E-commerce platforms – The easy way to launch your online store

Have you ever wanted to start your own online store? Back in the day it used to be quite expensive to do that and at the very least very time consuming. Luckily these days, it is very cheap and easy to launch your e-commerce business. This is thanks to the e-commerce platforms.

E-commerce platforms are simple online-based services / products that are designed so that even a complete beginner can build a nice-looking and well-functioning online store quickly. And best of all these services are quite inexpensive and often even come with free trials. However, the challenge with the e-commerce platforms is that there are lot of different options to choose from and it can be difficult to figure out which one is the best for your situation. This is where we step-in: our goal is to help you choose the best e-commerce platform for you needs. We do this by reviewing, testing and gathering information about the different e-commerce platform options.

From below you can find quick details about what we believe to be best e-commerce platforms for 2020. And if you are looking for more detailed information, we also have quite comprehensive reviews of the top platforms.

Best e-commerce platforms for 2020 – top 3 options

Shopify - simply a great choice

Shopify has established itself as the most popular e-commerce platform. And for a very good reason. This platform makes building your store extremely easy – even if you have never before done anything like it. In addition to being easy-to-use the Shopify platform is also great for designing an extremely nice-looking online store: the templates they offer look trustworthy and stylish.

And still in addition to those things, Shopify also appears to be, for example, very safe option for starting an online store. Despite all the plusses that Shopfiy offers, the platform is still quite cheap. The cheapest (proper) Shopify plan costs $29/month and you can even get a discount on that, if you pay for one or two years in advance. One extra benefit of choosing Shopify over the other possible platforms, is that Shopify is listed in the New York Stock Exchange – this gives the users of Shopify access to quite a lot of information about the company. That information can be especially re-assuring when (if) your store starts to grow, and you start to worry about the state of the company behind the platform.

Shopify offers its new customers a 14-day free trial. Given how easy the platform is to use, that 2 weeks is in my opinion more than enough time to decide if you want to build your online store with Shopify. Open your Shopify account now.

3dcart - a decent option for those looking to save money

While Shopify is in my opinion the best e-commerce platform for almost all situations, there might be some circumstances in which it is worth looking elsewhere. One of these situations would be that even the $29/month that Shopify charges, is too much. In that case it might a good idea to look into 3dcart. At 3dcart the cheapest plan starts at $19/month when paid in monthly basis.

The downside of picking that $19 plan, is that it is quite restrictive in terms of the turnover one can do while using it. But if you don’t anticipate lot of turnover, it might be a solid idea to at least open a 3dcart account and try their platform.  3dcart offers new users a 15-day free trial and in addition to that they quite often have special discounts, which can be quite generous.

Squarespace - good for building small, stylish stores

There are situations for which the popular Squarespace site builder can be great a choice even when starting an e-commerce store. However, unfortunately the design system of Squarespace is quite restrictive in terms of how much it lets you modify your store and their e-commerce builder is also bit more expensive than the above two options.

And for those reasons I personally would mainly consider Squarespace, if I was looking to launch an online store that sells a limited a selection of high-quality personal items. So, for example, if you are looking to sell high-end fashion accessories, the Squarespace e-commerce platform might be a decent option. And on the other hand, if you are not planning to sell that type of items, you might very well be better off choosing another solution for building your store. Squarespace offers new users a 14-day free trial. Go to Squarespace.

Some useful information about using an e-commerce platform

How long does it take to get a store online? At least with Shopify you can get your store online in just a few hours after signing up for the service.

Do the monthly subscription plans include everything necessary for launching an online store? In addition to the subscription plan, it is usually a good idea to at the very least get a custom domain name for your store (e.g. yourstore.com). Those can usually be registered via the e-commerce platform company and cost around $10 - $20/year.

Can you cancel your subscription at any time? At least at Shopify it is very easy to do modifications to your subscription, including canceling it, whenever you want and without having to contact the customer service.

Is to possible to run multiple stores on one platform? Yes, but you might have to open a separate account for each store you have.

About this site:

This site was born out of passion for e-commerce. We love e-commerce not only as consumers but also as the great equalizer that gives beginners and small-scale entrepreneurs the chance to compete directly against the big guys. And we would love nothing more than being able to help you launch your e-commerce store or help you become even more successful as a store-owner. On the surface we aim to do this by giving information about the different e-commerce platforms, as these naturally play a crucial role in running an e-commerce business, but we also take a more holistic approach to helping you become a successful e-commerce store owner.

The above means that you can, for example, find from this site information about the different product categories that you might want to consider for your store. In addition to that, we also aim to, for example, give useful marketing advice to e-commerce store owners. While e-commerce is in many ways a great business to be in, one of its challenges is the very fact that it is so easy to get into. And this is especially true these days thanks to the ​droshipping revolution. And when it is so easy to do e-commerce that naturally means that there is lot of competition, and in order beat that competition you need to be able to market your store effectively.

While at least in the future most of the content of this website will be in English, right now the site also contains lot of Finnish language information. This information includes, for example, a guide for our Finnish readers on how to launch a store quickly and cheaply (the guide can be found from: Verkkokaupan perustaminen) as well as my personal experiences of using Shopify (see: Shopify kokemuksia).

If you need more information about this website or have some other questions, please feel free to get in touch with us through the contact form. We look forward to hearing from you.