If you are interested in putting a store up online, you most likely don’t want to deal with the web hosting and coding that it involves. We will be discussing the top 10 Hosted E-Commerce Platforms. These are in no specific order, and they are based strictly on our opinion. However, they have all received great reviews.
Hosted E-Commerce Platforms: What Are They?
Before we get to the top 10 platforms we want to talk about, let’s go over what exactly a host e-commerce platform is. Put simply, it is a software as a service host or SaaS. They host online stores for those who don’t want to deal with that hassle. There are very specific features to e-commerce that you should be looking for in a good hosted platform. These features include:
- Online Payment Integration
- Inventory Management
- Reliable Server Technology
- Expertise in Security and Compliance
If you have a medium-sized or small business, then a hosted e-commerce platform is most likely ideal for you. Unless you are experienced in e-commerce development.
A huge trade-off you face when using a hosted platform, in comparison to self-hosting solutions, is the ability to fully control the online store. That basically means that you will find some areas of the site that can’t be changed or customized.
Now we will talk about the many hosted platforms for e-commerce, specifically, our top 10:
This is one of the more popular hosted platforms. Their administration interface is user-friendly, and it also gives the ability to store owners to manage their own product inventory. They are also able to customize their store without the hassle of handling code. Their POS system that was only just launched recently gives users access through their mobile devices. It will integrate with the Shopify store, giving you the convenience of inventory management on the same single platform.
The “Starter” plan through Shopify is $14 per month. However, this plan is easily outgrown for those who are truly dedicated to selling online. The “Basic” plan is the next one they offer, costing $29 per month. It offers 1 GB of storage, 2.0% transaction fee, and unlimited products in your store.
This hosted e-commerce platform can easily be compared to Shopify. Bigcommerce has hosted over 55,000 different online stores. Combined, these stores have made over $4 Billion worth of sales. They have a collection of paid and free store apps that you can have a look at. These store apps have the ability to extend your store with additional features. Also, they have the ability to integrate with third-party services, such as Visual Website Optimizer and MailChimp.
Pricing per month begins at $29.95, and it includes 3 GB of storage and a transaction fee of 1.0%.
X-Cart Cloud is a hosted e-commerce platform service that is provided by X-Cart, which is an open-source PHP and free shopping cart software. You are able to manage and host on your own. Akin to WordPress’ subscription-based publishing platform that is hosted, X-Cart Cloud features a variety of paid and free modules that will extend your online store. You will get access to the POS (Point of Sale) system module with their three expensive subscription options. The modules give you the ability to manage the inventory of physical stores, as well as online stores, with one interface.
The pricing begins with their basic plan of $15 a month. It allows you to showcase 100 products on your online store, no transaction fee, Bandwidth of 10 GB, and 1 GB of storage.
This hosted e-commerce platform boasts a lot of features, including the ability to accept bitcoin. You will also be able to give your customers the option to earn loyalty reward points with their loyalty program system.
Their prices start off at $16.99 per month. With that, you will be able to have as many as 200 products, 0 transaction fees, and unlimited storage.
Many would argue that Volusion is in the top 3 of hosted e-commerce platforms. Competing with Shopify and Bigcommerce, Volusion stores have generated combined sales over $16 Billion. It comes with over 900 features for e-commerce, as well as offering customers extra personal services for a fee. Such services include conversion rate optimization, which can provide store owners the one-on-one consulting needed with the company’s own marketing consultants.
Starting at $15 a month, Volusion’s pricing is reasonable. With the lower-paying plans, you are allowed up to 100 products in your store, you have 0 transaction fees, and you also get unlimited storage.
Another really reliable hosted e-commerce platform, Big Cartel, has found a specialty in the creative industry. Most of their (more than) 500,000 online stores sell creative endeavors such as Fashion, Arts, Music, Jewelry, Crafts, and more.
Their prices start off low, $9.99 per month, and allow up to 25 products and 0 transaction fees. You can also choose to use their free plan and utilize their service for no more than 5 products.
Wix Online Store Builder
This DIY website builder, Wix, is very easy to use and popular. They have decided to try their hand in the e-commerce space by releasing the Wix Online Store Builder.
Their e-commerce solution prices start at a monthly rate of $19.90. That will grant you 10 GB of bandwidth and 20 GB of storage.
With a client list of impressive and successful companies like Discovery Channel, the Miami Heat, and HBO, you are able to integrate with many third-party apps. Such apps include QuickBooks and Facebook.
For 1 GB of storage, 0 transaction fees, and 2 GB of Bandwidth, prices begin at $29.95 per month.
Unlike the other hosted e-commerce platforms, Storenvy includes its clients’ online stores in their Network of Brands/Marketplace. Within this marketplace, all your products are searchable and featured. That means their current base of customers is able to view your items. With over 100,000 different brands selling in their marketplace, Storenvy brings an impressive API.
Storenvy is free. However, if you wish to have a custom domain, you will have to pay $5 a month.
Your online store has the opportunity to be hosted by a giant in the technology world. Supporting over 1 million businesses, and more than $65 Billion in sales transactions, they also offer a great number of features. This includes integration with the major shipping name UPS.
With annual billing, prices begin at $26 a month. Though it seems high, you get to have as many as 1,000 products in your store, 150 GB of Bandwidth, 5 GB of storage, and a transaction fee of only 1.5%. Not bad for a big name host.
Self-hosted stores can be a hassle to manage while trying to run the business aspects of your company. That is why there is a great convenience in hosted e-commerce platforms. The only real downside is the lack of ownership and control with this e-commerce solution.