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RedAlkemi Blog

The Best Platforms to Build Your E-Commerce Website in 2021

With more and more people shopping online each year, there’s never been a better time to start your online store. To make it an easy process, you must choose the best suitable platform for your eCommerce site. It depends on many factors like the products you want to sell, your experience level and your customization requirements. List down all of your requirements to narrow down your choices accordingly

It can be overwhelming to select the right platform for your business when there are countless options to choose from. Here is a list of 8 best eCommerce platforms and their top features which will help you choose the best one for your business.

1. WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin built to add eCommerce functionality to existing WordPress websites. It powers approximately 30% of stores online today. With 129+ million downloads and the highest market share to date, it’s one of the most popular eCommerce platforms. WooCommerce plugin provides you with almost all the features that are available in the other open-source platforms. It will be user-friendly, cost-effective if you have a small business and if you’re familiar with WordPress.

Top Features:

  1. Plugin extensions to increase functionality.
  2. Rest APIs for developers to create custom platforms.
  3. 140 region-specific payment gateways.
  4. Automated tax calculations.
  5. Physical and digital product capability.
  6. Endless product variations.
  7. Public support forum.

The best thing about WooCommerce is that it’s free to download, install, and use, forever. 

With the power of WordPress behind it, your customization options are unlimited. It will be easier to understand and access the platform if you are already using WordPress and 100% familiar with it.

2. Shopify

More than 800,000 powered stores and over 1 million active users, make Shopify one of the best eCommerce platforms for large stores. With over 1 billion orders processed so far and total sales for merchants of more than $55 billion, Shopify tops in sales features with lots of high-quality tools to support your store.

Top Ecommerce Features:

  1. Point of Sale for brick and mortar shops
  2. Online invoice generator makes billing and collecting money easier.
  3. 24/7 customer support via email, live chat and phone.
  4. Sync with 10 other sales platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and Amazon
  5. Over 100 payment gateways to choose from (including Shopify Payments and Google Pay)
  6. Sell unlimited products
  7. In-depth analytics

Powerful eCommerce features combined with a straightforward process make Shopify the best overall for ease of use. Whether you’re just starting or you already have a large business, Shopify offers affordable plans for all. With a 14 day free trial (no credit card details required) and over 100+ themes to choose from, there’s nothing to lose!

3. Big Commerce

Boasting a few renowned names - including Clarks and Ben & Jerry’s as clients, BigCommerce is a well-known eCommerce platform with over 60,000 active websites. The online stores that use BigCommerce have been growing at almost double the industry average. It’s well known for its range of high-quality in-house features. It has a wide library of themes ready to make your online store succeed.

Top Ecommerce Features:

  1. Google AMP and Akamai
  2. Advanced product filters
  3. Coupons and discount codes
  4. Advanced inventory management
  5. Customer groups for personalized shopping
  6. 65+ payment gateways with no extra transaction fees
  7. Built-in shipping management

The only drawback of BigCommerce is that it uses a lot of complex terminology in its descriptions, which is tough to understand if you don’t have good knowledge of such special terms.

4. WIX

With over 165 million users and 4.499 paid customers, Wix is one of the most easy-to-use eCommerce platforms. It provides you with simple alternatives to build a complete website with serverless computing and hassle-free coding. It’s the best fit for you if you are to set up a brand new online store.

Top Features:

  1. Easy to use Wix drag and drop editor.
  2. Multi-channel integration – sell on Instagram without installing any apps..
  3. Develop your brand image with personalized shipping labels.
  4. Customers can pay on the go using their stored card details in the wallet.
  5. Save the hassle of packaging and shipping yourself through Dropshipping.

Overall, Wix does a great job of combining the ease and design of a website builder with good eCommerce features. With Wix, you can capture leads, build customer relationships, and accept payments right from your website. However, due to its simplicity and lack of important sales tools, the platform is not viable for fast-growing or large-scale online businesses.

5. Square Space

If you want to make your online store as visually effective as possible, Squarespace is the right choice for you. It has a comprehensive selection of online store templates to match your specific needs. Squarespace is a strong choice for combining a stylish storefront with classic eCommerce features. It allows you to sell unlimited products on any of its eCommerce price plans and gives you the option to upload the items in bulk or one at a time.

Top Features:

  1. Subscriptions, digital products, and in-person compatibility.
  2. Exceptional promotional tools.
  3. Mobile store management.
  4. Rich product listings.
  5. Quick view capability.
  6. Inventory management.

On the contrary, It is one of the hardest-to-use eCommerce website builders. If you want speedy growth on a large scale, Squarespace might not be the right choice for you. Its shipping and payment options are limited as compared to Shopify and BigCommerce. 

6. Magento

Magento is another one of the most popular eCommerce platforms among companies who want to start small and upgrade down the road without switching platforms. There are two sides to Magento, there's the open-source solution similar to the idea of WooCommerce and there’s hosted solution. The open-source solution is free, but you need to buy your hosting and domain. With the launch of its latest incarnation Magento 2, the platform has reached a higher level, helping to create effective solutions for B2B eCommerce firms.

Top Features:

  1. Offers versatile content management.
  2. Free to download thanks to the open-source design.
  3. Advanced SEO optimization.
  4. Allows a site with up to 500,000 products, and handling 80,000 orders per hour.
  5. Highly scalable – great for growing companies.
  6. Supports customizable multilevel security permissions.

If your company isn’t all tech-savvy, it can be quite risky to choose Magento as long as you can run and grow your business along with it.

7. Volusion

Volusion was once a leader in the industry but things have changed with the emergence of so many all-in-one eCommerce solutions. After a fairly major revamp a couple of years ago it is much more promising now. Best known for its sales features, customers can safely store their details for a faster and easier shopping experience through your store. 

Top Features:

  1. Pricing starts at $15 per month for up to 100 and annual price goes down to $13.50 / month.
  2. Provides an FTP client for advanced developers to have a chance at customization.
  3. Multiple payment gateways (including PayPal, Stripe, Amazon and Apple Pay)
  4. Sell directly via social media.
  5. Get ratings and reviews built right in.
  6. Analytics and insight reports - keep a track of all your stock in one place.

Talking of ease of use, Volusion doesn’t offer extra little features for running your store as smoothly as possible. For example, it doesn’t allow you to sell digital products or add blogs to your store. Volusion costs you $99 to install an SSL certificate on your site, an essential feature that allows customers to safely submit their details to your store. Considering other eCommerce platforms include this for free, it’s a big drawback of Volusion.

8. Open Cart 

Open Cart is an open-source solution, best for selling digital products online. OpenCart supports multiple stores from a single interface while customizing and localizing each store. It is especially useful for merchants with multiple independent brands and retailers that sell cross-border. It offers a $99 per month service available for businesses that want dedicated customer support. 

Top Ecommerce Features:

  1. Simple and centralized admin dashboard.
  2. Advanced user roles and access controls.
  3. Manage multiple stores from a single dashboard.
  4. Over 10,000 commercial or free themes and modules.
  5. Built-in affiliate management and rewards system.
  6. Huge active user community  
  7. Product reviews and ratings
  8. 36 built-in payment methods

Open Cart allows developers to build extensions and themes that might not be secure. So, you are at risk of downloading a bad theme for your site. Another drawback is that being lightweight makes it fast but also limits its functionality.

Conclusion

Different eCommerce platforms offer different features. When planning to build your eCommerce website, always think about these factors:

  1. The products you want to sell. 
  2. Easy to set up and use
  3. The platform you choose must ensure your website is constantly updated.
  4. Good web hosting.
  5. Seamless payment process and shopping cart.
  6. Good customer service and user experience.
  7. Ensure security for your site and customers’ data.

We hope this article helps you to choose the best eCommerce platform for your business. If you have any more suggestions of options to add to our list, you can put them in the comment section below.

Get an optimized e-commerce website for your business. Get in touch with us to learn more.

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