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Top 12 Ecommerce Software & Solutions [2023]

The best software solutions for ecommerce and retail in 2023. Read our guide to the best ecommerce products with pros and cons.

As online shopping continues to evolve, the variety of ecommerce platforms seems to keep growing. For those looking to incorporate an ecommerce platform into their sales strategy, not only are there numerous types to consider but seemingly endless choices in each category of online shopping solutions. 

While it’s certainly exciting to see how fast ecommerce can innovate, dipping a toe into it whether starting an ecommerce store or looking to migrate to a new ecommerce platform can be a bit overwhelming. That’s why we’ve rounded up a list of the best ecommerce solutions in 2023. To up the ante, we've gone beyond the top 10 ecommerce software solutions and instead, are giving you 12 amazing e commerce platform and software to take a closer look at for your ecommerce store.

Keep in the mind the following: There isn't necessarily an unequivocal best ecommerce platform. Instead, the best ecommerce platform is going to be the one that supports an ecommerce store's goals, maturity, development resources, and ultimately, budget. 

12 ecommerce software and platforms in 2023

Although the style of ecommerce platforms varies, we’ve put together some pros and cons for each software vendor to help give insight into which platform works best for what kind of ecommerce store—depending on who they’re trying to reach and at what point in their ecommerce development they’re already at, from small business to enterprise. Here is our round-up of the 12 best ecommerce platform options in 2023. 

1. Shopify

One of the most well-known cloud-based ecommerce platforms, Shopify is an end-to-end solution that allows users to build an online store. In many ways, it has set the bar for modern ecommerce platforms. Touted as an incredibly user-friendly ecommerce platform (which no doubt has been a huge part of their success) Shopify offers one streamlined dashboard for managing an online store and the related business management tools (inventory tracking, data reports, payment processing, marketing, etc). It also easily integrates selling via social media, websites, blogs, email, text and chat. The solution is subscription-based, offering four tiers of service from Basic Shopify to Advanced Shopify. Shopify has a built-in point-of-sale (POS) system which allows users or any individual business owner to easily sell in person using their account.

Best Suited for: Retailers of all sizes selling a variety of goods and services online, including physical products that need to be shipped, online services, event tickets, rental items or even donations. It is a versatile ecommerce solution with an affordable base plan that really can work for any kind of online seller.

Drawbacks: There is no free version, so for those on a very tight budget it may not work. Additionally, transaction fees are incurred on credit and debit sales unless the user uses Shopify Payments to process payments. A common critique of Shopify is that its themes, blogging tools, and SEO options are limited compared to platforms like WordPress and Wix Ecommerce. Enterprise brands may also find it takes a lot of development work to tailor Shopify the way they want, which may point them in the direction of another tool like Adobe Commerce or Salesforce Commerce Cloud.

 

2. Shopify Plus

The enterprise-level ecommerce platform from industry giant Shopify is built for high-volume brands with competitive growth strategies. Shopify Plus is used by some of the biggest corporate brands in the world. Shopify Plus leverages its extensive reach, apps and partners and offers users unlimited extensibility, integrations and customization. It touts more automation, control, and scalability as key advantages of the platform compared to the standard Shopify products.

In addition, Shopify Plus is cited as a top B2B ecommerce platform, over its standard Shopify offering, delivering top-rated security, omni-channel capabilities, and international Shopify Payments through the company's own payment gateway. 

Best Suited for: Global, enterprise-level companies who need fast, high-performance ecommerce websites with advanced security features. Companies that need a system that can easily scale with their fast growth. Companies that have tech systems that are struggling to keep up with the amount of traffic and sales volume would benefit from upgrading to this kind of platform.

Drawbacks: Shopify Plus is a significant investment and can really only be considered by companies who have already reached a certain threshold of ecommerce sales (roughly $500K per year). 

 

3. BigCommerce

A cloud-based ecommerce solution, BigCommerce allows users to create an online store using customizable templates. BigCommerce is a major player in the ecommerce game, servicing a number of globally-recognized corporate brands. Similar to Shopify, BigCommerce's ecommerce platform offers three tiers of paid services plus an enterprise-level solution. It is competitive in its management and analytics features. It is generally easy-to-use, offers several integrations with payment gateways. One huge advantage of using BigCommerce is that there are no transaction fees on any of its plans. It also boasts a handy abandoned cart saver feature, letting users send three automated emails (although the base plan does not offer this) which are more than most other ecommerce platforms allow.

Best Suited for: BigCommerce is one of the big competitors in the ecommerce software realm and it can meet most needs for a variety of online store owners: Small, big, and enterprise. It’s known for offering a lot of features in the entry-level plan which makes it a great choice for budget-conscious companies. Additionally, companies who are concerned about passing on transaction fees to their customer or eating those costs may find the no-fee transactions something that makes BigCommerce the right choice for their ecommerce solution. 

Companies that sell globally would benefit from how easy it is to sell in multiple currencies.  For companies that sell physical goods and do a lot of shipping, BigCommerce has another competitive edge on this front—you don’t need to be on the top-tier plan to get real-time shipping rates. 

Many business-to-business brands have also found that BigCommerce is a better fit for B2B ecommerce thanks to its sophisticated price rules and checkout engine.

Drawbacks: BigCommerce could improve upon its content and layout management, which has been reviewed as not so user-friendly and not offering enough diversity in page themes. The variety of fonts is limited, and the built-in blog editor isn’t as sleek or advanced as something like WordPress. Another big criticism of this ecommerce system is that it does not offer its own email marketing, but does integrate with third-party emailing marketing solutions.

 

4. Wix

Wix calls itself a “free website builder” and is known for its user-friendly drag-and-drop format on the back end, allowing online store owners to easily create attractive web and mobile sites. On the ecommerce software side of things, Wix has multiple templates to get quickly set up selling goods, services, takeout food and more. Wix has a robust set of ecommerce software features for a platform that doesn’t just specialize in online selling—it offers multilingual support, over 50 payment gateways, abandoned cart recovery, inventory management tools, reporting and everything else under the sun. Wix offers built-in business and marketing tools like email marketing, promotional videos, and even Facebook ad integration. While Wix itself has free plans, if you want to sell on your Wix site, you need to upgrade to a paid business plan, with the cheapest being $17 per month paid on an annual basis. 

Best suited for: For small and medium companies that want to build their own website but don’t have much experience the easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface may be a huge benefit. For companies who already use Wix for their websites and now want to add ecommerce functionality, this would also be a logical choice. Wix is not ideal for enterprise-level companies.

Drawbacks: Wix is not a scalable, long-term solution for businesses who expect their ecommerce sales to expand drastically. Hosting is also limited to Wix.

 

5. Salesforce Commerce Cloud

CRM giant Salesforce aims to provide a seamless ecommerce experience with its multi-tenant, cloud-based ecommerce solution Commerce Cloud. Salesforce splits its ecommerce software into three sub-categories: B2C, B2B, and Order Management (OM). It is a powerful ecommerce platform servicing some of the biggest corporate brands in the world (hello, Coca-Cola). It is designed for scalability and focuses on how retailers can engage their customers online and in person using the most recent marketing and customer service tools. 

Best Suited for: Large and enterprise-level companies with high traffic and large sales volume. For companies already using Salesforce CRM it (obviously) integrates the best, which means ecommerce and sales data are all in the same place. For companies with healthy budgets that are set for major growth, this is the tool for scalability.

Drawbacks: The biggest drawback of Commerce Cloud is the price tag. Since it’s designed for enterprise-level companies with major sales volume, the cost is up there, even compared to other ecommerce software enterprise tiers. Commerce Cloud has been reviewed as being technically complicated, so companies will likely need to spend additional money on having someone set it up and manage it.

 

6. Magento Commerce (AKA Adobe Commerce)

An open-source ecommerce platform, Magento (which is now owned by and branded as Adobe Commerce) is a highly successful solution used by corporate giants like Nike and Ford. Like the other big enterprise ecommerce platforms, it offers scalability and flexibility along with capabilities to work with high traffic and sales volume. It has been reviewed favourably when it comes to customization of the online stores and in the area of customer support.

Best Suited for: Large and enterprise-level companies with impressive sales volume that need to be able to handle many transactions. Companies that prioritize scalability and flexibility in their ecommerce software. Businesses that rely on detailed reporting and analytics would also favor Magento’s advanced reporting features.

Drawbacks: Like most ecommerce platforms built for enterprise-level businesses the cost is high, and the back end is too technical for most people to use. Companies using Magento will need to employ a developer to get it set up and manage the ecommerce tool properly for their online store.

7. Zoho Commerce

Zoho Commerce offers all the standard ecommerce platform features: a place to build an online store using attractive templates, integrated payment gateways, inventory tracking, marketing tools like built-in blogs and social media auto-publishing, abandoned cart emails, and more. Zoho has three tiers of plans, with live shipping rates only starting in the middle tier, plus mentions custom plans are available for larger companies (over $250k annual sales).

Best Suited for: With its reasonable three-tier system and competitive marketing features, Zoho seems like a great fit for everyone from individual sellers to start-ups to a medium-sized online store.

Drawbacks: One of the biggest setbacks for Zoho is that it’s not a major player in the marketplace and so it offers fewer third-party integrations, which may be a hindrance to many companies who rely on these partners. 

8. Squarespace

Known for its sleek-looking design, Squarespace is a popular website creator offering a nice collection of ecommerce and marketing features. Focused on helping users “build their brand” the platform highlights tools like attractive email marketing templates, video creation, customer profiles, SEO and integration with social media tools as well as an app that designs social media posts—Squarespace is big on visuals. In fact, they built their own marketing campaign around being made for “creatives” and became a leading website builder for artistic portfolios. 

Note: Despite their similar names, Squarespace and Square Online are not related ecommerce platforms. Squarespace debuted in 2003 as a simple website builder that has only grown with more features over time, whereas Square started in 2009 as a point-of-sale provider for small businesses and independent artists. Square has since expanded their business tools to help customers, including Square Online, which provides free website templates to help their merchants open an online store that also uses Square's payment processing solution.  

Best Suited for: The ecommerce software features of Squarespace are good enough for individual sellers, creators, and design-focused small businesses withsimple online store requirements. It’s even priced that way, with four plans, the cheapest being the “personal” plan. Squarespace is a great fit for any user or ecommerce business that are focused on blogging and other content creation.  

Drawbacks: Squarespace can’t support a deep menu hierarchy, meaning it can’t offer multilingual capabilities, and the page speed scored low ratings on Google’s Page Speed Tool.

9.WooCommerce

Consider the following: This list features over ten different ecommerce platforms, from plug and play website builds like Zoho Commerce and Square Online, to complex enterprise-grade systems like Adobe Commerce and Salesforce Commerce Cloud. Despite how many players there are in the market, it's worth noting that WooCommerce actually has between 23-29% of the world's ecommerce platform market share. Shopify may practically be a household name, but its market share is 19% of all ecommerce websites (or 2.68% of all websites). 

WooCommerce is an ecommerce plug-in made for online merchants using WordPress. A customizable, open source ecommerce platform that’s built on WordPress, WooCommerce boasts flexibility in pricing and theme building for any ecommerce store. Depending on the user’s need for domain hosting, theme design, extensions like shipping, payment gateways, marketing tools, SEO, etc, the costs of setting up WooCommerce fluctuate. This is handy for smaller operations or an individual store owner that may not need a ton of features—it keeps costs in check. 

Best Suited for: Individual sellers and small to mid-sized companies who are already using WordPress that want to build a highly customized online store with a wildly flexible and open-ended ecommerce software marketplace.

Drawback: There is a 2.9% + .30 cents per sale plus a monthly fee for the transactions processed via the payment gateway. This isn’t ideal for those with large volume sales. While basic functionality on WooCommerce is pretty accessible for almost anyone, brands looking to build out a custom or robust website experience will find it's a lot of DIY work that may require the support of a developer.

 

10. commercetools

A cloud-based headless commerce platform, commercetools provides API that fuels ecommerce sales. Designed for high-volume clients, commercetools provides a set of tools that impressively power ecommerce and similar functions. By headless, we mean that outside applications - such as a payment gateway, OMS, inventory management tool, EMS or another marketing tool - can be used from within the platform by having them communicate via an API. This is extremely useful for large companies that want one solution to running their ecommerce business, integrating social media apps, business websites, mobile apps and more without leaving the platform, and having control over how it looks and works. This ecommerce solution offers something different than most other companies on the market because of its ability to build complex and highly individual systems.

Best Suited for: Large brands who want technical and creative control over their ecommerce solution. Any sized brand that has very unique needs, or is hyper-focused on being a leader in ecommerce tech.

Drawbacks: This kind of sophisticated ecommerce software requires significant investment and ongoing costs of using a developer.

11. Shift4Shop

Although it might not be quite as well known as some of the other ecommerce platforms on this list, Shift4Shop is self-tagged as a “turnkey” ecommerce solution that offers a feature-rich website builder offering inventory management, order tracking, marketing tools and other base ecommerce needs. On feature that sets Shift4Shop apart from other ecommerce tools is that the platform offers a free version. Users that process $500 per month or more can access all of the features of the free version. There are three other paid tiers offered with the top tier being suitable for enterprise-level clients. Shift4Shop has been reviewed as scalable, and limitlessly customizable with “complete coding freedom”.

Best Suited for: Companies of all sizes who want to create a super customized ecommerce website. Individual sellers or small businesses who don’t have a large budget to spend on their ecommerce platform and don’t have complex needs.

Drawbacks: According to reviews, the interface is difficult to use and customer support is lacking—not a great combo for an ecommerce business that doesn’t have the budget to hire a developer or system administrator. 

12. Netsuite SuiteCommerce (AKA Oracle NetSuite)

A cloud-based ecommerce platform, SuiteCommerce is designed for NetSuite users and boasts being able to offer a “single view of customer, order, inventory and other critical data”. A complete commerce solution for NetSuite clients this sophisticated and powerful system helps users unify all ecommerce functions (POS, inventory, order management, marketing, customer service and financials) on one native platform. SuiteCommerce is module-based and can be built to meet the needs of the client. Modules are sold in various editions based on the size of the client. 

Best Suited for: NetSuite is a financial platform, so clients who want the most sophisticated financial and payroll data linked to their ecommerce platform would find this an attractive option.

Drawbacks: The price tag is high, and costs tend to increase year-over-year.

The 6 best online marketplaces in 2023

The kinds of ecommerce platforms mentioned above aren’t the only way to sell online. An online marketplace is a digital space where buyers and sellers could meet by simply logging on and creating an account. (No website building, or coding required.) While sometimes there are a few hoops to jump through for sellers to get set up, and most sites charge transaction fees, the overall ease of use for buyers has made them extremely popular.

These kinds of platforms have come a long way, and are still a great ecommerce option for millions of sellers out there. Here’s what we think are the best online marketplaces in 2023:

1. Facebook Marketplace

As easy as clicking a tab within Facebook, either on desktop or mobile, Marketplace has become one of the easiest places to sell new and used household items and clothes, furniture, books, services, automobiles and more. With easy access to geographically based groups and the Facebook algorithm pushing out content to your online community, Marketplace ranks high on our list of the best online marketplaces for individual sellers—not to mention it’s free to use for Facebook members. With Facebook Marketplace, the buyer and seller independently negotiate the deal and handle the transaction themselves, not through the platform. The biggest complaint would be that since it’s free and there’s not really any pre-approval to sell, it can get a little crowded.

 

2. Etsy

Etsy has become known as the online marketplace for artists and creatives to sell their wares. From custom-ordered hand-made jewelry to digital art prints, Etsy is a place for unique goods and handmade items being sold by independent sellers. It also specializes in vintage items, which much be 20 years old or more to be sold on Etsy. On this ecommerce tool, the transaction happens through the website, and Etsy charges $0.20 per listing plus a 5% transaction fee. To become a seller on Etsy there is an approval process, however, it typically takes only around 72 hours. Buyers do not need to go through an approval process to make a purchase.

 

3. eBay

The original online marketplace, eBay’s format is a little bit different from the others. It functions as a digital auction house, where buyers search for items they want and then bid on the products through individual auctions. Today it’s a multibillion-dollar business operating in over 30 countries. Sellers on eBay do pay a percentage back to the site on the items they sell, but that all vary depending on the level of their account and what kind of item they’ve sold. Both bidders and sellers need to go through an approval process on eBay to get started.

 

4. Amazon

Everyone is familiar with Amazon, today’s reigning ecommerce giant, but when you take a closer look, Amazon is also an online marketplace (not just a traditional retail site) where third-party sellers can list new or used products at a fixed price. Amazon Marketplace is integrated into the overall Amazon platform, where, of course, Amazon sells its own brand (Amazon Basics) and other products it’s directly purchased from vendors at wholesale prices. But there are products from third-party sellers offered on Amazon Marketplace alongside Amazon’s own products. Through a platform called Amazon Seller Central, these third-party sellers can sell directly to buyers (after an approval process). They pay a portion of sales to Amazon in exchange for having their products listed on the website, as well as taking advantage of Amazon's world famous logistics and streamlined customer support capabilities.

 

5. Walmart

Walmart Marketplace is one of the fastest-growing ecommerce platforms in the U.S. offering a place for sellers to list on Walmart.com. They do not charge monthly or set up fees, and charge competitive percentage commissions based on the product type, plus end-to-end fulfillment services without minimums or maximums. Walmart Marketplace is known for having a strict application process, as they are looking for established online sellers with a proven amount of revenue who are offering products (new only) that complement their overall offering. This is fair, given the audience that sellers gain access to by getting listed on Walmart’s website.

 

6. Best Buy Marketplace

Third-party marketplace sellers on Best Buy make up a huge portion of their online sales. There is a strict online application process to get set up as a third-party seller with Best Buy. Third-party brands selling on Best Buy include giants like Dyson, Miele and Shopify, but independent sellers who are thoroughly vetted can be approved as well. Best Buy has seen huge success in allowing third-party sellers to list refurbished items at lower prices on their platform. They charge commission on sales, no setup fee, and sellers are responsible for their own shipping.

The problems with ecommerce platforms and online marketplaces  

We can’t help but notice that today, even the best ecommerce companies are all pretty much offering a static, commodity product. The standard point-and-click catalogue seems to still very much be the norm—and we’re starting to get bored. Aren’t you?

The problem is online buyers want more from their retail experience.

It seems like improved engagement and interactivity are considered best practice in almost every other digital industry, so why is it lacking in ecommerce? Finding ways to add more interactivity is paramount beyond what an online retail platform offers natively. That is how ecommerce brands truly are going to stand out in 2023. 

3 New Ways to Sell Online

 

The good news is that, as we’ve reported before, there are new ways to interact with customers and to sell online. From Live Chat Platforms That are Changing the Game, to the Best Live Streaming Solutions for Ecommerce, we’ve been covering it all on this blog. Here are three notable disruptors in the online retail space who are changing the way we think about CX.

 

GhostRetail

GhostRetail supports live shopping calls between a single shopper and an associate, instead of one associate broadcasting to many shoppers. As a video co-shopping solution, GhostRetail customers can jump on a call with a live shopping associate when browsing a retailer’s website. While they wait to get connected, shoppers can browse the entire brand website. Once matched with a live shopping associate, they can co-shop together, answering any specific questions a customer has. Live shopping associates can send products over to a customer, including the specific variants they may want, and even add them to the cart. 

 

NTWRK

NTWRK is a consumer-driven live shopping platform, similar to many other social media channels. Shoppers will actively visit NTWRK to check out the latest product drops, live streams, and festivals, with plenty of social interactivity and the ability to shop during a live stream. 

NTWRK has positioned itself as a network of creators rather than a live shopping solution and its niche specialty has quickly become appealing to ‘fandom’, often by spotlighting brands and artists with major cult followings or highly covetable collectibles like sneakers, trading cards, and toys. Because of the exclusivity that NTWRK looks to achieve, one must apply to be approved by the platform’s curators to be able to sell there.

  

Popshop Live

A mobile live-steaming marketplace, Popshop Live has become a place for up-and-coming brands to promote themselves to a global audience through pop-up shopping channels. Viewers can discover, interact and shop with the live videos on the platform, while sellers can easily host the pop-ups and shows from their smartphones. Within the live streaming videos, sellers create clickable links for instant purchases. Popshop Live has really changed the game for new and emerging brands to get in front of an engaged, massive audience.

The new normal in ecommerce 

It’s time to change the way we think about traditional ecommerce. Every day something new is being developed or launched, and it’s becoming increasingly clear that the way that brands interact with customers online is really where the future lies. 

New experiences like video co-shopping can connect customers with real, live, in-store salespeople who know the products and can help shoppers make meaningful purchases. It helps shoppers through conversion stumbling blocks, increasing sales and boosting brand loyalty.    

  

GhostRetail helps brands looking to bring an in-store experience to their ecommerce channel. We work with retailers of any size with an existing, rich ecommerce experience, and customer-focused merchants looking to provide the best possible CX. If your brand is considering offering live video co-shopping for your customers connect with the GhostRetail team today.

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