- 1. Adobe Commerce — Best for enterprise-level organizations
- 2. Shopify — Best for all-in-one ecommerce store building
- 3. Squarespace — Best for high-quality templates
- 4. BigCommerce — Best for larger stores
- 5. SITE123 — Best for quickly building ecommerce stores
- 6. Wix — Best for individual sellers
- 7. Volusion — Best for dropshipping
- 8. BigCartel — Best for artists
- 9. Shift4Shop — Best for US-based merchants
- 10. NetSuite Commerce — Best for omnichannel selling
A hosted ecommerce tool will be your best option if you need a robust online store quickly. Hosted ecommerce platforms are constantly evolving, and with multiple options available to your business, you have to decide which one suits your business best. Making sense of everything can be overwhelming, and making a final decision will be challenging. So I did the heavy lifting and compared the features, integrations, and pros and cons of the top hosted ecommerce platforms, and by the end of this article, you’ll learn which choice meets your requirements, performs the best, and offers the best value to dominate your niche.
What Is Hosted Ecommerce Platforms
Hosted ecommerce platforms refer to online software services that provide a complete infrastructure and set of tools for individuals or businesses to build and operate their online stores. These platforms offer a convenient and accessible solution for running an ecommerce business as they handle the technical aspects of hosting, security, software updates, and maintenance, allowing users to focus on managing their products, inventory, orders, and customer interactions.
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.
- Thorough training documentation
- Simple interaction with other Adobe products
- Flexible and scalable platform
- Can be slow at times
- Steep learning curve
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.
- Pre-made theme library
- Many ready-to-use features
- Easily creates ecommerce websites
- Reaching customer support can be challenging
- Slight learning curve
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.
- Includes tools to manage an entire store
- Beautiful template designs
- Easy to understand and use
- Limited customization options
- Some integration issues
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.
- Simple integrations with third-party applications
- Customizable themes and templates
- Professional-level ecommerce features
- Limited checkout customization options
- Built-in SEO can be more robust
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.
- Excellent user interface
- Easy-to-use store builder
- Mobile responsive sites
- Some layout restrictions
- Limited customization options
Wix is an excellent hosted ecommerce platform for individual sellers who aren’t going to carry a significant number of products in their inventory.
Why I picked Wix: For those who are starting an ecommerce store on their own, Wix makes a good option for your new small business. The platform offers a few helpful ecommerce capabilities, such as order tracking, online payment processing, and abandoned cart campaigns. Every Wix plan includes a custom domain free for one year, unlimited products, and the ability to sell on social media channels.
Wix Standout Features and Integrations
Standout features include quick setup tools for new users that include hundreds of industry-specific templates to get you started. Wix also provides a free-form drag-and-drop tool that allows you to place website elements anywhere on your web page.
Integrations include a marketplace full of native connections to third-party systems that extend your store’s functionality, such as Constant Contact, Google Drive, HubSpot, Intercom, Klaviyo, Mailchimp, monday.com, Privy, QuickBooks, ShipStation, and other software options. You can also make custom integrations with Wix’s API or a paid Zapier account.
- Wide range of templates
- Simple ecommerce builder
- Easy to use and navigate
- Customer support needs work
- Limited design flexibility
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.
- Good SEO management
- Simple setup for beginners
- Range of dropshipping tools
- User interface needs improvement
- Customer support needs work
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.
- Built-in organizational tools
- Quick store edits
- Easy to use
- Themes are difficult to customize
- Promotion limitations
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.
- 24/7 customer support
- Built-in CRM tool
- Extensive free plan for U.S. companies
- Can be slow to load
- Templates feel dated
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.
- Simple account optimization
- Responsive customer support
- Excellent omnichannel ecommerce tools
- Some software speed issues
- Not many drag-and-drop options
Best for enterprise-level organizations
|From $1,999/month||Visit Website|
Best for all-in-one ecommerce store building
3-day free trial + $1/month for the first three months
|$29/month, 2.9% + $0.30/transaction||Visit Website|
Best for high-quality templates
14-day free trial
|From $16/month (billed annually)||Visit Website|
Best for larger stores
15-day free trial
|From $29/month (billed annually)||Visit Website|
Best for quickly building ecommerce stores
Free plan available.
|From $12.80/month.||Visit Website|
Best for individual sellers
14-day free trial available.
|From $16/month||Visit Website|
Best for dropshipping
14-day free trial
|From $35/month||Visit Website|
Best for artists
Free plan available.
|From $9.99/month.||Visit Website|
Best for US-based merchants
Free plan available for U.S. businesses
|From $29/month||Visit Website|
Best for omnichannel selling
Free demo available
|From $2,500/month + $999 license fee + $99/month access fee||Visit Website|
Best AI-powered ecommerce site builder
Best for creating marketplace stores
Best for unlimited products.
Best for scaling ecommerce stores.
Best for building websites regardless of skill level.
- X-Cart Cloud
Best turnkey ecommerce website builder.
- Pinnacle Cart
Best for engaging customers everywhere.
Best visual web development tool.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
How much do hosted ecommerce platforms cost?
What is the difference between hosted and self-hosted ecommerce platforms?
What is the benefit of hosted ecommerce platforms?
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
- SaaS Ecommerce Platforms
- B2B Ecommerce Platforms
- Ecommerce Marketplace Platforms
- Subscription Ecommerce Platforms
- Ecommerce Platforms For Small Businesses
Ecommerce Platforms by Need
- Enterprise Ecommerce Platforms
- Headless Ecommerce Platforms
- Easiest Ecommerce Platforms
- Omnichannel Commerce Platforms
- Free Ecommerce Platforms
- Open Source Ecommerce Platforms
- Social Commerce Platforms
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.