State Of eCommerce Platforms 2023

Jack D'Errico

Jack D'Errico

An eCommerce platform is a software that enables online businesses to sell and buy products online. Tens of eCommerce platforms exist, and it can be pretty overwhelming whether you are new or not—they may seem the same, save for a few differences.

Here is an overview of the state of the top 16 eCommerce platforms in 2023 so you can understand your options to help you select the best for your business.

1. Shopify

Shopify is winning the eCommerce market by a long shot right now. With a strong market cap and growing revenue, they are by far the most valuable eCommerce platform in the market.

They have achieved this for several reasons. One, they have a massive and growing user base of over 1 million stores. But more importantly, they have multiple revenue channels from customers via eCommerce SaaS, payments, POS, and other products they have been developing.

We don’t see Shopify slowing down anytime soon, but we feel they have a lot to improve in a few key areas, namely:

  • B2B eCommerce
  • Internationalization
  • Headless Commerce
  • Complex Catalogs
  • Large Catalogs
  • Multibrand / Multisite
  • Enterprise DevOps

2. Adobe Commerce (Magento)

According to Gartner and Forester, Magento is still one of the key eCommerce platforms along with Salesforce. Magento has transitioned to a B2B eCommerce or enterprise B2C platform for large and complex business-to-consumer use cases.

Many of the smaller Magento sites have moved on to Shopify or BigCommerce. Magento still has a significant advantage in its open-source nature, massive amounts of native functionality, B2B functionality, and overall enterprise functionality. They still have a great partner program and many exceptional community developers. The community is still strong and powering Magento.

Magento is now owned by Adobe and is getting increasingly wrapped into Adobe products and services, which has many pros but also some cons of being a big company versus a nimble startup.

Magento is great in B2B and for larger companies, but it needs to improve in:

  • Frontend development ease of use
  • The learning curve for new people
  • Time to market
  • Cost of ownership

3. BigCommerce

BigCommerce is the smallest of what I consider the big three platforms, Magento, Shopify, and BigCommerce. Those three platforms make up a large percentage of the top eCommerce sites, but BigCommerce is the smallest.

Being smaller isn’t necessarily a bad thing. BigCommerce has a lot of opportunities and advantages over competitors. It’s a true SaaS like Shopify that is easy to manage. It has an affordable enterprise plan, great APIs, and more out-of-the-box functionality than Shopify for enterprise and many new features.

Their biggest improvements lately have come with their additions to B2B and multistore. They now offer multistore support like Magento but in SaaS, which Shopify can’t do. They also have developed a B2B edition and are rapidly improving their B2B offering, but they need to make their design options more user-friendly.

4. WooCommerce

WooCommerce is an open-source WordPress plugin that you can use to transform your website or blog into a storefront.

WooCommerce is free to use and download. As a plugin, it is designed for WordPress, so you will need some experience with WordPress to understand it fully. It is the best choice for those who want more control over their website.

It offers several customization options and plugins to improve the shopping experience and is excellent for downloadable products and selling digital subscriptions.

WooCommerce could benefit from improvements in:

  • The lack of PCI compliance
  • The extra management and cost to recover abandoned carts and single-page checkouts
  • The needs to attach several extensions and apps to use
  • Users need to manage their web hosting

5. Salesforce Commerce

Formerly known as Demandware, Salesforce Commerce Cloud is an eCommerce platform that enables businesses to manage their digital and physical channels on one unified solution.

Salesforce is famous for its CRM solutions, and the eCommerce platform is part of the product suite. That means it natively integrates with several powerful apps and services, which can help you grow your business. Other features include sophisticated AI technology and solutions for international businesses.

However, to use Salesforce, you need web development or programming expertise. It could also benefit from improvements in the following:

  • Price: Implementation could cost more than $250k
  • Complexity: The platform is complex, making it challenging for beginners
  • Unsuitability for starters and small businesses

6. Commerce Tools

Commercetools is a headless eCommerce platform, which means it separates the back and frontend layers of an application and has them communicate via an API.

The independence means you have complete control of what happens in the front end without adhering to any specific layout. You can create storefronts on any channel and points of sale quickly. You can build storefronts not only on mobile apps and websites but also on digital signage, virtual reality, and IoT devices.

Some of the areas CommerceTools could improve include:

  • Pricing limitations
  • Data mapping limitations
  • Its complexity means users must be digitally savvy

7. Elastic Path

Elastic Path Commerce is a powerful eCommerce platform that offers B2B, B2C, B2B2C, and multi-business eCommerce solutions.

Like CommerceTools, it is headless, so it comes with benefits such as the freedom to create points of sales and storefronts on any channel and drawbacks such as needing programming skills. It is also an excellent choice if you have an incredibly complex or unique product or your revenue strategy involves many different digital routes to market.

Elastic Path offers Pre-Composed Solutions to pre-integrate basic commerce functionality, customizations, and integrations. This allows you to skip the learning curve and rapidly launch without learning to create everything from scratch.

However, it is still complex, so changing and implementing business rules, especially complex ones, is tedious and time-consuming.

8. SAP Commerce

SAP Commerce is an eCommerce solution that empowers B2B, B2C, and B2B2B to scale and grow. It is easy to use but has superior capabilities that benefit small and large enterprises.

It has Insightful Selling Services feature, which uses machine learning and intuitive customizations to recommend real-time products that customers are likely interested in, enhancing conversions. It integrates with other SAP products and provides specialized accelerators to help you get the most out of its features.

However, SAP is complex and not meant for small or startup businesses. It could also benefit from the following:

  • Shortening and simplifying the developer process
  • Improving communication around the product
  • Improving migration from Accelerators to Spartacus

9. Oracle Commerce

Oracle Commerce is an easy-to-use eCommerce platform with features, page designs, and functionalities requiring minimal development and programming knowledge. The dashboard is intuitive and easy to customize, making it an excellent option for non-technical users. You can also perform several tests to optimize conversions without programming experience.

Oracle Commerce is accessible via desktop and mobile devices and is backed by excellent customer service. Its features make it great for merchants with simple or complex products and product lines.

Some of the areas in that Oracle Commerce falls short include:

  • It is pricy to acquire and maintain, making it best for medium to large companies with a large customer base
  • It is entirely cloud-based, so you could experience problems running exclusively in a cloud, such as decreased memory and performance.
  • Lack of detailed documentation
  • “Search” looks only for products, leaving out articles, warranties, and other content
  • Absence of an IDE, so changes must be uploaded to the cloud if made locally, and vice versa.

10. Optimizely Commerce

Optimizely Commerce is a complete suite of eCommerce management that helps merchants drive efficiency and increase revenue.

It offers a complete set of APIs that you can use for both headless and traditional eCommerce. You can connect your backend to various points of sale and channels, allowing you to offer customers the best experience.

Businesses of all types and sizes can benefit from its excellent content management, effective data collection and personalization solutions, and other robust eCommerce tools. Some of the areas Optimizely Commerce needs to improve include:

  • The difficulty of accessing internal databases
  • High TCO
  • Quality and speed of customer service
  • Slow UI performance in large data sets

11. Vtex Commerce

Vtex is a unique, comprehensive marketplace solution for eCommerce merchants that helps optimize operations by reducing the time and cost of onboarding sellers. It also simplifies management through OMS and WMS services.

Vtex has a multi-tenant SaaS architecture with headless microservices that enable store customization and attachment with several apps and features. These apps are usually tested and reviewed, so they are plug-and-play solutions. If you run into any problems, the customer service is unmatched.

Vtex needs to improve the inconsistent performance of the site and the lack of documentation on how to use the app. Also, inexperienced users will find the UI difficult to navigate, and the default checkout experience is more B2C than B2B.

12. Oro Commerce

Oro Commerce is an eCommerce platform excellent for medium businesses and large enterprises looking to improve or lunch their eCommerce presence. It works for B2B and B2C businesses across all industries.

It features robust APIs to integrate with any business applications in several ways, including headless. It’s also customizable and configurable and allows you to automate several manual processes. You can deploy it anywhere.

The in-built CRM provides in-depth insights into customer preferences and allows you to personalize the customer journey.

Most backend users don’t need technical knowledge to operate OroCommerce. But if they do, Oro offers training to consumers to ensure they operate the platform appropriately and efficiently.

Some of the things Oro Commerce could improve include:

  • Installing a debug tool
  • Shortening the learning curve
  • Inability to customize layout from the admin side

13. Shopware

Shopware is a robust and scalable German-made eCommerce solution that all businesses can use, no matter their products or requirements.

It is an enterprise-level solution used globally, is easy to set up, and has a comprehensive suite of features. The features are well presented in an intuitive interface, so you don’t need to be trained to start using it. It is also very flexible and allows merchants to take advantage of email marketing by integrating with MailChimp.

If you have problems with Shopware, there is a large and active community and thousands of discussions you can explore for answers.

Shopware can improve on the following:

  • High costs
  • A small number of plugins compared to others on this list
  • Extra charges for social media functions

14. Unilog Commerce

Unilog Commerce is a cloud-based eCommerce platform designed to address the needs of mid-market eCommerce businesses.

Some of the core features of Unilog include a content management system, site search analytics, product information management, digital asset management, and website builder. It offers several B2B features like multi-level approval workflows, self-guided buying, etc., and handy B2C features like one-click reorders, predictive search, etc.

Apart from what it can do, you can add custom features, such as tax calculators, warehouse management modules, shipping carriers, etc. It also allows you to leverage integrations with other online markets, including Amazon.

Unilog needs to improve:

  • Poor customer support
  • Steep learning curve
  • Unusable by small businesses

15. Ultra Commerce

Ultra Commerce is an all-in-one headless eCommerce platform that combines the benefits of headless commerce and modular eCommerce solution to create, design, and launch storefronts and apps effortlessly without restrictions. Your designers can build the exact storefront they want.

Ultra Commerce can be used by all businesses, from startups to large enterprises. It is a complete eCommerce platform but has modular capabilities, so you have the flexibility to choose the best for your needs. It has low code requirements to start using.

16. Swell

Swell is a powerful eCommerce platform designed to power unique shopping experiences and business models.

Swell allows brands to create a truly unique online experience with its built-in subscription capabilities, flexible APIs, and expansive marketplace and wholesale features. You can customize the data models to add fields and new models and build a custom, flexible checkout system for your business.

Swell comes with ready-made themes so you can hit the ground running, or you can design your storefront. The dynamic APIs allow you to set the best payment options for your business. It also has several promotion models and robust, encrypted security features.

Some of the areas Swell needs to improve include:

  • Complacent customer support
  • Non-compliance with USA texting marketing laws requiring an opt-in
  • Weak CMS
  • Multi-language capabilities

Pick a solution that fits your business model

There is no one-size-fits-all eCommerce platform. What could be the best software for you might be different from that for another merchant. Take your time considering the objectives, size, budget, and other circumstances to pick the best fit for your business model and objectives.

If you need to grow your eCommerce business, Trellis is a full-service eCommerce agency that can help you drive traffic, boost engagement, and increase conversions. We offer services like strategy creation and implementation, UI and UX design to improve customer perception, web development, digital marketing, hosting, and integrations to major systems such as your ERP.

Set up a free consultation to learn how we can help you grow your eCommerce brand.

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