Best E-commerce Website Platforms: Choosing the Perfect Platform for Your Online Business

Introduction to E-commerce Platforms

In today’s digital age, having a strong online presence is crucial for any business. E-commerce platforms play a vital role in enabling entrepreneurs and businesses to set up and manage their online stores effectively. With numerous options available in the market, selecting the best e-commerce website builder can be a daunting task. In this article, we will explore some of the top e-commerce platforms of 2021, highlighting their features, pricing plans, advantages, and disadvantages. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced online retailer, this comprehensive guide will assist you in making an informed decision that aligns with your specific requirements.

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Table of Contents

What are E-commerce Platforms?

E-commerce platforms are software solutions that facilitate the creation and management of online stores. They offer a wide range of features and tools to help businesses showcase and sell their products or services online. These platforms provide an intuitive interface, allowing users to create and customize their websites without any coding knowledge. Additionally, e-commerce platforms often integrate payment gateways, inventory management systems, and marketing tools, empowering merchants to streamline their operations and drive sales.

Importance of E-commerce Platforms

The significance of e-commerce platforms in today’s business landscape cannot be overstated. They provide entrepreneurs with a comprehensive toolkit to establish and grow their online presence. By utilizing e-commerce platforms, businesses can expand their reach to a global audience, operate 24/7, and increase their revenue potential. These platforms also simplify the process of managing inventory, processing payments, and analyzing customer data, enabling merchants to focus on delivering exceptional products and services.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an E-commerce Platform

When selecting an e-commerce platform, several factors should be taken into account to ensure it meets your unique business needs. Here are some essential considerations:

  1. Ease of Use: Look for a platform that offers a user-friendly interface, intuitive navigation, and easy-to-use customization tools. This ensures that you can efficiently manage your online store without technical expertise.
  2. Customization Options: Evaluate the platform’s flexibility and customization capabilities. The ability to personalize your website’s design, layout, and branding is essential for creating a unique and memorable online shopping experience.
  3. Payment Gateways: Check the available payment gateways and ensure they support popular options such as PayPal, Stripe, or Square. Having multiple payment gateways helps cater to a broader customer base and ensures a seamless checkout process.
  4. Customer Support: Reliable customer support is crucial for troubleshooting technical issues or addressing concerns promptly. Look for platforms that offer responsive and knowledgeable customer support through various channels.
  5. Integration with Third-Party Applications: Consider the platform’s compatibility with third-party applications such as email marketing tools, analytics platforms, or inventory management systems. Seamless integration can enhance your store’s functionality and streamline your business operations.

Best E-commerce Platforms in 2021

1. Shopify

Shopify is one of the most popular and user-friendly e-commerce platforms available. It provides an all-in-one solution, allowing users to build, customize, and manage their online stores with ease. Some noteworthy features of Shopify include:

  • Extensive design options and themes to create visually appealing websites.
  • Secure and reliable hosting with 99.99% uptime.
  • Integration with over 2,500 apps to enhance store functionality.
  • Multiple payment gateway options, including Shopify Payments.
  • Mobile responsiveness to ensure a seamless shopping experience across devices.

Shopify offers various pricing plans, including Basic Shopify, Shopify, and Advanced Shopify, catering to different business sizes and needs.

Advantages of using Shopify:

  • Beginner-friendly interface and ease of use.
  • Robust inventory management and order fulfillment features.
  • Extensive app store for additional functionalities.
  • Excellent customer support.

Disadvantages of using Shopify:

  • Additional transaction fees for using third-party payment gateways.
  • Advanced features and customization options may require coding knowledge.

2. WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a popular e-commerce platform built on WordPress, making it an ideal choice for businesses already using WordPress for their website. Notable features of WooCommerce include:

  • Seamless integration with WordPress, offering extensive customization options.
  • Wide range of free and premium themes to design your store.
  • Scalability to accommodate both small and large online stores.
  • Access to numerous WordPress plugins for enhanced functionality.
  • Detailed analytics and reporting capabilities.

WooCommerce is an open-source platform, making it free to use. However, additional costs may be incurred for hosting, domain registration, and premium themes or plugins.

Advantages of using WooCommerce:

  • High level of customization and control over your online store.
  • Seamless integration with WordPress content management system.
  • Vast community support and resources.
  • No transaction fees for using third-party payment gateways.

Disadvantages of using WooCommerce:

  • Requires more technical expertise compared to hosted platforms.
  • Costs associated with hosting, domain, and premium extensions.

3. BigCommerce

BigCommerce is a comprehensive e-commerce platform known for its scalability and built-in features. Key features of BigCommerce include:

  • Robust SEO capabilities to improve online visibility.
  • Responsive and mobile-friendly designs.
  • Advanced marketing tools, including built-in SEO features and abandoned cart recovery.
  • Built-in multi-channel selling capabilities, including integration with Amazon, eBay, and social media platforms.
  • Hassle-free security and hosting with 99.99% uptime.

BigCommerce offers various pricing plans to accommodate businesses of all sizes, including Standard, Plus, Pro, and Enterprise plans.

Advantages of using BigCommerce:

  • Powerful built-in features, reducing the need for additional plugins.
  • Scalable platform suitable for businesses at different growth stages.
  • No transaction fees, regardless of the chosen payment gateway.
  • 24/7 customer support.

Disadvantages of using BigCommerce:

  • Advanced features and functionalities may require technical expertise.
  • Customization options can be limited compared to some other platforms.

4. Magento

Magento is a highly customizable and scalable e-commerce platform trusted by some of the world’s leading brands. Notable features of Magento include:

  • Extensive customization options, allowing businesses to create unique and tailored online stores.
  • Advanced SEO capabilities for improved search engine rankings.
  • Scalability to support high-volume sales and complex product catalogs.
  • Multilingual and multi-currency support for global operations.
  • Rich customer segmentation and targeting options.

Magento offers both a free open-source version (Magento Community Edition) and a paid enterprise version (Magento Commerce) with additional features and support.

Advantages of using Magento:

  • Highly customizable and flexible platform.
  • Powerful features for large-scale e-commerce operations.
  • Robust security and performance.
  • Extensive community support and resources.

Disadvantages of using Magento:

  • Requires technical expertise to set up and manage.
  • Higher cost compared to some other platforms.
  • Hosting and maintenance may require additional investments.

5. Volusion

Volusion is a user-friendly e-commerce platform known for its simplicity and comprehensive feature set. Key features of Volusion include:

  • User-friendly interface with intuitive drag-and-drop functionality.
  • Built-in SEO tools to improve website visibility.
  • Robust inventory management and order processing capabilities.
  • Access to numerous responsive themes to create visually appealing stores.
  • Integrated payment gateways, including PayPal, Stripe, and Amazon Pay.

Volusion offers different pricing plans, including Personal, Professional, Business, and Prime plans, tailored to the specific needs of businesses.

Advantages of using Volusion:

  • Easy-to-use platform, ideal for beginners.
  • Excellent customer support.
  • No transaction fees for using third-party payment gateways.
  • Robust inventory management features.

Disadvantages of using Volusion:

  • Customization options may be limited compared to some other platforms.
  • Additional costs for certain features or bandwidth usage.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an E-commerce Platform

  1. Ease of Use: Ensure the platform’s interface and tools are user-friendly, allowing you to navigate and manage your online store effortlessly.
  2. Customization Options: Look for platforms that provide ample customization options to create a unique and visually appealing website.
  3. Payment Gateways: Check if the platform supports multiple payment gateways to offer convenience and flexibility to your customers.
  4. Customer Support: Reliable customer support ensures prompt assistance and troubleshooting when needed.
  5. Integration with Third-Party Applications: Consider the platform’s compatibility with third-party applications to enhance your store’s functionality.


Selecting the best e-commerce platform for your online business is a critical decision that can significantly impact your success. By considering factors such as ease of use, customization options, payment gateways, customer support, and third-party integrations, you can narrow down your choices and find the platform that best suits your unique requirements. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced retailer, the top e-commerce platforms discussed in this article, including Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Magento, and Volusion, offer a range of features and pricing plans to help you build a successful online store.

Summary of the Best E-commerce Platforms

  • Shopify: User-friendly, extensive features, multiple pricing plans.
  • WooCommerce: Customizable, seamless WordPress integration, scalability.
  • BigCommerce: Built-in features, multi-channel selling, scalable.
  • Magento: Highly customizable, scalable, advanced features.
  • Volusion: User-friendly, built-in SEO tools, robust inventory management.

Final Thoughts and Recommendations

When choosing an e-commerce platform, carefully assess your business requirements, budget, and technical expertise. Consider the platform’s features, customization options, payment gateways, customer support, and integrations to make an informed decision. Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, and what works for one business may not be suitable for another. Take your time, research thoroughly, and choose the e-commerce platform that aligns with your long-term goals and enables your business to thrive in the online marketplace.

Simple Faq

Q: What is the best e-commerce platform for beginners?

A: Shopify and Volusion are both user-friendly platforms suitable for beginners. They offer intuitive interfaces and extensive customer support.

Q: Can I migrate my store to a different e-commerce platform?

A: Yes, most e-commerce platforms provide migration tools or services to help you transfer your store to a different platform. However, the complexity of the process may vary depending on the platforms involved.

Q: How do e-commerce platforms charge for their services?

A: E-commerce platforms typically charge monthly or annual fees based on the pricing plan you choose. Some platforms may also apply transaction fees or additional charges for using specific features or third-party payment gateways.

Q: Is it possible to use multiple payment gateways at the same time on an e-commerce platform?

A: Yes, many e-commerce platforms allow you to integrate multiple payment gateways, offering your customers more options and flexibility during the checkout process.

Q: Does my store size determine the choice of an e-commerce platform?

A: Yes, the size and scale of your online store can influence the choice of an e-commerce platform. Some platforms are better suited for small businesses, while others offer more advanced features and scalability for larger enterprises.


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