Best E-commerce Frameworks & Platforms [List of 2024]

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As more and more businesses move online, the e-commerce industry is booming. With estimates determining a market worth reaching 8.1 trillion dollars globally by 2026, this shift has driven the e-commerce sector to outstanding growth. But to succeed, businesses need to make smart choices about selling online. People are shopping differently now, preferring the ease of online shopping over traditional methods. 

However, just moving online isn't enough. To truly thrive online, businesses need a smart plan. Businesses need to think about things like which websites or apps they use to sell their products. Therefore, they must carefully evaluate their online presence, considering factors such as the choice of suitable frameworks and platforms to ensure success in the competitive online marketplace. But with so many options available, building your website and choosing the right platform can feel difficult. The key question every entrepreneur asks is: "What e-commerce platform is perfect for my business?"

Before diving into the selection process, it is crucial to assess your business's specific needs and align them with a tailored plan for your online venture. Additionally, understanding eCommerce frameworks and their different types is essential. This basic knowledge will provide a framework for making informed decisions while you move through the selection process.

What Does an eCommerce Framework Mean?

The term "e-commerce framework" refers to software frameworks specifically designed for building e-commerce applications. These frameworks provide a platform for developing e-commerce stores quickly and efficiently.

Ecommerce platforms, rather than frameworks, offer the versatility to be customised for specific business needs. They are well-suited for building various online stores and ecommerce functionalities. Here's the key distinction: an ecommerce framework provides the building blocks for developers to create custom storefronts, while an ecommerce platform offers a pre-built solution with features and functionalities readily available.

Types of eCommerce Framework

1. Open-Source eCommerce Framework

An open-source e-commerce framework refers to software that grants users the flexibility to access and modify its source code to suit their website's specific needs. It's important to highlight that this framework, primarily coded in PHP, provides advanced customisation options to users. Although open-source e-commerce platforms are well-suited for businesses with proficient teams of designers, developers, and website managers, it's important to recognise that these free solutions generally lack formal technical support.

Pros & Cons of Open-Source eCommerce Frameworks

Pros

Cons

Easily customisable

Limited customer support

Cost-effective

Security vulnerabilities

Large community support

Dependency on third-party extensions

Scalability for future growth

Potential compatibility issues

2. SaaS eCommerce Framework

SaaS, an acronym for "software as a service," entails users subscribing to software instead of purchasing it outright. The vendor is responsible for continuously hosting, maintaining, and enhancing the software. SaaS platforms typically offer many built-in features, albeit with limited customisation options. However, advancements in APIs and pre-built integrations are progressively enhancing the flexibility of SaaS platforms, allowing for greater adaptability to user needs.

Pros & Cons of SaaS eCommerce Frameworks

Pros

Cons

Low initial investment

Ongoing subscription fees

Built-in features and updates

Dependency on the platform's infrastructure

Reliable customer support

Potential data security concerns

Quick and easy setup

Limited control over backend functionality

3. Headless eCommerce Frameworks

The headless eCommerce framework follows a modular approach, allowing for a flexible and customisable architecture. It separates the front end from the eCommerce back end, enabling greater design and functionality flexibility. While this approach may pose greater challenges in website creation and maintenance, it's frequently recommended for businesses with distinctive needs. Importantly, headless eCommerce frameworks can integrate with both SaaS and open-source frameworks, offering versatility and compatibility.

Pros & Cons of Headless eCommerce Frameworks

Pros

Cons

Enhanced Performance

Higher Development Costs

Flexibility in Frontend Design

Requires Skilled Developers

Scalability

Limited Out-of-the-Box Features

Seamless Omnichannel Experience

Complex Integration with Legacy Systems

10 Best eCommerce Frameworks

Certainly, selecting the best eCommerce framework depends on various factors, such as your business model, scalability goals, product range, expected traffic, and more. Here are some of the top eCommerce frameworks commonly used for eCommerce websites:

1. Magento

Magento is a powerful open-source ecommerce platform built with PHP.  Unlike some ‘one-size-fits-all’ solutions, Magento empowers online merchants with the flexibility to create and manage a truly personalised online store. This is achieved through a robust suite of merchandising features, including product category management, customisable promotions and discounts, coupon codes, and in-depth product comparisons. These tools allow you to tailor the shopping experience to your brand and customer base.

However, its extensive functionality and open-source nature make Magento more complex to set up and manage than other platforms. For this reason, many businesses leverage the expertise of Magento developers to customise the platform, integrate with existing systems, and ensure optimal performance.

The platform also has robust order management capabilities, including various payment and shipping options, currency conversions, invoices, and tax calculations. Additionally, Magento provides advanced SEO and marketing tools, analytics dashboards, mobile optimisation, and an integrated content management system (CMS) for managing content.

Due to its scalability, Magento is popular among mid-market and large-sized retailers like Nike, Lenovo, and Ford.

2. WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a popular framework compatible with WordPress websites. As an open-source platform, it offers extensive customisation options, allowing you to personalise your website according to your preferences. It comes with a wide range of features to help manage your store effectively and provide customers with a seamless online shopping experience.

However, WooCommerce does have its limitations. It doesn't include certain conveniences by default, such as one-click checkouts, abandoned cart recovery, and streamlined payment and catalogue management. Fortunately, you can integrate these functionalities into your online store using plugins and add-ons.

3. Shopify

Shopify is a software platform specifically made for building and handling online stores. Its strong and easy-to-use features make website creation and management a breeze. It is especially beneficial for those aiming to create simple online stores with essential features.

Shopify supports over a million websites as one of the largest and most well-known eCommerce platforms worldwide. While not entirely free to use, users should be aware of potential additional expenses associated with specific non-native tools. Notably, with the help of a Shopify developer, you can seamlessly integrate it with over 4,100 apps and access numerous customisable themes.

4. Salesforce Commerce Cloud

The Salesforce Commerce Cloud is tailored to streamline omnichannel operations for eCommerce businesses by combining sales from both physical and digital channels, providing a unified management experience. Its compatibility with AI systems further boosts store performance. A notable aspect of the Salesforce Commerce Cloud is its emphasis on customisation and personalisation.

While it boasts numerous advantages, the platform falls short in its integration capabilities with multiple agency partners. Moreover, its complexity often requires the expertise of Salesforce developers to build a store. Additionally, the limited number of agency partners available further restricts the options for assistance.

5. BigCommerce

BigCommerce is a highly popular e-commerce platform that offers merchants a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution for building and managing online stores. It provides an all-in-one platform with built-in tools for designing storefronts, managing shopping cart flows, handling payments, shipping, inventory, merchandising, and more.

BigCommerce's core platform components enable seamless connection and extension to other environments. Furthermore, BigCommerce boasts a robust support network with over 1,000 partnered agencies and 24/7 global support.  You'll also benefit from easy access to major marketplaces and a suite of user-friendly integration features, making launching and managing your online store a breeze.

6. Volusion

Volusion is one of the oldest ecommerce platforms, established in 1999, to assist small businesses in establishing an online presence. It offers basic features, allowing users to create a homepage, and product pages, and integrate with over 30 payment gateways.

However, Volusion does not offer a free plan or support the sale of digital products. Therefore, if you intend to sell ebooks or music, consider another e-commerce solution.

7. HubSpot CMS

HubSpot CMS is a cloud-based website builder and blogging platform designed to work seamlessly with HubSpot CRM to drive the growth of your online business. It provides a range of tools tailored for marketers and developers, enabling users to create responsive websites focused on improving the customer experience.

In addition to its core website-building features, HubSpot CMS integrates seamlessly with other HubSpot services, such as marketing automation, email marketing, social media management, and more. This unified approach allows you to manage your entire marketing strategy from one central location.

Key features of HubSpot CMS include analytics, marketing campaigns, blogging capabilities, email management, SEO tools, and more. While the free package of HubSpot CMS offers many functionalities, additional advanced features are available in its premium tiers. 

8. Big Cartel

Founded in 2005, Big Cartel has emerged as a popular option among independent artists and small businesses. It caters particularly well to those with limited eCommerce experience.

Big Cartel provides users with various customisable themes, all optimised for mobile and desktop devices. This enables businesses to create professional-looking online stores without requiring extensive technical knowledge.

9. Wix

Wix is a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform for small businesses. It's renowned for its user-friendly interface and drag-and-drop features, making it one of the most popular eCommerce platforms.

Wix provides users various features, including website hosting, domain name registration, and customisable templates. While building a basic website on Wix is free, upgrading your plan is necessary to create an eCommerce store. However, Wix lacks some essential inventory management tools, such as low-stock alerts and social commerce integrations, which could be drawbacks for some users.

10. OpenCart

OpenCart is an open-source eCommerce platform that focuses on store management features. It supports over 20 payment gateways and 8 shipping methods, making it highly adaptable to various business needs. With 400,000 live websites currently using OpenCart, it boasts a strong customer base and efficient website management features.

is a free, open-source platform that lets you get your online store up and running without any initial cost. However, consider investing in additional features to unlock its potential and tailor it to your specific needs. These can include themes for a unique look and feel, plugins to add functionalities like abandoned cart recovery or loyalty programmes, and add-ons to integrate with various payment gateways or shipping providers. Additionally, dedicated support can be a valuable asset, especially for technical assistance or complex customisation needs.

Tips to Find the Best ECommerce Platform for You

Various platforms come with different levels of built-in functionality, with some prioritising quick and easy setup while others focus on extensive customisation capabilities. When assessing platforms, it's crucial to align their features with the specific requirements of your business to ensure a seamless fit.

1. Understanding Business Needs

Each eCommerce venture possesses unique requirements shaped by business models, product ranges, preferred sales channels, and marketing strategies.  Therefore, choosing an e-commerce platform that can accommodate your specific needs is crucial.

2. Budget Consideration

The overall cost of adopting an ecommerce platform can significantly differ, influenced by its features and functionalities. Additionally, the structure of costs can impact the financial stability of your business.

3. Scalability and Future Expansion

For businesses aiming for growth, it's essential to consider current and future needs. As your business evolves, you may require a platform capable of handling increased traffic, expanding product lines, accommodating diverse product variants, and managing elevated API usage. For international expansion, features such as compliance with international regulations, support for multiple currencies, and multi-store functionality become imperative for providing a tailored shopping experience.

4. Prioritise Customer Support

Regardless of your proficiency in technology or eCommerce, transitioning to a new software platform inevitably involves a learning curve. Thus, evaluating the quality and availability of customer support during the onboarding and post-implementation stages is crucial for a smooth transition and sustained operations.

Wrapping Up

Choosing the right e-commerce framework can significantly impact your company's success online. With so many options available, it's essential to carefully compare the top 10 e-commerce frameworks, each offering various features and functionalities suitable for businesses of all sizes and types.

There's a wide range of alternatives to cater to different businesses' specific needs and preferences. When selecting an e-commerce framework, it's crucial to consider factors like budget, scalability, customisation options, and integration capabilities.

At TeamInIndia, we have a dedicated team of web developers specialising in e-commerce store development. With over a decade of experience, we've provided e-commerce services to numerous satisfied clients. If you're interested in our services, feel free to contact us now.

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