Whether you’re a startup or a well-established business, selecting an ecommerce platform to launch your digital store with can be a significant challenge. It’s important to build on the right foundation, as you’ll be investing time and capital into your online storefront, and rebuilding or migrating can be a significant expense. Most businesses focus on a platform that will last them for approximately three years, given that as both technology and individual businesses evolve, after a few years, it’s healthy to consider new options regardless. We've pulled together this ecommerce platform comparison to help you find the best fit for your business.
Magento Community and Enterprise comprise one of the most popular families of ecommerce software for businesses that have seasoned web developers helping them to manage websites. Magento is robust and scalable, and with a vast network of existing Extensions (addon software), you can easily grow a Magento website to meet your particular needs. Magento is a go-to for businesses with custom needs that want more long term flexibility or that have Enterprise needs.
Zoey takes advantage of the benefits of Magento but provides a more user-friendly interface to manage your website designs. While there are a limited number of Apps/Extensions available for Zoey, they have been pre-tested to work by the Zoey team and can be enabled easily with minimal effort compared to installing extensions with Magento. Zoey also hosts your site and takes care of software upgrades, security updates, and other ongoing improvements. For B2B businesses, Zoey has recently added a wide range of features to help you launch a wholesale, distribution, or other business to business site quickly and easily.
Shopify and Shopify Plus
Shopify originally built a following amongst small businesses looking for a simple interface to launch their own website. Shopify continues to evolve, including more features and available Apps and has since debuted Shopify Plus. Shopify Plus includes dedicated support and some bundled services from 3rd party solution providers. Shopify hosts your website and does not provide a direct database or other such access. This means that while Shopify handles upgrades, security issues, and other ongoing needs, it can be harder to manipulate data and customize a Shopify site to meet your needs.
WordPress + WooCommerce
WooCommerce is an ecommerce plugin for WordPress, one of the most popular Content Management Systems (CMS) available. While Woo is still a lighter ecommerce platform, it’s been acquired by Automattic, the owners of WordPress, and is expected to continue to evolve quickly as a result. Woo is great for businesses that want to leverage the flexibility and content management benefits of WordPress, but most enterprise hosts will tell you that it may not perform as well for big businesses just yet.
BigCommerce has made strides to be a complete platform out-of-the-box, adding everything from data feeds for Google Shopping, to Abandoned Cart Emails, and lots of other features that most carts don’t include automatically. Like Shopify and Zoey, it’s a hosted platform made for businesses that don’t want to deal with hosts, security, and upgrades themselves.
Prestashop is headquartered in France and has a significant following in parts of Europe. Like Magento, it’s open source software lets you install, host, upgrade, and maintain. While the software is free, Prestashop does make their own development team available to merchants through paid support plans. They also sell their own Modules and Themes, alongside offerings that other designers and developers have created. The Prestashop team offers a free Cloud version as well for businesses that want a simpler solution.
3dCart provides you with their ecommerce software, hosting, and support, and includes a comprehensive setup wizard to help you launch your site more quickly and easily. They also provide File Transfer Protocol (FTP) access to adjust theme files, or use a custom theme, making it more flexible for frontend web developers than some of its contemporaries like BigCommerce.
Volusion provides a hosted solution, like BigCommerce, 3dCart, and others. It’s not known to be as search engine friendly, but the Volusion team is working on some major upgrades and updates for 2017. They had an Enterprise version, Mozu, which was recently sold to Kibo.
osCommerce has been around for over 16 years. Like Magento, it’s an open source platform, requiring some web development knowledge to setup and maintain. While osCommerce maintains a strong following, they haven’t commercialized the way that some platforms have. Their blog, for instance, appears to have stopped receiving new posts in 2012.
cubecart is used by tens of thousands of merchants worldwide. It’s a much less popular platform than most on this list and the Live Store samples that they offer are not as modern or noteworthy as many popular platforms. They offer technical support plans and other assistance for merchants as well.
Based in the UK, EKM hosts your ecommerce site, and maintains their platform, pushing out updates and new features like Shopify, Volusion, 3dCart, BigCommerce, and Zoey. While they don’t offer an Enterprise plan, they do offer a version for “Established” businesses and have collected very positive reviews from merchants via the TrustPilot review system.
JShop is based in the UK, and while they’re still offering licenses for their software, they don’t appear to be focusing on new client acquisitions. Their website is not yet mobile-responsive, and their blog has not been updated since 2013.
This ecommerce platform comparison list represents a large cross-section of the systems available on the market, but there are others such as X-Cart, Miva, Vtex, Ecwid, and OroCommerce. Unsure of which one is right for your business? The team at RandMarketing.com can provide a complimentary initial consultation to help assess your needs and recommend an ecommerce platform that meets your needs.