There are a lot of online hosted stores and eCommerce Shopping Carts out there in the market and it’s not easy to sort through all the technical points to find the e-commerce builder that is right for you – especially if you are a beginner and new to the world of selling products online. We have ranked the best ones in the business for your ease, so you can spend more time running your business.
But keep in mind, our in-depth and unbiased analysis has been geared to a wide array of purchasers of hosted eCommerce stores, so your individual needs may not necessarily correlate. It all comes down to your personal requirements and preferences. For example, if you anticipate heavy traffic, a solution that offers lots of online storage space, inventory, and bandwidth is ideal, or if you are obsessed with the design part of your site, then you may like a solution that offers more attractive, ready to use templates.
For your convenience, we also included links to our full independent article reviews for each hosted cart. So let’s see how ten of the most popular multi-vendor shopping carts/eCommerce Stores rank starting from “good” all the way to “great!”
Rank #10 CloudCart: Cloud cart is a U.S. based and rather new challenger in the e-commerce SaaS industry. It has built an online e-commerce platform for beginners who are interested in getting features that would often require additional apps or development experience. Packing an impressive array of features, it is a great e-commerce website builder for the creation of high-quality online stores. The platform positioning is quite standard, while the interface is user-friendly and meets the needs of customers. It targets both small businesses and enterprise-grade e-commerce projects, with a highly competitive pricing structure. (Full review article here…)
- Advanced Analytics and Reports
- Fast and Secure Hosting
- Express checkout
- Awesome templates
- No transaction and Setup fees
- Free 256-bit SSL certificate
- Lack of access to source code for advanced editing
- Not enough customization options
The following pricing plans are offered by CloudCart:
- Beginner ($9.99/month)
- Basic ($39.99/month)
- CloudCart ($89.99/month)
- Professional ($149.99/month)
The prices mentioned above are applicable if you pay on monthly basis. However, if you choose to pay in full for the whole year, you’ll get a whopping 60% discount making CloudCart quite affordable. All of the plans include 0% transaction fees and you also don’t have to pay any setup fees. Overall, the pricing isn’t terrible, but the lower priced plans are still limited in terms of a number of products and admins you can have, which isn’t the case with many competitors. A 14-day free trial is also available.
CloudCart is a high-quality e-commerce website builder suitable for beginners in the e-commerce world. It’s not necessarily better than its competitors like Shopify, BigCommerce etc., but it’s definitely going to be easy in your pocket as it doesn’t charge any transaction, commission or setup fee and offers a 60% discount if you pay in full for the whole year. The interface is also easy to use. Furthermore, if you’re having trouble locating a platform with express checkout coupons and awesome templates, the CloudCart platform a step in the right direction. We recommend trying out their 14-day free trial before making a final decision.
Rank #9 Pinnacle Cart: Pinnacle Cart is a software-as-a-service Shopping Cart (SaaS) and e-commerce solution that provides a way to launch an online store without dealing with the hassles of self-hosting. It is an all-in-one e-commerce platform that’s capable of building an online store and more. It’s simple enough that even the most novice user will be able to set up a store. (Full article review here…)
Core features include:
- Beautiful, modern designs, easily customizable color schemes and skins
- Easy integration with QuickBooks
- QR codes to products or promotions
- Social media integration to encourage users to share products info to Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms
- Drift Marketing to encourage sales after cart abandonment
- Save payment details for faster shopping on return trips
- Free shipping based on the dollar amount
- Product recommendations, based on cart or browsing history
- Affiliate marketing
- Integration to Mail Chimp and other marketing apps
- Product syndication to eBay, Amazon, Yahoo, Google Product Search, PriceGrabber, NexTag, and more
- PA-DSS Certified PCI Compliant
- Detailed analytics on all aspects of visitor and buyer behavior; fully integrates with Google Analytics and Google AdWords
- Weight totaling and shipping rate calculation, with real-time shipping rate integration to USPS, UPS, FedEx, and Canada Post.
- Real-time inventory management
- Wholesale discounting
- Advanced tax management and calculations
- Shipping tracking numbers
- Integrates with major e-commerce tools like Webgility, T-hub, DOBA, and ShipWire
- Recurring and subscription based billing, with detailed options and pricing schemes
- No built-in Point of Sale (POS) system.
- No product comparison feature (customers do not have the option to compare multiple products side by side).
- No free shared SSL certificate (you have to buy your own).
The following pricing plans are offered by PinnacleCart:
- Startup at $29.95/month
- Small Biz at $59.95/month
- Entrepreneur at $94.95/month
- Enterprise at $149.95/month
No setup and transactions fees are charged by PinnacleCart on any of these plans. Moreover, they offer a 14-day free trial to let you check out their e-commerce platform’s capabilities and functionalities. Except for the Startup Plan, all the other three plans are QuickBooks Synced.
Pinnacle Cart is an excellent option for both beginner merchants and large sellers. It offers an easy-to-use hosting and shopping cart platform with no product limit. Attractive templates, excellent SEO, and email marketing tools are some of its notable features. However, the lack of free SSL certificate is a drawback and you have to pay a minimum of $14.95 to get it. All in all, PinnacleCart makes it easy and enjoyable to design, manage, and market your online store.
Rank #8 Fortune3: Fortune3 is a hosted online store and e-commerce shopping cart that has been in business for around 15 years. It comes with an extensive set of features along with tight security and a 99.9% uptime at a reasonable price to effectively build, manage and market your e-commerce website. Before getting into the details, let’s take a brief look at its pros and cons. (Full article here)
- WYSIWYG editing
- Customizable Storefront
- A host of integrations
- Multiple Payment methods
- Real-time shipping fee calculations
- Full SEO and marketing tools
- Various forms of customer support
- The themes are a bit outdated
- Cumbersome admin panel. Not quite user-friendly
- Limited number of products except on the expensive Unlimited Plan
Following pricing plans are offered by Fortune3
- Starter – $9.95/month
- Basic – $24.95/month
- Silver – $39.95/month
- Gold – $69.95/month
- Platinum – $99.95/month
- Unlimited – $159.95/month
All the pricing plans offer almost the same set of features except the number of products. There is a $50 setup fee for both platinum and unlimited plan while the rest of the plans have no setup fee. Fortune3 also claims to offers a 0% Transaction fee across all its plans. However, this is only applicable if you use Fortune3’s merchant account. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay 1% fee on every transaction along with a monthly fee.
Fortune3 is loaded with tons of features and offers a consistent support. It has several elements of SEO and Internet marketing that you could benefit from. However, it’ll take some time to get used to their dated themes and strange admin panel as the user interface is not much intuitive. If you can settle for the limited number of products on your store, we recommend trying their 30 Day free trial.
Rank #7 CoreCommerce: CoreCommerce offers a large feature set with tools to help you design your e-commerce website, manage your inventory, create reports and more. It is a suitable platform for small businesses and individuals that are looking to set up new stores that do not have much need for great data storage. This all-in-one hosted shopping cart comes with an excess of advantages for individual sellers, small businesses, and medium enterprises. (Full article review here…)
- Hundreds of beautiful e-commerce designs, including mobile-friendly, responsive designs
- Affordable custom design solutions
- Hundreds of app and integration options
- Integrated marketing tools
- Customizable discounts and free shipping offers
- In-depth reporting tools
- Secure hosting
- Automatic updates
- Level 1 PCI-DSS compliance, the highest level available
- 99% uptime
- Premium bandwidth for reliable speed
- Free onboarding session with an onboarding coach
- CoreCommerce is relatively expensive when compared to other leading e-commerce
- The admin interface is outdated and it is difficult to find certain features.
- With the exception of the Enterprise plan, storage space is limited on the remaining plans.
CoreCommerce offers five different pricing plans which are as follows:
- Pioneer for $40/ month
- Advanced for $90/ month
- Professional for $140/ month
- Premier for $200/ month
- Enterprise for $600/ monthly
You can get a 12 percent discount on the prices if you decide to pay the whole amount annually. All the plans except the Pioneer plan offer unlimited bandwidth. However, out of all plans, only the Enterprise plan offers unlimited storage which is a huge drawback in case you are planning to sell downloadable content on your store. Moreover, the company doesn’t charge any transaction fees, no matter which plans you sign up for and also offers a 50 percent discount to nonprofit organizations on all plans.
While CoreCommerce comes with an impressive feature set and an excellent customer support team, the software’s backend is lacking in some aspects. The admin panel is difficult to navigate and use on a daily basis, which might be the reason behind its relatively lower popularity. However, the built-in marketing tools, seamless social integration, SEO optimization, as well as the excellent security options, make this a great solution. I would definitely recommend trying their 15-day free trial before making a final decision.
Rank #6 Wix eCommerce: WIX has just recently stepped foot into the e-commerce world with WIX e-commerce, a platform for selling anything online. The company has taken the website building world by storm, allowing small business owners to leapfrog over expensive website design companies and put their own time into generating a stylish website without having to pay the hefty costs. Along with offering standard features like intuitive drag and drop Editor, stunning templates, over 250 apps, and a fully-functioning website builder, Wix has cultivated a series of features and technologies geared toward the digital retailer. (Full article review here…)
- Stunning templates
- Beautiful product galleries
- Mobile optimized
- Professional store manager
- Integrated shopping cart
- Add coupon codes, tax & shipping rules
- Multiple payment methods
- Secure checkout
- Easy customer management
- Free 24/7 customer support
- No transaction fees
- Lack of export date feature. In the worst case scenario, you’d have to scrape and/or manually copy paste your data to your new site.
- It is AJAX based which is not friendly for search engine bots. Thus, inhibiting better SEO
Wix offers five premium plans but only two of them supports e-commerce functionalities i-e the e-commerce plan and the VIP plan. The e-commerce plan costs $16.50/month and is great for small and medium sized businesses. However, if you are a large business that needs a lot of bandwidth and additional features, then go for VIP plan which costs $24.50/month.
With Wix e-commerce, you can make your site look fairly professional and run perfectly capable payment systems through the interface, and the dashboard is so darn easy to use. You can automatically send out marketing newsletters, deal with invoicing almost automatically and integrate with other social network markets (such as Etsy, Facebook). However, it’s impossible to start an online store with WIX unless you opt for the $16.50 per month e-commerce plan or the $24.50 per month VIP plan. Due to this, it’s still difficult to recommend it because brands like Shopify are already out there in the market and are offering prices as low as $9 per month to set up an online store. But still, if you are a small business that needs a professional looking store, then Wix e-commerce would be a great choice.
Rank #5 Weebly: Weebly offers a global platform that lets people easily create a personalized website. They aim to provide everyone the freedom to build a high-quality site that works across all devices used to browse the internet.
Weebly provides a fantastic website builder that makes it easy to build a professional online presence. But that’s not all. Since e-commerce has become so important they’ve now enhanced the editor with many features that will help you sell online without having to learn any coding skills. A simple drag and drop are all it takes to add text, images or forms to your Weebly website. (Full article review here…)
- A free SSL certificate
- Fully integrated shopping cart that uses your own custom domain name throughout the entire checkout experience (beneficial to you as your shoppers never leaves your website through the entire purchase process)
- Inventory control & management
- Full shipping configuration options
- Shipping & Tax calculator
- Discount code engine
- Ability to use PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net and Square to power your shopping cart
- 1 free custom domain name for 1 year
- Real time shipping rates (only available to Performance Plan users)
- Abandoned cart recovery (only available to Performance Plan users)
- Gift card products (only available to Performance Plan users)
- Unlimited number of products
- Zero transaction fees
- Builder Limitations: While Weebly offers an easy interface for you to build your website, there are certain limitations to it. If you want to make some in-depth customization on your website then you would have to go into the code or would have to hire someone to do it for you.
- Lack of Advanced eCommerce Analytics: One helpful tool that Weebly is missing is advanced e-commerce, However, Weebly does allow you to integrate your store with Google Analytics’ e-commerce tracking function. But the user experience is not as good when compared to advanced e-commerce analytics dashboard that is built into other online store builders such as Shopify etc.
As discussed above, Weebly has 4 pricing plans and each of them is slightly different when it comes to e-commerce offerings. Following are the prices charged for each of these plans:
- Starter Plan at $8/month
- Pro Plan at $12/month
- Business Plan at $25/month
- Performance Plan at $49/month
Weebly is a great choice for an all-inclusive website builder. They have great pricing, good functionality, and a good user experience. They also offer unlimited items so you can sell as many products on your store as you want. Therefore, Weebly’s online store is worth a look, and now finally plays in the same league as the rest of the website builder in terms of features and design.
As far as the Weebly’s performance plan is concerned, we have mixed feelings about it. Even though it contains more features than Business, we don’t think that it’s worth almost the double price of the Business plan. Also, with Weebly e-commerce, you don’t get close to a number of features as Shopify, but the Business plan is a bit cheaper than the Shopify Basic Plan, so if you want the simplest interface with unlimited product uploads, and you’re short on money, then Weebly is a solid choice.
Rank #4: 3dCart: 3dcart is a feature-rich e-commerce platform that serves merchants large and small. With a wide range of pricing options and loads of features right out of the box, 3dcart is an excellent option for merchants who are looking for an affordable, fully-hosted selling solution. With the 3d cart, setting up and launching your store is just a matter of few clicks. You can gain access to countless tools that will allow you to effortlessly market your store across social media, email, and blog. (Full article review here…)
- 100+ Conversion Optimized Themes
- Paperless eSignature Application
- Free 24/7 customer support
- Sell online on eBay, Amazon, Google Shopping, Facebook, Shopzilla
- Secure Shopping Cart
- Conversion Optimized Checkout
- Built in Abandoned Cart Tools
- Gift wrap and registry
- Completely Customizable, Responsive & Mobile Ready
- Powerful Blog & CMS
- No Programming Necessary
- Unlimited categories & SmartCategories
- Unlimited Options and Variations
- All plans offer limited bandwidth which may be a drawback to stores with high traffic levels.
- Bugs/clutter in the admin panel that makes certain e-commerce features difficult to find.
- Limited app/module selection, no external app store.
The pricing is 3dcart is pretty straightforward, as the company offers eight plans to choose from. Some people may think that this will make the decision a little tougher, but it’s always for the better that you have more pricing options. This way, you don’t have to get stuck paying for a plan that’s too robust or one that doesn’t have enough features. The pricing plans are as follows:
- Nano Plan– For $9.99 per month you receive support for up to 25 products, a maximum of 2,000 monthly visitors and 1,000 newsletter sends.
- Mini Plan– For $19.99 per month you receive support for up to 200 products, a maximum of 4,000 monthly visitors and 1,000 newsletter sends.
- Professional Plan– For $65.99 per month you receive support for up to 10,000 products, a maximum of 20,000 monthly visitors and 5,000 newsletter sends.
- Professional Plus Plan– Advertised as the most popular option from 3dcart, the professional plus plan goes for $199.99 per month, and you receive support for an unlimited amount of products, a maximum of 120,000 monthly visitors and 20,000 newsletter sends.
- Power Plan– the power plan goes for $129.99 per month, and you receive support for an unlimited amount of products, a maximum of 90,000 monthly visitors and 25,000 newsletter sends.
- High Traffic Plan– A plan for a small business with a high volume of traffic and sales, the High Traffic Plan goes for $99.99 per month, and you receive support for an unlimited amount of products, a maximum of 50,000 monthly visitors and 50,000 newsletter sends.
- High Traffic Plus Plan– An enhanced version of the High Traffic Plan, the High Traffic Plus Plan goes for $499.99 per month, and you receive support for an unlimited amount of products, a maximum of 500,000 monthly visitors and 150,000 newsletter sends.
- Enterprise Plan – With this plan, you can get all enterprise features, infrastructure, and support without the traditional headaches of enterprise applications. You can contact 3dcart and they’ll send you a special quote based on your requirements.
If you decide to pay for your plan on yearly basis, the monthly costs drop to about 15 percent. The company also offers a 15-day trial and a one-month money back guarantee.
The 3dcart shopping cart solution is a complete web store solution for anyone looking to start an online business, add a shopping cart to their existing website, or to replace their existing shopping cart platform. It includes the latest, innovative features, tools, and technology needed to build, promote and grow your online business. In addition, the customer support team is quite amazing. However, if you have a lot of high-quality images or video content, the limited bandwidth on low priced plans may slow your site down. We recommend first and foremost that you try out the free 15-day trial before you make any decisions.
Rank#3: Our Bronze Award – Volusion: Volusion is one of the larger e-commerce online store builders that allow you to start selling your products without being a technical geek at all. Building a website with Volusion is quite intuitive and straightforward as it is a powerful e-commerce software with fantastic marketing capabilities. With a store built with Volusion, your customers can easily find your site across all major search engines. (Full article review here…)
- Comprehensive eCommerce Tools
- 24/7 Live Support
- No Transaction Fees
- Sell on Facebook, Amazon & Ebay
- Online business blog
- Blazing fast uptime speed
- Mobile Compatibility
- Bandwidth Limit (Unknown charges for additional bandwidth.)
- With Volusion, you have to pay for your own SSL certificate which can range from $90 to $1,000 per year.
Volusion offers four different pricing plans which are as follows:
- Mini Plan at $15/month
- Plus Plan at $35/month
- Pro Plan at $75/month
- Premium Plan at $135/month
All plans come with free setup and unlimited storage. The cheapest plan (Mini) allows you to add 100 products to your store while the most expensive one (Premium) allows an unlimited number of products. While the cheapest plan only comes with 24/7 online support all other plans also offer phone support. Furthermore, if you pay up front for a full year you will also receive a 10% discount.
Volusion is a pretty good e-commerce store builder. They give you all the tools you need to build a functional store, without you having to worry about programming or any complicated technical tasks. If you are an online store with some developer resources, want a robust hosted platform to serve as your shopping cart, and want checkout to happen on your domain, Volusion is a great fit. However, the main drawback is the bandwidth limitations and that you never know how much more you have to pay if you exceed your bandwidth limits. We would recommend that your first give their 14-day free trial a spin, that way you can easily see if the features meet your needs.
Rank #2: Our Silver Award – BigCommerce: BigCommerce is another reputable paid-for ‘hosted’ e-commerce solution that allows business owners to set up an online store and sell their products online. In early 2016, Bigcommerce underwent an incredibly drastic rebranding change, with a completely new branding, more integrations and plenty of new features for the users.
Bigcommerce gives you a lot of flexibility with an array of tools that have the potential of taking your store to the next level. The product is aimed primarily at people without much in the way of web design skills, but it also allows more tech-savvy users to tweak the HTML and CSS of their sites too. (Full article review here…)
- Bulk product import/export options
- Real-time shipping rates
- Dozens of integrated payment solutions
- Payment options for high-risk industries
- Fully Secure shopping cart
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Fast content delivery network
- Shared SSL certificate included
- Built-in blog for content marketing
- Newsletter subscription capture
- Social sharing for products and purchases
- Loyalty program integrations
- Apps for increasing your social following
- Fast accurate product search
- Side-by-side product comparisons
- Live chat integrations
- Extensive third-party app store.
- Limited annual online sales – and if you exceed them, you’ll need to upgrade to an advanced plan
- No refunds.
BigCommerce monthly fees range from $29.95 per month (Standard Plan) to $79.95 per month (Plus Plan) to $199.95 per month (Pro plan). As you progress up the plans, you get more tools available to you. BigCommerce also offers an Enterprise Plan, which is a customized solution for established, high volume businesses. With this plan, they offer a dedicated BigCommerce team that will create a store tailored to your needs. The pricing for this plan varies depending on the kind of store you require. You can contact Bigcommerce for a quote.
Bigcommerce offers a broad range of helpful, practical e-commerce features and tools that can help you lay a foundation for success. It gives you easy to use administration, comes with enough features to fit the needs of most merchants, and the available themes are very professional. A lot of other e-commerce builders charge a 1% – 3% transaction fee per sale, on top of payment processing fees, which effectively eats into the business’ profit margins. With BigCommerce, they don’t charge any transaction fees, but the negative aspect is that as you generate higher sales, they require you to upgrade to a higher plan to help “recoup” the extra resources your store takes up.
At the end of the day, if you are looking for an all-in-one e-commerce solution, and you want something with tons of built-in features and simply works with no technical know how – then BigCommerce will be a great fit for you. Try the 15-day free trial before making any final decisions.
Top Rank #1: Our Gold Award – Shopify: Shopify is probably the best e-commerce software in the market today. It is part of a group of turn-key e-commerce solutions that provides everything you need to setup and start selling your products to the world in contrast to you putting all the pieces together yourself. One of the key ideas behind Shopify is that users without much technical or design knowledge can create a store without relying on a design agency or web developer. It lets you organize your products, customize your storefront, accept credit card payments, track and respond to orders all with a few clicks of the mouse. However, people who are familiar with HTML and CSS will be pleased to discover that Shopify gives you a great degree of customization, allowing you a much better control over the design of templates. (Full article review here…)
- Over 100 beautiful, professional looking, mobile ready storefront themes. Also, allows you to create your own themes
- Comprehensive, flexible e-commerce builder with a large App Store to extend the functionality of your online store
- Gives you a true 24/7 anytime support
- Offers unlimited storage and bandwidth.
- Built-in Speed & Security for Hosting
- Greater ease of use. Everything can be done with a few clicks. Provides great beginner guides and extensive documentation.
- Gives you full access to the code and so you can add new functions via their app market or API (for programmers).
- Scalable and User-friendly. Easy to scale for small and big online stores.
Not every platform is perfect, though, and a Shopify review wouldn’t be complete without covering the cons of using Shopify for an online store. Here are some of the cons of using Shopify for e-commerce.
- Shopify charges a transaction fee for every sale (unless you use Shopify Payment)
- Monthly cost may add up if you integrate multiple Apps
- You need to know Liquid (Coding Language of Shopify) if you want to customize your theme extensively
- Features like domain and email hosting are not included. However, relatively cheap domains can be purchased through the Shopify interface. Email hosting has to be done externally.
- You can’t reach out to customer support via live chat.
There are five Shopify plans to choose from:
- Shopify Lite – $9 per month
- Basic Shopify – $29 per month
- Shopify – $79 per month
- ‘Advanced Shopify’ – $299 per month
- Shopify Plus – fees are negotiable
You get more features and tools as you move higher up in their plans, and the credit card rate and transaction fees rate also reduce. However, Shopify, like all hosted platforms, is going to be consistently more expensive month to month than a self-hosted store you run yourself. If you have some technical know-how and a smaller shop, Shopify pricing will be expensive. But if you want to focus on running & marketing your store, then Shopify’s pricing will actually be a pro.
Shopify is a very strong e-commerce online shop builder. It’s competitively priced, easy to use, and its templates are strong. No matter how fast your business and requirements grow, with Shopify, you don’t have to be afraid of moving to another platform and restarting everything from scratch. So, if you are looking for an all-in-one e-commerce solution for your online store, and you are looking to grow and add products and you have a little bit of technical know-how, then Shopify will be a great fit for you.
If you enjoyed the ranking, but would rather compare shopping cart software (where you own the shopping cart code instead of rent it from a hosted online store), please visit “Licensed Shopping Carts Compared.” If you are confused between a hosted online store and shopping cart software, please visit our beginner’s page.