Best ecommerce platforms for Beginners

Best ecommerce platforms for Beginners

Are you planning on running your own online business but aren’t sure how to begin, or don’t know which e-commerce platform is suitable for you and your needs? Don’t be concerned. We’re here to assist you.

This article will go through the finest e-commerce platforms for newcomers and beginners to the internet business industry. We’ve compiled a list of the most popular and accessible e-commerce solutions that exhibit all of the functionality and tools you’ll need to establish your future business.

Table of Contents

    E-commerce Business – An Explanation

    Online shopping has become increasingly popular in the past years. E-commerce is a type of business that is conducted electronically. It sells and buys goods via the world wide web. In addition, technology is used by e-commerce enterprises, such as supply chain management, the transfer of electronic funds, marketing, etc.

    Typically, e-commerce uses the internet for its transactions. By transactions, we mean purchasing products such as books, clothing, technologies, or services like downloads.
    There are three areas of e-commerce:

    Online Retailing

    Online retailing is a form of electrical commerce that allows customers to directly order goods from the sellers using platforms or online stores that the retailers have created. Clients go to the retailer’s website, find items of their preference, and place their order immediately from there. The retailer then accepts the order and forwards it to the manufacturer or wholesaler. After that, the goods are packaged and shipped straight to the consumer. As a result, the store has no direct touch with the actual products.

    Electronic Markets

    Electronic markets are information systems used by multiple organizations. They are linked by advanced communication networks and driven by high-performance computers. To engage in an internet marketplace, sellers and buyers don’t have to be in the same area. Electronic markets are flexible and easy to use and incur lower costs. That is why it has become so popular over the years.

    Online Auctions

    An online auction is held over the internet. Virtual auctions make online activity more geographically accessible. Their role is to sell items at auction utilizing the internet. Potential buyers then bid on products until one wins the product they were interested in purchasing.
    Let’s dive into the best ecommerce platforms for beginners:

    Most Accessible E-commerce Platforms

    E-commerce offers a lower startup to business owners or beginners, hence its popularity. While conventional bricks-and-mortar companies thrive on main streets, e-commerce thrives on the internet. That said, you don’t have to be a computer whiz to create your business online. Multiple services and platforms can make building an online store effortlessly.

    5 ecommerce platforms for newcomers:

    Key Features for E-commerce Platforms

    Before diving into your own ecommerce business, you should consider some essential features.

    Inventory Management

    If a platform has an inventory management system, it can make the launch of your business that much easier. It should track stock levels, have stock level data in real-time, let you add multiple variants of the same product, and so on.

    Customization

    It is essential to know before choosing an e-commerce platform if it lets you brand and design your own products. In addition, you should know what level of customization they offer and if it’s right for you and your business.

    Support

    Knowing what kind of support the platform offers and if they’re available, 24/7 can be what ultimately sways your decision.

    Integration

    E-commerce integration is the coordination between a firm’s e-commerce website and its back-end systems, such as Amazon, eBay, Facebook, etc. Therefore, it is essential to know if your chosen platform integrates with the websites you need.

    Payment

    Selling online opens you up to the global market. But since every country has its own payment methods, it is vital to find the right platform that offers multiple options.

    Security

    Having an online business is not always safe – this is where e-commerce platforms can help you. E-commerce security protects e-commerce assets from unauthorized access, use, alteration, or destruction.

    Shopify

    shopify logo

    Shopify is a subscription service-as-a-solution or SaaS ecommerce platform that offers all of the tools that newbies or novices to the business world need.

    Shopify is the most popular e-commerce platform for all businesses on the internet right now. It handles everything for you, from site upkeep to security. Users may set up this online store in minutes and begin adding things to sell.

    Ease of Use

    A business owner’s primary goal is to generate sales without being slowed down by technology or other time-consuming administrative activities. Shopify is fast, reliable, and easy to use. With a few clicks, you can start your free trial period. You won’t have to stress about anything, whether marketing or payment and security.

    Inventory Management

    Shopify comes with product management tools that allow you to categorize and organize your items as collections. You can use this smart feature and create interesting groupings of your items by price range, such as item packs and other parameter-focused groups for less than $50.These characteristics might be helpful marketing tools for your business. In addition, Shopify allows you to do essential inventory management tasks such as importing and exporting goods using CSV files. You can track and adjust your inventory and also conceal out-of-stock products.

    Customization

    By using Shopify, you will have access to many custom-made themes for your online store. If you pick a more advanced plan, you will have many more templates at your disposal. That way, you can build up your own original brand. The industry-specific themes are arts and photography, jewelry and accessories, food and beverages, furniture, and more. You may filter them based on whether they’re mobile-only or responsive, as well as whether they are using free or premium themes.

    Customer Support

    More than 90,000 clients in over a hundred countries use Shopify. Consequently, they need an advanced customer support team to help with any problems or misunderstandings that may arise. Shopify offers support through email and chat. In addition, it has a large base of knowledge and an online community devoted to the product on Shopify forums. If you need help, Shopify employees will be glad to offer their assistance.

    Integrations

    Integration is also an essential factor to consider, and Shopify certainly delivers in this respect. Shopify connects with 3,219+ applications, ranging from merchandising sales to finance. In addition, it works with Oberlo, Amazon, Facebook Messenger, Stocky, Apple Business Chat, and many other services.

    Payment Methods

    Shopify supports multiple payment methods, including PayPal and Stripe. However, Shopify charges you an extra 2% in transaction fees to use these third-party gateways. This is likely to encourage users to try their in-house payment solution, Shopify Payments. You can cut out the middleman and have no additional fees for payment methods.

    Security

    Shopify ensures that its clients’ consumers have a safe shopping experience by keeping their security up-to-date with industry best practices. This includes PCI DSS, information security that handles debit card and credit card information.

    On the other hand, Shopify comes prepared with an account security approach: the shared responsibility model. Here both you and Shopify share any responsibility connected to your account. At the same time, Shopify handles the majority of the platform’s operations, including technology, network, and disaster recovery. You, as a user, are in control of password security, user permissions, middleman apps, and copies of the data in your account.

    Shopify Plans

    • Basic Plan – $29 per month with a free trial period. This plan offers almost all the features of the platform, where you get two staff accounts and up to four inventory locations. Plus, you’ll receive a 77% shipping discount, amongst other things. This plan is best for beginners and newcomers to the business world.
    • Shopify Plan – $79 per month, the best plan for expanding companies, selling online or in-store. It also offers five staff accounts and up to 88% shipping discounts. In addition to five inventory locations, this plan also provides reports to the user about a certain sale.
    • Advanced Plan – $299 per month, a plan that is best suited to growing enterprises that require advance reporting. You can have up to 15 staff accounts here and the same number of discounts as the previous plan. But you will have advanced reports and third-party calculated shipping rates.

    Pros of Shopify

    • The simplicity of use – You probably don’t want to get bogged down with technology or other tedious administrative tasks. Since Shopify takes care of most things, and you can make an account and start selling your products with only a few clicks, it is simple to use.
    • Extensive choice of storefront themes – Amongst the most significant advantages of choosing Shopify is its beautiful storefront themes. Each one will make your online store look professional and visually appealing.
    • 24/7 Support forward– Shopify employees are here to help you with any problems you might be having with your account. They offer 24/7 support via email and chat. There is also an option to call them, depending on the region in which you live.

    Cons of Shopify

    • Less functionality – While Shopify is perfect for less tech-savvy people, it is not great if you are looking for more functionality. In that case, you should consider Shopify’s competitors like WordPress for a more challenging self-hosted platform.
    • App fees – Although Shopify integrates with many different apps, you still have to pay app fees to use them. What’s more, you’ll have to manually insert your data when using these apps. All of which takes time and effort.
    • Customizations – While Shopify does have beautiful themes to choose from, it still might not be the right choice for you. If that’s the case, you will have to pay a one-time fee to use the other themes or pay an expert to design your store to your liking.

    Wix online store

    Wix logo orange

    Wix is one of the most popular platforms for e-commerce businesses. It can be a great way to start up your new online store. It is easy to use and has many essential features that will come in handy to build up your own brand.

    Ease of Use

    You will be surprised at how easy it is to make a website on the Wix platform. Once you get the hang of it, you can make an excellent website for your new online store.

    Inventory Management

    Much like Shopify, Wix lets you list your products into collections. This helps customers find your products and see similar or related products that might interest them.

    Customization

    Wix has 500 stunning templates that you can personalize using an editor to build a fantastic-looking e-commerce platform. However, Wix’s most appealing feature is its intuitive Artificial Design Intelligence or ADI. It designs original websites based on a few simple questions about your tastes and expectations. This is an excellent tool for people with no experience developing a website.

    Customer Support

    Wix has a help center that includes thousands of well-written articles covering the entire platform. It is available in nine languages, including Japanese, French, and German. The help center is there to answer any questions you might have with tutorial videos. In addition, you can call the support center for assistance with any problem you are experiencing.

    Integrations

    Wix is compatible with apps like QuickBooks, MailChimp, and more in terms of integration. This is great for smaller businesses that rely on well-known accounting and messaging apps to reach their target audience.

    Payment Methods

    Wix supports many payment methods, including debit and credit card payments. It is available in many countries in Europe and the US. In addition, they integrate with PayPal, which is their recommendation for the payment method.

    Security

    Wix comes with an automatic security system built into every Wix website. Their team monitors each website 24/7, monitoring any suspicious behavior and ongoing software security audits. In addition, Wix collaborates with a team of specialists to guarantee that its services comply with privacy requirements.

    Wix Plans

    • Connection Domain – This plan has no free domain and offers two critical features like bandwidth and storage. This plan is $ 4.50 per month.
    • Combo – Much like the previous plan, this offers the same features but in larger quantities. This means you will have 2GB of bandwidth and 3GB of storage space for only $8.50 per month.
    • Unlimited – The unlimited plan includes vouchers from google ads and builder apps. The monthly cost is $12.50.
    • Pro – This plan comes with an online store amongst other features and costs $16.70 per month.
    • VIP – In addition to many other features, this plan offers email marketing, which costs $24.50 per month.

    Pros of Wix

    • Affordable and user-friendly – The plans aren’t expensive and come with a few options to choose from. There is also a free trial period.
    • An extensive range of templates – Wix provides its users with 800+ high-quality templates to pick from. All of which feature user sample content.
    • Different language options – If you don’t want to have your website in English or a translation option, Wix can cater to your needs. Rest assured that you can create different language versions of your website.

    Cons of Wix

    • Multi-currency problem – Although Wix is available in many countries, it only works with USD, EUR, and Pound Sterling.
    • Not fully responsive on mobile devices – While Wix offers an option to use the platform on your mobile device, many users have complained that the Wix platform is not fully responsive.
    • Storage – Although all paid plans come with unlimited bandwidth, storage is entirely different. So naturally, the more expensive plans offer more extensive storage options. So you might have to opt for a more expensive plan or change plans when your business grows.

    WooCommerce

    woocommerce logo

    Known for its flexible, open-source nature, WooCommerce makes launching your online store fun and easy. WooCommerce runs millions of e-commerce sites across the world, and it is the only WordPress plugin on our list of the top e-commerce platforms for beginners.

    Ease of Use

    New business owners without technical knowledge prefer e-commerce platforms that are simple to use and quick to set up. In that respect, WooCommerce is a fluid, flexible, and adaptable e-commerce solution. It allows you to sell physical goods, digital products, and services. But, just as importantly, it’s easy to use, especially for beginners.

    Inventory Management

    WooCommerce uses eight different inventory plugins to ensure that they do everything right with your products. These include Z Inventory Manager, WooCommerce POS Inventory Count, etc.

    Customization

    You have the option to choose from many plugins, themes, and extensions to create an application based on your likes and dislikes. For example, you can change the look and feel of the site to match your brand image. In addition, you can also adjust the language and tonality.

    Customer Support

    With WooCommerce, you typically get around-the-clock access to technical support representatives at every level. You can do that by emailing the platform. Usually, they reply quickly and fix any issues as soon as possible.

    Integration

    WooCommerce also integrates with apps such as Shippo, QuickBooks, and more.

    Payment Methods

    Payments are accepted by WooCommerce using plugins. It, too, includes important third-party payment channels such as PayPal and Stripe, as does Shopify. WooCommerce also features a new payment system called WooCommerce Payments. This option lets you accept payments directly from the platform and makes the checkout process easier for shoppers. In addition, if you use this payment method, WooCommerce is responsible for dealing with any payment disputes, which can provide you with peace of mind.

    Security

    As a self-hosted website, WooCommerce does not come with built-in security features. For that reason, as the website owner, you take responsibility for customer safety. Therefore, you need to install web host security plugins and implement multi-factor authentication methods.

    WooCommerce Plans

    • Basic – With this plan, you are guaranteed most of the features that WooCommerce offers, including security, bandwidth, storage space, and more. Although you won’t get marketing offers, it can still be a great plan to start your business. The cost of this plan is $2.95 per month.
    • Plus – Here, you will mostly have unlimited access to many features that were limited in the previous plan. You will have access to gift cards and group coupons. What’s more, you will have marketing offers. It only costs $5.45 per month.
    • Choice Plus is a newer plan with extra security and a CodeGuard Basic. However, at $18.95 per month, this option is more expensive than the previous plans.

    Pros of WooCommerce

    • Sales Reporting – Keeps track of orders and updates you on their status. The shopkeeper may also monitor order status and history to ensure that the clients’ purchasing experience is smooth.
    • Product inventory tracking – Maintains product inventory, including product variant data such as colors and sizes as users need.
    • Shop-related pages – Automatically generate shop-related pages. Shopping carts and checkout pages are examples of such pages.

    Cons of WooCommerce

    • It is dependent on other plugins – Setting up each payment gateway necessitates the installation of an additional plugin, each of which has its own set of requirements. This means you’ll have to rely on third-party plugins for capabilities you’d expect to be included with the platform.
    • Shipping solution issue – WooCommerce makes it challenging to set up shipping solutions, which can be a pain to deal with.
    • No high-quality templates – Even though WooCommerce provides a range of templates, they are poor quality and lag far behind the platforms we have already highlighted.

    BigCommerce

    bigcommerce logo

    There is no denying that BigCommerce is one of the most used ecommerce platforms today. Much like other platforms, it gets the job done and takes care of most factors necessary to launch your business.

    Ease of Use

    BigCommerce is not as easy to use as the likes of Shopify because you need to learn all the tricks and tips on how to use this platform correctly. Although you can find tutorials on the internet to help you with that problem, BigCommerce might not be ideal for you if you are a newcomer. It is a powerful platform, but it still has a modern, easy-to-understand dashboard and a straightforward website editor.

    Inventory Management

    Order monitoring, stock level reports, pricing modifications, and a few purchase patterns are among the inventory management capabilities. In addition, this function allows you to keep track of information such as your top shoppers, order value, sales revenue, returns, and so on. BigCommerce also integrates with WordPress via a WordPress plugin, which can help your store in many ways.

    Customization

    Free themes are an excellent way for new businesses to cut costs while starting out. BigCommerce has a variety of themes that can make your website an attractive and fun place to shop. However, selecting the best platform with high-quality customization is essential as you don’t want your online store to appear dull.

    Customer Support

    Email and phone support are available from the customer service team. There is also a help center and a network of e-commerce merchants who support one another. Make sure to contact them if you need any assistance regarding your e-commerce platform.

    Integration

    BigCommerce, a global leader in e-commerce, integrates with over 100 major organizations, including Avalar Tax, Webgility, Stripe, ActiveCampaign, etc. You may sell items on marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay using this platform. This can be very useful as most customers visit those websites first when planning a purchase.

    Payment Methods

    BigCommerce provides many payment options, including credit cards, PayPal, or letting customers pay by check or in-store. Accordingly, customers can pick out which payment method suits them the best.

    Security

    BigCommerce offers a free SSL certificate on all of its plans. You can also upgrade to a more advanced SSL certificate (equipped with site seals and warranties). BigCommerce’s paid SSL options range from $59 to $299. Also, this platform is a PCI DSS compliant provider, which means that it protects its customers against credit card breaches.

    BigCommerce Plans

    • Standard – This allows you to sell online with your own store. It includes half of the platform’s features, yet it can be a perfect plan for beginners. The cost of this plan is $29.95 per month.
    • Plus – The most popular plan on this platform provides many unlimited features such as marketing tools. This plan is excellent for growing businesses. The monthly fee is $79.95.
    • Pro – It comes with comprehensive features that are great for a more advanced business, but it is a bit more expensive than the other plans at $299.95 per month.
    • Enterprise – This is a more flexible plan since you only pay for the features that your business requires. It is nonetheless a full-service open platform.

    Pros of BigCommerce

    • Built-in sales features – BigCommere is suitable for newcomers as you don’t have to install any sale features; the platform comes with them. This includes shopping carts, checkouts, and more.
    • No transaction fees – Although BigCommerce might be considered expensive, it has zero additional transaction fees. Note that this feature is provided for every plan.
    • Product variety – This platform provides 600+ variations per product. For that reason, every customer should be able to find what they are looking for.

    Cons of BigCommerce

    • Learning curve – When it comes to advanced features, BigCommerce does not offer a lot of learning curves. This means that if you still need advice and how-to guidelines, you will have to contact them directly.
    • Less variety of themes – Although BigCommerce offers a variety of themes, there isn’t a lot of difference between them. As a result, you might end up looking through themes with the same colors and templates. This might not be to everyone’s liking.
    • Features are less customizable – For most e-commerce platforms, you can customize many functionalities and tools. On the other hand, this platform is not that flexible in its features. Other platforms may be more to your style.

    PrestaShop

    PrestaShop logo

    PrestaShop is a free, open-source e-commerce platform. It allows you to edit software code to suit your customers’ needs. Even though it is not the most popular e-commerce platform, it still has many features and tools that you can use.

    Ease of Use

    Setting up a profile on PrestaShop might take some time because it is more technical. Having said that, PrestaShop includes a demo that walks you through each step. Fortunately, after completing the setup, connectors, and modules, it is straightforward.

    Inventory Management

    PrestaShop is highly advanced when it comes to its Inventory management. It works with multiple inventory sources and manages them efficiently from a single place.

    Customization

    Open-source sites are the way to go if you want your website to have a distinct vibe. Building a distinctive brand is critical for long-term success in the e-commerce sector. You will need a few modules to design an online store. For instance, a module that allows you to make simple changes and a sophisticated module that will enable you to tailor your shop to your preferences.

    As a result, entry to CSS, HTML, and JavaScript files will be required. That is where PrestaShop comes in handy. This platform’s customization features will help you make your website accessible to shoppers and look amazing in the process.

    The PrestaShop official marketplace also has over 1,500 templates and an extensive range of themes. However, keep in mind that these templates will cost you money. But there is most certainly something for everyone here.

    Customer Support

    PrestaShop likes to make sure that its customers feel safe, sending them automated emails after every purchase. You can also contact them via email, and the customer support team will be at your disposal if you need any problem solved. In addition, PrestaShop allows you to email undecided consumers to avoid abandoned carts. This way, you can remind customers of the items they left in their carts.

    Integration

    PrestaShop has a plethora of connectors for its customers to employ. Some of them are free, while others require a one-time payment. Adding connections to your PrestaShop site might be more expensive than on other e-commerce systems such as Shopify. However, PrestaShop comes out on top when you invest more and presumably sell more. Up till now, there have been 100+ modules built in. Be aware that you can access these modules only in the PrestaShop Ready version of the platform.

    Payment Methods

    A fully functional e-commerce platform needs payment gateways. Bambora, PayPal, Discover Global Network, Worldpay, Amazon Pay, Auorize.Net, and First Data are among the payment gateways supported by PrestaShop. As add-ons, it includes over 250 payment providers. The platform has its own payment method as well, PrestaShop Ready. There are four payment options available, including Stripe and PayPal. You can also process bank transfers and pay with checks.

    Security

    PrestaShop’s open-source version is PCI compliant. Unfortunately, this means you’ll be responsible for keeping your website secure. Therefore, you’ll need to purchase an SSL certificate and watch for security fixes. This can be challenging for beginners and newcomers to the business world.
    In addition, PrestaShop Ready has updated security accounts, including the SSL certificate.

    PrestaShop Plans

    PrestaShop is 100% free. No monthly fees. No commissions on your sales. Note that this does not mean that you can sell entirely for free. Every other module feature or template requires an additional fee. However, they form partnerships with other platforms, so you can still have a well-balanced online store, only without a plan or a monthly fee.

    Pros of PrestaShop

    • Integration Button – The PayPal button modality has been included in the PrestaShop system, allowing clients to complete payments online in a matter of seconds. This integrated button helps you to simplify a variety of transactions.
    • Adding Changes – You may conduct inventory evaluations and make changes to PrestaShop catalogs. In addition, you can modify the catalog and the conditions of the goods in the catalog. All modifications will be instantly reflected on your website. There is no downtime.
    • Digital Invoice – PrestaShop has developed a digital invoice for every customer who has placed an advance payment on a property, making the transaction even easier to execute.

    Cons of PrestaShop

    • User Support – There is no support to help clients with the PrestaShop service. This might be difficult for people looking to start their first business using PrestaShop.
    • Expensive customization fees – Although appealing, the templates are costly, forcing many owners to choose a plain style for their catalog and store.
    • Unstable – Many users have claimed that module loading can crash the website entirely. If such a problem occurs, it can be hard to resolve.

    Most Common Questions About E-commerce Business

    Below, we’ll discuss some of the most frequently asked questions about the best e-commerce platforms currently available.

    What Is an Ecommerce Platform?

    An ecommerce platform is a software that allows a business owner to sell items or services online. It is a consolidated program that manages all online store operations such as POS, inventory management, merchandising, and more. All of which makes it an excellent start for new entrepreneurs.

    Is It Smart to Use an Ecommerce Platform to Sell Items?

    If you wish to sell a product online, you’ll need an online store. You have two alternatives when it comes to creating an online business. You may either build one from scratch or choose a ready-to-ship e-commerce site that comes with everything you should have to get your business up and running.

    If you are just starting out or have a limited budget for your business, making your online store without an e-commerce platform can be pricy. The ideal option is a pre-built e-commerce system for small enterprises and startups.

     If you believe that a thoroughly prepared e-commerce system would seem generic, you are mistaken. Although the leading e-commerce platforms provide hundreds of template styles and unique branding possibilities, you can tailor your online store to your liking, matching your designs and preferences.

    What Is the Most Convenient Ecommerce Platform?

    BigCommerce is among the most user-friendly e-commerce systems, ideal for rapidly expanding online enterprises. In addition, it includes simple-to-use capabilities for inventory management, analytics, and marketing tools. All of these characteristics combine to make it a must-have for novices. But let’s not forget our first e-commerce platform, Shopify. Along with its popularity, Shopify is easy to use, fast and reliable, and perfect for newcomers to the business world.

    Which Ecommerce Platform Is the Best to Use?

    Shopify, BigCommerce, and Wix are the greatest and most user-friendly e-commerce systems available today.

    List of Other Ecommerce Platforms

    Here are a few more tools that did not make our list:

    • Nomad E-commerce: Great for unique customization for small to mid-scale distributors.
    • Salesoar: Best for advertising your products.
    • AGC E-commerce: Best for solo entrepreneurs who want to sell their products online.
    • Clever E-commerce: Great for Google add campaigns.
    • Stock Konnect: A good platform if you want to have a multichannel listing.
    • Weebly: Best e-commerce platform for filtered product search.
    • Volusion: Best for building your store your way.

    Final Verdict – Best Ecommerce Platforms for Beginners

    The ecommerce platforms on our list are here to help you build and run an online store. Choosing between them can be challenging, but it is ultimately dependent on your business needs and priorities. All of them are great for beginners and first-time online store builders. Most offer a free trial period, so you won’t lose much by trying one out.

    However, remember to do proper research before making your final decision between these e-commerce platforms for beginners. You wouldn’t want to end up with a platform that is not to your liking or has some issues that are not fixable.