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There are so many different hosted ecommerce platforms that making a shortlist of the best can be tricky. You want a range of tools and features, including website design, payment processing, inventory management, and customer service functionalities, all maintained by the platform provider—and now need the right tool for your online store and team. I've got you covered! In this post, I share from my personal experience managing ecommerce stores of all sizes, and share my picks of the best hosted ecommerce platforms overall.

What Is Hosted Ecommerce Platforms

Hosted ecommerce platforms are all-in-one solutions that provide businesses with the necessary tools and infrastructure to create and manage online stores without the complexity of self-hosting. The purpose is to handle the technical aspects, such as web hosting, security, and updates, allowing business owners to focus on selling products and engaging with customers.

Overviews Of The 10 Best Hosted Ecommerce Platforms

The following details why each hosted ecommerce platform is worth implementing for your business. These companies will handle your hosting and manage many other vital ecommerce functions from a centralized location.

Best for enterprise-level organizations

  • Free demo
  • Pricing available upon request.
Visit Website
Rating: 4.5/5

Adobe Commerce is a solid choice for enterprise-sized ecommerce organizations that want a wholly tailored platform.

Why I picked Adobe Commerce: This platform made the list because it can manage the needs of enterprise-sized ecommerce businesses. B2C and B2B merchants can use Adobe Commerce to create large-scale ecommerce stores. Adobe Commerce supports enterprise commerce organizations by offering a large selection of add-ons and extensions and a significant ecosystem of ecommerce professionals.

Adobe Commerce’s flexibility and customization capabilities make it an excellent choice for enterprise businesses with multiple brands. This platform is also a good option for enterprise-sized companies because you’ll likely need developers and designers to help maintain the site. This can raise the final cost of your store more significantly.

Adobe Commerce Standout Features and Integrations

Standout features include a staging environment that allows you to safely update your online store and prevent possible issues due to downtime. Adobe Commerce also offers AI-powered customer personalization capabilities that enhance customers’ experience with your store by personalizing product recommendations and search results.

Integrations include connections with popular business management tools like Adobe Analytics, Inxmail, Kleene, LiveChat, Mailchimp, Salesforce, SAP, Supplysail, Tableau, Zendesk, and other software options. You can also use a paid Zapier account or Adobe Commerce’s API to make custom integrations.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Thorough training documentation
  • Simple interaction with other Adobe products
  • Flexible and scalable platform

Cons:

  • Can be slow at times
  • Steep learning curve

Best for all-in-one ecommerce store building

  • 3 days free trial
  • From $29/month (billed annually)
Visit Website
Rating: 4.4/5

Shopify is a beginner-friendly hosted ecommerce platform that provides everything businesses need to start and operate an online store.

Why I picked Shopify: If you’ve spent any amount of time within the ecommerce space, you’ve likely heard about Shopify. It’s the most popular ecommerce platform available in the market that allows you to quickly build an online store within minutes. Shopify provides everything you need to start an ecommerce business with tools that help you manage product inventory and customize your site without any coding experience.

All Shopify stores are beautifully designed and come with a solid technical infrastructure. Their main product is an online store builder, but the platform also offers a business name generator, logo maker, slogan maker, QR code generator, and much more. Shopify also has an app marketplace that allows you to add features and functionality to your online store.

Shopify Standout Features and Integrations

Standout features include SEO capabilities that will make it easier for your business to generate traffic from search engines and get a head start in earning revenue. Shopify also offers high-level security tools that will help secure your customers’ credit card information thanks to a 256-bit SSL encryption, the same security level banks use.

Integrations include over 2,000 connections with a wide range of business tools, such as ClickSend, Domo, FreshBooks, GetResponse, LiveAgent, Mailchimp, monday.com, Odoo, ShipBob, Zendesk, and other software options. You can use the platform’s API or a paid Zapier account to create custom integrations when using Shopify.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Pre-made theme library
  • Many ready-to-use features
  • Easily creates ecommerce websites

Cons:

  • Reaching customer support can be challenging
  • Slight learning curve

Best for high-quality templates

  • 14-day free trial
  • From $16/month (billed annually)
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Rating: 4.4/5

Squarespace offers an extensive selection of high-quality templates and design options for ecommerce stores. It’s a perfect option for businesses that want a site with beautiful, rich imagery and effective layouts alongside their product listings.

Why I picked Squarespace: If you’re looking for a high-quality website template to get your ecommerce website started, I added Squarespace as a robust option for consideration. Squarespace offers a library of professionally designed online store templates you can edit with a simple drag-and-drop tool. If you ever want to change your store’s design, the platform allows you to do this without starting your store all over again.

Squarespace Standout Features and Integrations

Standout features include unlimited products on both Basic and Advanced plans, including unlimited pages, galleries, and blogs with unlimited storage and bandwidth. Squarespace also offers online store management tools that handle shipping, fulfillment, payments, taxes, and more, in a centralized area.

Integrations include over 300 connections with standard systems used by many ecommerce businesses, such as Apple Pay, Disqus, Dropbox, FreshBooks, Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google Workspace, Mailchimp, Pipedrive, Stripe, and other software options. You can also create custom integrations using Squarespace’s API or a paid Zapier account.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Includes tools to manage an entire store
  • Beautiful template designs
  • Easy to understand and use

Cons:

  • Limited customization options
  • Some integration issues

Best for larger stores

  • 15-day free trial
  • From $29/month (billed annually)
Visit Website
Rating: 4.2/5

BigCommerce is a robust ecommerce platform ideal for ecommerce merchants with extensive inventories. It helps online stores simplify inventory management, regardless of how many SKUs, warehouses, channels, and product variants they have.

Why I picked BigCommerce: You may already have an online ecommerce business offering an extensive product line to customers, so I wanted to add BigCommerce to this article because it can effectively help you manage your inventory. BigCommerce’s complex inventory management allows up to 600 variants to be tied to a single product. You might not need this level of variety, but if you have an SKU that offers many finishes, colors, sizes, and so on, BigCommerce will make it easy for your customers to shop.

BigCommerce also allows you to sell unlimited products with no limit on the number you can distribute. So to simplify adding such a large number of products to your online store, BigCommerce offers a straightforward product-adding interface. The platform uses a tabbed system to make it as easy for you to add as much or as little product information as necessary.

BigCommerce Standout Features and Integrations

Standout features include omnichannel management tools that enable you to easily track customers and earnings and adjust channels’ settings for supported networks and marketplaces, such as Facebook, Amazon, eBay, and TikTok. BigCommerce also enables you to build and tailor your online store without knowledge of HTML or CSS.

Integrations include over 600 connections with systems many ecommerce businesses use to handle operations, such as Avalara, Constant Contact, Freshdesk, HubSpot Operations Hub, Mailchimp, QuickBooks, ShipBob, Wrike, Zendesk, Zoho CRM, and other software options. You can also use BigCommerce’s API or a paid Zapier account to create custom integrations with your systems.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Simple integrations with third-party applications
  • Customizable themes and templates
  • Professional-level ecommerce features

Cons:

  • Limited checkout customization options
  • Built-in SEO can be more robust

Best for quickly building ecommerce stores

  • Free plan available.
  • From $12.80/month.
Visit Website
Rating: 4.5/5

Site123 offers an ecommerce builder tool that enables businesses to quickly create an online store without any development skills.

Why I picked Site123: I added Site123 to this article because it uses a modular website builder to help your business create a new store site. You start by choosing a pre-designed layout to build your site and then add the images, texts, and other elements you want to see in your store. Site123 also offers a range of ecommerce tools, such as order management capabilities, that will help increase your store’s success.

Site123 Standout Features and Integrations

Features include extensive control over your store’s SEO and a guide to help you adjust your pages to see more organic traffic. Site123 also provides reporting and analytics tools that track your essential store statistics, including site traffic, visitor location, and average time on site.

Integrations include an app market that allows you to connect Site123 to your current systems, like Authorize.net, Google Analytics, Heap, Inspectlet, Intercom, LiveChat, Lucky Orange, Optimizely, OptiMonk, Zendesk Chat, and other software options. You can also use a paid Zapier account to create custom integrations with your current systems and applications.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Excellent user interface
  • Easy-to-use store builder
  • Mobile responsive sites

Cons:

  • Some layout restrictions
  • Limited customization options

Best for dropshipping

  • 14-day free trial
  • From $31.50/month.
Visit Website
Rating: 3.3/5

Volusion is the ideal choice for businesses using a dropshipping model in their operations. It offers dedicated dropshipping capabilities to simplify the process for merchants.

Why I picked Volusion: Dropshipping is becoming a trendy business model, especially for beginner ecommerce entrepreneurs with smaller budgets. So, I added Volusion to this article because of the tools it offers to help you manage your dropshipping store. The tools Volusion provides for dropshippers will help them quickly connect with vendors and sell their products.

Volusion Standout Features and Integrations

Standout features include an advanced search functionality tool that helps your customers find products in your store. Volusion also provides design experts that can help you design professional, unique websites to impress shoppers.

Integrations include over 100 connections with tools that help you manage your entire ecommerce business, such as Affirm, Avalara, AWeber, Constant Contact, LiveAgent, OptiMonk, QuickBooks, ShipStation, SkuVault, Stripe, and other software options. You can use the API from Volusion or a paid Zapier account to create custom integrations.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Good SEO management
  • Simple setup for beginners
  • Range of dropshipping tools

Cons:

  • User interface needs improvement
  • Customer support needs work

Best for US-based merchants

  • Free plan available for U.S. businesses
  • From $29/month

Shift4Shop offers a free hosted ecommerce platform only available to businesses in the U.S. Organizations outside of the U.S. are required to pay a monthly fee.

Why I picked Shift4Shop: The platform allows U.S.-based ecommerce businesses to create a free online store. If you’re in the U.S., you can use Shift4Shop to create custom checkout pages with either one or three pages or allow customers to checkout as a guest. Shift4Shop also provides a wide range of advanced features to help you create excellent websites without any hassles.

Shift4Shop Standout Features and Integrations

Standout features include an extensive website builder that allows you to create a website that fits your brand and what you’re selling. Shift4Shop also offers built-in SEO tools to simplify the tasks necessary to rank your website high in search engine rankings.

Integrations include connections with over 100 third-party systems and tools to extend your store’s functionality and increase productivity, such as Appy Pie, AWeber, Drip, Klaviyo, LiveAgent, Make, Order Desk, Sellercloud, ShipStation, Shiptheory, and other software options. You can also use a paid Zapier account to connect Shift4Shop to thousands of the most popular apps.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • 24/7 customer support
  • Built-in CRM tool
  • Extensive free plan for U.S. companies

Cons:

  • Can be slow to load
  • Templates feel dated

Best for artists

  • Free plan available.
  • From $9.99/month.

Big Cartel promotes itself as a cart built for makers because it was founded to help artists and small brands sell their creations online.

Why I picked Big Cartel: I wanted to add Big Cartel to this list to help smaller, creative entrepreneurs sell their products. The platform is a cloud-based hosted ecommerce platform for artists and creative sellers to help establish an ecommerce store. It hosts an extensive number of online stores, most of them being merchants that sell jewelry, music, fashion, arts, crafts, and other various creative endeavors.

Big Cartel offers these businesses some standard features you would find in more prominent platforms, such as click-and-drag customization tools and access to third-party extensions. To help these small businesses, Big Cartel provides unlimited bandwidth and orders without paying additional fees.

Big Cartel Standout Features and Integrations

Standout features include store analytics to help you monitor your business’s performance from any device. Big Cartel also allows you to track order shipping from the dashboard and ensure customers receive your products.

Integrations include connections with various tools, add-ons, and extensions to help you get the most out of your store, such as Dext Commerce, Elfsight, Google Analytics, LiveChat, Lucky Orange, Mailchimp, Printful, ShipRobot, ShipStation, Stripe, and other software options. You can also use a paid Zapier account or Big Cartel’s API to create custom integrations with your toolset.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Built-in organizational tools
  • Quick store edits
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Themes are difficult to customize
  • Promotion limitations

Best for omnichannel selling

  • Free demo available
  • From $2,500/month + $999 license fee + $99/month access fee

NetSuite Commerce is an ecommerce platform that helps large-sized merchants meet customers wherever they prefer to buy products. The platform offers a centralized inventory and order management view across all sales channels.

Why I picked NetSuite Commerce: If you’re operating a large ecommerce business and utilizing multiple sales channels to sell products, NetSuite Commerce can effectively help manage your operations. The omnichannel ecommerce platform connects all your sales channels instead of separating them into silos. NetSuite Commerce can effectively handle all key processes for every channel in a single system.

NetSuite Commerce empowers you to monitor all inventory across your sales channels and equips your marketing and sales teams with the information they need to improve strategies. The platform helps you handle order fulfillment processes, from order capture to delivery, and improves customer service. With all its omnichannel features, you can ensure simple ecommerce operations for everyone involved.

NetSuite Commerce Standout Features and Integrations

Standout features include a unified customer relationship management tool that helps your company manage relationships and interactions with existing and potential customers. The platform also can assist you with customer support by providing customer information and product availability; it also offers artificial intelligence technology that answers frequently asked questions.

Integrations include connections with a small number of third-party applications. These include systems such as Affirm, Itembase, Lightyear, LiveChat, NetSuite CRM, Neuron ESB, Pacejet, Shipwire, and ZoneBilling.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Simple account optimization
  • Responsive customer support
  • Excellent omnichannel ecommerce tools

Cons:

  • Some software speed issues
  • Not many drag-and-drop options

Best for creating marketplace stores

  • Free plan available.
  • From $9.99/month.

Storenvy offers a marketplace where ecommerce merchants can add their stores for customers to find.

Why I picked Storenvy: The platform offers an online marketplace that helps customers find your products who might not have seen them otherwise. Storenvy allows ecommerce brands to choose whether they want to add their business to the marketplace or not. Storenvy’s marketplace will feature your products and make them searchable, making your inventory visible to their existing customer base.

Storenvy Standout Features and Integrations

Standout features include setting up and editing shipping rates in the platform’s dashboard and organizing them into shipping classes, which cover where the order goes and how fast. Storenvy also allows businesses to add a blog section to their store by adding custom pages.

Integrations include connections with a few ecommerce business systems, like AWeber, Packlane, Printful, ShippingEasy, ShipStation, Sticker Mule, Stitch Labs, TaxJar, Tshirtgang, Yotpo, and other software options. If you have a paid Zapier account, you can create custom integrations with your current toolset.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Gets stores started quickly
  • Easy to use
  • Stores can be included in a marketplace

Cons:

  • Not many integrations available
  • Limited customization options

The Best Hosted Ecommerce Platforms Summary

Tools Price
Adobe Commerce Pricing available upon request.
Shopify From $29/month (billed annually)
Squarespace From $16/month (billed annually)
BigCommerce From $29/month (billed annually)
SITE123 From $12.80/month.
Volusion From $31.50/month.
Shift4Shop From $29/month
BigCartel From $9.99/month.
NetSuite Commerce From $2,500/month + $999 license fee + $99/month access fee
Storenvy From $9.99/month.
Preview Image - <h2 class="c-block__title b-summary-table__title c-listicle__title h3" > Compare Software Specs Side by Side</h2>

Compare Software Specs Side by Side

Use our comparison chart to review and evaluate software specs side-by-side.

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Other Options

As you already know, many options are available when looking for host ecommerce platforms. The following are some additional options worth considering.

Selection Criteria For Hosted Ecommerce Platforms

Here’s a short summary of the main selection and evaluation criteria I used to develop my list of the best hosted ecommerce platforms for this article:

Key Features

It’s crucial to look for features that enhance your customers’ experience when searching for hosted ecommerce platforms. Here are some vital features I looked for when creating this list that will help you manage your ecommerce store.

  • Website Builder: Ability to easily create, design, and edit an ecommerce website and shop.
  • Product Filtering and Categorization: Hosted ecommerce tools will help your customers quickly find specific products, especially if you offer various items.
  • Product Variations: If you’re selling products in multiple sizes or colors, your ecommerce platform will allow you to add and manage product variations.
  • Promotions, Discounts, and Coupon Codes: This feature empowers you to use multiple methods to generate more sales, especially during the holiday seasons.
  • Inventory Management: Many hosted ecommerce tools help you track product availability in real-time to help your business keep up with demand.
  • Abandoned Cart Recovery: The platform you use will provide ways to send automatic email cart reminders to your customers and help your business recover lost sales.
  • Multiple Shipping Methods: Using hosted ecommerce platforms will allow you to offer several delivery methods, enabling your customers to select their preferred option and decrease cart abandonment rates.

Usability

Ecommerce solutions shouldn’t just prioritize customers’ experience; they should also enhance your back-end experience too. Implementing new ecommerce platforms into your business shouldn’t require advanced computer science degrees. I paid particular attention to tools that allow first-time and experienced ecommerce entrepreneurs alike to launch and operate a store without calling a developer for every detail.

Software Integrations

Another crucial factor I consider when creating this article is how these tools interact with your business systems. The best hosted ecommerce platform for you doesn’t just work well on its own; they get better with the right software integrations. As your business grows, you most likely need your ecommerce platform to integrate with third-party accounting, customer support, or marketing applications.

Customizability

You'll need to optimize some features to get the best out of your hosted ecommerce platform. Although great options out of the box, some of the capabilities provided can be limiting depending on your business’s requirements. On the front end of your online store, the solutions I added to this article will allow you to customize the look and feel of your site with customizable templates, themes, and add-ons. On the back end, you can add different functionality to increase your team’s productivity, such as automated emails.

People Also Ask

People ask many questions when searching for new hosted ecommerce solutions for their business, and you might have some similar queries. To help, I added some of the most frequently asked questions to this article and provided some answers to help you during your search.

How much do hosted ecommerce platforms cost?

Considering the long-term costs of implementing hosted ecommerce solutions is essential. Be sure to choose multiple platforms or plans that suit your budget, then compare their features and possible additional expenses. Some solutions offer monthly or annual subscription fees. There might also be additional costs for themes, extensions, or integrations. However, after my research, you can expect to pay anywhere between $2.99/month to $39/month to use a hosted ecommerce platform.

What is the difference between hosted and self-hosted ecommerce platforms?

Some types of ecommerce platforms offer hosted solutions where you don’t need to worry about self or third-party hosting and the extra fees that come with it. For example, Shopify offers website hosting in every subscription. Hosted platforms automatically update, so your site is continuously updated. Hosted ecommerce tools provide more freedom, allowing you to focus on business operations.

Self-hosted or non-hosted solutions require using your own server or renting space from hosting providers. This means you’ll be responsible for website updates, maintenance, and fixing bugs. Self-hosted platforms will require extra internal resources you could use elsewhere. These tools are typically open source and need you to use third parties to host website data. Third-party sourcing options will charge fees, which quickly add up. Many hosting services offer tiered pricing structures, typically resulting in lower-tiered subscribers getting less customer support, leaving you high and dry during crucial times.

What is the benefit of hosted ecommerce platforms?

Hosted ecommerce platforms offer many advantages, making them an appealing choice for online entrepreneurs. Firstly, these platforms provide a user-friendly interface requiring little to no technical expertise, allowing business owners to set up and manage their online stores effortlessly. Secondly, the platform provider handles the hosting and maintenance responsibilities, freeing merchants from server-related concerns and ensuring a reliable and secure shopping experience for customers.
Hosted ecommerce platforms often come equipped with various built-in features, including payment gateways, inventory management, and SEO tools, simplifying operations and boosting the store’s overall efficiency. Lastly, these platforms offer scalability, enabling businesses to effectively expand their online presence as they grow without the hassle of managing complex server upgrades or migrations.

Other Ecommerce Platform Reviews

As I mentioned, many ecommerce platforms are available to your business, and you might need an option more specific to your needs. Here’s a list of other ecommerce platform reviews that detail more particular options you might choose to look over and identify other more beneficial tools. You can start with the overall best Best Ecommerce Platforms, which contain a little bit of everything ranked in an ultimate list.  

Ecommerce Platforms by Business Type

Ecommerce Platforms by Need

The Takeaway 

All of the best hosted ecommerce platforms allow businesses to sell products online, but not all are created equal. These platforms come in many shapes and sizes, and you should remember that your needs will likely change as your company grows. Be sure to take as much time as necessary to evaluate your options, and don’t be afraid to use as many free trials as possible to test out the unique features and advantages every opportunity offers.

If you need other software suggestions or advice from experienced ecommerce professionals, sign up for The Ecomm Manager Newsletter. As a subscriber, you’ll receive regular updates to help you enhance your business.

Francois Marchand
By Francois Marchand

Francois Marchand is passionate about helping and educating business leaders, ecommerce professionals, and digital marketers grow their skill sets to stay ahead of the competition. Francois holds a BA Specialization in Communication Studies & Journalism from Concordia University (Montreal, QC) and 20+ years of experience in ecommerce, marketing, traditional and digital media, and public relations, including The Vancouver Sun, National Post, CBC/Radio-Canada, Unbounce, and Vancouver Film School.