Top 10 E-commerce Software Solutions  For Growing Your Online Store

Aleksandra Velickovic

June 3, 2024

We’ve tested and reviewed the top 10 e-commerce software solutions on the market so you can find the perfect fit for your needs. Capaciteam gives you insight into each platform’s features, pricing, and ideal users so you can make an informed decision. Whether you’re just starting or looking to scale your business, this article will be helpful. 

Introduction to eCommerce Software Solutions

Here’s a breakdown of what e-commerce software solutions offer:

  • Storefront setup. This software provides easy-to-use tools to design your online store. You can choose from pre-made templates, upload your logo and product images, and customise the layout to reflect your brand.
  • Products and inventory management. Easily add product descriptions, set prices, and manage stock levels. Some eCommerce platforms even integrate with suppliers to automate inventory updates.
  • Shopping cart and secure checkout. Customers can seamlessly add items to their cart, securely enter their payment information, and receive order confirmations.
  • Payment processing. E-commerce software integrates with payment gateways like PayPal or Stripe, allowing customers to pay with ease.
  • Marketing and customer management. Many platforms offer built-in marketing tools like email campaigns and discount codes to attract customers. You can also manage customer information and order history.
  • Analytics and reporting. Gain valuable insights into your store’s performance with sales reports, traffic analysis, and customer data. This helps you understand what’s working and make data-driven decisions.

And while any e-commerce software solution satisfies these requirements, there are a couple of categories out there, specialised for various needs:

Hosted e-commerce platforms

If you want to set up an online store quickly and easily, a hosted e-commerce platform is a great option. Solutions like Shopify, BigCommerce and Volusion offer templates and tools to build a professional storefront without coding. Since the platforms are cloud-based, you don’t have to worry about server or software maintenance. Pricing starts at around $30 per month.

Self-hosted open-source platforms

If you’re focused on better online store control, you can use an open-source e-commerce platform like Magento, WooCommerce or Odoo. These are free platforms that provide flexibility and customisation options for developers.

You will, however, need to host the software on your server and handle updates yourself. The initial setup also tends to be more complicated so you may need help from professional web developers.

SaaS e-commerce solutions

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms provide e-commerce functionality through a monthly subscription model. Solutions like Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Insite Software and Elastic Path give you a headstart with pre-built features.

The platforms handle infrastructure and software maintenance. Pricing is typically a percentage of sales or revenue share model. SaaS e-commerce software solutions offer convenience but less control over customisation.

Mobile e-commerce

Since most online shopping happens on mobile devices, your e-commerce platform must be mobile-friendly. Look for solutions that offer responsive design templates that automatically adapt to mobile screen sizes. They should also have features like one-page checkouts, mobile payments, push notifications and more. Some top mobile-friendly e-commerce platforms are Shopify, BigCommerce, Salesforce Commerce Cloud and Magento.

Omnichannel solutions

For seamless customer experiences across channels, an omnichannel e-commerce platform helps provide a single view of customers, inventory, orders, and payments across your website, mobile app, in-store, call centre, and any other sales channel. Some leading omnichannel e-commerce solutions are SAP Commerce Cloud, Oracle Commerce and Commercetools. They provide robust functionality for unified commerce but at a high cost.

Top 10 E-commerce Platforms for Online Stores

Illustration of web developers testing and exploring an e-commerce platform on a mobile phone.

#1 – Shopify 

As one of the most popular e-commerce platforms, Shopify makes it easy to get an online store up and running. With a simple monthly subscription, you get a customisable website and blog, payment processing, shipping and more. Shopify has over 1 million businesses in 175 countries using their platform, making it the most widespread among eCommerce software solutions.

Key features:

  • Stand-out storefront. Shopify offers a variety of customisable themes to create a beautiful and professional online store that reflects your brand.
  • Search engine savvy. Built-in SEO tools help your store rank higher in search engine results, driving organic traffic to your products.
  • Mobile-ready shopping. Shopify ensures your store looks fantastic and functions flawlessly on all devices, from desktops to smartphones.

Strengths and weaknesses to consider

PROSCONS
User-friendly. Shopify’s intuitive interface makes it a great choice for entrepreneurs of all tech levels.Transaction fees. Shopify charges transaction fees on each sale, which can eat into your profits.
App store extravaganza. Extend the functionality of your store with a vast selection of apps in the Shopify App Store, covering everything from marketing to shipping.Customisation limits on lower plans. While Shopify offers customization options, they might be limited to lower-priced plans.

Who stands to benefit most from Shopify?

Shopify is an excellent choice for small to medium-sized businesses looking for an easy-to-use and scalable e-commerce platform. With its user-friendly interface, extensive app store, and mobile-optimized design, Shopify empowers you to launch your online store and watch it grow.

#2 – WooCommerce

If you already have a WordPress website, WooCommerce is a great choice for launching an online store. It’s a free plugin that turns your WordPress site into an e-commerce store.

WooCommerce powers over 3 million online stores worldwide, works with most WordPress themes and offers extensions for shipping, payments, marketing and more. While the core plugin is free, you will need a web host and SSL certificate to get your store up and running.

Key features:

  • Open-source. As an open-source platform, WooCommerce offers ultimate flexibility. You have complete control over the code and can tailor your store to your needs.
  • Customisation paradise. Get ready to unleash your inner designer! WooCommerce offers a variety of themes and plugins, allowing you to create a unique and highly customized online store.
  • Plugin powerhouse. The extensive WooCommerce plugin library offers solutions for virtually every aspect of your online store, from marketing automation to advanced shipping options.

Strengths and weaknesses to weigh

PROSCONS
Highly customisable. WooCommerce is a dream come true for businesses seeking a unique and feature-rich online store.WordPress know-how required. Since WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, some technical knowledge of WordPress is needed for setup and maintenance.
Large and supportive community. Benefit from the vast knowledge and support of the active WooCommerce community, offering troubleshooting help and plugin recommendations.Potential plugin costs. While WooCommerce itself is free, the extensive plugin library often includes paid options that can add up.

Who stands to benefit most from WooCommerce?

WooCommerce perfectly fits businesses already using WordPress or those seeking highly customisable e-commerce software solutions. The flexibility and vast plugin library empower you to create a unique online store tailored to your needs. However, working technical knowledge of WordPress is recommended.

#3 – BigCommerce

BigCommerce is a robust platform for mid-size to large brands looking to scale. It offers advanced features like product filtering, customer groups, and API access with an easy-to-use interface. BigCommerce lets you sell on multiple channels including social media, marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, and in-store using their Point of Sale app. Over 60,000 businesses in 120 countries use BigCommerce to power their stores.

Key features

  • Scalability champion. BigCommerce effortlessly scales alongside your business, accommodating high sales volume and future growth.
  • Built-in powerhouse. BigCommerce packs a punch with a wide range of features built right in, eliminating the need for additional plugins or integrations. This includes marketing tools, SEO optimization, and abandoned cart recovery.
  • Multi-channel mastery. BigCommerce seamlessly integrates with popular marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, allowing you to reach a wider audience.

Strengths and weaknesses to consider

PROSCONS
No transaction fees. Unlike most competitors, BigCommerce doesn’t charge transaction fees, allowing you to secure a larger profit margin.Learning curve for beginners. BigCommerce’s robust feature set can be overwhelming for new entrepreneurs, with a steeper learning curve compared to entry-level options.
Feature-rich platform. BigCommerce eliminates the need for many additional plugins with its built-in marketing, SEO, and inventory management tools.Design limitations. While BigCommerce offers customization options, they may not be as extensive as other platforms.

Who stands to benefit most from BigCommerce?

BigCommerce is ideal for growing businesses that require a scalable platform with a comprehensive feature set. The built-in marketing tools, multi-channel selling capabilities, and lack of transaction fees make it a compelling choice for businesses poised for significant growth. However, those new to e-commerce might find the interface less intuitive compared to other options.

#4 – Magento (Adobe Commerce)

Magento is an open-source e-commerce platform made for large, complex businesses. It’s a highly customisable solution that offers advanced marketing, SEO and catalogue management features for enterprise brands.

Magento requires technical resources to implement and is better suited for companies with in-house development teams. Major brands like Coca-Cola, Burger King, and Nestle use Magento to power their online stores. It’s a powerful platform designed for large businesses and enterprises with complex needs.

Key features for unmatched control

  • Customisation king. Magento offers unparalleled flexibility that lets you tailor your online store as you see fit. This includes design, functionality, and user experience.
  • SEO superstar. Magento has powerful built-in SEO features to help your online store rank higher in search engine results, driving organic traffic and sales.
  • Scalability for the future. As your business grows, Magento e-commerce software solutions scale seamlessly to accommodate high traffic volume and product offerings.

Strengths and weaknesses to weigh

PROSCONS
Limitless customisation. Magento’s customisation capabilities are unmatched for businesses seeking complete control over their online store.High cost of entry. Magento requires significant investment, including licensing fees and often additional development costs for customising the e-commerce software solutions.
Feature-rich arsenal. Magento offers a vast array of features out of the box, eliminating the need for many additional plugins or integrations.Steep learning curve. Magento’s complexity can be daunting for beginners. It often requires a team with technical expertise for setup, maintenance, and ongoing optimisation.

Who stands to benefit most from Magento?

Magento (Adobe Commerce) is the perfect fit for large businesses or enterprises with the resources and technical expertise to leverage its full potential. The unmatched customisation options, robust SEO features, and scalability make it ideal for businesses with complex needs and ambitious growth plans. However, the high cost and steep learning curve make it less suitable for small businesses and startups.

#5 – Wix eCommerce

Wix is a popular website builder that has expanded its reach into the e-commerce software solutions world with Wix eCommerce. It offers a user-friendly solution ideal for small businesses or those new to eCommerce platforms.

Key features for design-driven businesses

  • Drag-and-drop design freedom. Wix eCommerce uses a user-friendly drag-and-drop builder, allowing you to create a beautiful and professional online store with no coding required.
  • Template trove. Get a head start with Wix’s extensive library of customisable templates tailored for various industries.
  • Marketing made easy. Wix eCommerce integrates with marketing tools like email campaigns and social media promotion, helping you reach new customers.

Strengths and weaknesses to consider

PROSCONS
Intuitive interface. Wix’s drag-and-drop builder and user-friendly interface make it easy for anyone to create a stunning online store, even without prior experience.Limited advanced features. While Wix eCommerce offers a solid foundation, it might lack some of the advanced features needed for complex online stores.
Design flexibility. Wix offers various templates and design options, allowing you to create a unique online store that reflects your brand identity.Transaction fees. Wix charges transaction fees on each sale, which can eat into your profits.

Who stands to benefit most from Wix?

Wix eCommerce is ideal for small businesses or those new to e-commerce. The user-friendly interface, drag-and-drop builder, and beautiful templates simplify creating a professional online store.

It’s a great choice for businesses that prioritise a design-focused approach and don’t require many advanced features. However, the transaction fees and limitations on advanced features might be a consideration for larger businesses or those with specific needs.

#6 – Squarespace Commerce

Squarespace, known for its beautiful website creation tools, offers Squarespace Commerce, a user-friendly solution for building an aesthetically pleasing online store.

  • Key features: Stunning pre-designed templates, intuitive drag-and-drop interface, built-in marketing tools like email campaigns and social media integration.
  • Pros: Perfect for design-focused businesses and those who prioritise a user-friendly experience.
  • Cons: Limited scalability for larger businesses, fewer integrations compared to some competitors.
  • Ideal for: Creative professionals, and small businesses looking for a beautiful and easy-to-manage online store.

#7 – OpenCart

OpenCart is a free, open-source e-commerce platform offering extensive customisation options and a large community of developers.

  • Key features: Vast library of extensions for adding features, multi-store management for managing multiple online stores from a single platform, user-friendly interface.
  • Pros: Cost-effective solution with ultimate flexibility for customisation.
  • Cons: Requires some technical knowledge for setup and maintenance, fewer built-in features compared to hosted solutions.
  • Ideal for: Tech-savvy businesses looking for a powerful and affordable platform with the freedom to create custom features.

#8 – PrestaShop

PrestaShop joins the ranks of open-source e-commerce platforms, offering strong community support and extensive customization options.

  • Key features: Open-source and highly customisable, strong community forum for troubleshooting and finding solutions, a wide range of paid modules for adding features.
  • Pros: Flexible platform with no ongoing fees, a large community for support and guidance.
  • Cons: Requires technical knowledge for setup and maintenance, some essential features require paid modules.
  • Ideal for: Medium to large businesses with the technical expertise and budget to leverage PrestaShop’s customisation capabilities.

#9 – Volusion

Volusion is a hosted e-commerce software solution platform designed specifically for the needs of small and medium-sized businesses. It offers a comprehensive suite of features focusing on ease of use.

  • Key features: Built-in SEO tools to improve organic search ranking, responsive themes for optimal mobile viewing, and inventory management tools for efficient stock control.
  • Pros: User-friendly interface with built-in features eliminates the need for many plugins, ideal for businesses seeking an all-in-one solution.
  • Cons: Limited integrations with third-party applications compared to some competitors, design options might be more restricted than open-source platforms.
  • Ideal for: Small to medium-sized businesses seeking a user-friendly and comprehensive e-commerce platform that requires minimal technical knowledge.

#10 – Weebly eCommerce

Weebly, another popular website builder, offers Weebly eCommerce, a user-friendly drag-and-drop solution for creating a basic online store.

  • Key features: Easy drag-and-drop builder for intuitive store creation, affordable pricing plans, and mobile-optimised themes for seamless viewing on all devices.
  • Pros: Perfect for beginners and budget-conscious businesses, the user-friendly interface makes it easy to get started quickly.
  • Cons: Limited advanced features for complex online stores, fewer integrations compared to more robust platforms.
  • Ideal for: Beginners and small businesses looking for a straightforward and affordable solution to launch a basic online store.

How to Choose the Right E-Commerce Software Solutions for Your Business

Choosing an e-commerce platform is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make for your online store. The solution you select will shape your business for years to come. With so many options, how do you determine which is the best e-commerce software for your needs?

1. Consider your technical skills and resources

Some platforms require more technical expertise to set up and manage than others. If you’re not technically inclined or lack an in-house web developer, choose a solution that’s easy to use with an intuitive interface, such as Shopify, BigCommerce or Volusion. These options have drag-and-drop builders and plenty of ready-made themes, so you can get started quickly without needing to code.

On the other hand, if you have a web developer on staff or are comfortable with more advanced e-commerce software, Magento or OpenCart could be good options. They provide flexibility and customisation options for stores wanting to create a unique experience. However, these platforms have a steeper learning curve and require more technical resources to manage.

2. Evaluate features and scalability

Consider the features you need to run your business. All e-commerce platforms offer essentials like shopping carts, payment processing, shipping and tax calculations. But look for a solution that also provides the specific features important for your business model and target audience. 

For example, if you sell internationally, ensure the software supports multiple languages and currencies. If you dropship products, it should have inventory management and third-party logistics integrations.

You should also consider how your business may grow and scale in the coming years. Choose an e-commerce solution that can expand with you, handling higher traffic and order volumes over time. Some platforms charge additional fees for add-ons like stronger security, increased bandwidth and storage, or POS integration. Make sure any additional costs still fit your budget as your business grows.

3. Evaluate costs and fees

E-commerce platforms vary significantly in their pricing models and fees. Some charge a monthly subscription fee, while others are free open-source software but charge for add-ons, themes, and transaction fees. Compare the total cost of different solutions based on your specific needs. 

Think about:

  • Monthly or annual subscription fees
  • Transaction fees for payments, shipping, etc.
  • The cost of any add-ons or integrations you require
  • Fees for bandwidth overages, storage, and security
  • The price of a premium theme (if not using a free one)

For small businesses on a tight budget, a low-cost solution like Wix, WooCommerce or OpenCart could be appealing. For larger stores, the higher subscription fees of Shopify Plus or Magento Enterprise may be worthwhile for their advanced features and scalability. But always choose a solution that fits your current budget and allows room for growth.

E-Commerce Software Solutions FAQs

What is e-commerce software?

E-commerce software allows businesses to conduct sales and accept payments over the Internet. It provides tools to help create an online storefront, list products, process payments and manage orders and shipping. 

Do I need an e-commerce platform?

If you want to sell products or services online, then yes, you will need an e-commerce platform. E-commerce software makes it easy to create an online store and start selling. It handles the technical aspects of running an online store so you can focus on your business and customers. An e-commerce platform will allow you to:

  • Create an online storefront to showcase your products
  • List individual products or services and organize them into categories
  • Accept online payments through a payment gateway
  • Manage orders, shipping and fulfilment
  • Gain insights into your sales and customers to optimize your business

Without an e-commerce platform, building and managing an online store would be extremely difficult and time-consuming for most business owners. E-commerce software automates and simplifies the process.

What are the main types of e-commerce software solutions available?

There are three primary types of e-commerce software solutions:

  • Open Source Solutions: These are free, open-source solutions like WooCommerce, Magento and PrestaShop. They provide flexibility and customisation but require technical skills to set up and manage.
  • Hosted Solutions: These are software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions that are hosted and managed for you, such as Shopify, BigCommerce and Volusion. They are easy to set up but offer less flexibility.
  • On-Premise Solutions: These are solutions you install and host on your own servers, such as Oracle Commerce and IBM WebSphere Commerce. They provide the most control but require significant upfront investment and technical resources to manage.

For most small to midsize businesses, hosted SaaS solutions offer the best balance of ease of use, affordability and functionality. Solutions like Shopify, BigCommerce and 3dcart are popular, low-cost options for getting an e-commerce store up and running quickly.

How much do e-commerce platforms cost?

E-commerce software pricing varies significantly based on the solution and features. Some options are available for free, while enterprise platforms can cost tens of thousands per month. In general, you can expect to pay:

  • Free to $50/month: For open-source and basic SaaS solutions. Best for small stores.
  • $50 to $500/month: For mid-market SaaS solutions with more advanced features. Suitable for most small to midsize businesses.
  • $500+/month to $5,000+/month: For on-premise solutions and enterprise SaaS solutions. Only suitable for large businesses with significant technical resources.

Some solutions charge a percentage of sales in addition to a monthly subscription fee. You’ll also want to consider payment processing fees, which average 2-3% per transaction. Make sure to evaluate the total cost of ownership before choosing an e-commerce platform.

Do I need technical skills to manage an e-commerce platform?

The technical skills required vary depending on the e-commerce solution:

  • Open-source platforms like Magento typically require web development and coding experience to fully customise and integrate the platform.
  • Hosted SaaS solutions are designed to be user-friendly for non-technical business owners. Minimal coding is required, and you can manage most day-to-day tasks without a developer. However, some customisation and integration will still require technical support.
  • On-premise enterprise platforms demand significant technical resources to install, configure, customise, and maintain. They are not suitable for non-technical businesses.

Conclusion

From all-in-one systems to specialised tools, there are options for top e-commerce software solutions to suit businesses at every stage. The key is finding the right fit based on your business needs and budget.

With the foundation of a robust e-commerce platform in place, you’ll be well on your way to taking your online store to the next level. But remember that technology alone isn’t the answer – you still need to focus on providing a great customer experience, smart marketing and solid operations.

Approach your e-commerce software as an enabler, not the end solution. Use it wisely and it will empower you to achieve your online retail goals.

Take your retail business to the next level with Capaciteam’s e-commerce software development expertise!