Initially, Squarespace was only a SaaS-based content management system (CMS) which offered a designer-friendly website builder, blogging platform and hosting service. Now Squarespace has spent some time in the ecommerce space to make it an experienced contender in terms of ecommerce platforms. Its platform is called Squarespace Commerce, and it offers beautiful templates, an easy way to launch a store, and some solid features. In this detailed Squarespace review, we'll talk about things like pricing, features, and what type of customer support you can get for your store.
One of the most important aspects of creating a successful online store is having a great design. If the interface is messy or complicated to navigate then visitors are much more likely to ignore the products and quickly leave the store. I’m often asked, which ecommerce platform has the best stores?
People are basically asking what companies are currently using the platforms, and how do the websites look after they've gotten their hands on the platforms?
Here’s my answer: I’ve selected some of the best examples from our best rated ecommerce platforms. Check them out below to give yourself an idea of what is possible with top online store builders such as Shopify, Bigcommerce and Magento.
I also like going through some of the best companies that use these systems since it can give you ideas as to how you can build your own stores, from certain design elements to customer service modules.
That said, keep reading to learn some of the coolest online stores that have been built on the top ecommerce platforms.
Shopify was founded in 2006 and currently powers more than 100,000 online retailers. The company is especially well known for allowing customers to create stunning stores, both through the use of their pre made themes and through custom made themes. Famous clients include SMS Audio, Tattly and many more.
Shopify has a whole gallery filled with amazing stores. You should really check them out, since I'm sure you will find a lot of inspiration by looking through their gallery. You’ll immediately see why I rank Shopify #1. Platforms like 3dcart, Corecommerce, and Volusion don’t even come close to comparing.
You'll notice that many of the examples are filled with media-rich elements. For example, the SMS Audio store has a wonderful slider with overlaying text and buttons–elements that are key to improving conversions. In addition, the 53 Pencil and Tattly shops reveal how a minimalist template approach has made Shopify one of the top solutions for finding a powerful ecommerce website without the clutter.
Bigcommerce was founded in 2009, and the company currently powers more than 50,000 online stores. The system allows users to create stores within hours, even if you have no previous experience. Existing clients include Gibson Guitar, Zaggora.com and YETI Coolers. If you want to find out more, read the full Bigcommerce reviews.
The reason we like the following Bigcommerce store examples is because they all have hyper-branding involved. Take a look at the Torie and Howard website. This thing clearly has custom CSS and HTML incorporated with it, meaning that an advanced developer can get in there and make it look awesome. All of the stores have some pretty nice sliders, and the menus are extremely versatile.
CoreCommerce was established by Matt DeLong in 2008. It offers an ecommerce shopping cart software that is completely web-based and easily allows you to launch an online store. Noteworthy clients include among others, Tendergrass Farms, Spark Living and The Poster List. I recently reviewed the platform, so you can check it out here.
You'll see that CoreCommerce has a strong focus on simplicity, which is a good thing for small businesses. Pretty much all of the examples below have plenty of white space, and you can see the elegant navigation options, social media buttons and search modules. Although not as powerful as something like Shopify or Bigcommerce, small businesses can get up and running quick with this platform.
Volusion has been in business since 1999, and is a fully cloud-based shopping system. Volusion currently powers more than 40,000 stores and some of their most popular clients include Intel, Combi, Slickwraps and many more. If you want to find out more, take a look at our Volusion review.
Although we've written in the past about how it's tough to make customizations with Volusion, the examples below reveal that it does have some versatility. Images are clearly a focus with Volusion stores, and the navigation is always clean and clear.
Founded in 1997, 3dcart is a complete and robust ecommerce platform designed to help e-store owners thrive in a competitive market. Some of their main customers include Bubba Gump Shrimp, Lukie Games, Ideal Baby and many more. Read our 3dcart reviews here.
The 3cart stores we've seen are quite often fixed-width websites. This isn't exactly ideal, but they still have the tools you'd need to run a large medium to large sized business.
Magento was founded in 2005 and is one of the more well-known ecommerce platforms. The company has powered more than 150,000 online stores since the beginning. Famous clients include companies such as Mothercare, Nike, Vizio and Rosetta Stone.
If you would like to see what other household names have created online stores through Magento then you should really check out their showcase page. It can be found right here.
Compared to the other platforms in this article, Magento is known for supporting huge companies. The opensource system has the ultimate versatility for companies that have the money to pay for expensive programmers and designers. Although it's generally recommend for beginners to go with something like Shopify and Bigcommerce, the examples below are nice for inspiration.
Taking a look at some of the websites created from platforms like Shopify, Bigcommerce and Magento empower you to think of your own unique designs and show that just about any type, or size, of business can quickly implement powerful websites that support thousands, or even millions of dollars in sales.
If you have any questions about the examples we've outlined above, or would like to share what your ecommerce website looks like, let us know in the comments section below.
My colleague Stephanie was busy recording some new videos for you guys. So if you'd like to find out more about any of these platforms and prefer to watch a video instead of reading the whole thing, this is for you! Let us know if you have any suggestions for our future reviews in the comments.
Shopify Video Review (read the full review here)
Matt DeLong established the company in 2001. However it wasn’t fully launched as CoreCommerce until 2008. They offer an ecommerce shopping cart software that is completely web-based and easily allows you to launch an online store. Noteworthy clients include among others, Tendergrass Farms, Spark Living and The Poster List. Since their launch the company has powered more than 13,000 stores. While that might seem like a lot it is actually only 1/10 of other major competitors such as Shopify. We still feel the company is worth considering and here’s why.
Seeing as how the market is so large, we wanted to find out which free WordPress ecommerce plugins stand out. The conclusion is in: We believe WooCommerce serves as the best free WordPress ecommerce plugin. Throughout our research over the past two weeks we narrowed the field down to eight, with Easy Digital Downloads (EDD) and Ecwid ranked right behind WooCommerce. We like WooCommerce for its superior integration tools and beautiful potential layouts. EDD has better tools for digital goods, while Ecwid looks to be the simplest for beginners.