Behind the Cart: A Guide to the Top Ecommerce Software Platforms

In the realm of digital retail, the right software can be a game-changer for your ecommerce business. It's the backbone that supports everything from inventory management to customer service, enabling business owners to operate smoothly and scale efficiently on their own ecommerce stores instead of relying exclusively on major marketplaces for sales.

Having your own ecommerce site offers unparalleled control over your brand, customer experience, and data insights, setting you apart from competitors on crowded marketplaces like Amazon, Etsy, and eBay. It enables personalized interactions, tailored marketing strategies, and the building of direct customer relationships, fostering loyalty and repeat business. Additionally, owning your ecommerce site avoids marketplace fees, increases profit margins, and provides freedom to experiment with products, pricing, and promotions.

Operating your own online store as part of a multichannel selling strategy that includes the major marketplaces as sales channels offers a strategic advantage in the competitive digital retail landscape.

Manage multiple sales channels and drive results with Extensiv

While managing your own digital storefront offers distinct branding and customer relationship advantages, it also introduces significant challenges. These include higher setup and operational costs, the need for IT support for both setting up your store with a website builder and ongoing maintenance associated with web hosting, and the necessity for marketing tools for targeted campaigns through social media and email marketing.

You’ll also need IT support on the digital marketing side to boost your site’s search engine optimization (SEO), and the complexities of orchestrating your own checkout module that requires integrating a payment gateway/payment processor that accepts a variety of payment methods—such as credit cards, PayPal, and buy now pay later (BNPL) options. And, of course, you will also need software that will help you manage ecommerce fulfillment and warehouse logistics along with customer support.

It’s hard to sell online; these challenges highlight the importance of selecting the best ecommerce platform that can streamline operations, reduce overhead through efficient management tools and ecommerce automation, and enhance customer experience, making it easier to overcome these hurdles and successfully operate alongside the major marketplaces.

This article explores how ecommerce software can revolutionize your online business, presents the top ecommerce solutions for 2024, and delves into how Extensiv's integrations elevate these solutions.

What Ecommerce Software Can Do for Your Business

Ecommerce software serves as the cornerstone of your online business, providing a robust foundation that enables you to manage and grow your digital storefront effectively. It encompasses a wide array of functionalities, from inventory management and order management to payment processing and customer relationship management, all designed to streamline your operations and enhance the efficiency of your business processes. By automating key tasks, ecommerce software reduces the manual workload, allowing you to focus on strategic initiatives and improving customer service.

Moreover, beyond these key features, ecommerce platforms offer critical insights into customer behavior and preferences through detailed (and often real-time) analytics, helping you to tailor your marketing strategies and product offerings to meet the evolving needs of your market. These platforms also support SEO and marketing efforts, crucial for attracting new customers and retaining existing ones.

As your business scales, the flexibility and scalability of ecommerce software become increasingly important so you don't outgrow your platform. Ensuring that your system can handle a growing product catalog (some platforms support unlimited products), increased traffic, and higher transaction volumes without compromising on speed or user experience is critical.

In essence, investing in the right software solution is not just about managing your current operations; it's about setting your business up for future growth and success and optimizing your supply chain management. By choosing a platform that aligns with your business needs and goals, you can create a seamless, efficient, and responsive online presence that will set you apart in the crowded space of online shopping.

The Top 4 Ecommerce Software Platforms + Extensiv's Role 

Choosing the right ecommerce software is crucial for the success of your online store. Here, we outline some of the best platforms that integrate seamlessly with Extensiv, highlighting their ecommerce features and how they cater to different business needs.

1. Shopify


Pros: Shopify is renowned for its ease of use, making it ideal for entrepreneurs who are not tech-savvy. It offers a wide range of themes and apps to customize your store, and its customer support is exceptional. The platform is also known for its reliability and scalability, supporting businesses as they grow.

Cons: Shopify charges transaction fees unless you use Shopify Payments. Customization can be limited by the proprietary coding language, Liquid, making it challenging for more complex customizations without expert help.

2. WooCommerce


Pros: WooCommerce is a free, open-source plugin for WordPress, offering extensive customization possibilities through access to the code and a vast selection of plugins and themes. It's particularly cost-effective for small businesses already using WordPress.

Cons: Being self-hosted, it requires managing hosting, security, and backups yourself, which can be a challenge for less tech-savvy users. Performance can vary depending on your hosting service.

3. Magento


Pros: Magento, now Adobe Commerce, is highly customizable and scalable, especially suited for businesses with specific needs and that want to create a unique look and feel for their ecommerce website. It offers a robust set of features for managing complex product catalogs and customer groups.

Cons: Magento can be resource-intensive, requiring significant server power for optimal performance, which may increase hosting costs. The platform also has a steep learning curve, often necessitating a developer's expertise for setup and maintenance.

4. BigCommerce


Pros: BigCommerce stands out for its built-in features, which can reduce the need for additional apps and extensions. It offers excellent SEO capabilities and scalability without impacting site speed.

Cons: Customization can be less intuitive compared to other platforms, potentially requiring developer assistance for significant design changes. The pricing model can become expensive as sales thresholds are reached.

Extensiv's Integration Highlights

Extensiv's integrations with these platforms via Integration Manager streamline operations further, enhancing inventory management, order processing, fulfillment operations, and customer service. By leveraging Extensiv, businesses can ensure their ecommerce platform and backend systems are perfectly synchronized, leading to improved efficiency and customer satisfaction.

How to Choose the Best Ecommerce Software for Your Business

Selecting the right ecommerce platform requires careful consideration of your business's unique needs. Consider factors like scalability, features, ease of use, and integration capabilities. Look for platforms that offer the specific functionalities your business needs to thrive, such as SEO tools, analytics, and customization options.

Understanding Your Business Needs

Begin by assessing your business size, product type, and specific requirements such as customizability, scalability, and the level of customer support you might need.

Evaluating Platform Usability

Consider the ease of use of each platform. A user-friendly interface can significantly reduce the learning curve and operational overhead for you and your team.

Assessing Customization and Scalability

Determine the extent to which you can customize the platform to match your brand and whether it can grow with your business without requiring a platform switch.

Looking to thrive–not just survive–in ecommerce? Check out our exclusive  webinar with Rick Watson for actionable insights that will help you stay ahead  in the evolving logistics landscape.

Integration Capabilities

Look for platforms that offer seamless integration with other tools and services you use, such as marketing automation, CRM systems, and accounting software.

Cost Considerations

Analyze the total cost of ownership, including setup fees, monthly or annual subscription costs, transaction fees, and any additional costs for plugins or extensions.

Security and Compliance

Ensure that the platform adheres to industry security standards and is compliant with regulations like GDPR, PCI DSS, etc., to protect your business and customers' data.

Customer Support and Community

Check the level of customer support provided, including availability and responsiveness. A strong community can also offer additional support and insights.

By thoroughly considering these key areas, businesses can make a well-informed decision on which ecommerce software best fits their current needs and future growth plans.

Elevate Your Ecommerce Software with Extensiv

Extensiv is an industry leader for software as a service (SaaS) solutions for fulfillment operations. Ecommerce brands can use our integrated suite of technology products to fulfill consumer demand anywhere, anytime, and from any channel with superior flexibility, insights, and service and without painful system migrations as you grow.

Over 150 (and counting) supported integrations with Extensiv Integration Manager bring additional power to your chosen platform, enabling more streamlined operations and better data insights.

Moreover, Extensiv’s custom solutions for brands—including order management and warehouse management tools—provide the visibility, accuracy, control, and inventory management functionalities necessary for insightful decision-making that will allow you to satisfy your customers in the most efficient, profitable way possible.

Discover how Extensiv can transform your ecommerce experience by requesting a demo today!

Share this article:

Ecommerce Software FAQs

What is ecommerce software?

Ecommerce software is a tool that enables online store management, including product listings, inventory management, order processing, and customer service.

Can I integrate ecommerce software with other tools?

Yes, most ecommerce platforms offer integrations with a variety of tools for marketing, accounting, shipping, and more.

Can ecommerce software handle different types of products?

Absolutely. Ecommerce software can manage a wide range of products, from physical goods to digital downloads and services.

From the shopping cart to delivery, Extensiv makes order fulfillment seamless and easy. Total visibility. Total control.