The Ultimate Guide To Finding The Best Ecommerce Platform

top 5 best ecommerce platforms

The world has undergone many changes in the past few decades – from the expansion of markets to the relay of information, everything has become so different. Many of the “old” was replaced with the “new,” ushering progress and development in global communities. Remember how the world used to be so big and vast, so impossible to discover in a single lifetime?


Well, can you say the same now? Hardly. 


With the emergence of the internet, many “Impossibles” have become “I’m Possible.” The internet has brought insurmountable opportunities for people from all walks of life. From humble salarymen to big shot businessmen, every person who has access to the internet has been able to experience its benefits firsthand. It has certainly made life easier, faster, and more convenient for the majority of us, especially when ecommerce came into play. 


If you are running or planning to have your own business, I bet you have come across the term “ecommerce” before as well. The reason why you’re joining us today may very well be because of it. 


Modern-day consumers always look for more convenient ways to meet their needs. They want faster ways to communicate with others, reliable and consistently available sources of information, and of course, a more convenient and straightforward system to shop. 


Ecommerce makes all this possible. By allowing businesses to extend or offer their services digitally, more people gain access to vital services in less time. They can also connect easily with stores that could provide them with products they need at a click of a mouse. 


Because we now have the convenience to “connect” with others electronically, global trade has been made possible on a micro level and market competition has become even more intense, lowering the prices of goods and services. It is not only the big guns competing at a global scale these days, small and medium sized enterprises have conveniently acquired the facilities to grow their markets digitally as well – evening out the competition amongst big and small brands.


But wait, what is ecommerce anyway? 


Understanding Ecommerce


Ecommerce is the term commonly used to refer to electronic or internet commerce. It is when businesses engage in electronic or digital trade with consumers and use the internet to facilitate their transactions. In ecommerce, the product or service may be tangible or intangible. 


Dry goods that you would commonly find being sold in physical stores in malls and urban markets are what you’d refer to as tangible goods. On the other hand, work software, games, and other online programs that you pay to use online are what you’d refer to as intangible goods. Both types of commodities may be sold online. Tangible products are often delivered door-to-door with the help of courier services while intangible products, on the other hand, may be electronically transferred through the internet.


Any business that engages in profitable trade online, regardless of the nature of the business, will fall under the ecommerce industry. Mind you, this industry has been growing at an immense rate in the past decade.


How Big Is The Ecommerce Industry?


You don’t really begin to understand just how vast the ecom industry is up until you’ve seen the numbers. So, let’s talk stats – shall we?


According to 2019 data, 14% of the total global retail sales is attributed to the ecommerce industry. This percentage is estimated to grow by at least 2% in the next 3 years. This might seem like a small fraction of the total retail sales recorded globally. However, take note that in the same year, worldwide ecom sales reached a whopping 3.5 trillion USD. Not an amount you can scoff at now, is it?


In addition, this data was gathered pre-COVID19. In other words, this was before people were told to stay at home as much as they can and to avoid going outside for no helpful reason. 


After the Coronavirus pandemic hit and millions of people retreated into the safety and comfort of their homes, many looked at “online shopping” as a viable alternative to purchasing what they need from the outside. From grocery shopping, food delivery, and even buying everyday home items, these business engagements were done online through ecommerce.


This whole situation with the pandemic has led to a drastic increase in retail sales, and we can only expect the yield of ecommerce businesses to balloon even more significantly this year.


What does this tell you?


Essentially, this data tells us that if there is such a thing as a perfect time to start an online business, this is it. So rather than why, you should be asking yourself how you can start selling online.

Becoming An Ecommerce Business Owner


The world is going digital, and unless something even bigger than the internet turns up, humanity will consistently head towards this direction. The appeal of shopping traditionally – visiting malls, browsing local shops and stores – is weaning away and people are starting to feel more inclined to place orders online and have their packages delivered the very next day. If you are someone who has a good sense for doing business, I’m sure you have considered joining the e-commerce bandwagon as well. After all, it is well worth a try.


However, how exactly can you become an e-business owner? Are there certain qualifications for it, perhaps? 


Not so much “qualifications” than “qualities,” actually. If you want to start your own online business, one thing you need to have is courage. You need to be able to take that leap of faith and trust that your own abilities would see you through in the end. There’s no educational attainment or wealth requirement to start your own e-business company. There are no limits to what you can do and who you can be in the world of ecommerce. 


What you should be more concerned about is how you can start an electronic store online. After all, before you can call yourself an ecommerce business owner, you first need to have a “virtual” shop where you can sell goods and services. The planning and execution of your marketing campaigns come later on.


First things first, how do you create an electronic store? 


Well, there are generally two ways to do it:

  • Build A Website From Scratch
  • Use Ecommerce Platforms


The first option is pretty self-explanatory. To build a website from scratch, you first need to learn how to code. Java, HTML, and CSS are, unfortunately, too complex to learn overnight. If you are not a professional website builder yourself, you will have to hire a real pro to do the coding in your stead. 


A single website, when created from scratch, can take anywhere from several months to a year to build – and that, too, depends on how fast your programmer works. There is also regular maintenance and troubleshooting to worry about since most system bugs only surface after the website has gone live. 


In other words, programming a website, building it from scratch will inevitably cause you to spend more. A programmer’s time is expensive. They are usually paid by the hour so while building a new website will result in a highly unique and custom-fit design that screams the brand identity you are aiming for, it will also blow a hole in your pocket. 


So unless you are a mega corporation who can afford to invest so much in such a big budget website, I highly recommend that you go for the second option: Using Ecommerce Platforms.


Luckily, creating an internet store doesn’t always have to be expensive. With the ballooning number of new businesses switching to digital everyday, B2B companies ought to think of a way to accommodate this growing demand. This is how Ecommerce platforms were born, essentially. Necessity really is the mother of invention.

What Are Ecommerce Platforms?


Ever wondered how in the world is it so fast for businesses to pop up one after the other? These days, trends come and go faster than lightning. New product ideas are birthed daily. Well, a lot of them also die out too soon – but hey, who’s keeping count? 


The world of ecommerce is so fast paced that if you just take your eyes off of it for a while, you’d be thrown into disarray. New businesses come as fast as they go, and what makes such a rapid turnaround possible are ecommerce platforms. 


Ecommerce platforms make it possible for business newcomers and startup entrepreneurs to almost immediately launch their online stores. This is possible thanks to the ready-made templates, themes, and easy customisation options they have for building websites. 


Some websites just offer design and build services, while others offer the full package – from hosting, to building and designing. Using an ecommerce platform, you can easily create a stunning website in just a few clicks.


Furthermore, ecom platforms offer downloadable apps, widgets, and plugins which help businesses run their operations more smoothly. There are all sorts of plugins available, both free and paid, and they automate most required functions in your e-shop – from adding items to a virtual cart, applying discounts, to processing payments. 


Some plugins and apps can also add certain features to your store that will diversify your market reach. One example is a language converter or translator app that allows customers to browse your items and view product descriptions in the language that they are most comfortable using.

Ecommerce Platforms: Simplifying The Way You Do Business


Unlike the former option, ecommerce platforms help you materialize your dream online business faster. Even when you are just a beginner and it’s your first time venturing into online business, you can create a great-looking and conveniently functioning store in a matter of weeks or less, depending on the number of products you carry. 


Maintaining and improving the store will also not be as much of a hassle as the former option since everything is practically automated. You can easily rearrange the placement of products and other virtual components of your online shop using the “drag and drop” function most ecommerce platforms have.


Needless to say, ecom platforms have certainly simplified the process of building a website. Also, contrary to what you might initially think, using such platforms won’t “limit” your creativity nor dull the character of your website. Ecommerce platforms allow for customisation just as well as they provide “quick fixes” for business owners.

Should You Opt To Use An Ecommerce Platform?


If you want to go for a more raw approach and customise your website’s design according to what you believe is the best image to represent your brand, you can go for it. On the other hand, if you are more concerned about launching your website in the least amount of time possible, you can also opt for pre-designed themes and ready-made templates. 


Remember: There’s no crime in being practical with your time and resources just as there’s nothing wrong with spending a little more to achieve a definitive design for your brand.


Whatever the case may be, customise or quick fix, ecommerce conveniently provides you with both options in a much affordable package. The first rule of business is to limit overhead costs and maximize profitability. By using the services provided by ecommerce platforms to your advantage, you can start profiting without spending so much at the onset of your  business. 


Limiting your expenses during the initial phase, which is also known as the “struggling stage” of your ecommerce store is strongly advised. This will help you avoid getting overwhelmed by overhead costs later on – something that many online businesses that have become insolvent had to learn the hard way. 


Ecommerce platforms are very convenient to use for startup businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs – that much is probably clear now. But an even bigger question comes next


What To Consider When Choosing Your Ecommerce Platform 

how to find the best ecommerce platform

With so many providers to choose from, how do you know which one is the best?


Well, there are telltale signs that can show you which platforms can provide you with the best service. Here are 7 factors to take into consideration when choosing the right service for your business:

Plentiful Of Themes & Templates To Choose From

Let’s face it. One of the more prominent reasons why many of us opt to build our websites on ecommerce platforms is because they have many designs to choose from. They have a pretty big bank of cool templates and themes that you would want to use for your own store! Since most of us are sold on the appeal ecommerce platforms have, it is especially important that we check out the variety of themes and templates the platform offers before we sign up for anything. Checking out review sites and seeing what previous users have to say in that department should speak plenty about what you can expect from the company.

Beginner-Friendly Interface

You may have been doing business forever in the actual world but online, things are going to be different. Although the premise of “selling” and “marketing” is the same, the execution is different. The way you present your products is different. There are no shelves or display cabinets online. 


Instead, you need to draw customers in by strategically positioning items across the screen, making them look visually appealing to passing eyes. Then again, how can you do that when you don’t know the first thing about formatting a website? 


The next thing you have to consider is the “user-friendliness” of the platform. You should find a platform that can complement the level of your tech skills. If you are quite new to running an online store, choosing a platform that has a beginner-friendly interface is highly-suggested.

Easy Customisation Controls


In spite of using ready-made templates and themes for your ecommerce store, I’m sure that you would want to achieve a certain level of uniqueness that will help differentiate your brand from the others. If that is so, then you would definitely appreciate an ecom platform with easy-to-understand customisation controls.


Speaking of customisation, be sure to check in advance whether the service you are about to subscribe to does allow such flexible options. Most providers are all for customized options nowadays, given how business owners are more particular about branding as of late. However, there may still be ecom platforms that don’t have such refined customisation options so make sure that the one you choose meets what you have in mind. 

Affordable (and FREE) Plugins & Apps


B2B businesses have got to make money somehow, and additional plugins and applications just happen to be ideal sources of profit. Still, there’s a fine line between a healthy, mutualistic business relationship and a predatory one. Some ecom platforms might lure you in with very low monthly fees. What you don’t know is that, in exchange, you will have to purchase most of what you need separately. 


Great ecommerce platforms have a healthy balance of Free and Paid services.They also tend to be very generous with what is included in your subscription package. Always, always read online reviews before you get anything online – stay away from predatory businesses!

Transparency Is The New Sexy: No Hidden Fees & Charges


Hidden fees and charges are such major turn-offs in businesses. If you are planning to put up your own online store, make sure you never try to one-up your customers in this way. News travels fast. While it is likely that you won’t figure out hidden fees in your purchase up until it’s too late, you can always check out online reviews about a company to know what previous customers have to say.


A good ecommerce platform is an honest and transparent business. Better quote you with higher monthly fees than cheap deals with hidden charges!

Excellent Customer Support – 24/7 Real-Time Chat Assistance Is A Plus!


Last but definitely not least is customer support. As a business owner trying to run an operation with the help of another business, you would want to receive reliable support when you need it. The best ecommerce platforms will have support teams on standby 24/7 in case a shop owner needs to troubleshoot problems relating to his or her online store. Delays in customer support can make an online store lose good business. Things move fast on the internet, after all – including buyers’ patience. They’re quick to bounce when an online shop isn’t keeping up with their pace. 

Great Marketing Assistance Is A Bonus!


While ecommerce platforms are not necessarily responsible for advertising your online store, their business’s own reputation can heavily influence yours. For example, since Shopify is a popular ecommerce platform, people feel more at ease buying from Shopify stores. The platform is quite impressive in their marketing efforts and it gives people the impression that every other seller using the platform carries excellent products as well. It creates a positive ripple and influences how consumers view your business.


On top of having a positive reputation, an ecommerce platform that offers additional marketing assistance for your online store as part of their subscription package is also worth checking out.


Our Top 5 Ecommerce Platforms – Ecom Warrior Academy


Today, we will be reviewing 5 different ecommerce platforms; each having strengths and weaknesses of their own. Please note that these companies are not placed in any particular order. The mere fact that they are in our Top 5 already makes them ideal choices for your e-business venture. Each has functions and features that make them unique and advantageous so determining which one best fits your business would come down to what you prioritise and what your ecommerce store needs.


Anyway, here are our Top 5 picks for the business year 2020. We are at the end of the year but it’s still not too late to start a new venture. As they say, you can either view your cup half empty or half full!




Price Starts at $29.95/month
Themes & Templates * *Great and gorgeous themes; limited free options (12 to be exact, including variations)
Website Interface Easy to use for beginners
Customisation Controls Themes are customizable and very flexible
Entry Plan Features Entry plan include limited plugins; pay for the abandoned cart feature separately
Customer Support Live chat, Email, and Phone Support available
Free Trial? YES
Cancel Anytime? YES* *not applicable for annual subscriptions


For an entry level plan at $29.95, BigCommerce offers everything an up-and-coming entrepreneur needs to start a new business. Their entry level plan allows you to run a fully-functioning e-store with unlimited products and unlimited staff access. It’s great for small to medium sized businesses looking to expand their operations online. 


As for building the store itself, BigCommerce has plenty of room for customisation. Although FREE themes and templates are quite limited (there’s technically 5 free templates; 12 if you include their variations), gorgeous designs are available when you’re willing to spend more for pro plans. The drag and drop feature makes it easy for users to arrange their online store the way they want. The website is mobile responsive as well.


The biggest pitfall of BigCommerce is that they don’t offer the abandoned cart feature as part of their basic plan, unlike ecommerce platforms like Shopify. The bigger the store, the more expensive the subscription is as well since there’s a limit to how much sales basic plans accommodate ($50,000/year). Good thing they don’t charge transaction fees for your sold items, though!



Price ✓* Can get expensive when you integrate paid themes & apps
Themes & Templates ✓* Great themes if you’re willing to pay over $100. Free templates are limited
Website Interface Easy to set up; 1-click selling
Customisation Controls ✓* Themes and templates are flexible and customizable but not the checkout process
Entry Plan Features Starts at $29 per month
Customer Support 24/7 Shopify Support
Marketing Great Facebook and Instagram Ad Support
SEO Rated as poor to mediocre in consecutive SEO studies
Free Trial? YES
Cancel Anytime? YES


When it comes to selling, Shopify is one of the best (if not the best) ecommerce platform to use. The platform offers great social media marketing support so if your niche market is highly accessible through social channels, Shopify is a great option to consider.


Like other ecom platforms features in our list, Shopify is very easy to set up as it has a drag and drop feature that even beginners can understand. While the store’s setup customisable, the checkout process isn’t. The platform has its own payment channel “Shopify Payments,” which is a great feature. However, any transaction that does not go through Shopify Payments are charged with applicable transaction fees.


While Shopify has excellent social media marketing support, it does not have the best reputation when it comes to SEO. The ecommerce platform is infamously known for ranking poorly in the SERPs, and we’re all looking forward to how that will improve in future updates. Shopify is, by far, the most popular ecommerce platform for small e-business owners. And at $29/month for their basic plan, you’re striking a pretty good deal already. 



Price *FREE WooCommerce is free to integrate with WordPress, although you still need to pay for web hosting and premium features in WP
Themes & Templates Woocommerce is hosted in WP and WP is known for beautiful, custom designs.
Website Interface If you’re familiar with WP, then you’ll find it easy. For beginners to WordPress, some technical details may take time to learn.
Customisation Controls Highly customizable
Entry Plan Features
Customer Support Support is virtually next to non-existent
Marketing Very easy to integrate marketing apps and plugins, especially for social media
SEO WP is known for scoring high in SEO studies
Free Trial? YES It’s a free ecom platform
Cancel Anytime? YES


WooCommerce can transform almost any website into a fully-functional ecommerce store. Websites hosted on WordPress, especially, are easier to set-up. Most importantly, it’s totally FREE  – making it an ideal option for influencers or people who manage a personal website and wish to profit off the traffic they receive online. 


As far as customisation goes, WooCommerce gives online business owners a lot of freedom to choose the type of designs and integrations they want. WordPress has earned its name in the ecommerce industry for being very flexible and accommodating of customized designs. Themes and templates are plenty, so are plugins. Some you need to pay for although there are also many free options you can consider. You can integrate payment gateways, marketing tools, and other data-processing apps to the site conveniently.


Because it is a free ecommerce platform, one major fallback is the lack of customer service or support. You must expect to troubleshoot certain issues yourself since WooCommerce is not one to help out in a timely manner. If you are running a full operation, waiting on the support team to take care of things might frustrate you.


With that said, WooCommerce is still a darn good deal for something that’s free. If you have extensively worked with WordPress hosted sites in the past, then this one should be a breeze for you.  



Price Starts at $19 per month
Themes & Templates Industrial look but feels outdated
Website Interface Not for beginners
Customisation Controls No drag and drop function; not for beginners
Entry Plan Features Much cheaper than other paid ecommerce platforms
Customer Support There have been negative reviews about their customer support services
Marketing Platform allows for marketing app/plugin integrations
SEO Platform allows for SEO app/plugin integrations
Free Trial? YES
Cancel Anytime? YES


3DCart is actually one of the pioneers among ecommerce platforms. It has been around longer than Shopify or BigCommerce. While numbers show that the company isn’t performing as well as the other two giants as of late, it doesn’t mean that it’s not worth checking out. 3DCart has still a lot to offer – especially when you are looking into shipping out products with no API required.


At $19 per month, 3DCart is striking businesses a good deal. They charge no transaction fees and provide unlimited storage – two factors that can make any online business owner feel excited. The only real downside (I’m not sure if it is for you) about using this ecom platform is that “setting up” the entire website may be a bit of a challenge. More so, if you are a beginner to website building. 


The interface is a bit complicated, so are the customisation controls. Themes and templates have an “industrial feel” to them, but some say that the designs also come off as “outdated.” If you are planning to go with a shock and awe approach for customers by creating a visually appealing website, this may not be the platform for you.


3DCart could use a couple more improvements (like adding an abandoned cart feature) but it’s a great ecommerce platform that has been tested and proven through time. It allows for various integrations too, so it’s worth a look – don’t you think?  



Price Starts at $23 per month for the ecommerce plan
Themes & Templates Themes and templates come for free
Website Interface Modern, straightforward design that’s easy to understand
Customisation Controls Drag and drop function is helpful
Entry Plan Features Entry plan could use more useful features (e.g. abandoned cart)
Customer Support One of the best
Marketing Integrations and features for marketing are lacking
SEO Still recovering from past issues with SEO
Free Trial? YES
Cancel Anytime? YES


If 3DCart is the parent, then Wix is probably the “baby” among the various ecommerce websites we’ve explored today. Wix is fairly new to the ecommerce stage. However, recent developments suggest that they are rapidly keeping up with the demands of the industry. 


One thing that is notable about Wix is that it is very easy to set up. It’s drag and drop feature makes it easy to insert images, videos, forms, and whatever else on your landing page. They also have 72 FREE themes, which is superbly generous compared to what other platforms offer for free. But there’s a catch (there always is): You can’t change the template you use later on. You have to work with it permanently, so you have to be extra confident in your first choice. 


Wix is a good choice for beginners, or people who just want to start a small shop online. Not advisable for big companies, especially since the storage space is just around 20GB. Although trying to recover from it, the company has also dealt with negative blows due to the poor performance of their SEO. But hey, Wix is still developing – who knows what they have in store for us next?