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The breakthrough of eCommerce in India began in 2007 when Flipkart invaded the market, and it greatly encouraged users to shop online and started a trend. Flipkart is still India's top eCommerce website (1), but will the B2C trend continue in 2023 (2)?
Currently, startups and enterprises are transitioning from the B2C trend to being more effective in producing customer value and increasing productivity in their internal operations by providing a more personalized experience.
This is undoubtedly the pandemic-driven eCommerce boost that encouraged buyers to investigate and support D2C brands, shifting from buying from large marketplaces to online shopping from D2C brands (3).
Shopping from a D2C brand offers direct contact, reasonable prices due to market rivalry, easy customer service, convenient payments (4), quick logistical solutions, etc.
Starting an online store is currently the eCommerce trend of 2023 (5), with merchants transitioning from being marketplace sellers to building their online stores. India is predicted to have 200-250k D2C eCommerce stores by 2025.
Customers now desire more sustainability, hyper-personalization, and other aspects that have become the eCommerce trend of 2023 and are much more essential and effective, thanks to D2C and its widespread acceptance and personalized experience.
Some sell their blogs (6) and courses, resulting in an online-to-online D2C economy, whereas others sell products and other items, resulting in an online-to-offline D2C economy. These are powered by eCommerce store-building platforms that make things "easier."
Since there are numerous best eCommerce platforms in India, deciding which is best for you might be challenging.
So don't worry. We've hand-picked the top 5 eCommerce platforms to build an online store in India. Before we get into the subject, let's take a quick look at understanding eCommerce platforms.
How does an eCommerce platform to build an online store works?
An eCommerce platform is a program that allows people to buy and sell products online. It enables enterprises to utilize its platform and use its tools and connectors to administer and host their "own" eCommerce website while also running marketing and sales operations.
In a nutshell, it is a third-party platform that facilitates the construction of an online store by facilitating store administration, website design, and other capabilities that allow businesses to leverage its application and start selling online independently.
eCommerce platforms are subscription-based, which means you must pay a fee to use their tools. The platform does not interfere with your business activities and allows you to function independently.
Suppose you wish to start an online eCommerce store in India. In such a case, you may wonder where to start and which platform to use to reap the most benefits and save the most money.
Well, let's not rush and first understand how to select the best platform. Here are some factors to consider before selecting the best eCommerce platform in India!
Identify your “needs” before selecting the best eCommerce platform in India to build your online store
Before selecting the best eCommerce platform in India for your online store, there are several crucial aspects to examine to help you determine your needs and quickly settle on a single platform; make sure to read this section thoroughly.
Opt for the most intuitive platform for your online store
Selecting the best eCommerce platform in India might be challenging at times, but always choose the most simple platform for your online store that allows you to make the process as easy and convenient as possible.
Look for a user-friendly interface that is easy to use and comprehend and includes simple ways to manage and host your online store, allowing you to easily list products, process payments, and manage inventory.
Opt for a platform that has multiple features to offer
One of the most important factors to consider here is the number of products you can offer and at what price; if you can sell 7-8 things for INR 150 or less plan, go for it; if the same feature is offered at a higher price, certainly surf more.
Some eCommerce systems severely limit product listings in their more basic plans. So, ensure that your selected platform allows you to list all or a sufficient quantity of more than 7 products at reasonable pricing.
It is also important to hunt for features that improve the consumer experience, such as tailored product suggestions or a dashboard to monitor product and inventory management and other basic store necessities.
Here are some crucial aspects that every best eCommerce platform in India must have:
- Product categorization to assist customers in finding specific products, particularly for stores with a variety of items in various genres.
- Product Variation for those selling products with different sizes and other features like colors, design, and so on, a filtration should allow you to easily add and maintain product variation, making it easier for customers to surf and explore.
- Discount and gift coupon category for offering and increasing sales, especially during the festive season or if an error occurs during operations.
- Inventory management is a must-have feature that should always be incorporated to make real-time product monitoring, management, and availability identifiable and controllable.
- Shipping services that are conveniently manageable and operable. It can be third-party yet easy-to-access solutions or a specialized bar for its management.
Opt for an infrastructure that promotes customizability
Your store's web design is another important aspect to consider because the initial interaction is through this model that determines whether the buyer is eager to shop from your store, and having a welcoming interface always works.
38% of buyers depart an eCommerce site if the web design or content does not meet their expectations. Select your niche and design your website accordingly; for example, keep the website attractive and aesthetic if you offer candles.
If you're selling Holi colors, make the packaging vibrant and entertaining. Every eCommerce platform must first define its niche and target audience's desire before proceeding with website design.
When we say design, we refer to the templates that various eCommerce platforms provide. Make certain that the eCommerce platform you choose offers specialized template solutions for website design and is also customizable.
We recommend opting for a platform that has a responsive and visually appealing template. Browse the web for web interfaces of websites such as Netflix, MakeMyTrip, BookMyShow, and others to see how niche-focused they have kept the design.
MakeMyTrip offers a good interface that focuses on information and has a straightforward design. BookMyShow, on the other hand, has a loving impact with a brilliant pinkish-red effect for lovers to book movies, etc., and Netflix has a moody and red environment that promotes eat, sleep, Netflix, and repeat.
Customers today expect an immersive buying experience with an appealing environment where the user perceives the website has taken attempts to design according to the niche and theme you set on your website, which mirrors your brand's overall reputation.
Every eCommerce platform should provide a variety of alternatives for picking a template and customizing the website. Some themes are free of charge and loaded along with the subscription, while others require an additional price.
It is worth the expense if it helps you stand out and provide the experience you envisioned for your store. A well-designed, effort-based template design is essential to convert surfers into potential buyers.
Opt for a platform that enables several payment solutions
The most important feature to look for in India's best eCommerce platform is how it handles online transactions and whether it offers multiple payment alternatives to improve the shopping experience, thus benefiting the eCommerce store with convenience on conversions.
Having a diverse set of third-party payment providers is vital because it is simple to lose a sale. Now that you've saved most of your budget by not hiring a developer and launching your eCommerce store using the eCommerce platform, we advocate investing heavily in your payment solutions because they determine your store's credibility.
Look for any transaction fees to consider while building your pricing plan. It's also worth noting that the site charges a portion of revenue if you exceed your plan's sales threshold.
We have an entire article dedicated to helping you understand the importance of a payment gateway. We have several options for selecting the rightful and suitable payment solution for your eCommerce store in India; read here (7).
Opt for a platform that has dedicated customer support with 24/7 access
Always select a dependable platform with dedicated customer support and detailed documentation to quickly resolve any problem.
It is worth noting that all of the best eCommerce platforms in India listed below feature dedicated customer support, making it simple for you to choose the best of the best. Some are restricted to email and ticket systems, while others are dedicated to phone or live chat help.
However, an ideal eCommerce platform in India must feature a recommender system that dynamically presents shoppers products to buy based on parameters such as:
- Psychographics and demographics.
- Behavioral searches and context, such as device kind, location, etc.
The platform you select must also consider your customer's purchasing history and other interactions to provide a more personalized experience, provide solutions to all concerns, and connect and interact within 24 hours of submitting a ticket.
Opt for a platform that you feel is value for money
While looking for the best eCommerce platform in India to build an online store, prefer long-term considerations and compare various eCommerce platforms and plans that meet your demands, then evaluate their features and costs to determine a value-for-money platform.
We have done 90% of the work for you and listed the top 5 eCommerce platforms in India to help you assess all the elements, choose the best platform for your online store, and create value for your money.
When you select an eCommerce platform in India, you will have to pay monthly or yearly subscription costs, but your operations and management will be more convenient because everything will be preserved, and all you will have to do is fill out the data and run your online store.
Please remember that there may be additional expenses for themes and extensions, depending on your needs. But, within your budget, choose a dependable and scalable eCommerce platform that can sufficiently support the expansion of your online business in India.
Much better than employing a development team, right? Haha, let’s continue!
Top 5 Ecommerce Platforms to Build Your Online Store in India
Identifying the best platform depends on your specific business model and growth strategy. But here is a summary from our perspective on the top eCommerce platform in India for 2023 to help you evaluate the best option and approach to start an online store in India.
Suitable for: Large x medium-scale business operations.
Starting price: INR 1994/- month for the “Shopify Basic Plan.”
- Shopify - 7,447/- month
- Advanced - 30,164/- month
Shopify is a powerful global eCommerce platform that allows you to start your online store in minutes thanks to its onboarding wizard and simple drag-and-drop builder. It is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) eCommerce platform that is ideal for medium and large operational processes.
Shopify features pre-made themes for users to construct their websites. One of the essential in-built features it enables is abandoned cart recovery, which is accessible with all plans.
This eCommerce platform's plans all include fraud analysis, and the security feature detects possible suspicious orders made with credit cards and decreases the chance of chargebacks. It is compatible with over 100 payment methods.
It charges third-party processors additional transaction fees ranging from 0.5% to 2% for each transaction, depending on the plan. Customers can prevent this by only utilizing Shopify Payments in authorized locations.
But, due to its pricing, plans, functionality, and other elements, Shopify is only appropriate for medium and large-scale businesses. It has almost few features oriented to small-scale requirements of startups and small business operations.
The platform is created with a global view and solutions for a global sector in mind. It is the only competitor in India that has hosted the most eCommerce stores. However, most of them are in metro and tier-I cities.
Shopify is not India-specific. Therefore only use it if your requirements are extensive, and you are a suitably large or medium-sized firm with a high cash flow. We recommend examining our other recommended eCommerce platforms for those who are just getting started in the sector.
Features of Shopify
- It includes over 70+ templates and customization capabilities to increase uniqueness.
- It allows multichannel selling on platforms like social media and even Amazon and Ebay.
- The merchants are offered an extensive range of apps to expand the site's functionality.
Restrictions of Shopify
- It does not have access to built-in reports for basic user plans.
- It is overly reliant on third-party programs to advance functionality.
- Although it contains more than 70 templates, personalization is limited.
Free Trial: There is a three-day free trial period, following which it continues for three months with an INR 20/- month structure, and then the selected pricing plans commence.
Suitable for: Small & medium businesses and is also suitable for individual sellers.
Starting price: INR 501/- month for the “Becho Essential Plan.”
- Becho Pro - INR 1001/- per month
- Becho Premier - Customized pricing based on the services, features, and other functions you want for your online store operations.
Becho.io is an India-only eCommerce platform that exclusively runs in India and for Indians. Its features, solutions, compatibility, and all other aspects are intuitively based on the needs of every small and medium-sized business in India.
Given its local-specific plans that are reasonable and jam-packed with features, it is on a mission to encourage small, medium, individual, or independent sellers to start selling online in India by hosting their own eCommerce website in India.
Its customization capabilities are comparable to large-scale eCommerce platforms, with a dedicated dashboard for managing orders and inventory, generating offers and discounts to entice customers, and detecting customer behavior with notifications on every transaction or other occurrence.
It offers an exclusive checkout solution that is adaptable for sellers, with multiple payment options focusing on the basic needs of India and its local audience, as well as a shipping and delivery board for effectively managing shipment operations.
It has various themes for customizing your eCommerce website and provides the most versatility compared to other platforms. It also includes email assistance and a dedicated SEO section for managing and enhancing customer interaction and product engagement.
Its Becho Premier plan is the most effective and innovative concept that charges you based on the preferences, features, and aspects you include to run your business, making it more convenient than others.
You sometimes get unnecessary applications compared to other plans, but with the Becho Premier plan, you choose what you need and pay for it.
The features and attributes it upholds are all dedicated and built for small-scale businesses, making it simple for even a local vendor from the local region to launch an online store in India since it also supports Hindi and English and is working to integrate other regional languages.
However, since it's only available in India, it is limited to an international geographical border compared to other eCommerce platforms. This is also one of the reasons why we recommend this platform because everything it provides is tailored to Indians, making it the best eCommerce platform in India.
Features of Becho.io
- It includes a plethora of bright, vivid, and aesthetically pleasing themes that are fully configurable to create a personalized environment for its customers and their customers.
- It supports several payment solutions and has a separate management board for logistical operations.
- It includes tailored notifications that keep you updated on what's happening in the store, such as orders received, canceled, etc.
- It offers an easy-to-use interface accessible to all local audiences and supports English and Hindi, making it more personalized for local Indian sellers.
Restrictions of Becho.io
- It is geographically limited because it only operates in India.
- It is solely appropriate for Indian SMEs.
Free Trial: It comes with a 30-day free trial, after which the initial plan starts rolling.
Suitable for: Small & medium businesses and can also be optimized for large-scale operations.
Starting price: INR 500/- month for the “Dukaan Silver Plan.”
- Dukaan Gold - INR 834/- month
- Dukaan Platinum - INR 2,500/- month
Dukaan is a leading native Indian eCommerce platform that allows entrepreneurs worldwide to build a fully complete store in under a minute and is also highly intuitive and scalable, having covered over 2000 cities to date.
It enables you to quickly start an online store by just branding it and uploading products, and you're ready to compete in the market. It is a straightforward yet effective platform that covers all aspects of growing your e-commerce business.
Its customization is restricted, but it provides adequate options and allows you to manage all areas of your eCommerce business. It includes simple inventory and product management tools and convenient marketing, payment, and logistics solutions.
Dukaan allows you to sell anything and launch your eCommerce business in easy steps. However, because the platform focuses on the global environment, the features and attributes it integrates and contains are based on a global database, which does not make it India-specific.
Since it is native to India, it has some characteristics, such as affordable plans, that make it the best eCommerce platform in India. It also features dedicated logistics solutions, distinguishing it from the others on the list.
Features of Dukaan
- Dukaan offers several significant eCommerce features for scaling your business and optimizing brand operational processes.
- It includes various useful features, such as multiple payment solutions, logistics connectivity, an auto sales tax calculator, etc.
- It also contains several global scale features, built-in plugins for increasing functionality, and powerful metrics for tracking business progress.
- It also comes with a well-designed theme bank with many choices.
- It includes a customer CSS to your online store for people with technological expertise to modify according to their preferences.
Restrictions of Dukaan
- The platform is geared toward a worldwide audience and lacks several options compared to local demands.
- It has transaction fees in all packages.
Free Trial: It comes with a 7-day free trial, after which the initial plan starts rolling.
Suitable for: Small-sized businesses and individual sellers.
Starting price: INR 500/- month for the “Dukaan Silver Plan.”
- Wix Business Unlimited - INR 300/- month
- Wix Business VIP - INR 500/- month
Wix is a publicly listed platform that offers a cloud-based web development solution to over 200 million customers globally. It is an Israeli firm that offers a user-friendly drag-and-drop website builder.
You can create a basic website for free, but you'll have to switch to a premium plan to use the eCommerce features. It began as a website builder and has since evolved into a full-fledged eCommerce platform.
Wix-based Artificial Design Intelligence can help you get your site up and running in minutes, and everything from the storefront checkout to the product presentation can be changed with a few clicks.
Its features improve your online selling experience and are tailored to solely support businesses with small catalogs, making it the best eCommerce platform in India.
However, there are some restrictions on storage capacity and usage, but because it functions worldwide and is not indigenous to India, the small scale of foreign may change and may not be suited for some, but the plans are surely affordable.
Features of Wix
- Its templates are all eCommerce-focused, have more functionality, and include intuitive modification tools.
- It offers a drag-and-drop mechanism that allows you to quickly design a store.
- It enables retailers to track orders, accept online payments, and sell through various channels.
- You can also install a third-party app for social commerce to enhance your visibility and engagement.
Restrictions of Wix
- The product catalog is limited, and expanding it may be challenging.
- The features it supports are worldwide for small businesses and may vary for local requirements with unwanted aspects.
- It can be optimized to manage high traffic but lacks critical functionality for product-based businesses.
- Further issues include a lack of low stock warnings and other critical inventory management features.
Free Trial: It comes with a 14-day free trial, after which the initial plan starts rolling.
Suitable for: All business types
Starting price: INR 0/- month for the “Ecwid Free Plan.”
Ecwid Venture - INR 889/- month
Ecwid Business - INR 1,649/- month
Ecwid Unlimited - INR 4,990/- month
Ecwid is the platform for those who want to launch their eCommerce website in India in the simplest method possible. It offers a free plan but with restricted capabilities, which is acceptable as it is completely free. Its SaaS-based platform has assisted over 1.5 million firms in starting to sell online worldwide.
It also allows existing websites hosted on other platforms to be converted into an online store by incorporating its store plugin or extension. It includes extensions for seamless connection with practically every popular website builder.
Ecwid allows you to build and create a basic online store in India or a large-scale marketplace, making it the best eCommerce platform in India for its compatibility and durability with all-scale businesses.
However, the free plan is very limited, and you cannot change product URLs or set redirects, which are both useful from an SEO standpoint. The free version lacks SEO tools and is unsuitable for a standalone website, so choose wisely.
Features of Ecwid
- It was initially intended for adding eCommerce to an existing website and now also enables the creation of new websites.
- It allows multichannel selling solutions to allow merchants to add other website integration to its platform, such as eBay.
- It does not charge for any transactions but simply a processing fee determined by your plan, with the higher the plan costing less.
Restrictions of Ecwid
- It has a limited customizing feature set with quite basic functionality.
- It does not have access to customer support on the free plan, so be careful.
- It lacks data analysis and reporting.
Free Trial: Instead of a free trial, the platform provides a free plan with five product listings and other limited capabilities to test and maintain your Indian eCommerce store.
Now that you know about all the best eCommerce platforms in India, why wait? Build your eCommerce store and start selling online in India! If you don’t know how to start an eCommerce store, we have a comprehensive guide ready; read here (8).