The following shortlist of ecommerce platforms is a result of the five to ten ecommerce software selection projects I run each year for clients. It is a good starting point when considering what ecommerce platform might be the best choice for you. This shortlist includes both B2C and B2B ecommerce platforms as well as marketplace software providers. Please note these are major ecommerce platforms only, those with a significant client base and a substantial presence in the market. There are hundreds of other ecommerce software businesses, each of which may appear credible and indeed might provide a good base on which to build your ecommerce business, depending on your industry sector and specific needs. Specialist advice is recommended.
I have categorized the vendors and platforms as follows:
Dominant - The software vendors that are an obvious choice to shortlist for the largest enterprises.
Waning - Formerly dominant vendors that are now less commonly shortlisted.
Growing - Platforms that are contracting many new customers, which are typically newer platforms with modern feature set.
Established - Strong platforms with a solid installed base and which are a candidate for an established merchant.
Niche - Platforms with a modest customer base but interesting features for some merchants. Platforms that enable you to host and operate a marketplace are in this category.
Regional - Platforms that are particularly strong in a specific country or region.
Simple - The vendors that attract small merchants who are looking for a basic platform with no advanced features, and a rapid and normally self-sufficient, self-service implementation.
Table of Contents
- 1. Dominant ecommerce platforms
- 2. Waning ecommerce platforms
- 3. Growing ecommerce platforms
- 4. Established ecommerce platforms
- 5. Niche ecommerce and marketplace platforms
- 5.1 Niche ecommerce platforms
- Commerce Layer
- Episerver Commerce Cloud
- Mi9 Retail ThryveAI
- Orckestra Commerce Cloud (mdf commerce)
- Miva Merchant
- NetSuite SuiteCommerce Advanced (Oracle)
- OROCommerce (Oro)
- Sana Commerce
- SAP Upscale Commerce
- Shopware 6 and Shopware Cloud
- TrueCommerce Nexternal
- Unilog CIMM2
- VTEX Workarea Commerce Cloud (WebLinc)
- 5.2 Niche marketplace platforms
- 5.1 Niche ecommerce platforms
- 6. Regional ecommerce platforms
- 7. Simple ecommerce platforms
1. Dominant ecommerce platforms
The software vendors that are an obvious choice to shortlist for the largest enterprises.
Salesforce B2C Commerce
Salesforce B2C Commerce (previously known as Salesforce Commerce Cloud - SFCC) delivers strong B2C ecommerce capabilities with a client base formed of predominantly large businesses. Is is a SaaS platform for established businesses and based on the Demandware acquisition by Salesforce in 2016. Many large brands and retailers use this platform for their direct-to-consumer (D2C) ecommerce operations. It is especially strong in fashion, but Salesforce has a broad range of customers in the US and internationally. Salesforce is a diversified cloud application vendor and worthy of the "mega-vendor" tag. It recently launched a Loyalty Management product.
SAP Commerce Cloud
SAP Commerce Cloud provides strong B2C and B2B ecommerce capabilities, with mostly large businesses as its customers. It is based on SAP's acquisition of hybris in 2013. Hybris was founded as a product information management (PIM) solution and SAP Commerce Cloud still retains this capability. SAP, a "mega vendor", is best known for its huge ERP product S/4HANA, but it has an extremely wide portfolio of software products including CRM, customer service and analytics.
2. Waning ecommerce platforms
Formerly dominant vendors that are now less commonly shortlisted.
HCL Commerce is a huge B2C and B2B ecommerce platform with many existing large businesses as customers, however very limited momentum in the market for new installs. Huge product with extremely complex architecture and a long list of features. HCL Software acquired the product from IBM in 2019 when it was known as IBM WebSphere Commerce, and the product continues to be refined by HCL Software, with v9.1 released in June 2020. The product includes two reference storefronts, one for B2C and one for B2B. It recently replaced Solr as its search engine in favor of ElasticSearch.
Skava Commerce (Infosys)
3. Growing ecommerce platforms
Platforms that are contracting many new customers, which are typically newer platforms with modern feature set.
BigCommerce offers B2C functionality to small, mid-sized and some larger merchants. Very quick start, many thousands of clients. Its Essentials platform offers pricing from $29.95 per month with no transaction fees. In Europe in particular it has attracted larger clients, such as Skullcandy, Woolrich, SOG Knives, Molton Brown and the UK retailer Bensons For Beds.
Commercetools is a B2C ecommerce platform founded in 2006 in Munich and aimed at large businesses. It was acquired in 2015 by REWE Digital, the technology arm of German grocery giant REWE, but still operates as a separate business. The core product is a modern, cloud-native, API-first, headless, microservices-based ecommerce platform with good sales momentum, including recent wins with German auto manufacturer Volkswagen and British department store John Lewis.
Kibo Commerce is an API-first, microservices ecommerce and order management platform which includes B2C (focus) and B2B (evolving) capabilities. Kibo is the result of the acquisition of MarketLive and Shopatron by Vista Equity Partners in 2015 and of Fiverun (January 2016). Since then Kibo has acquired the Baynote (September 2016), Certona (February 2019) and Monetate (October 2019) personalization engines. The Kibo Commerce platform, though, was rewritten completely since MarketLive and Shopatron acquisitions, and is a native B2C, B2B and multi-site ecommerce and order management platform. It includes a CMS although can also be deployed headless.
Shopify and Shopify Plus
Shopify delivers a solid set of B2C ecommerce capability, mostly to small businesses. Very quick start, client base of many thousands of small businesses, rapidly growing, pricing starting at $29 per month plus 2% transaction fee.
Read More - Article: What exactly does Shopify do?
VTEX is a combined B2C and B2B ecommerce platform. Their software suite approach includes ecommerce, marketplace and order management in one solution, positioning it in a unique way in the market. Particularly strong in its native Latin America (its headquarters is in São Paulo), it nevertheless has US and international customers.
4. Established ecommerce platforms
Strong platforms with a solid installed base and which are a candidate for an established merchant.
Magento Commerce (Adobe)
Magento Commerce is a well-established B2C ecommerce platform acquired by Adobe in 2018. Adobe Commerce Cloud is a bundle of Magento Commerce and Adobe Experience Manager, the vendor's content management system (CMS).
Digital River Commerce
Digital River focuses on enabling international B2C ecommerce, mostly focused on outsourced ecommerce services, especially for global brands wanting to localize consumer experience for each market.
Elastic Path Composable Commerce-as-a-Service
Formerly known as Elastic Path Commerce Cloud, Elastic Path Composable Commerce-as-a-Service is a B2C and B2B headless microservices-based commerce platform aimed at mid to large sized business. Based on the acquisition of Moltin, the previous solution Elastic Path Commerce is no longer actively marketed. Elastic Path has recently been recruiting new leaders here and here.
Intershop Commerce Suite
Intershop is a mature B2B and B2C ecommerce platform aimed at large businesses including retailers and brands. Strongest in Europe, particularly German-speaking markets (DACH). Headquartered in Jena, Germany. Markus Klahn will be the CEO from 2021. Pioneer in ecommerce having opened its first online store in 1994.
Oracle CX Commerce Cloud
Oracle CX Commerce Cloud is a B2C ecommerce platform serving large businesses. Served from the Oracle Cloud service. Note this is a different platform from the product acquired by Oracle through its $1.0bn acquisition of ATG which completed in January 2011, although the ATG team was involved in specifying and building it.
Salesforce B2B Commerce
Sitecore Experience Commerce
Sitecore Experience Commerce is a B2C ecommerce platform offered by content management system vendor Sitecore, with third party integrations for B2B. Sitecore has recently appointed a new CEO and new Chief Customer Success Officer. See also - Article: Sitecore Experience Commerce a deep dive.
5. Niche ecommerce and marketplace platforms
Platforms with a modest customer base but interesting features for some merchants.
5.1 Niche ecommerce platforms
Commerce Layer is a set of APIs for B2C ecommerce that integrates with your choice of CMS and provides no storefront or merchant tools for managing an ecommerce business. As such it is the purest form of developer tools only, and requires each customer to build these customer-facing and merchant-facing tools themselves. Relatively unknown compared to many of the other platforms on this list.
Episerver Commerce Cloud
Episerver Commerce Cloud is a B2B commerce platform aimed at mid-sized businesses. Founded on the Insite acquisition in 2019. Episerver also acquired Optimizely, the A/B testing platform company and will rebrand as Optimizely in September 2021.
Unique in this shortlist, Instacart is a grocery-focused ecommerce platform, but one where not only does it deliver the grocery web and App shopping capabilities, but also the pick-from-store independent contractors to provide the fulfillment services, including delivery. Instacart has recently been in the news due to laying off some staff and hiring a new Chief Operations Officer.
Mi9 Retail ThryveAI
ThryveAI, a brand of Mi9 Retail, is a B2C grocery ecommerce platform including storefront, app and fulfillment solution, including an in-store picking solution.
Orckestra Commerce Cloud (mdf commerce)
Orckestra Commerce Cloud is a B2C and B2B commerce platform that also, unusually, includes order management and store fulfilment solutions therefore strongest where a complete solution from one vendor is preferred. The product's vendor, mdf commerce, is based in Montreal, but with US and European presences.
Miva Merchant is a B2B and B2C commerce platform aimed at small to mid-sized businesses, paid for through concurrent seat licensing. Based in San Diego, with a long history as an ecommerce software and services provider.
NetSuite SuiteCommerce Advanced (Oracle)
NetSuite offers both B2C and B2B ecommerce capabilities aimed at large businesses. Integrated as part of a broad cloud ERP solution and unlikely to be chosen by those not using NetSuite as their ERP. Oracle acquired NetSuite in 2016.
Oro provides its OROCommerce B2B ecommerce platform, mostly to mid-sized and large businesses. Oro also provides a CRM solution.
Saleor is a headless, open-source B2C ecommerce platform written in Python / Django that can be downloaded and run without license cost, with a paid-for cloud version also available from $795 per month; it is a headless platform with strong set of GraphQL APIs, a modern PWA reference storefront and merchant control panel built on React. Relatively unknown compared to many of the other vendors on this list.
Sana Commerce is a B2C and B2B commerce platform which prioritizes SAP ERP and Microsoft Dynamics ERP integration.
SAP Upscale Commerce
SAP Upscale Commerce is a relatively new B2C ecommerce platform, aimed at large brands but designed for use cases that are more simple than SAP Commerce Cloud. Uncommonly among enterprise software vendors, SAP publishes pricing for SAP Upscale at $2,092 per month. There is a published API which are ready for headless commerce.
Shopware 6 and Shopware Cloud
Shopware is a B2C ecommerce platform with some B2B features. Simple use cases only, with an open source version available.
Unilog provides a B2B ecommerce platform including a product information management (PIM) capability. Headquartered in India but with a primarily North American customer base.
VTEX Workarea Commerce Cloud (WebLinc)
WebLinc offers Workarea Commerce Cloud, a B2C ecommerce platform with emerging B2B capability. Open source core and a wide variety of customers from small to large retailers. Based on BVAccel acquisition of WebLinc in 2019. Workarea has now been acquired by VTEX.
5.2 Niche marketplace platforms
Nice marketplace platforms, enabling a retailer to operate a marketplace business on their web property.
Izberg Marketplace enables a retailer to operate a marketplace for third party sellers.
Mirakl Marketplace enables a retailer to operate a marketplace for third party sellers. Broad customer base including US retailers 1-800 Flowers, Kroger and Urban Outfitters and major French retailers Leroy Merlin, Carrefour and Auchan. Mirakl claims $3.1bn was transacted in marketplaces powered by their software in 2020, up from $1.5bn in 2019.
Uppler B2B Marketplace
Uppler offers a B2B marketplace and purchasing solution.
Wizaplace provides a marketplace solution including core commerce, product information management and order management functions.
6. Regional ecommerce platforms
Platforms that are particularly strong in a specific country or region.
eStar is a long-standing Australian B2C ecommerce specialist, strong regional partner (including New Zealand) with a long list of substantial retail customers.
Neto is an Australian SaaS application that offers a wide range of functionality for building, managing and operating a retail or wholesale business, including the B2C or B2B ecommerce storefront, product data, inventory, orders and shipping and marketplace integration, as well as physical POS. Relatively unknown outside Australia.
novomind is a B2C ecommerce platform with mid to large businesses as its customers. Strongest in their native Germany and other German-speaking countries. It includes integrated search engine, A/B testing and recommendations engine and has an optional order management system module (OMS).
OXID eShop is a B2C and B2B long-standing German ecommerce platform with a focus on providing specific ERP connectors.
Spryker Cloud Commerce OS
Spryker is a B2C and B2B ecommerce platform built from modern, cloud-first, modular, headless and API-driven principles with a European customer focus, but internationally capable. It also has marketplace functionality as well as providing store templates (starter stores) for B2C and B2B. It has recently been valued at $500m.
7. Simple ecommerce platforms
The vendors that attract small merchants who are looking for a basic platform with no advanced features, and a rapid and normally self-sufficient, self-service implementation.
Square is a payment services business offering mobile payment solutions to small retailers and traders. Its B2C ecommerce offering is aimed at small businesses with simple needs. This is normally used as part of wider set of products including Point of Sale (POS) and payment. Pricing up to 2.9% of order value plus 30 cents, plus $26 per month.
Squarespace is a simple website builder which also offers a B2C ecommerce solution aimed at small businesses. Focused on very simple uses. Pricing is 3% of order value plus $18 per month, or from $26 per month without per order fees.
Wix is a simple and widely used website building service. Includes a B2C ecommerce builder aimed at small businesses with simple needs. Pricing from $23 per month. Also offers a payments service with fees up to 2.9% plus 30 cents. BROWN GIRL Jane is a customer of Wix.
WooCommerce / WordPress
WooCommerce is a simple B2C ecommerce solution aimed at small businesses and focused on very simple uses, building on WordPress as the dependent base product. WooCommerce is open source software, therefore free to download, install and use, technical expertise is required and fees will be payable to a software development partner or consultant used to build the site. WordPress itself offers a hosted ecommerce plan from $45 per month with an annual commitment.
If you are an ecommerce platform vendor and are missing from this list, please get in touch. There is no charge for inclusion if you meet the selection criteria.