Navigating the digital marketplace requires selecting the right platform for global outreach. The best international ecommerce platforms empower sellers with robust tools, seamless integrations, and expansive reach. Tailored for cross-border trade, these platforms simplify logistics, streamline operations, and ensure businesses can effectively cater to a diverse, worldwide audience. Choosing the right platform is paramount for global success.
Ecommerce Platforms like Etsy, Shopify, Wix, Squarespace, and BigCommerce provide so many advanced ecommerce features.
Gelato is a leader in the global print on demand space with integrations for major ecommerce platforms and offers seamless integration with platforms like Etsy, Shopify, Wix, Squarespace, and BigCommerce.
Gelato allows online sellers to access a wide range of print on demand products.
Gelato benefits include eliminating inventory and production hurdles for sellers and ensuring high product quality, localized printing, and global shipping.
In the ever-evolving world of online commerce, several platforms stand out for their contributions to the international ecommerce business landscape. Some of the most popular ecommerce platforms in 2023 are Etsy, Shopify, Wix, Squarespace, and BigCommerce. Each of these platforms offers unique capabilities, catering to a wide array of business needs, from handcrafted goods and vintage items to customizable storefronts and scalable business solutions. Together, these platforms form the backbone of today's ecommerce ecosystem, driving innovation and setting the gold standard for online business owners.
Let's analyze these platforms in detail so you can choose the best one for building your ecommerce store.
Shopify is one of the most popular ecommerce planets in the world, known for its user-friendly interface and vast array of features. Designed for businesses of all sizes, it supports everything from small startups to large enterprises. With Shopify, businesses can quickly and efficiently set up an online store without technical expertise.
Scalability: Shopify is designed to grow your business. Whether you're launching your first store or expanding globally, Shopify's infrastructure can handle your needs. With the Shopify Plus plan, larger enterprises can easily manage their operations.
Ease of use: Known for its intuitive dashboard, even beginners can set up and run their store without hassles. The platform provides a drag-and-drop interface, making design and customization straightforward.
Customization capabilities: With a vast theme store (free and paid) and the ability to edit HTML/CSS, businesses can design their store per brand guidelines.
Analytics: Shopify provides detailed analytics and reporting. Track sales and customer data and identify trends to make informed decisions.
SEO: Built-in SEO tools ensure your store is search engine friendly. From meta tags to sitemap generation, Shopify has you covered.
Security: Level-1 PCI compliant and with a 256-bit SSL certificate, Shopify ensures all transactions are secure.
Payment processing: Shopify Payments is integrated, allowing easy processing of transactions. Additionally, it supports over 100 third-party payment gateways.
Marketing features: In-built tools for email marketing, Facebook ads, and Google Shopping, plus integration capabilities for leading marketing tools.
Integrations/apps: A vast app ecosystem with several apps to extend store functionality, from inventory management to marketing.
Ecommerce features: Supports multiple languages and currencies and has in-built tools for inventory management, product variations, and more.
Customer support: 24/7 customer support through email, chat, and phone.
User-friendly interface: Suitable for you without technical expertise.
Integrated payment solutions: Simplifies the transaction process for both sellers and buyers.
Strong SEO tools: Essential for driving organic traffic to your store.
Transaction fees: There's a fee for every transaction unless you use Shopify Payments.
Additional costs: Some advanced features or apps might come at an added cost.
Basic Shopify: $29/month
Advanced Shopify: $299/month
Etsy is a unique global online marketplace focused on handmade, vintage, and craft supplies. Artists, crafters, and vintage sellers worldwide utilize Etsy as a primary sales platform, owing to its niche-specific audience. While it's not a comprehensive ecommerce platform like Shopify or WooCommerce, it offers a straightforward way for creative individuals to reach global audiences without the intricacies of setting up a standalone online store.
Scalability: While Etsy is fantastic for individual sellers and small businesses, it might not be the ideal platform for massive enterprises or those seeking a significant degree of brand personalization.
Ease of use: Setting up a shop on Etsy is simple and user-friendly. With a step-by-step guide, sellers can list their products in minutes.
Customization capabilities: While shops can adjust banners, shop icons, and about sections, customization is limited compared to other ecommerce platforms. The focus is more on product listings.
Analytics: Etsy provides Shop Stats, which offers insights into traffic sources, visitor count, sales, and more.
SEO: Etsy has built-in SEO, but it's specific to its platform. Sellers must optimize product titles, descriptions, and tags to rank higher in Etsy searches and attract more traffic.
Security: Etsy provides secure transactions for both buyers and sellers. The platform employs robust security measures to ensure user data protection.
Payment processing: Etsy Payments allows sellers to accept various payment methods, including credit cards, debit cards, Etsy Gift Cards, and more.
Marketing features: Etsy Ads allow sellers to promote their items within Etsy. Additionally, there are features for coupon creation and social media integration.
Integrations/apps: While Etsy doesn't have an extensive app ecosystem like Shopify, it does integrate with third-party tools for shipping, inventory management, etc.
Ecommerce features: Multi-language and currency support, digital product sales, variations in product listings, and more.
Customer support: Etsy provides a robust Help Center, community forums, and direct email support.
Niche audience: Tailored for handmade and vintage items, reaching a dedicated and engaged audience.
Integrated payment system: Streamlines transactions for both buyers and sellers.
Global Reach: Easily sell to customers around the world.
Limited customization: Shops might look similar due to limited personalization capabilities.
Fees: Listing, transaction, and payment processing fees can add up.
Competition: High number of sellers can make standing out a challenge.
Listing fee: $0.20 per item.
Transaction fee: 6.5% of the selling price.
Payment processing fee: 3% + $0.25 per sale (for Etsy Payments). Fees can vary based on the seller's location.
Wix is a cloud-based web development platform that allows users to create and maintain responsive websites through a drag-and-drop interface. Originally a simple website builder, Wix has expanded its capabilities and now offers a comprehensive ecommerce solution that fits businesses of all sizes. Its intuitive platform ensures that anyone can build a professional online store irrespective of their technical knowledge. If you compare Wix with other platforms like Shopify, it has some pros and cons.
Scalability: Wix caters to both small entrepreneurs and larger businesses. With their premium plans, you can scale up as your business grows.
Ease of use: One of the platform's standout features is its user-friendly drag-and-drop interface, which requires no coding knowledge.
Customization capabilities: Wix offers over 500 designer-made templates. Additionally, with Wix Editor, every aspect of your site can be customized.
Analytics: With Wix's in-built analytics tool, you can monitor and analyze your site's metrics. Integration with Google Analytics is also possible.
SEO: The Wix SEO Wiz tool provides a personalized plan to ensure your site is search-engine friendly.
Security: Wix offers free hosting with top-tier security, ensuring that all data is secure. This includes SSL certification for all websites.
Payment processing: Wix supports various payment methods, including credit cards, PayPal, and offline payments.
Marketing features: With Wix Ascend, business doesn't leverage tools for email marketing, chat, and more.
Integrations/apps: The Wix App Market houses hundreds of third-party apps to extend website functionality.
Ecommerce features: Product galleries, inventory management, global tax and shipping settings, and more are supported.
Customer support: Wix offers robust support through its help center, email, and phone support for premium users.
Intuitive design tools: Easily design a site that reflects your brand.
Regular updates: Wix often releases new features and tools.
Affordable: Various pricing tiers cater to different needs, making it accessible for many.
Less flexibility: While user-friendly, it might not offer as much deep customization as open-source platforms.
Migration limitations: Moving your site away from Wix in the future can be challenging.
Can get pricey: Some essential ecommerce tools require premium plans.
Business basic: $27/month
Business unlimited: $32/month
Business VIP: $59/month
Enterprise: Custom pricing based on seller's demands.
Squarespace is a popular website-building platform that allows individuals and businesses to create professional-looking websites without coding. Known for its visually appealing design templates and user-friendly interface, Squarespace has expanded its services to offer robust ecommerce capabilities, making it a viable option for online sellers.
Scalability: While it's perfect for small to medium-sized businesses, enterprises or businesses with complex ecommerce needs might seek more specialized platforms.
Ease of use: Squarespace provides a drag-and-drop interface, making the website-building process intuitive and straightforward.
Customization capabilities: With a wide array of stylish templates, users can customize various design elements, though it might not be as extensive as open-source platforms.
Analytics: The platform provides built-in analytics that gives insights into website traffic, audience behavior, and ecommerce metrics.
SEO: Squarespace offers built-in SEO tools to help sites rank better in search engines.
Security: SSL certification comes standard forsky'sSquarespace domains, ensuring encrypted data transfer.
Payment processing: Integrates with popular payment gateways like Stripe and PayPal, allowing for a seamless checkout experience.
Marketing features: Comes with promotional pop-ups, email campaigns, and integration with social media platforms.
Integration/apps: Squarespace integrates with various third-party tools, although it might not have as extensive an ecosystem as some competitors.
Ecommerce features: It supports unlimited products, gift cards, discount features, and more.
Customer support: Offers 24/7 customer support through email, live chat, and a comprehensive knowledge base.
Stunning design: Renowned for its beautifully designed templates.
Mobile optimization: Templates are responsive and mobile-ready.
No transaction fees: On its Business and Commerce plans.
Limited advanced features: Might not suit businesses with complex ecommerce needs.
Pricey domain renewal: After the first year, domain renewal rates can be higher than some competitors.
Limited integrations: Though it offers essential integrations, the ecosystem isn't as vast as platforms like WordPress.
Personal: $23/month (suitable for simple sites)
Business: $33/month (includes ecommerce features with a 3% transaction fee)
Basic commerce: $36/month (no transaction fees and additional ecommerce tools)
Advanced commerce: $65/month (advanced selling features)
BigCommerce, as its name suggests, is an ecommerce powerhouse designed to support businesses of all sizes. This platform offers tools that streamline online sales, from startups to global brands. It differentiates itself from other platforms like Shopify by offering more built-in features that cater to advanced ecommerce needs, making it a go-to for many medium to large-sized businesses.
Scalability: BigCommerce is built to grow with businesses. It can efficiently handle increased traffic and sales, ensuring your online store remains fast and responsive.
Ease of use: The platform provides an intuitive interface, making it easy for users to manage their online store without technical know-how.
Customization capabilities: With various templates and the ability to edit HTML and CSS directly, businesses can craft a unique look for their store.
Analytics: Comprehensive built-in analytics offer insights into sales, visitor behavior, and more. Integration with Google Analytics is also supported.
SEO: Equipped with built-in SEO tools, BigCommerce offers SEO-friendly URLs, automated image optimization, and more.
Security: All BigCommerce stores are PCI compliant, ensuring secure transactions. Moreover, they offer DDoS protection and include SSL.
Payment processing: Supports multiple payment gateways, including PayPal, Stripe, Apple Pay, and Amazon Pay, with no additional transaction fees.
Marketing features: Offers tools for email marketing, social media integration, and the ability to create promotions and discounts.
Integrations/apps: The BigCommerce App Marketplace provides various integrations from shipping to accounting platforms.
Ecommerce features: Features like single-page checkout, customer reviews, gift cards, and a robust product search are built-in.
Customer support: 24/7 customer support is available via phone, email, and live chat, coupled with a detailed knowledge base.
Advanced built-in features: Offers many sophisticated out-of-the-box features that other platforms might require extensions.
No transaction fees: Regardless of the payment gateway you use.
Multiple sales channels: Integrate with Amazon, Gelato, eBay, and Facebook platforms.
Pricing Model: The pricing tiers are based on annual sales, so as you sell more, you may be pushed into a higher pricing tier.
Learning Curve: With its plethora of features, newcomers might have a slight learning curve.
Template Limitations: While there are many free themes, the most attractive and modern ones tend to be paid.
Enterprise: Custom pricing for high-volume businesses.
Gelato, a leader in the global print on demand space, has crafted seamless integrations with some of the top ecommerce platforms, amplifying the potential of online sellers worldwide.
One of Gelato's standout attributes is its agility to plug into popular ecommerce platforms, thereby simplifying the selling process for vendors. This integration ensures that businesses can seamlessly tap into a vast network spread across 32 countries, effectively putting their products within arm's reach of up to five billion potential consumers practically overnight.
Such a comprehensive reach combined with the convenience of local production significantly streamlines supply chains, reduces shipping times, and fosters a more sustainable approach to global commerce. In essence, Gelato bridges the gap between global aspirations and local realities.