Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur or an established business owner, it’s clear that eCommerce is the way of the future.
In 2021, global eCommerce sales totaled an incredible $5.2 trillion worldwide, and this figure is only forecast to grow by 56% in the coming years, ballooning to around $8.1 trillion by 2026.
This massive growth is only set to continue, with the global e-commerce market estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27.38% during 2022-2028.
All this is to say that if you’re looking to get in on this lucrative market, the time has never been better.
But with so many options out there, it can be difficult to know which eCommerce platform is best for your needs.
That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive list of the top 5 best eCommerce platforms for 2023.
We’ll take you through all the features each of these platforms offers, helping you to make an informed decision for your business.
So without further ado, let’s dive in and explore the five best franchise eCommerce platforms available to you this year!
What Is an eCommerce Platform?
At its core, an eCommerce platform is the driving force behind any online retail operation.
As a blend of a Content Management System (CMS) and commerce engine, it enables businesses to showcase cataloged products, facilitate purchases, and foster a positive, sustainable relationship between the retailer and its customers.
The platform plays a vital role in coordinating sales operations by registering purchases and seamlessly updating the inventory.
Its dynamic nature allows it to track changes in real-time, keeping the user experience fluid and reliable.
Moreover, an eCommerce platform thrives on personalization, tailoring the user’s journey through efficient customer relationship management.
It adapts to customer behavior, remembering preferences and previous interactions, thus nurturing an environment that encourages repeat visits and consistent engagement.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur with a single website or a larger business looking for the right platform to scale, here are our top 5 picks of the best eCommerce platforms available today.
Types of eCommerce Platforms
The eCommerce landscape is filled with a diverse array of platforms, each offering unique capabilities tailored to different business needs.
The choice of the correct platform can make all the difference in your online retail experience.
Let’s delve into some of the main types of eCommerce platforms.
1. SAAS (Software-As-A-Service)
SAAS-based eCommerce platforms are hosted on a third-party server and made available to businesses over the Internet.
This model eliminates the need for businesses to worry about technical upkeep, as the service provider manages software updates and maintenance.
Shopify and BigCommerce are notable examples. They offer flexibility and ease of setup and are ideal for startups and SMEs with limited resources.
2. PaaS (Platform-As-A-Service)
PaaS solutions, like Heroku or Google App Engine, offer a computing platform and a solution stack as a service.
They provide the hardware and software tools necessary for application development hosted on the provider’s infrastructure.
Businesses can focus on building and managing their eCommerce applications, while the PaaS provider handles underlying infrastructure, including server management and operating system maintenance.
3. On-Premises Platforms
On-Premises platforms, such as Magento, are software solutions installed and run on a company’s in-house servers.
Unlike SAAS and PaaS, the responsibility for maintaining the server, dealing with technical issues, and performing updates lies with the business.
Although this requires more technical expertise, it provides greater control and customization possibilities, making it a preferred choice for larger enterprises.
The 5 Best eCommerce Platforms for 2023
Now let’s move on to the five best eCommerce platforms of 2023 and explore what each has to offer.
Shopify continues to secure its spot as one of the premier eCommerce platforms available, redefining the landscape of online retail.
A powerhouse in the SAAS model, Shopify caters to businesses of all sizes, making the process of setting up an online store refreshingly straightforward.
The charm of Shopify lies in its robust yet easy-to-use interface. It enables users, regardless of their technical expertise, to build an aesthetically pleasing and highly functional eCommerce store.
With an array of pre-designed templates and customizable features, it allows retailers to convey their brand identity effectively.
A standout feature of Shopify is its vast integration capabilities. From social media channels like Instagram and Facebook to marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay, Shopify seamlessly connects your store to numerous platforms.
This facilitates an extended reach to potential customers and a cohesive management system.
One of the vital concerns for any online retailer is security, and Shopify does not disappoint. It offers a secure shopping cart, complete with an SSL certificate and PCI compliance, instilling trust in both the retailer and the end consumer.
Moreover, Shopify’s remarkable customer support cannot go unnoticed. With a 24/7 helpline and numerous online resources, they ensure users feel supported and can troubleshoot with ease.
- Robust yet easy-to-use interface
- Pre-designed templates and customizable features for branding
- Integration capabilities across platforms
- Secure shopping cart with an SSL certificate and PCI compliance
- 24/7 customer support
- Basic: $25/month
- Shopify: $65/month
- Advanced: $399/month
BigCommerce emerges as a strong contender in the world of eCommerce platforms, offering a comprehensive solution for businesses seeking a robust online presence.
As a SAAS-based platform, BigCommerce takes a no-fuss approach, ensuring users can focus on their core business rather than technical complexities.
BigCommerce distinguishes itself through an extensive suite of built-in features, reducing the reliance on third-party apps.
This includes native functionality for tax calculations, shipping rates, and an array of SEO tools to bolster a website’s organic reach. Such holistic offerings make it a feature-rich platform out of the box.
An impressive aspect of BigCommerce is its support for multi-channel selling. Users can integrate their stores with popular marketplaces, social media channels, and even physical stores.
This multifaceted approach offers businesses ample opportunity to tap into a diverse customer base.
Addressing security concerns, BigCommerce provides a highly secure environment for online transactions.
It adheres to stringent security standards, offering an SSL certificate and PCI DSS compliance, thereby ensuring a secure experience for the end consumer.
Last but not least, BigCommerce is highly scalable, making it an excellent fit for businesses poised for growth.
It allows users to upscale their operations without worrying about technical limitations.
It’s this blend of utility, security, and scalability that cements BigCommerce’s position as one of the top eCommerce platforms for 2023.
- Multi-channel selling capabilities
- Extensive suite of built-in features
- Tax calculations and shipping rates
- SSL certificate and PCI DSS compliance
- Highly scalable
- Standard: $29/month
- Plus: $79/month
- Pro: $299/month
Squarespace eCommerce stands out as a platform that merges aesthetic elegance with practical functionality.
Squarespace’s commitment to design and user experience is reflected in its award-winning templates, allowing businesses to create an online store that not only functions brilliantly but also mirrors its unique brand identity.
Boasting a feature-rich platform, Squarespace offers a robust package. It provides a free domain and an SSL certificate, ensuring that the security of your online store is never compromised.
In addition, it does away with transaction fees, thus offering a more profitable avenue for businesses.
Squarespace’s eCommerce tools are fully integrated and versatile. The platform boasts an efficient inventory system that simplifies product management.
With various payment options at its disposal, it ensures a seamless checkout experience for customers.
A key feature that enhances customer engagement is the provision of customer accounts.
This lets customers access their order history and tracking information, fostering a transparent and personalized shopping experience.
Finally, Squarespace’s integration with leading shipping companies like USPS and UPS adds another layer of convenience.
This enables streamlined shipping and order management, making Squarespace eCommerce a comprehensive, intuitive, and user-friendly platform, thereby solidifying its place among the best eCommerce platforms for 2023.
- Award-winning design templates
- Free domain and SSL certificate
- No transaction fees
- Integrated inventory system
- Multiple payment options
- Personal: $16/month
- Business: $23/month
- Commerce Basic: $27/month
- Commerce Advanced: $49/month
WooCommerce holds a unique position in the eCommerce platform landscape, with its powerful capability to transform any WordPress website into a fully functional online store.
As an open-source plugin, WooCommerce allows the customization and control that businesses need to design their eCommerce experience just the way they envision.
The platform’s flexibility extends to various sales models, from tangible goods to digital products, online bookings, and even subscription-based services.
This multifaceted approach caters to businesses in a wide array of industries, making WooCommerce a versatile choice.
One of WooCommerce’s standout features is its cart management capabilities.
Users can tailor their cart experiences, offering customers a variety of checkout options, thus maximizing convenience and improving conversion rates.
This feature becomes even more potent with the platform’s ability to facilitate both online and in-person payments.
WooCommerce also shines in the realm of extensions. With a plethora of specialized extensions available, businesses can enhance their store’s functionality according to their specific needs.
Many of these extensions are available for free, reducing costs while still enabling a feature-rich store.
Finally, the platform’s seamless integration with existing WordPress sites makes it a perfect fit for those already familiar with the popular CMS.
This combination of flexibility, customization, and functionality places WooCommerce firmly among the best eCommerce platforms for 2023.
- Multiple sales models
- Cart management capabilities
- Online and in-person payments
- An extensive list of free extensions
- Integration with WordPress sites
- Free (with paid extensions available)
Wix eCommerce emerges as a strong player in the arena of online retail platforms, offering a user-friendly interface coupled with powerful eCommerce capabilities.
Its best-in-class drag-and-drop editor lets users create an online store with relative ease, even if they lack technical knowledge.
One of Wix’s primary strengths is its all-inclusive plans. These packages offer a wide array of services, eliminating the need for external tools.
The platform supports recurring payments, which is particularly beneficial for businesses offering subscription-based products or services.
Wix also excels in facilitating multi-channel selling, allowing users to sell their products across various platforms, including social media and online marketplaces. This ability expands a business’s reach and increases visibility.
Furthermore, Wix’s app market is a treasure trove of functionality. Boasting over 250 free and paid apps, it allows businesses to add various features to their online store, enhancing functionality and user experience.
Whether it’s a loyalty program or live chat tools, Wix has an app for everything.
Lastly, the platform’s security and reliability are noteworthy. With secure online payments and constant site monitoring, Wix eCommerce ensures that businesses and their customers are well-protected.
Combining an intuitive interface with comprehensive eCommerce capabilities, Wix eCommerce provides an ideal platform for businesses looking to establish or expand their online presence in 2023.
- All-inclusive plans
- Recurring payments
- Multi-channel selling
- Large selection of apps
- Secure online payments and site monitoring
- Business Basic: $27/month
- Business Unlimited: $32/month
- Business VIP: $59/month
Comparison Of Top 5 Best eCommerce Platforms
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The right eCommerce platform can be the difference between success and failure for an online business.
With so many different options available, it’s essential to choose the right platform that suits your needs and budget.
The five platforms discussed here present a cross-section of quality eCommerce solutions for businesses in 2023.
Each offers unique features, pricing models, and capabilities, making them all worthy contenders for the title of best eCommerce platform.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Do I Need an eCommerce Platform?
An eCommerce platform is essential for businesses wanting to sell their products or services online.
It provides the tools and features needed to build a successful online store that can process payments, manage inventory, and provide customer service.
What Are The Main Features of an eCommerce Platform?
The main features of an eCommerce platform include product catalogs, payment processing, cart and checkout management, shipping integration, customer accounts, inventory tracking, analytics, and reporting.
Additionally, some platforms offer additional features, such as loyalty programs and marketing tools.
Which eCommerce Platform Is Best For me?
The best eCommerce platform for you will depend on your budget, the products or services you’re selling, and your long-term goals.
Consider the features offered by each platform to ensure that you choose the right one for your needs.
Additionally, read reviews from users so you get a better understanding of their experiences.
Amit Gupta is an experienced expert in digital marketing and co-founder of DrFranchises. With more than 11 years of knowledge in franchise digital marketing, SEO, email marketing, and social media marketing, Amit has helped many brands achieve incredible success online. As a passionate entrepreneur and owner of 7 franchises, he continues to study franchise models, looking at costs, revenue, and profitability to guide brands toward profitable growth. When he’s not working on digital marketing, Amit enjoys spending time playing with his beloved dog.