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10 Best E-commerce Platforms to Launch an Online Store

Surjeet Thakur - Google Adwords Expert Chandigarh India

Surjeet Thakur

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Most of the modern-day entrepreneurs invest heavily in online stores as the business is quite lucrative, especially in the long term. Hence, it is important that E-commerce store owners and marketers use the top, best platforms to launch their ambitious online shopping portals.

In case you are looking to set up an online store for your products and services, but are not yet sure as to the best platform that will suit your needs and long-term vision, look no further than this post, wherein we are going to discuss the top platforms to launch an E-commerce website in the post-Covid world.

Before jumping on to the top e-commerce platforms to start an online store, let us first look at the aspects that make a platform worth our time and effort.

Features you should consider while choosing an E-commerce platform

1) Mobile Friendly

When more than 60% of users are going to access your website from their mobile phone, wouldn’t it be a good idea to make sure that the e-commerce platform that you are choosing offers the best mobile-responsive themes and templates.

2) Security

E-commerce stores are the red-hot target of hackers trying to steal user data for nefarious gains. Make sure that the platform you are choosing offers SSL protection and supports PCI-DSS compliant payment solutions such as PayPal and Stripe.

3) SEO Friendly

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plays a major role in the success of your online store, as this factor decides how well your website ranks in the Google search results against queries of products/services that you offer. All major ecommerce platforms in today’s time come pre-loaded with basic SEO-friendly features such as:

  • Meta tags and Meta Descriptions
  • Access to robot.txt file (of the platform)
  • SEO friendly URL structures
  • Adding pagination in product searches
  • Adding canonical tags
  • API integration for Google Analytics

4) Product Managment System

Simply putting, this system is used to manage product listing. However, the time has changed drastically and users expect more functionalities from their product management system, such as:

  • Feature to create different categories and map products to them
  • To upload high-quality product images in bulk
  • Feature to map shipping options to products
  • Advanced product display algorithms to display similar items, compare products and improve wishlist functionalities and experience
  • Feature to create product combinations based on size, color and other similar parameters

5) Return Management System

The number of satisfied and happy customers that your e-commerce store gets depends largely on this system. The general features that all major ecommerce platforms offer:

  • Devising rules for return, such as eligibility criterion, return date limit and return charges (if any)
  • Auto-refund approved returns
  • Auto-process returns for eligible products
  • Print return address slips and invoice
  • Automatic updates for return status

Top 10 E-commerce platforms to launch an online store

Now since we are well-acquainted with the features that we must look for in any ecommerce platform, let us dive straight into top platforms to launch an online shopping store:

1) Shopify

Talking about e-commerce platforms, the first name that comes to our mind — in terms of popularity — is none other than Shopify. Shopify has helped millions of small businesses launch their online store in the last 14 years and to this day remains one of the favourite platforms for new-age entrepreneurs.

Plans and Pricing

Shopify offers its services in 3 plans, which you can choose according to your needs and expectations:

  • Basic Shopify: $29/month
  • Shopify: $79/month
  • Advanced Shopify: $299/month

Pros and Cons

+ Very easy to set up
+ 24/7 support available via chat, phone and email
+ 1-click selling apps
+ In-house payment platform

– SEO features could be improved
– Expensive apps
– Only 9 free themes

2) Wix

More than 500,000 entrepreneurs turned to Wix to launch their first online store. Besides providing pocket-friendly plans, Wix also takes care of your store’s hosting. Even with the basic plans, Wix provides you with the power of adding unlimited number of products. With Wix you further get the option to create customizable check out page.

Plans and Pricing

Wix, too, offers its services in 3 different plans:

  • Basic: INR 225/month
  • Unlimited: INR 300/month
  • VIP: INR 500/month

Pros and Cons

+ Wix doesn’t levy any transaction fee
+ Unlimited products and accounts
+ Free domain name for 1st year
+ Over 500+ free e-commerce templates

– Only general features available in the basic plan
– Live chat support not available
– Integration with amazon could be better

3) BigCommerce

Some platforms suit small businesses while some are tailor-made for large-scale e-commerce projects. However, there are only a few which offer features suiting both. BigCommerce is one of them! The platform also allows you to take payments by cheques, bank transfer and money order.

Plans and Pricing

The company offers a free 15-day trial, post which you can buy one of the following plans:

  • Standard: $29.59/month (To set-up a store)
  • Basic: $79.59/month (Get access to marketing tools for better conversion)
  • Pro: $299.59/month (Take your business to the next level)

Pros and Cons

+ Amazing SEO performance
+ Easy integration with amazon

– Loading speed may sometimes be an issue
– Expensive for stores with a large inventory

4) Woo Commerce

Exclusively made for websites run on wordpress, this open-source plugin is a favourite among many businesses. it offers several basic themes for free and the rest can be purchased for a nominal fee. The platform also has a well-established forum which can answer all the questions that may bug you during the initial stages.

Pros and Cons

+ Free, open-source platform
+ Quick setup, high scalability

– No dedicated customer support — help can be sought through forum
– Dependency on other wordpress plugins

5) Zyro

Zyro is best-known for its highly affordable basic plans. Although the company is a young one, their AI integrations are worth an applause. The e-commerce platform offers as many as 11 free mobile-optimized themes which can be edited with simple drag-and-drop functionality.

Plans and Pricing

With each plan, you get up to 30-days money back guarantee and free hosting:

  • Basic: $14.99/month
  • Unleashed: $15.99/month
  • eCommerce: $24.99/month
  • eCommerce Plus: $29.99/month

Pros and Cons

+ Highly affordable starting plans
+ Free access to Unsplash image library
+ Free domain name for the 1st year

– Customer support could be better
– No Free Trial is provided (a 30-day money back guarantee is promised though)

6) SquareSpace

SquareSpace takes care of all your hosting needs so that you can lay complete focus on setting up and running your online shopping store. With many affordable plans and mobile-friendly customizable templates, this e-commerce platform is worth a try.

Plans and Pricing

The company offers four plans which can be billed both monthly and annually. The below-mentioned prices consider the monthly accept:

  • Personal: $16/month
  • Business: $26/month
  • Basic Commerce: $30/month
  • Advanced Commerce: $46/month

Pros and Cons

+ Business plan starting as low as $18/month when billed annually
+ Unlimited products and accounts
+ 14-day free trial

– Commission as high as 3% with the cheapest plan
– Client support could be better

7) Volusion

We wanted to put Volusion a little higher on our list because of the flexibility of its shopping cart software. However, the reason why it is placed 7th on our list is the fact that they do not provide website hosting. If you are starting out, you can pick out of 11 free and 34 paid themes. The best part, however, is that the templates can be enhanced with CSS.

Plans and Pricing

You can opt for any of the following plans on Volusion:

  • Personal: $26/month (billed monthly)
  • Professional: $71/month
  • Business: $269/month
  • Prime: Price based on Gross Merchandise Value (GMV)

Pros and Cons

+ On-boarding is super easy
+ No transaction fee
+ 24X7 support

– Website hosting isn’t included in the plans
– Many limits with beginner plans

8) Ecwid

With Ecwid you can start off completely free for the first 10 physical products. Once you are ready to move past this stage, affordable upgrades start as low as $15.  It supports all major CMS platforms such as WordPress, Drupal, Weebly, etc.

Plans and Pricing

  • Free
  • Venture: INR 700/month
  • Business: INR 1500/month
  • Unlimited: INR 5000/month

Pros and Cons

+ Free plan, though covers only 10 products
+ Good customer support

– Phone support is available only in advanced plans
– Product URLs can’t be changed which is a huge no-no for SEO.

9) Prestashop

Prestashop, too, like Woo Commerce is an open-source e-commerce platform. The portal is available in as many as 75 languages and receives updates regularly. The official marketplace themes start from $69.99; however, you can download free themes from the community forum itself.

Pros and Cons

+ Open-source platform
+ Regular updates

– Lack of dedicated customer support
– Free themes not explicitly stated in the marketplace

10) Weebly

Last but not the least on our list is Weebly. This e-commerce platform is hailed as the easiest and simplest online store builder. This platform should be the ideal choice for small-scale businesses such as handmade products, homemade products, hobby sellers, local shops, etc.

Plans and pricing

Besides the free plan, Weebly offers three more plans for it clients:

  • Personal – $6/month + a 3% transaction fee
  • Professional – $12/month
  • Performance – $26/month

Pros and Cons

+ Ideal for small-scale businesses
+ Quick setup

– Not suitable for large businesses
– Better players can be chosen for the Upper tier plans

The Bottom Line

Had it not been for these E-commerce platforms, setting up and operating an online store would have been very difficult for billions of sellers and retailers across the globe. Thanks to the modern-technology that store owners do not have to write even a single piece of code.

We hope that you consider the points made in this post before making a purchase for your ambitious venture. Good luck!

If you'd like us to dramatically improve your website & business, visit our "Services" page and then contact us for more information.
And if you have any comments or questions about this article, contact us
or Call +91-9915-337-448, Skype: oli-jee, Email: surjeet@ppcchamp.com
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