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E-commerce platform reviews: The best e-commerce platform for 2021

E-commerce platform reviews: The best e-commerce platform for 2021

In search of the best e-commerce platform for your business? It’s such a headache I might say. It’s because to survive in today’s competitive market, you’ll need a platform that allows you to deliver on the high expectations of modern customers.

An e-Commerce platform is not just the foundation of your business. It is also the business partner that provides you with the tools to sell and market the right products, deliver outstanding shopping experiences to your customers, and fulfill your orders efficiently.

Today there are a ton of e-commerce platforms to choose from. If you’re new to e-commerce, it can be very confusing to select a platform. That’s exactly what this article is for. Below are the 6 best e-commerce platforms to sell online and an evaluation of their features.

1.     Shopify

shopify ecommerce

Overall score: 4.4

Shopify highlights:

  • Fully-hosted, so you do not have to worry about server maintenance and costs
  • Beginner-friendly and easy, quick to set up
  • A wide range of themes to select
  • A ton of add-ons and apps that can provide support
  • Active community
  • Support of multi-channel retailing (e.g., online, offline, social)

Shopify downsides:

  •  Additional transaction fees for not using Shopify Payment
  • High subscription fee ($29-$299/month)
  • No option to customize checkout
  • Add-ons and apps come with high prices

Shopify is certainly a good starting point for those who are looking to build their very first e-commerce business. Store set-up on Shopify doesn’t take too much time and effort to be done, so it is probably the best fit for beginners.

However, beginners on a tight budget should take Shopify’s overall pricing into consideration. The subscription fee might not be a problem if they pay for the basic plan ($29/month) but they do need to pay for expensive apps and integrations to sell well.

2. ShopBase

shopbase ecommerce

Overall score: 4.1

ShopBase highlights:

  • Beginner-friendly
  • SEO-friendly
  • Excellent upselling and abandoned cart recovery tools
  • Free, customizable themes and templates
  • Free apps
  • Easy to use and beginner-friendly interface
  • Affordable pricing

ShopBase downsides:

  • Inconsistent loading speed
  • Transaction fee required for any paid plan
  • No seamless integration with marketplaces/ social platforms
  • Limited themes and apps

ShopBase stands apart from other e-commerce platforms. This is mostly due to its focus on dropshipping, white-label, and print-on-demand. Those are 3 e-commerce solutions that allow entrepreneurs to sell products globally without stocking and shipping.

Therefore, if you are about to start your business using one of the 3 solutions above, ShopBase is certainly the best option for you. The platform is probably the best fit for those who are looking to start dropshipping yet on a tight budget. ShopBase’s paid plan starts at $19/month only and requires no additional fee for using upselling and add-to-cart recovery add-ons.

However, ShopBase appears to be unready for big e-commerce sellers. Their apps are still limited in quantity.

3.     Wix

wix e-commerce platform

Overall score: 4.1

Wix highlights:

  • A ton of free, amazing themes and templates
  • Easy, quick setting-up
  • Free plan available for beginners
  • Accept multiple payment methods with no commission
  • Marketing automation tools provided
  • Allow users to customize everything to their preferences

Wix downsides:

  • Not SEO-friendly
  • Poor upselling capabilities
  • Weak integration with Amazon
  • Doesn’t primarily focus on e-commerce

Similar to Shopify, Wix delivers a wide range of features and functions which can be easily used by nearly anyone. However, Wix’s focus is more about standard website building rather than e-commerce website creation.

In short, Wix is possibly the best fit for those who want to do everything on their own and be able to craft the store according to their own preferences.

4.     BigCommerce

bigcommerce ecommerce

Overall score: 4.3

BigCommerce highlights:

  • Excellent tools for managing products, orders, and business performance.
  • Automatic marketing tools and AdWords integration
  • A wide range of apps
  • Able to integrate with Facebook, Mailchimp, QuickBooks, eBay and etc.
  • SEO-friendly

Big Commerce downsides:

  • Unstable load speed
  • Premium themes come with high prices
  • No custom homepage
  • 1.5% transaction fee for the cheapest plan
  • Store set-up and design takes lots of time and efforts

If you’re just getting into e-commerce and looking to build your very first store, Big Commerce is probably not for you. However, Big Commerce is the best solution for the ones who are growing fast and looking to scale their business to the next level of growth.

5.     WooCommerce

woocommerce e-commerce platform

Overall score: 4.0

WooCommerce highlights:

  • SEO-friendly, suitable for those who prefer WordPress
  • A wide range of integrations
  • Highly customizable
  • Highly-engaged community

WooCommerce downsides:

  • Self-hosted, so you have to handle maintenance and updates
  • Requires expertise and proficiency in WordPress

WooCommerce is an open-source e-commerce platform that is built for WordPress. Using the platform might be quite intimidating for those who are just getting into e-commerce and have no knowledge and experience with WordPress. The good news is that WooCommerce has a lot of features. Almost everything you need to design your site, but the bad is that it can take a significant amount of time to learn how to use them.

6.     Magento

magneto ecommerce

Overall score: 3.5

Magento highlights:

  • SEO-friendly
  • Self-hosted on any PHP web hosting
  • Scalable
  • Free to get started

Magento downsides:

  • Not beginner-friendly
  • Require technical knowledge and skills
  • Expensive for enterprise version

Magento is a one-stop solution for e-commerce. It offers a ton of features with almost nothing missing from the eCommerce platform. That being said, it can be difficult for those who have zero technical knowledge and experience.

If you are about to make your very first move into e-commerce, you should probably skip Magento. It can be said that the platform is born to serve pre-existing businesses, which are looking to scale to the next level of growth.