your inventory with other Omni-channels like the Facebook marketplace, Amazon, and eBay. BigCommerce is the only eCommerce platform that offers this!
Here is what you should know about setting it up:
BigCommerce focuses on helping you run your eShop as efficient as possible and with conversions in mind, features like:
- Out-of-the-box SEO
- Mobile friendly one-page checkout integrated with mobile payment solutions
- Integrations with email marketing platforms, Google Shopping and other applications to help you automate taxes and shipping directly through the admin panel
- Developers also can use their eCommerce API to build custom applications or integrate with 3rd party tools
Makes BigCommerce one of the best eCommerce platforms! Let’s take a quick look at the Pricing plans they offer as well as the Pros and Cons!
In terms of pricing, BigCommerce offers some flexible plans starting at only $29.95 and going up to $249.95 for the Pro plan, it’s quite affordable for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to get their skin in the game.
For larger enterprises, BigCommerce offers the Enterprise plan where you would need to contact them to get a pricing quote, although they are claiming cheaper pricing than Magento and Shopify Plus. For a complete pricing breakdown and what features are included in each plan take a look at their pricing page.
What are the pros of BigCommerce?
- Their huge range of tools and features will satisfy even the most demanding eCommerce professional
- Omni-channel integration will help you reach customers where no other eCommerce solution can
- Easy to customize and extend its functionality with their APIs (technical knowledge required!)
- 24/7 Support through telephone, email and live chat
- Dedicated account manager only available for Enterprise plans
- Easy POS-Integration with leading POS systems
- No transaction fees on each sale
What are the cons of BigCommerce?
- Limited amount of free templates to choose from
- Premium templates are quite expensive
- Each plan comes with a yearly sales limit
Is BigCommerce for me?
BigCommerce is a targeted solution for large enterprises that want to achieve fast-track growth without compromising on performance.
Additionally, BigCommerce is a great competitor to WooCommerce
10. ZenCart eCommerce Platform
ZenCart is one of the oldest eCommerce solutions out there, it’s completely free to use and it’s approximately adopted by around 15,000 domains, which is substantially lower than any of the other eCommerce solutions in this list.
As in most eCommerce solutions, ZenCart offers all the basic functionalities you are going to need. Although certain aspects of the product have not received an upgrade mostly on the front end of the product.
One of the most popular features of ZenCart and the feature that put it on the map is the ability to customize pretty much everything due to its open-source nature, making it highly desirable among developers.
It also offers all the required features an eCommerce store needs; product options and multiple product images and coupons.
While it does not offer dedicated support, ZenCart utilizes a forum-like support system where the community it prompted to help each other out.
What are the pros of ZenCart?
- Complete freedom of customization inside and outside the platform
- Secure and scalable
- Overall good configuration options for products
What are the cons of ZenCart?
- The user interface is not intuitive enough and does not have a modern look
- The installation process requires outsourcing to developers due to the complexity of the system architecture
- No dedicated support
Is ZenCart for me?
ZenCart can be a great first e-commerce solution for medium companies and even large ones. Although the utilization of an eCommerce project with ZenCart will require careful planning due to limited support.
ZenCart also has a decent size marketplace where you can download plugins that will allow you to further extend the functionality of your eCommerce store.
Their hundreds of additional functionalities you can incorporate into your eShop to make it as user-friendly as possible.
Some examples of plugins are AutoTweet and AutoFacebook which allow you to automatically share new products across your social media.
There are also other more advanced Marketing solutions that will help you increase your conversions.
One solution is Moosend’s direct integration with ZenCart which allows you to:
- Identify customer actions
- Track website events
- Sync customers directly to Moosend
- Set cart abandonment emails
- Set product recommendations emails
To take advantage of those features you will need to have a Moosend Account first. You can register completely free no credit card required and use our services up to 1,000 unique subscribers. Click here to register for FREE!
11. ShopBase eCommerce Platform
ShopBase is one of the latest eCommerce platforms in the world. And it’s also the first white-label, dropshipping, and print on demand (POD) platform out there.
They offer a powerful website builder and a set of conversion optimization tools to help you create a profitable online business.
If you plan to start a dropshipping business, ShopBase will be your go-to choice.
Let’s take a closer look at what ShopBase offers and at which pricing point.
What makes ShopBase so appealing to so many dropshipping merchants is that it provides you with the quickest tool to design your online store, in under 2 minutes.
With its automated store builder, you don’t need to create your storefront from scratch, ShopBase does the job for you, right after you sign up an account.
It will ask which kind of online store you want to build and build that store for you, automatically.
Here’s one of ShopBase demo stores that it’ll create for you:
The product page of the Watches & Accessories demo store
In addition to the automated store builder, you can benefit from all the necessary tools that built in the dashboard for free, such as one-page checkout, native AliExpress connector, upsells & cross-sells, etc.
Native AliExpress Connector from ShopBase
What are the pros of ShopBase?
- Powerful online store builder. Well-designed store templates that are free.
- Fast site loading speed. It claims to be 3x faster than any other platform on the market.
- 250 product variants (2.5x compared to Shopify).
- Already have a store on Shopify/ WooCommerce? It’s super easy to import your products & transfer your store from another platform to ShopBase. Use Migrate to ShopBase tool, it’s free.
- Provide premium product sourcing and fulfillment services for dropshipping merchants.
- Conversion optimization: Everything is built for conversion rate. ShopBase automatically optimizes everything on your product page and checkout page for you.
- Compare to other platforms, ShopBase has extremely affordable pricing, starting from just $19/month.
A screenshot of Analytics from a ShopBase online store
What are the cons of ShopBase?
- The number of third-party apps is somewhat limited to the ShopBase Appstore.
- The platform is uniquely built for dropshipping, print-on-demand and white-label businesses only.
Is ShopBase for me?
ShopBase is the all-in-one, modular solution for dropshipping merchants worldwide. It’s a great choice if you’re already having experience with dropshipping before.
Because once you’re familiar with it, you just need to sign up for a ShopBase account and transfer your existing store to ShopBase, and it’s done.
Bonus: Compare the two similar eCommerce platforms ShopBase vs Shopify: What are the Differences?
That concludes our list of the best eCommerce platforms you can use to get hands-on with building your eCommerce store.
It is evident that the platform you are going to choose will determine the success of your eShop, therefore it is utterly important to have a concrete selection process in place.
There are literally more than 400 eCommerce platforms out there but these ones here are some of the top ones that have evidently proved that they get the job done.
And if you are still skeptical about these solutions G2Crowd has your back with an amazing overview of over 280 e-commerce solutions!
Feel free to share in the comments below other eCommerce platforms you have heard or used!