Top 10 Absolute Best Ecommerce Platforms in 2020
in ,

Top 10 Absolute Best Ecommerce Platforms in 2020

The online retail industry is a highly competitive space–even when talking about the eCommerce platforms that power them. According to G2, there are over 370 eCommerce platforms available for businesses.

It’s impossible for a single person to wade through hundreds of options to find the right solution, so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to review the ten most popular eCommerce platforms and do a side-by-side comparison, so you can decide based on your own needs.

1. Shopify

Shopify

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. 

Best for:

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 with third-party extensions–or even change the shop’s code itself. 

Verticals supported:

  • Beauty & Cosmetics
  • Consumer Electronics
  • Fashion & Apparel
  • Food & Beverage
  • Home Furnishing

Price:

  • Basic Shopify ($29/mo)
  • Shopify ($79
  • Advanced Shopify ($299). 

14-day free trial is available, no credit card required. 

International options:

  • Canada
  • UK
  • Ireland

Site building features:

  • Unlimited product listings
  • Custom domains
  • Real-time sales statistics
  • Inventory tracking
  • AI/Personalization
  • Over 70 themes/templates available

Level of support:

Support rating: A+

  • 24 hour chat support
  • Phone support
  • Community forums
  • Online help center

Usability:

Shopify is a breeze to learn thanks to its codeless store building tools and intuitive interface. And if you’re ever stuck there are a lot of support resources available to help. Basic users can choose from a wide range of pre-existing design templates or create one themselves. 

Advanced users will have plenty to crow about, as Shopify also gives full access to the code. There are a large number of add-ons and extensions available from independent developers that can extend the capability of your store. All this makes it easy for Shopify to scale between small and large online stores.  

Analytics available? Yes

  • Dashboard
  • Product Reports
  • Export Reports
  • Google Analytics
  • Traffic/Referral Reports

2. Shopify Plus

Shopify Plus

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. 

Best for: 

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 large product lineups across multiple channels. Shopify Plus offers greater levels of technical and onboarding support, as well as automation tools to help brands function at scale. 

Verticals supported:

  • Beauty & Cosmetics
  • Consumer Electronics
  • Fashion & Apparel
  • Food & Beverage
  • Home Furnishing

Price: Starts at $2,000 a month. Final price depends on options selected. Trial available upon request.

International options:

  • Available upon request

Site Building Features:

  • Unlimited product listings
  • Custom domains
  • Real-time sales statistics
  • Inventory tracking
  • AI/Personalization
  • Over 70 themes/templates available

Level of support:

Support Rating: A+

  • Dedicated account manager
  • 24 hour chat support
  • Phone support
  • Community forums
  • Online help center

Usability:

Although Shopify Plus is built from the same platform as the lower-priced model, its focus on enterprise markets means it is more complex in terms of feature set and customizability. In order to customize Shopify Plus, you need to either learn their proprietary front-end customization language, Liquid or hire a third-party agency that is experienced in working with Shopify Plus. 

Analytics available? Yes

  • Dashboard
  • Product Reports
  • Export Reports
  • Google Analytics
  • Traffic/Referral Reports
  • Additional App Integration
  • Customizations Available

3. BigCommerce

BigCommerce

BigCommerce was founded in 2009 by two Australians, Eddie Machaalani and Mitchell Harper. It’s now headquartered in Austin, Texas with 600 employees distributed across offices all over the world. To date, the customer has helped online retailers do $25 billion worth of sales across 120 countries. 

Best for:

BigCommerce is best for SMBs who require a lot from their online retail platform and have the deep pockets necessary to invest. Its base tier is loaded with features, but priced higher than many than of its competitors. Advanced features like BigCommerce’s abandoned cart feature and shipping integrations are some of the best in the industry but not available at the lower tiers. Instead of charging a fee per transaction, BigCommerce caps the amount of sales you can do per tier. 

Verticals

  • Fashion & Apparel
  • Health & Beauty
  • Food & Beverage
  • Manufacturing 
  • Automotive

Price

Pricing for BigCommerce divided into four tiers:

  • BigCommerce Standard ($29.95/mo) – $50,000 annual sales limit
  • BigCommerce Plus ($79.95/mo) – $180,000 annual sales limit
  • BigCommerce Pro ($299.95/mo) – $400,000 annual sales limit
  • BigCommerce Enterprise (available upon request)

A 10% discount is available for the Plus and Pro options if paid annually. Trial period is 15 days. 

International options: Available. Contact sales to know more.

Site Building Features 

The following site-building features are available from the base BigCommerce Standard plan:

  • Custom domains
  • Unlimited product listings
  • Unlimited bandwidth & file storage
  • Multi-currency sales
  • Reporting 
  • Ratings and reviews
  • Gift cards
  • 12 free themes and 160+ paid themes
  • Integrations with shipping and POS software

Level of support 

Support Rating: B+

BigCommerce has plenty of support resources available, but certain support methods like the 24-hour live agent support are only available through paid plans. 

  • 24-hour Live chat
  • Phone support
  • Email support
  • Community forums
  • Online help center

Usability

BigCommerce is a good eCommerce platform for beginners to use. In terms of usability, it compares well to its rival Shopify, except that BigCommerce has much fewer templates to offer. BigCommerce also makes it easy to edit and modify SEO-related features like custom URLs, page titles, and the like. But the biggest differentiator by far is its ablity to sell in multiple currencies, which Shopify and other platforms lack. 

Analytics available? Yes

  • Dashboard
  • Product Reports
  • Export Reports
  • Google Analytics
  • Traffic/Referral Reports

4. Magento

Magento

Magento is one of the most popular open-source eCommerce platforms in the world. It was originally released in 2009 and then replaced by Magento 2.0 in 2015 with an improved code base and more usability/stability features. Magento was then purchased by Adobe in 2018, and now exists in two versions: Magento Open Source and Magento Commerce

Best for: 

Magento is best for small-to-medium businesses that have already established demand, as well as the time, manpower and skill to build their own site. The platform is very powerful and has a library of over 5,000 extensions, but requires a longer development time and a larger budget than most of its competitors. 

Verticals:

  • Beauty & Cosmetics
  • Consumer Electronics
  • Fashion & Apparel
  • Food & Beverage
  • Home Furnishing
  • Sporting goods

Price:

Prices in Magento are in two tiers:

  • Magento Open Source is free to download and use. However, expect to pay for everything else associated with the site like hosting, themes, development, add-ons, etc. 
  • Magento Commerce is the enterprise-level solution. Prices are quoted by a sales rep, and are reported to run anywhere from $15,000 to $50,000 annually. 

There is no trial period for Magento.

International options? Yes

Site Building Features:

Magento Open Source comes with the following basic features:

  • Integrated checkout, payment and shipping
  • Mobile-optimized shopping
  • Global selling
  • Catalog management
  • Extended Functionality via App marketplace
  • Instant purchase
  • Site search
  • Customization options available

Level of support:

Support Rating: D

Open Source support is virutally non-existent, as you are expected to develop your site on your own using available guides and community resources. 

Magento Commerce support includes support direct from Magento, which comes at a steep price tag. 

  • Online help center
  • Community forums

Usability:

Magento is one of the most powerful eCommerce platforms in the market but at the cost of a steep learning curve. If you don’t have the budget to hire your own Magento developer, everything you do in your Magento store will be self-taught. 

Having said that, Open Source users have access to a large and knowledgeable Magento community that can help answer questions and troubleshoot problems. 

Analytics available? Yes, with integrations and add-ons.

5. WooCommerce

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a free, open-source WordPress shopping cart plugin owned and developed by WordPress. It is one of the most popular eCommerce options on the market and runs on 30% of all stores on the internet. 

Best for:

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. 

Verticals:

  • Beauty & Cosmetics
  • Consumer Electronics
  • Fashion & Apparel
  • Food & Beverage
  • Home Furnishing

Price: Free to download, with extensions and add-ons.

International options? Available through extensions.

Site Building Features:

The free WooCommerce download comes with the following features:

  • Mobile-optimized shopping
  • Geo-location support
  • Catalog management
  • Inventory management
  • Shipping options and calculator
  • Search engine optimization
  • Coupons and discounts
  • Product reviews

Level of support:

Support Rating: C

WooCommerce does not have a phone or email support. Users have to file a ticket, which will be answered via live chat within 24 hours. 

  • Live chat
  • Online help guides
  • Community forums

Usability 

Like most open-source ecommerce platforms, WooCommerce carries a steep learning curve for those who have not created a similar site before. Although the WooCommerce plugin is relatively straightforward to set up and install, users have to develop their own expertise using community forums and online help guides. Once you’re up to speed, however, it becomes much easier to customize and operate.

Analytics available? Yes

  • Google Analytics integration
  • Third-party plugins available

6. Squarespace

Squarespace

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. 

Best for: 

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. 

Verticals:

Squarespace serves the following verticals:

  • Arts & Design
  • Food & Beverage
  • Beauty & Cosmetics
  • Fashion & Apparel
  • Toys & Games

Price:

Squarespace offers four monthly pricing tiers:

  • Personal ($16/mo)
  • Business ($26/mo)
  • Basic Commerce ($30/mo)
  • Advanced Commerce ($46/mo)

Only Business tier and up include ecommerce functionality. Squarespace charges a 3% transaction fee on any purchase made in the store. 

Free trials available, no credit card required. 

International options: None

Site Building Features:

Squarespace offers the following options for its ecommerce extension:

  • Abandon cart auto-recovery
  • Digital products
  • Personalized products
  • Product import/export
  • Real time shipping rates and tracking
  • SEO tools
  • Upselling and cross-selling
  • Gift cards
  • Automatic discounts
  • Limited integration options

Level of support:

Support Rating: B+

Squarespace has plenty of ways to get help from both official and unofficial channels. All support options are accessible to all pricing tiers. 

  • 24/7 Twitter support
  • 24/7 email support
  • Live chat support (Monday to Friday)
  • Online help center
  • Community forums

Usability:

Squarespace has one of the easiest design interfaces in the market. It’s a breeze to assemble and modify your eCommerce platform no matter your experience level. However, there aren’t many add-ons available in the default builder, and there is no app store for third-party extensions which will limit the functionality of your eCommerce site. 

Analytics available? Yes

Default builder analytics mostly serves generic websites. Only a few eCommerce-specific reports available. 

7. Wix

Wix

Wix 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.

Best for: 

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 fulfill 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. 

Verticals

  • Arts & Design
  • Food & Beverage
  • Beauty & Cosmetics
  • Fashion & Apparel
  • Sporting Goods
  • Toys & Games

Price

  • eCommerce ($17/mo)
  • VIP  ($25/mo)
  • Business Basic ($23/mo)
  • Business Unlimited ($27/mo)
  • Business VIP ($35/mo)
  • Enterprise ($500/mo)

Pricing for ecommerce can be somewhat confusing. The first two plans, eCommerce and VIP, allow you to create an online store on your site. But only the Business plans and up to allow you to process and collect payments, as well as allowing for more site creation tools, storage space, and video time. 

The Enterprise plan gives you greater levels of support and consultation but doesn’t offer more features than the Business VIP plan. 

Monthly, Annual and Bi-annual payment plans available. Wix does not charge transaction fees per sale. 

International options? No

Site Building Features:

The lowest ecommerce-capable tier of Wix.com offers the following eCommerce options:

  • Digital products
  • Product galleries
  • Shipping options
  • Discount codes
  • Inventory management
  • Abandoned cart recovery
  • Mobile-optimized
  • Payment options
  • Other functionalities available via extensions

Level of support:

Support Rating: A

  • Phone support
  • Social media support
  • Email support
  • Community forums
  • Online help center

Subscribing to the Business VIP plan gains you priority phone and ticket status. 

Usability:

Wix.com’s biggest claim to fame is its ease of use. And in that, it works perfectly. The website builder is very user-friendly, as is its eCommerce component. There is a large selection of templates that are likely to fit your business. Wix.com’s eCommerce functionality has most of what a business would need but doesn’t scale as well as dedicated platforms like Shopify or Magento. 

Analytics available? Yes

  • Google Analytics integration
  • In-app analytics

8. Big Cartel

Big Cartel

Big Cartel is an eCommerce platform by artists, for artists. Started in 2005, this SaaS site builder focuses on creators who need a place to sell artwork, clothing, jewellery, and photo prints. 

Best for:

Big Cartel is the best eCommerce platform for artists and entrepreneurs who are looking for an alternative to Etsy. They are a platform that knows their niche and the builder itself is simple and uncomplicated and helps artists put their best foot forward. 

Vertical:

  • Arts & Design
  • Clothing & Apparel
  • Makers
  • Photographers

Price: 

Big Cartel offers the following price options:

  • Gold (Free)
  • Platinum ($9.99/mo)
  • Diamond ($19.99/mo)
  • Titanium ($29.99/mo)

No credit card is required for the free tier. The number of products is the primary tier differentiator. 

International options? None

Site Building Features:

Big Cartel’s site building features include:

  • Dashboard
  • Product options with different price points
  • Multiple selling channels
  • Online checkout
  • Limited tax calculation
  • Inventory management
  • Discount codes
  • SEO tools
  • Plugins available

Level of support:

Support Rating: A-

Big Cartel only offers limited support options, but their responses are helpful and timely. Questions posed through social media are often redirected to email.

  • Email support
  • Social media support
  • Online help center
  • Recorded webinars

Usability:

Big Cartel is a simple and uncomplicated eCommerce site builder that is very easy to manage. Its setup wizard does an excellent job of guiding you and you can get up and running faster than sites like Shopify. This simplicity comes at a tradeoff, however. Big Cartel has a very limited feature set and isn’t appropriate for businesses that sell a large volume of products. 

Analytics available? Yes

Google Analytics integration

9. Salesforce Commerce Cloud (Demandware)

Salesforce Commerce Cloud

Salesforce Commerce Cloud, formerly known as Demandware, is an enterprise-level eCommerce platform that offers a full range of features and capabilities that make it an excellent fit for multi-national companies that process millions of dollars in orders. 

Best for: 

Salesforce Commerce Cloud is the best ecommerce platform for enterprise companies with complex needs. It’s a complicated but highly capable platform that has enough customizations to cover practically any business application, whether B2B or B2C. As a Salesforce product, Commerce Cloud benefits from integrations with every other Salesforce product in the ecosystem.  

Verticals:

  • Beauty & Cosmetics
  • Fashion & Apparel
  • Sporting Goods
  • Toys & Games
  • Food & Beverage
  • Cars & Automotive
  • Parts & Manufacturing
  • Chemicals
  • Other B2B applications

Price:

Salesforce Commerce Cloud comes in two editions

  • Salesforce B2C Commerce (contact vendor)
  • Salesforce B2B Commerce (contact vendor)

There are no free trials available. 

International options? Yes

Customizable according to setup

Site Building Features:

The features for B2C Commerce Cloud are as follows:

  • Product and catalog management
  • Marketing and advertising tools
  • Customer segmentation
  • Site search
  • Guided navigation
  • AI personalization
  • Social media integration
  • Global scale
  • Responsive design
  • One-touch mobile payments
  • Multiple channels and retail locations
  • Customer targeting
  • A/B split testing
  • Commerce Cloud Endless Aisle
  • Full development platform including API support

The B2B Commerce Cloud has many of the same features as the B2C version, but also has:

  • Segment-specific pricing
  • Contract ordering
  • Multiple customer accounts in one company
  • Ability for sales to order stock
  • Order templates
  • Shipments split across locations
  • Real-time reports and analytics
  • Multisite management
  • Integration with other Salesforce product clouds

Level of support 

Support Rating: C

Online reviews indicate that customer support can be slow to respond and, because individual needs are complex and situational, may take time to come to a fruitful conclusion. 

  • Salesforce Implementation partner
  • Online ticket system
  • Community forums
  • Online help center

Usability: 

As an enterprise-level eCommerce solution, Salesforce Commerce Support cloud offers flexibility and depth most other platforms can’t match. That brings a very steep learning curve that is best handled by experienced programmers, hired consultants, or by Salesforce developers themselves. 

Analytics available? Yes

  • In-app real-time reports and analytics

10. Volusion

Volusion

First created in 1999, Volusion is one of the longest-lasting eCommerce platforms in the market. It still remains popular and stable despite the entrance of recent competitors like Shopify and Wix, with over 30,000 stores using the system and having generated over $28 billion in sales. 

Best for:

Volusion is the best ecommerce platform for startups and small businesses who want to get started quickly but still have room to grow within their chosen solution. Unlike other platforms that require you to go through an app store, many important features are already included as part of the standard dashboard. Volusion shows its age in many areas, but it’s still a robust system that serves most business needs. 

Verticals

  • Beauty & Cosmetics
  • Consumer Electronics
  • Fashion & Apparel
  • Food & Beverage
  • Home Furnishing
  • Sporting goods

Price: 

Volusion offers the following pricing tiers:

  • Personal ($29/mo)
  • Professional ($79/mo)
  • Business ($299/mo)
  • Custom (contact vendor)

Volusion does not charge transaction fees. Free trial available, no credit card required. 

Each tier imposes a limit on maximum annual sales and available products that progressively increase. 

International options? No

Site Building Features

Volusion offers the following site-building features:

  • Secure checkout
  • Drag and drop builder
  • Free and paid themes
  • Secure payments
  • Inventory management
  • Discounts and coupons
  • Automatic tax calculator
  • SEO tools
  • Social media integrations
  • Ratings and reviews
  • SKU import/export
  • Abandoned cart reporting

The Business and Custom tiers unlock complex requirements like Amazon & eBay integrations, batch processing, third-party gateways and higher levels of support. 

Level of support 

Support rating: B

Volusion’s support reviews indiciate largely positive feedback, although there are cases where the company’s support team takes a long time to respond to questions. 

  • Phone support

Social media support:

  • Live chat
  • Community forums
  • Online help center

Usability:

Volusion does offer a drag-and-drop site builder, but its not as robust or convenient to use as other platforms like Shopify’s or Squarespace’s. Users often describe Volusion as dated and lacking, although the company is working hard to update the functionality and interface for modern times. 

Analytics available? Y/N first, then include list integrations if applicable:

  • Google Analytics
  • Salesforce
  • Etc.

In conclusion

At the end of the day, there is no single overall “best” ecommerce platform. 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 a few trials to see which solution you like best. Do your due diligence and don’t cut corners, and you will have an application that will lift your business to new heights. 


Report

What do you think?

3087 points
Upvote Downvote

Written by Jaxon Wager

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Google Testing Thumbnail Images in Search Results

Google Testing Thumbnail Images in Search Results

Apple releases iOS 14 beta 2, New features and Changes in beta 2

Apple releases iOS 14 beta 2, New features and Changes in beta 2