When it comes to picking a home to suit your eCommerce needs, there’s so many options out there what it can just be overwhelming. Luckily, we’ve done the work for you – here’s a list of 12 of the best hosted platforms to help you narrow it down! Now all you have to do is pick the one that fits best with what you need.
Note: If you have really individual needs, there’s a chance you actually want to look into self-hosting. As with anything, this is more under your control and gives you just about endless flexibility, while usually avoiding fees. On the other hand, hosted eCommerce platforms take the technical stuff out of your hands, leaving you to focus on the stuff that really matters.
Pros: Woocommerce is one of the most customizable options on the market right now. It powers about 30% of online stores, and there are tons of extensions available to help you set up the exact site you want. Their support team are available 24/7, worldwide! It’s designed for anyone from small to large businesses, as well, so you can stick with it as you grow.
Cons: If you don’t know Wordpress well, you probably won’t get the best out of this app, which is actually a Wordpress add-on.
Pros: If you make handmade goods or have vintage items to sell, Etsy is one of the best places to go online. It has a good following with a nuanced search engine, and it’s easy to set up and get started. You can easily offer digital downloads as well.
Cons: Obviously the scope of the site is limited to the same sorts of products, so you will be hosted alongside competitors. In addition, your storefront isn’t nearly as customizable as some of the other options on this list.
Pros: LemonStand allows you to sell products that include digital sales and even subscriptions. Even better, there are flexible pricing options too. It’s cheaper than Shopify, one of the big name competitors, and includes some options for migrating from Shopify, Magento and BigCommerce. It also has really great security options, and is one of the best options for SEO.
Cons: You might need to know HTML to really customize this the way you like, which might entail learning some new skills.
4. Big Cartel
Pros: This software has a free plan for starter stores, which makes it a great one to start with as a trial. It’s really quick to set up, and it has integration for making sales in person as well.
Cons: The biggest store you can get is 300 items. That’s only at the price point of $29.99, but it still might make you consider going elsewhere if you’re likely to want a really big store sometime in the future. There’s not much room to grow here.
Pros: 3dcart has no transaction fees, which gives it a huge leg up on most of the other offerings. It has a mobile front-end and back-end, but it also has a host of features for web-based SEO and marketing through Facebook. It also has a great set-up for shipping options, allowing much more choice than most of the other platforms on the list.
Cons: There are limits on both products and bandwidth, and things start getting expensive when you need to up the limits.
Pros: Wix is actually a website builder, and it shows in the ability to customize your store and get everything looking just as you want it. For a limited set of items, it’s a great way to really showcase your products and entice people to buy.
Cons: It’s pretty limited in terms of features, and only available in a Premium Wix plan.
Pros: If you’re just getting started, this is a great one to just jump in with. It’s got a good starter plan option, and the interface is intuitive. It’s one of the most popular eCommerce platforms for a reason!
Cons: If you’re looking to really stand out, you’ll probably find that most of the layouts and themes on offer for Volusion are actually… strangely familiar… Because it’s so popular, you’ve probably seen it all before.
Pros: Comparable to Shopify, BigCommerce actually has a few more features in the lower price ranges. It’s popular for small to medium businesses, so there’s room to grow with this software, and it has an amazing support staff available 24/7. It also has a lot of features designed to help you grow your sales, designed with everything you need in mind.
Cons: Some features people consider a ‘must-have’, like abandoned cart recovery, are only available on the more expensive plans.
Pros: We didn’t mention this earlier in the list because most people know about it already, but it is worth mentioning that it’s a well-trusted, feature-rich platform with an app store that allows you to bolt on all the extras you need. It has a good starter plan.
Cons: It’s primarily aimed at small businesses, so if you really see success you might find your store growing out of it.
Pros: Yo!kart is adapted to work with most major payment processors, which cuts down on the hassle right out of the gate. It’s also directly ready for mobile users.
Cons: It’s a bit pricier than the other options on this list, with a starter plan at $250.
11. X-Cart Cloud
Pros: This is an open source project, so they have a lot of active developers improving the product all the time. This might be a good choice if you want to get involved without having to manage the whole thing!
Cons: The hosted version gets updates a bit slower than the self-hosted version, and some basic features have a pretty high price tag.
Pros: If appearances are important, this option is stunning. It offers unlimited products even on the cheaper plans, unlike some of the other software in this list.
Cons: The payment integration is still pretty limited.
Any closer to a decision? Know of any others people should consider? Let us know in the comments!