Best Ecommerce Platforms in 2021

Choosing which ecommerce platform to go for isn’t easy, so after spending many hours reviewing many different ecommerce platforms, I thought I would list which I think are the best options for businesses to consider!

EcommerceGold is reader supported, meaning that we may earn a commission (at no additional cost to you) from products or services purchased through links on our site. Learn More.

Option 1: Shopify

Who Are Shopify?

Shopify are the world’s largest hosted ecommerce platform and since starting in a Canadian coffee shop in 2004, it has gone on to help over 1 million businesses start selling online around the world.

Best For?

Shopify is best for businesses that quickly and easily want to start selling online. The easy to use interface and simple layout is designed for both beginners and professionals alike and can be used for small start ups to multi national corporations.

Another great application of the Shopify platform is for traditional bricks and mortar businesses as Shopify offer their own point of sale system that can easily be linked with the online store, making inventory and sales management a more streamlined and efficient process.

Shopify Pricing

  • Shopify Basic – $29/m (2% Transaction Fee)
  • Shopify Standard – $79/m (1% Transaction Fee)
  • Shopify Advanced – $299/m (0.5% Transaction Fee)

Shopify Features

Hosting

  • High Performance Servers
  • Unlimited Bandwidth & Storage
  • PCI Compliant Servers
  • 99.9% Uptime

Ecommerce

  • Multiple Payment Gatways inc PayPal, Klarna, Worldpay and SagePay
  • Shopify Payments powered by Stripe
  • Discount Codes
  • Digital Products

Marketing

  • Blog
  • Custom Meta Data
  • SEO Friendly URL’s
  • Sell on Facebook
  • Product Reviews

Themes

  • 8 Free Mobile Responsive Themes
  • Shopify Theme Store
  • Live Customiser
  • Stock Image Library
  • Third-party themes available

If you would like to see more of Shopify’s features along with what the platform is like to use, then check out my Full Shopify Review.

Shopify Summary

Shopify Pros

  • 24/7 Support
  • Easy to use Admin Dashboard
  • Good Theme Customisation
  • App Store
  • Stock Image Library

Shopify Cons

  • Transaction Fees
  • Need to Learn how to use Collections
  • App Required to Print Orders

Shopify Score

Pricing
Features
Theme Selection & Customisation
Support
Hosting & Performance
Ease of Use

Total out of 5

4.5

14 Day Free Trial, No Credit Card Required

Option 2: Bigcommerce

Bigcommerce Homepage

Who Are Bigcommerce?

Bigcommerce are one of the biggest (no pun intended) names in the world of ecommerce and in the early 2010’s were going head to head with Shopify as the biggest hosted ecommerce platform in the world! While they didn’t win, they are still a very popular platform that boasts a user base in the hundreds of thousands.

Best For?

Bigcommerce is very much geared for big business and the platform is very capable but small businesses can also take advantage of the platform with Bigcommerce Essentials, which offer a range of plans that are suitable for starts up all the way to ecommerce businesses with multiple six figure turnovers.

While primarily aimed a B2C ecommerce businesses, Bigcommerce does offer a range of tools that can be used for B2B business and even though they primarily use their own platform and website builder, it can be integrated with the world’s most popular website builder WordPress by way of a plugin.

Bigcommerce Pricing

  • Bigcommerce Standard – $29.95/m ($50k Turnover Limit)
  • Bigcommerce Plus – $79.95/m ($180k Turnover Limit)
  • Bigcommerce Pro – £299.95/m ($400k Turnover Limit)

Bigcommerce Features

Hosting

  • PCI Compliant Hosting
  • Unlimited Bandwidth
  • Unlimited Storage
  • 99.9% + Uptime
  • Global CDN

Ecommerce

  • Multiple Payment Gatways inc PayPal, Stripe, Klarna, Amazon Pay & Apple Pay
  • Single Page Checkout
  • Product Ratings & Reviews
  • Create Promotions & Special Offers
  • Sell Physical & Digital Products

Marketing

  • Blog
  • Custom Meta Data
  • Social Selling (Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest)
  • Email Marketing
  • Price Comparison Site Integration

Themes

  • 12 Free Mobile Responsive Themes
  • 139 Paid Mobile Responsive Themes
  • Live Customizer
  • Page Builder

If you would like to see more of the Bigcommerce features along with what the platform is like to use, then check out my Full Bigcommerce Review.

Bigcommerce Summary

Bigcommerce Pros

  • Easy to navigate dashboard
  • 24/7 support
  • Ability to sell on social media
  • Bulk product editor
  • Order management system is very good
  • App store

Bigcommerce Cons

  • Performance
  • Small annual turnover limits

Bigcommerce Score

Pricing
Features
Theme Selection & Customisation
Support
Hosting & Performance
Ease of Use

Total out of 5

4.1

15 Day Free Trial, No Credit Card Required

Option 3: Shift4Shop

shift4shop

Who are Shift4Shop?

Shift4Shop is the new name for 3dcart, meaning that the lineage can be traced back to the late 90’s, making it one of the longest established ecommerce platforms in the industry.

Best For?

Shift4Shop is a great option for businesses who are looking for an ecommerce platform which comes with a great selection of built in features to help your ecommerce business grow.

The platform has also been designed for businesses of all sizes, from start ups to multi-million dollar companies, which is back up by 24/7 support and a large selection of free themes.

Shift4Shop Pricing

  • Shift4Shop Basic – $29/m ($100,000 Annual Turnover Limit)
  • Shift4Shop Plus – $79/m ($250,000 Annual Turnover Limit)
  • Shift4Shop Pro – $229/m ($1 Million Annual Turnover Limit)
  • Shift4Shop End to End – Free (Can only use Shift4 Payments)

Shift4Shop Features

Hosting

  • PCI Compliant Hosting
  • 99.9% Uptime
  • 24/7 Server Monitoring
  • Cloudfare CDN
  • Free SSL Certificate

Ecommerce

  • Single page checkout
  • Saved carts
  • Digital Downloads
  • Product Comparison
  • Pre Orders

Marketing

  • SEO Tools
  • Blog
  • Product Reviews
  • Social Wish Lists
  • Discounts & Coupons

Themes

  • Over 100 Themes to Choose From
  • Multiple Editors
  • Access to HTML and CSS files

If you would like to see more of Shift4Shop’s features along with what the platform is like to use, then check out my Full Shift4Shop Review.

Shift4Shop Summary

Shift4Shop Pros

  • Large selection of features
  • 24/7 support
  • Theme selection
  • Payment gateway selection

Shift4Shop Cons

  • Theme customisation
  • Workflow isn’t optimal
  • Having to give payment details before trial

Shift4Shop Score

Pricing
Features
Theme Selection & Customisation
Support
Hosting & Performance
Ease of Use

Total out of 5

3.9

1 Month Free, Payment Info Required

Option 4: Ecwid

Ecwid Homepage

Who Are Ecwid?

Ecwid is one of the most versatile ecommerce tools in the market today and they can be seen as more than just an ecommerce platform and more of a central hub for your ecommerce business as you can sell on multiple websites, social media and also manage orders from online marketplaces such as Amazon and Ebay.

Best For?

While Ecwid can be used to build a standalone ecommerce website, its real strength lies in its integration with other popular website builders such as WordPress and Wix. This is because Ecwid’s feature rich, secure checkout very much compliments the content creation and design elements that these other platforms specialise in.

Ecwid Pricing

  • Ecwid Free Plan (Up to 10 Products)
  • Ecwid Venture – £15/m (Up to 100 Products)
  • Ecwid Business – £35/m (Up to 2,500 products)
  • Ecwid Unlimited – £99/m (Unlimited Products)

Ecwid Features

Hosting

  • Unlimited Bandwidth
  • Unlimited Data Storage
  • PCI Compliant Servers
  • Global CDN
  • 99%+ Uptime

Ecommerce

  • Multiple Payment Gatways inc PayPal, Stripe, Worldpay, Square and Apple Pay
  • One Tap Checkout (with Apple Pay)
  • Schedule Order Pickup
  • Sell Digital Products
  • Gift Cards 

Marketing

  • Discount Coupons
  • Sell on Facebook
  • Sell on Instagram
  • Manage Amazon & Ebay Orders
  • Abandoned Cart Emails

Themes

  • 79 Free Mobile Responsive Themes
  • Theme Customisation
  • Product & Category Layout Options

If you would like to see more of Ecwid’s features along with what the platform is like to use, then check out my Full Ecwid Review.

Ecwid Summary

Ecwid Pros

  • Multi Channel Selling
  • Order Management
  • Free Package
  • Product Options
  • Layout Display for Product and Category Pages

Ecwid Cons

  • Limited Theme Custimosation
  • No bulk update for Products

Ecwid Score

Pricing
Features
Theme Selection & Customisation
Support
Hosting & Performance
Ease of Use

Total out of 5

4.2

Start a Free Store, No Credit Card Required

Option 5: WooCommerce

WooCommerce Homepage

Who Are WooCommerce?

WooCommerce is the most popular ecommerce plugin for the WordPress CMS and since being acquired by Automatic, who also own WordPress, it has effectively become the official WordPress ecommerce plugin.

It can be used with both the hosted and self-hosted versions of WordPress but offers more flexibility and functionality when used with self-hosted sites.

Best For?

WooCommerce is one of the best options for companies who either have an existing site built on WordPress or who see content creation and SEO and a central part of their marketing strategy.

Due to the flexibility of WooCommerce, it can also be a great solution for companies looking for more than a basic shopping cart as it can be used for Multi-vendor marketplaces, subscription and membership sites to name a few.

WooCommerce Pricing

The WooCommerce plugin is free to use with self hosted sites but you will need to pay for hosting for the WordPress CMS. Additional plugins and themes may also need to be paid for options.

WooCommerce Features

Hosting

  • Dependent on Web Host

Ecommerce

  • Sell Physical and Digital Products
  • Discount Coupons
  • Large Selection of Plugins

Marketing

  • Blog
  • SEO Friendly URL’s
  • SEO Plugins can add lots of Tools

Themes

  • 1,000+ Free Mobile Themes
  • Thousands of Premium Themes
  • Live Customizer
  • Page Builder
  • Add Custom Code

If you would like to see more of WooCommerce’s features along with what the platform is like to use, then check out my Full WooCommerce Review.

WooCommerce Summary

WooCommerce Pros

  • Free to install and use
  • Flexibility
  • Large Theme Selection
  • Number of Plugins
  • Easy to use admin dashboard

WooCommerce Cons

  • Does need a couple of plugins to really work properly
  • No real technical support if things go wrong
  • Can be expensive if you need to use paid plugins

WooCommerce Score

Pricing
Features
Theme Selection & Customisation
Support
Performance
Ease of Use

Total out of 5

3.8

WordPress website required

Conclusion

So there they are, my list of what I think are the best ecommerce platforms out of all the ones that have been tested and reviewed for EcommerceGold.

If you are considering a couple of the options on this list, I would highly recommend trying them out first and seeing if you like them and if they would be suitable for your business.