A Roundup of Hosted E-commerce Solutions

Hosted e-commerce solutions

When you’re building an e-commerce store, you’ll need a platform that supports all the important e-commerce functions. Sort of like a CMS but for e-commerce. Sure, you can build one from scratch but why not cut to the chase and use what’s out there.

You can either choose to self-host the platform, or find a hosted platform. The self-hosted platforms are usually free and open source, but you’ll need to do all the technical stuff of setting it up and maintaining it on your own servers. On the other hand, hosted platforms handle all the legwork so that you can focus on your business.

If you’re not technical, or if you don’t have the time, it makes sense to use a hosted platform. You can get started in a few minutes and you’ll have a functional e-commerce website ready to go. The website will be hosted on the cloud and you can access the backend through a web-portal.

We’ve already recommended Shopify a few times on this site because we think it’s a good solution, especially when starting out. However, it’s not for everyone. For example, you might feel like you need a more powerful platform for your growing store, or something simpler and cheaper for your side project.

If you’re shopping around for a different solution, you have many options to choose from, both paid and free.

Paid Hosted E-commerce Solutions

  1. Bigcommerce  With over 50,000 stores using them, Bigcommerce is an extremely popular e-commerce solution. They are incredibly feature-rich with many important tools baked in. If you need more tools and features they have integrations with 100’s of apps. Add to that their gorgeous themes and easy-to-use design tools, it’s no wonder sites like Pandora and Grady’s Cold Brew choose them. Their pricing is a fixed monthly fee, starting from $25/month, and is based on the number of products you have in your store.
  2. Volusion – Volusion is another popular e-commerce solution with flat fees. They start at $15/month for 100 products and charge more for more products and more features. They have a ton of built-in features as well as integrations with various other apps. They also have a whole suite of design and marketing services. They have over 40,000 customers including Kammok and MatchaSource.
  3. Americommerce – Also a complete e-commerce solution with a very similar pricing structure as Bigcommerce. What’s special about them is that they allow you to add on and manage multiple store-fronts from just one account for a flat fee of $39/month. That’s a great feature if you want to start or run multiple stores. They serve over 5,000 customers including Made and Steelcase.
  4. Magento Go – Magento is more widely known for their open source Community Edition. However, they also have Magento Go which is their hosted solution for small businesses and Enterprise Edition, which, as the name suggests, is for large enterprises. In total they serve over 200,000 merchants, with stores like Beardcraft and Undscvrd using Magento Go. However, Magento Go will soon close down.
  5. Lemon StandLemonStand is an e-commerce platform for online stores that growing and need more power and flexibility. They have a lot of advanced features and are extremely customizable. In fact, every single thing can be customized and you have access to every line of code. If you want to create a truly unique customer experience, this one is probably for you. They’ve got a discounted introductory pricing running now so get on it quick.
  6. Bigcartel – If you’re an artist and you’re selling your own designs, clothing, jewelry or other creative products, Bigcartel might be a good option for you. They cater only to small creative e-commerce businesses and this is reflected in their pricing. While many e-commerce stores have 100’s of products, chances are that as an artist, you only have a handful. Bigcartel takes this into account with a flat monthly fee based on the number of products, starting with a free plan for up to 5 products. Creepy Cute and Herriott Grace are two of 400,000 such stores.
  7. Amazon Webstore – Most people don’t realize this but Amazon has their own full-blown e-commerce solution hosted on their EC2 servers. They have only one price tier – $79/month with a 2% transaction fee (not counting the payment processing fees). It’s a bit expensive if you’re starting out, but if you have a big store you might consider them for their security and customer service.
  8. 3DCart – 3DCart is a complete e-commerce solution that’s been around for 15 years and have served over 15,000 customers. They are feature-rich and have built-in tools for e-mail marketing, customer service, coupons & deals, and lots more. Pricing starts at $19.99/month and increases if you want more features or products. They offer $175+ in advertising coupons for every price tier as well as unlimited phone support.
  9. Goodsie – Goodsie stands out because of their unique design system. Unlike other solutions where you have to create or modify themes through code, Goodsie lets you customize your entire design with an easy drag-and-drop interface. You can create stunning stores without touching a line of code. They offer two plans, a $30/month plan with basic features and a $75/month plan with advanced features.
  10. SupaDupa – This is another e-commerce solution catering to creative businesses with a focus on classy designs. You can customize your site to get the right look and feel for your brand. You can start with the free version for up to 10 products. You’ll need to pay if you want more products and features, but there are transaction fees involved. Over 17,000 designer stores like Velmost and AnyForty use SupaDupa.
  11. Flying Cart – Flying Cart is a quick and easy solution for small businesses. They start at a flat $9/month for 25 products after a free 30-day trial. They have an interesting feature called ‘Fan Club’ where customers can join store’s fan club and get automatic updates every time you add a product or change something on your site.
  12. Pinnacle Cart – Used by over 35,000 stores, Pinnacle Cart has got some cool features out of the box, like a direct integration to your Facebook store. They charge based on your storage and bandwidth needs, instead of number of products, which means you can have unlimited products even at their most basic tier of $30/month. They also have design and development services if you want to customize your site further.
  13. Jumpseller – Another elegant solution for small businesses, Jumpseller is based in Chile. They are pretty popular in South America but they do have over 5,500 customers around the world. Their pricing is also quite inexpensive, starting at a flat $12/month. You can find over 5,500 stores on Jumpseller.
  14. Wazala – Wazala was created with social commerce in mind. They have in-built social promotion tools and direct integrations to social media sites. They also allow you to sell digital products alongside physical goods. If you’re an artist or musician, and you depend on your fan sites and other social sites, Wazala is a good option for you. Pricing starts at $16/month for 50 products.
  15. Ultracart – Ultracart have got a fair number of built-in features and integrations, but what makes them different is their pricing structure. You get access to all features regardless of your payment plan. The pricing scales up based on the volume of business you conduct and starts at $49.95/month with a 30-day free trial.
  16. Actinic – A UK based e-commerce solution, Actinic also offer design and SEO services from their in-house experts. They start at 15 Pounds a month and pricing increases with number of products.
  17. Jooy – Jooy seems to be a fairly new entrant into the hosted e-commerce platform game. Their prices are really low though the custom domain feature only kicks in at the $14/month level. You can create and set up your store with their easy-to-use tools in just 3 minutes.
  18. FoxyCart – FoxyCart is another platform built for developers. You have the ability to completely customize every aspect of your store as well as create your own integrations. FoxyCart also allows you to sell physical goods, downloads, subscriptions and donations in the same cart. The pricing structure is simple and it starts with a no-deadline free plan. This means you can keep working on your site until you’re ready to go live, after which you move into the paid plans. Every plan also comes with all features included and unlimited everything, including products, space and bandwidth.
  19. Moltin – Moltin is a cloud e-commerce platform that provides a flexible API and dashboard. It’s intuitive to use yet very flexible and developer friendly. The API comes in building blocks that allows you to pick and choose the components you need for your store. You can create customized solutions for websites, applications, and retail store via POS. Moltin provides, hosts and maintains only the backend e-commerce system, allowing you to create your own frontend in any language. You can also manage multiple storefronts with one account. They are a fairly new UK startup and pricing starts at 20 Pounds a month.
  20. Shopio – Shopio is an e-commerce platform aimed at small to medium-sized stores. They’ve got some cool in-built features like advanced tax and shipping customisation. They also have an inbuilt e-mail marketing feature where you can design your own e-mail templates. You can group customers, create customer specific reports and create personalised marketing campaigns or promotions for them. Each pricing plan comes with the full feature list, including the free plan. Lower plans have a transaction fee and a limit on products, but the transaction fee is removed for higher plans.
  21. SureDone – SureDone is an e-commerce platform for merchants already selling on eBay or Amazon and looking to expand into their own branded storefront. Apart from providing you with a custom storefront, SureDone also allows you to import all your products from other channels and sync them up on your dashboard. You can then manage listings, inventory, orders and fulfilment from their platform. Pricing starts at $99/month.
  22. Mozu – Mozu is a fully-funtional enterprise e-commerce platform with global content management, site building and publishing capabilities. If you already have retail stores and multiple locations, Mozu allows you to sync and manage your inventories and catalogs from one dashboard. You can then publish your catalogs to multiple brands or sites. Mozu also gives you full-fledged access to their API for complete customization.
  23. Miva Merchant – Miva is a scalable e-commerce platform that has something for both small businesses as well as enterprise. They have robust order management and inventory management features, plus integrations to various other apps. They also offer custom services to integrate other back-office systems in your business. Pricing starts at $49.95 a month.
  24. MarketLive – MarketLive is a customer driven e-commerce platform built for mid-market businesses engaged in B2B and B2C commerce. Their customer-centric tools allow you to create personalized shopping experiences and respond to individual shopper preferences with dynamic content. They also offer end-to-end e-commerce services, from site design to launch and marketing.
  25. Yovigo – Yovigo is an e-commerce platform with a focus on social. If customers log in to your site through Facebook or Twitter, Yovigo allows you to view full social profiles of them including likes, interests, activities and more. This lets you customize your offerings and build deep relationships with them. Plans are quite cheap and include enterprise features like real-time cart monitoring and recovery. You can start for free and at higher plans you can create multiple stores.

Free Hosted E-commerce Solutions

  1. Storenvy – Storenvy is really a marketplace for discovering new brands. They have a hosted e-commerce solution that allows you to build your own branded store but also integrates nicely into their marketplace. This means shoppers can either discover you through your site or the Storenvy site.
  2. Tictail – Tictail looks pretty cool. They cater to indie brands and retailers and set themselves apart with their great designs and simple user interface. Why is it free? No clue, maybe they are just really nice people. 35,000 merchants can testify to that.
  3. Enstore – Enstore is one of many small business products created by Acclivity. They have two other paid products that integrate with Enstore – Checkout, their POS software, and AccountEdge, their accounting software. Enstore was created with Checkout in mind, so that retailers could sell their products online.
  4. Ecrater– Ecrater is another marketplace with a free e-commerce solution. You can sell either through your own storefront or on the Ecrater marketplace. If you get a sale through the marketplace, Ecrater takes a cut of 2.9% of the transaction.
  5. Selz – Selz is free to use, which means no monthly fees or setup costs, but they do charge a small transaction fee. It’s built for digital creatives, bloggers and solo entrepreneurs who want to make a living selling their work online. You can use it to sell products, services and digital downloads.

Hosted CMS Platforms with E-commerce Extensions

Unlike the previous solutions, the following ones weren’t built with only e-commerce in mind. They are actually hosted Content Management Systems with the ability to extend into full e-commerce solutions. If you’re an artist and you have a blog or site that you want to convert to e-commerce in the future, you can start with one of these and then add the extension later.

  1. Squarespace – Squarespace just looks gorgeous. A complete website builder, Squarespace has all the features you need to sell online as well. If you’re a photographer, musician or artist in general, you can build a site and sell your products using Squarespace. It starts at $8/month but if you want to sell products you’ll have to use the $16/month tier. Sites like Foursquare and HBO use Squarespace.
  2. LightCMS – Another beautiful and feature-rich CMS, LightCMS allows you to manage your content right on your website instead of through a separate dashboard. They have an integrated e-commerce function with seamless payments and checkouts. Pricing starts at $19/month and increases with number of pages and products. GSS Gear and Woody’s are two stores that use LightCMS.
  3. Airsquare – Airsquare allows you to create a website for $19/month but the e-commerce functionality only kicks in at the $39/month tier. They also have a low-priced service where they create your store for $660.
  4. Jimdo – You can get started for free with Jimdo but you won’t have a custom domain or logo. The $90/year tier unlocks these features but the $240/year tier is probably the best for an e-commerce store.
  5. Moonfruit – Start for free with Moonfruit by clicking on a template and customizing it. Setting up your site is easy and every plan comes with an in-built online shop. At higher prices you get features such as a custom domain name, a Facebook store, a Google AdWords coupon and access to Getty Images. They even have a service where they create your store for you, with a 100% moneyback guarantee.

There are probably more hosted e-commerce platforms out there, and there will be new ones cropping up regularly. This is most definitely not the exhaustive list of hosted platforms, but it does cover the ones that are the most popular. It’s also not a ranked list.

If you know of any platforms that we’ve missed, do let us know in the comments section. Also, if you’ve used any of the above solutions, get in touch with us and we can publish a review from you.

Want to host your own store? We’re working on a list of self-hosted e-commerce solutions. Subscribe to our newsletter and we’ll let you know when it’s out!

 

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