Are you looking for the perfect online store platform to launch your new business venture?
If so, this comprehensive guide has you covered. In fact, I’m going to introduce you to ten of the very best online store platforms that you can use to sell your products and services online in 2021.
Whether you’re an independent seller, a small business, or even a multi-national company, finding the right online store provider requires a little bit of research.
The good news for you is that we’ve done the research on your behalf.
The ten platforms we introduce here all have unique features and are suitable for different business needs. We’ve rounded things off with our final review and recommendations.
So, without further ado, here are the ten best online store platforms in 2021.
#1 – Wix
It wouldn’t be an understatement to say that Wix has transformed the world of web design.
Thanks to the 70+ free templates you can choose from, it is one of the easiest ecommerce platforms on which to build your online store.
Plus, you don’t need to know anything about coding to get started, either.
You can simply create an account and browse through the available templates.
Once you’ve selected one that suits your brand, you can begin to tailor it to fit the specifications of your online store. Adding products and managing your inventory is super simple.
And Wix also makes it super simple for you to capture leads, build your audience through email marketing, and link your products to social media.
Optimizing your Wix store to accept payments is hassle-free, too.
Wix has their own payment provider, but you can also accept all major credit and debit card payments, and clients have the option of paying via PayPal as well.
If you’re looking for an online store that is remarkably easy to build and requires little-to-no knowledge of coding and SEO, Wix is an excellent place to begin.
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#2 – Weebly
Weebly is targeted at small and medium enterprises that want to get up and running quickly.
As such, it’s another ideal option for people looking to launch their online store without investing a great deal of time and effort into web design.
One thing that attracts many sellers to Weebly is that the ecommerce option is in-built into all Weebly packages. This means you can build an online store totally for free, which is a huge draw for many.
That said, if you want to ditch the annoying ads and use your own domain, you will have to pay to upgrade.
However, if you want to test the water before committing to a paid plan, Weebly is the ideal place to get started.
With its range of clean, crisp templates to choose from and an intuitive editing suite that’s designed for beginners, Weebly is one of the best ecommerce platform for new online sellers.
#3 – Etsy
Etsy is a beautiful concept. It’s a marketplace that is home to millions of independent sellers, particularly artists and makers who showcase their stunning, unique products.
For this reason, it’s somewhat of a niche platform.
But if you’re into selling crafts and unique handmade items, Etsy provides an almost unmatched opportunity to get your products in front of customers who are actively seeking to buy them.
As a seller on Etsy, you can choose to sell on the marketplace or with your own website, created by their Pattern website builder tool.
While you don’t get a great deal of creative control over your Etsy store, you benefit from the user-friendly dashboard and straightforward transaction process offered to all sellers.
This makes it extremely easy for independent sellers to monitor the performance of their store and track all customer orders.
If you’re an independent artisan seller, Etsy is the ideal platform to get your products out into the world.
#4 – WooCommerce (For WordPress Lovers)
If you’re already up and running with a WordPress blog and you want to add an online store, then WooCommerce is by far the best option available to you.
It’s actually a WordPress plugin, which enables you to monetize your blog by selling products/services and adding other paid features to your site.
If you decide to sell your products via WooCommerce, we recommend hosting your website through Bluehost.
Not only is there hosting one of the few recommended hosting providers by WordPress, but their customer service is unbelievable. Seriously, whenever you run into an issue, you can just hop on the phone and talk to their customer support.
Trust me, that kind of hosting support is worth its weight in gold.
#5 – SquareSpace
SquareSpace is yet another option for people with little or no coding experience to set up a compelling online store.
The templates offered on SquareSpace are stunning, and as an all-in-one platform, it’s one of the best ecommerce solutions on the market.
As you will notice when you begin looking through the available templates, SquareSpace is well renowned for its exceptional, award-winning designs.
Like many of the other platforms introduced here, SquareSpace takes care of customer payments and allows you to track your orders from a mobile app.
Whether you’re selling subscriptions, digital content, or products and services, you can easily compartmentalize your site to ensure it’s easy for your customers to navigate.
Business owners can also integrate their SquareSpace store with accounting software like Xero, making it easy to comply with tax regulations and keep up to date with paperwork.
Similarly to Wix, SquareSpace is ideal if you’re looking for a stylish, high-performing site that requires little knowledge of coding and SEO.
#6. Square Online
In 2018, Square bought Weebly, one of the ecommerce platforms that we’ve already introduced. In spite of this, they’ve decided to maintain their own ecommerce site, as well as powering Weebly stores.
One of the fundamental differences between Weebly and Square is that they’re tailored to slightly different users.
While Weebly is ideal for small and medium retailers, Square’s platform is more suited to those with an ecommerce business that is already underway.
The main reason for this is due to the excellent inventory management tools that are a feature of Square’s backend.
Whether you have a brick-and-mortar store, or an existing ecommerce business, you can expertly manage your inventory on Square from a centralized dashboard.
So, a great option for established sellers looking for more functionality, Square is the big brother to Weebly that provides peace of mind when managing your extensive inventory.
#7 – Shopify
Shopify is undeniably one of the biggest ecommerce platforms in the world. Whether you’re an independent coffee shop or an online comic book store, you can find a template to edit and build a beautiful online shop.
As a retailer, you don’t have to worry about hosting your Shopify store, as they take care of everything to do with hosting, software updates, and payment processing.
In fact, one of the reasons Shopify is so popular with independents is because of the efficiency and security of their online payments.
The back end of Shopify is also super impressive. It boasts a comprehensive CMS, enabling you to track all of your orders, manage email marketing, and link to your social media platforms to launch special offers.
While you will benefit from building your Shopify store on a desktop, you can manage your store directly from your smartphone on the Shopify app for both Android and iOS.
Our verdict? An excellent choice for independent retailers who are looking for a professional, fully-hosted online store.
#8 – BigCommerce
BigCommerce is known for being one of the leading cloud ecommerce platforms on the market today.
It is popular with large and fast-growing businesses, which makes it somewhat unique when compared to the other platforms introduced in this article.
It has more in-built sales tools than any of its competitors and provides advanced SEO and multi-channel integration.
This is perfect for retailers that sell across multiple marketplaces and social media, as it centralizes your offer.
You should bear in mind that BigCommerce is not the most user-friendly platform for beginners, and it requires some patience and experience with web design to get the most out of it.
If you’re looking to propel your ecommerce business to the next level, you might want to work with an experienced web developer to help you take your BigCommerce store online.
#9 – Volusion
A member of the old school, Volusion has been around for nearly twenty years.
It’s a one-stop shop for anyone hoping to build a successful ecommerce platform, and its intuitive functionality has been popular with web developers for many years.
With a catalogue of stunningly crafted themes that are fully customizable, you can play around with the rich custom editor and ensure your site perfectly reflects your brand.
All of the themes present eye-catching product pages that seamlessly integrate with a variety of payment options.
One notable benefit of going with a Volusion store is your ability to take control of the powerful SEO tools within the site.
As such, if you’re hoping to scale your online business and attract new customers through organic searches, building your site on Volusion gives you an edge.
#10 – GoDaddy
We’ve saved the easiest for last!
GoDaddy is (arguably) the simplest online store platform that we’ve come across.
When you visit their site, answer a few questions about your store and watch your online platform appear in front of your eyes. It’s like magic!
While it’s undeniably speedy, this comes at a cost.
It’s not as customizable as some of its competitors, and you’re limited to a select number of website templates.
As such, GoDaddy isn’t the best option for the creatives amongst us who want to really impress their clients with a personal, artistic touch.
In spite of its limitations, GoDaddy has an awesome backend, and its marketing tools are industry-leading. It’s a great platform if you’re hoping to build your customer base from email campaigns and direct marketing.
To our knowledge, you simply won’t find a quicker and simpler ecommerce solution on the market.
If you aren’t so fussy about the aesthetics and customization of your site, you can get started with GoDaddy and launch your site within a matter of minutes.
It really is that straightforward!
There has never been a better time to get into ecommerce.
Thanks to the efficiency of shipping companies, the ease at which payments are processed, and the incredible resources at your disposal, you can build a stunning online store with relative ease.
As you can see from this review, there are so many platforms available to you. One of the biggest challenges you face is deciding which to go for. So, if you’re still a little stuck on which option you should choose, here’s our final review:
- For small businesses: Wix or Weebly
- For WordPress Lovers: WooCommerce
- For independent sellers: Etsy
- For ease: GoDaddy
- For medium businesses: Shopify
- For large businesses: BigCommerce
Whichever platform you opt for, be sure to get creative and add your personal touch to your online store.
The world is ready and waiting for your brand to succeed!
So, get started now and launch your dream ecommerce business today!