It can be tough to pick an ecommerce platform these days. The fact that there are more options, rather than fewer, can be downright confusing. Which platform is best for dropshippers? Which is best for people on a budget? Which is best for retail? It can all sound like too much to weigh.
Yet you don’t want to move forward with a platform unless you’re 100% confident it’s the best ecommerce platform for you.
How do you resolve these two problems? Simple: direct comparison. We’ve done some in-depth studies of the world’s top ecommerce platforms in recent months. In that time, we’ve learned a lot about the budget, features, support, SEO, product quantity, add-ons, and other elements that make a great ecommerce platform.
And you know what? There are a lot of great ones out there.
But which one is best for you is another tale entirely.
To tell that tale, we have to run a direct comparison of the top-rated ecommerce platforms available this year. In this post, we’ll take a comprehensive look at what these platforms are, their defining features, and how you can sift through the noise to find out which one best meets your specific needs as a business.
It’s a lot to take in, we know. That’s why we’ve put together a table of contents for you to zip right to the section you want to read. There’s going to be a lot to digest, so this post is designed for anyone who wants to skip around and check out the platforms they want to know more about.
- The Top-Rated Ecommerce Platforms
- Honorable Mention Platforms
- The Types of Ecommerce Platforms: What You Need to Know
- Tips for Selecting the Right Ecommerce Platform for You
- Tips if You’re on a Budget
- Tips for Selecting the Right Ecommerce Platform
- Tips for Selecting the Right Technical Details
- Which Platform is the Best for…?
- The Best Ecommerce Platform For Dropshippers
- The Best Ecommerce Platform for Enterprises
- The Best Ecommerce Platform For Newbies
- The Best Ecommerce Platform for Low Budgets
- Exploring the Top Platforms by Features and Capabilities
- Budget Concerns
- Customer Support
- Product Quantity
With that in mind, let’s get started. Here are our top-rated platforms once we’ve taken everything into consideration.
The Top-Rated Ecommerce Platforms
Here they are:
It’s tempting to look at this list and think that it’s strict: if you don’t get WooCommerce, then you’re settling for second-best. But that’s not exactly the case.
While we do think that WooCommerce might be the best balance of price, features, and scalability, it doesn’t mean that it’s going to be the right option for everyone. There may be people out there who want to build a store with some more assistance. In that case, the second and third options on the list might be better for them.
Conversely, if a retailer were building a store and wanted a nearly infinite amount of options and scalability for adding products, Magento might move to number one on the list.
That’s why it’s important to understand that while this list is definitive—after all, it’s our list and we get to pick who comes out number one—it doesn’t mean that you should abandon anything but number one.
To help explain that, let’s look at some of the reasons we chose these individual options:
What’s the low-down on WooCommerce? It’s fairly simple for being an open source service, which means that you can use it even if you don’t have a ton of development capabilities. However, if you don’t have those capabilities, you’ll likely be restricted to the templates and plugins you work with. If you can accept that, it’s the best bang for the buck of any ecommerce platform around, which is why it earned the top spot on our list.
- Price. It’s hard to beat the price of WooCommerce, especially when you balance against some of the other “free” options that aren’t nearly as robust as what you can accomplish with this platform. WooCommerce being open source on WordPress means it’s about as affordable as an ecommerce platform can get. You might need a theoretical physicist to figure out how they make it happen, but they do.
- An extensive add-on library. Like Shopify, you can find just about anything you want to go along with WooCommerce and expand it to your liking. Sure, there may be a little bit of guesswork when it comes to figuring out how you want to integrate it with your store. But otherwise, WooCommerce has one of the biggest libraries of add-ons there is, featuring plugins and extensions that can make your store truly robust—often without paying more.
- Integration with WordPress. You might call this an advantage or a disadvantage, depending on what you prefer to work within a content management system. You may want to go a simpler route with Shopify, for example, or any of the other hosted platforms on our list. But considering the popularity of WordPress—it has a 60%+ market share over the entire CMS market—we’re going to count this as a good thing.
Ultimately, WooCommerce wins out because it does so much for so little. If we were to stack it up feature-by-feature or possibility-by-possibility, there’s a chance it might not rank so high. But the fact that it can compete with the top names on our list while asking for so little in return gives it the best “pound-for-pound” ranking, and that deserves mention at number one.
It can be hard to put your finger on what makes Shopify work so well. On one hand, it’s affordable. On the other hand, it charges transaction fees. On one hand, it’s easy to use out of the box. On the other hand, it has all sorts of plugins that you might deem necessary for running your business. What does it all add up to? Maybe the most well-rounded of the platforms on our list.
- Simplicity. It’s underrated, especially if you’re coming to ecommerce fresh. You may not know what it takes to build a shop. You may not even know how to upload a product for the first time. And if that’s what you see yourself struggling with, a platform like Shopify is a serious advantage. It helps you through the setup process, lets you use templates for attractive storefronts, and otherwise supports you every step of the way. And speaking of support…
- Customer support. Shopify has a massive audience, and that means that you won’t have any trouble finding help when you need it. Customer support is built right into the platform. Call them up, send them an email—it’s all part of what you’re paying for. It’s not what you can get out of WooCommerce, so if this is an important factor for you, it’s worth considering.
- Themes. Shopify has plenty of attractive storefront themes for you to choose from. Many of these are optimized for SEO and ecommerce, giving you the ability to plant your flag online and immediately focus on selling. This is especially useful for dropshipping, as you can create a store and start moving products with minimal startup costs and effort. You’ll be able to put something together in a hurry, particularly if you get used to Shopify and learn how it all works.
You really won’t go wrong if choosing between Shopify and the next option on our list, BigCommerce. In fact, you might pay a little more, depending on how you use Shopify. But it’s earned its reputation as one of the most reliable and robust ways to get your products sold online, and there’s simply no getting around that fact.
BigCommerce’s main appeal? It’s the ultimate out-of-the-box solution, which means that you don’t have to guess a lot when you’re using BigCommerce. You also won’t need a dedicated team of coders and developers. They offer support and scalability within one package, providing all sorts of features wrapped up into their essential offerings. If you want to avoid all sorts of add-ons and extra payments after you sign up, BigCommerce may be the best choice.
- All-in-one solutions. There may be no better “all-in-one” solution on our entire list, and that includes the honorable mentions. BigCommerce’s chief advantage is that it functions a little bit like Shopify, but also doesn’t charge you the long-term transaction fees. While BigCommerce might not be quite as popular as Shopify and may not offer as many customization possibilities, it’s an easy way to get started with building an online shop. If you prioritize a completely worry-free method of building your shop, this may be the best choice on the market.
- Scalability. BigCommerce is a little more expensive than some other options on the list, but at least that comes for good reason. Not only does it not charge you transaction fees for selling on their platform, but BigCommerce lets you add new products in large amounts without incurring more expensive pricing tiers. The net result: you can hold a lot of products, allowing you to scale your shop quickly. As you make more sales, the price of BigCommerce will go down relative to the amount of money you’re bringing in.
- Accessible dashboards. One of the reasons people love BigCommerce is that it keeps things nice and simple. If you read the list of features it allows on its platform, there’s a good chance you might feel intimidated by everything. There’s so much to sift through, from learning how to use their drag-and-drop store builder to exploring the add-ons. But BigCommerce simplifies everything into an accessible dashboard that’s intuitive, even if you’ve never used a platform like this before.
BigCommerce is your go-to choice if you don’t want to think; you just want to go and get that store online with confidence that you’ll pull it all together in the end. It’s a sort of worry-free, fool-proof approach that works great for first-time shop owners.
Magento is big, and it’s for big companies. If that’s what you have in mind for your store, then its best features will likely align with your core values:
- Scalability. We can’t talk about BigCommerce as being scalable without mentioning the powerhouse of scalability. Magento is built for the big shops on the block. That’s a disadvantage if you have a limited budget and are building your first store, of course, but for everyone else, it can be a point in the “pro” column. Magento lets you easily add thousands of products as part of its offering.
- Complexity. Now you see why we have Magento fourth on the list. Complexity can be a very good thing. If you have a developer team who can help you construct a great online store, Magento is robust and open source, giving you an endless amount of options for creating just about anything you want to create on your store. But if you don’t want that complexity, it can only be a hindrance to getting a quick store set up. Ultimately, this is up to your priorities.
- Price specifications. Let’s say you have one customer segment and another customer segment, and you want to keep them separate. Not too complicated. But what if you want to charge one of those customer segments less if they buy a product as an add-on, while charging the other customer segment more if they want to buy it outright? Now you see why Magento can be so appealing. Its robust features like price variation may be difficult to pull off if you’re building your first store, but they can help you generate revenue if you’re working with a shop at scale.
Magento is for the serious only. You can’t dip your toes into it; you have to try it all, with confidence about what you’re doing. But once you do, you unlock a world of potential.
Honorable Mention Platforms
After our top four, it might seem like there’s no reason to consider another type of ecommerce platform. And that’s not exactly true.
Sure, you might have plenty of success if you were simply to pick from any of the platforms above. Chances are, no matter what your priorities, you could find something valuable in one of the four. But what if you have very specific goals? What if you need to know if there are other options out there?
Let’s take a look through our honorable mention platforms so you don’t think we forgot about them:
- #5: Big Cartel. Big Cartel almost made our list in the top four, but when you consider just how much is possible with Magento, it’s hard to decide. Big Cartel excels for people who sell art and hand crafts and simply want a unique personal store. It’s low-cost, easy to manage, and ultimately, easy to set up. But it does leave some people wanting more when it comes to scaling and adding features.
- #6: Wix. This combination website builder / ecommerce platform is a great entry-level way for someone to experience building an online shop. That might seem like a back-handed compliment. But it does touch on why Wix isn’t higher on our list: it’s simple, affordable, and ultimately, not as robust as the platforms that rank higher. If you have big plans for your ecommerce store, Wix can work as a toe in the water, but ultimately, it may not get you to where you want to go.
- #7: Squarespace. Squarespace is a combination website builder, ecommerce platform, and content management system. The problem is that it’s limited in what it can do with all three. If you want to make an attractive website with minimal muss and fuss—knock yourself out. But if you need more serious and robust ecommerce features to expand your store, you might want to choose something with a little bit more scalability.
- #8: Weebly. Like Wix, Weebly is a nice shortcut into the game of selling online. It’s easy to set up, customize, and use without having to read an instruction manual. It’s also affordable. But if you don’t have coding experience, you may find the features for building and designing your site to be limited. Consider this another “toe in the water” option with few drawbacks.
- #9: OpenCart. Sick of hearing about our “intro-level” alternatives? OpenCart is an alternative for the open source people. If you want plenty of customization and extensions to manage your store, you’ll find all sorts of opportunities here. And despite the complexity possible, OpenCart brings it all home with a simple dashboard interface that’s surprisingly easy to manage. The only drawback is that you’ll have to be more of an experienced coder who knows how to build a website. Otherwise, it stands as a valid ecommerce platform alternative to anything else you’ll find on this list.
- #10: Shift4Shop. This used to be 3DCart, so you may not recognize the name as of yet. There is a $0 enterprise fee for using Shift4Shop, making it great for anyone on a budget. It also has plenty of free themes you can choose from. So why not rank it higher? There are sales limits you’ll go up against, which can really throw a wrench in your plans if you had designs on building your store up into something serious.
Of course this isn’t a comprehensive list. You can find all sorts of ecommerce platforms out there. But these are worth mentioning not only for their popularity, but for how successful they can be when you learn how to use them.
The Types of Ecommerce Platforms: What You Need to Know
Before we get too in-depth about the differences between these platforms, let’s zoom out. What are the different types of platforms, and why does it matter? Let’s explore the basic terminology.
Open source platforms. The “open source” platforms are those ecommerce offerings that make their development much more accessible to the general public. This typically means lower associated costs in working with the platform. For example, WooCommerce is an open source platform, while Shopify is not open source. This means that you’ll regularly pay Shopify for the right to host your store, while using a platform like WooCommerce won’t require regular payment. There’s no one to pay.
Headless ecommerce. This refers to ecommerce platforms that separate the front and backend of your ecommerce infrastructure. This means that you can use the infrastructure of a platform and build your store’s front from scratch if you want. Generally, the ecommerce platforms we’re talking about here won’t demand too much of you from a “headless” point of view.
Self-hosted ecommerce. Self-hosted ecommerce means that you’ll be taking care of where the store ends up. For example, WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin; you’ll have to have a WordPress site and a website taken care of already. You’re the one paying for this, and although this can be incredibly cheap to handle, it’s something to consider, especially when comparing price.
Hosted ecommerce. Using hosted ecommerce means that the store provider will handle the hosting for you as part of its package offerings. This means that you pay one source for everything: the site where the store is, the store, the platform, the template. This is a convenient way to build a store. It’s also especially suited for people who don’t have a lot of experience with website building and need to choose the simplest option.
Which types are the platforms on this list? WooCommerce and Magento tend to fall into open source platforms: there’s lots of customization possible, but you’ll be on your own when it comes to development. This also means they’ll be self-hosted. With Shopify and BigCommerce, you’ll be using hosted ecommerce.
The one that’s best for you ultimately comes down to your priorities and skills. For big box retailers, Magento is a great option because they have the development capacity to handle Magento. But for someone building their first store for the first time, an all-in-one choice like BigCommerce might make more sense. With Shopify and WooCommerce, you’ll tend to find elements of both robust features and beginner-friendly usability.
You don’t have to make a choice now. Just try to keep these definitions in mind as we point out which platforms might fit which types of customers.
Tips for Selecting the Right Ecommerce Platform for You
Looking at a list like ours can be a little confusing. It seems as though the viable options for building an ecommerce store go on and on.
The result: the paradox of choice. While it seems like you have more choices than ever, the decision gets harder.
That’s why it’s important to consider what you’re looking for first. With that in mind, we’ve put together some tips below to help you find out where you should put your priorities.
Tips if You’re on a Budget
If you’re on a budget, you’re going to look at cost first. And this only makes sense. But it’s important to get the full context of why a platform might compare favorably with others, even if one of its pricing tiers technically costs more.
- Remember to watch for transaction fees. It’s one thing to see a low upfront cost and judge the cost based on that. But you have to consider the long-term costs associated with the platform you choose. For example, WooCommerce’s price (or lack thereof) means that you can essentially choose your own destiny, price-wise. Meanwhile, Shopify’s robust features also demand an ongoing transaction fee. It comes down to how you want to run your ecommerce business, and how you’re willing to pay for it.
- Remember associated costs as well. Let’s say you want to use WooCommerce for one reason: it’s the cheapest option on this list. Don’t forget that there may be associated costs, especially if you have to hire a developer to help you build your store. Generally, WooCommerce is simple enough that you shouldn’t have to do this. But if you require customization to get your store “just right,” you may be surprised to find out how much more difficult it can be when you’re not using the customer support of a Shopify, for example.
- Consider what you’re paying for. With Shopify and BigCommerce, for example, you’ll get plenty of customer support to help you if your store suddenly encounters issues. You’re not going to get the same level of support with open source solutions like WooCommerce and Magento. In other words, remember what you’re paying for. Sometimes, it’s not such a disadvantage to foot the bill for an ecommerce platform—especially if it saves you headaches in the long run.
Tips for Selecting the Right Ecommerce Platform
Let’s say you know nothing about coding. You’re terrible with building websites. You’re terrible with everything web-related, but you do know marketing. Which type of store might suit you? It should be obvious that an open source platform isn’t the right one for you; you’d need the help of a platform that offers more of a hand-holding, customer-friendly experience. But you’d be surprised. Some people prioritize one feature so much (like price) that they forget about considering what the actual experience would be like.
But you’re not going to do that. Not with these tips in mind, anyway:
- Make the big decisions early. Open source or hosted? This is one of those big, primary-color decisions that will affect everything else you consider. So it’s worth getting out of the way. You have to know what your priorities are as a store owner. Try to have the long-term view here. Maybe $70/month for a hosted platform sounds like a lot, but will it really seem like a lot when you make your first $1,000 in sales?
- Visualize your store six months down the line. How are you going to convert sales? Are you planning on SEO being your main attractor, or are you going to advertise? This will feel like you’re getting ahead of yourself, but it’s important to have a plan in mind. The most successful online store owners are successful because they know their audience, how to reach them, and how to build a strategy for converting them. You can’t select the right platform unless you know what you want your store to look like six months down the line.
- Consider your strengths and weaknesses. Are you a technical wizard who can set up a shop in no time? Then WooCommerce is an easy choice because you probably won’t have to rely on customer support. Are you a first-time shop owner who wants all of the features right out of the box? Then BigCommerce is probably the right choice, since it has the least amount of guesswork. Make sure you pick a platform whose strengths cater to your weaknesses. This will do the most to help smooth out the process.
Tips for Selecting the Right Technical Details
Budget is an easy thing to consider. You don’t have to be a technical whiz to know what kind of money you have to work with. But what if your problems are more technical and specific? How will you know which platform to pick then?
- Create a list, and rank them by priority. This is a list of features like support, SEO, product quantity, apps/plugins, the availability of themes, and more. Use either a word processor or some notecards so you can shift these specific features around and rank them from highest priority to lowest. At the very least, this will help clarify where your priorities lie.
- Consult with someone in the business. Let’s be honest: no amount of planning is going to rescue you if you don’t know what you’re getting into. As Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, plans might be worthless, but planning is essential. The best way to plan a store while getting the technical details right is to reach out to someone who’s done it already. Is there someone you know who’s used these platforms before, and can you pick their brain before you get started?
- Experiment with a low-cost solution first. There’s no rush here. You’re not running a race. If there is some aspect of your store that you absolutely have to have, you might not know it until further down the line. When that’s the case, there’s no mistaking it: you need that technical feature. That’s why it’s important to try things out with a low cost solution to see if it can fit your needs. If it does, great. If not, there’s always the option of migrating your store to something more advanced.
Which Platform is the Best for…?
Enough of that—let’s not tell you how to look for a platform, but let’s tell you which platform to choose if you have some specific needs. Below, we’ll talk about what the best platforms might be if you have specific goals in mind.
The Best Ecommerce Platform For Dropshippers
This isn’t to say there aren’t a lot of great dropshipping platforms out there. Shift4Shop, for example, has a very affordable dropshipping version that will help you get started with a dropshipping store with ease.
But there are entire companies whose sole focus is building dropshipping stores on Shopify.
There’s a reason they keep coming back to Shopify: it works. Really well. It’s easy to get set up, easy to manage everything on the backend, and easy to incorporate dropshipping into its existing infrastructure. Consider the following:
- The plug-in market. Shopify has plenty of dropshipping applications you can add to the basic package to make your store ready for dropshipping. DSers, for example, lets you place a multitude of orders with AliExpress within just seconds. Shopify makes it easy to plug in to top dropshipping suppliers like AliExpress, which means that when you find success, you can keep repeating it over and over again.
- Low start-up costs. One of the reasons you seek dropshipping in the first place is to avoid the start-up costs that come with building your own products. With Shopify, the low start-up costs mean you can continue experimenting with dropshipping ideas, niches, and all sorts of different target markets until you find an industry that works for you. The low start-up costs will have you getting ready in a hurry, and Shopify’s back-end systems will keep the supply of products moving quickly.
- Ease of use. Shopify is built for people like dropshippers. It’s convenient, intuitive, and you’ll have no problem integrating apps like DSers into their existing system. If you want a “set-it-and-go” shop, using a proven platform like Shopify for dropshipping is about as low-friction as you can get. It’s true that you may have to expand pricing tiers to get access to all of the Shopify features. But to do that, you typically have to be selling a lot, too. And as long as you know how to sell to your specific audience, you won’t find any problem doing that with Shopify.
The Best Ecommerce Platform for Enterprises
There’s no getting around it: Magento costs a lot because it does a lot. When you read the list of companies who use Magento, it will read like a who’s-who of retail: Canon, Ford, Barbour, etc. There’s a reason for that. Magento is highly customizable, robust, and easy to scale. Any company with a lot of products to cycle through and a lot of customers is going to need a solution as sophisticated as they are.
Magento is that solution. But let’s get specific about what exactly it does that makes it best for enterprises:
- Marketing tools: Related products, cross-sells, upsells, robust customer groups, variable pricing, newsletter management built right in
- SEO: Easy to incorporate SEO-friendly URLs, sitemaps, meta information for products, which is especially important for companies that add hundreds and even thousands of products at a time
- Site management: 100% customizable design templates, which lets talented developers at large enterprises put their skills to use
- Catalog management: Configurable catalogs, different price points for unique customer groups, etc.
- Checkout: One-page checkout, guest checkout, checkout with user accounts, options for creating an account at the point of checkout
Consider this the Post-It version of all the features available with Magento. We could go on and on, but you’d probably get bored. In fact, it’s probably better that you just access the Magento Feature List itself. And yes, they had to put it in a PDF.
What does it all add up to? Magento is one of the most costly options on this list when you factor in the upfront costs, as well as the additional development costs associated with running it. But if you can get around that, you’ll see it for what it is: a capable platform that can grow with you no matter how big your store gets.
The Best Ecommerce Platform For Newbies
You might wonder why we put BigCommerce here instead of Shopify. For starters, BigCommerce deserves its own section after we’ve previously went on and on about Shopify. But there’s an additional wrinkle that merits a mention as well. BigCommerce is an all-in-one solution that’s ideally suited for newbies.
Of course, all-in-one features aren’t everything. Magento is essentially “all-in-one” and it’s not for newbies. What BigCommerce excels at is bringing many of the strengths of Shopify, while minimizing drawbacks for people who might not be sure about this ecommerce thing yet. For example, BigCommerce won’t charge additional transaction fees. You sign up for it, and you get what you get. That’s ideal for newbies who aren’t used to the idea of paying more the more they sell.
We also can’t leave this section without mentioning the drag-and-drop design features. If there was ever a feature designed for newbies with no store building experience, that would be it. While all sorts of platforms offer themes and templates for building your store, they’re not as intuitive as dragging and dropping.
While BigCommerce can seem, well, big, that’s largely due to the sheer amount of features available. But it also succeeds by making building an ecommerce site and uploading your products about as simple as it can be.
The Best Ecommerce Platform for Low Budgets
We don’t put WooCommerce number one if it isn’t for the rare combination of favorable price and add-ons. If there was a WooCommerce equivalent in other industries, it would probably shake them up.
WooCommerce is the obvious choice here because of its open source approach and the fact that it doesn’t have all sorts of other add-ons that require a lot of money. You can host WooCommerce via WordPress, which is free, and you can host WooCommerce on your own website, which can be as affordable as you want to make it.
There are other low budget ecommerce platforms, of course. Wix and Weebly come to mind. Big Cartel is so low budget that it warrants an honorable mention here as well. But it’s WooCommerce’s interaction with WordPress and everything that goes into its open source features that provide the most bang for the buck. You can use WooCommerce to launch a test store, or “grow up” with WooCommerce and create something much, much larger.
It isn’t just that WooCommerce is so affordably priced. If you want a low-cost ecommerce platform, you won’t have to look long. What separates WooCommerce from the crowd is that it offers so much bang for the buck. In terms of its features, it can stand up there with any of the ecommerce platforms at the top of our list. True, it’s self-hosted, which means that you will have to pay a little bit on your end just to keep the store going. And if you cheap out on your self-hosting options, you may find that you can’t support your own store the way you want down the line.
But ultimately what separates WooCommerce from the rest is that it’s so affordable and so capable at the same time. And there’s simply no avoiding that basic fact as you look for the best low-budget ecommerce platform solution.
Exploring the Top Platforms by Features and Capabilities
Want to find out which platform is going to be the best for you? Maybe your budget is no object and you simply care about the features that come with the platform. If that’s the case, you likely skipped ahead to this section—and for good reason. Let’s explore the specific features and capabilities of each platform so you can gauge which one can deliver on your top priorities.
Of the top platforms, here are some of the most essential budgetary considerations you’ll want to keep in mind:
- WooCommerce: Free, open source software means you’ll simply pay for your own hosting. You should keep in mind that you may need to upgrade your web hosting plan as you scale the store itself.
- Shopify: Basic at $29/month, Shopify’s main plan at $79/month. Keep in mind that one of the key points with Shopify is an additional 1% fee with the $79/month plan if you don’t use Shopify Payments.
- BigCommerce: $29.95/month and $79.95/month—almost like they planned it. The key here is that BigCommerce won’t charge those additional fees, making it an attractive Shopify alternative.
- Magento: Enterprise pricing only, which can easily run in the four and five figures. Unfortunately there isn’t a simple pricing guide to use here, but suffice it to say, it will cost you more upfront.
- WooCommerce: None, since it’s open source. However, enough people use WooCommerce that you probably won’t find any trouble discovering answers to common questions. You may also get additional customer support from sites that offer WooCommerce and WordPress-specific hosting plans.
- Shopify: 24/7 customer support included with all plans.
- BigCommerce: 24/7 live support included with all plans.
- Magento: Open source, so you’ll be on your own; however, there are Magento customer support agencies whose sole mission is to supplement your Magento development as if they were part of the package you’d ordered.
- WooCommerce: No limits. Unlimited products, unlimited users—although as your store grows, you’ll definitely want to make sure that you have a team in place that can help you manage the increased complexity.
- Shopify: Unlimited products unlocked with each pricing tier.
- BigCommerce: There are some limits here, but they can get complex: be sure to see the BigCommerce platform limits to better understand what you can and can’t do, including products and categories. For example, you can have a maximum of 25 featured products.
- Magento: No limits, given its open source nature, but you’ll run into the same logistical challenges as you might with WooCommerce—so be careful what you wish for.
- WooCommerce: Almost no end to the marketplace of apps and plugins that you can incorporate easily via the WordPress platform.
- Shopify: Some reports say there are thousands of Shopify plugins available—roughly 4,000—and they include some of the most important features, like the ability to add dropshipping via AliExpress.
- BigCommerce: A good amount of plugins, but given BigCommerce’s goal to be more of an out-of-the-box experience, you won’t be surprised to learn that this is probably the least customizable of the options at the top of our list.
- Magento: Similar to WooCommerce in that there’s no end to the customization possible, but there aren’t traditional “plugins” that fit neatly into it without the help of your development team.
- WooCommerce: Plenty of themes to choose from, but limited customization when it comes to working within the WordPress platform. The good news is that WordPress is fairly robust.
- Shopify: You can hold up to 20 themes within a Shopify account, and choosing from some of the more established ones will give your store a modern look.
- BigCommerce: Not only themes, but a drag-and-drop builder that will give you more customization than you might be used to from ecommerce platforms.
- Magento: All sorts of customization here. Not only do people sell Magento themes online, but you can customize Magento to your heart’s content.
Which ecommerce platform is best for you? We’ve just spent a lot of time telling you that it will depend on you. But if you know your priorities and what you want to get out of your platform, there’s a chance that one of these platforms will stick out.
Next step? That first online sale. Even if there’s a lot to consider before you build your store, every option on this list will make it much easier from here.