Starting an ecommerce business isn’t easy. There’s a ton of competition online and lots of details to keep track of. One of the most important details that you can’t overlook is the software tools that you build your ecommerce store upon.
You need ecommerce tools to run your online store. These tools can handle everything from designing your website, to accepting payments, to keeping track of your inventory and monitoring customer satisfaction.
Whether you need to update your ecommerce tools to address an inefficiency, or if you’re starting a new ecommerce business to meet the 60% of consumers who have been shopping online more in the wake of COVID-19, you don’t want to waste months of time finding the tools to run your business when you could be converting sales.
Good news: we’ve already done the analysis for you.
Our recent FrontRunners report for ecommerce tools uses authentic, recent customer reviews to find the 25 best ecommerce tools in North America based on customer satisfaction and usability (find the complete methodology here).
Of those top tools, we’ll highlight the four with the highest scores here to help you narrow down your search.
What are ecommerce tools?
Ecommerce tools are software features that make it easier for online businesses to list, market, sell, and ship their products from their online store. These features include website design and management, online shopping cart, payment processing, inventory management, email marketing, and order fulfillment.
While an ecommerce solution can be sold as standalone software, different applications are generally packaged together as ecommerce software systems designed specifically for online stores.
Find the right ecommerce tools for your business
You can start your selection process by browsing through these top four ecommerce tools to see which products rate highest in customer satisfaction and usability. Below, we’ll include some background, key features, and starting pricing to help you find a good match for your needs, then you can set up a demo or free trial.
If you still haven’t found the right ecommerce platform after that, you can browse the complete FrontRunners report of 25 products here, or talk to one of our advisors for free to get hands on assistance.
1. CS-Cart is an open source ecommerce tool for businesses that want complete ownership
The main dashboard in CS-Cart (Source)
User rating: 4.62/5
Unlike X-Cart, which appears later in this list and offers open source and SaaS (software as a service) versions, CS-Cart is all open source, all the time. This means that you’ll want to have some technical know-how, or a dedicated IT team, to get the most out of CS-Cart.
Don’t be too intimidated, though, as CS-Cart does include limited technical support to help you get up to speed.
- Special promotions management
- Multiple payment provider support
- Visual layout website builder
Price: $385 (perpetual use license) comes with 50 technical support credits. 15-day free trial available.
2. Ecwid is a cloud-based ecommerce tool that works seamlessly with existing websites and social profiles
The mobile iOS dashboard in Ecwid (Source)
User rating: 4.61/5
Developed as a more user friendly alternative to some of the open source options on this list, Ecwid is the only fully cloud-based tool on this list.
Ecwid was built to integrate seamlessly with existing websites and social media pages (like Facebook and Instagram), allowing ecommerce entrepreneurs to sync a store with their online presence without having to rebuild anything.
- Automated email marketing
- Multi-site simultaneous selling
- Abandoned cart emails
Price: $15/month for the basic plan. $35/month for the business plan adds advanced features and allows up to 2,500 products. The unlimited plan adds more features and unlimited products for $99/month. Ecwid offers a limited free version that does not expire.
3. nopCommerce is a completely free, Windows-based, open source ecommerce suite
Listing a product using nopCommerce (Source)
User rating: 4.70/5
Launched in 2009 by Russian developer Andrei Mazulnitsyn, nopCommerce is a completely open source ecommerce tool, meaning that you can download it and use it for free, forever. The catch is that you are completely responsible for installing, configuring, and maintaining the code, but nopCommerce does offer premium support services for a fee.
- Unlimited products and user accounts
- Multi-vendor and multi-store functionality
- Advanced reporting and ecommerce analytics
Price: nopCommerce is completely free. Optional premium support is $299 for three months or $799 for one year.
4. X-Cart is the ecommerce platform with open source and SaaS options
The “Orders awaiting processing” screen in X-Cart (Source)
User rating: 4.37/5
X-Cart is unique in that it offers an open source version for businesses that want to take total ownership of the product, but it also offers a fully hosted version (called X-Cart Cloud) for companies that would rather have a little more guidance and support.
If you’re not quite sure which option makes the most sense for your business, X-Cart offers a 30-day free trial of the cloud version to let users get a feel for the interface.
- Real-time shipping quotes
- Built-in fraud screening
- Integrated social media stores and advertising
Price: $49/month for X-Cart Cloud. Contact X-Cart for enterprise (source code) pricing. 30-day free trial available.
Setting up your ecommerce website for success
Once you’ve chosen the best ecommerce platform for your business and set up your online store, you’re off to a great start. But to get your ecommerce business to the next level you’ll want to build an ecommerce marketing plan.
Our guide on ecommerce marketing strategies can help you convert more potential customers. It covers:
- Setting up personalized product recommendations with an ecommerce marketing tool
- Building your email marketing list
- Sharing customer reviews on social media
- Recovering abandoned carts with marketing automation
And if you’re still having trouble choosing an ecommerce platform, we have trained advisors standing by and ready to help you choose the perfect ecommerce tools for your business. Best of all, it’s free for you and you can get started right away. Click here to schedule an appointment for a phone call or start a live chat here.
The Software Advice COVID-19 Consumer & Employee Impact Survey was conducted in June 2020 to understand how the priorities and preferences of people—as consumers, employees, and patients—have shifted due to COVID-19. We surveyed 564 consumers making up a representative sample (by age and gender) of the U.S. population.
We worded the questions to ensure that each respondent fully understood the meaning and the topic at hand.