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Blog / Ecommerce platform guide / Best Ecommerce Platforms in 2024: Top 10 Contenders

Ecommerce platform guide

Best Ecommerce Platforms in 2024: Top 10 Contenders

Best Ecommerce Platforms in 2024: Top 10 Contenders
Karlina Rozkalne

By Karlina Rozkalne

20 min read

In this guide, you’ll get all the information you need to decide where to build your ecommerce store.

We’ll take a detailed look at 10 of the best ecommerce platforms on the market, breaking down:

  • Pros

  • Cons

  • Pricing

  • Who is each platform best for

This article is called an “ultimate guide” because, in addition to a deep dive into each platform, there’s also an extensive FAQ section with all the burning questions you may have.

There’s a lot to cover. Let’s begin.

a man sitting on a couchSource: Shopify

Shopify is currently the largest online store builder in the US, with 28% of online businesses using it for their stores. That means 1 in every 4 stores is powered by Shopify, coming out to 2.7M stores in total.

a graph of a market shareSource: Oberlo

Shopify is an ecommerce website builder that allows you to pick a theme and build out your store. Your chosen theme will determine your store’s look, functions, customization options, and performance (e.g., loading speed), so do your research before committing to a theme. We’ve already listed the best free themes for your store if you want to get free templates.

a white sweatshirt with a hoodie on itShopify themes. Source: Shopify

If you want more information or tips for your Shopify store, visit the Printful blog Shopify section. We’ve covered how to dropship on Shopify as a beginner, how to connect Printful to Shopify, and the best Shopify apps to boost your store, among other topics.

79% of Shopify traffic comes from mobile devices, so ensure your store is mobile-friendly.

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Pros

Easy-to-use interface. The platform has a user-friendly interface that makes it easy for all users to navigate the ecommerce platform and build a store. The design should also be straightforward, with clear instructions and labeling.

Integration with multiple payment gatewaysShopify allows users to accept payments from multiple payment gateways (third-party payment providers), such as PayPal, Stripe, or Square. This gives users more flexibility and options to accept payments from their customers.

Free themes. This means that the platform offers various customization options, including the ability to change the look and feel of their website by choosing from multiple themes. Users can also customize their website by adding their own branding, colors, and fonts.

Seamless integration with third-party apps and services. The integrations include Printful for print-on-demand services. This means the platform allows users to connect their Shopify online store to third-party apps and services they may need to run their business.

Cons

Although Shopify offers a wide range of customization options, some small business owners may find the platform’s design and layout options limiting, especially if they have specific design requirements.

Shopify’s pricing can be expensive for small business owners, particularly those just starting and with limited budgets. The platform’s transaction fees can add up, affecting the profit margins of small businesses.

Shopify’s customer support can be slow to respond to small business owners’ queries, which can be frustrating if they need immediate assistance with their online store.

Price

Shopify has a tiered structure, with the Basic plan costing $39/month, providing all the essential features needed to start a small online store.

screens screenshot of a websiteShopify subscription plans. Source: Shopify

If you’re using Shopify Payments, there are no transaction fees. If you choose third-party payment providers, there will be an additional fee per payment based on your subscription:

  • 2% with the Basic plan

  • 1% with the Shopify plan

  • 0.5% with the Advanced plan

Plus, there are small credit card fees for major credit cards, such as Visa and Mastercard, depending on your plan.

Shopify is suited for entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes looking for a comprehensive, user-friendly platform that offers a range of customization options, integration with third-party apps, and extensive support for multiple payment gateways. 

Additional read about Shopify: 

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2. Wix

a screenshot of a computer screenSource: Wix

Wix is a cloud-based website builder that’s designed for users without any technical knowledge or coding background. It allows you to create an ecommerce website using a simple drag-and-drop interface and offers customizable templates. Wix also provides web hosting services and domain name registration. With Wix, you can accept online payments, track orders, and manage orders from other channels (e.g., social media).

Wix offers 800+ free pre-designed templates for registered users.

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Pros

Intuitive drag-and-drop interface. Wix is known for its user-friendly interface, making it easy for small and medium-sized print-on-demand dropshipping business owners to create and manage their online stores without technical knowledge.

Customizable templates. Wix offers a wide range of customizable templates that can be easily modified to match the branding of your print-on-demand dropshipping business.

Integrated marketing tools. Wix offers built-in marketing tools such as email marketing, social media integration, search engine optimization (SEO), and more, which can help you reach a wider audience and drive more sales.

Integration with Printful. Wix integrates with Printful, making it easy for print-on-demand dropshipping business owners to create and sell their custom-designed products without worrying about the printing and shipping process.

Cons

Wix may not be the best option for businesses that require advanced functionality, as it has limited functionality compared to other ecommerce websites and platforms.

Although Wix offers customizable templates, some businesses may find the platform’s design options limiting, and once you’ve chosen a template, switching to another requires building your store from scratch.

Wix isn’t the best option for large-scale businesses, as it may not handle high-traffic volumes or large product catalogs.

Wix offers limited payment options compared to other platforms, which may not suit businesses that want to offer their customers a wide range of payment methods.

Price

While you can build a store with just the free plan, you won’t be able to use it for ecommerce. Only the 3 paid plans support accepting payments—Core, Business, and Business Elite.

a screenshot of a websiteSource: Wix

Wix also charges you a percentage-based transaction fee per order.

a screenshot of a credit cardSource: Wix

The payment service fees vary depending on the payment provider and selling region.

Wix is best suited for individuals and small businesses looking to create a professional website quickly and easily.

Additional read about Wix: 

3. BigCommerce

a man smiling at cameraSource: BigCommerce

BigCommerce is an ecommerce platform created for large and enterprise-level companies, providing web hosting, customization options, ecommerce solutions, tools for large-scale international selling, and SEO. It makes omnichannel commerce easy by integrating with various online sales channels, including marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and Google Shopping, as well as social media platforms such as Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram. However, some merchants find it less flexible and straightforward compared to other platforms like Shopify and Wix.

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Pros

Robust integration options. BigCommerce offers a wide range of integrations with well-known third-party services, including payment gateways, shipping providers, and marketing tools, making it easy to streamline your business.

Scalability. BigCommerce is designed to grow with your business. As your sales volume increases, the platform can handle the additional traffic and orders.

Advanced SEO Features. BigCommerce has built-in SEO features that make it easy to optimize your product pages for search engines, helping you attract more organic traffic to your store.

Cons

BigCommerce is a complex platform that may have a steeper learning curve compared to other ecommerce platforms, which can be a drawback for beginners.

BigCommerce has limited free themes, which can be a drawback for small businesses with limited budgets.

BigCommerce’s pricing plans can be expensive, particularly for small businesses, with the cheapest plan starting at $39/month.

Some users have reported that BigCommerce lacks mobile responsiveness, which can be a drawback for businesses relying heavily on mobile traffic.

Price

BigCommerce offers a tiered pricing structure starting from $39 for the Standard plan.

a screenshot of a price list
Source: BigCommerce

To test out the platform, you can start with a 15-day free trial.

BigCommerce is best suited for medium-sized and large businesses that need advanced ecommerce features and a platform that can handle a lot of traffic.

Additional read about BigCommerce: WooCommerce vs. BigCommerce: The Ultimate Comparison for Online Sellers

4. Squarespace

a screenshot of a websiteSource: Squarespace

Squarespace is a drag-and-drop website builder. In 2023, it was the second-biggest website-building platform, second only to Wix.

a graph of a bar chartMarket share of the leading website builders in 2023. Source: Statista

Squarespace is primarily a platform for service providers, so it’s the best ecommerce platform to build a store if you’re a content creator or an artist. Squarespace is praised for its premium look that can be achieved with no prior design experience.

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Pros

High-quality templates. Squarespace offers professionally designed templates that are visually appealing and can help you create a stunning online store for your print-on-demand dropshipping business.

Easy to use. The platform is user-friendly, and its drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to design and customize your online store without coding skills.

No transaction fees with 2 of 3 plans. If you opt for the slightly more expensive plans, Squarespace doesn’t charge any transaction fees, meaning you get to keep all the profits from your print-on-demand online business.

Cons

Squarespace’s primary focus isn’t ecommerce, so this store builder doesn’t match up to the advanced features of dedicated ecommerce platforms.

Squarespace has limited payment gateway options, which can disadvantage business owners who want to offer their customers multiple payment options.

Although Squarespace offers limited customization options, it’s not as flexible as other popular ecommerce platforms. This can disadvantage businesses that want to create a unique online store that stands out.

Squarespace has limited third-party integrations, making it difficult for business owners to connect their online store with tools and services that would enhance the business (e.g., email marketing services or advanced analytics).

Price

There are 3 plans with selling enabled: Business, Commerce Basic, or Commerce Advanced. The prices range from $23 to $49 per month, depending on what features you want to have.

screens screenshot of a websiteSource: Squarespace

With the cheapest plan, you’re charged a 3% transaction fee for every sale. With the Commerce Basic and Commerce Advanced plans, you get 0% transaction fees and built-in tools to increase sales (e.g., related products, product waitlists, low stock alerts).

Squarespace is best suited for content creators, artists, and individual creators who want to start dropshipping print-on-demand merch.

Additional read about Squarespace:

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5. WooCommerce

a screenshot of a websiteSource: WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a free plugin for WordPress that can also be considered an ecommerce software platform. It allows you to turn a WordPress website into a store with product listings, a shopping cart, and checkout.

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Pros

High customizability. WooCommerce allows business owners to personalize their online store according to their needs and preferences. This level of customization can help businesses stand out from their competitors and create a unique brand identity.

WordPress integration. Seamless integration with existing WordPress sites

makes it easy for businesses to add an ecommerce component to their existing website. This integration can save business owners time and resources when building a separate ecommerce website from scratch.

Large plugin ecosystem. Access to a wide range of WordPress plugins and themes can enhance the online store’s functionality and appearance, making it more appealing to potential customers.

No initial costs. As a free plugin, WooCommerce is accessible to businesses starting out without incurring any initial costs. This is particularly beneficial for businesses with limited resources that can use that money toward other aspects of their business.

Cons

Steep learning curve. WooCommerce is a complex platform and may take some time to understand fully. 

High maintenance. WooCommerce is a self-hosted platform, so it must be maintained to keep it running smoothly. This can include regular updates, backups, and security measures. 

Additional costs. WooCommerce is free to use, but there are additional costs to run a store on the platform. This includes hosting, payment processing fees, and add-ons for additional functionality. 

Limited support. While there’s a community of developers and users who can help troubleshoot issues, there is no official support team for WooCommerce. 

Customization challenges. WooCommerce is highly customizable, but it can be challenging for non-technical users to make advanced customizations without the help of a developer.

Price

WooCommerce itself is free, but it has a pay-for-what-you-need model, so you’ll incur costs for:

  • Web hosting

  • Extra security

  • Payment gateways

  • Additional plugins or themes

A hosting platform created by WooCommerce, Woo Express, is tailored to online stores, providing security, enhanced store performance, and more. The least expensive plan costs $39 monthly, but you can test out both of the available plans for $1 for 3 months.

a screenshot of a websiteWoo Express pricing plans. Source: WooCommerce

WooCommerce is best suited for a business owner with a preexisting WordPress site, especially for small to medium-sized businesses looking to control costs while growing their online presence.

Additional read about WooCommerce:

6. Ecwid

a screenshot of a websiteSource: Ecwid

Ecwid stands out for its ability to integrate with several website builders like WordPress, Wix, and Weebly. It’s used to build an online store to add to an existing website.

Pros

Easy integration. Ecwid integrates with site builders like WordPress and Wix, social media pages, and even online marketplaces like Amazon. This allows you to leverage your existing audience on these platforms.

Mobile management. You can manage your POD business from anywhere with the dedicated Ecwid mobile app. The app lets you add and edit products, monitor orders, track sales, and respond to customer inquiries directly from your mobile device.

Global reach. Ecwid supports multiple languages and currencies, allowing you to display your products and accept payments in various currencies, simplifying the buying process for international customers and potentially boosting your sales.

No transaction fees. Ecwid offers plans with zero transaction fees, unlike other platforms that charge per transaction. This can be particularly beneficial for POD businesses with lower profit margins, allowing them to stay profitable.

Cons

While Ecwid offers a user-friendly interface, design options can be somewhat restrictive compared to other platforms. This might limit your ability to fully customize your store’s look and feel to match your brand identity, potentially impacting your brand presentation.

Ecwid’s free and lower-tier plans come with limited features. Advanced functionalities like abandoned cart recovery, product variations beyond a certain limit, and advanced analytics require upgrading to a higher-priced plan, which can increase your overall costs.

Ecwid acts as an add-on to your existing website, and its functionalities rely on the capabilities of the host platform. If your website is built on a platform with limited features or functionalities, it might restrict Ecwid’s capabilities and hinder your online store’s potential.

While Ecwid offers basic SEO tools, it might not offer the same level of customization and control over search engine optimization as other platforms like Shopify or WooCommerce. This could obstruct your online store’s organic visibility in search results, potentially impacting your ability to attract new customers organically.

Price

If you’re selling within the US, 4 plans fit your dropshipping business needs. The Venture plan costs $19/month, the Business plan is $39, and the Unlimited plan is $99 monthly. Outside the US, subscriptions are more expensive.

screens screenshot of a price listSource: Ecwid

Ecwid is best suited for business owners who have an existing website and want to add an online store to it.

7. Big Cartel

a screenshot of a websiteSource: Big Cartel

Big Cartel empowers artists and small creators to turn their creative pursuits into online businesses. This user-friendly platform simplifies store setup and management while offering customizable storefronts to express each brand’s identity. Big Cartel fosters a supportive community, providing valuable resources and connections for independent creators to thrive.

Pros

Tailored for artists. Ideal for individual creators and small businesses, Big Cartel caters specifically to artists and makers, understanding their unique needs and challenges.

Effortless setup. Big Cartel offers a simple setup and management process, allowing creators to focus on their products without getting bogged down by technical complexities.

Free plan. For those starting small, Big Cartel offers a free plan that lets you list up to 5 products, perfect for testing the waters and building your online presence without upfront costs. You don’t even have to add your credit card to use it.

Customizable storefronts. You can express your brand identity with Big Cartel’s customizable storefronts, allowing you to create a visually appealing online space that reflects your artistic vision.

Supportive community. Big Cartel fosters a strong community of creators, providing valuable resources and connections to help you learn, grow, and connect with other creative entrepreneurs.

Cons

Compared to other platforms, Big Cartel offers a smaller range of built-in features but lacks functionalities like abandoned cart recovery, advanced product filtering, and extensive marketing tools.

Even the highest-tier paid plan restricts the number of products you can list to 500, which might not be enough for businesses with a larger inventory.

Big Cartel currently only integrates with two payment gateways, PayPal and Stripe, which may limit your customers’ preferred payment methods.

Big Cartel offers basic SEO functionality but doesn’t have advanced tools like keyword suggestions and on-page SEO optimization capabilities, making it harder to rank organically in search engines.

While Big Cartel offers customizable storefronts, it has fewer themes than other platforms, and the level of design customization might be less flexible for some creators.

Price

Big Cartel allows you to start for free with up to 5 product listings, making it an excellent choice for those just getting into ecommerce. 

Paid subscriptions are also very affordable, starting from $9.99 per month if your listings don’t exceed 50. For those requiring more than 50 listings, you must get the more expensive plan for $19.99/month.

a screenshot of a websiteSource: Big Cartel

Big Cartel has no built-in payment processor, so you must choose Stripe or PayPal as your payment method. With Stripe, you’ll pay 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction, while PayPal charges 2.59% + $0.49 per transaction.

Big Cartel is best suited for independent artists and small businesses looking to build a store without the complexity and costs associated with larger, more feature-rich ecommerce sites and dropshipping platforms.

Additional read about PrestaShop: PrestaShop + Printful: What It Is and How to Start

8. PrestaShop

a man looking at his eyesSource: Prestashop

PrestaShop is an open-source ecommerce platform, meaning it’s free to download and use to build your online store. Popular in Europe and Latin America, it allows businesses of all sizes to create and manage their online presence. With many themes and features, PrestaShop empowers you to customize your store, manage products, and accept payments easily. 

a colorful circle with different countries/regions namesTop countries for PrestaShop stores. Source: Store Leads

Pros

Free and open-source. Unlike some platforms with ongoing licensing fees, PrestaShop lets you set up your own online store completely free. You must only pay for website hosting.

Highly customizable. With a vast selection of themes and modules, you can tailor the look and feel of your store to perfectly match your brand identity and desired functionalities, creating a unique and engaging shopping experience for your customers.

Large and supportive community. PrestaShop benefits from a thriving online community of developers and other users. This translates to readily available resources, tutorials, and forums where you can find support, ask questions, and troubleshoot any issues that may arise.

Scalable platform. PrestaShop caters to businesses of all sizes. Whether you’re launching a small store or managing an established brand, the platform can adapt and grow alongside your business, supporting your needs as your online store expands and evolves.

Global reach. PrestaShop caters to a global audience with its support for over 195 languages. This allows you to reach customers worldwide and easily translate your online store to expand your market reach and cater to diverse audiences.

Cons

While user-friendly, PrestaShop’s initial setup and customization might require more technical knowledge than beginner-friendly platforms, potentially requiring additional learning or assistance.

Although PrestaShop offers a variety of modules to enhance your store’s functionality, many essential and advanced features require purchasing paid modules, which can add to the overall cost.

Unlike some platforms with built-in support, PrestaShop’s official support comes at an additional cost, which can be a significant drawback for businesses on a tight budget.

Price

PrestaShop is free to download and use, making it an attractive option for cost-conscious businesses. However, additional expenses should be considered when setting up and running your online store. You’ll need to buy a website domain and your own server, with costs varying depending on the provider and chosen plan.

While PrestaShop offers basic support resources, their official support comes at an extra cost. Plus, many add-ons offering additional features and functionalities must be purchased individually.

a screenshot of a websiteAdd-on shop. Source: PrestaShop

PrestaShop is best suited for brands aiming to scale their operations and expand internationally. PrestaShop offers a robust foundation to build a fully customizable online store with a global reach, provided the business owners are prepared to manage the additional costs for hosting, domain, and potentially paid modules for extended functionality.

Additional read about PrestaShop: PrestaShop + Printful: What It Is and How to Start

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9. Square Online

a man and dog in a roomSource: Square Online

Square Online is a relatively new ecommerce platform provider. It was launched in 2019 after Weebly acquired Square. Since then, Square has established itself as the top choice for omnichannel commerce businesses.

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Pros

Ease of setup. Square Online is renowned for its intuitive and user-friendly interface, ideal for ecommerce newcomers. The drag-and-drop website builder eliminates the need for coding knowledge, empowering anyone to create a professional-looking store without technical expertise.

Integration with print-on-demand services. Easily connects with many print-on-demand platforms, simplifying product listing and order fulfillment. Once connected, your product designs are synced with the print-on-demand platform, and orders are automatically sent for fulfillment, saving you valuable time and effort.

Built-in marketing tools. Square Online provides marketing tools to help you reach your target audience and promote your products across multiple platforms. This includes key features like email marketing, social media integration, and built-in SEO tools, allowing you to engage with potential customers and drive traffic to your store.

Cons

Square Online offers a user-friendly interface, but design flexibility can be limited compared to other platforms.

While sufficient for ecommerce beginners, Square Online lacks advanced features like abandoned cart recovery or multi-currency support that larger businesses might require.

Since the platform mainly targets Square Payments users, they get the best transaction rates. Businesses using other payment processors have higher fees.

Price

With Square Online, you get 3 subscription plans: Free, Plus, and Premium. The Free plan is a wonderful starting point because you can see how you like the platform without investing your money. If you like the platform and want to build your store there, it might be worth investing in the Plus or Premium plans because both have advanced ecommerce features tools, accept more payment variations, and have more themes you can choose from.

The Free and Plus plans have a 2.9% product price commission, while the Premium plan has a slightly reduced product commission of 2.6%, and all plans entail paying $0.30 per transaction.

a screenshot of a websiteSource: Square Online

Square Online is best suited for those who do omnichannel commerce and are already in or plan to enter the Square ecosystem.

10. Weebly

a screenshot of a website

Source: Weebly

As we mentioned in the previous section, Weebly was acquired by Square, a financial services and digital payments company, in 2018. So, Weebly is now Square Online. 

Additional read about Weebly:

Time to put this knowledge to use

You’re now well-equipped to decide on the best ecommerce platform for your store. Remember, the “best” platform is subjective and depends on your unique circumstances. Consider your budget, technical expertise, target market, desired features, and needs of your ecommerce business when making your choice. 

Don’t be afraid to experiment! And for an even deeper dive, explore our FAQ section below to answer any lingering questions.

Read next: Marketplace vs. Ecommerce Platform: Which Is the Best?

Frequently asked questions

author

By Karlina Rozkalne on Mar 14, 2024

Karlina Rozkalne

SEO Content Writer

Karlina is an SEO Content Writer specialist at Printful. As a firm believer in attitude over aptitude, Karlina gives her 100% whenever she works on something new. Karlina spends her free time reading, traveling, and doing yoga.

Karlina is an SEO Content Writer specialist at Printful. As a firm believer in attitude over aptitude, Karlina gives her 100% whenever she works on something new. Karlina spends her free time reading, traveling, and doing yoga.