Top Ecommerce Platforms: Prices and Features Comparison
When choosing the best eCommerce platform for your online retail store, it usually boils down to the best value for your money. Your eCommerce platform solutions provider is the single most important aspect of your online store that could either break or make the success of your business. Each of these top eCommerce platforms offer different functions and features and has their own pros and cons.
So, let’s get straight to the topic and compare some of the prices of the top eCommerce platforms that are currently available today in the industry. For ease of comparison, the top 5 eCommerce platforms that are included below were selected from data gathered from Google Trends as of October 2016. Magento (green line) accounts for 75% popularity, followed by Shopify (blue line) that accounts for 71% popularity.
|Shopify (275,000+ Stores)|| Magento (228,000+ Stores)
|BigCommerce (95,000+ Stores)||BigCartel (250,000+ Stores)||Volusion (40,000+ Stores)|
|Basic Plan Pricing||$13/month||No Basic Plans||$29.95/month||$9.99/month||$13.50/month|
|Intermediate/Plus Plan||$54/month||No Intermediate Plan||$79.95/month||$19.99/month||$31.50/month|
|Advanced/Pro Plan||$107/month||No Advanced Plan||$199.95/month||$29.99/month||$67.50/month|
|Enterprise Plan||Custom Pricing||Starts at $15,000/year||Custom Pricing||No Offer At the Moment||Custom Pricing|
|Package Plans||Monthly, Annual||Annual||Monthly||Monthly||Monthly, Annual|
|Free Trial/Demo||30 days||Magento Community Edition Free Forever||15 days||Gold Plan Free Forever||14 days|
Okay, now that we have a comparison table for the top eCommerce platforms, it will be easier to compare each other.
The eCommerce platform solutions that are usually included in a basic plan package are the following:
- Staff Accounts – BigCommerce tops this feature by offering unlimited staff accounts for this package plan. Shopify only provides 2 staff accounts for its basic plan package.
- Number of Products – Both Shopify and BigCommerce offer unlimited products for their basic plan packages. Volusion only offers 100 products for its basic plan package. While at $9.99/month, BigCartel only offers 25 products for this particular plan.
- File Storage – Shopify, BigCommerce, and Volusion all provide unlimited file storage for their basic plan packages.
- Bandwidth Limit – BigCommerce tops this with an unlimited bandwidth while Volusion only offers 1GB.
- Support – All the five (5) mentioned eCommerce platform solutions above provide this service in their basic plan packages.
- Website and Blog – Shopify offers both website and blog for its basic plan.
- Promotional Codes – Discounts, gift, and coupon codes are all offered in this feature. Shopify offers discount codes, while BigCommerce offers all three (3).
- Transaction Fees – This is usually waived at $0.00 for most basic plan packages. Shopify, BigCommerce, and Volusion clearly states their no-transaction-fee-feature for this particular plan.
- SSL Certificate – Shopify, BigCommerce, and Volusion offer this security feature for your website store.
Plus Package Plans
If your business is gradually growing and you need more space on your website store, a basic plan package will not be enough. With a growing website store, you need a Plus Package Plan from any of the mentioned top eCommerce platforms above. Aside from the features and services that are already integrated in the Basic Plan, a Plus Package Plan should include the following:
- Cart Abandonment Reporting and Recovery – This feature will allow you to check on customers that have missed the checkout cart. A prefilled cart link will then be emailed to that customer in the hopes of recovering that transaction sale. The best eCommerce platforms that include this important function are:
- Grouping Customers – Another important feature in your eCommerce platform solutions provider is a function to group customers so you can tag each group with the necessary details and offer specific pricing rates and promos of your products. BigCommerce offers this type of feature for your website store.
- Professional Reporting Tools – Another good way for you to keep track of all data in your website store. For BigCommerce, this specific function is already offered in the Basic Plan Package, while both Shopify and Volusion offer this in their Plus Package Plans.
- Product Ratings and Reviews – BigCommerce has been offering this particular feature in the Basic Plan Package. On the other hand, you need to avail of the Plus Package Plans of Volusion in order to have this in your website store.
- Email Marketing – The best eCommerce platform would provide this type of feature in its platform. Newsletters are usually used in order to retain customers and provide them with updates on your latest products, promos, and other essential marketing programs. Volusion includes this in its eCommerce platform solutions.
- Fraud Detection – Shopify include this in its Plus Plan Package, while BigCommerce offers this in the next higher-tier package plan.
Advance or Pro package plans should include all the features and functionalities in all the lower-tier packages. An Advance or Pro plan would fit for a rapidly growing retail store but is not ready yet to jump into an enterprise-level company. Since your business is rapidly growing, you need features that will automate as many functions as possible in your website store. Also, a more advance reporting system must be put in place. The marketing aspect should also be considered to maintain the increasing influx of customers. Some key features that you need to look for:
- SEO – Search Engine Marketing will be an integral part of your eCommerce platform solutions in order to maintain the customer base and with the goal to increase sales by reaching out to as many customers as possible.
- Additional Sales Channels – Marketing your product on your website store alone would not be enough to increase your profit and achieve your projected sales goals. An expanding business like yours must be able to market to different sales-channels. This would include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google Trusted Stores. The best eCommerce platform would integrate API access to this sales channels in the back-end system of your website store.
Magento is a totally different eCommerce platform solutions provider since it is an open source shopping cart, compared to the other four (4) top eCommerce platforms mentioned above. Magento caters to bigger players – usually to enterprise-level companies. However, you can also try the free version of Magento. The Magento Community Edition is a free open source shopping cart that has all the basic components to run a fully functional website store. Since this is an open source platform, you need the technical expertise of a developer. The platform can really be too technical to be handled by a first time business owner. Hiring a developer would be the best option.
With a huge collection of features and functions, Magento’s custom packages for a business Enterprise’s needs starts at $15,000/year. With Magento’s eCommerce platform solutions, you can expect to have an extensive and fully blown website store with the following features and function:
- All the features and functions above from the other four (4) eCommerce platform solutions are available in Magento, either built-in or in downloadable add-ons or extensions.
- Multiple stores management.
- Readily available add-ons and extensions to supplement any additional needs that your eCommerce store might experience.
- A community of consultants and professional groups to answer any technical issues you might stumble upon while putting up your website store. You can also avail of certificates from professional consulting services offered by Magento.
- Advance SEO and Marketing for your growing needs to reach out to as many customers as possible. You can customize each product listing on your store to maximize your marketing strategy.
- Advance security features. In fact, Magento is a PA-DSS (Payment Application Data Security Standard) certified. Both you and your customers are well secured with Magento’s advance security features.
What to choose among the top eCommerce platforms?
With the given information in this article, there is no doubt that Magento far exceeds all the other four (4) eCommerce platform solutions in terms of features and functionality. But, with its very expensive price tag, it is not suitable for small to medium businesses. The free version, however, might cut it, but the technical work needed to make it a Magento website store might also prove to be a burden. That being said, an alternative monthly subscription fee would certainly fit the bill! You can choose from the other four (4) best eCommerce platforms and what’s great is that each has its own package plans.