E-Commerce

Analysis of top eCommerce
Platforms - Comparison & Definitive List

This list of top eCommerce platforms is crafted to give a short insight into the most eCommerce platforms, their core strengths and weaknesses. From start-ups to enterprise level stores, the list has an option for all.

Introduction

The decision of the platform is more than just important. By choosing the right eCommerce platform you will start a journey to less stress and more sales. You know it already - the wrong platform will cost you, not only money but your nerves and time too.

Before making the choice, there are few things to ask yourself. Firstly, who are you? A startup or an enterprise-level entity? How much money are you ready to invest? And most importantly, do you have any experience and understanding of how eCommerce works? There is a great number of eCommerce platforms you could land your online store on. If the platform works for enterprise-level, obviously that it is going to work for a startup too, but is it a smart decision? Do you need all that functionality?

Here are a few of the most common eCommerce platforms. Below you will find the most essential info on them, strengths, weaknesses, pricing and few examples of retailers.

  1. Magento Open Source
  2. Magento Commerce
  3. Adobe Commerce Cloud
  4. Shopify
  5. Shopify Plus
  6. Salesforce Commerce Cloud
  7. Shopware
  8. SAP Hybris
  9. Oracle Commerce Cloud
  10. BigCommerce
  11. Cloudcraze
  12. Sylius
  13. Workarea Commerce
  14. BluCommerce
  15. OroCommerce
  16. Spryker
  17. WooCommerce
  18. NetSuite

eCommerce Platforms

Magento Open Source

Introduction to Magento Open Source

Magento Open Source is a free version of Magento that can be downloaded, customized, and self-hosted, meaning that you are able to extend and configure the eCommerce store as you wish. There is a wide range of extensions and themes available for Magento Open Source.

One of the strongest advantages Magento can offer you is freedom, you can customize nearly everything and add unlimited products, categories, users, etc. Although, Magento Open Source quite often is being associated with small and midsize businesses it has a wide range of enterprise clients too. That can be explained due to the fact that Magento Open Source is more lightweight and offers newer licensing structures. If an online merchant is capable of finding a professional Magento team, he can easily compete with other enterprise eCommerce stores.

Magento Open Source requires different kinds of updates, integrations, and development. Since it is an open-source, whenever a Magento releases a new patch or security update, you will have to install it manually. Installing something manually is not as easy as it seems, so you will need to reach out to a professional Magento Agency.

In terms of going with Magento Open Source for a startup. If you have some experience or understanding of how eCommerce works in general, it could be a good decision. As well as for enterprise levels, it is very beneficial for startups that you can customize the open-source how you want. Worth mentioning is the fact that Magento is very SEO friendly since search engine ranking is a very topical question for a new business - it is considered as a major advantage.

Magento Open Source is the best option for a mid-level B2C (business to customer) or B2B (business to business) entity. However, as we discussed previously - it works pretty well for enterprise-level and startup organizations too.

What makes the Magento really stand out is the supportive community all around the globe. The study says, there are more than 300,000 Magento enthusiasts and developers. The community has multiple channels of communication and loves to come together during multiple events, such as Meet Magento. The main aim of the community is to build extensions and enhance the Magento platform itself. The Magento is so loved between the developers because of its flexibility, which again is thanks to it being open-source.

Pricing / costing structure:

Free

Target market:

Mid-level B2C and B2B

Examples of retailers:

Madara Cosmetics, Armed Angels, Civant, Lulusar

Strengths

Strong core functionality, a wide range of different kinds of extensions and themes. Supportive community.

Weaknesses:

Requires high maintenance to manage all the necessary updates patches and security.

Website:

https://magento.com

Magento Commerce (Cloud & On-Premise)

Introduction to Magento Commerce

Formerly known as Magento Enterprise and Magento Enterprise Cloud, Magento Commerce is a premium version of Magento Open Source and offers cloud-hosting as part of the subscription fee. As a premium version of Magento Open Source, it is not hard to guess that Magento Commerce offers its users more advanced functionality and is aimed at businesses that require premium level support.

Although Magento Commerce might seem kind of pricey it is totally worth it. This version of Magento keeps the magic of freedom and flexibility of an open-source while keeping it secure and up-to-date. To keep it up-to-date, Magento constantly releases new patches in order to boost up security and functionality. The new releases typically come out every quarter, the development team pulls those releases and upgrades the core system of your Magento.

Starting with advanced hosting services and an enormous administrative suite, Magento Commerce embraces the benefits of a premium level eCommerce platform.

The upgraded functionality includes advanced marketing features with customer segmentation, abandoned cart emails, reward points, private sales and many more. All those marketing features, but how to use them? Again, by reaching out to a professional Magento agency a merchant will be able to leave competition miles behind and use everything that Magento Commerce offers.

As a Magento Commerce user, you can also make a decision between on-premise deployment and a cloud-hosted solution. Although the last option, obviously, makes the prices go up, you will have a cloud-hosted environment, which allows you to enjoy the benefits of SaaS eCommerce solutions. Additionally, there are several releases that are available for Cloud edition only, such as, multi-origin shipping and page builder.

Pricing / costing structure:

Starting from $24,000 per year

Target market:

Mid-level & Enterprise, B2B & B2C

Examples of retailers:

Missguided, Paul Smith, Helly Hansen, Kurt Geiger

Strengths

Has more built-in features if compared to Magento Open Source, including B2B Functionality, Advanced Marketing and Customer Loyalty Tools. It is easy to deploy and provides enhanced security.

Weaknesses:

High ownership cost, requires high maintenance.

Website:

https://magento.com

Adobe Commerce Cloud

Introduction to Adobe Commerce Cloud

Adobe Commerce Cloud at its core is a fully managed cloud-based version of the Magento platform. It is fully integrated with the rest of Adobe’s tools, including Analytics Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and Advertising Cloud. Built on Magento Commerce Pro, Adobe Commerce Cloud is integrated with Adobe Experience Manager.

Essentially, it is built for enterprise-level players, it aims to make every moment personal and every experience shoppable to drive greater revenue. New features, for instance, integration with Amazon marketplace which allow the user to directly manage it within the Commerce Cloud interface and dashboards to keep an eye on the strategic parts of the company’s eCommerce visions.

As the Adobe Commerce Cloud is directly related to Magento, all of the usual Magento extensions will work on Adobe Commerce Cloud too. As there are more than 300,000 developers in the Magento community, it is a major advantage.

Pricing / costing structure:

Enterprise level, not disclosed

Target market:

Enterprise, B2B & B2C

Examples of retailers:

Zadig & Voltaire, JCB, HP

Strengths

Wide functionality, Magento extensions can be used.

Weaknesses:

High ownership cost

Website:

https://www.adobe.io/apis/experiencecloud/commerce-integration-framework.html

Shopify

Introduction to Shopify

Shopify, perhaps, is one of the most well-known names when it comes to eCommerce platforms. It is the most popular eCommerce platform worldwide. As one of the main advantages, Shopify embraces the simplicity of usage. Shopify makes it easy to establish a store without a developer being involved as they have a massive pool of free and paid extensions in the Shopify App store. However, if you will be in a need of a personalized customization, you’ll have to reach out to an expert.

When it comes to storefront, Shopify offers you a variety of free themes. The variety of free themes is not as wide as you would expect, meaning that you’ll most likely end up buying one of the paid themes. Another feature Shopify has is that you can modify pages such as shopping cart quite easily via the admin panel and add necessary sales texts and banners. Same as with the themes, Shopify has many shipping and payment gateways built in that are very easy to configure and enable.

Shopify is an excellent choice for someone who is not very tech-savvy. However, if you are looking for more functionality or customization you might consider going with Magento as your eCommerce platform.

Pricing / costing structure:

Starting with $29 monthly (and 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction)

Target market:

Entry & Mid-level, B2B & B2C

Examples of retailers:

Happiness Abscissa, Press London, Maiden Home

Strengths

Easy to manage, no need for tech knowledge to manage

Weaknesses:

Very limited functionality, cannot fully customize links, poor inventory management, no good solutions for multiple store management with different languages and currencies

Website:

https://www.shopify.com

Shopify Plus

Introduction to Shopify Plus

Shopify Plus is an award-winning eCommerce platform for high-growth volume merchants which leads to offering its users unlimited scalability, reliability, and flexibility. The key functionalities Shopify Plus offers, additionally to the basics are greater automation capabilities, improved multichannel and omnichannel functions, speed and ability to reliably handle really huge amounts of traffic and sales.

One of the strongest Shopify Plus’ benefits is its strong architecture. It is built to reduce operational and maintenance overheads as much as possible, and it has always been a big frustration for other eCommerce platforms. However, the lack of multi-store architecture clearly is a huge disadvantage of Shopify plus.

Pricing / costing structure:

Starting from $ 2,000 per month

Target market:

Mid-level B2C

Examples of retailers:

Fashion Nova, Gymshark, NY Times

Strengths

Low cost of ownership, wide functionality, hosted solutions without no need for in-house hardware or technical employees

Weaknesses:

Lack of multi-store architecture, lack of control over SEO

Website:

https://www.shopify.com/plus

Salesforce Commerce Cloud / Demandware

Introduction to Salesforce Commerce Cloud

Salesforce Commerce Cloud previously known as Demandware is a SaaS-based platform that is based on the cloud. The offer comes with personalized eCommerce with AI without the necessity for a data specialist and tools for responsive design and one-touch payment to ensure the conversion of more mobile shoppers. Additionally, a new page designer solution, meaning that the merchant has more control over templates and content.

Salesforce Commerce Cloud is a highly scalable platform and is seen as a leader when it comes to SaaS-based eCommerce. The internal teams handle overheads around hosting its technology and managing the associated services. Such a set-up is very beneficial for merchants who do not want to handle server maintenance and software updates.

Pricing / costing structure:

GMV

Target market:

Enterprise B2C

Examples of retailers:

Puma, UGG, Acne Studios, GAP

Strengths

Strong omni-channel features, SaaS based, built-in a/b testing capabilities

Weaknesses:

High cost of ownership, does not allow certain types of integrations

Website:

https://www.salesforce.com/products/commerce-cloud/overview/

Shopware

Introduction to Shopware

Shopware eCommerce software been around for almost 20 years already. It is officially born in Germany and has a vast client base in the UK. Players like L’Oréal and Euronics have chosen Shopware already.

As an open-source platform, Shopware is suitable for a business in all its development stages. However, understanding of eCommerce and development is needed, when deciding to go with an open-source platform. One of the key features is advanced content management, it allows the user to create highly flexible content pages without any technical support.

If compared to Magento, which is also open-source, there are not so many experts around that could help you with all the eCommerce needs that your online store will require. Since Shopware is full-on German company with local interests first, the community is mostly German speaking and it can get challenging for developers to sort out known core issues.

Pricing / costing structure:

Free & Paid

Target market:

Mid-level & Enterprise, B2B & B2C

Examples of retailers:

Euronics, L'oreal, Kiehls

Strengths

Open-source, wide functionality, wide range of existing integrations

Weaknesses:

Doesn’t offer cloud, limited expertise, high on-going cost of ownership

Website:

https://www.shopware.com/

SAP Hybris

Introduction to SAP Hybris

SAP Hybris position themselves as an omnichannel commerce solution which helps customer engagement. The platform is proud of many features that are easy to use for people who are the most tech-savvy ones.

Names like Samsung, Oakley, and Vodafone have chosen SAP Hybris as their eCommerce platform. As you can judge from the names already, SAP Hybris is focused on enterprise-level organizations, however, it would be a great fit for a mid-level store too.

One of the main weaknesses of the platform is the lack of support. The platform itself does not offer as much support as other eCommerce platforms.

Pricing / costing structure:

Quote-based pricing

Target market:

Enterprise B2C & B2B

Examples of retailers:

The Body Shop, Nestle, Oakley

Strengths

Omni-channel B2B & B2C, flexible with customisation options

Weaknesses:

High ownership cost, lack of support

Website:

https://www.sap.com

Oracle Commerce Cloud

Introduction to Oracle Commerce Cloud

The key strength of Oracle Commerce Cloud is the ease of use. Same as many other eCommerce platforms out there, it is very friendly to non-tech-savvy business owners, making eCommerce available for everyone. The dashboard is easily customizable and design requires limited requirements in the back end.

Pricing / costing structure:

Different pricing modules

Target market:

Mid-level & Enterprise, B2B & B2C

Examples of retailers:

Moleskine, Laura Ashley, Corello

Strengths

Easy to use, built in A/B testing capabilities

Weaknesses:

High ownership cost, only few native integrations

Website:

https://www.oracle.com/applications/customer-experience/ecommerce/

BigCommerce

Introduction to BigCommerce

With its main focus on large and fast growing businesses, BigCommerce is one of the top eCommerce platforms. It has gained fame by providing more built-in sales tools than any competitor. It allows you to sell physical, digital and service-based products via your online store.

However, it is not that easy to use, that might be a problem if you are not very tech-savvy. Users say that one of the main reasons of their struggle is the split editor - you change your products in one area and the storefront in an another.

Pricing / costing structure:

Starting from USD 500

Target market:

Mid-level B2C

Examples of retailers:

Kodak, Ben & Jerry's, Skullcandy

Strengths

B2B features, wide range of built-in sales tools

Weaknesses:

Might be hard to use for not tech-savvy

Website:

https://www.bigcommerce.com/

Cloudcraze

Introduction to Cloudcraze

Cloudcraze is natively built on Salesforce and is a solution for enterprise-level organizations that have already deployed a Salesforce system. The platform makes it easy to launch mobile storefront, access the existing sales, and generate smart reports based on combined results.

Pricing / costing structure:

Tiered pricing

Target market:

Enterprise B2B

Examples of retailers:

Sage, Hallmark, Coca-Cola

Strengths

Great native functionality, good for agile development.

Weaknesses:

Reporting is complex. Integrations with third-party systems weakly developed.

Website:

https://www.salesforce.com/products/commerce-cloud/overview/

Sylius

Introduction to Sylius

Sylius is an excellent choice for medium level, simple online shops. Since it is an open-source platform, it can be customized and easily adjusted to the requirements of the online store. The platform provides built-in APIs, so you can smoothly develop native mobile applications and PWA - making it possible to sell on any device.

Pricing / costing structure:

Free

Target market:

Mid-level B2C

Examples of retailers:

HBX, Reiss, NordBlanc

Strengths

Open source, integrates with your existing tech stack

Weaknesses:

Since it is not that popular, there are not so many ready integration

Website:

https://sylius.com/

Workarea Commerce

Introduction to Workarea Commerce

Workarea offers users flexibility, scalability and amazing content management. Built on a modern tech stack, Workarea platforms unite commerce, content, and insights. The platform itself is easy to use, great for not the most tech-savvy users.

However, Workarea is not the most popular platform out there, meaning it has a low market presence, which means a lack of native integrations and a lack of experts out there.

Pricing / costing structure:

Subscription based

Target market:

Mid-level & Enterprise, B2B & B2C

Examples of retailers:

Lonely Planet, Reformation, Sanrio

Strengths

Content management, easy to use

Weaknesses:

Low market presence

Website:

https://www.workarea.com/

BluCommerce By BlueBolt

Introduction to BluCommerce

BluCommerce is a platform created by an eCommerce agency based in the UK. The platform is quite young but dynamically growing. It serves strong features around search, customer management, and merchandising. Hosted via AWS and based on PHP, it is a great choice mid-level businesses.

Pricing / costing structure:

Based on the build complexity and volume

Target market:

Mid-level B2C & B2B

Examples of retailers:

Wild & Wolf, Seasalt, Hush

Strengths

Strong native feature-set

Weaknesses:

Proprietary system downsides

Website:

https://www.blubolt.com/

OroCommerce

Introduction to OroCommerce

OroCommerce is an enterprise-level platform that is focused mostly on B2B businesses. It offers a comprehensive set of features that will suit any B2B commerce module. The platform is open-source, which makes it flexible and to be customized to fit any other business module apart from B2B. OroCommerce is SaaS/cloud as well as an on-premise setup.

Pricing / costing structure:

Starts at $35000.00 per year

Target market:

Enterprise level B2B

Examples of retailers:

Shell, Animal Supply, Samuel Hubbard

Strengths

Flexible, built-in CRM, open source

Weaknesses:

Takes time to learn how to use it properly

Website:

https://oroinc.com/

Spryker

Introduction to Spryker

Spryker is a new platform to solve complex business requirements. They often speak of themselves as a developer-focused framework that includes many innovative solutions. It is flexible, fast, and personalized - the architecture of the platform allows the users to receive a unique experience based on their needs without any significant speed penalty.

Pricing / costing structure:

Based on developer seats, licensing costs around $2.000 developer per month

Target market:

Mid-level & Enterprise, B2B & B2C

Examples of retailers:

Tom Tailor, Hilti, Lekkerland

Strengths

Omnichannel, innovative and fast

Weaknesses:

Mainly focuses on huge enterprise platforms, not very well-known outside Germany

Website:

https://spryker.com/

Wordpress with WooCommerce plugin

Introduction to WooCommerce

WooCommerce is an open-source solution that is built on WordPress. You can turn any new or existing Wordpress site into an online store by simply activating the plugin. Since WooCommerce is open-source, it can be customized and extended. There are plenty of free and paid extensions to enhance your store with.

Pricing / costing structure:

Free

Target market:

B2B & B2C

Examples of retailers:

Matchanna, Little Giants, Sodashi

Strengths

Large community, optimal security, open source

Weaknesses:

Most of the extensions are paid, the extensions might make your page slow

Website:

https://woocommerce.com

NetSuite commerce

Introduction to NetSuite

Created by Oracle, NetSuite is a cloud-based ERP software with the main focus on scaling fast-growing businesses. The platform comprises seven inter-related modules, all of the modules draws data from a shared database, such as, financial management, order management, production management and supply chain management.

Pricing / costing structure:

Base license starts at $ 999 per month and user access $ 99 per user monthly

Target market:

Mid-level B2C & B2B

Examples of retailers:

The Boston Globe, Lucky Brand, MUD

Strengths

Smoothly integrates with other NetSuite solutions, wide range of native features for omni-channel selling

Weaknesses:

Limited external support, dependent on NetSuite ERP

Website:

https://www.netsuite.com

Last updated: 17 January 2020

Which eCommerce platform to choose?

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