Compare ecommerce software
Find the best ecommerce software platform to make an online store.
From $29.95 USD per month
Smallest - Largest
BigCommerce is one of the big players in the ecommerce platform world. With its user-friendly interface, it provides a quick and easy way to get an online store up and selling. For small to medium businesses BigCommerce Essentials is a great option with no transaction fees, many inbuilt features and 24/7 customer support. For large scale businesses' BigCommerce provides a highly customisable enterprise solution.
- Doesn’t charge transaction fees or payment penalties
- Many third-party integrations available out of the box e.g. shipping providers, link to other marketplaces, social networks
- Easy to create and edit an online store with the drag-and-drop page builder
- Links with WordPress easily through the BigCommerce plugin
- 24/7 support via chat, email or phone
- Can be more expensive than competitors when it comes to a large volume of sales (their payment levels are based on sale volume)
Limited free plan available - paid plans start from $15 USD per month
Free plan available
Small - Medium
Ecwid is a very affordable and easy way to add an online store to your existing site. You can start a store for free with Ecwid which means you can really test it out. It includes heaps of useful tools for selling products through social media and even has a mobile app so you can manage sales on the go.
- The free plan allows you to create a store right away and to start selling, no credit card required
- Add an online store to your existing website with easy integration to all the top website platforms and creators
- No experience necessary – very easy to use
- Simple mobile management with the Ecwid mobile app
- Links in with existing POS systems
- Easily manage selling through all social media platforms
- Good multilingual options
- Not the best for making a standalone online store (adding Ecwid to an existing website is the way you want to go)
- Suited mostly for small businesses not large-scale or enterprise stores
- Some shortcomings when it comes to SEO
From $29 USD per month
Smallest - Largest
With over 1,700,000 businesses using Shopify, you know it must be good. Shopify has all the features you want from an ecommerce platform and provides great store designs, excellent support, and tons of ways for you to market your products. Its mobile app and huge range of add-on apps make it a standout ecommerce solution.
- One of the most popular ecommerce solutions, so there will always support and ongoing development
- Simple to navigate and use – no technical skill required
- Great designs and functionality
- Over 7000 apps integrate directly with Shopify
- 24/7 Support
- Manage your store from your mobile device with the Shopify Mobile App
- Has POS hardware, allowing you to sell in physical stores with your Shopify account
- Transaction fees if you use a payment gateway other than Shopify Payments
- Some extra functions require additional apps to be purchased
Starting with a free option - $15 USD per month for professional plan
Free plan available
Square, known for their point-of-sale (POS) units and payment processing service have an ecommerce platform called Square Online. It provides a simple, easy, and free way to get an online store live and selling. It’s especially suited to those that already use Square for their physical store and want to sell their products online.
- Simple to use store builder with a great user interface
- Low entry level with a free version available which includes free web hosting
- Links with the Square ecosystem seamlessly including Square’s popular POS systems making it super easy for those already using Square in-store
- Processing fee for every transaction
- Designed for smaller businesses and restaurants/cafes etc. not suitable for larger retail stores
- It’s simple, so not as many custom features available
- You can’t set different prices for shipping different items
From $35 USD per month which includes the ecommerce tools
Small - Medium
Known for being a clean, simple, and well-designed website creator Squarespace also allows you to sell from your site with Squarespace Commerce. It’s an all-in-one platform especially great for artists, restaurants, photographers, and smaller stores. Highly popular and well supported you can be guaranteed a stable and secure selling platform with Squarespace.
- An already great website creator with the bonus of easily integrating ecommerce
- Beautiful design and nice theme selection
- A focus on simplicity
- The functionally is built in for selling services, subscriptions and digital content
- Good selection of popular third-party extensions
- Mobile store management with the Squarespace app
- Not designed for larger ecommerce stores
- Not as customisable as other platforms
- Restrictive website design – you’ll have to stick with their templates and structure
- Only a few payment gateway options
Starting from $29 USD per month
Smallest - Largest
One of the most affordable ‘all-rounder’ ecommerce platforms. It comes with built-in SEO tools and has many of the expected features necessary for those starting out online. Volution is known for its helpful onboarding process as you get your store up and running. It provides a simple solution for business to consumer selling.
- Good for beginners in setting up an online store, no technical skills required
- 24/7 Support with a simplified and built-in onboarding process
- Good range of inbuilt features for smaller businesses
- No transaction fees
- Not as many third-party apps and integrations as its competitors
- Not as customizable as comprable ecommerce platforms
- Limited theme options
- Volusion’s own payment gateway, Volusion Payments, is not available outside of the USA
Starting from $23 USD per month for basic ecommerce
Small - Large
Wix is a popular website builder which also includes a feature rich ecommerce solution. It may not be as powerful as the dedicated ecommerce only platforms, but it comes with all the necessary features to grow a large online store. It boasts an easy-to-use, visually appealing interface with very competitive prices.
- Simple and intuitive interface
- Very affordable
- For those already using Wix for their website, adding on an online shop is super simple
- With the Wix Mobile App you can manage your site from anywhere
- Works alongside Wix POS software so you can manage your store in one place
- Large range of add-on apps
- Huge selection of modern website templates
- Lots of payment gateway choices
- Not as many tools as other ecommerce only platforms
- Some limited customization
Free (extensions cost extra)
Smallest - Largest
Those familiar with Wordpress will love WooCommerce. It's THE shopping cart platform for Wordpress. Just install the WooCommerce plugin and you're ready to start selling online. Extensions can be added onto your store to allow for extra features, many of which are free.
- Works easily with an existing WordPress site
- Being free, with some low-cost extensions, provides an affordable alternative to other platforms
- Loads of support for those already in the WordPress/Blogging community
- Plenty of extensions to expand or customize an online store
- The biggest range of themes
- May require more technical ability, or at least an understanding of WordPress
- Larger or enterprise stores may find it less manageable with higher volumes
- Since the platform is just a plugin, it relies on the websites themes and additional plugins being stable and supportive of any WooCommerce updates
Each ecommerce platform we list on this site provides you with the ability to create your own online store. From a blog with a few items for sale to a fully fledged retail outlet – there is a wide range of different software setups to suit all types of stores. When you find one you’re looking for, click the Go to site button and we’ll take you directly to the platforms website.
What is ecommerce software?
Ecommerce is the activity of buying and selling on the internet. Ecommerce software is the web application that allows you to sell products or services online and set up your own online store. It is also referred to as an ecommerce platform or shopping cart software.
Ecommerce software will generally give the seller (the merchant) the ability to:
- Add their own store branding and design
- Insert products and upload images
- Link their bank account and/or a financial service
- Receive orders – any be notified through email
- Generate receipts and reports on all sales
It will also give the buyer (customer) the ability to:
- Find products on a store
- Place products into a virtual shopping cart
- Checkout the products through a secure payment system
- Be issued receipts and notifications upon purchase
What is the best ecommerce platform?
The best ecommerce platform is… sorry… we can’t make that decision for you that’s why we show a variety of platforms on this website! It depends on your needs as a merchant and on how you plan to run and operate an online store. For example, it you are a one-person operation, and it’s just you selling a few items, you really don’t want or need an ecommerce platform that is highly complicated, expensive and full of features that you will never use. If you’re an extremely large online store, or have plans of growing into one, you will want to consider an ecommerce platform that can expand with the size of your store. Every ecommerce platform has strengths and weaknesses but the best ecommerce platform for you will be one that allows you to achieve success, and that doesn’t hinder you in the formation and growth of your online store.
Definitions of ecommerce terms
A payment gateway provides the authorization and transfer of payments between the customer and the merchant. It accomplishes a variety of tasks including making sure the payment is approved and the settlement of the order is completed, with the merchant receiving the funds. If you want to take credit card payments on your website, then a payment gateway is required. Some ecommerce platforms have their own payment gateway built-in but there is usually the option to select other payment gateway options such as PayPal, Stripe and Apple Pay.
POS stands for Point-of-Sale and is the place where the payment for goods or services happens. A POS system is an electronic piece of hardware used in physical location such as a retail store or restaurant where customers will make payment. It is the equipment you use when paying for things, so in a traditional store a cash register would represent a point-of-sale. Today a POS system is usually a terminal where you can scan your credit or debit card, which is linked to a terminal which holds store inventory data, processes payments, issues receipts and generates reports. A modern example of a Point-of-Sale system would be Square Register developed by Square.
A transaction fee is the small amount of money that is taken from each sale by the company you have enlisted to process your electronic transactions. Payment processing companies must be upfront about the transaction fees they charge, and this is usually a percentage of the total amount of each transaction. The amount they charge can vary depending on volume of regular sales, the plan you use, the country you live in etc.
A website theme, characterizes the look, feel and structure of your website. It encompasses the whole frontend design of your site which includes the color scheme, typography, headers, footers, page layouts etc. It’s important to select a theme that will suit your brand and will appeal to your audience. Ecommerce platform companies usually offer free themes and paid themes.
The annual fee is the fee you pay the ecommerce software provider on a yearly basis in exchange for the use of their platform. An alternative to annual fees is to pay in monthly instalments which can make it easier if you’re just starting out.
WordPress is the mostly widely used content management system (CMS) in the world. From its humble beginnings as just a blogging platform it’s now a very powerful and adaptable website management system built using PHP. It’s free to use and has many addon features such as themes and plugins which allow creators to make virtually any type of website or online store. WordPress powers over one-third of all the websites on the internet.
A website creator is an online tool designed to help users easily build a website. A website creator platform requires little to no coding experience. Users can drag-and-drop items, add text, upload images, change and add pages all within a graphical interface focused on simplicity, speed, and ease of use. An example of a popular website creator is Squarespace.
Shopping cart software is another name for ecommerce software or ecommerce platforms. They are all interchangeable. It’s the software which allows merchants to sell products and services online. The shopping cart (or just cart) within an online store refers to the place on a website where you add items before you checkout and make payment.
Extensions are additional features that you add to your ecommerce platform to make it preform a desired function. Another name for extensions could be ‘add-ons’ or ‘apps’. An example of an extension might be a different payment gateway or the ability to link your site to email marketing software. Ecommerce platforms all have their own extensions library and are presented in a marketplace format where they are either free to use or cost an extra fee.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of making your website and its content better all with a focus on and improving its organic ranking in search engines. It’s not just a simple science because there are so many things the search algorithms look at when ranking content. Areas of focus for optimizing sites might be formatting, back links, the quality and usefulness of the content, loading times, compliant coding practices, website security etc.
Multilingual, when referring to websites, is when you can present your website in more than one language. Some ecommerce platforms come with the ability to easily add-on other languages making your store truly international. A multilingual online store will often have a dropdown in the menu where you can select the language of the site.
Enterprise when it comes to ecommerce platforms refers a very large online store, or large company, and will usually mean a more customized approach is required to building an online store. An Enterprise plan is usually the highest-level plan or solution offered by platform providers. Not all platforms are suited to enterprise size businesses so it’s important to find a platform that is most suitable.