If you plan to open an online store in the short term, you are probably looking for the best eCommerce platforms to sell online. If so, you are in a relatively important election process, since you are going to establish the foundations of your business on the back of that software.
Building an eCommerce store is getting easier, but if you start with the wrong eCommerce platform, it can be a real pain point for your business. In this article, we are going to make an analysis and a comparison between the best e-commerce platforms so that you can choose the optimal platform for your project.
Why use an online sales platform?
Managing an online store is a complex task that requires many processes, from the creation of the website to the acceptance of online payments, stock management, or customer service. Software solutions for Ecommerce will allow you to manage all these processes together, which can be interesting for your business.
Online sales platforms have many of the components you need to get up and running and grow your online business without complicating your life. Using an e-commerce platform is cheaper than creating custom software from scratch.
These Ecommerce platforms are worth it since they will save you a lot of time and money. They are specific software to be able to optimally manage any online store. Let’s dive into the details and find out the features you should consider when choosing the best eCommerce solution for your business.
What are the best e-commerce platforms?
It is not easy to answer this question, since there is a huge variety of software of this type. After testing many of the online sales platforms that exist and using several of them regularly, we bring you this summary of what in our opinion are the best e-commerce platforms.
Here are some of the best eCommerce platforms:
- Shopify – The Best Ecommerce Platform
- Wix eCommerce – Best for Small Online Stores
- Jimdo – Easiest to use
- Zyro – Best platform for price
- WooCommerce – Best option for WordPress users (self-management)
There are indeed variations from one platform to another and differences in features and performance can have a significant impact on the way you run your business. But which is the best for your needs? Let’s go there with the analysis and comparison of the Ecommerce platforms.
Shopify is a Canadian company founded in 2006 that offers one of the best e-commerce software on the market. It is the second most used online sales platform worldwide and without a doubt one of the best if you want to start your business quickly. From our own experience and after having used it in several eCommerce projects, we have concluded that it is the best tool to create and manage an online store.
The platform has an assistant that will guide you when uploading your products to the store, it will help you customize its appearance, it will allow you to connect your domain and it will enable you to integrate the different payment methods.
Shopify is our preferred eCommerce software as it was built specifically for use in the eCommerce environment and has the most advanced features on the market.
Main features of Shopify
- Ideal for dropshipping, print on demand, small and medium-sized online stores, or as a complement to a physical store.
- Costs depend on the characteristics of the subscription plan and fees for each transaction.
- Exceptional customer service via phone, email support, live chat, and community forum.
- Includes abandoned cart recovery functionality.
- Includes hosting and unlimited bandwidth.
- Over 100 different payment gateways to choose from (including PayPal, Shopify Payments, Google Pay, and Apple Pay).
- Synchronization with 10 other sales platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, or Amazon.
Shopify Plans and Pricing
Shopify has three main pricing plans that range from $27 to $289. The most common plan to start your online store is the Basic Plan for €27/month. It also has Shopify Plus, a specific program for online stores with significant billing.
- Shopify Basic: €27/month
- Shopify Plan: €79/month
- Shopify Advanced: €289/month
Shopify is currently offering a promotion with a 3-day free trial and then 3 months for €1 per month.
- Ease of use for inexperienced users. Functionality and design flexibility.
- Exceptional customer service (phone, chat, email, community)
- Lower credit card fees with Shopify Payments
- If you want to have the most advanced tools, you must install paid apps
- Doing some code modifications can be complex for inexperienced users
2. Wix Ecommerce
Wix Ecommerce is a well-known website and ecommerce platform with over 110 million users worldwide. This platform is known for its simple website builder, with a “drag and drop” interface that allows beginners to work wonders.
Wix software is also among the best solutions on the market. Although it is not as popular a platform as Shopify or WooCommerce, it certainly has enormous potential. As the most remarkable aspect, it is an extremely easy-to-use platform and ideal for people who do not have technical knowledge.
Wix Ecommerce Main Features
- Ideal for small online stores
- The Control panel is very easy to use and perfect for beginners
- Abandoned cart recovery system with automatic email sending
- Multi-channel integration: sell on Instagram without the need to install any application
- Wix offers one of the most affordable platforms on the market with exceptional value for money.
- All Wix websites automatically come with SSL certificates.
- Help and support are very good. With the most basic plan, you can contact Wix by phone, email, and social media. You also have access to a forum and a helpful website.
Wix Ecommerce Plans and Pricing
You have available three Wix plans dedicated to e-commerce. The simplest Wix plan is the Business Basic for 17 euros per month, which gives you access to a great range of functionalities.
- Basic Business Plan: €17/month
- Unlimited Business: €26/month
- Business VIP Plan: €35/month
- Wix Ecommerce offers a 14-day free trial.
- You don’t need programming knowledge. It is done using a “drag and drop” system and allows you to fully customize your online store
- Accept online reservations for appointments, classes, and courses. It also allows you to create memberships.
- Their plans offer a free domain for 1 year
- Storage space is limited. The Basic Business plan offers 20 GB of storage (it is enough for most cases)
- The loading speed of some online stores could be better.
Jimdo is a platform aimed at creating small and medium-sized online stores through its own editor that stands out for its ease of use. This platform draws attention for its simplicity and minimalism, which can be used by users without experience in web design.
This software for creating online stores has particularly fast loading times and has an intelligent assistant that guides you through each step of the configuration.
Main features of Jimdo
- It stands out for its low prices. The plans to create an online store start from €15/month
- Jimdo’s interface is clean and easy to use, even for inexperienced users
- It has a tool to manage cookies by the General Data Protection Regulation (RGPD)
- You can edit the HTML code and CSS of your online store in a simple way
Jimdo Plans and Pricing
The company offers three different plans to create your online store. Jimdo’s prices are generally very competitive.
- Basic Plan: €15/month
- Business: €19/month
- VIP Plan: €39/month
- Their plans and prices are very cheap.
- It is easy to use, especially for those who have no previous experience building online stores.
- You can switch from one template to another quickly and easily, without losing content
- Bandwidth and storage space is limited on the “Basic” and “Business” plans
- The Basic plan has quite a few limitations: it does not allow the creation of product variants; it does not have the functionality to use discount codes and it does not allow you to synchronize your store with Facebook and Instagram.
Zyro is a company born in 2019 in Kaunas (Lithuania) by Hostinger, a well-known web storage company. This recently created company offers very simple and intuitive software that allows users to create an online store without the need for programming knowledge. Since its launch, there have been numerous extra features have been constantly added.
Main features of Zyro
Good platform for eCommerce at a very cheap price with an impressive variety of tools and functionalities
- Zyro’s e-commerce software allows you to promote your products thanks to an important variety of templates and marketing tools that it puts at your disposal (logo creator, blogging tools, integration with social networks…etc.)
- Use Cloudflare, a CDN (Content Delivery Network) that allows you to load your store faster and more efficiently through a geographically distributed network of servers
- The control panel interface is very intuitive and account setup is easy
- It has a heat map or heatmap that allows analyzing the behavior of users
- Zyro’s prices are very affordable compared to other similar software
Zyro Plans and Pricing
Zyro offers three plans with which you can sell products in your online store. The “Website” plan is the only one that does not allow you to create an online store and accept payments.
- Business Plan: €7.90/month
- Online Store: €9.90/month
- Advanced Store Plan: €15.90/month
Zyro offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- All plans include unlimited bandwidth and storage
- It has a very intuitive drag-and-drop editor that allows you to add, edit and delete any element you need.
- Load times are very short, which is essential for any e-commerce store.
- Zyro includes a free domain and SSL certificate for one year
- With the “Business” and “Online Store” plans, you have a limited number of products that you can put up for sale (100 products). The “Advanced Store” plan allows you up to 2500 products.
WooCommerce is not a platform for e-commerce. It is a plugin or application specifically designed to convert the most popular CMS, WordPress, into an online store. We include it in our analysis since it is a powerful tool and the most widely used worldwide with a market share of 27%.
To use it, you will have to download it from the WordPress plugin repository. The use of WooCommerce is completely free (in its basic version), but you will have to take responsibility for the creation of the online store by acquiring a domain, hosting, and an SSL certificate and protecting it from possible vulnerabilities. If you want to add functionalities, you will have to go acquiring extensions in the WooCommerce repository. There are some free extensions, but the vast majority are paid.
WooCommerce installation is not as straightforward as hosted solutions. It requires that you be a user with some experience or that you delegate the creation of your online store to third parties.
Main features of WooCommerce
- It is ideal for small online stores with small product catalogs.
- WooCommerce Inventory Management feature allows you to easily manage stock and track inventory.
- More than 100 payment gateway integrations are available through extensions.
- WooCommerce Analytics provides detailed reports on your revenue, orders, products, categories, coupons, taxes, downloads, and stock.
- WooCommerce is SEO friendly. It is probably the best option to position stores and products on the Internet.
- You should worry about maintaining the security of your store data as a priority.
Plans and prices
The costs associated with your WooCommerce online store are mainly those related to hosting (web storage) and the domain. Likewise, if you do not have sufficient knowledge, you must delegate the design tasks of the online store and maintenance tasks.
To host WooCommerce we recommend some of the best hostings for WooCommerce today:
1 – Hostinger: This domain and web hosting provider is currently one of the largest hosting companies with more than 30 million users. It offers specific hosting for WooCommerce with excellent value for money. Plans from €3.45/month.
2 – SiteGround: Offers one of the best hosting solutions for WooCommerce on the market. It comes pre-installed with WooCommerce so you don’t have to worry about the technical aspects. The company offers very competitive prices from €3.99/month.
3 – Raiola Networks: Spanish company with excellent customer service with which you can contract a specific plan for WordPress with prices starting at €8.95/month.
- WooCommerce is installed on WordPress, an open-source platform
- It has a multitude of extensions that will allow you to customize and expand the capabilities of your online store
- WordPress is one of the most SEO-friendly platforms
- Unlike using other Ecommerce platforms hosted in the cloud and managed by companies, you will have full control over your online store, and in turn, you will be the owner of it.
- If you want to add advanced features for e-commerce, you will have to buy different extensions in the WooCommerce repository.
- The fact that it is open-source software makes your online store more vulnerable to cyberattacks.
- With WooCommerce you will need to have the technical knowledge or delegate these tasks to other professionals.
Summary table of the best ecommerce platforms:
Key features of online sales platforms:
Among the large number of options that exist in the market, I recommend that you choose the one that best suits your needs and helps you integrate the business processes you need.
Here are some of the key features to consider when choosing an ecommerce platform:
Choose an online sales platform that has an intuitive and easy-to-use interface for creating online stores.
2. Design options
Most eCommerce platforms offer countless ready-made templates and themes so that you can create your online store quickly and easily. Pay attention to the number of free and paid templates offered by different platforms.
3. Management system
To run your online store, you will need the platform to have a product management system that allows you to upload products to your store and manage inventory, an order management system that is responsible for processing customer orders, and a returns management system.
4. Payment processing
You can’t do business without accepting payments, and it’s not as easy as it sounds. You must take into account the currencies with which you operate, the payment methods your clients prefer, the tax systems, etc.
To keep transactions safe, make sure your e-commerce platform is PCI compliant, a set of 12 requirements for websites that deal with payment information. Another aspect of a secure website is that it has an SSL certificate. These certificates allow you to authenticate the identity of a website and enable an encrypted connection in data processing to protect online transactions and maintain the privacy and security of information.
Make sure that your platform offers you support to help you solve any problem that may arise. It is also interesting that the platform offers a space with available documentation related to the software, a Frequently Asked Questions or FAQ section, or a forum where the community can ask questions and answers.
7. Data analysis
If you cannot measure the performance of your online store, you will not be able to make good decisions and optimize its management. Make sure that your e-commerce platform allows you to collect and store data, and supports integrations with the different web analytics services.
Conclusion and opinions
In this guide, we have presented what in our opinion are the best online sales platforms today. We have indeed left out of these ranking platforms such as Adobe Commerce (Magento), Shift4Shop, 3dcart, and OpenCart among others. But we wanted to make a selection of the best with special mention to Shopify and Wix eCommerce.
We hope we have helped you by explaining how each eCommerce platform can help you. You must make a good choice, although you can always change your technological partner.
Remember that the vast majority of platforms come with a free trial or a free plan, so you can try any of them risk-free before making your decision. We invite you to choose the platform that you find most interesting and start with the free trial today!
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