There has been huge debates and discussions online as to which is the best ecommerce website software to use. Many will recommend Magento, some will opt for Shopify or Volusion and others will choose ekmPowershop or even Big Commerce.

So who do you listen to and who do you choose as your preferred ecommerce solution provider?

I am sure you have read many reviews on many websites, and by now you are suffering from ‘information overload’.

You may see this as just another opportunity for someone (me) to write a review to persuade you to use one platform over the other. However, this is not the case and I will tell you why.

I have over 20 years experience in IT and Online Marketing which has covered Network Support, Web Design & Development. I then moved into the Online Marketing arena covering SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Additionally, I have worked in house for some large blue chip companies and also worked for online marketing agencies and to finish off, I am a Google Approved Professional.

You may be wondering why I am telling you this, but believe me when I tell you that my experience and knowledge over the last 20 years has led me down the road of testing almost every ecommerce website solution available on the market, some of which have been around for years. Below is just a small selection of the platforms I have tested.

Shopify
BigCommerce
ekmPowershop
Volusion
SellerDeck
Actinic
Drupal
Joomla
CubeCart

Lets get straight to it!

How do you choose the right solution for you? Firstly you will look on the internet for reviews and read articles like this. I can 99.9% predict the order in which you will evaluate any of the ecommerce website solutions.

1. Cost

This will most likely be the first thing you look at; the price point, how much is it going to cost. However you will also be presented with options such as the below… please note (e)

                a)      Bandwidth Allowance

                b)      Number of products you are allowed to add

                c)      Whether they charge a transaction fee on each product you sell

                d)      Other additional products that are included

                e)      And most probably one of these columns will be highlighted with words such as ‘Best Value’ or ‘Most Popular’ – take my advice and experience on this… do NOT go for one of these packages lightly, and think carefully. They are their for one reason ‘To persuade you and in doing so they make more money – out of you’.

I can almost guarantee you, after reading my articles on each platform you will realise that you can get more for your money at a fraction of the cost. Not only that, you will get equal customer service levels, if not a higher.

2. Design

Once you have researched the cost (as best you can without signing up for a free trial) you will start to look at the various free templates that each provider has on offer.

                a) Templates – what do they look like, do they fit in with your ideas (which are more than likely in your head, even if you don’t know it) Visualising your products.

                b) Features – what is included in the the package you are signing up for.

3. Evaluate

Once you have evaluated the above, you will more than likely sign up for one of the free trials and move over to checking out the below:

                a) Usability – how easy is it to use

                b) Support – what support is on offer to you during the trial period

                c) Addons/Features – you will look in more detail at the addons/features/plugins that are available. Do they cost additional to the monthly fee advertised.

                d) Once you have set up your test shop, you may realise that you haven’t actually picked the right platform for you and move onto the next platform. Each time, signing up for the free trail.

I am going to attempt to take the headache away for you and prevent you from wasting your time and money. I will provide you with some tips and help you evaluate arguably the top 3 hosted ecommerce website providers, and also a few more that are on the market, some that will require more programing knowledge, and in some that could require a part/full time developer.

1. Magento

2. Shopify

3. ekmPowershop

4. Big Commerce

5. Volusion