Online digital commerce platforms have set the stage right for creating wonderful eCommerce websites. The technological advancements that some of the best eCommerce platforms introduce add to the overall customer experience of billions of digital buyers across the globe.
Precisely, there will be 2.05 billion digital buyers in 2020 according to a Statista report. This huge number poses a handsome opportunity for businesses that already are or will be stepping into the world of B2C or B2B eCommerce business. After all, eCommerce accounts for much of the purchasing in the current scenario for all the categories of buyers, i.e., Millenials, Gen X, and baby boomers.
Apart from the investment and all other miscellaneous resources that are required to start a business, you need to equally focus on deploying the core technology that can cater to the needs of sellers and buyers alike, i.e., choosing the best eCommerce platform. This digital commerce platform is the fundamental technology on which the foundation of your eCommerce website is built.
A digital commerce platform is the core technology enabling customers to purchase goods and services through an interactive and self-service experience. The platform provides necessary information for customers to make their buying decisions and uses rules and data to present fully priced orders for payment– Gartner
The better the choice of a digital commerce platform, the easier it is to search, evaluate, and buy products & services. This subsequently helps provide an uninterrupted path to your users while they strive to complete the intended action on your website.
5 Best eCommerce Platforms that Dominate the Market
So, which is the best eCommerce platform for you? Here is the list of top five eCommerce platforms for you to evaluate before deciding your foundation partner.
Magento (Adobe product) is an open-source eCommerce platform that is suitable for businesses that have already invested heavily in deploying an on-premise IT team. If an eCommerce business wishes to enjoy full control over the eCommerce development platform, Magento is the way to go. The platform allows a developer to play with its source code and customize the website the way they want while helping your brand deliver an omnichannel experience.
Being an open-source solution makes it the best eCommerce platform for startups with an in-house IT team. On the other hand, you can choose Magento Commerce and Magento Cloud Commerce if you happen to be a mid-size or a large enterprise. Moreover, Magento has introduced better features and functions with Magento 2. If your business is already running on Magento, migration from Magento 1 to 2 is a prerequisite as the support for the prior version ends by June this year.
Adobe (Magento) Named a Leader in 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce Platforms– Adobe.com
- Strength – A thriving community with more than 3,00,000 developers
- eCommerce websites using Magento in the US according to BuiltWith – 74,256
- Versions – Open-source, Magento Commerce, Magento Cloud Commerce
- Brands that run on Magento – Coca-Cola, Nike, Samsung, Ford
BigCommerce offers a multi-tenant SaaS platform for businesses of all sizes. The eCommerce cloud platform requires a subscription fee to get started. The platform has the ability to integrate with eCommerce giants like Amazon, along with conducting transactions on popular social media platforms. Its latest multi-currency support tool wins brownie points for ramping up the digital payment service.
BigCommerce offers the ability to answer 400 API calls per second, has 4 months or even less launch time and 3 times greater mobile commerce conversions. And the cherry on the top is the BigCommerce Control Panel that lets you sell through social media platforms and also offers integrations with Amazon.
- Strength – Reports 99.9% uptime
- eCommerce websites using BigCommerce in the US according to BuiltWith – 35,763
- Versions – BigCommerce Standard, BigCommerce Plus, BigCommerce Pro, BigCommerce Enterprise
- Brands that run on BigCommerce – SkullCandy, Hush Puppies, Clarks, PayPal Here
Shopify is a hosted solution that is super easy to set-up as it is a plug-and-play platform. Also a SaaS platform, Shopify eliminates the burden of managing the technicalities of the website. This helps the business easily focus on its core functionalities, which makes the platform a top choice for small businesses with limited in-house teams if one has to compare Magento vs Shopify.
A noteworthy fact about Shopify is its capability to roll off regular updates every now and then. A good example of one such update that is making headlines is the Shopify Chat. It helps customers make real-time conversations with the Shopify stores from any device.
- Strength – Plug-and-play solution
- eCommerce websites using Shopify in the US according to BuiltWith – 957,393
- Versions – Basic Shopify, Shopify, Shopify Advanced
- Brands that run on Shopify – Tesla, RedBull
WooCommerce is a powerful eCommerce development platform that supports an eCommerce plugin for WordPress. The platform is suitable for high traffic eCommerce websites, and the best part is that its base product is an open-source solution. However, you would have to spend on themes, domains, and plugins. There are over 400 extensions available, which makes WooCommerce a trusted choice among eCommerce business owners.
With 86,033,701 downloads, WooCommerce powers over 28% of all online stores – WooCommerce.com
The platform allows customizations and integrates content with commerce to offer a seamless overall experience. Moreover, WooCommerce comes with a REST API that helps manage everything, whether it is the product catalogs or the respective orders.
- Strength – WordPress Plugin
- eCommerce websites using WooCommerce in the US according to BuiltWith – 268,270
- Versions – WooCommerce Starter, WooCommerce Plus, WooCommerce Pro
- Brands that run on WooCommerce – Singer, Ghostbed, and All Blacks
PrestaShop is a freemium, open-source digital commerce platform that is deployed by around 3,00,000 eCommerce websites around the world. The platform supports over 300 in-built features for managing eCommerce interactions.
The eCommerce platform is popular for its strong SEO and the various apps available for enabling customizations. The regular updates and bug fixtures make the platform a fairly good choice for eCommerce businesses. They recently released PrestaShop 18.104.22.168 that fixes almost 16 issues that were reported in the past.
PrestaShop is one of the biggest store community in the world that grows every 4 minutes and contributes to generating €15bnn – Christophe Bouron, CRO
Owing to its open-source status, Prestashop also allows customizations in accordance with one’s specific needs.
- Strength – Available in 60 different languages
- eCommerce websites using PrestaShop in the US according to BuiltWith – 86,131
- Versions – PrestaShop, PrestaShop Ready
- Brands that run on PrestaShop – Huygens, MontaGut, Housepet
The first step towards creating an online store starts with choosing the best eCommerce platform. Your choice determines the fate of your eCommerce business in the long run. Even after reviewing the top eCommerce platforms mentioned above, deciding on the right one can be a daunting task. It is important to weigh the pros and cons and make a data-informed decision.
Here’s a list of the different eCommerce platforms mentioned in this article along with their suitability based on the scale of the business.
- Magento – Suitable for enterprise-level eCommerce stores that support in-house developers
- BigCommerce – Best eCommerce platform for small businesses
- Shopify – Best eCommerce platform for startups and boutique shop owners
- WooCommerce – Best for WordPress powered websites selling limited products
- PrestaShop – It can be used by both the mid-sized and large enterprises
No eCommerce platform is perfect, but if the features of the platform align with your needs, nothing can work better. Consulting with the right eCommerce development agencies can help you build a website with the most suitable eCommerce platform for your business.