Best Ecommerce Marketing Platforms – 2019

In the old days, you will need to hire a programmer to have your ecommerce website set up. You will need to tell them how you want it to look like and they need to work with a designer to turn your idea into a reality.

But today, creating an ecommerce website is now easy. With all the ecommerce platforms available online, you can simply sign-up, choose your website design, make a few tweaks to customize your website to your liking, add your products and start selling. No coding required.

However, the abundance of ecommerce website platforms often leave a would-be online seller paralyzed. Usually, these people have a clear idea on what products they like to sell and who they want to target. But they don’t really have an idea on the facets of ecommerce website platforms and which will fit their needs.

Today, I will show you five of the most popular ecommerce platforms online. We’ll take a closer look at each platform by taking the following factors into consideration: demand, interface, price, design, add-ons and customer service. I’ll review them separately and then give you a side-by-side review. The goal of this guide is to help you choose the right ecommerce platform for your online business.

Are you ready? Let’s dive in.

Shopify

Shopify is the first brand that comes to mind when online sellers talk about ecommerce platforms. This is understandable for I have never seen a platform that is as intuitive and customer-centric as Shopify.

Demand

Shopify is one of the top ecommerce websites online. It has an average Google Trends demand of 71 since 2014. The demand also continues to increase in the last 5 years and as its peak in recent times. Because of the trend, some people call Shopify as the 'king' of ecommerce platforms for they have the majority of online sellers on the Internet.

Interface

Shopify has a direct-to-the-point interface. With this, it has a very low learning curve. However, the interface is only easy if you are used to online content editing platforms like WordPress. In fact, some aspects of the website is quite similar to WordPress - the menu on the side and the editable products not to mention the blogpost addition in the design section. Shopify also has an easy-to-edit backend interface where you can easily access orders, products and website design. Just click on the designated menu item and you can easily tweak your product descriptions.

Price

Shopify comes with a free 14-day trial. But after that, you need to pay $13 for the basic plan, $54 for the normal plan and $107 for the advanced plan. The difference is in the number of staff accounts that can handle your online store as well as access to advanced features like the advanced report builder, abandoned cart recovery and the third-party calculated shipping rates.

Design

Shopify will instantly give you a design when you sign up for a free trial. You can then tweak this according to your liking. You can change the colors as well as alter the elements. It has a module system that is quite similar to some customizable WordPress themes.

If you don't like your default theme, you can choose from a selection of free themes that are available within the platform. If it is still not to your liking, you can look at the paid themes available in its theme marketplace.

Add-Ons

Similar to themes, Shopify has a marketplace for apps or add-ons. These help in increasing functionalities within your online store. For example, you may want to add some product reviews to increase the social proof of your products. For that, you may want to get the Shopify product review app.  

If you liked an app, simply click on the green button with the word 'Get' and it will be reflected in your online store. However, you must note that not all apps are free. So you should read before you click on the word 'Get'.

Similar to themes, Shopify has a marketplace for apps or add-ons. These help in increasing functionalities within your online store. For example, you may want to add some product reviews to increase the social proof of your products. For that, you may want to get the Shopify product review app.  

If you liked an app, simply click on the green button with the word 'Get' and it will be reflected in your online store. However, you must note that not all apps are free. So you should read before you click on the word 'Get'.

Customer Service

Shopify has a help center that allow you to ask a question about anything related to your online store. From here, its system will do an automatic search in its documentation database for possible solutions.

However, there doesn't seem to be any human element when it comes to their customer support.

BigCommerce

I cannot help but mention BigCommerce if we are going to talk about ecommerce platforms. This platform may not be as straightforward as other platforms but the variety of options is just so attractive. In fact, you'll be surprised on how many facets of your online store you can tweak with BigCommerce.

Demand

The demand of Bigcommerce is smaller than that of Shopify but is market is mostly concentrated in Australia. Shopify's market is mostly in Canada and the United States. This shows how BigCommerce will continue to be a contender in the ecommerce industry.

Interface

The interface is also quite similar to WordPress. There is the menu on the left hand side and you can edit it in the right hand section which takes a bigger portion of the screen. The only difference from Shopify is the abundance of options within options. Once you choose an item in the navigation bar on the left hand side, there is another navigation bar on top.

Price

The starting price is quite high compared with Shopify. The price starts at $29.95 for the Standard Plan. This gives the online seller unlimited space for products and unlimited staff accounts. The next plan is plus which costs $79.95 per month. This includes an abandoned cart saver and customer group segmentation. The most expensive plan is Pro which costs $249.95 per month. This then includes Google customer reviews, faceted search and a custom SSL. The only thing I did not like is the limit on sales. You need to only make $50k a year if you are on the Standard plan, $150k a year if you are on the Plus plan and $400k a year if you are on the Pro plan. Else, they would have to upgrade your plan.

Design

Like Shopify, you can also customize your theme. There is a customize button that you can click and this will take you to a place where you can alter the styles, the header and footer and other facets of the homepage.

And if that is not good enough for you, you can also install some themes. BigCommerce has a theme marketplace where you can get access to a ton of free and paid themes for your online store.

Add-Ons

BigCommerce also has a selection of apps that you can choose from. You can choose based on whether the app is free or paid or you can choose based on functionality. BigCommerce has an app for every task imaginable. From accounting to product sourcing, BigCommerce apps have everything covered.

Customer Service

Customer service is better in BigCommerce. It comes for free for all of their plans. This means that as long as you are their customer, you can have complete access to them 24/7. What I love about BigCommerce is the abundance of customer service options. Aside from Live Chat, it also has email and other forms of inquiries. This makes you feel really supported as you create your first online store.

Volusion

Starting as a web design agency in 1999, Volusion grew to become an ecommerce solution for customers. The very first ecommerce website was launched in 2002 making Volusion one of the pioneers in the ecommerce platform industry.

Demand

The demand for Volusion, however, has gone down over the years. It seems that the company was not able to sustain its initial interest. While it is true that it is one of the first companies that introduced ecommerce into the world wide web, it is not able to sustain its customers as they have now fled to find better and more updated solutions for their online store creation and maintenance.

Interface

The Interface of Volusion is okay. Upon creating an account, you will be taken into a step-by-step process to design and get your online store off the ground. But if you're not a fan of tutorials and you would rather skip it, the website can be quite confusing without it. All you will see is a horizontal navigation bar on top that contains tons of options. This would have been better if the options were categorized so that they don't look overwhelming.

Price

Pricing is reasonable. It starts at $15 per month and grows up to $135 per month. Pricing-wise, it is not that high. But you have to look closely at what is included in order to understand it. You'll be surprised that this limits not just the number of products that you can add but also your bandwidth (Yikes!). Also, support varies. They will only allow phone support for Plus plans and only give you priority once you have a Pro or Premium plan.

Design

The designs are also quite mediocre in my opinion. Truly, it is an ecommerce platform that seemed to have been frozen in time. While the designs themselves are not ugly, there is a lack of customizable options. It only allows you to edit it through HTML or CSS. This is not good if you don't have any web design or programming background. Also, you are limited to the designs that they provide which is just 49 themes.

Add-Ons

Add-ons are non-existent. Instead, it gives you a list of applications or websites that it has integrations in. Volusion integrates with as much as 36 websites. But there is no option for add-ons in your online store dashboard.

Customer Service

As I have said in the pricing section, customer service is rendered depending on the plan that you have ordered. You will get priority support if you have the Pro or Premium plan and you'll get online and phone support if you have the Plus Plan and just online support if you have the Standard plan.

3DCart

3DCart has been the ecommerce provider for medium to large businesses since 1997. They have now expanded their offerings to serve small online business owners. In the business for 18 years, the platform is now service as much as 17,000 online business owners from different parts of the world.

Demand

The demand for 3DCart is not astonishing but it also cannot be ignored. 3DCart's demand has been steady for the last 5 years but it is always fluctuating. This may be dure to the fact that they are popular to some medium to big sized businesses but not as popular for startup business owners.

Interface

The interface of 3Dcart reminds me a lot of BigCommerce. It is simple and has a menu in the left hand side. Then there are tons of options but everything is neatly organized.

Editing sections is easy. Just click on a section and you can easily edit it as if you are editing a blogpost in WordPress. With this, the interface of 3DCart is quite similar with that of Shopify and BigCommerce.

Price

3DCart starts with a basic plan for $29 per month. This is for 2 staff users. Then, there is the plus plan that is priced at $79 per month. This has all the basic features plus CRM, Customer segmentation, 3dFeedback, Store credits, abandoned cart saver and deals. Third is the Growing Business plan at $229 per month. This includes the option to have Autoresponder campaigns, a gift registry, a reward points loyalty program and an autoship feature. Lastly, there is the Enterprise plan. The pricing depends on your demand and custom programming needs.

Also, 3DCart boasts tons of unlimited services for all of its plans. There is no limit on the number of orders, products and bandwidth. On top of all of these, 3DCart also doesn't deduct a transaction fee.

Design

You can tweak your design inside the 3DCart Dashboard. However, the option is not that easy to see. You'll be able to tweak your design when you go to Settings > Design (Below General). There is also a customization option but it is not as intuitive as the other customizable themes of Shopify and BigCommerce. Instead, it allows you to tweak some aspects of the design but the other aspects should be edited from within the Settings. It can be such a hassle if you'll ask me because it is easier to edit a website when you see how it will look like.

Add-Ons

In 3DCart, Apps are called Modules. I find this kind of confusing for modules are often used in customizable themes. This includes all the applications that integrates with 3Dcart.

Customer Service

Customer service is just one click away. On top of your dashboard is Jenny. She allows you to ask her anything. When you click on her, a chat box will appear and you can easily talk to their customer service representatives should you encounter any trouble.

WixStore

Wix is a relatively new platform in the web design industry. Compared with its competitors that have started way back in the 90's. Wix started in 2006. Since then, it managed to grow into 1 million users by 2009. As of 2017, it now has as much as 110 million users.

Demand

The demand for wix is steadily increasing. It started as a website editor that allows flash and now it has evolved with so many new elements that it started to attract ecommerce website owners as well. Now, the company offers more than just a flash website. It also offer blogging and online store functionalities in its website editor.

Interface

The interface can work two ways. First, it can be a simple WYSIWYG interface where you can edit elements as you wish.

But it also has a floating menu on the left hand side that allows you to alter options as well as add pages to your website. When you enter that option, you'll see a rather familiar place where you can edit the description of your products or website content.

Price

Pricing is really cheap. In fact, I can say that it is the lowest out of the bunch. Pricing starts at $4.50 per month and thats for 1GB bandwidth and 500 MB storage. This is great if you are just starting out. The only downside is it displays Wix Ads. If you want to get rid of that, you can upgrade to $8.50 per month.

Now, if you don't want any limit on your bandwidth, you can go the Unlimited route and pay $6.25 per month or the eCommerce route for $8.25 per month. The best thing about the eCommerce routh is the 20GB of storage. This will allow you to upload most of your products.

If you want a everything, you can just all out with the VIP plan for $24 per month. It is still pretty cheap and allow you to have 10 email campaigns per month as well as a professional site review.

Design

The designs of Wix will simply take your breath away. Plus, some of them are moving (literally). So you get more than just an ordinary website theme. This may be best especially for visual fields such as the arts or photography.

The best part is that you can also tweak the design. As I have told you in the interface section, you can easily alter elements through the WYSIWYG interface.

Add-Ons

Wix also has an app marketplace. This allows you to integrate tons of 3rd party apps to your website. The market place offers a fun way to scroll through different add-ons for everything is organized based on function.

Customer Service

Wix also has a Help Center. However, it doesn't offer any chat or email support. Instead, you have a place where you can ask a question and search through its database for answers.

Summary

Now that you have taken a peek inside the best ecommerce platforms online, it is time to make a decision. To help you, I have created a table. This summarizes my analysis. 

Demand

Interface

Design

Add-Ons

Customer Service


Shopify

High

Easy

Very Good

Yes

No

Bigcommerce

Medium

Easy

Very Good

Yes

Yes

Volusion

Low

Medium

Good

No

Yes With Pain

3DCart

Medium

Easy

Very Good

Yes

Yes

Wix Store

High

Easy

Very Good

Yes

No


In terms of demand, Shopify and Wix Store is in the lead. This is followed by BigCommerce and 3DCart.

There is not as much competition when it comes to the interface. Almost all of them are easy to use. Some of them may take some getting used to but they are designed to make things easy for an online seller.

In terms of design, everything is good. I think that it depends on your taste.

For add-ons, Volusion is the only one that doesn't provide it. I do hope that they provide it soon.

Lastly, there's customer's service. Unfortunately, the top players (Shopify and Wix Store) doesn't provide a phone, chat or email customer service system.

Now, let's look at the pricing. After all, you can only choose what you can afford. Below is the summary of the highest and lowest plans for each platform.


Lowest Plan Price

Highest Plan Price

Shopify

$?13

$107

BigCommerce

$29

$249

Volusion

$15

$135

3DCart

$29

$229

Wix Store

$4

$24

The lowest out of the bunch is that of the Wix Store. But this includes Wix brand ads so it may not be a good option if you are serious about your business. For this, Shopify's $13 may be a better option if price is important to you.

If not, you can just look at the other facets and decide which ecommerce platform will best fit your needs. Ask yourself - What is the most important to you? Let the answer guide you in choosing the right ecommerce platform for you. Whichever platform you choose having an Affiliate Tracking Software can help you gain more traffic, and sales.

I hope I managed to help you decide on the ecommerce platform that you will use to create your online store. Clearly, all of them have their pros and cons. Some may be cheaper but they have their limits. Others offer unlimited options but the prices can be quite expensive. Also, some platforms offer features that cannot be found in others. Consider your needs and choose wisely.

So what did you like out of the bunch? Why did you like it? What does it have that the other’s don’t? Why did you choose it over the others? Have you heard about shopify affiliate app? This is something good. Tell me all about it below.

6 Response to "Best Ecommerce Marketing Platforms – 2019"

  1. Comment From Angela Davis

    This sounds great!



  2. Comment From Jerry Krimson

    Nice article you have here!



  3. Comment From Louis Dantes

    This was definitely a great read.



  4. Comment From Kassandra Barley

    Learned a lot from this, great!



  5. Comment From Leah Rinkson

    Wow, this was interesting.



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