The Top 20 Ecommerce Platforms in 2021
An ecommerce platform is a website that allows businesses to launch, host, and manage an online store. While different ecommerce platforms offer different features, all of them give business owners a way to sell directly to customers.
The Booming Growth of Ecommerce
The facts show that if you own a business that sells products, there is enormous opportunity online. According to studies by Statista, in 2021 there are more than 2 billion people buying goods and services through e-commerce shops. Ecommerce revenue is predicted to reach more than $6 trillion annually by 2022.
For anybody interested in growing an online ecommerce business, this is a perfect time. Online attention is at an all-time high. People are familiar with the process of buying online, and over 69% of consumers today have bought at least one item online.
Online ecommerce platforms today offer easy setup and management, and some have an incredibly low cost. Ecommerce features are the best the have ever been, with tools like a website builder, payment gateway, inventory management, and marketing tools all built in.
Rather than sell through an online marketplace like Amazon or eBay, many business owners are moving to build their own sites with ecommerce functionality.
Top 20 Ecommerce Platforms in 2021
But how can you choose the best ecommerce platform? As an ecommerce developer, we have experience with a variety of ecommerce platforms that can help to grow an online business.
Different businesses have different needs depending on their business model, sales volume, and a variety of other factors. The most popular ecommerce platform may not be suitable if you need specialist features such as recurring payments, a site builder, or to sell digital products.
Ecommerce giants like Amazon are now swallowing up more than half of the market and thousands more online stores are also gunning for their share. For this reason, you need to be able to compete by offering the best experience for your customers on your ecommerce website.
It all starts with choosing the right ecommerce platform that suits your business needs and goals.
The ecommerce space is always changing with new updates, prices, add-ons, etc. To help make it simpler, here is an up-to-date list of the Top ecommerce platforms to run a business in 2021.
Woocommerce powers over 28% of all online stores and is the ecommerce platform for the SEO king, WordPress.
Popular among ecommerce web developers, Woocommerce offers users a single platform to run both their ecommerce and the affiliated site upon. It essentially works like a WordPress plugin for your online sales.
Using the power of WordPress, business owners can customize their ecommerce site with a variety of extensions, like 1-Click Selling and PayPal integration. These are excellent for B2C ecommerce.
The good news is that WooCommerce is free for those who already have a WordPress site. However, keep in mind that hosting can cost a pretty penny and some extensions aren’t free.
As a starting ecommerce platform, WooCommerce is perfect for those already familiar with WordPress. If you are familiar with the WordPress site builder tools, and you are looking to add ecommerce capabilities, then it is worth considering.
Pros: Highly Customizable, SEO Optimized, WordPress experts available, Free
Cons: Pay for Hosting, Requires extensions, Scalability issues, Poor Support
Price: Free with WordPress Account, additional fees for hosting and plugins.
Best for: WordPress Sites, Small to medium size ecommerce
One of the most customizable ecommerce platforms, Magento offers a vast amount of extensions and third-party integrations to give the consumer unique shopping experiences.
Magento today attracts some of the largest names in ecommerce, like Nike, HP Inc. and The North Face.
The Open Source (free) version of Magento is free, yet requires a substantial amount of development to create a working site.
The paid version for larger ecommerce companies is Magento Commerce and/or Magento Cloud, which includes B2B features not available on Magento open-source.
Magento Commerce Edition starts at $24,000 a year and up for companies doing large amounts of ecommerce transactions.
Magento also allows companies to pick their own hosting, so they can decide which server is the best for them.
As an open source ecommerce platform, Magento is known for having a large community of partners and developers that offer support.
Pros: Highly Customizable, Strong SEO, Large Community of Support
Cons: Costly with Commerce Edition, Requires Experienced Developers
Price: Free, Magento Commerce/Cloud costs $24,000 and up (annually)
Best for: Enterprise-level Ecommerce, those with a developer resources
One of the biggest names in the game today, Shopify offers an easy-to-launch platform to create an ecommerce site.
Shopify offers pricing plans starting from $9 to $299 per month depending on your needs. With a premium service called Shopify Plus, aimed at high-volume brands and Fortune 500 companies.
With easy simple features, Amazon integration, pricing plans and hosting included, Shopify is perfect for small businesses looking to enter the ecommerce industry.
Pros: Easy/quick set-up, pricing plans, quick downloading speeds
Cons: Weak SEO, transaction fees (using non-shopify payments), costly apps
Price: $9 to $299 per month, Shopify Plus pricing varies
Best for: Small to large level ecommerce
BigCommerce is a hosted Saas ecommerce platform that allows business owners to set-up online stores using various customizable templates for easy set-up.
Similar to Shopify, BigCommerce offers pricing plans from about $29 to $249 per month depending on your needs and also restrict your sales volume on each plan.
But unlike Shopify’s $29 plan, BigCommerce offers several additional features like professional reporting, built in ratings and reviews system and gift cards to name a few (But lacks the abandoned cart saver that Shopify includes).
They also offer BigCommerce Enterprise edition for large ecommerce companies (over one million in sales), with prices varying for size of company.
Easy Set-up and various payment plans offering a variety of features depending on one’s needs makes BigCommerce a good value for the money starting out.
Pros: Strong SEO, Flexible, Scalable, Multi-Channel Selling
Cons: Sales limits, No mobile app, Scalability, Prone to bugs
Price: $29 to $249 per month, Enterprise pricing varies
Best for: Beginner to advanced ecommerce
OpenCart is an open-source, downloadable platform with over 13,000 extensions and 36 payment methods to make your site as custom as you desire.
OpenCart is free to download, upgrade and use. However, you will need to secure and host the site yourself, as well as have a developer that’s familiar with PHP to design the website.
They also offer a cloud-based version called OpenCart Cloud, integrated with PayPal, with prices varying.
Pros: Free, Open-Source, Customizable, Ease of Use for Dev.
Cons: Low Support, Requires Developer, Add-ons Required
Price: Free, OpenCart Cloud pricing varies
Best for: Small to Mid-size ecommerce with web experience.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud, previously known as Demandware, until being bought out by Salesforce, offers a cloud-based SaaS ecommerce solution.
A unique feature of Commerce Cloud is their AI system that can allow brands to deliver a unique shopping experience to consumers across every channel, by giving brands deep insights about the behavior of their customers.
Design and development does require knowledge coding knowledge, but Commerce Cloud offers an extensive list of features and makes it easy for scalability.
They offer two pricing editions, B2C or B2B Commerce and prices vary depending on add-ons and sales volume.
Pros: Scalability, Customizable (to an extent), Cloud Services
Cons: Requires Developer, costs increase with volume
Price: Varies, Request a quote here.
Best for: B2C Small to Large Ecommerce with little or no web experience
OsCommerce, meaning open-source ecommerce, is a completely free, downloadable ecommerce software.
They make it easy and affordable to customize your website with almost 9,000 free add-ons, with more being uploaded every day by the large, dedicated community of developers around the world.
Pros: Free, Customizable, ease of use (for developers), large supportive community
Cons: Requires Developer, Hosting can be costly, not easily scalable, prone to bugs
Best for: Small to midsize ecommerce with web experience
Wix is relatively new to the ecommerce industry and its perfect if you are too.
They offer extremely easy-to-use features, allowing someone with no coding experience to create an ecommerce site in no time.
Wix has an extensive list of creative modern templates to choose from and drag-and-drop customizability to make your online store unique
Pricing ranges from only $17 to $25 per month (or less per year) depending on your needs.
Pros: Easy to use, creative templates, inexpensive
Cons: Weak SEO, Lacks features, Not suitable for medium to large ecommerce
Price: $17 to $25 per month
Best for: Beginners, small ecommerce (less than 100 products)
Prestashop is an open-source, cloud-hosted ecommerce platform, giving users the best overall value.
You can either download it for free and customize it how you like or pay for PrestaShop Ready which is a hosted version, for only about 25 euros a month.
It’s fairly easy to use for developers and can be highly customized, yet can be costly with add-ons.
Pros: Option for either self-hosted or hosted, Customizable, Strong SEO, large community
Cons: Costly Add-ons, Developer skills required, hosted version lacks features, must pay for support
Price: Free, PrestaShop Ready for 25€ per month
Best for: Small to medium size ecommerce with web experience
Squarespace is known for their wonderful design templates for website building and that also applies to ecommerce.
Perfect for beginners, Squarespace offers an all-in-one hosted platform, with drag-and-drop templates featuring some of the most creative, modern designs.
Pricing has two options for ecommerce, basic for $26 per month (annually) or Advance for $40 per month (annually) depending on your needs.
Squarespace makes it easy for anyone to quickly and easily create a beautiful ecommerce site starting from templates, to selling the first product.
Pros: Easy set up, Creative template designs, SEO, Affordable
Cons: Lack of features (no multi-channel selling, etc.), no phone support, lack of integrations (Limited PayPal, Amazon, etc.)
Price: $26 or $40 per month (paid annually)
Best for: Beginners, Small ecommerce
Focusing on filling the three dimensions of store owners, search engines and shopper, 3dcart offers a fully-hosted SaaS cloud-based ecommerce platform.
3dcart offers various pricing plans from $19 to $229 per month, all of them including unlimited products and bandwidth. Similar to BigCommerce, there is a cap on sales volume for each plan.
They also offer enterprise-level packages starting at $500 per month for large ecommerce businesses.
Although it is relatively easy to set up, it does require some previous knowledge.
Pros: SEO Tools, Integrations & Payments (Paypal, Amazon, etc.), Management Tools (email, inventory, etc.)
Cons: Outdated designs, low customer support, not for beginners
Price: $19 to $299 per month, enterprise-level starting at $500 per month
Best for: Any size ecommerce with some previous web experience knowledge
Volusion is a fully cloud-based ecommerce platform.
Offering an easy set up with 11 free templates to choose from and plenty more to buy.
Volusion even lets you switch templates at any time, transferring all content for you.
A unique feature that is popular about Volusion is the many features built right into the dashboard, reducing the need for costly add-ons (but there are still some needed, like Facebook Pixel tracking).
Volusion offers various pricing plans from $29 to $299 per month, all of them including unlimited products, storage and bandwidth, but only the top two plans include abandoned cart reports.
They also have a Prime version with various pricing giving you ‘VIP’ support.
Pros: Integrations (Instagram, Amazon, etc.), Included Features,
Cons: Weak SEO, Costly Add-ons, Additional price for SSL Certificate
Price: $29 to $299 per month, Prime pricing varies
Best for: Ecommerce focused on the analytical side (rather than design)
One of the largest site builders with over 40 million websites built and for good reason.
Weebly makes it very easy to start your ecommerce website, with responsive design templates that feature drag-and-drop customizability, yet also offering a code editor for those with a bit more experience.
Offering a variety of pricing plans, starting with a free version up to a Business version for $25 per month (annually).
You will want the business plan for ecommerce.
Weebly is built for ease of use, making it perfect for those with little knowledge of websites and ecommerce.
Pros: Easy-to-use, Mobile-friendly, Free/affordable
Cons: Weak SEO, Some features are basic, Lacks integrations (Amazon)
Price: Free to $25 per month (paid annually)
Best for: Beginners, Small ecommerce
Ecwid is an easy to use SaaS ecommerce platform, offering similar features as other SaaS solutions, but with a twist.
A unique feature about Ecwid is that it can be implemented on any existing platform (WordPress, Joomla, etc.), without having to make a brand new website.
You can’t actually build a complete ecommerce website with Ecwid, but rather implement online store features on an existing website.
They offer pricing starting with a free version and up to an unlimited plan for $99 per month.
Only the top two plans have the abandoned cart saver and only the unlimited plan allows an unlimited number of products
Pros: Implement store on existing sites, Ease of use, Affordable, management tools
Cons: Limited number of products for plans, Low SEO, Not complete ecommerce website
Price: Free to $99 per month
Best for: Existing websites, Small ecommerce, non-ecommerce focused business
This ecommerce platform is uniquely tailored for artists looking to sell their work.
Their website claims “For artists, by artists”.
Big Cartel makes it easy to set up and launch an online store without any previous web experience, allowing the artists to focus on their creative side.
But also offering the ability to customize the code.
Pricing plans start with a free version with a five product limit, up to a $30 per month with a 300 product limit.
Features include customizable themes, Google Analytics, and inventory and shipment tracking.
Pros: Easy to set up and use, Affordable, Customizability, Mobile-friendly
Cons: Limited number of products, features and scalability
Price: Free to $30 per month
Best for: Artists, Beginners
Well-known for a variety of tools they offer, Netsuite now includes ecommerce on that list with their cloud-based solution called SuiteCommerce.
Perfect for large Enterprises requiring the ability to support sites for multiple brands, countries and languages all on a single cloud-based platform.
Pricing depends on the size of the company and what capabilities needed.
Pros: All-in-one Netsuite Bundle, Ability to handle large amounts of data
Cons: Expensive, Complicated, Subpar Customer Service
Price: Custom pricing starting at $999/mo
Best for: Enterprise-level Ecommerce
CoreCommerce was originally an ecommerce software called digiSHOP PRO, but turned into a full SaaS ecommerce solution back in 2008 and currently hosts thousands of websites.
It features built-in SEO with blogging capabilities, CRM and offers unlimited file storage and bandwidth for all its paid plans above the personal plan.
CoreCommerce offers a variety of plans to give you the best value for your business needs. The personal plan only allows three products, but then jumps up to 300 products for the next plan and unlimited after that.
Pros: Strong SEO, Integrations, No transaction fees, Plan Options
Cons: High processing fees, Limited gross sales volume
Price: $19/mo to $600/mo
Best for: Medium to Enterprise-level Ecommerce
The first ones to bring a cloud-based SaaS Solution to the UK, EKM is a fully UK based ecommerce solution, however they host websites all over the globe.
All plans come with an extensive list of features including custom domain name, SSL certificate and no transaction fees. The basic plan includes up to 500 products, which is more than a lot of other basic plans offer.
EKM offers a vast amount of free templates or even a custom online shop design service starting at £2,000, making it easy for businesses to have an online shop created for them quickly with no experience needed.
Pros: Essential features included, Customer Service, Easy to use
Cons: Limited sales volume per year, costly transaction fees
Price: £30 to £195/mo, £550 per six months for Enterprise Level
Best for: Beginner to Medium-level Ecommerce
X-Cart is a flexible open-source ecommerce platform referred to as one of the best shopping cart software available today.
A highly unique feature of X-Cart is that it offers various lifetime subscriptions instead of month to month. X-Cart also will deduct your previous payment if you want to upgrade to another plan.
X-cart is extremely customizable with all plans offering a wide variety of integrations and no transaction fees. They also offer various hosting payment plans on a per month basis.
Pros: Lifetime Subscription, Highly Customizable, Scalable
Cons: Requires developer skills, Annual upgrade fee, Expensive customer support
Price: Free up to $5,995/lifetime.
Best for: Medium to Enterprise-level ecommerce with development experience
PinnacleCart is another leading shopping cart ecommerce platform that provides an easy quick way to set up an all-in-one online store. Some of their top clients featured have been NBA, UFC and the Discovery Channel.
Pinnaclecart offers competitive pricing plans with a robust list of features, including abandoned cart, one-page checkout, blog capabilities and a variety of add-ons.
Pros: Strong SEO, multiple admin access, scalable
Cons: No POS or Hosting included, dedicated SSL costs extra
Price: $45/mo to $200/mo, custom enterprise-level pricing
Best for: Small to medium-level ecommerce
As a business owner looking for an e commerce platform, there are many options to consider. While one e commerce solution may stand out the more popular choice, others offer unique features that may be more suited for your business.
Choosing the best platform to create an e commerce website for your business is a long-term decision as rarely do companies shift platforms more than once every few years. This is why it’s extremely important to choose the right one before you commit time and resources to it. We hope this list of the top ecommerce platforms helps in your quest to narrow down your ecommerce platform options and find the one that’s best for your business.