7 best eCommerce platforms in 2021

Are you looking for the best free eCommerce platform to use when creating your online store? 

Many small businesses were unable to open an online store due to the high cost of eCommerce platforms in the early days. Fortunately, several popular eCommerce platforms now provide free or low-cost options. 

We’ve been on a mission to find the best eCommerce platform or digital marketing agency for eCommerce available. Each week, we devote real hours to testing and examining each platform in order to determine their viability as one of the top eCommerce platforms on the market. Using Digital Marketing for eCommerce aids in creating huge revenues by assisting in the acquisition of customers and brand value.

Over a dozen popular eCommerce platforms were evaluated based on price, feature set, ease of use, scalability, and other factors. Here are a few of our best picks.

What is an eCommerce platform?

eCommerce platforms are often misunderstood as simple online store builders. In reality, the best eCommerce platforms are software applications that help businesses manage online and offline sales channels, operations, marketing among other things. 

Think of them as command centers for businesses. Top eCommerce platforms like shopify, for example, allow you to do things like:

  • Create a mobile responsive ecommerce website by purchasing a domain name.
  • Pre designed themes allow you to personalise the look of your website.
  • Apps can help you extend the functionality of your website.
  • Sell physical, digital and service based products.
  • Sell on Facebook, instagram, google, amazon and walmart marketplace as well as other popular online sales channels and social media platforms.
  • Use digital marketing tools, discounts and gift cards to promote your services.
  • With an integrated point-of-sale (POS) solution, you can sell in person.
  • Use a variety of payment gateways to process online and offline sales.
  • Orders and refunds are processed, inventory is managed and shipping labels are created.

Bangalore is the technology hub of India. Hence, there are a plethora of digital marketing agency for eCommerce in Bangalore.

How to choose the best eCommerce platform?

Let’s face it: there isn’t a completely free eCommerce platform out there.

Even if the eCommerce platform is free, you’ll still have to pay for a domain, web hosting, payment processing fees, and other add-ons.

We’ve put together a comprehensive guide to the true cost of developing eCommerce websites.

As a result, your goal should be to find an eCommerce platform that allows you to get started for little or no money while also limiting how you run and grow your business.

You’d also like the platform to be simple to use, feature-rich, and capable of accepting payments via your preferred payment methods.

With these considerations in mind, let’s look at the best free eCommerce platforms for making money online and growing your business.

7 best eCommerce platforms in 2021

1. Shopify

Shopify was founded in 2004 by three entrepreneurs who wanted to open an online snowboarding equipment store. It now employs over 5,000 people worldwide and serves over 1,000,000 customers. We chose it as the best overall platform because it is a cost-effective, robust, and simple-to-use platform for both new and established businesses.

Shopify is a great choice for businesses with little in-house technical support because it’s an all-in-one ecommerce platform that’s simple to set up and administer. Shopify’s point-of-sale (POS) system allows users to sell products from an online store, social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, and in-person.

Of all the platforms we looked at, Shopify has some of the most advanced inventory management features. Users can quickly see stock levels and orders, as well as create detailed product pages with custom metadata, images, and pricing rules. Shopify also automates shipping tasks such as printing labels and sending customers tracking information.

Shopify has an integrated payment processor that accepts major credit and debit cards, as well as Apple Pay and Google Pay. Users can pay an additional fee to use third-party payment processors like PayPal.

With a drag-and-drop store builder, over 100 paid and free store themes, and the ability to customise anything without needing design skills, creating a Shopify ecommerce store is simple. Finally, Shopify integrates with tens of thousands of marketing, sales, inventory, accounting, and other apps to enhance its already robust ecommerce capabilities.

Pricing:

Lite Plan

  • $9 per month
  • 1 staff account
  • Buy button and social media sales
  • POS app

Basic Plan

  • $29 per month
  • 2 staff accounts
  • All Lite Plan features
  • Branded online store
  • Abandoned cart recovery

Shopify Plan

  • $79 per month
  • 5 staff accounts
  • All Basic Plan features
  • Professional reports

Advanced Plan

  • $299 per month
  • 15 staff accounts
  • All Shopify Plan features
  • Advanced report builder

All Shopify plans include a 90-day free trial as well as email, live chat, and phone support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

2. Wix

Wix was founded in 2006 by three developers who were fed up with the cost and difficulty of creating an ecommerce website. The company now employs 2,700 people worldwide and has 200 million users in 190 countries. We chose Wix for the best user experience because it makes it easier and more affordable for businesses to create an ecommerce site than any of the other platforms we looked at.

Wix’s drag-and-drop editor and hundreds of professional templates make it simple to create a beautiful ecommerce site in minutes. While creating and maintaining a basic personal website is free, accessing Wix’s ecommerce features requires upgrading to a paid plan.

Wix, like Volusion, only has three payment processors to choose from: Wix Payments, PayPal, and Alipay. Wix’s clean and simple dashboard allows you to manage inventory and orders as well as generate revenue and conversion rate reports.

Finally, Wix has more add-ons and integrations than Volusion, but fewer than Shopify or BigCommerce, allowing businesses to expand their ecommerce capabilities as needed. Wix also integrates Instagram and Facebook, though it does not allow users to sell on eBay or Amazon.

While Wix’s limitations make it appear to be a less capable platform than Shopify, BigCommerce, or Volusion, the number of ecommerce features you get for the money makes Wix an excellent choice for small businesses.

Pricing:

Business Basic Plan

  • $23 per month
  • Accept online payments
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • 20GB storage
  • Connect your domain
  • Remove Wix ads
  • 5 video hours
  • Google Analytics
  • Free domain for 1 year
  • $300 ad vouchers
  • Site Booster app
  • Visitor Analytics app

Business Unlimited Plan

  • $27 per month
  • 35GB storage
  • All Business Basic Plan features
  • 10 video hours
  • Professional logo
  • Social media logo files

Business VIP Plan

  • $49 per month
  • 500GB storage
  • All Business Unlimited Plan features
  • Unlimited video hours
  • Priority Response
  • VIP Support

A 14-day free trial, free hosting, Google Analytics, and the ability to link a custom domain are all included in Wix’s paid plans.

3. BigCommerce

BigCommerce is primarily targeted at enterprise businesses. The website’s homepage is dedicated to enterprises; to learn more about its offerings for small and medium-sized businesses, click the “Essentials” tab at the top of the page.

BigCommerce has all of the essential features of a top ecommerce platform, including marketing tools and multichannel selling through social media and third-party marketplaces.

BigCommerce also has a number of partnerships with other services that allow it to expand its capabilities. It, for example, works with five different point-of-sale systems. However, as your company grows, you’ll likely need to manage multiple integrations with third-party services.

BigCommerce is incredibly simple to use. You can simply sign up, fill out your store’s information, and begin adding products.

If you don’t want to pay for a custom domain name, you can get a free domain like mystore.mybigcommerce.com.

BigCommerce allows you to accept payments in a variety of ways. It integrates with a variety of payment platforms, including PayPal powered by Braintree, Stripe, Authorize.net, and others.

Pricing:

  • Standard: $29.95/month
  • Plus: $79.95/month or $71.95/month when paid annually
  • Pro: $299.95/month or $269.96/month when paid annually
  • Enterprise: Custom pricing
  • Free trial: 15 days

4. Square online

The registration procedure is simple. Square will ask you a few questions about your company and the type of online store you’d like to create.

You can also set up your POS module at this time. It works by installing the official app on your iPhone or Android device and following the setup instructions.

The dashboard has a unique design, especially when compared to other competing products on the market. For the first time, you can grab any section from the sidebar and drag it to where you want it. This essentially means that instead of having to get used to whatever was there from the start, you can customise the dashboard to your liking.

There’s also a helpful onboarding setup guide that will walk you through the key steps of getting your ecommerce store up and running. In comparison to the competition, Square’s onboarding stands out because they chose to focus on key business aspects of launching an online store rather than just the visuals.

Square, for example, will walk you through the steps of verifying your identity before linking your bank account and beginning to accept credit cards. This is actually the first thing Square wants you to do, which makes sense because as an online store owner, you want to get up and running as soon as possible.

Then Square will walk you through configuring your taxes, setting up the POS module, and finally accessing the other dashboard tools.

The addition of new products is also well-thought-out. There are some example products that you can add to your store to get an idea of how everything works, which will make it easier for someone who hasn’t worked with similar platforms before.

Overall, Square makes the key steps in setting up an online store simple to understand, and they don’t bother you with anything that isn’t important to most store owners. Square, in other words, has a “business first” mentality, which most users will appreciate.

Pricing:

  • Per month: $26.00
  • Credit card rates: 2.9%+30c

5. Square space

Squarespace began as a simple platform for creating and hosting blogs in a dorm room at the University of Maryland in 2003. It gained ecommerce capabilities and a simple drag-and-drop interface in 2013, making it a formidable competitor to Wix and Weebly. We chose it as the best for creatives because it makes it simple to create portfolio-style websites for showcasing and selling creative works.

Squarespace makes it simple to sell services and gift cards, create subscriptions and membership programmes, and allow customers to book appointments online in addition to selling products. Users can build loyalty by offering discounts and deals using integrated email marketing features. Custom products can also be easily created and shipped using the platform’s third-party integrations, such as Printful and ShipStation.

Squarespace also simplifies payment processing by accepting payments via PayPal, Stripe, Apple Pay, and Venmo. The checkout process is streamlined and simple for quick transactions, and users can customise it by adding surveys or gift messages, customising tax rates, and alerting customers when inventory levels are low. Products can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram with ease thanks to social integrations.

Users can quickly check and manage inventory, fulfil and ship orders, and gain valuable insights into site traffic, sales trends, and customer data using Squarespace’s intuitive dashboard. In a nutshell, Squarespace is an excellent ecommerce platform for designers who don’t want to fiddle with complicated data sales tools.

Pricing:

Personal Plan

  • $12 per month
  • Unlimited bandwidth and storage
  • SEO features for site visibility
  • Basic website metrics
  • Squarespace extensions

Business Plan

  • $18 per month
  • All Personal Plan features
  • Professional G Suite account
  • Advanced website analytics
  • $100 in Google AdWords credits
  • Promotional pop-ups and banners
  • Squarespace transaction fees: 3%
  • Gift cards

Basic Commerce Plan

  • $26 per month
  • All Business Plan features
  • Squarespace transaction fees: 0%
  • Customer accounts
  • Ecommerce analytics
  • Social integrations

Advanced Commerce Plan

  • $40 per month
  • All Basic Commerce Plan features
  • Squarespace transaction fees: 0%
  • Sell subscriptions
  • Abandoned cart recovery
  • Advanced shipping
  • Limited availability labels

A 14-day free trial, a custom domain, and 24/7 support are included with all Squarespace plans. There are four pricing tiers in Squarespace. Ecommerce features, on the other hand, are only available with the Business and Commerce plans.

6. WooCommerce

WooCommerce is an ecommerce extension for the popular WordPress content management system created by WooThemes in 2011. WooCommerce now powers 29% of all online stores in the world, with over 74 million downloads. Because it is the most popular, flexible, and affordable extension for WordPress users who want to create a full-featured ecommerce site, we chose it as the best for WordPress sites.

WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin that allows you to add ecommerce functionality to your site. WooCommerce makes it simple to create a scalable online store of any size because WordPress is one of the best SEO platforms on the market.

WooCommerce, like many of the other platforms we looked at, has its own payment processor. Users can also use free extensions to add PayPal, Square, Amazon Pay, and Stripe. WooCommerce offers free analytics, reporting, shipping, tax tools, and more, in addition to a large number of templates and back-end management tools.

WooCommerce provides basic inventory management, which is useful for basic stock management but not for high-volume businesses. Order management, on the other hand, is more robust, allowing users to view products sold, billing and shipping addresses, and customer records.

Finally, WooCommerce extensions allow users to sell products on Facebook, eBay, Pinterest, and Amazon, among other social media and marketplaces. In short, WooCommerce’s vast library of paid and free extensions can help you overcome many of its limitations.

Although WooCommerce is free to use, some of the more useful extensions that bring the platform closer to Shopify or BigCommerce standards can cost upwards of $300.

7. Big cartel

Big Cartel only has 15 different themes to choose from (at the time of writing). This is a significant disadvantage, as unique branding is an important aspect of selling online. You can, however, use Google to look for Big Cartel themes and find some pretty darn nice solutions from third-party sellers.

It’s similar to WordPress in that the themes are purchased separately from the platform. It’s not the simplest way to find themes, but it does provide more options.

Big Cartel doesn’t have a drag-and-drop editor, but the customization options aren’t terrible. All of your design elements are on the left, which is fine, but the tools are limited, and anything beyond that necessitates coding expertise.

Pricing:

Per month: $29.99

Credit card rates: 2.9%+ 30c

Promarketo:

Promarketo is considered to be the best digital marketing agency for eCommerce in Bangalore as it provides the best service possible and is very customer oriented.

We assist e-commerce businesses in converting website visitors into paying customers by using proven e-commerce marketing strategies. 

If your product isn’t appealing to buyers and doesn’t provide value, you won’t get conversions.

We assist eCommerce businesses in expanding their online brand and increasing their profits. How?

Using an omni-channel marketing strategy that includes

web design, conversion rate optimization, best-in-class development, and Google Shopping campaigns

Content marketing, social ads, and other services are available.

Promarketo also ranks in the list of top 100 digital marketing agency in India.

Summary:

At first, selecting an ecommerce platform for your company may seem daunting. However, by thoroughly investigating the available options, you can determine which platform best meets your requirements.

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