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Selling Online: Comparing the Top Ecommerce Platforms Available

“Business competition is moving from physical to a virtual platform. As a 21st century entrepreneur, selling online is not an exception.”


Ecommerce Platforms

Business competition is moving from physical to a virtual platform. As a 21st century entrepreneur, selling online is not an exception. If you want to have the upper hand over your opponents, setting up an online store is one of the effective strategies. However, the need for a business to go online has inspired an evolvement of a vast number of e-commerce platforms.

With these massive e-commerce platforms, it can be a hard task to choose a platform that suits your needs, features and business goals. This article provides you with a comparative analysis of the four top e-commerce platforms available. Namely: Shopify, BigCommerce, Big Cartel, and Magneto.


Doubtlessly, Shopify is the leading online selling platform to date. Shopify came into existence in 2006. In particular, Shopify is cloud-based software that enables small and medium enterprises to combine multiple sales channels such as social media, mobile apps, and website among others. As at May 2017, Shopify has more than 400,000 subscribers. The number is still growing each day.

With these facts, you may like to know about the drives that are attracting subscribers to Shopify. Firstly, the platform offers more than 1000 theme templates that you can use for your online store. Also, Shopify offers you more than 1500 apps and plugins that you can use to enhance the functionalities of your store. Essentially, it has 24/7 support through live chat and tutorials.

As well, you can combine your store with Facebook and other social media accounts and sell directly.  As such, it is you can use Shopify even without a website. However, the setback of Shopify is that it charges transaction fees for payment through other methods over the usual fees through Shopify payment. Also, it is expensive compared to other platforms as most of its features and plugins are not free.


Another leading online selling platform is BigCommerce. BigCommerce started in 2009 and currently supports more than 55000 online stores. The platform is designed for all sizes of business and suitable for people without technical knowledge.

In this regard, BigCommerce has several merits offer the other. First, you are not charged any transaction fee on your sales. Also, unlike Shopify, you can choose between paid or free themes which are customizable and responsive. Furthermore, BigCommerce offers a high mobile experience, and it is easier to integrate it with social and comparison platforms. On the downside, BigCommerce is that it offers limited free features and particularly the themes.

Big Cartel

Big Cartel is an e-commerce platform designed for artists willing to sell their products online. Also, the platform stands out as the simplest to set up and easiest to manage compared with other. Accordingly, you can use sound themes.

Also, it is easier to customize your store using various web programming languages such as CSS, HTML, and JavaScript. However, the shortcoming of BigCommerce is limited functionalities due to its focus on a particular segment and the simplicity aspect.


Magneto is an e-commerce majorly designed for enterprise level online businesses. The site enjoys controlling about 25% of the entire online store platform providers market. In this regard, some of the benefits you can earn through using Magneto to setup your online store are but not limited to: ease of use and management, free social media extensions, extensive resources to enhance your online store growth and profitability.

Nevertheless, the platform has several shortcomings such as the high price of its premium package as well as the limited feature on the basic package which requires you to spend extra costs to customize your store through the open sources available.