Best ecommerce platforms in 2021: website software for an online store

One of the best ecommerce platforms can allow your small business to arrange an internet retailer that fits your wants.

One of the best ecommerce platforms

There’s a big number of ecommerce platform packages from which to decide on, so constructing an internet retailer has by no means been simpler.

To start, first you will want ecommerce web hosting, which is to say hosting that will scale up with your business without interruption.  Next you’ll need shopping cart software to run with your ecommerce site. This will probably include a payment gateway for credit card processing, though if you’re already established and have a decent enough credit rating you could apply for merchant services to reduce transaction costs. 

Your ecommerce website doesn’t have to be expensive to design, either, as there are plenty of ecommerce themes available. Additionally, if you also have a bricks-and-mortar store than a Point of Sale (POS) system for mobile credit card processing can be particularly desirable.

Which ecommerce software is best for your business depends entirely on your specific requirements. If you’re an online-only outfit, then POS integration won’t be necessary, but you may get a lot of business from overseas, in which case foreign currency support would be a requirement.

In this article, we’re going to highlight some of the best ecommerce platforms available right now, before moving on to consider other options you might want to explore in terms of creating your own ecommerce solution.

Wix is our top-rated ecommerce platform
If you need an easier different to a number of the full-on internet retailer constructing options right here, take a look at Wix. It’s extremely user-friendly, but there’s nonetheless loads of ecommerce energy accessible to create a suitably spectacular on-line retailer.

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One of the best ecommerce platforms:


Wix ecommerce

(Image credit: Wix)

1. Wix

One of the best ecommerce platform

Causes to purchase

+Simple to make use of+Many templates+Easy pricing

Wix could also be higher recognized for offering an all-purpose web site builder, however it’s not simply templates and logos that Wix can present, but in addition a fully-functional ecommerce platform.

Whereas different platforms are recognized for his or her complexity in having the ability to ship an ecommerce platform for all wants, Wix affords a a lot less complicated answer for small companies who do not want all of the bells and whistles of an internet megastore.

Moreover, due to the suite of web site constructing instruments accessible via Wix, establishing an ecommerce platform is de facto easy and straightforward to do, and simply as straightforward to handle, with no coding expertise required. The result’s a platform that anybody ought to have the ability to use with out an excessive amount of problem.

There are over 500 templates accessible that will help you get the appear and feel you want in your ecommerce website, and together with stock administration, you may also use Wix funds to select from a worldwide community of fee suppliers, together with all main bank card firms, in addition to different providers similar to PayPal and Stripe.

Total, in order for you an easier different to a number of the full-on internet retailer constructing options right here, Wix delivers properly. It’s extremely user-friendly, but there’s nonetheless loads of ecommerce energy accessible to create a suitably spectacular on-line retailer.


(Picture credit score: Bluehost)

2. Bluehost + WooCommerce

The WordPress ecommerce answer

Causes to purchase

+Very straightforward to make use of+Already put in+A number of options+Easy to begin

Relatively than being a standalone ecommerce platform, WooCommerce is a free plugin that may flip your WordPress web site into a completely practical ecommerce web site. The fundamental WooCommerce plugin is straightforward to put in via WordPress, and even higher is that the plugin is free to obtain and use.

Nevertheless, to get essentially the most from WooCommerce  you will want to put in plenty of third-party plugins. That is so as to add options similar to fee processing, stock administration, and inventory management. 

Bluehost simplifies the method by offering a read-made Woocommerce platform with every little thing you want already put in, and that features a purchasing theme and important plugins. Though two totally different plans are supplied, even the Customary plan affords virtually each characteristic you can probably want. 

Options embody not simply the net retailer with the store-front theme put in but in addition a weblog, together with Jetpack free, fee processing, electronic mail advertising and marketing, and low cost codes. The Premium plan provides on-line bookings and appointments, subscriptions, product customization, in addition to native & nation tax administration.

After all, there’s website hosting undlying every little thing as properly, that means that you’ve got a completely practical ecommerce platform already on-line as quickly as you signal as much as Bluehost – all that is left for you is so as to add your merchandise and arrange advertising and marketing and also you’re good to go.

All in all Woocommerce is likely one of the greatest ecommerce platforms for these trying to ease themselves into beginning an internet retail enterprise, whether or not for bodily merchandise and even digital ones, and the website hosting platform deal offered by Bluehost makes it extremely easy to get began.


(Picture credit score: Shopify)

three. Shopify

Large of the ecommerce world

Causes to purchase

+Simple to make use of+A great deal of options+Highly effective analytics

Shopify is maybe essentially the most well-known ecommerce platform accessible. It was arrange in 2006 by founders Tobias Lütke, Daniel Weinand and Scott Lake who, because the story goes, felt that there wasn’t a simple-to-use ecommerce platform accessible and so constructed their very own. The corporate claims that: “You need not have any technical or design expertise to simply create an attractive on-line retailer.” 

In accordance with Shopify, it is doable to get one in all its on-line shops up-and-running inside minutes. Customers can select from a variety of templates, or they will design the appear and feel of their retailer themselves. It accepts a complete vary of bank cards, has Degree 1 PCI compliance and 256-bit SSL encryption for safety, and it affords 24/7 help by way of cellphone, immediate messaging or electronic mail.

The platform offers a full CMS with which customers can handle the performance and structure of their on-line retailer. Customers can handle their retailer on-the-go utilizing Shopify’s cellular apps, and the platform itself is absolutely responsive, that means the shop might be optimized for guests no matter whether or not they entry it from a desktop pc or a cellular machine. A stay chat operate is obtainable which lets you have an actual time dialog together with your clients. There is a built-in help for 3D fashions and video too. There’s additionally an choice to create customizable storefronts on Fb and Instagram. One of many newer options is the shop pace report.

Shopify additionally affords customers limitless internet hosting for his or her shops, in-depth analytics of how guests are utilizing the shop, and performance for advertising and marketing similar to search engine optimisation optimization, a reduction and coupon engine, reward playing cards and electronic mail advertising and marketing instruments. You possibly can check out Shopify with a 14-day free trial.


(Picture credit score: Bigcommerce)

four. Bigcommerce

Ecommerce experience with a fully-fledged CMS

Causes to purchase

+Versatile product administration+Nice help+Entry to internet design experience

Bigcommerce was established in 2009 and guarantees to “help your small business, not simply your retailer.” BigCommerce is now listed on the Nasdaq as a public firm. Along with providing help by way of cellphone, immediate chat and electronic mail, it additionally affords articles and movies to assist with ecommerce, and entry to a crew of ecommerce specialists who can present recommendation and steering about on-line promoting. Their specialists are certified in each Google Analytics and Adwords.

Like Shopify, Bigcommerce offers a wide range of templates and themes to assist shops look their greatest and get up-and-running shortly. Alternatively, customers can design their very own retailer or use Bigcommerce designers to take action. The platform incorporates a full-featured CMS that enables customers to run a complete web site, reasonably than only a retailer.

Customers can profit from detailed and versatile product administration, optimized search engine rankings, together with a wide range of built-in advertising and marketing instruments and analytics. Funds will be accepted by way of 40+ pre-integrated gateways and transport particulars will be custom-made as per the enterprise’s necessities. As of late, some new options have been added like help for Amazon Import and Hyperlink and Buying in Instagram Tales. The platform affords automated order processing, versatile tax guidelines relying on the place orders are made and shipped, and help for a number of currencies. You possibly can check out Bigcommerce with a 15-day free trial.


(Picture credit score: CoreCommerce)

5. CoreCommerce

Service which focuses on SMBs

Causes to purchase

+All options supplied throughout each plan+Safe internet hosting with 99.9% uptime assure+Prides itself on transparency

CoreCommerce was arrange in 2001 and focuses on offering ecommerce providers to small and medium-sized companies. The corporate locations an emphasis on simplicity and transparency, promising that its platform is easy-to-use and that clients won’t fall foul of any hidden expenses.

Maybe CoreCommerce’s most unusual side is that each one of its options are supplied to all clients no matter what plan they’re on. Value plans are decided by the variety of merchandise, the variety of electronic mail addresses, the quantity of bandwidth and the quantity of storage required by the consumer (and higher-end plans additionally profit from further help).

As with different ecommerce suppliers, CoreCommerce affords performance for retailer design, product administration, order processing and advertising and marketing. Of its headline options, the platform affords limitless product customization choices, a built-in running a blog engine, and safe internet hosting that’s offered by Rackspace and comes with a 99.9% uptime assure. You possibly can attempt CoreCommerce out with a 15-day free trial.


(Picture credit score: Future)

6. Shift4Shop (previously 3dcart)

Permits for a powerful diploma of tailoring to your wants


Causes to purchase

+Consumer-friendly+Loads of progressive options+A number of further providers on provide

Having been based in 1997, 3dcart  (now Shift4Shop) is the oldest of our featured providers here. It was set up with a view to incorporating as many of the most requested ecommerce features into one platform as possible.

The company says it has six core values by which it operates: ongoing innovation, good service, simple solutions, fostering trust, keeping employees and customers happy, and stimulating prosperity amongst employees and customers.

Some of the platform’s innovative features include a module that users can install to offer gift-wrapping, a purchase order system, the option of running a loyalty program and the ability to offer recurring orders. Many of these features are very specific, meaning that stores can be highly tailored to the needs of each business.

Stores can be designed using one of the many templates offered by Shift4Shop, or users can design their own store. A quick edit bar means that making changes to the design of a store is simple. Product images are fore-fronted with Shift4Shop’s auto-zoom feature and products can be sold via Facebook with its store integration. As with some other platforms, users can blog directly from Shift4Shop and tools are provided for setting up coupons, sending newsletters and affiliate marketing. 

Shift4Shop is regularly updated and new features are constantly added, like the drag and drop HTML builder, built-in SEO stats, the home page editor or scheduled promotions. 

Users can also make use out of “make an offer” feature, which basically lets you and your customers to negotiate on a price. There is also a B2B quote system, which provides customers with a temporary quoted price after discussing their order via phone.

In addition to its platform, Shift4Shop offers a number of professional services. Users can request help with SEO, PPC, shopping feed management, social media, Facebook ads and conversion consulting. Help can also be provided to ensure that a user’s store is set up to the highest standard. Services such as site cloning, setting up custom tracking, data migration and training are offered.

In addition, Shift4Shop can provide SSL certification. Hosting is guaranteed at 99.9% uptime and 24/7 support is provided via phone, email or online chat. You can test out the service with a 15-day free trial.

Additionally contemplate:

Various means

Should you don’t need to go the route of utilizing an off-the-shelf package deal, what different choices can be found so that you can discover? That’s what we’re going to have a look at within the second half of this piece…

Many serious businesses have taken to eBay these days

Is eBay proper for your small business?

Opening its doorways in 1999, eBay UK now has over 14 million customers, with over 10,000 individuals utilizing the positioning for a enterprise that’s their main technique of earnings. It is not nearly individuals promoting undesirable items – companies have used the simplicity that eBay affords to arrange profitable operations. Even the bigger manufacturers similar to Argos, Debenhams and Home of Fraser are utilizing eBay to promote on-line.

With refined instruments now accessible you will be up and working together with your retailer in only a few hours. The eBay Seller Centre has all the data you want. Every retailer is managed by way of eBay’s acquainted consumer interface, and there are a selection of eBay-provided instruments to assist handle, monitor and promote your store as soon as it is established.

Utilizing eBay because the platform for your small business might be best if your small business needs to promote items on a set worth foundation. The entire integration of the PayPal e-payments system into eBay takes care of this important element of your retailer.

The important thing with eBay is to look intently on the prices concerned and likewise the transaction charges that PayPal cost earlier than transferring ahead and establishing your individual retailer.

How you can create your individual ecommerce answer

After all in order for you full management over each side of your new on-line retailer, constructing every web page your self would be the greatest plan of action. Hiring somebody to code your web site is one choice. Should you determine to do that comply with these steps:

  1. Ask the corporate for stay examples of their work to have a look at
  2. Write an in depth temporary of the positioning you need created. The extra element the higher to keep away from confusion
  3. Make sure you perceive the value you might be being charged and what number of revisions this worth consists of
  4. At all times have a signed settlement or contract earlier than work commences
  5. Ask whether or not the designers will host your website and if it is possible for you to to make updates your self or if all updates should undergo the design company at a further value
  6. Ask for the copyright of your design to be assigned to your organization, as your web site is a crucial a part of your small business’ mental property
  7. Put into your contract, particulars of how the settlement will be amicably dissolved if issues go incorrect

Choose a website design from Template Monster

You additionally do not need to construct your website fully from scratch. Shopping for a template can provide you all the essential pages your website wants. You possibly can then both modify them your self utilizing an utility like Dreamweaver, or rent a coding skilled to make the adjustments. Web site templates can be found from plenty of distributors together with Template Monster.

If you have already got an internet site and need to add ecommerce performance, this may be simply achieved with plenty of purposes together with:

Remaining recommendation

Whichever route you determine to take when constructing your web site all the time keep in mind:

  1. You’ll want to guarantee your retailer will be simply up to date and managed.
  2. Good skilled website hosting is important to make sure your website is all the time accessible.
  3. Search for fee and purchasing carts which are intuitive and environment friendly to make use of.
  4. Customer support is king today. Companies should not simply effectively take clients’ cash, however also needs to correctly help them.
  5. Guarantee that your retailer is absolutely built-in with all of the main social media websites.
  6. Put safety first – buyers are actually extra snug shopping for on-line, however all the time guarantee your website makes use of SSL (Safe Socket Layer) which is now the trade customary for on-line funds.
  7. Above each different consideration needs to be your website’s customer expertise. Do not forget your rivals are only a mouse click on away on this planet of ecommerce. 

Organising your on-line retailer needs to be approached rigorously and diligently to make sure you put knowledgeable and environment friendly website stay. Web purchasing continues to develop. Make sure that your small business does not miss out on a gross sales channel that reveals no indicators of slowing down.