Want to earn money online and start your own online business to start raking in the moolah? No fear, here are some of the best eCommerce platforms that you can use as a building block to start your journey. Hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs around the world have reviewed and used them.
E-commerce platforms let you build your very own online store. There is no need any for coding skills, a bottomless budget, or a degree in web design. They come packed with eCommerce-specific designs and features to make setting up your business as simple – and successful – as possible.
Features of a good eCommerce platform
According to Zapier, they have identified criteria that are important for a good eCommerce platform for small businesses. These include:
- Anyone had to be easily able to build a good-looking, modern store that worked on any and all devices with the tools and themes offered. There also had to be enough customization options that they could make things fit their existing brand reasonably well. Platforms that required you to have some knowledge of code to make use of them or only offered a limited selection of themes with no way to make changes didn’t make the cut.
- The platform had to enable you to sell what you wanted, where you wanted, how you wanted. This meant they had to be able to deal with both digital and physical goods, integrate with multiple different payment processors, and offer a way to handle the various national and international sales taxes. That last point is particularly important for small businesses as, if you have physical premises or plan to sell internationally, you may be liable for collecting and filing taxes.
- The platform had to enable you to manage orders, ship goods, track inventory. Otherwise, they should also handle the back-end of running a store without you needing to resort to spreadsheets or other apps. We were only considering complete eCommerce solutions, rather than ways to just charge customers.
- The platform had to offer ways to integrate with other services, including marketplaces, apps, and the like, either through a healthy plug-in and extension marketplace or built-in features. Businesses seldom run everything using a single software suite. Therefore, apps had to let you do things. For example, automatically add new customers to your mailing list or sell through social media.
- All these features had to be offered at a reasonable price. Fully customized, done-for-you solutions are wonderful. However, they cost thousands of dollars per month—far outside the budget of a small business just getting started in eCommerce.
Best eCommerce platforms, reviewed and approved
With thorough research and scouring through a sea of eCommerce websites, Tinuiti has chosen multiple of the best and most popular eCommerce platforms and make a side-by-side comparison of each, so that you can decide based on your own needs.
Started in 2004 by a group of snowboarding enthusiasts, Shopify is now the leading eCommerce solution in the market with over 1 million businesses across 175 countries. Shopify’s retailers cover a gamut of sizes and industries.
Shopify is one of the best eCommerce platforms for beginners and small=to-medium size businesses that need their hands held when setting up their store. Everything you need is already integrated into the platform: from storefront design to content marketing to performance analytics. Once you have the basics set up, it’s a simple matter to upgrade your store. Either with third-party extensions–or even change the shop’s code itself.
Shopify Plus is an upgraded version of the base Shopify platform that is targeted towards enterprise-level businesses. In addition to the eCommerce platform itself, Shopify Plus offers additional services and benefits more suited to large, multinational companies.
Shopify Plus is one of the best eCommerce platforms for enterprise companies, thanks to its ability to simplify complex technology while still allowing it to handle product lineups of up to 100 variants across multiple channels. Shopify Plus offers greater levels of technical and onboarding support, as well as automation tools to help brands function at scale.
BigCommerce was founded in 2009 by two Australians, Eddie Machaalani and Mitchell Harper. Its headquarters is in Austin, Texas with 750+ employees distributed across offices all over the world. As a leading open SaaS solution, BigCommerce provides merchants with sophisticated enterprise-grade functionality, customization, and performance with simplicity and ease-of-use. Tens of thousands of B2B and B2C companies across 150 countries and numerous industries use BigCommerce to create beautiful, engaging online stores.
BigCommerce is best for SMBs & MM who require a lot from their eCommerce platform with large or complex catalogues. BigCommerce includes a lot of features out of the box. Like other platforms, they allow for the platform third-party application extensions. BigCommerce also supports both B2C and B2B businesses on the same platform. Besides, it does have a different pricing structure than other platforms, so you will notice sales caps per tier on their retail plans while Enterprise plans are custom based on the order volume and GMV.
Wix.com is a cloud-based website builder that allows users to create online stores through drag-and-drop tools. It has an extensive range of templates and designs that make it easy for beginners and resource-strapped business owners to build a compelling and functional website.
Wix.com is the best eCommerce platform for small businesses that don’t have access to a dedicated web designer. The site builder itself is easy to use and the eCommerce functionality is robust enough to fulfil basic needs. Plugins can help extend the functionality, but businesses with deep or complex product lines may be better off with a dedicated eCommerce platform.
Squarespace is a New York-based Software-as-a-Service company that provides website and eCommerce store building and hosting to customers. Customers use drag-and-drop functionality and pre-built website templates to create their web pages.
Squarespace is most appropriate for entrepreneurs and small business owners with basic eCommerce needs. The eCommerce platform is effective, but only as a companion to the main website builder. Businesses with more advanced online retail requirements or who handle a large amount of inventory would be better off with more dedicated platforms.
WooCommerce is a free, open-source WordPress shopping cart plugin owned and developed by WordPress. It is also one of the most popular eCommerce options on the market and runs on 30% of all stores on the internet.
WooCommerce is the best eCommerce platform for small businesses that already have a site on WordPress, or who operate on a tight budget but still want a robust online store. It has thousands of third-party themes and plugins, giving it a great deal of flexibility to accommodate most needs.
In this guide, we’ve introduced you to some of the best eCommerce platforms. You won’t waste any time on inferior platforms – instead, you’re now ready to pick a first-class platform to build your online store and start selling online.
At the end of the day, there’s no single overall “best” eCommerce platform. In fact, every business has its own combination of needs, budget, and manpower that dictates which online retail application works best for them.
Examine your needs closely and don’t be afraid to run some trials to work out which solution you prefer best. Also, do your due diligence and don’t cut corners, and you may have an application that may lift your business to new heights.
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