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How to Choose The Right E-commerce Platform For Your Business in 2021?

There are a lot of e-commerce platforms out there. The key is to find the right one for you and your business!

What Are E-commerce Platforms?

An e-commerce platform allows merchants to display a product catalog and conduct transactions online. Most e-commerce software supports business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions, but some platforms also support more complex business-to-business (B2B) transactions with contract negotiation and other features.

2 general types of e-commerce platforms

 Hosted and self-hosted open-source software

  • Hosted e-commerce solutions: Cloud-based and billed monthly, these tend to be more stable and user-friendly.
  • Self-hosted open-source e-commerce solutions: More advanced, customizable, and free.

E-commerce Websites

Online storefronts are e-commerce platforms that allow shoppers to browse through the merchant’s product catalog and purchase products on a website. Hosted e-commerce platforms include a set of premade templates and themes for storefront design. The best e-commerce software for your online business depends on your use cases. There are many different aspects of an online storefront that e-commerce products may focus on, including:

  • Managing larger inventories.
  • Displaying multiple versions (e.g., colors and sizes) of the same item.
  • Managing multiple stores.
  • Representing digital versus physical products.

Scalability is also a major consideration when evaluating product catalog options and features.

Online Shopping Cart

An online shopping cart allows e-commerce website visitors to accumulate a list of products in a virtual space before checkout. In addition to accumulating the list, shopping cart software also calculates the total cost, including shipping and taxes. Some platforms offer other features, such as abandoned cart tools. These save unfinished orders and/or email customers to remind them that there are still items in their cart. Abandoned cart functionality often costs extra or is available only with higher-tier packages. Another function included in some e-commerce products is the ability to suggest products for customers to view. This is typically based on the individual customer’s shopping behaviors along with information about which products other customers have been viewing and buying.

Online Payment System

Some solutions include in-house payment processing. Others integrate into a third-party payment gateway. Vendors that offer in-house payment processing often charge a transaction fee. Since payment systems need to handle sensitive customer information, most e-commerce platforms have standard security measures in place.

E-commerce Platforms: Features and Capabilities

  • Online storefront
  • Product catalog
  • Online shopping cart
  • Online payment system or integration with a payment gateway
  • Order fulfillment and shipping management
  • Merchant interface/dashboard
  • E-commerce marketing tools
  • E-commerce business management
  • Customer behavior analytics and reporting
  • Integrations (e.g., CRM, ERP, email marketing, payment gateways, etc.)

E-commerce Platforms Comparison

Here are a few key things to consider before trying to compare e-commerce platforms.

1. Technical expertise required:

Will the person or team managing your e-commerce website have technical/coding knowledge? Some e-commerce platforms are user-friendly for non-coders, while others offer advanced customization through coding. If you won’t have access to a developer or other administrator with coding experience, platforms that include website themes or a WYSIWYG editor may be better for your business.

2. Open-source vs. paid software:

Are you looking for a free e-commerce platform or something more advanced? If your team has experience with web design, an open-source platform can be a great way to start building your online store. On the other hand, if you’re looking for an e-commerce platform that comes with customer support and prebuilt website themes and templates, a paid platform will likely be a better bet.

3. B2B vs. B2C (or both):

Do you sell B2B, B2C, or both? Knowing this can help determine what your e-commerce platform needs to do. For example, businesses selling to other businesses will need to segment customer groups and set up customizable pricing and configuration options. Some must-have features for B2C companies include built-in store themes, abandoned cart recovery, and compatibility with multiple payment gateways. 

Pricing Information

Monthly subscriptions for hosted products vary widely depending on features and scalability. Monthly charges range from zero to over $1,000 at the high end. It’s a good idea to clearly understand requirements and choose an e-commerce platform based on current and anticipated needs rather than just focusing on cost. In the long term, picking the e-commerce platform that is best for your business will present cost savings that may not be immediately apparent.

E-Commerce Platforms

NameDescriptionTrialPriceOpen Source
ShopifyThis Canadian-based platform network originated in 2004. Shopify is used by more than 165,000 merchants.YES$29/month
BigCommerceWebsite builder, shopping cart, payment gateways—BigCommerce has everything you need plus a 24/7 support team to guide you. Storefronts are not unique. YES$29.95/month
VolusionLaunched in 1999, Volusion’s complete online store builder has helped its customers generate more than $18 billion in sales.YES$26/month
WooCommerceDownloaded 8,733,955 times, WooCommerce is preferred for its simplicity and myriad of plugins.FREEFREE
SquarespaceSquarespace’s all-in-one service gives everything you need to create your store without having to know HTML.YES$8/month
PinnacleCartPinnacleCart is a complete e-commerce platform that works perfectly regardless of whether you sell a few products or thousands.YES$80/month
Big CartelOne of the big players, Big Cartel brings everything to the table so you can launch your store with ease.YESFREE
EcwidEcwid is trusted by over 800,000 store owners; their full e-commerce platform is aimed at smaller businesses.YESFREE
3dcart3dcart has a complete system to help you run an online shop plus 100+ optimized themes.YES$9.50/month
MagentoMagento is a complete and scalable e-commerce platform designed for all businesses, big or small.DEMOFREE
MerchiumStart your online store with Merchium and embed it anywhere—on your own website, on Facebook, you decide.YES$32/month
SellBeingSellBeing is a cloud-based e-commerce platform that simplifies the way online stores are designed and managed.YES$9/month
Spree CommerceMore than 45,000 storefronts worldwide use this open-source e-commerce platform.DEMOTBCYES
X-CartA popular PHP shopping cart software, X-Cart has a lot of features to easily customize every aspect of the checkout process.DEMOFREEYES
VirtueMartA complete open-source e-commerce solution, VirtueMart has more than 500 features available right now.FREEFREE
YolaYola uses a different approach; they simply build the store for you, managing all the bugs and issues that come along.NOFREE
IBM WebSphere CommerceIBM WebSphere Commerce is well-targeted, having several plans for small to more complex businesses.YESTBC
2CheckoutA popular choice when it comes to online payments, 2Checkout is used by more than 50,000 store owners.NOVaries depending on your country
WazalaWazala lets you sell on their self-hosted site or to create your own online store.YES$16/month
AbleCommerceAbleCommerce developed a shopping cart software for small to medium businesses that want a reliable and responsive checkout.YESFREE
CommerceV3Built for multi-channel retail, CV3 offers ecommerce software and shopping cart solutions.$79
CS-CartCS-Cart is an open-source PHP/MySQL shopping cart solution with more than 500 features available at the moment.DEMOFREE
Salesforce Commerce Cloud (Demandware)Demandware offers e-commerce adjacent solutions targeting brand value and profitability.NOTBC
Digital River Digital River delivers e-commerce, marketing and payment solutions that maximize revenues and reduce costs.DEMOTBC
CeleryCelery helps you professionally manage pre-orders and custom crowdfunding.YES2.0%/sale
FastSpringFastSpring delivers complete payment and subscription services along with award-winning customer service.NO8.9% or 5.9% + $0.95/sale
FoxyFoxy allows you to incorporate their shopping cart software on your own website so you can use whatever platform you want.YES$15/month + $0.15/sale after 100 transactions
IXXO CartIXXO can be used as it is, on WordPress or on Joomla—it’s your choice.YES$295 one time
JimdoJimdo helps you put together a store in just a few steps. Easy and effective.YESFREE
JooyJooy is a complete and simple store builder that enables you to quickly launch your store.YESFREE
KonaKartKonaKart is an enterprise Java e-commerce platform that requires some coding skills.FREEFREEYES
Kibo (Marketlive)MarketLive is a complete program for omni-channel e-commerce solutions that focus on increasing revenues and customer satisfaction.NOTBC
Miva MerchantMiva is ranked at $100 billion in sales and has two plans: one for small businesses and one for enterprises.YES$79.95/month
MoonfruitMoonfruit offers free and premium services, all of which help to create a highly customized store.FREE£3.99/month
MozuMozu is an enterprise platform developed by Volusion, which focuses on delivering powerful and intuitive solutions for all businesses.DEMOTBC
nopCommercenopCommerce is an open-source e-commerce solution aimed mostly at small and medium-sized businesses.FREEFREEYES
OpenCartAn open-source shopping cart feature, OpenCart cuts down on the steps needed to launch your own store online.FREEFREEYES
osCmaxosCmax is a free shopping cart software that requires PHP and MySQL.FREEFREE
osCommerceosCommerce is an open-source solution with 7,000 free add-ons with more than 270,000 users.FREEFREEYES
PrestaShopPrestaShop has everything in one place along with a forum with more than 1.7 million posts to help you along the way.FREEFREEYES
ProductCartProductCart is a renowned SEO-optimized shopping cart software that allows you to fully customize your store.DEMO$59.95/month
Sana CommerceSana provides B2B solutions for Microsoft Dynamics NAV & AX and SAP.DEMOTBC
SearchFitAs the name implies, this e-commerce platform is highly optimized for search engines.YESTBC
ShopGoShopGo makes it easy to set up your online store and start selling, offering everything it takes to make your first sale.YESFREE+5%Tfee
ShopioA complete e-commerce platform, Shopio has features ranging from a store builder to Google Analytics integration.YES$19.95/month
ShopizerAn open-source Java e-commerce platform, Shopizer allows you to set up your online store in minutes.FREEFREEYES
SoftSlateYet another open-source e-commerce platform, SoftSlate offers all the features any online store needs.DEMOTBCYES
StorenvySimilar to Etsy, Storenvy makes it easy to create and launch your own fully customizable online store.FREEFREE
SureDoneSureDone is a rather different e-commerce solution, allowing you to upload your products once and sell them on multiple channels.NOFREE
uCozuCoz is free to use and has its own CMS, making it easy to draft your first online store.FREEFREE
UltraCartOne of the oldest complete e-commerce platforms, UltraCart is designed for small and medium-sized businesses.YES$49.95/month
AllProWebTools.comAllProWebTools provides a lot of tools to take your e-commerce store to the next level, from marketing to online presence.YES$30/month
PimcorePimcore is a powerful open-source multi-channel and engagement management platform.FREEFREEYES
Zen CartA veteran in the field, Zen Cart is an open-source shopping cart software that supports a lot of currencies and languages.FREEFREEYES
Znode StorefrontThis multifront e-commerce platform was built using the ASP.NET open-source program, allowing maximum customization.YESTBC
WP EasycART (Cart66)Cart66 allows you to sell absolutely anything on their all-in-one e-commerce platform.YES$29.99/month
Drupal CommerceAn open-source all-in-one e-commerce platform, Drupal is content driven and highly customizable.FREEFREEYES
Pulse Commerce (GoECart)GoECart’s complete e-commerce suite, GoECart 360 is brilliantly designed and easy to use.DEMO$1000/month
IndieMadeIndieMade is a complete e-commerce platform targeted for stores that are more on the creative side.YES$4.95/month
NetoThis all-in-one platform is Australia’s leading omni-channel e-commerce tool.YES$79/month
SelzSelz is a complete e-commerce platform that’s optimized for physical or digital goods.YES$26/month
Tictail/ShopifyTictail’s store builder helps you launch your store in a matter of minutes.FREEFREE
CleverBridgeCleverbridge offers excellent e-commerce and subscription services.NOTBC
CoreCommerceCoreCommerce is a complete online store builder with an ever-growing community.YES$39.99/month
EtsyEtsy is the perfect destination for those who sell handmade or vintage stuff.NOEach listing is $0.20 plus 3.5%/sale
IceshopIceshop offers Magento, Batavi and their own services to better deal with the different needs every online store has.DEMOTBCYES
Netsuite SuiteCommerceA popular cloud-based business management software, NetSuite is used by more than 24,000 customers.DEMOTBC
E BeeE Bee is a global omni-channel e-commerce platform with a ton of features and customization options.DEMOTBC
Flying CartFlying Cart is a complete e-commerce solution that aims to streamline the whole process of opening an online store.YES$9.99/month
BlueSnapBlueSnap is a global payment gateway that currently supports around 110 payment types in 180 countries.YES2.9% + $0.30/per sale
HotcakesCommerceHotcakes is a professional e-commerce platform with an easy setup and a very intuitive interface.YES$80/month
JumpsellerJumpseller is an all-in-one e-commerce platform that powers more than 10,000 stores worldwide.YES$19/month
CubeCartCubeCart is an open-source shopping cart solution that comes with a helpful community.FREE$33/monthYES
SunShop/Turnkey Web ToolsSunShop is a complete e-commerce platform that gives you everything you need to launch and sell.DEMO$49.99/month
SquirrelcartSquirrelcart is a PHP shopping cart optimized for speed and ease of use.DEMO$169/One Time feeYES
ShopFactoryWith a customer base of over 243,000 store owners, ShopFactory is a complete e-commerce solution.YES$39/month
VendioVendio is a powerful multi-channel e-commerce solution that targets smaller businesses.YES$29.95/month
DPDDPD is a highly customizable and easy-to-use e-commerce platform for digital goods.YES$10/month
ShopSiteShopSite offers e-commerce solutions for small and medium-sized businesses.DEMOFREE
fortune3fortune3 is a website builder and e-commerce platform solution with endless customization features.YES$9.95/month
ShopTabShopTab allows you to sell your products on Facebook the easy way.YES$10/month
InfusionSoftInfusionSoft offers e-commerce solutions for small business owners.DEMO$199/month
KtoolsKtools is a photostore e-commerce platform that allows shop owners to sell their digital work online.$19
1AutomationWiz 1AutomationWiz is an all-in-one shopping cart and market automation software—basically, everything you need to start an online shop.YES$39/month
WixAt its core, Wix is a website builder but also offers online store building services.YES$23/month
SmoolisSmoolis is an intuitive multilingual e-commerce store builder that comes with responsive themes and a lot of useful features.YES$16/month
GumroadIf you’re a creator and want to sell your products directly to your customers, Gumroad might be exactly what you need.NO$10/month and 3.5% + 30¢ per charge
WeeblyA website builder that also offers e-commerce services, Weebly will make you want to launch your store today.YESFREE
ExlCartExlCart comes with all the features you need to launch and successfully manage an online store.DEMO$199 one time
GoDaddyIn addition to web hosting, GoDaddy also launches and manages online stores, along with driving traffic and boosting sales.YES$25/month
PersolloPersollo is designed for those who want to sell products or services directly to their clients.NO$29/month
RocketsparkRocketspark is an online store builder aimed at non-tech clients.YES$29/month
SchemaSchema is a next generation cloud e-commerce platform, making it easy to sell 10 products or 10 million.NOFREE
PayPro GlobalSell software online with PayPro Global; they give you everything you need to do so.NO4.9% +1$ per transaction
FlickRocketA cloud-based e-commerce platform, FlickRocket focuses on the secure distribution of digital content.NOTransaction fees vary depending on the content you sell
Ecommerce TemplatesShopping cart software for Frontpage, Dreamweaver, Expression Web, CSS, and GoLive templates.DEMO$229 one time
ShoprocketShoprocket allows complete design freedom, and it’s currently used by 8,571 sellers in 54 countries.DEMOVarious
SnipcartPowering 4,000+ e-commerce sites, Snipcart allows you to turn any website into a powerful e-commerce store.DEMO2% per transaction +payment gateway fees
VevoCartVevoCart is an ASP.NET e-commerce solution that’s easily customized and configured.FREEFREEYES
BV CommerceBV Commerce is an ASP.NET shopping cart with limitless flexibility.DEMO$1195 one time
EonicEonic’s services are highly customizable and built on their web CMS.NOTBC
ExpandlyExpandly allows you to successfully sell on multiple marketplaces, having 35+ e-commerce sales channels in one place.YESFREE TRIAL
Shout CMSCreating content, managing sales and processing invoices—Shout CMS offers all this in a single platform.NO$79/month
WP EasyCartWP EasyCart is a WordPress e-commerce cart that’s simple, flexible, and affordable.YES$50/site
Mi9 (Upshot Commerce)Upshot Commerce is an omni-channel commerce cloud platform built for all business models.NOFREE, $69
Virto CommerceVirto Commerce allows you to quickly create powerful and unique online stores.FREEFREEYES
Loaded CommerceLoaded Commerce is an open-source e-commerce platform that powers more than 10,000 stores.FREEFREEYES
AbanteCartAbanteCart is a free open-source shopping cart application suited for any business.FREEFREEYES
GrandNodeGrandNode is open-source e-commerce software based on ASP.NET and MongoDB.FREEFREEYES
LiteCommerceCompatible with Drupal. LiteCommerce is very customizable and comes with ready-made extensions. FREEFREEYES
ArasttaArastta is an open-source e-commerce software built with modern technologies such as Symfony, MVC, Bootstrap, jQuery, Swift Mailer, etc.FREEFREEYES
YesCartYesCart is an open-source omni-channel e-commerce platform that uses Java technology.FREEFREEYES
VP-CartWith over 50,000 installations globally, VP-Cart’s open-source coding makes it an all-in-one solution for any business.FREEFREEYES
eCRATEReCRATER is simple to use and  provides a marketplace for all your products.NO2.9% per transactionNO
ZeuscartZeuscart is an open-source, PHP/MYSQL shopping cart software.FREEFREEYES
SamCartA shopping cart for marketers, by marketers.NO$49NO

You can check out our blog to know the significance of integrating ERP and e-commerce platforms.

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