36 of the Best Ecommerce Tools and Apps

Ecommerce is growing at a fast pace. It is estimated that over  will be done via e-commerce by 2040.

The total volumes of e-commerce sales are also expected to double from $2.3 trillion in 2017, to $4.5 trillion in 2021, according to a Statista report. The Ecommerce environment is, however, one of the most dynamic there is. Changes happen overnight, which can have a significant impact on business.

The first purpose of an online shop is revenue generation. To ensure that your online business is bringing in as much revenue as possible, you have to keep up with the new tactics, trends, and ideas geared towards business growth.

Therefore, we have combed the internet to bring you epic online business tools that will positively impact your bottom-line.

How We Chose the Best E-commerce Tools and Apps

While there are tons of e-commerce solutions and apps out there making big promises, not so many of them can deliver. In fact, some of them can be nearly impossible to use if you do not have specialized technical knowledge.

Therefore, we have done expert research into all the programs and apps on this list to ensure that we only have the best the market has to offer. We have taken into consideration the programs’ pricing structure, customer support, ease of use, and design.

By using real insight from real users, we have the results of the best e-commerce tools and apps for your business.

How to Use This Guide

While we have fantastic tools on this guide, it would drive your business to bankruptcy, if you were to try them all out.

This is why we have five categories that classify the tools according to different e-commerce needs. Use this guide as a compass to direct you to suitable programs that will meet your business intelligence or website building needs.

Do you want to double down on your marketing strategy? Check out our e-commerce marketing tools guide. Every tool we have reviewed has information on scalability, affordability, and user-friendliness. Our list is crème de la crème, go through it, and pick a choice solution for your e-commerce business.

The Best Ecommerce Analytics Tools

Every online shop owner needs an excellent analytics tool by their side. Actually, your very first investment in e-commerce tools should go to analytics. Today, data is everything. With proper business intelligence tools, you can attain insights that can push your business to great heights. Below is a list of the best analytics tools for your business.

Google Analytics

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Some of the best things are truly free, and Google Analytics is soundproof of this clichéd phrase. Google Analytics is a free to use, business intelligence platform. It is very popular with businesses that not only need data analytics for business intelligence, but free data visualization features as well.

It is so well respected in the business intelligence industry that other platforms of its caliber offer their own connections to it. Indeed data shows that over 70% of businesses today rely on GA systems for online performance reporting.

Google Analytics has a very straightforward signup process. You will need to embed the GA tracking code on your website, then await your data after a few hours. The platform will also provide more session settings such as a Universal Analytics code or a Google Tag Manager.

The Universal Analytics feature enables PHP or Dynamic Content, while the Google Tag Manager assists in site tags management and the updating of tags. The platform’s user interface is customizable.

Via clicks on the GA UI, you will easily access real-time data on acquisitions, trends, conversion numbers, behavior, or audience. You can also access pulldowns that have more drill-downs.

The platform also has a wide range of data visualization options. The free Google Data Studio allows the creation of five reports per account created. If you need a higher number of reports, you will need the premium Data Studio 360.

You will, however, enjoy unlimited viewing, sharing, and editing of reports from the free data visualization tool. Google Analytics is a fantastic business intelligence tool for apps or websites that can be tracked with an assigned code. If you, however, need more functionality, you will need to pay for the premium Google Analytics 360 or other business intelligence brands.

Pros

  • Fantastic and free business intelligence platform

  • Google AdWords feature

  • Great data visualization, sharing and reporting tools

Cons

  • Automated customer support

  • Lack of training

CrazyEgg

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Unlike Google Analytics, which has a wide range of data analytics and visualization tools, CrazyEgg is a heat-mapping tool. If you, therefore, use CrazyEgg alongside Google Analytics, you will enjoy in-depth business intelligence coupled with informative and attractive visualization tools.

Heatmaps can go a long way in ensuring that all the design, code work, and content uploaded on your website works well and converts your leads. This is where CrazyEgg comes in.

CrazyEgg will track your website user’s movements as they navigate your pages. The platform utilizes mouse tracking to give a visual representation of areas that get most clicks on your pages. You will also get to understand your visitor’s origin.

CrazyEgg’ s almost x-ray like looking heatmaps, will also show you which content or page element attracts most of your visitors. You will find that these areas have interesting and engaging content whose formula can be replicated in other areas of your website to attract more engagement. The tool will also highlight areas that hardly get any of your visitor’s attention.

CrazyEgg’s focus on heatmaps and heatmaps alone makes it a very easy to use platform. Unlike Google Analytics that has tons of features that can be overwhelming for the untrained, CrazyEgg user interface is very intuitive.

The platform’s UI offers four main visualization tools. First, there is the heatmap view that shows representations of areas on your website that receive most clicks. They are referred to as hotspots, and the software highlights them in red.

The scroll map view, on the other hand, shows areas on your website that have the highest levels of customer engagement time. The confetti and overlay views will give you more insight as per the origin of your customers. The platform has other features as well, such as the Recordings feature and A/B testing as well.

Pros

  • Easy to use heat maps tool

  • Integrations with all major ecommerce platforms such as Magento, WordPress, Wix, or Shopify

  • A/B testing feature

Cons

  • Most have heatmaps so you will need another platform onboard for intensive business intelligence

Kissmetrics

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Like Google Analytics, Kissmetrics is a robust business intelligence platform. Kissmetrics, however, differentiates itself from Google Analytics by utilizing user-based reporting rather than session-based data. Kissmetrics was founded by famous blogger Neil Patel in 2008.

The platform has grown in leaps and bounds since then, and today it is a comprehensive analytics solution for ecommerce businesses.

It is, however, not a free tool, but it has two weeks free trial period should you want to drive test it. Once you have Kissmetrics on your website, you can use its tools to increase your customer acquisition and retention rates, as well.

Kissmetrics is sorely focused on your customer’s behavior when they click on your website. Its user interface, therefore, displays a pageview tied to a user. You can also use the platform’s activity reports to understand user trends on your website.

Using Kissmetrics, you can easily identify segments of your website that contribute most to a trend. If there is, for instance, a spike in direct traffic, you can dive into the trend using Kissmetrics and discover why. This is not as easy to do with Google Analytics.

You can also use Kissmetrics to go beyond viewing customer behavior in your sales funnel.

You can, for instance, target specific customers on your purchase funnel by their behavior and remarket your products to them based on their interaction with your sales funnel. This action-based response to business intelligence is what makes Kissmetrics such a killer platform.

The platform can also segment your website’s visitors as per their importance to your ecommerce business. Since Kissmetrics allows you to group your visitors into ‘populations’, you can track different populations, then monitor and adjust your marketing strategy to target them.

Setting up events is very easy on Kissmetrics. These events can have additional features such as funnel reports, people reports, or cohort analysis. You do not need to set up any complicated codes for this tracking, which makes the app’s processes much easier to handle than Google Tag Managers’.

Pros

  • Tons of people-centered business intelligence data

  • Easy to use platform

  • Access to numerous reports

Cons

  • Payment for the most basic of features

Adobe Marketing Cloud

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Adobe is a leader in the software industry. Through the company’s Adobe Marketing Cloud (AMC), the business is also recognized as a digital marketing solutions champion. Adobe Marketing Cloud integrates a robust suite of creative features and marketing functionality.

This powerful integration brings you the Adobe Web Analytic tool, a business intelligence data source that is used to optimize website performance.

The one-stop data and ecommerce marketing suite is a staple of bigger online stores that are willing to spend a premium for its fantastic features.

The software, while useful, has a high learning curve. You should, therefore, not purchase it before you have acquired significant knowledge not only for its set up but also for a proper analysis of its drill down campaigns interface.

Nevertheless, through the Adobe Marketing Cloud, you can begin to measure not only the performance of your digital shop but also the quality of customer experience and its performance as well.

You can use this platform to optimize and personalize your marketing strategy to increase revenue.

The AMC suite comprises several ecommerce data and marketing tools, including Adobe Social, Campaign, Media Optimizer, Target, Experience Manager and Adobe Analytics.

Through Adobe Target, you can perform useful A/B tests on different elements of your website to get more information on how best to improve performance. Adobe Analytics, on the other hand, will help you to zero in on what your customers are after when they are on your website.

The tool provides experiential data sourced from various multi-channel campaigns that will reveal your customer’s journey in detail.

With the platform’s social insights tool, Adobe Social, you will have access to social content engagement drivers data. You can use this tool too to analyze, monitor, and moderate social media conversations, as well as publish and promote new content.

Adobe Marketing Cloud does not have a pricing structure on its website because it designs custom pricing depending on your business’s needs.

Pros

  • All rounded analytics and ecommerce marketing tool

  • Fantastic customer support

  • Useful and active community forums

Cons

  • Steep learning curve

  • Custom pricing structure only

Visual Web Optimizer

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Visual Web Optimizer (VWO) is first a robust A/B testing tool with an easy to use interface with a low learning curve. Any online shop owner can enjoy Visual Web Optimizer’s features without any knowledge of HTML or coding.

VWO also has premium analytics and heat mapping features and an Idea Factory for designing the best test ideas. Its click maps and heat maps features create visualizations of data on customer activity on your webpages using mouse scrolling as a tracking device.

This data will highlight various metrics such as customer engagement while on various parts of your website as well as how many clicks, elements of your pages receive. Through such data, you can, for instance, deduce if a certain call to action button is effective or not. You will love just how easy it is to build clickmap and heatmaps on Visual Web Optimizer.

The platform also offers website conversion tracking. All that you need to do is enter the URL of the page you want to track, configure your settings, and then access the data.

The data received will highlight your goal’s conversion rates as well as the number of visitors and conversions for every variation.

There are statistics on percentage improvements over original, as well as expected conversion range. VWO integrates with Google Analytics so you can use both platforms to enhance your access to analytics data.

Pros

  • Comprehensive A/B testing features

  • Click maps and heat maps feature

  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Expensive

RetentionGrid

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RetentionGrid is a data analytics tool that provides color-coded graphs that speak volumes of your ecommerce customer segments.

The platform also offers suggestions on the best methods you can use to influence various other customer segments positively. It is, therefore, a very useful analytic and ecommerce marketing tool.

The platform has seven segments that summarize an online shop’s customer base.  The ‘Loyal’ segment, for instance, consists of customers that order your products often. RetentionGrid will, therefore, propose cross-selling and upselling as one means of targeting this segment of your clientele.

The ‘Promising’ segment, on the other hand, is comprised of customers that make orders twice or thrice in two months. To this segment, the platform will propose incentives such as free shipping, exclusive offers or product recommendations. Its other segments include the New, Drifting, At-risk, Red-alert, and Sleepers categories.

Besides, it’s easy to understand customer segmentation features, RetentionGrid also provides data on abandoned cart campaigns and analytics of customer lifecycles. There is also very useful analytics data on revenue and performance reporting.

Pros

  • Easy to use platform

Cons

  • Expensive

 Piwik (Matomo)

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Piwik, now known as Matomo, is an open-source analytics tool that will put you in total control of your website’s data. Unlike other cloud-based services, you will need to install Matomo into your servers. This product, therefore, needs a bit of tech-savviness for installation.

You can also use Matomo’s privacy features to the IPs of your visitors.

Matomo has fantastic business intelligence features such as automated reports that provide data on conversion rates, abandoned shopping carts, and average order values.  Its real-time visitors feature also gives analytics on total live visitors on the page, and per minute page views.

The platform also has a visitor’s overview graph as well as in-depth sales reports segmented geolocationally, by channel, and by-product. Matomo has an API that easily integrates with mainstream ecommerce platforms such as WooCommerce, Shopify and Magento.

Pros

  • Open source, therefore free

Cons

  • Not easy to install

  • Clunky interface

The Best Ecommerce Marketing Tools

Ecommerce marketing tools are designed to not only increase your revenue but to scale your online shop. Your ecommerce shop cannot perform at par with its competitors without the assistance of these digital tools.

They will improve your customer engagement, increase leads, and give you insight into your competitor’s strategies as well. Below are seven of the best ecommerce marketing tools online.

MailChimp

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MailChimp is one of the most popular email marketing tools alongside AWeber and Constant Contact.  While they are all-powerful automation and email marketing tools, they all have their particular strengths and weaknesses.

First, MailChimp has a friendly and light monkey-fied aesthetic that works very well for it.  MailChimp apparently sends out over 600 million emails daily, which is a lot!

MailChimp, however, has one ace up their sleeve that attracts many users to their platform:

Unlike most other popular email marketing tools, MailChimp has a free plan!

MailChimp’s free plan is also free for life, and on it, you can send up to 12,000 emails monthly and add 2000 subscribers to your mailing lists.

If your business’s needs are higher, you will need to pay for the platform’s high emailing volume tiers. While the free plan does not have all of MailChimp’s features, it does definitely have the best of them.

You can, for instance, set up automated autoresponders, which should cost you a premium on other platforms.

Additionally, you can access reports and the MailChimp mobile app features that must be paid for on other email marketing platforms. This free package has been one of the most profitable growth accelerators of the platform.

There are, however, three other packages, the Essentials at $9.99, Standard, and Premium, to help you scale as your lists grow. MailChimp offers useful segmentation features such as predicted demographics, which segregate your email lists by age and gender to assist you in creating more customized email marketing strategies.

You can also perform A/B tests on your large lists.

MailChimp also has a very intuitive list management feature. It is very easy to locate all its menu options on its “Lists” area. You can also import in more contacts from a CSV file, other integrated apps, or simply copy and paste them onto the contact list.

The platform’s campaigns feature is very efficient at initiating email-marketing campaigns. You can send one-off email blasts or automated emails that are only sent out when specific trigger events have happened.

MailChimp provides 50 design templates to build your campaigns with. Each can be customized using their drag and drop editor.

You can also run your social media ads from MailChimp and analyze reports that highlight clicks and open rates, among other great features.

Pros

  • Has a free account package

  • Easy to use platform

  • Great reporting tools

Cons

  • Limited email marketing automation options

AWeber

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AWeber is yet another wildly popular ecommerce marketing software due to its efficient automation processes. The platform also offers a large selection of customizable email templates and all other features needed to initiate and complete a successful online marketing campaign.

AWeber commenced its operations in 1998 and has made a name for itself amongst marketers due to its solid performance and robust autoresponder features.

Today, AWeber is used by more than 120,000 bloggers and businesses worldwide, assisting most of them to grow through the power of email marketing.

AWeber is designed to simplify the time-consuming process of manual email marketing and follow up via its autoresponders. It will, therefore, enhance your customer’s loyalty to your business, and boost your engagement and sales as well.

This email marketing software enables you to send automatic email sequences, that can be delivered at specified intervals. For example, customers who complete their registrations on your website or purchase a product can receive an automated email from you to welcome or thank them.

AWeber’s automation can also send follow up information loaded emails that discuss your products, services, and offers as well.

You can also automate the sending of post-purchase emails such as upsells and special offers to enhance your business’s revenue generation.  If you have any new products or special offers, AWeber can easily inform all of your customers through personalized and targeted emails.

AWeber enjoys integrations with over 100 other platforms, such as Shopify, WordPress, WooCommerce, and Magento, which will boost your online shop’s reach. There is also AWeber Labs, a programming tool that can be used to build custom email marketing apps for your business. Another very important AWeber feature is its customer segmentation feature.

This tool enables contact list management, whereby you can separate your customer’s contact list into useful segments that enable targeted and relevant email marketing.

To ensure that you only send emails that work, AWeber provides A/B testing tools to help you gauge your efforts using metrics such as open, delivery, and click-through rates.

Pros

  • Great automation features

  • One month free trial period

  • Spam protection to enhance deliverability

Cons

  • Very strict and restrictive anti-spam policy

SearchSpring

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Easy to use website builders such as Shopify and WooCommerce have contributed significantly to the growth of online shops.

They, however, have their limitations. They, for instance, have minimal search functionality. Did you know that website visitors who use your search button are more likely to purchase than those that use other standard methods of navigation?

Search button users have more often than not made up their minds about a purchase and are just ascertaining other purchase motivators such as delivery charges, price, or availability.

An effective site search function is, therefore, a very critical component of your digital marketing strategy.

You want your buyers to find the exact item that they are looking for as fast as possible.

Search data can unearth instrumental data to customer motivation and behaviors, which can be used to enhance your product offerings. SearchSpring is a robust search provider with compelling merchandising features.

SearchSpring will deliver fast and relevant autocomplete and search results to every shopper on your pages. You can use the platform to customize your landing pages and search category results. Your products will, therefore, be arranged according to the goals of your business.

Once you have SearchSpring integrated into your website, you can begin to organize items for conversions or aesthetics.

Unlike other search platforms, SearchSpring has very bespoke integrations. It is, therefore, beneficial for businesses with complex product characterizations.

The platform’s product finders are also very robust, making it an excellent complement for weaker website native search functions. Your shoppers can, for instance, use long descriptions or product names to match products to queries.

Pros

  • Enable search optimization for e-commerce shops

  • Eliminates manual product data editing

  • Provides search analytics

Cons

  • Expensive

Ahrefs

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Google’s search engine algorithms change all the time, but the need for optimized keyword use in websites has remained consistent over the years.

Keyword research is, therefore, a very important component of your online marketing strategy. Through keyword research, you can find and analyze search terms that most of your prospective leads are using to find related products and information on search engines.

The data from keyword research can help shape your content strategy, which will enhance your overall marketing strategy. While using keywords that match exact searches is not as useful as it used to, using the right keywords to match intent in content can make Google’s search engine attracted to your website.

Did you know that Google handles over 67,000 searches each second? In fact, 93% of all online users use search to locate the content that they are interested in. This should tell just how important proper keyword research is, which is why you need Ahrefs.

Ahrefs’s name sounds like a command line from MS-DOS prompt, which points to the program’s sole focus on plain SEO analysis.

Ahref’s user interface is as singularly focused on its mission, just as MS-DOS is on single-tasking. The program will help you deal with what are sometimes difficult questions when it comes to keyword research.

The platform will, for instance, give you directions on the keywords you should rank for and the numbers of links that should be built around your keywords.

It will also help you to unearth which keywords your competitors are working with, and help you to create content that will outrank your competitors. Ahrefs cheaper Lite Package costs $99 per month and has a 7-day free trial period.

Once you are on Ahrefs, you will access one of the largest repositories of backlinks online. You will also have data crawled from over 6 billion web pages every day and over 12 trillion historical backlinks as well. Ahrefs, as mentioned, is a no-frill platform, so it can be intimidating if you do not have any prior SEO knowledge.

A large part of the platform’s offerings includes not only keyword research but also content, backlink, and competitor research. It also offers rank tracking and site auditing, as well. The 4.9 million-strong Ahrefs’s keywords explorer database will give you the best ranking keywords for your websites in seconds.

The content explorer, on the other hand, searches over 700 million content pieces to give you ideas on the best traffic-generating content. Also, if you want to ensure that your website does not have the usual website errors such as broken backlinks that adversely affect website ranking, use the Ahrefs Site Explorer and fix them all.

Pros

  • Robust SEO tool

  • A very useful site audit tool

  • Competitor research

Cons

  • Expensive

  • Not easy to use for beginners

SEMRush

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SEMRush, just like Ahrefs, is a keyword research tool and one of Ahrefs’s greatest competitors.

However, while Ahrefs has in the past focused on backlink analysis (though latest updates have increased its feature offerings), SEMRush has focused on competitor rankings.

It would, nevertheless, be very unfair to summarize SEMRush as a spy-ranking tool.

Just like Ahrefs, it is also has a lot of fantastic marketing tools, such as SEO content optimization, site performance, and Keyword research.

This online marketing tool also has ad campaigns, PPC, backlinks, and content marketing tools. SEMRush powerful engine tracks over 87 million domains and 106 million keywords.

Through it, you can audit not just your ecommerce site but that of your competitor’s as well. Competitor research tools will give you data on the weaknesses and strengths of their site as well as their ranking keywords. Like Ahrefs, its most affordable package will cost you $99 per month.

Another feature that SEMRush has in common with Ahrefs is its steep learning curve.  The platform is not designed to accommodate a casual user. If you, however, want to use its powerful tools to enhance your website’s bottom line, SEMRush provides all kinds of useful resources to get you up to date with its features.

From its keyword research tool, you will find the best ranking keywords for your content marketing strategy. The Keyword Magic tool can help you build lists that have over 50 target keywords for your content instantly.

The tool will also provide keyword-ranking metrics such as:

  • Keyword difficulty

  • The average volume of searches

  • Trend graphs

  • CPC

  • The keyword’s number of SERP features.

A large number of options and metrics offered by SEMRush’s keyword tools can be intimidating for the uninitiated, which is why the program has a Keyword Analyzer tool, which zeroes in on the most critical keywords.

The Keyword Analyzer will segment and analyze chosen keywords, then export the data to a spreadsheet.

SEMRush’s Position Tracking tool tracks your chosen keywords. This tool stalks your competitors and gives you updates on competitors using your keywords. You can also use it to geo-target your keywords for metrics on your keyword’s performance at your local search level.

Pros

  • Competitor keyword research

  • Site audit tools

  • Backlink analytics

Cons

  • Steep learning curve

  • Costly

Optimizely

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Like any other online business, your marketing strategy target is to direct more leads to your landing pages. While landing pages are great at conversions, not all landing pages are designed equally.

One simple variation in content, color, or page element can be all that stands between you massive sales. So how do you ensure that every element on your landing pages or website is optimized for conversions? Perform A/B split tests.

A/B tests are hypothesis tests that put two variants on a scale and subject them to performance tests. A/B tests are used not only to optimize pages but also for validation purposes as well.

This is what Optimizely does. Optimizely is a testing platform that allows you to experiment on the impact of certain changes on your website. This program allows you to test elements such as template layouts, headings, or CTA buttons.

Optimizely is, therefore, a very useful tool in today’s dynamic online store environment.

It helps to constantly assess and improve your landing pages or website for optimal conversions. Besides A/B testing, Optimizely also allows visual editing, behavioral targeting, multivariate testing, and multi-page experimentation.

The platform also has features that perform analytics integrations, security compliance, and program management.

Staying true to its character, the platform is split into two variants:

  • Optimizely Web

  • Full Stack

The Web variant is the core experimentation branch of Optimizely. It gives unrivaled experimentation features for your front end. Optimizely has an intuitive drag and drop editor, and you do not need much coding to enjoy its features.

Optimizely Stack, on the other hand, is for businesses that do more than website based marketing campaigns. If you, therefore, are heavily invested in an all-media type of marketing, you need Full stack on your corner.

It will, for instance, assist you in collecting data and gauge the response of the public to your ads with pluggable devices.  The meat of the Optimizely platform, however, is its analytics. Its Stats Engine, built-in collaboration with Stanford University experts, is a real-time business intelligence source that enables fast decision-making.

Pros

  • Optimized A/B testing platform

  • Easy to use

  • Real-time analytics

Cons

  • Opaque pricing structure

Shopify

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Started by a German snowboard online seller living in Canada in 2006, Shopify has since then matured into a powerful website builder.

On Shopify, you will find novices and professionals alike on its $29, $79, and $299 packages. The platform has its own payment gateway that has no transaction fees, Shopify Payments, and very useful ecommerce marketing tools as well.

First, there is a wide range of SEO tools that will help you increase your online shop’s visibility online. There also are SEO tools for blogs and built-in email marketing tools.

From Shopify, you can also sell your goods to most social media platforms. The program will, for instance, build you a Facebook Page shop and enable tagging of your products on Instagram.

You can also sell your wares from a Pinterest business account or connect your website to Amazon or eBay. Some other Shopify marketing channels include Wanelo and BuzzFeed.

The biggest advantage that Shopify gives to a seller that wants to engage in multichannel marketing is the ease of maintenance from one simple backend. You can also utilize other Shopify ecommerce marketing tools such as gift cards and discount codes.

Pros

  • Lightning fast

  • Easy to set up stores

  • 1 click selling feature

Cons

  • Ties you up to Shopify Payments

  • Very reliant on integrations and plugins for added functionality

The Best Ecommerce Website Tools

Ecommerce tools can help you build your online store and manage it at ease. These tools can handle tasks such as website building, video conferencing, inventor management, or outsourcing. Want to know more? Read on.

Zendesk

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Zendesk was launched in 2007 as a customer call service and support-ticketing platform. Since then, Zendesk has matured into a full-scale CRM. Zendesk Suite has a call center, live messaging, and self-service features.

The original product, Zendesk Support, is still available for purchase, but it lacks all the thrills and frills that Zendesk Suite’s functionality brings to a business.

Zendesk Suite’s package prices start at $89 per month, but you can pay for its components such as support, guide, chat, talk, sell, connect, explore and gather separately at different prices.

You should not mistake the Zendesk CRM for a classic CRM since it does not have every function that such a CRM has.

Fortunately, Zendesk has a wide range of integrations with other third-party programs that can supplement any missing features. This keeps Zendesk’s features affordable and scalable for any size of business.

Should you want to try Zendesk, there are free trials for its features.

Other important Zendesk features include response times, tickets, customer satisfaction analytics reports, and Twitter and Facebook interactions tickets.

A Zendesk web widget prompts live chats or directs your customer to your business’s help center. The platform has an iOS and Android mobile support app and device data logs, as well.

Pros

  • Great collaboration and productivity tool

  • Customer satisfaction analytics

Cons

  • Paying for features separately tends to raise the final price tag of the platform

Metrilo

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Metrilo, unlike most other business intelligence tools out there, is a comprehensive CRM, data analytics, and mail marketing platform rolled into one.

From its data analytics feature, you can access detailed categories of business intelligence insights. You can, for instance, view your website’s conversion rates either by top-performing products or by channels.

If you want a cohort analysis set up, you can use it to track how your marketing strategy is influencing your visitors, and if the steps taken can convert them into leads.

There is also a very useful retention analysis tool that highlights your customer’s lifecycle on your website. The beauty of Metrilo is that you do not have to hop into any other CRM to act on the insights mined from its data.

All you simply need to do is use the Metrilo CRM to send out appropriate marketing material to your customers as per insight from the cohort analysis.

Via the Metrilo CRM, you can send email-marketing materials at the right time to turn your customers into converted leads and loyal buyers. Therefore, besides its useful customer data analytics solution, you can also use Metrilo to boost your sales.

You can set up your ecommerce shops’ automated email marketing campaigns for related products or upsells to your buyers after their purchase. If there have been abandoned carts, you can also issue follow up emails from Metrilo.

The Metrilo’s data analytics dashboard is easy to use, giving you clear access to your website’s conversion rates, revenue, valuable customers, and top-performing products and more at a glance.

There are also detailed analytics reports on new and returning customers, top-performing channels, funnel reports, and product reports.

Pros

  • Comprehensive data analytics and reporting

  • CRM and email features provided

  • 14-day free trial

Cons

  • Expensive

OpenCart

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OpenCart is an open-source online shop builder and is therefore free. Just like WooCommerce, it has features required to launch, run, and scale your ecommerce shop.

It is, however, self-hosted, so you must cater for your website’s domain name and hosting costs. You also will have a harder time building your shop with OpenCart if you do not have any basic technical website building knowledge.

To get the best out of OpenCart, you need a level of coding and web development skills. If you are not interested in learning this repertoire of skills, use hosted website builders such as Shopify.

They have all the ease of use and support needed to launch an online shop effortlessly. If you, however, love to tinker with coding and web hosting solutions, then go for OpenCart. It has one of the lowest learning curves amongst all self-hosted website building solutions.

The platform builds very professional looking online shops that also scale well. It will also offer you tons of features. The most outstanding OpenCart advantage is the sheer number of payment gateways and methods it supports.

With OpenCart, you can enable over 20 different payment-processing methods! There is also the added advantage of the platform’s flexibility. Since its script is open source, you can modify it to fit your purpose. There are also free software updates and support for the platform.

Some other key OpenCart features include its customer ratings and reviews and the unlimited addition of product categories. There is multi-currency support and digital product sales support. If you are going to try the platform, factor in the costs of third party plugins and programs that will be helpful for functionality.

Ensure you pay for reliable, fast, and secure hosting services for optimum online shop operations.

Pros

  • Lower learning curve than Magento

  • Open source and free to download

Cons

  • Not easy to use without web development know-how

  • Additional features could be expensive

WooCommerce

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WordPress has, for many years, served as the platform that introduces content creators to the internet. Data shows that its CMS has a global 60% market share and 500 websites are built on it every other day. That’s why WooCommerce, the e-commerce crown jewel of the WordPress ecosystem, is so popular.

WooCommerce is the most popular WordPress ecommerce plugin.

It is feature-packed and free, just like WordPress. Though free, it has similar features to subscription-based website builders such as BigCommerce or Shopify.

You do not need much coding knowledge to use Woo. It has an easy to use drag and drop interface, and you can build your site and set up products in your online shop fast.

Unlike Shopify, Woo easily integrates with the WordPress CMS, giving you access to an attractive, robust, easy to use CMS and its features at no extra cost.

This advantage also gives you more flexibility and control when it comes to your website’s features and themes. Advanced developers love Woo too because it is much easier to tweak than packaged platforms.

Besides turning your WordPress blog into an online store, Woo’s other features include automated taxes, shipping, payments, and uploads of bulk products.

Other amazing Woo features include a great CMS, visual builder for website templates, 400+ functionality plug-ins, countless themes, and beautifully designed checkout and product pages.

You will have access to loads of images and advanced product filtering and sorting features that enhance your SEO strategy.

Pros

  • Free with WordPress

  • Great CMS

  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Not easy to scale

  • Costly add-ons

SiteBuilder

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While website builders like Magento strive to give their users control over the creative process, SiteBuilder is focused on convenience.

It has no learning curve and no website development jargon. Therefore, you do not have to worry about hosting costs and speeds or domain name payments.

SiteBuilder has a drag and drop editor that takes out all the tiring and complicated website building technical tasks, giving you tons of templates to work with.

You will only need to perform basic tweaks to the templates to have an online shop up and running in record time.

This ease of use that users get from SiteBuilder is very beneficial for any novice online merchant.

SiteBuilder, however, can be very stifling when it comes to creativity, customization, control, and business scaling. First, while you could get a functional e-commerce website with SiteBuilder, you cannot build an excellent sleek site from it with ease.

It is challenging to personalize SiteBuilder elements, and it will cost you more in the end if you want to scale your business on SiteBuilder. The platform has very attractive introductory costs.

You will only need to pay half a package’s price for the first two years of commencing purchase. At the end of the initial payment period, you will have to cough up the full package rate, which is often twice the introductory price.

Since building an e-commerce shop is not a sprint but a marathon, you will find yourself faced with higher payment costs in the future if SiteBuilder’s initial payment charges distract you. The platform does not have a free package, unlike Shopify, Weebly, or Wix.

Pros

  • No learning curve

  • Attractive introductory prices

  • Provides hosting services

Cons

  • Creates elementary sites

Weebly

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If you are planning to build your online shop on your own and you neither have the budget for a developer or coding skills, you should be very careful to start out on an easy to use platform.

Complicated website builders like Magento may be very attractive, but they can be a source of stress and eventual expense for a novice coder.

This is why Weebly makes all the difference. Weebly might lack the flexibility of Wix and Squarespace, which have much lower learning curves than Magento, but it easier to use than them all.

It is this ease of use that has propelled Weebly to the limelight, making it one of the most popular website building tools out there.

It has an excess of 50 million websites running on it. Weebly is, however, not only friendly to beginner merchants, but its creators have also focused on the improvements of its features above all else.

It has a drag and drop interface and offers 40+ mobile-friendly themes. Weebly’s basic use package is free, but on it, you will have to embrace Weebly branding on your website.

Its subsequent Connect package costs an affordable $5, but it lacks all the juicy features of the $12 Pro and $25 Business package.

Pros

  • Easy to use

  • Responsive themes

Cons

  • The lower-priced package has few features

Jungle Scout

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Did you know that while Amazon has 1,761,784 sellers on their platform, over 50% of its sales comes from third-party sellers? As Jeff Bezos says, at least half of all products sold on Amazon are sold by online merchants making a living from online sales.

Thanks to platforms like Amazon, retailers no longer need to beg big box stores to allow their products onto their shelves. Simply sign up on Amazon and get selling.

This great opportunity, however, has its consequences. Since great minds think alike, the novel product you want to sell may have thousands of other sellers on Amazon.

If you are going to sell in a flooded marketplace, lower-priced products will bury you under tons of search results. So how can you gauge which products can sell on Amazon? Turn to Jungle Scout.

Jungle Scout is a cloud-based platform that mines product metrics from Amazon. You will get useful data on products such as the number of reviews certain products have and their bestseller ranks.

Jungle Scout will give you data that will enable you to gauge a product niche’s performance on Amazon. The platform has a Chrome extension and a web app too.

The Chrome extension will help you to gather data on Amazon products. The web app, on the other hand, uses filters such as trace tracking on products that have been flagged by the Jungle Scout chrome extension.

Pros

  • Has a browser plugin and app for efficient product tracking

Cons

  • Extension charged separately

Best Ecommerce Apps

The ecommerce apps on this list will not only help you to increase your online shop’s revenue but will also help to increase engagement, manage your inventory stores, and run your HR department as well.

Shogun

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Shopify and BigCommerce are low barrier entry shop builders, designed to ensure that just about anyone can launch an online shop with them. They have easy to use drag and drop editors that make it very easy to place various page elements and configure a website.

Unfortunately, there is usually a significant trade-off between convenience and control. Shopify or BigCommerce templates can be challenging to customize further since their architecture is challenging.

Shopify, for instance, has a Liquid-based architecture, which is entirely different from the more common PHP. Shogun makes the customization of Shopify and BigCommerce pages and elements easier.

The platform will add additional page elements such as blogs, videos, accordions, and images onto your webpages.

Shogun (read our full review here!) has robust styling options for Shopify and BigCommerce websites, that will turn your website from an ordinary to a feature-packed and conversion-ready e-commerce site. Shogun has over 30 pre-designed conversion-optimized page templates.

You will access fantastic website building blocks such as countdown times, sliders, landing pages, and sliders.

The platform’s SEO features make it much easier to manage page titles, alternate text, meta tags, and meta descriptions.

Shogun has a drag and drop editor that integrates with Shopify’s free or premium themes. It ensures that all your pages are optimized for all screen sizes and has received a five-star rating – not only for its custom templating feature but also for fantastic customer support.

Pros

  • Great customer support

  • Robust Shopify and BigCommerce website customization features

  • Easy to learn

Cons

  • Integrates with Shopify and BigCommerce

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Canva is a freemium tool for online graphic design, which is lauded by users as easier to use than Microsoft Paint. The tool’s user-friendliness has endeared it to thousands of users, especially those who have paid handsomely for professional graphic design needs in the past.

The online graphics tool has a very easy registration process than can be done via Facebook, Google or an active email address. After your registration, all you need to do is to follow the breadcrumbs, and you will be producing attractive graphics in minutes.

The platform has a series of prompts that guide users in image selection and will suggest various templates that you can use for different projects. Canva has a drag and drop editor that eases the layout choosing and customization process. All text can be edited in its text boxes, and there tons of layouts at your disposal.

If you are going to use free Canva, you will enjoy limited use of the platform. While paid users can access a million-plus images, free account users can only access limited templates, and they will have to find or purchase images for use. Free accounts also have a 10-member collaborative team limit.

Some other actions that you can perform on Canva include image cropping, thought and speech bubble creation, image editing, website badges and stickers, photo frames and the design of marketing materials.

While Canva definitely lowers the entry barrier in the area of graphic design, you should be warned that it is still not a worthy replacement for professional graphic design services if you need them. Nevertheless, if you do not mind a less than original design or layout for your day-to-day business needs, then Canva definitely has you covered.

Pros

  • Easy to use graphic design tool

  • Affordable

Cons

  • Marketing material produced lacks originality

  • Limited functionality

Animoto

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Video has increasingly become a critical component of social media presence building and marketing too. Data indeed shows that 79% of all online buyers prefer to watch a product’s video rather than read about it.

Video is so critical to the customer purchase process that 84% of consumers say they purchased an item after watching that item’s information on video.

Video production is, however, not one of those skills most people can learn in one sitting. Besides, since times are busy, there is a possibility that you do not even have the time required to perfect a new skill.

However, you can use Animoto, a cloud-based video content creator that has an affordable $5 per month price tag for a personal account.

Animoto will enable you to create marketing videos, polished slideshows from your videos, music, and images via your computer or mobile phone. The platform has a fancy Animoto app for mobile phone use, which allows you to build your videos on the go.

Its dashboard is very easy to use, and you can upload your own video clips and add some music tracks from a free musk library. You can use the Animoto dashboard to add text effects too from the Animoto dashboard.

The Animoto advantage is that it provides a very easy to use drag and drop interface that produces solid videos. The videos do look polished, and it is easy to add text titles and other customization elements.

Its video-making process is also super fast, ensuring that you can churn a clean video in less than 2 hours at your first try. If you are worried about hitches, bugs or learning curves, the Animoto community on Facebook will be of great assistance.

Pros

  • Low learning curve

  • Affordable personal tier

Cons

  • Videos will lack originality due to the use of templates

Facebook Ads

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Facebook today has more than 2.7 billion active users each month. All these potential buyers with their eyes glued to various happenings on the platform are a huge market that your business cannot afford to ignore.

Did you know that a large 93% of social media advertisers use Facebook Ads for their product advertising and ad tracking? And the results of the advertising are pretty good too.

At least 26% of Facebookers that click on these ads do make a purchase as per the results of one survey. It, therefore, does pay not only to have a strong social media presence but also to leverage these platforms for marketing.

Facebook Ads is very critical to your social media advertising strategy. The platform provides data that shows you whether your ads are accessing their target market at the right time. Via Facebook ads, you can optimize your social media ad campaigns to conform to the trends in the ever-changing market.

You do not need a large advertising budget to make use of Facebook Ads. What you really need to do is first to define who your target audience is and what their purchase motivation is. This will help you build ad campaigns that will have high engagement rates, which is key in Facebook advertising.

On Facebook, paid social campaigns managed via Facebook Ads help in customer targeting. You can use the platform to zone in user segments most likely to purchase your product.

Facebook Ads give very useful data analytics on the activities of your target market when they log in into the platform.

The platform also allows you to initiate various types of ad campaigns, including campaigns for page likes, post promotions, engagement ads, brand awareness, localized ads, acquisition ads, website clicks, and conversions, lead generation ads and event promotions, to name but a few.

Pros

  • Easy to use interface

  • Affordable

  • Very effective social media advertising platform

Cons

  • Ad approvals can be tricky and take time

inFlow Inventory

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Businesses, whether large or small with growing inventory lists, require a good inventory management platform to streamline their sales processes. inFlow Inventory has features such as invoices, purchase orders, barcodes, quotations, customized reports and more.

This inventory platform is beneficial not only for online merchants but also for product distributors and retailers as well.

You can access it via its cloud-based application or via its iPhone and Android Apps. You can also have the software installed on-premise and use its useful barcode scanner to check your business’s inventory levels.

The product is very scalable, depending on your business’s needs. There are five options to choose from, ranging from the cheaper $69 per month Essentials package for 2 team members to the larger Essentials Team, Advanced, Advanced Team, and Enterprise tiers.

Through inFlow Inventory, you can create sales orders via your web browser, create barcodes via the platform’s inFlow Cloud as well add product serial tracking numbers.

You can also fulfill as well as pay your business’s sales orders from your website. The crux of the platform, however, is the easy management of your business’s business assets and retail inventory.

 inFlow Inventory, therefore, enables the easy creation of product categories. The program makes product reordering easy whenever your stock falls below a certain quantity.

The platform has multiple languages and currencies support. Its user interface is very customizable, and from it, you can access useful sales and inventory reports.  All reports from inFlow Inventory can be downloaded as PDFs or Excel documents.

Pros

  • Feature-packed business inventory software

  • Has CRM functionality

  • Barcode inventory management for over its mobile apps

Cons

  • Mobile apps have limited functionality

BambooHR

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As your online business scales, it is going to become harder to manage its success. Your human resource team, for instance, will expand with your business, and without its proper management, you could run down all your team’s success. This is why you need thorough HR software like BambooHR.

BambooHR will help you to move your employee information from cumbersome spreadsheet processors to a novel HRIS system. Your HR manager will then be free to spend their time and energy on other meaningful administration tasks.

It has the Applicant Tracking System that keeps details of your entire employee’s work life cycle.

This tool will give you meaningful data on employee turnover and retention. There are other useful features, too, such as benefits administration, performance management, and shift planning and scheduling. BambooHR has a modern and sleek interface that makes gives the HR tasks some color.

Pros

  • One platform for all HR functions

  • Access to  HR reports

Cons

  • Performance  review module costs more

Xero

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Every business needs an affordable accounting solution like Xero.

The online accounting solution is cloud-based and can be accessed from a variety of gadgets through browsers and mobile apps. Xero supports all elements of double-entry accounting, including inventory, purchases, payroll, or sales.

It is perfect for small business owners that need cash flow, bank transactions, and invoice sending solution and tracker. On it, you can prepare suppliers, customers, employees, and product records as well as manage your fixed assets.

There are expense management features, as well. You can integrate Xero with payment processors or link them to financial institutions. Xero integrates with 700 other applications, making it much easier to use it alongside other business programs.

One other advantage of using Xero for growing businesses is that you can invite an unlimited number of employees to your account. This means that you can scale it to meet your business’s needs.

Xero is straightforward, and it provides excellent onboarding videos as well as step-by-step guides. Its interface is very intuitive and easy to navigate. Its interactive dashboard displays metrics on elements such as pending bills, invoices due, and account balance histories in easy to read charts and graphs.

Pros

  • Easy to accounting software

  • Scalable business solution

  • Affordable

Cons

  • Weak mobile apps

Nine of the Best Ecommerce Platforms Ranked

Ecommerce platforms can be classified into three main segments.

  1. Software that assists users that have no code experience at all to build great websites: We are talking Wix and Shopify easy.

  2. Platforms that need you to have a little code experience if you want more than the regular feature and functionality offerings.

  3. Tools like Magento that require you to have tons of website building and coding experience. Not sure which one is best for you? We have all the details. Read on.

Shopify

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Yes, Shopify is already on our list, but we had to include it in this section as well. Shopify is a popular out-of-the-box ecommerce solution with a large global following. The platform is so popular that out of the six most highly rated platforms on Datanyze, Shopify comes third after WooCommerce and Squarespace.

If you ask a large number of Shopify merchants on the platform, which numbered 800,000 by February 2019, however, they will tell that the platform is simply unbeatable. And with good reason.

First, Shopify makes it extremely easy for anyone to launch an online store. This is why Shopify attracts large numbers of small shops with low order volumes. Shopify, however, is very easy to scale as your business grows. You will, therefore, find big stores on it as well as beginners.

The other Shopify feature that endears it to online merchants is its super helpful in house support. The caliber of technical support you will find on Shopify is difficult to come by elsewhere.

Shopify is a hosted platform, so you really do not have to hunt down good web hosting services. Just sign up, and the platform will take care of all your business’s needs including:

  • Hosting

  • Payments

  • Inventory management.

The cheapest Shopify package will cost you $29 each month, though you can opt for $9 Shopify Lite.

However, Shopify Lite is for online shops that have already launched outside of Shopify but want to use Shopify Lite’s shopping cart, buy button, and payment processor. You can also use Shopify Lite’s buy button on WordPress, Facebook, or Squarespace and other platforms.

If you want to go full-blown Shopify, you can begin with the 14-day free trial, build your store, and try out the fantastic Shopify functionalities and features. You do not even have to key in your credit card numbers for the trial, so try it.

Once you are on the platform, you will have 10 free customizable templates to choose from, but you can access 60 others on purchase.

You will find it very easy to integrate Shopify with other apps and SaaS platforms out there, and there is an app store for Shopify plugins.

Shopify uses the Shopify Payments as its main payment gateway. You can, however, choose to integrate others, but Shopify will charge you an extra 2% transaction fee to use them.

Pros

  • Lightning fast

  • Easy to set up stores

  • 1 click selling feature

Cons

  • Ties you up to Shopify Payments

  • Very reliant on integrations and plugins for added functionality

How does Shopify compare to other ecommerce marketing tools?

WooCommerce

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WooCommerce is the world’s most popular ecommerce platform. Boasting over 64 million downloads, and powering over 30% of ecommerce stores, it is a force to reckon with.

It might come as a surprise that WooCommerce is not designed to run large stores. So why is it so wildly popular?

Well, WooCommerce is the WordPress plugin that enables merchants in the blogging platform to sell their products.

Woo provides merchants with its native payment processor, just as Shopify does. It also provides a shopping cart feature, as well. There are, however, major differences between WooCommerce and Shopify.

First, WooCommerce is free, whereas Shopify is subscription-based ecommerce software. Woo is a standalone platform that is deeply integrated into a WordPress website.

Nevertheless, just like Shopify, it does offer features such as product and order management, multiple payment gateways, and analytics on store activity plus sales reports.

Unlike other large-scale ecommerce platforms, Woo does not have a customer management feature. If you need this functionality, you will need to access customer management third party plugins.

WooCommerce is a great alternative for beginners and small shops that are already developing their WordPress sites. If your business needs to scale fast, you will need to try out other more robust ecommerce platforms.

Woo is great for content-based websites. Why? WooCommerce will only allow a maximum of 20 products in your store. Therefore, it cannot build you an ecommerce empire.

To start out with WooCommerce, just start your self-hosted WordPress site, then install Woo. Woo will provide the Storefront theme to get you started. You can, however, buy other templates and extensions to improve on the Woo experience.

Pros

  • Free

  • Easy to use

Cons

Suitable for very small businesses

Wix

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Since its creation in 2006, Wix has become wildly popular. It is, for instance, estimated that over 154 million people from 190 different nationalities use Wix. The platform has over 4.2 million users, too. Its popularity, however, does not come as a surprise because this platform is hands down one of the most intuitive website builders ever made.

You do not need any coding skills to produce a magnificent website with Wix. The platform, unlike most other ecommerce platforms that only have drag and drop website builders to aid in website creation, Wix gives more tools to ensure total creative control.

Most classic website drag and drop builders only offer an array of predesigned and customizable templates to build a website with. They will give you access to tools, menus, and controls that you can utilize to populate your templates and add other useful features.

Wix, on the other hand, uses the classic drag and drop website builder features but reinforces this process with a powerful AI feature.

Therefore, you will have access to Wix’s 500+ industry-specific website templates that can be customized via the platform’s fantastic drag and drop editor. However, for a faster, streamlined, and efficient website building process, you can use Wix ADI.

Wix ADI, the Wix AI, will take over the design process. All you need to do is answer a few questions, and the AI will handle the rest. Afterward, you can edit the final masterpiece if need be. If you, however, love to code, you can access the WixCode and customize your website’s code.

Besides its unrivaled creative control, Wix has inventory and order management features too. You can upload an unlimited amount of products on your new store and create promotional codes as well as discount offers too.

Wix also has good shipping options and store management mobile app, as well. If you want increased functionality, use Ecwid, a Wix app that will add inventory tracking, guest checkouts, social media selling and lots more.

Pros

  • Easy to use

  • Great website design process

Cons

  • Not good for bulk order management

Squarespace

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Squarespace supports over 1.8 million websites worldwide. According to Datanyze, Squarespace’s popularity online is only rivaled by WooCommerce, which is a big deal because Woo is free and is often bundled with WordPress.

Squarespace launched in 2004, and its websites now command at least 19% of the ecommerce platforms market share. Squarespace is a website builder whose strongest point of attraction is its sleek, beautiful templates that hands down make some of the most attractive websites online.

The platform has integrated its ecommerce functionality in all its plans. So, if you today build a basic Squarespace website, you can upload a few products and begin to sell.

This flexibility and ease of use makes it very easy for beginner online merchants to grow and adapt the platform as they become surer of their business’s potential.

Squarespace also offers most of the features and tools required to run your ecommerce store. In terms of integrations with other extensions and apps, Squarespace is quite limited if you compare it to more robust ecommerce platforms. You will nevertheless have access to 70+ popular tools and features.

There is no app store with plugins and extensions to increase its functionality further, so this could be a challenge if you need assistance with the management of bulk orders and purchases.

If you want to install a third-party plugin or extension, you will need to inject its code onto your Squarespace website.

Squarespace is very popular with creatives that have minimal product catalogs. Besides its unlimited listing feature, Squarespace also supports subscriptions, recurring payments, abandoned cart recovery, and marketing tools.

Its tiers are also very affordable, starting at $12 per month for the Personal package. Due to its ability to build beautiful sites, Squarespace is apt for ecommerce sites, built for blogs, and portfolio sites.

Pros

  • Affordable

  • Beautiful website imagery and design

Cons

  • Fewer integrations

Magento

Magento.PNG Magento is referred to as enterprise-level ecommerce software.

Besides the difficulties you will find with coding and web development, Magento’s costs can be prohibitive for small to medium-sized businesses.

Magento is very popular amongst big box stores. Ecommerce giants such as Nike, Burger King, Cisco, and Procter & Gamble, for instance, use it.

These businesses require Magento’s unique ability to create limitless complex customizations.

Its expandability and flexibility are legendary, enabling shop owners to add any feature they want, as long as they have ample development experience or can afford to pay for it.

This powerful platform is not only a great website builder, but also has robust site, SEO, and ecommerce management features.

You can virtually do everything from customer segmentation to building site friendly URLs on open source Magento.

For your product marketing, you can build product bundles, coupon codes, customer groups, and even newsletter management. There are also catalog management and mobile commerce features, as well.

Pros

  • A powerful enterprise-level site builder

Cons

  • Steep learning curve

BigCommerce

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BigCommerce features amongst the big five online store builders right alongside Shopify, and WooCommerce.

It is a software as a service platform, which you can access by paying a subscription fee every month. On it, you can set up your online shop, populate it with your products and sell them through BigCommerce’s online shopping features.

The platform has a wide range of customizable web design templates as well as tools and features to aid in the marketing of your online shop.

Unlike Magento, which requires coding skills, BigCommerce is open to people with little web design and coding skills. If you, however, are tech-savvy, you can get BigCommerce to do for you extraordinary things.

BigCommerce is, however, known as an enterprise-level ecommerce platform, attracting big wigs such as Gibson Guitars and Toyota.

The SaaS platform, however, differentiates itself from the market, through its attractive pricing structure. Its ability to attract and maintain its clientele begins with its feature-packed $29.95 per month standard package.

Unlike other website builders that love to offer the best features to the more expensive tiers, BigCommerce’s standard plan gives you access to ten templates, a wide variety of products, shipping, and integration with a wide range of payment gateways.

Unlike other product’s lower-priced tiers, you will also have access to unlimited staff accounts and a robust content management system. BigCommerce also has fantastic SEO options and utilizes the Akamai Image Manager for speedy web pages.

If you, therefore, want more bang for your buck, go for BigCommerce’s $29.95 per month tier. If you spend this amount on BigCommerce, you will also access gift cards, professional reporting, and a review and rating system. You will need to pay Shopify and Squarespace more for these features.

If you, however, want to access other features such as abandoned cart, customer segmentation, stored credit cards, persistent cart, advanced product filtering, or priority support, you will need to pay for BigCommerce’s more expensive tiers.

However, your online shop must have specific annual sales limits.

One other outstanding Bigcommerce feature is that it does not charge transaction fees, unlike most other website builders.

Pros

  • The lower-priced package gives great value for money

  • No transaction fee charges

Cons

  • Has a slight learning curve

Volusion

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Volusion has been around since 1999, making it one of the oldest website builders in existence. It has aged like fine wine, netting clients such as 3M and Intel.

Today, Volusion has churned over 185 million in orders since its inception, and it powers over 30,000 online stores. Volusion, unlike its competitors, has added tons of features into its system’s dashboard to differentiate it from other website builders.

You, therefore, will not need to spend more purchasing useful addons for your website if you go for Volusion. The platform’s dashboard offers access to rich features such as rich text descriptions for products to variant pricing.

The Volusion SEO is very intuitive, and the platform integrates easily with most marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon Marketplace.

The platform is also very focused on mobile capability. In this area, it has taken steps beyond most of its competitors, helping store owners to first, monitor their stores on the go.

Volusion Android and iOS apps can be used to monitor incoming orders and inventory, as well. The platform also allows your customers to call you on your phone if you have your number listed on your online shop.

Any customer that needs further advice or reassurance can place a call to your phone and place the order they want in person. Shopify does provide this feature, but they do not allow you to process mobile orders straight from the admin panel, which Volusion does.

Volusion has gone to great lengths to ensure that it offers a seamless mobile shopping experience for your customers.

This feature’s importance to your online shop cannot be overemphasized. Did you know that there are over 5.1 billion mobile users out there? Over 49% of online users use mobile devices, and most of this them use handheld gadgets for shopping.

Volusion, therefore, offers mobile-optimized templates and checkout modules. It also has very useful ecommerce features such as coupons, affiliates, reward programs, and advanced shipping. The platform encourages social media selling too.

Pros

  • Self-sufficient web builder program

  • Affordable

  • Mobile use optimized

  • No transaction fees

Cons

  • No blogging functionality

PrestaShop

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PrestaShop is cloud-hosted and open-source. It has been building ecommerce sites since 2007. You can download PrestaShop and upload it to your hosted website account, or purchase PrestaShop Ready, its paid version.

While PrestaShop’s learning curve is not as steep as Magento’s, you will need some level of web development know-how to utilize PrestaShop’s features to their fullest.

So, while open-source and free PrestaShop is very attractive, the costs accrued in developing its website and purchasing extra modules might be more than those required to pay for PrestaShop Ready.

You also have to factor in other costs such as SSL certificate and hosting. The platform’s free version, however, integrates well with a large number of payment gateways, ERP, warehousing, courier, and accounting software.

PrestaShop has an easy to use dashboard and provides an onboarding video. The platform provides over 1500 customizable templates for maximum creative freedom.

You will need a little HTML, CSS, and JavaScript knowledge, however, to bring out the best in the templates and the system’s modules.

However, you can make unlimited product inventories on PrestaShop. To improve on your SEO, use the program’s SEO section well and its Google Rich Snippets feature too. PrestaShop integrates with over 250 payment processors, so your customers will be spoilt for choice.

Pros

  • Strong SEO

  • Hosted or self-hosted options

  • Large helpful online community

Cons

  • Not easy for beginners

  • Need for lots of addons

3dcart

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There are many good features on 3dcart. It, for instance, has no transaction fees, and it provides unlimited storage. The platform also supports multi-channel sales and has a POS as well.

3dcart is an old platform, launched in 2001. It has not been as successful as Shopify or Bigcommerce, but it still serves over 22,000 ecommerce stores.

The thing is, 3dcart is not for novices. While anyone really can build a shop on Shopify, 3dcart is a little complicated. Its dashboard can be a tad intimidating for beginners.

It actually is not very attractive if you compare it to newer web builders. Fortunately, there is a good onboarding video to help you out. The platform, however, is a hosted web builder. You, therefore, will not need to worry about hosting services.

3dcart is very scalable for growing businesses and has great features too. It has a 100+ website building templates and free technical support. You can also sell digital products on it, and it is SEO and marketing-friendly, too.

Pros

  • Good blog feature

  • Great integrations

Cons

  • Dated templates

  • Clunky visual editor

  • Not for beginners

Frequently Asked Questions: FAQs

What are the tools of e commerce?

There are several tools you’ll want to invest in for ecommerce. Some of the more popular storefront tools include Shopify, Woocommerce, Magneto. If you are looking for a landing page builder, you can try Shogun or Pagefly. If you need analytics, Google Analytics is always great, but that’s just a start.

Which e commerce platform is the best choice for your online store?

There are a lot of factors in choosing an online store platform, but the most popular ones are Shopify, BigCommerce, Woocommerce (a word press plugin) to start. It really depends on what you are looking for, but you can start with these articles:
Shopify vs Nopcommerce
2 of the Best Shopify Alternatives for Your Online Store (We’ve Narrowed it Down for You!)

Which is the best software for ecommerce?

There are many software tools that work really well for ecommerce, among them landing page builders such as Shogun or Pagefly. Volusion is great for analytics and BigCommerce seems to be a safe, reliable choice as well.

Which is the best free ecommerce platform?

When it comes to ecommerce platforms, you really do get what you pay for, however, Shopify, BigCommerce, Volusion all offer free trials so you can take them out for a test drive before you commit.

Conclusion

Budget, skill, and business models have a big influence on the type of ecommerce tools needed for online business. Consider these factors before making a tool or app selection for your business.

Choose products that will not only grow your business but also those that will scale with it, too.

Did we leave out any of your favorite ecommerce tools? If so, we would love to hear from you.

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