The ever increasing popularity of the World Wide Web has contributed to the growth of e-commerce. More and more businesses are shifting to the virtual platform every day, building their e-stores and adding on to the intense competition. Yes, launching an online store is one of the fastest ways of expanding a start-up. Thanks to e-commerce site builders almost anyone can now create their own website.

Why Choose an E-commerce Platform?

Building and launching an e-store or website has simplified beyond belief thanks to the user-friendly and intuitive e-commerce platforms that are available on the web. Earlier creating a website involved a lot of complicated HTML coding and an in-depth knowledge of the technical aspects of web development. Today, however, anyone with a basic knowledge of computers can build their website using a site builder.

E-commerce websites also offer users a set of cool editing tools, marketing solutions and cloud support that enhances the productivity and performance of the website considerably. Some platforms even offer free hosting and domain registration services thereby boosting web brand equity as well.

Features to Look for

Choosing a reliable e-commerce platform is one of the most important decisions any entrepreneur will have to take when planning to open an e-venture. The e-commerce platform forms the backbone, the foundation of the website. Mentioned below is a list of features that every competent e-commerce platform must have:

  • SEO improvement tools for better visibility
  • Cross-platform compatibility, i.e., accessible across all Android, Windows, Mac and IOS devices
  • Robust content management system or CMS
  • OMS or order management system for punctual deliveries and accurate tracking of inventory
  • Third party plug-ins for extra customization and flexibility
  • Advanced payment options, integrated with PayPal or Bitcoin
  • Advanced security, SSL/SSD certification, and encryptions
  • Intuitive interface, free themes, cloud support and an in-house dashboard for live editing

Mentioned below are the best e-commerce builders out there that would assist you in building an online store.

Shopify

Shopify has been a leading e-commerce platform over the last few years, currently hosting over 243,000 merchants online. Everything that you’ll need to run an e-store is included under one framework. Here, you can launch and sell you products across various social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Very easy to set up and use, Shopify offers users an extensive collection of over 100 themes and attractive layouts. Shopify also has its App store that features over 1200 apps for managing your emails and scheduling meetings.

At Shopify, you can also tweak the HTML coding and meta tags and access auto-generated XML sitemaps if you have the required technical expertise. Moreover, with the excellent customer support team always at your beck and call, Shopify is a popular platform for both budding businessmen and established entrepreneurs.

Pros:

  • Large number of add-ons and professional designs that are responsive to your store
  • SEO tools for building better web presence
  • Mobile friendly, interactive and easy to customize
  • Affordable and attractive, the basic package starts at just $14 per month.

Bigcommerce

BigCommerce is the ideal choice for growing businesses and start-ups that plan on venturing out into the international virtual market. The clients and users associated with BigCommerce grow about 28% every year; this is double the average growth rate of other platforms. It is an all-in-one solution where you can create your web store, generate and channelize traffic and promote your product under one framework.

BigCommerce e-store builder is a SaaS-based functionality that is extremely scalable and flexible. The in-house editor, with its fully loaded dashboard and integrated plug-ins, allow easy customization of themes. Moreover, users can enjoy unlimited storage and bandwidth along with free hosting services. Even the technical help desk is pretty effective and has a live chat and video calling option for better communication.

Pros:

  • Inbuilt features such as gift cards, rating options, readymade themes and attractive graphics
  • Intuitive and responsive interface that works on the drag and drop functionality
  • The extensive BigCommerce archives are really resourceful and easy to access
  • Bitcoin integration, SEO tools, CMS features and email marketing support
  • Cloud support with unlimited storage and bandwidth.

Volusion

Volusion is a multipurpose e-commerce solution that has all the necessary tools and features required for launching and expanding a web store. It has been in business for over 14 years now and is presently hosting over 40,000 online stores worldwide. The in-house designing tools, customizable marketing solutions, and SEO enhancement tools make Volusion a robust and user-friendly solution, ideal for both large scale and budding enterprises. The extensive archives of professional layouts, attractive graphics and templates can be tweaked on the drag and drop interface sparing you the trouble of dealing with complicated coding and CSS. The platform also includes PayPal integration and SSL certifications for safe and secure transactions.

Pros:

  • Great usability, the point and click functionality and interactive interface is a delight to work on. Also, the dashboard is loaded with premium quality tools that simplify customization
  • Smart store management, the platform comes with a robust inventory management system and other analytical tools that help you track the sales and profit every year.
  • Marketing features such as “deal of the day”, “vZoom” and “soft to cart” enhance the performance of the store

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a plugin/extension for the popular content management system WordPress and is supported by a growing community of developers and businessmen. It is very easy to manage for users who are already familiar with the functionality of WordPress. The platform is ideally suited for small-scale enterprises or newbies who have only a limited number of products or services to sell. Moreover, ever since WooThemes was acquired by Auttomatic, users get an opportunity to interact with the core team of developers behind WordPress for all their site building problems. The editing tools assist you in personalizing the themes to your liking. SEO tools, marketing solutions, payment gateway features and top-notch shopping cart support further enhance the platform’s credibility in the market.

Pros

  • It’s free, all you have to do is download the plug-in. (However, the shopping cart feature is chargeable)
  • Very user-friendly, the platform allows users to access the beautiful themes from WordPress
  • The open-source e-commerce platform is regularly updated and hence very secure

Big Cartel

Big Cartel is an e-commerce website builder that targets painters, photographers, and artists who want to showcase their creations online. Founded by Matt Wightman in 2005, the platform is a hit among budding fashion designers, photographers, independent painters, and sculptors. The company hosts over 250,000 web stores from around the globe and is known for its basic yet powerful framework. The robust SEO enhancement tools assist users in uplifting their small scale enterprises and making it big in the industry. The dashboard is clutter-free, the interface spacious and the in-house editor easily customizable. The point and click functionality of Big Cartel don’t involve any complex coding or technical expertise. You get about six unique and premium quality themes to choose from, each equally attractive yet professional enough to leave a mark.

Pros:

  • Although the platform features a drag and drop interface, users get the option of tinkering with the HTML coding and CSS stylesheets
  • Big Cartel focuses on promoting amateurs and is hence very affordable; the paid plans also come with a smart inventory manager and extra add-ons
  • It comes with social media integration, solid email marketing solutions and other analytical tools for tracking and managing your store better

3dcart

3dcart is an award winning e-commerce platform that is best suited for both established organizations and budding start-ups that want to build powerful and responsive stores. It’s fully functional and affordable packages include the best SEO improvement tools, CMS features and editing tools for enhancing the overall visual and functional appeal of your website. You can even use the numerous professional and unique themes for boosting the visibility of your website.

3dcart is integrated with PayPal and has the necessary encryptions and SSL certifications that would ensure safe and secure transactions. The platform is compatible with all devices and operating systems as well; the screen resolution can be adjusted as per the dimensions of the mobile screen. Last but not the least, the excellent customer support and flexible communication channels further simplify maintenance and routine troubleshooting for you.

Pros:

  • The inbuilt and on-site SEO tools are very effective in channelizing the online traffic and increasing your online visibility
  • You get over 100 secured and tested payment solutions including PayPal integration and e-banking facilities
  • Over 50 professional and premium quality themes that can be tweaked according to your liking
  • Gives you the freedom to update meta titles, tweak the HTML code and CSS as well
  • Very affordable, the Nano plans starts at just $9.9 per month.

Over to You

The success of every web store or e-commerce website depends on the platform it is built on. If you’ve already tried these popular marketing solutions for your enterprise for better security and efficiency – let us know what you think in the comments below:

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