The world’s top ecommerce platforms, all in one place
The list of failed ecommerce platforms reads like an honor roll of Silicon Valley’s finest.
eBay and Amazon launched their own short-lived platforms; both were beaten by ecommerce upstarts Shopify and BigCommerce. Google promised us “the best ecommerce platform for SEO” – if SEO stood for ‘search engine obscurity’, they’d be right – Google Plus is a ghost town.
The perfect ecommerce website builder might not exist, but there are a few that come close. After testing several ecommerce website builders, we’ve rated and ranked the top five.
Read on for the five best ecommerce website builders.
The Top Five Ecommerce Website Builders
|Top Five Ecommerce Platforms|
|2||Squarespace||Best Bang For Your Buck|
|3||BigCommerce||Best Feature Set|
|4||Wix||Best for Help and Support|
|5||GoDaddy||Best for Self-Starters|
- Phenomenal multi-channel integration
- Best-in-class sales functionality
- A completely customizable ecommerce platform
- Transaction fees (unless you use Shopify Payments)
- Switching templates is more difficult than it needs to be
The caliber of Shopify’s clients – Budweiser, Adidas, and Tesla, to name a few – speaks volumes about the platform’s pedigree.
Shopify’s code-free content editor lets you set up shop in no time at all, making it ideal for anyone new to e-retail. Its world-beating suite of sales features also makes it great for vendors looking to upgrade from their current system.
Near-spotless customer review scores cement Shopify’s status as the best all-around product on the market.
Best Bang For Your Buck
- Lots of depth and quality to feature set.
- Sleek set of website templates
- Exceptional value for money
- Not the most user-frienfly platform
- Lacks support for major payment methods
Squarespace offers great value for money for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). In fact, you can save hundreds of dollars a year on the Advanced service plan in comparison with some of its notable competitors.
We know what you’re thinking; these savings must mean compromises elsewhere, right? Well, Squarespace doesn’t have the ecommerce-specific sales features of Shopify, but it does provide value in other ways – starting with design choices. The 50+ beautiful website templates* on offer are proof that, sometimes, you get more than what you pay for.
*Words can’t do justice to Squarespace’s design chops – check out their templates for yourself.
Best Feature Set
- Fantastic SEO guidance
- Unrivalled feature set
- Strong internationalization
- At times unfriendly content editor
- No mobile app
- Design restrictions
If BigCommerce doesn’t have it, you probably don’t need it. This ecommerce platform has the best out-of-the-box functionality of the bunch. You can add new products and shipping options to your website. Then there’s the ability to customize customer journeys based on factors like their age, location and past purchases. Throw awesome internationalization into the mix (multiple currencies and languages are supported), and you’re cooking with gas.
Put it all together, and BigCommerce is a portal to customers anywhere in the world. No wonder it’s the platform of choice for thousands of merchants in 150+ countries.
Best For Small Businesses
- Brilliant low cost option
- Design tools offer lots of creative control
- Easy to use
- No native abandoned cart recovery...
- ...or multi-channel integration
Wix is the king of low-cost website builders, and a surprisingly capable ecommerce solution. It gives you 70+ fully customizable templates, spanning more industries than any other platform in our top five. Handily, Wix’s website creation tools are free to use, so you can tinker with your website to your heart’s content before taking the plunge on the paid version.
A special mention goes to the Wix support staff, who do a terrific job of putting customers first. They’ll even go as far as to help you restore your site to a previous state if you accidentally delete something.
All in all, as long as you’re not fussed about fancy analytics or multi-channel marketing, Wix is a fine choice for your first online storefront.
Best For Self-Starters
- Fastest way to create an online store
- Smart website backup feature
- No surprise fees
- No support for digital product sales
- Limited creative control
- Relatively basic ecommerce functionality
If you’re willing to sacrifice design control for simplicity, look no further than GoDaddy. When you sign up for free, the platform asks you a few questions about your business, then auto-selects a theme based on your answers. From there, you’re able to add and remove pages and change certain elements; but it’s more like polishing a website that’s been put together for you.
The upshot? You can make a working website in minutes, and still have time to catch the end of Shark Tank. GoDaddy is a convenient, if not customizable, entry point into the world of ecommerce.
With more and more transactions occurring online each day, you need a world-class website to handle them.
We’d recommend any of the products covered above in a heartbeat, but remember to explore the options for yourself. Vendors upgrade platforms all the time, and we’ll be updating our scores to reflect this. In the meantime, hit the links below for pricing information, and to access free trials for each platform: