Choose Right Platform for eCommerce

Building an online store may seem like a complex task if you are not able to choose the right platform. There are a lot of different platforms exist for your business and every platform has its own set of pros and cons. It is important for business owners to find an ideal eCommerce platform for business. There are three types of eCommerce platforms available in the market- hosted platforms, self-hosted platforms, and custom-built platforms. The choice of hosted or self-hosted will influence the future of your retail business as it grows.

Hosted Platforms

Hosted platforms are all-in-one eCommerce solution that provides hosting, a shopping cart, and technical support. Hosted platforms are far easier to manage than Self-hosted platforms. These eCommerce platforms are referred to as Software-as-a-Service applications. The eCommerce applications are developed, managed, and owned by the vendor who charges a fee for providing the service. Shopify, BigCommerce, and Kartrocket are among the most successful hosted platforms.

  1. Shopify

Shopify is a popular hosted ecommerce platform. It’s popular with small and medium scale businesses because that’s the market it serves. It is the most flexible, feature-rich and absolute eCommerce platform. Their user-friendly administration interface gives store owners the ability to manage their product inventory and customize their online store.


  • Shopify offers hundreds of apps, more than any other competitor.
  • It easily integrates with shipping gateways, fulfillment centers, and drop shipping businesses.
  • It provides a mobile app for accepting payments and managing your online store.
  • It also offers a point-of-sale system to handle transactions in your physical store.
  1. Bigcommerce

BigCommerce is an Open SaaS platform provider and a growing CaaS eCommerce provider based on the low cost of ownership and highly flexible API’s. Bigcommerce is a host to over 55,000 online stores that have made billion dollars in sales. You can extend your online store with extra features and integration with third-party services like MailChimp and Visual Website Optimizer.


  • BigCommerce have 20% faster server response rate than any other leading eCommerce platforms.
  • It offers multiple layers of security and huge bandwidth.
  • It can support a diverse range of use cases while streamlining operations.
  • It provides enterprise-class integrations and flexible APIs.
  • It also offers the ability to sell across multiple channels like Facebook, Amazon, and eBay.
  1. KartRocket

KartRocket is India’s most trusted eCommerce software platform that empowers SME’s, small retailers and entrepreneurs. KartRocket eCommerce solution can easily create an online store which it can design and customize in less than 10 mins. KartRocket is an end to end eCommerce solution with all the features required to create an online store.


  • KartRocket reduces your costs, connect with multiple carriers, import inventory and orders from multiple sales channels.
  • It offers custom software integration and migration support.
  • KartRocket ensures high scalability and faster loading time.
  • With its pre-integrated payment gateway, easily accept your payments.

Hosted ecommerce platforms offer convenience over the self-hosted online store but are not as much customizable as self-hosted platforms.

My top picks are Shopify and Bigcommerce. They both have wonderful user-friendly features, excellent documentation and support, top-notch expertise, and good reputations in the hosted ecommerce platform space.

Self-hosted platforms

Self-hosted platforms to a variety of open source applications that require web hosting to function. Self-hosted platforms provide the ultimate flexibility and customization. You are free to choose your hosting service as these platforms can be set up anywhere. These eCommerce platforms give you a degree of control over your online store, unlike the hosted platforms. The price of self-hosting ranges from free to a few hundred dollars. Most common self-hosted eCommerce applications include Magento, WordPress, and Opencart.

  1. Magento

Magento is a leading eCommerce platform which deals in over $50 billion transactions per year. Magento is the most robust platform among self-hosted platforms. Magento is recommended for users who have some basic understanding of web development. It’s a perfect solution for professional businesses and it mainly targets large-scale businesses.


  • It is a scalable ecommerce platform that’s perfect for large online stores.
  • It built with security in mind and also provides SEO
  • It supports multiple currencies and tax rates.
  • Integrates with almost any payment processor you want.
  1. WooCommerce

WooCommerce is not a stand-alone eCommerce platform. It is a plugin that runs on WordPress. WooCommerce can efficiently add eCommerce functionality to the platform. It can easily handle functionalities like publishing items for sale and processing payments. You can increase its functionalities or features by adding plugins and extensions which are available in abundance.


  • Since it’s a popular platform, you can find a huge community to help you with anything.
  • Use the WordPress CMS to launch your online store.
  • It is most simple and easy to use eCommerce platform.
  1. Opencart

Opencart has one of the cleanest storefront design of all. There are hundreds of professional templates available, offers more than 2700 themes, and has a vast number of plugins. Its intuitive, modern-looking, and it provides you with all the information you need to stay on top of your store’s performance. OpenCart is an excellent option if you’re looking for a platform that’s easy to use and that simplifies the page-building process.


  • Opencart is very easy to work with and provides an ability to edit CSS.
  • OpenCart integrates 20 payment gateways, shipping gateways and supports multiple currencies.
  • It enables you to sell digital products.
  • Have built-in SEO features.

Custom Built eCommerce

Custom built eCommerce website development is all about maximum functionality, security, and unique layout. Custom eCommerce websites are more costly and take more time to get built. With custom built eCommerce website you don’t have to depend on the pre-built framework. Instead, you have the complete control to decide on how your website will function, how the products will be displayed, check-out process, etc. Moreover, you have greater control of the website appearance, which is the most important factor in convincing your visitors to stay on site.

Custom eCommerce solution is generally preferred by those having a huge budget or by those who are about to bring something new and unique in the market. This type of eCommerce store can be easily personalized according to your niche or industry. You can add special features to enhance your customer’s buying experience.


  • You can give your customers a lot of options for customizing the products they buy.
  • If you’re in an industry that deals with products like gasoline, aerosols, dry ice, etc, which have certain rules for shipping then using a custom eCommerce solution is a wise idea.
  • Using a custom-built website allows you to make special rules for creating custom coupons and promo codes.
  • A custom eCommerce website can handle bulk products as well as many visitors at the same time.
  • It can also be integrated with other solutions such as gateways and CRMs.
  • You can maintain a uniform appearance throughout the whole website.
  • You can support multiple functionalities and handle other business goals.


Both self-hosted and hosted eCommerce platforms are powerful and flexible enough to fulfill the most demanding requirements of an eCommerce website. It is important that you choose the right platforms to develop your online store because changing to another platform is a difficult task.

If you want a platform that takes care of every technical detail for you and provides convenience then choose hosted eCommerce platform. If you want a platform that gives you absolute control over the store and built with the minimum cost then choose a self-hosted platform. So carefully evaluate and have a fair understanding of both types of platform to make the right decision.