Best Ecommerce Website Providers: A Comprehensive Guide

Going into ecommerce is a great and unparalleled way to reach a global audience with your product or service. eCommerce also positions you to interact with your potential customers 24/7.

From a business point of view, the revenue potential is exponential given the rapid uptake of technology that characterises today’s digital age.

The Choice of An eCommerce Website Provider Can Make or Break Your Business

How you evaluate ecommerce website providers can make or break your quest to establish a business online. Your ecommerce website, and therefore your ecommerce website provider is the foundation of your online business.

Choosing the best ecommerce website provider requires a careful consideration of your business goals, the type of product/service that you are selling, technical expertise, target market and budget.

This guide is focused on helping you to choose the best ecommerce website provider for your digital business venture.

The guide is focused on what we regard as the top four best ecommerce website providers: Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce and Wix.

An In-depth Review

The guide will cover an in-depth analysis of each of these ecommerce website providers and present the strengths and weaknesses (Pros and Cons) of each to help you make a well informed decision.

We will also share reasons and perspectives why Shopify is the best ecommerce website provider overall.

Shopify: The Ecommerce Powerhouse

Shopify Review

With a market share of over 25% in global ecommerce, Shopify is the leader of the pack in ecommerce platforms.

The platform has a solid reputation deriving from the set of its stellar features, versatility, scalability, affordability as well as its track record attested to by presence of numerous top brands and success stories on its platform.

Shopify‘s Key Strengths

All-in-One Ecommerce Solution

Shopify stands out for being a one stop solution for ecommerce. The platform takes away the hassles of building a stand-alone ecommerce website where you have to hire a developer to build and integrate different functionalities to deliver a fully functional ecommerce website.

With Shopify, you have issues of security, payment gateway integrations, customer feedback, marketing and SEO – and various other key functions that drive ecommerce – all in one place.

This eliminates the need to hop from one platform to another looking for this and that tool. Shopify has become a way of running a ecommerce business stress free.

User-Friendly Interface

There are many reasons why Shopify excels as an commerce website provider: its user-friendly platform is probably one major reason behind the success of this platform.

Shopify’s platform makes it super easy to build an online store without the need for technical expertise in coding and design.

The platform is user friendly such that experts and beginners are able to build professional and high end online front stores within minutes.

Extensive Theme Selection

Shopify presents a wide pool of themes to choose from. From online plant shops, through online clothing boutiques and online machinery stores – the platform has a vast collection of free and paid themes for different industries, niches and styles.

The themes are visually appealing and optimised for all devices (desktop, tablets and mobile), ensuring that you build a store that will enable a seamless shopping experience across any device.

Versatility and Scalability

The other reason Shopify easily becomes the best ecommerce website creator overall is that the platform is versatile and scalable.

The platform accommodates businesses of all sizes: micro to small online stores can thrive on Shopify.

The platform also has features and functionalities suited for medium to large enterprises which need solid and robust inventory management and ecommerce features overall.

Shopify Pricing

The good part with Shopify is that the plans and pricing are structured such that online store owners can pay for only what they need and go for higher priced features and packages as their businesses grow.

Micro and small businesses can afford to start small on Shopify and grow with the platform without the need to migrate to another platform for growth and scaling purposes.

Robust App Ecosystem

You may be thinking, well, even within Shopify the features and functions of my online store will be limited to what the platform offers, except Shopify has an expansive collection of apps and plugins for various integrations and needs.

Custom Integrations

Over and above what the platform gives you by default, you can leverage these apps and integrations to extend the functionalities of your online store across these aspects: security, marketing, inventory management, product displays, customer support, blogging, etc.

Whatever other extra needs you have for the way you want your online store to work – there is likely a Shopify app for that.

Shopify is Trusted by These Prominent Brands

Shopify has a solid reputation. The platform has been an ecommerce website provider of choice for numerous household brands.

  • Tesla: Elon Musk’s electric vehicle pioneer runs its Tesla-branded merchandise online store on Shopify.
  • Kylie Cosmetics: Kylie Jenner’s beauty brand rides on Shopify‘s ecommerce capabilities to sell to a global audience.
  • Budweiser: This is a renowned beer brand that also runs its merchandise store on Shopify selling branded clothing and accessories.
  • Gymshark: The fitness apparel brand started from scratch and has achieved success by running its ecommerce on Shopify.
  • Red Bull: The energy drink giant runs its online shop on Shopify selling various branded products.
  • Nestle: Nestle runs its specialty coffee products online store on Shopify to sell directly to its customers.
  • There are many other great brands that run on Shopify such as MVMT watches, Penguin Books, Heinz, AllBirds, etc.

All these brands use Shopify based on its reliability and performance.

Shopify Pros and Cons


User-Friendly Interface
Comprehensive Ecommerce Features
Wide Range of Templates
Vast App Ecosystem
Secure and Reliable Hosting
Mobile Responsiveness
Robust SEO Capabilities
Payment Gateway Options
Excellent Customer Support


Monthly Subscription Costs
Transaction Fees (on lower-tier plans)
Customization Limits on Basic Plans


WooCommerce: The WordPress Ecommerce Solution

While Shopify leads the pack in terms of ecommerce solutions overall: WooCommerce has a different approach to ecommerce.

WooCommerce is an open ecommerce solution for WordPress. WooCommerce has carved its niche as the easy option for transforming WordPress into an ecommerce. WordPress is a leading Content management platform with system (CMS) with a market share of over 42% on the internet.

A report by Aovup indicates that WordPress has over 50 000 plugins and over 41 000 GPL-Licenses themes for customising the look and feel of WordPress.

If WordPress is the content management system you need to stick with, then WooCommerce is an ecommerce platform tailored for this content management system. WooCommerce offers a flexible and cost effective approach to ecommerce within the WordPress world.

WooCommerce‘s Strengths

WooCommerce is Built for WordPress

If you have a strong WordPress blog or website and need to extend your WordPress digital property to ecommerce, WooCommerce is your best bet.

The solution is built for WordPress and integrates naturally and seamlessly with WordPress. WooCommerce is a great ecommerce solution for content heavy ecommerce businesses that want to leverage WordPress’ robust content management features.

Cost-Effective Solution

WooCommerce is an open-source solution for WordPress. As such, the core platform is available at no cost as it is free to use.

This makes WooCommerce a great solution for those seeking to implement ecommerce features on their existing WordPress blogs or websites without incurring much costs upfront.

WooCommerce Downsides

Please note that if you go the route of WooCommerce you need to consider the cost of hosting, themes as well as premium extensions.

In some cases going for solutions like WooCommerce ends up being more costly and difficult to manage especially if you need a lot of custom functions and features.

Large Community and Support

Given the popularity of WordPress, WooCommerce has rode on that wave to become a popular ecommerce website provider for WordPress.

As such WooCommerce boasts a large following, community and support base. The community has thousands of users and developers.

This community is helpful for finding solutions to your questions, customisations and whatever you need to get the most out of your WooCommerce store.

WooCommerce also has an extensive plugin library for extending the basic functions and features of the core of WooCommerce.

The plugins cover various aspects of ecommerce such as payment gateways, advanced shipping options, subscription services, product variations, product displays, etc.

WooCommerce is best suited for content driven ecommerce websites that seek to leverage story-telling and content marketing for their product offerings.

WooCommerce Weaknesses

While WooCommerce is a great ecommerce website provider for WordPress, the solution has its downsides.

WooCommerce may require more technical expertise to get your online store into shape with a set of functionalities that you desire.

This applies for both set up and maintenance. Also, while the solution is open source (Free), this can be easily offset by the costs for hosting, premium themes and development.

WooCommerce Pros and Cons


Open-Source and Free
Highly Customizable
Vast Range of Plugins
Seamless WordPress Integration
Ownership and Control
Scalable for Growth
Multilingual and Global Support
Large User Community
Abundant Theme Options
Versatile Product Management


Technical Expertise Required
Additional Costs for Extensions
Security and Maintenance Responsibility
Potential Compatibility Issues
Limited Support Options

BigCommerce: The Scalable Ecommerce Platform

BigCommerce is a solid ecommerce website provider that is tailored for medium sized to large online stores.

BigCommerce has a reputation for handling high volume stores as well as providing extensive customisation options.

BigCommerce is a great fit for businesses looking for enterprise level ecommerce solutions.

BigCommerce‘s Strengths

Scalability and Performance

BigCommerce is tailored for growth and scale. The platform can handle high traffic and high transaction volumes – making it a great fit for enterprise-sized online stores.

One great aspect of running your business on BigCommerce is that your online store will not outgrow the platform.

As such, you can avert the need to migrate and switch platforms when your business is operational.

Comprehensive Set of Features

BigCommerce has a huge feature set that includes advanced inventory management, multi-channel selling functions as well as product options.

The platform is designed for business with complex needs such as B2B ecommerce and wholesales looking to spread their wings internationally.

Mobile-First Approach

Jumping onto the ecommerce solutions scene a bit later than the pioneers of ecommerce solutions: BigCommerce came into the scene when mobile commerce was already on the rise.

As such the platform has a mobile first approach – this means that the platform prioritises a seamless shopping experience across mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) enabling online retailers to cater to a growing mobile customer base.

Built-In Security

BigCommerce takes security quite seriously. The platform provides inbuilt security features and compliance with relevant industry standards so as to protect customer data to earn and retain the trust of online shoppers.

High-Quality Templates

BigCommerce has a generous collection of professionally designed visually appealing templates and functional.

The platform has capabilities for the customisations of these templates to align with your brand’s identity as well as ensuring a seamless shopping experience.

Multichannel Selling Options

In a fashion similar to Shopify, BigCommerce offers multi-channel selling capabilities. On BigCommerce you can sell your products not only on your BigCommerce online store but on social media platforms and marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay to expand your reach exponentially.

BigCommerce Weaknesses

While the platform offers robust features for enterprise level online stores, the platform comes at a high cost.

Also, as much as the platform enables customisations BigCommerce has a steep learning curve especially for absolute beginners. The platform may require some technical expertise to set up as well as maintain when – something platforms like Shopify fare better on.

BigCommerce Pros and Cons


Extensive Feature Set
MultiChannel Selling
BuiltIn SEO Tools
Payment Gateway Options
Mobile Responsiveness
Robust Analytics
Secure Hosting
App Integration


High Pricing Tiers
Steep Learning Curve
Limited Free Themes
Transaction Fees (on lower plans)
Bandwidth Limits (on lower plans)

Wix Ecommerce

Wix Ecommerce Review

Wix is a versatile and user friendly ecommerce website provider particularly for micro to small ecommerce needs.

Wix Ecommerce Strengths

Visually Stunning Templates

Wix makes creating online stores a breeze. The ecommerce website provider has a vast collection of high end and professionally designed templates.

The templates allow for high customisations without requiring any technical design or coding skills. On Wix you can find templates that align with your niche, style and industry.

User-Friendly Website Builder

Wix has an easy to use drag and drop ecommerce website builder. Even beginners with minimal technical knowledge can create professional and high end online stores with ease. Wix strikes a code with small online ventures that want a straight forward ecommerce website building experience.

Wix has flexible pricing options as well: starting form as low as $17 per month for the Business Basic plan.

Limitations to Consider

While Wix has its several strengths, the platform does not have the robust options in features and functions that platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce have.

Wix may not offer the same level of advanced ecommerce features and customization options as platforms like Shopify or WooCommerce.

Businesses with complex ecommerce needs, such as extensive product variations or intricate sales funnels, may find that Wix falls short in meeting these demands.

If you need features for more comprehensive product variations, intricate sales funnels, etc you may need to consider ecommerce website providers such as Shopify and BigCommerce.

Wix Pros and Cons


UserFriendly Interface
Versatile Template Selection
App Market
Free Plan Available
Visual Website Builder
SEO Capabilities
eCommerce Features


Limited Scalability
Advertisements on Free Plan
Less Flexibility for Advanced Users
Limited Data Portability

Factors to Consider in Choosing the Best Ecommerce Website Provider

There is no one size fits all when it comes to an ecommerce solution. Choosing the best platform goes beyond comparing features and functionalities of different platforms to considering your specific business goals, resources as well as preferences.

Below are important factors you need to consider in choosing a commerce website provider for your business.

Business Goals: What are your short term and long term business goals? Consider the growth prospects of your business. If you have feasible growth prospects you need to consider a platform that your business can grow in.

Budget: Consider your budget vis a viz the platform’s initial costs. Also consider ongoing costs such as hosting, integrations, plugins and themes.

Technical Expertise: How much technical skills are required by the ecommerce website builder to set up an online store? Will you manage?

Pro Tip

Platforms like Shopify, Wix and BigCommerce are designed to be user friendly even for non-technical users, whereas solutions like WooCommerce may require a developer for certain integrations and customisations.

What Level of Technical Skills is Required? Some platforms, like Shopify, are designed to be user-friendly, while others, such as WooCommerce, may require more technical know-how.

Customization Needs: Pay attention to the level of customisations that your online store requires. Do you need fine grained customisation and flexibility or you’re good to go with basic settings. Can pre-designed templates suffice for your needs without additional tweaking?

Scalability: Looking at your growth prospects: will the platform you are considering accommodate high traffic and high transaction volumes without any limitations?

Integration Requirements: The option to extend the functions and features of your online store over and above what the default settings offer you is crucial.

For this you need to assess and check if the ecommerce website provider you are considering has the type of third party apps, plugins, tools and integrations that you will need to take your ecommerce to the next level.

Support and Resources: Does the ecommerce website provider have Live chat, email, telephone, knowledgebase and community forums.

Also consider the following: Does the platform produce mobile responsive online front stores? Does the platform provide multichannel selling, security and compliance?

Also look at reviews and case studies as well as success stories to gauge market sentiment on the platform before you make the final decision.

Final Thoughts

We have in this guide: explored the best ecommerce website providers—Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce and Wix. We outlined the strengths and weaknesses of each. You would have noted that each platform has its own unique strengths and value proposition.

Shopify excels in user-friendliness, versatility, as well as in its robust and comprehensive suite of ecommerce features and app marketplace.

The platform is suited for business at various stages – from micro to small and medium enterprises all the way up to enterprise level retailers.

WooCommerce stands out for its seamless integration with WordPress. This makes the solution a best fit for content heavy websites seeking ecommerce implementation to their existing assets.

BigCommerce is tailored for scalability and offers enterprise-level features, making it a good fit for medium-sized to large businesses with complex ecommerce needs.

Wix is a more affordable option for businesses with micro to small ecommerce needs. The platform also offers high levels of customisations although it has limitations for brands looking for a solution that can grow with their online store.

Your final choice out of all these top ecommerce website providers must be based on your business goals, budget, technical expertise, as well as desired level of customization.

The Shopify Edge

Shopify stands out as the best ecommerce website provider overall based on its User-Friendly Interface, intuitive design, versatility, comprehensive feature set, and extensive app ecosystem.

The fact that dozens of top household brands such as Heinz, Tesla, Penguin Books, Gymshark, Red Bull, etc run their online stores on Shopify is a cherry on top.

All the best in your ecommerce adventure!

Photo of author

Gugulethu Nyoni

Gugulethu Nyoni is a seasoned ICT entrepreneur, a full-stack developer with a portfolio of proprietary SaaS solutions under his name. His expertise span conceptualizing and developing digital solutions, including bespoke eCommerce applications. Gugu is also a proficient eCommerce and Whitehat SEO consultant.