Top 10 Best Ecommerce Platforms to Launch a Business

Ecommerce Platforms

Table of contents

So you’ve crafted your product to perfection, and you’ve ironed out every detail of your brand ― now you need to launch your online store!


We compiled a list of our favorite ecommerce platforms to help you get to your launch date quickly, and hassle-free.


You’re entering a thriving industry, 18.1% of retail sales worldwide will be done via ecommerce in 2021.


This list will focus on the must-have and nice-to-have aspects of 10 feature-rich ecommerce platforms so you can make an informed choice.


Let’s get into it!

1. What to look for in an ecommerce platform

When choosing your ecommerce platform, some features are absolute must-haves and some are just nice to have.


Knowing which features are important to you from the outset will make this decision so much easier.


These are the features we think are must-haves and nice-to-haves, but feel free to make your own list that suits your business needs.

1.1. Must-haves

  • SEO

To get more customers, it's helpful for your products to appear on Google’s first page.

The best way to achieve this is through search engine optimization.


When choosing your ecommerce site, you should check out its SEO performance.


Good SEO performance is about knowing what is being searched for online and using a series of best practices to tailor your site so it responds to those searches.

  • UX

If your site has bad UX (user experience), users will abandon it and you’ll lose sales.


This comes down to things like the attractiveness of a site or how intuitive it is.


38% of shoppers will leave a website if they find it unattractive and 88% won’t return to a website with bad UX.


Therefore, your conversion rate literally depends on flawless UX.

  • Loading speed

Efficient loading speed contributes to your site’s UX.


As mentioned, this comes with having sufficient bandwidth.


40% of potential customers will exit your site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load!


Your choice of platform will affect your loading speed, but don’t worry ― we’ll warn you about this.

  • Integration and API

To be successful, your online store needs to integrate with these back-office systems:

  • Enterprise resource planning (ERP)
  • Customer relationship management (CRM)
  • Point of sale (POS)
  • Product information management (PIM)

Connecting all of these systems will save you loads of time, money, and stress!


Application programming interface (API) is the easiest way to do this.


If this is sounding complicated, here’s an article to help you out.

  • Support

If something goes wrong on your site, you’ll need support from your platform provider.


And if you can’t get this support, you’ll ultimately lose sales!


So, it’s important to check what kind of customer support your platform offers ― phone or on-page support is best.

  • Limits of products/sales

Platforms often have limits on how many products you can sell and how much money you can make.


It’s important that your site can handle growth.


You need to be prepared ― what if your product goes viral and your sales skyrocket?


Some platforms will simply upgrade you to a more expensive tier if you’re surpassing the limit, but others might crash!

  • Storage and bandwidth

You need storage space for your customer database, shopping cart software, and your product catalog, among other things.


Aim for between 1GB and 4GB of storage depending on the number of products you plan to sell.


You’ll also need sufficient bandwidth to help your website load faster.


Between 5GB and 50GB are standard among leading providers.

  • 1-click selling

1-click selling is when customers can make purchases with just 1 click because your website already has their credit card and delivery details stored.


This incredibly efficient selling system eliminates the issue of abandoned carts and smoothens the buying process for irresistible UX.


Most ecommerce platforms don’t offer 1-click selling, but some have apps available that do.

1.2. Nice-to-haves

  • Payment method options

Ultimately, you need to get paid.


All of the platforms in this article come with payment methods built-in, but not all of them let you customize this.


Try to cover all your bases by having multiple payment gateways.


Some customers have specific payment methods that they know and trust ― and this can be a dealbreaker.


And make sure you check which countries your payment methods support.


If you’re keen to know more, read this list of the top 5 payment systems to use in 2021.

  • Easy Setup

You’re using these platforms because they’re so much cheaper than building your site from scratch.


So, if your platform isn’t easy for you to set up without paying for a developer, what’s the point?

  • Customization

You want your site to capture your brand perfectly, so a platform that allows for lots of customization is key.


You can customize your site using themes.


Some platforms come with lots of free themes while others offer expensive ones. Some even let you tweak the themes!


If customization is a priority for you, sites with limited or out-of-date themes are probably not worth your time.

  • Blog feature

Having an active blog on your ecommerce site is a fantastic way to get website traffic because it’s great for SEO.


It’s also a way to get customers invested in your business so they’re more likely to make purchases.


Some platforms have blog features while others let you use plugins for this.

  • Abandoned cart recovery

76% of shoppers abandon their shopping carts ― that’s 76 out of every 100 sales lost!


Abandoned cart recovery gives you a second chance by reminding shoppers about their abandoned carts.


So, if a site visitor has items in their cart and they leave the page, they’ll receive an email nudging them to go back and purchase the items.


Luckily, most of our top platforms offer abandoned cart recovery.

  • Email tools

Email marketing is absolutely essential for your online store.


It helps you build relationships with customers to ensure that they always choose your brand.


You need a platform that can gather email addresses and assist you in powerful email marketing campaigns that generate sales.

  • Multi-channel selling

Social media channels and marketplaces are bursting with opportunity 130 million Instagram users tap on shopping posts every month.


Why wouldn’t you want a piece of that?


In 2021, it’s smart to choose a platform that lets you use more channels to reach more customers.

2. Our top ten

Now that you know what features to look for, this is our ultimate list of ecommerce platforms.

2.1. systeme.io

Systeme.io homepage

Source: systeme.io

Not to be biased, but systeme’s all-in-one software really is the best!


We understand your journey better than any other platform because we’re a tool made for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs.


And, our customer support team is online 24/7 to help (even on the weekends!) ― so you’ll never feel like you’re on your own!


We pride ourselves on simplicity and immaculate UX.


If you’re looking to sell your own products, courses, or to get into dropshipping ― systeme is the only ecommerce platform you’ll need.


On top of our ecommerce features, here’s a list of what else we can do for your business:

  • Sales funnels
  • Email marketing
  • Website builder
  • Affiliate program management
  • Business automation
  • Evergreen webinars
  • Online courses
  • Blogging

All these features are 100% free in our freemium plan ― it's amazing!


Our proven sales funnel and email marketing tools will get you higher conversion rates with minimal effort on your side.


And, we’ve made website building a no-brainer with professional templates and a drag-and-drop editoryou’ll have your website up in minutes!


And, in case you forgot, systeme is free!


There are also three other plans to choose from:

  • Startup ($27per month)
  • Webinar ($47per month)
  • Enterprise ($97per month)

We’d love to help you launch your online business ― visit systeme.io to create your free account!

2.2. BigCommerce

BigCommerce

Source: BigCommerce

BigCommerce is robust and comes with almost every must-have and nice-to-have mentioned above.


BigCommerce offers vast customer support ranging from live chat, phone, and email support to a comprehensive help center with videos, articles, groups, and a knowledge base.


They have 65 payment options, a built-in blog feature, and unlimited storage and bandwidth on all plans.


BigCommerce also excels with SEO and multi-channel selling!


They offer Standard, Plus, and Pro plans which cost $29.95, $79.95, and $299.95 respectively.


Each plan has a limit for online sales per year, but if you surpass your limit you’ll be automatically upgraded to the next plan.


BigCommerce is suitable for:

  • Small businesses
  • Startups and beginners
  • SEO
  • Dropshipping
  • Large businesses

Unfortunately, your UX with BigCommerce will probably not be great.


This is because it only has two themes that can be customized to create 7 variations, so your site might not end up looking exactly how you wanted it to look.


It also doesn’t offer 1-click selling and it has inconsistent reviews regarding its loading speed.

2.3. Shopify

Shopify

Source: Shopify

Shopify is by far the most well-known ecommerce platformeven Kylie Jenner used it to launch Kylie Cosmetics.


But it’s far from perfect.


It has weak SEO performance, expensive plugins, and it only offers 10 free themes.


This means your store won’t be found by search engines and it will have limited customization.


However, Shopify has sufficient support, and a drag-and-drop interface for your setup.


All plans come with unlimited products, storage, and bandwidth as well as gift cards and fraud analysis.


And, unlike BigCommerce, Shopify has 1-click selling.


It has three pricing plans:

  • Basic Shopify ― $29 per month
  • Shopify ― $79 per month
  • Advanced Shopify ― $299 per month

These prices are almost identical to those of BigCommerce.


However, Shopify is often preferred for dropshipping, and for local brick and mortar stores looking to expand into ecommerce.

2.4. Ecwid 

Ecwid

Source: Ecwid

Ecwid specializes in multichannel selling.


It's a widget that can be added to any website hosted by:

  • WordPress
  • Wix
  • Weebly
  • Squarespace
  • Joomla
  • Tumblr
  • Blogger
  • Adobe Muse

There are 77 payment method options and over 70 design themes in their instant site builder.


Besides 1-click selling, Ecwid has everything on our list of must-haves and nice-to-haves.


It has a free option but then you can’t have more than 10 products, and there is no shopping cart recovery, email tools, or support.


So the free tier probably isn’t worth looking at.


Otherwise, it’ll cost you $15, $35, or $99 for their Business, Venture, or Unlimited packages which are fairly comprehensive.

2.5. Wix 

Wix

Source: Wix

Wix is known and loved for its simplicity.


As Wix is very new to the world of ecommerce, it's constantly evolving to include new features and implement feedback.


Its SEO has a bad reputation and its Amazon integration is weak ― but these may be fixed soon.


Wix is very customizable. It includes 72 free themesand drag-and-drop features for further customization.


It also has dropshipping, multi-channel selling, abandoned cart recovery, and loads more!


All three of its plans offer unlimited bandwidth, but they do have storage limits that increase with each plan.


The plans are Business Basic, Business Unlimited, and Business VIP which cost $17, $25, and $35 per month.


The Business Basic plan doesn’t include dropshipping, product reviews, or multiple currencies.


If these are important for your business, go with the Business Unlimited or Business VIP plans.

2.6. WooCommerce

WooCommerce

Source: WooCommerce

WooCommerce claims to be the most customizable platform for building your online business.


It's an open-source WordPress plugin ― this means it's a third-party integration that lets you turn any WordPress website into an ecommerce store.


It trumps both BigCommerce and Shopify in the SEO department, but it does have some drawbacks.


WooCommerce is free, but it comes with very few out-of-the-box features.


They’ve got extensions for basically anything, but these extensions may add up and become costly.


WooCommerce also lacks support and you’ll likely have difficulty troubleshooting problems.


And, as your business grows to include more products, your site loading speed will suffer.


On the upside, with extensions, WooCommerce can do 1-click selling, abandoned cart recovery, and over 100 payment methods.


EcommerceCEO recommends WooCommerce for small businesses, startups, and those prioritizing SEO performance.

2.7. Squarespace

Squarespace

Source:  Squarespace

Squarespace was built for the creative community and would work well for a print-on-demand store.


It’s fairly restricted in that it doesn’t offer dropshipping, multi-channel selling, or 1-click selling.


Squarespace’s support, payment methods, and integration options are also very limited.


But Squarespace is still a platform worth considering for a simple, flawless store!


It's easy to set up with sleek templates and drag and drop capabilities.


And it's got a solid SEO track record, abandoned cart recovery, and no product limits.


Squarespace costs $18, $24, and $40 for Business, Basic Commerce, or Advanced Commerce packages.

2.8. Volusion

Volusion

Source: Volusion

Volusion is a solid option for selling physical products and it’s constantly improving.


But it doesn’t allow the sale of non-physical products such as software.


It has a comprehensive marketing system, 11 free themes, lots of learning materials, and a help center.


However, the help you get depends on which plan you’re on.


Like BigCommerce, Volusion limits how much money you can make per year in each of their plans and automatically upgrades you if you surpass it.


Volusion has a few problems that aren’t good for SEO. These are:

  • Slower loading times
  • Poor URL structures
  • No blog feature (this can be solved using plugins)

We suggest you look at the Professional and Business accounts which cost $79 and $299 per month respectively.


There is also a Personal account option for $29 but it excludes newsletters, customer ratings, and abandoned cart recovery.

2.9. Prestashop 

Prestashop

Source: Prestashop

Prestashop is an open-source, cloud-hosted platform that is available in 60 different languages ― this makes it popular outside of English-speaking countries.


As a freemium product, it offers good value for money with the option to purchase addons, but these may become pricey.


Prestashop has strong SEO, and is flexible enough to grow and change with your store.


You can also run ads, do cross-selling, and see social analytics ― but there’s no multi-channel selling.


It offers abandoned cart recovery, and you can use add-ons to enable email tools and a blog.


And, they’ve got a wishlist feature coming soon!


However, it has limited integration, and you may need a developer for your initial setup.


There are loads of free themes but they look quite dated and, paired with Prestashop’s slower loading times, your UX may be at risk.

2.10. Zyro

Zyro

Source: Zyro

Zyro is set apart by its AI tools that can generate copy, slogans, heatmaps, and much more.


It was only founded in 2019, but it’s an extremely robust platform, and nothing looks dated!


With Zyro, website building is quick and easy; it's got attractive templates and a drag and drop builder.


Your UX will likely be flawless with this platform.


Their Ecommerce Plus package, $29.80, has every feature you could need or want, besides 1-click selling.


We’re talking about Facebook and Instagram stores, multilingual capabilities, and full Amazon integration.


Their more limited packages are cheaper, costing $5.80, $7.80, and $19.80.


Zyro’s competitive prices are often discounted so you can get good value for money if you time your purchase well.

3. Conclusion

That was our feature-rich top ten ― we hope you’ll give at least one a try!


If you really want to know, we think systeme is your best bet ― we offer you by far the most features for the best prices.


Give our freemium version a go if you’re not sure!


It all depends on what your business needs, don’t be scared to shop around for the perfect fit.


So, shall we start the countdown to your launch?

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