From some research into eCommerce platforms
- Shopify's biggest advantages is its ecosystem and generally well-designed admin tools. It's built for small to medium eCommerce stores, and thus isn't overwhelming with enterprise features but is still feature-rich enough to grow. The downside is you'll end up needing add-ons for lots of features, and if you don't use Shopify Payments (or can't, if your store is based outside the US), you'll need to pay Shopify from 0.5-2% extra per transaction, which is a hidden pricing extra that makes it feel more like a marketplace ala eBay. They're also now building a fulfillment system, and have a new cross-selling agreement with Walmart, which may bring them closer to being an eCommerce platform like Amazon.
- BigCommerce's advantage then relative to Shopify is that they have no per-transaction fees—and they also have native integrations with other marketplaces including eBay, Amazon, Facebook, and more, to cross-sell products across other platforms. Their enterprise platform also allows it to be used headless to build their eCommerce features deeply into your site.
- Magento's former advantage was that it's open-source, so you could host it yourself or use its hosted offerings. That's going away now, though, as Adobe acquired Magento and is sunsetting its open source support the end of June, 2020. Another part of its former opensorce ecosystem is that Magento has a wide range of plugins on the Magento marketplace.
Two other eCommerce platforms to consider:
- WooCommerce, which is a free (to start—you'll likely need to buy plugins to do everything you want) eCommerce platform built on top of WordPress. That has the pros of making it free/cheap, self-hosted, and easier to customize the way you want. It also has the downsides of being built on top of WordPress—which means everything is technically a WordPress post, with all the product details pushed into sidebars and widgets. Good for those who want to tweak, and especially if you already have a strong WordPress-based site.
- BigCartel, which is designed for smaller stores, and focused more on helping artists selling merch and such than being a full Shopify competitor. But as a result, it's one of the simpler eCommerce options, priced less than most other options, and doesn't charge a per-transaction percentage. Good for smaller operations.
Then, from another Capiche discussion about the best ways to sell online in 2020, Shopify was the most-recommended eCommerce store builder.