Best Ecommerce Platform: Volusion vs Shopify vs BigCommerce vs Big Cartel vs PrestaShop vs 3dcart vs Godaddy vs Shopping Cart Elite & More!

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Ready to dive into your online store, but lost in the sea of ecommerce platforms available? Selling online has never been easier, but with endless options, it’s hard to know which one will best grow your business on the web. You want a platform that’s easy to set up and operate, a seamless shopping experience for your customers and, of course, a platform that’s financially safe and secure for everyone involved.

What is the Best Ecommerce Platform?

Unlike in years past when your feature options were limited, you might be amazed at what you can do with an online store today. Most of the best ecommerce websites deliver built-in marketing, SEO, shipping integration, social media selling, sales reports and a host of other tools to enhance your ability to manage your online store and engage with customers. Read our reviews of the leading ecommerce platforms, including available features, pros and cons and pricing to help narrow down your choices.

Shopify Review

#1

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Simple, sleek and seamless, Shopify wins our first place spot for best ecommerce platform for small business. Shopify has been in business for nearly a decade and has blazed over much of its competition. They operate in more than 150 countries and boast $8 billion in sales through their platform. Shopify’s value is unmatched, with attractive pricing and sophisticated features. Shopify offers more than 100 beautifully designed mobile-friendly templates, unlimited bandwidth and tech support customers rave about. Perhaps the most impressive feature is the ability to customize the templates easily. The amount of detail you can tweak and alter is second to none, which is why it’s among the best ecommerce sites for small business.

Key Features

  • All 100+ template themes fully (and easily) customizable; 20+ free templates
  • Use your own domain name or purchase a new one for $9, lower price than most
  • Full featured content management system
  • Built-in blog and article section
  • Integrates with all major U.S. shipping carriers, including UPS, USPS and FedEx
  • High 256-bit encryption level (bank level security)
  • New and improved Fraud Detection and partial returns
  • Automatic inventory updates
  • Built-in analytics and reporting; Google Analytics integration
  • Mobile apps for Android and iPhone to manage your store on the go

Pros

Cons

  • Very competitive pricing
  • Set-up and add products easier than most platforms
  • Unlimited bandwidth and storage with every plan
  • Unlimited number of products with all plans (except Lite version)
  • Top quality design themes – the best we’ve seen
  • 900+ integrations, including Google Analytics and Quickbooks
  • Excellent 24/7 customer support via phone, email and live chat
  • Built-in POS (point of sale) system
  • Free shared SSL certificate at 256-bit encryption (for securing your customer’s data)
  • Transaction fees if you don’t use Shopify Payments
  • Many features through add-ons only (some free, some not)

Pricing & Tech Specs

All plans include unlimited bandwidth, 24/7 customer support and no transaction fees if you use Shopify Payments. You can save 10% with their annual plan and 20% with a biennial plan. Shopify offers a fully functional free trial for 14 days, no credit card required, so you can see if they’re the solution for your online store.

 LiteBasicProfessionalUnlimitedPlus
Price Per Month$9$29$79$299Contact Customer Service for a Quote
Number of Products25UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Staff Accounts12515Unlimited

Coupon Code

There are no Shopify coupons available.

Read our In-Depth Shopify Review | Read our In-Depth Shopify Plus Review

How Do You Drive People to Your Online Store?

So, you’ve launched your online store. Congratulations! The next step is to get potential customers to notice you. Check out Shopify’s video to get tips on how to generate traffic to your new online store.

Bigcommerce Review

#2

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Bigcommerce, our number two choice for best ecommerce platform, has gained a lot of traction in these last few years. Bigcommerce gives Shopify a run for its money, offering unlimited products, storage and bandwidth, 24/7 customer service and straightforward set-up and administrative tools. They also offer a wealth of conversion tools like product reviews, wish lists and more. But where Bigcommerce falls short compared to our top pick is in its versatility with template customization and shipping features. Still, Big Commerce is one of the best out there for small and large businesses alike.

Key Features

  • Unlimited products, storage and bandwidth with every pricing level
  • Single-page checkout
  • WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) and full HTML editors
  • Sell on eBay, Facebook, Pricegrabber and Shopzilla
  • 150+ integrations, including Google Analytics, Quickbooks and MailChimp
  • Mobile apps for Android and iPhone
  • High 256-bit encryption level (bank level security)

Pros

Cons

  • Easy to set up and manage
  • Unlimited bandwidth, storage and number of products with every plan
  • 100+ templates (60 responsive themes)
  • 150+ integrations, including Google Analytics and Quickbooks
  • 24/7 customer support
  • High 256-bit SSL encryption level (free shared SSL)
  • Pricing can be confusing; sales per year caps on most pricing tiers
  • Transaction fees are high compared to most
  • Only 15 free templates
  • No built-in POS system

Pricing & Tech Specs

All plans include unlimited products, storage and bandwidth. And you get 10% off the following monthly pricing if you pay annually. Try them out with their 15-day free trial – you get to test out the full functionality of their platform.

 StandardPlusProEnterprise
Price Per Month$29.95$79.95$199.95Contact BigCommerce
Sales Per YearUp to $50kUp to $125kUp to $1 millionUnlimited

Coupon Code

There are no BigCommerce coupons available.

3dcart Review

#3

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3dcart is our 3rd choice for best ecommerce platform. It has one of the most feature-rich platforms we’ve seen for a relatively low price. Founded in 1997, 3dcart is one of the oldest ecommerce platforms on the market, but it’s kept up with the times. While they do have product and bandwidth limits, 3dcart includes unlimited storage capabilities in all of their pricing plans. Perhaps not the best choice for ecommerce beginners – once you get past their set-up wizard, their multiple features can be overwhelming to navigate. But their price points are among the best for what you get. 3dcart continues to evolve, coming close to taking our number two spot this year for best shopping cart. Learn more about 3dcart in our interview with CEO Gonzalo Gil.

Key Features

  • Unlimited storage with every pricing plan
  • No transaction fees
  • Free advertising credits for Amazon, Yahoo and Bing
  • Free domain registration
  • Free 128-bit SSL encryption level (industry standard)
  • 24/7 tech support
  • Facebook store and mobile storefront capabilities

Pros

Cons

  • Very competitive pricing
  • Good set-up wizard
  • No transaction fees
  • Unlimited storage with every plan
  • 60+ free templates (all mobile-ready); all templates are fully customizable
  • Feature-rich platform, even with the mini level pricing
  • Best inventory management system we’ve seen
  • Built-in POS system
  • Limited bandwidth, even with highest plan
  • Product limits until you reach their higher paid plans
  • A number of complaints about sub-par customer service (although they offer 24/7 support)
  • Free shared encryption SSL level at 128-bit less secure than our top two picks

Pricing & Tech Specs

All plans include unlimited storage. If you pay annually, you save 15% off the following monthly pricing, and they offer discounts for nonprofits. Try 3d Cart to see if it fits your needs with their 15-day free trial period. 3dcart also offers a 30-day money back guarantee, which is rare in this industry.

 NanoMiniStarterProfessionalProfessional+High Traffic PlanHigh Traffic Plan+
Price Per Month$9.99$19.99$35.99$65.99$99.99$199.99$499.99
Number of Products101001,00010,000UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Bandwidth1GB2GB4GB10GB25GB60GB250GB
Monthly Visitor Quota2,0004,0008,00020,00050,000UnlimitedUnlimited

Coupon Code

3DCart offers many time sensitive disocunts that can often be found by using our link. They are currently offering a 2nd month free + free premium theme!

Read our In-Depth 3DCart Review

Top Ecommerce Platforms: Side-By-Side Comparison

E-Commerce Platform Comparison TableTake a look at our updated Best Ecommerce Platform Comparison Chart to compare ecommerce services side-by-side. Due to the size of our table, we’ve placed it on a separate page so you can reference it more easily and compare ecommerce platforms.

More Ecommerce Reviews

Click below on an ecommerce website you’re interested in to jump to our review.

Ashop Commerce | Big Cartel | CoreCommerce | fortune3 | GoDaddy Online Store | PinnacleCart | PrestaShop | Selz | Shopping Cart Elite | Spark Pay | Volusion | X-Cart | Yahoo Merchant

Ashop Commerce Review

Ashop Commerce logoVisit Website

Ashop gets high marks for customer service, security features and overall experience setting up your ecommerce site. Ashop makes designing and creating your website easy and has a great guide for new users on how to get your shopping cart set up and accepting credit cards that very day. And you get unlimited site hosting with Rackspace. A Shop Commerce is best suited for small businesses with low volume sales. It’s not as feature rich as other top ecommerce sites, and there’s a cap on the number of products their highest plan allows (10,000). But if your business doesn’t require all the bells and whistles, they’re a solid, secure platform and one of the good ecommerce platforms for small business.

Pros

Cons

  • Competitive pricing
  • Easy set up
  • Unlimited bandwidth for every price plan
  • No transaction fees
  • All features and designs are easily customizable
  • Offers free 128-bit SSL certificate
  • Good customer service reputation
  • Cap on number of products even with highest plan
  • No built-in point-of-sale system
  • Limited storage space

Pricing & Tech Specs

All plans come with unlimited bandwidth. Give them a try with their 14-day free trial.

 StarterProfessionalEnterprise
Price$25 per Month
$249 per Year
$69 per Month
$690 per Year
$249 per Month
$2,490 per Year
Number of Products5001,00010,000
Amount of Storage1GB2GB5GB

Big Cartel Review

Big Cartel logoVisit Website

Bigcartel is a niche ecommerce platform for artists, musicians and hand craftsmen to sell their wares online (although others business types are welcome!). This unique model makes it difficult to compare to other ecommerce platforms we’ve reviewed. Bigcartel’s primary strategy is simplicity and ease of use, and BigCartel delivers on both fronts with a free starter plan, only five templates, just the basic features to get you selling and a quick setup process. What doesn’t BigCartel deliver? If you want to sell more than 300 products, look elsewhere. You also are very limited in shipping options – it’s handled through Paypal and not customizable. Big Cartel is a basic but fresh platform, so if that’s all you need check out their free forever Gold plan.

Pros

Cons

  • Free custom domain name with every paid plan
  • No transaction fees
  • 13 integrations, including Google Analytics and API
  • Create discount codes
  • Three mobile friendly templates
  • Coding to create your own theme provided
  • Highest plan expensive for what you get
  • Limited bandwidth, storage and number of products with every plan
  • Only 11 templates to choose from (5 are free)
  • No built-in POS system
  • No weekend customer support
  • No phone or live chat support

Pricing & Tech Specs

Bigcartel does not have a free trial, but they do have a free plan that is limited to 5 products.

 GoldPlatinumDiamondTitanium
Price Per MonthFree$9.99$19.99$29.99
Number of Products525100300
Images Per Product1555

CoreCommerce Review

CoreCommerce logoVisit Website

CoreCommerce has added a number of features since our last review, making it a much stronger contender as one of the best eCommerce sites out there. In addition to its high 256-bit SSL encryption level, CoreCommerce offers an easy to use interface, a good choice of free mobile-ready design themes, more than 95 integration options, unlimited bandwidth and more. But there’s still room for improvement. There are limits to your storage space with all but the highest plan, and they’re among the most expensive platforms. If your site requires a lot of storage space, you’ll probably want to look elsewhere; otherwise, CoreCommerce is a feature rich platform.

Pros

Cons

  • Easy to use interface
  • No transaction fees
  • 100+ template designs (high quality design)
  • Unlimited bandwidth with all but lowest plan
  • 95+ integrations, including Amazon, eBay, Quickbooks and more
  • Built-in point-of-sale system
  • High security level – 256 bit SSL encryption
  • Much more expensive than comparable platforms
  • Storage space limited, with all plans except the highest
  • Number of products limited with 3 lowest paid plans
  • A number of customer complaints about sub-par customer service

Pricing & Tech Specs

You get 10% off the monthly pricing below with annual plans. Nonprofits get a whopping 50% discount (higher discount than most). CoreCommerce has a 15-day free trial that does not require a credit card.

 PioneerAdvancedProfessionalPremierEnterprise
Price Per Month$40$90$140$200$600
Number of Products3002,0006,000UnlimitedUnlimited
Bandwidth4GBUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Amount of Storage1GB5GB10GB50GBUnlimited

Fortune3 Review

Fortune3 logoVisit Website

Fortune3 is a powerful, full-featured ecommerce platform that receives largely solid reviews from users. So, why isn’t it among our top three picks? Fortune3 requires you to use their payment processing tool; otherwise, you incur a 1% per transaction fee. And they don’t offer some of the most advanced features that top services do, including fraud detection, a built-in blog and more. Fortune 3 is still an excellent platform that gives you more features than you’ll probably use.

Pros

Cons

  • Attractive pricing
  • Easy set up with WYSIWYG editor
  • Unlimited storage and bandwidth with every plan
  • Good integrations including Quickbooks, Google Analytics and all major shipping carriers
  • 256-bit SSL encryption
  • Solid 24/7 tech support
  • You incur a 1% transaction fee if you don’t use their payment processing system
  • Outdated templates and administrative tools (only 20 free templates)
  • Limited number of products with all but highest plan
  • No built-in POS system

Pricing & Tech Specs

Try them out with their 30-day free trial (twice as long as most competitors).

 StarterBasicSilverGoldDiamondInfinity
Price Per Month$9.95$24.95$39.95$69.95$99.95$159.95
Number of Products20502501,00010,000Unlimited
Amount of Storage and BandwidthUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Number of AccountsUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Setup FeeNoneNoneNoneNone$50$50

GoDaddy Online Store Review

GoDaddy logoVisit Website

GoDaddy Online Store is one of many products offered by web hosting/domain name giant GoDaddy. And while the company is a major player in the web hosting arena, its Online Store platform isn’t what you’d consider the “Daddy” of all ecommerce platforms. GoDaddy Online Store does offer competitive pricing, unlimited products, storage and bandwidth, but its transaction fee is a very high 2.9% plus 30 cents per sale – especially considering most top platforms don’t have transaction fees at all. But if you’re a small business, the cost could be worth it. Go Daddy does have a good number of solid features and great security options.

Pros

Cons

  • Attractive monthly pricing
  • Customizable and mobile-friendly template themes
  • Easy to set up and manage
  • Unlimited bandwidth, storage and number of products
  • Good integrations, including Google Analytics, eBay and more
  • Built-in POS system
  • Excellent 24/7 customer service
  • Among the highest per transaction fees we’ve seen (and only 2 payment gateways — far fewer than most platforms)
  • No store sign-in option for your customers
  • Limit of 10 images per product
  • Requires purchase of an SSL certificate (starts at $55.99 per year)

Pricing & Tech Specs

  • $29.99 per month
  • Unlimited products, bandwidth and storage
  • 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction fee
  • A free 30-day trial, longer than most.

Pinnacle Cart Review

Pinnacle Cart logoVisit Website

PinnacleCart has made a name for itself as a solid ecommerce platform for more than 20 years. It has several well-known clients like HBO, Discovery Channel, Mike and Ike, A&E and the NBA. One of its major strengths is its marketing tools – Pinnacle Cart works with large search engines like Google and Bing on Meta Tags, SEO friendly hyper-tags and “hot-button” keywords aimed at moving you up to the top spots on search engines. Another huge plus is its high security level, which gives you and your customers safe shopping transactions. The one major downside to Pinnacle Cart, however, is its limited storage space. Even at the highest pricing level, you only get 50GB. This is most likely a deal breaker for companies that have a large number of pages, products and images.

Pros

Cons

  • Competitive pricing, includes free domain name
  • No transaction fees
  • Unlimited number of products
  • 30+ free templates (some responsive)
  • Good integrations, including WordPress, Shopzilla and Doba for drop shipping
  • Unlimited administrator accounts with access restriction levels
  • High security level (with added fee)
  • Limited storage space and bandwidth, even with highest pricing level
  • Added fee for required SSL certificate
  • Control panel and functionality can be confusing for beginners
  • No built-in POS system
  • No 24/7 customer support

Pricing & Tech Specs

All plans include unlimited number of products and no transaction fees. Try them out with a 14-day free trial.

 Start UpSmall BusinessEntrepreneurEnterprise
Price Per Month$29.95$59.95$94.95$149.95
Amount of Storage1 GB storage
2 GB bandwidth
3 GB storage
8 GB bandwidth
10 GB storage
20 GB bandwidth
50 GB storage
100 GB bandwidth

PrestaShop Review

PrestaShop logoVisit Website

Open source marketplace PrestaShop’s main “selling” point? It’s entirely free, with no monthly or transaction fees. But once you download the software, you still have to find a web host for your online store. You’ll also need a merchant account and/or a credit card processing service (not free!). And many of their plentiful customizable features are add-ons for an additional fee. It’s not the easiest platform to install and configure yourself, unless you are a tech wiz or have developers on hand. But, Presta Shop could be a viable option if you already know what you want in an ecommerce platform and don’t want to pay a huge monthly fee, which is why it’s one of the best ecommerce platform for SEO.

Since our last review PrestaShop has added a free Cloud version, which they host on a subdomain. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find any information about the amount of storage, bandwidth, level of security and other necessary information needed to make a sound choice about recommending this version.

Pros

Cons

  • Entirely free and 30+ free payment gateways
  • No transaction fees
  • Fully customizable and high quality design templates
  • Solid add-ons for SEO, marketing and analytics
  • Strong online community forum
  • Most of their features are add-ons, some free but many are paid
  • Not the best choice for ecommerce beginners
  • You have to find your own hosting site for your online store, except with its limited Cloud version
  • Store security is up to you
  • No built-in POS system
  • You have to pay for good tech support

Selz Review

Selz logoVisit Website

Selz is a relative newcomer to the Ecommerce market, but it’s come out of the gate running. Selz’s niche is for entrepreneurs and start-up companies, and its monthly price is right for its target market. Selz offers free and starter plans to get you up and running — and you get some solid features for little to no cost. Its top two plans (Plus and Pro) are impressive for what they charge per month. One major drawback is that Selz charges transaction fees for all but their Pro plan. And Selz doesn’t have enough gusto for larger companies, but that’s not their target. If you’re just getting started with an online store, Selz is certainly worth consideration. Their pricing is hard to beat.

Pros

Cons

  • Inexpensive monthly fee
  • Easy set up (no coding knowledge required)
  • Unlimited storage and bandwidth, even with free plan
  • Unlimited number of products (except free plan)
  • Excellent app integrations, including Google Analytics, Mailchimp and more
  • High security level
  • Transaction fees for most plans
  • Templates not as sophisticated as competitors
  • No built-in POS system
  • No 24/7 customer support

Pricing & Tech Specs

Selz offers a free plan, but they also have a 14-day free trial for any of the following plans.

 Free PlanStarter PlanPlus PlanPro Plan
Price Per MonthFree$12.99$19.99$26.99
Number of Products5UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Storage & BandwidthUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Transaction Fees2%2%1%None

Shopping Cart Elite Review

Shopping Cart Elite logoVisit Website

Shopping Cart Elite has been the gold standard for online shopping cart solutions for years. It has tons of advanced features and functions, but the high price keeps it out of our top three spots. Shopping Cart Elite might be just what you’re looking for if you have a company in a competitive market and you want every advantage you can get on your competition. Data mapping, competitive price monitoring, and even marketplace modules are all included with standard SEO marketing and inventory tracking. What it boils down to is that Shopping Cart Elite has more tools than you’ll likely know what to do with, but because it costs you’ll end up paying for more tools than you’ll likely use.

Pros

Cons

  • Sophisticated backend functionality
  • No transaction fees
  • Unlimited bandwidth and storage space
  • 20+ shopping channels, including eBay, Amazon, Google Shopping and good integrations
  • Solid security level
  • Very expensive compared to other platforms
  • Steeper learning curve than some other platforms
  • Limited template choices
  • No built-in POS system
  • Customer complaints about long migration times and long wait times with customer support

Pricing & Tech Specs

All plans come with unlimited bandwidth and storage and no transaction fees. Shopping Cart Elite offers a 14-day free trial.

Start-Up Plan

  • $49/month per employee (up to 3 employees)
  • Up to 3,000 products

Enterprise Plan

  • Starts at $99/month per employee for up to 20,000 products and 6,500 orders per month limit

Spark Pay Review

Spark Pay logoVisit Website

Spark Pay, formerly AmeriCommerce, is loaded with powerful features, top-notch app integrations and excellent customization capabilities. One of their best selling points is the ability to run multiple online storefronts from a single dashboard. And they outsource their hosting to Rackspace, one of our top winners for best web hosting. Spark Pay seems to be geared toward larger enterprises that can afford their hefty pricing. However, we’re left wondering why they limit their storage and bandwidth (and charge pretty high overage fees, to boot). They also don’t offer 24/7 tech support. With these drawbacks aside, Spark Pay has many great things going for it!

Pros

Cons

  • No transaction fees
  • Easy set up for all the features they offer
  • Attractive variety of free ecommerce templates
  • Excellent set of integrations, including Google Analytics, QuickBooks, email marketing and more
  • Built-in POS system
  • High security level
  • Higher price tag than many competitors for the hosting limits you get
  • Caps on storage and bandwidth with all plans
  • Limits on number of products except High Traffic plan
  • No 24/7 customer support

Pricing & Tech Specs

Spark Pay offers a 14-day free trial. They also provide Enterprise-level plans, but you have to contact them for details.

 Steel PlanBronze PlanSilver PlanGold PlanPlatinum Plan
Price Per Month$24.95$39$99$149$299
Number of Products1005005,00010,000Unlimited
Storage250MB1GB1GB2GB5GB
Bandwidth2GB3GB15GB25GB50GB

Volusion Review

Volusion logoVisit Website

Volusion’s features stack up well against their competition – unlimited storage, no transaction fees, solid shipping and inventory tools and competitive monthly pricing. But as we delved into our research, we noticed that there are a lot of “hidden” fees, from having to purchase an SSL certificate and SEO capability to hefty migration charges. While Volusion has a good-sized customer base, the number of negative customer reviews we found on the web about the product quality and customer service gives us pause to recommend Volusion.

Pros

Cons

  • No transaction fees
  • 30+ free templates with high quality designs
  • Hundreds of app integrations
  • A bit higher pricing than other platforms that give you more features and better hosting capabilities
  • Platform isn’t intuitive
  • Doesn’t offer free SSL certificates
  • Long wait time for customer support
  • A number of hidden fees (SEO, migration, etc.)

Pricing & Tech Specs

All plans come with unlimited storage and no transaction fees. If you pay annually, you get 10% off the following monthly pricing. They offer a free 14-day trial so you can see for yourself if Volusion might be right for you.

 MiniPlusProPremium
Price Per Month$15$35$75$135
Number of Products1001,00010,000Unlimited
Amount of Bandwidth1GB3GB10GB35GB

X-Cart Review

X-Cart logoVisit Website

We like X-Cart for its wide range of features and functions, but the website is hard to navigate and the prices are steep (especially for small businesses looking for something easy to understand). You can purchase X-Cart as stand-alone, cloud-based software and host it elsewhere or go with their monthly hosting prices, which can get expensive. But if you sign up for their high-volume hosting plans you get their software included. Before you decide on X-Cart we recommend talking with a representative. It would be easy to end up with a product that doesn’t fit your needs as most of their pricing is a la carte.

Pros

Cons

  • No transaction fees
  • Unlimited bandwidth and storage (but you pay extra)
  • Built-in point-of-sale system
  • Quickbooks and other good integrations
  • Solid security (for added fee)
  • Gets expensive with add-ons and monthly hosting fees
  • Many features are a la carte: SSL certificate, CDN, abandoned cart, etc.
  • Not for beginners, unless you employ their developer services and tech support
  • Only 4 free design templates
  • Must pay an added fee for unlimited/priority tech support

Pricing & Tech Specs

Cloud-based X-Cart 5.0 software for download

  • Free Edition
  • $495 – Business Edition
  • $1,495 – Multivendor Edition
  • $3,995 – Ultimate Edition

X-Cart Classic 4.0x software for download

  • $195 – Gold
  • $495 – Gold Plus
  • $1,795 – Platinum

Basic Hosting plans: $29.95; $49.95 or $89.95 per month

High Volume Hosting plans: $199; $299 or $399 per month (comes with free 5.0 Business Edition or Classic Gold Plus Edition software)

Yahoo Merchant Review

Yahoo Merchant logoVisit Website

Yahoo sold its Merchant web hosting support to Aabaco Small Business since our last review. According to many long-time customers, the hosting change is anything but a sweet switch. We found many online forum complaints about a major downturn in website reliability and customer/tech support. On top of our previous mediocre review of Yahoo Merchant, this isn’t good news for consumers looking at Yahoo Merchant as an easy alternative. Although you get unlimited bandwidth, storage and number of products, Yahoo Merchant still lacks administrative tools and functionality that are fairly standard for ecommerce websites.

Pros

Cons

  • Inexpensive for free domain name, unlimited products, storage and bandwidth
  • No transaction fees
  • Easy-to-use platform
  • 30+ integrated apps
  • Lacks a number of admin tools and functionality compared to other platforms
  • Mobile storefront only available through integration
  • No built-in POS system
  • Level of SSL encryption unavailable
  • Numerous customer complaints about poor tech support

Pricing & Tech Specs

All plans include unlimited number of products, storage and bandwidth and $450 worth of Yahoo ads for free.

 LiteBasicProfessionalPremier
Price Per Month$14$29$79$299
Transaction Fee1.5%1.5%1%0.75%
Number of Products10UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Storage Space1GBUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited

Why Not Sell Online?

It’s a no-brainer that your business should have a virtual store, with so many people shopping and buying online. Ecommerce influenced more than 55% of total retail sales in the U.S. during 2015, based on projected statistics from eMarketer. Join the ecommerce world today using one of the easy and affordable ecommerce platforms we’ve reviewed here. Most offer free trials, so it’s worth your time to explore your options and make the choice that is right for you!

Is An Open Source Marketplace a Good Option for Me?

You have to be pretty tech savvy (or be able to hire a developer) to go the open source route. Open Source Marketplaces require much more tech knowledge and typically are harder and more time consuming to set up. Here are the basic differences between open source marketplaces and ecommerce software:

  • Website hosting: Proprietary ecommerce software, like Shopify, includes website hosting in its pricing. Open source options don’t, so you’ll have to find your own hosting service and website security. Checkout our best website host reviews to find a good fit for your business. Most of the ecommerce solutions we review here are ecommerce software with hosting included.
  • Tech support: Ecommerce software provides you dedicated technical support for your storefront. Open source marketplaces don’t, but they often have excellent developer community forums where you can get a lot of help. Again, you have to be pretty tech savvy.
  • Customization: Open source marketplaces give you more freedom in the number of apps you can integrate into your store. Ecommerce software limits your customization ability, but those limitations vary with each platform. The best ecommerce software can still give you a lot of customization options.
  • Pricing: Although open source marketplaces don’t charge a monthly fee (like software options), you still have to pay for a hosting service and all the apps you’ll want to integrate into your storefront. Most of the popular apps charge a monthly fee, so you may end up paying more in the long run than you would with ecommerce cloud-based software.

What Are Some Other Open Source Options?

Prestashop is the only open source marketplace we reviewed here, but there are a number of solid options, including,

What if I Want a Multi-Vendor Storefront?

Multi-vendor ecommerce platforms are booming these days. As the site owner of a multi-vendor marketplace, you can earn big money through fees you charge for vendors to sell on your site. eBay and Etsy are the big guns right now, but you now have more options than ever to create your own multi-vendor marketplace. Some of our top picks include:

What About The Appearance of My Online Store?

Some ecommerce solutions are fully loaded. For those that are not, however, you’ll need to choose your own website theme (also known as a template) so that you look good and can impress your customers! Read our best website template reviews for the scoop. It’s also important that your theme be responsive. This essentially means that it will look good on any device. Find out more about responsive website design in our tutorial.

What kind of business are you looking to move online with a new ecommerce platform?

Sally has coupled her passion for writing with her (slight) obsession for the latest high tech gadgets. While she’s not daydreaming about the beach, she’s taking advantage of all the activities her hometown has to offer in the Blue Ridge foothills.

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22 Comments on "Best Ecommerce Platform: Volusion vs Shopify vs BigCommerce vs Big Cartel vs PrestaShop vs 3dcart vs Godaddy vs Shopping Cart Elite & More!"

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Rafael Solorzano
Rafael Solorzano

This is quite outdated as Fortune3 has been web based for close to 4 years now so anyone with a web enabled device can work and create as well as manage their entire ecommerce business from anywhere, anytime, and any device.

Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt

Sorry about that mistake Rafael. We will be sure to update it!

Ankush Mahajan
Ankush Mahajan

Great comparison post Sally. I would also like to request you to add Yo!Kart in that list. Yo!Kart is a multivendor ecommerce platform and won the product of year award this year!!

Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt

Thanks Ankush, we will add it as a potential addition in our next audit!

april_arrg
april_arrg

It says that the article was updates as of Dec 15, 2015, however looking closely to the info on Pinnacle Cart I found what it says here outdated, so not sure what section of this article was updated and if it still completely current.

Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt

This article had a full update earlier this year. Most likely something small was updated in this article (like pricing for one of the companies) so it changed the updated date to Dec 15. We want our content as up to date as possible. What exactly was inaccurate in the Pinnacle Cart section? Also, thank you for bringing this to our attention!

igorsoshkin
igorsoshkin

I see there is some old feedback about Shopping Cart Elite. I will admit we had ball dropping with clients in 2014. Unfortunately there is no way to fix the past, but apply what we learned into the future. We are being as transparent as possible about the experiences we’ve had in the following post:

https://www.shoppingcartelite.com/articles/shopping-cart-elite-reviews-review-problems

If you are considering us, I can only suggest to consider that we are human and we make mistakes. We learn from them and make sure they do not happen again.

We’ve not had bad experience with clients who signed up in 2015, and I can only suggest to try our trial and see a proof of concept for yourself.

Chris Schultz
Chris Schultz

Hey, I’d like to suggest adding Virtocommerce to the list. It may not be as popular just because it’s aimed at enterprise level, but more and more online retailers are switching to it, check it out.

Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt

Thanks for the suggestion Chris. We will look into it in our next audit!

Nick
Nick

Shopping Cart Elite is a ripoff… Yes, I want to double down on what both Frank and Chuck said. Thousands of dollars and about 6 months spent trying to get a less than adequate site up so we can use the Amazon integration tools and it didn’t work.

Then paid a non SCE contract employee at their recommendation to get the data feed working to upload products, and then it wouldn’t download orders.

That is when tech support just disappeared and never responded again. Have now spent several weeks just trying to officially cancel the contract before the first year is up with no response from them on any contact method.

Do NOT go with Shopping Cart Elite.

Frank
Frank

Shopping Cart Elite is a ripoff… plain and simple. After they have your money, you will rarely get good communication from them and you will never hear from Igor again.

They advertise features that do not exist, do not work, and/or have not yet been developed. Took over 30 days, just to get login credentials. Of course, the contract states you must dispute any charges to your credit card within 15 days of the charge.

System has countless bugs/errors. Days and even weeks to get answers from technical help. Project managers trying to use Skype to manage the project would reach out to see how things were going, yet previous questions remained unanswered.

Bottom line… several thousand dollars of investment lost with no way to get a refund short of a lawsuit.

Emails to Igor complaining about lack of service and misrepresentations went with a reply at all.

Stay clear of Shopping Cart Elite… a complete fraud.

Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt

I’m so sorry to hear about your experience with Shopping Cart Elite. We will take this into consideration during our next audit. Who do you use now for your ecommerce platform?

LeRoy Uttah
LeRoy Uttah

Try Brigga Site Builder! It’s awesome!

Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt

Hi LeRoy, is Brigga an ecommerce platform? I’m having troubles finding Brigga online.

Chuck Donner
Chuck Donner

We have been online for 16 years and decided to use Shopping Cart Elite because they listed a ton of features that were necessary for our business. It turns out that the best thing about SCE is the hype.

We presented a list of 50 functional requirements to be reviewed by the CEO of SCE before we would sign the contract. All of our requirements were reviewed and noted as being part of SCE or to be added at no charge. In our 6 month experience with SCE, many of those functions did not work properly or were never finished. We never finished our development site because SCE couldn’t get basic functions to work properly.

Dealing with SCE support was a nightmare with questions going unanswered for 2-3 days and in some cases weeks. In my opinion, only a few people really knew the software well enough to provide technical support and the staff seemed to be a disjointed group of people with nobody taking control of the project.

Over that time period, I discovered software bugs in basic functions that made me question if other features would work properly. I also found that the tutorials and video tutorials were often outdated, didn’t match the SCE screens, creating more confusion. In multiple instances, an update was released to the software and the entire look of our development site changed and the navigation menu and CSS had to be fixed.

Over the 6 month period, I found bugs in the data import function, product quantity discounting, dimension based packaging, shipping calculation, image watermarking. It turned out that the packaging by dimension function (necessary for our business) did not work well with 20 or more shipping boxes and caused delays of over 20 seconds when determining the shipping rate. I was told to change our business process and use fewer boxes instead of fixing their software.

Since SCE insisted that I communicate via Skype for any issues I have a 60 plus page document detailing our terrible experience with SCE.

We had a chance to stay with SCE and let them fix the issues or leave and lose over $7000. We chose to leave because we did not want to be associated with a company that has major customer service issues, bugs in the software and business practices that I feel are unethical. Would you choose SCE to be the foundation of your business?

Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt

Wow Chuck, this sounds like a nightmare. I’m so sorry this happened to you. Thank you for commenting about your experience. We’ll be sure to take this into consideration on our next audit. May I ask who you changed to since you aren’t using Shopping Cart Elite?

Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt

Use the coupon code FEB2014 for a 10% discount on software. Coupon code lasts until February 28, 2014!

Nikki
Nikki

Just to let anybody that is contemplating Ashop know, this firm has just closed one of their customers shops down. The customer had been with them for 5 years, and then, just becuase the spoke out about the appalling state of version 4, Ashop shut them down just like that. I am an existing customer, but this in a long line of unbelievable actions by ashop has made me realize that i had better move on as the software is buggy, the support is not worth the phone call and the company is in a very dark place.

Louise
Louise

Not good folks. Riddled with problems, functionality removed from version 3, checkout redesigned and now pretty illogical and long winded and the worst of all … the support is the worst i have come across in any company in any industry that i have encountered in my entire life! After two years, Ashop have sunk to new depths but its not all bad, it has given me the reason to move on 🙂

Michelle Schenker
Admin
Michelle Schenker

Clickhere and use the coupon code MAY2013 to save 10% on your next X-Cart purchase. This deal expires 5/31/13.

Alex Schenker
Admin
Alex Schenker

Sign up as a new customer forXCart by March 31, 2013 and get 10% off! Just enter promo code MAR2013 during checkout. Deal expires 3/31/13.

guest
guest

Love these reviews, the comparison table really helps narrow down some of the features I’m looking for, which basically include an all-in-one shopping cart service so I don’t have to worry about PCI Compliance, etc. The only thing that would be even more useful is if you guys could include the entire pricing charts somewhere? I realize the features included with the lowest price vary across providers, so that’s not always as useful an indicator as I might have hoped. I have to go to each site and actually review the pricing charts.

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