International Ecommerce Websites and Platforms – The Best 5

international ecommerce websites

I think you will agree when I say there are dozens of international ecommerce websites and platforms each promising heaven on a silver platter.

This can make choosing the right ecommerce platform for your business confusing, if not challenging.

If that wasn’t enough, there are many questions to answer before you decide on an ecommerce platform.

For instance…

  • Does the international ecommerce platform offer all the features you need to succeed online?
  • Does the ecommerce platform offer payment gateways that work for you and your target audience?
  • Will your budget cover the costs of the right ecommerce platform for your business?
  • What challenges will you face when selling internationally on your chosen platform?
  • How secure is the ecommerce website or platform?
  • Does the ecommerce platform offer the integrations you need?
  • Et cetera.

Besides, every ecommerce platform provider is out to get your money. It’s the harsh truth.

I mean.

International ecommerce websites and platforms come with enticing marketing materials making it hard to tell who’s on your side, and who is taking you for a ride.

That’s why we spent many hours testing several ecommerce websites and platforms to help you make an informed decision.

In today’s article, we will help you choose the right international ecommerce platform for your business, whether you’re starting a new store or seeking to switch providers.

We will cover features, integrations, pricing, and everything else that makes each ecommerce platform stand out from the competition.

Before the end of the article, you should have everything you need to choose the right ecommerce platform to take your business global.

Without further ado, let us dive right in.

What are International Ecommerce Websites and Platforms?

what is an international ecommerce website or platform

First things first. What are international ecommerce websites or platforms?

Before we get lost in the nitty-gritty, we believe it’s important to have a clear picture of what we are working with.

So, what’s an international ecommerce website or platform?

An ecommerce platform is a software solution that lets you create and run an online store. It offers a myriad of features to help businesses get online quickly.

These features include hosting, design, security, inventory management, payment processing, and marketing tools, among other things.

Broadly, an international ecommerce platform can mean two things.

#1. Self-Hosted or SaaS International Ecommerce Websites

First, we have software solutions (either self-hosted or SaaS) that help you create and run an online store. Prime examples include solutions such as Shopify, BigCommerce, and WooCommerce.

So what’s the difference between self-hosted and SaaS ecommerce platforms?

Self-hosted means you handle domain registration, website design, hosting, and maintenance. You have full control over your online store and can do practically anything you wish as long as it is within the confines of the law.

In other words, you own an ecommerce website and call the shots.

SaaS, short for Software as a Service, means the international ecommerce website provider handles hosting, security, and a few other admin tasks.

You focus primarily on building your online store. While you have fewer admin tasks, you’ve limited control over your online store.

For instance, you might find it difficult to customize the design of your online store fully.

Either way, you are creating an ecommerce store from scratch and have full (or some degree of) control over your online business.

#2. Online Marketplaces

Second, we have what we call online marketplaces.

An online marketplace is an ecommerce platform that lets you “rent” an online store. You don’t own the platform and will have to follow the requirements set by your ecommerce platform provider.

Some good examples of such ecommerce platforms include Alibaba Seller Central, Walmart Marketplace, and the Amazon Sellers program.

So, instead of creating your online store from the ground up, you pay – Walmart or Amazon – a recurring monthly fee to sell on their platform. I hope that makes sense.

Later in the post, we will cover the first type of ecommerce platforms, so you can choose which is right for your business model. We won’t go into online marketplaces.

Let us look at some benefits of international ecommerce websites and platforms. Or rather the advantages of selling internationally.

Benefits of International Ecommerce Websites and Platforms

benefits of international ecommerce websites

At first, cross-border ecommerce might seem intimidating to a beginner. Many moving parts need constant oiling and improvement, which puts off many would-be entrepreneurs.

But did you know selling internationally using ecommerce websites and platforms has several sweet benefits?

That’s right, and in this section, we will cover some advantages of taking your business global.

Let us dive in.

Expanded Global Reach

Expanded global reach is one of the most obvious benefits of international ecommerce websites and platforms.

You’ve done the preparation, fostered connections, and even translated your content into multiple languages.

Now what?

If you want to take your business global truly, an international ecommerce platform offers you access to the diverse worldwide market you need.

You can tap into new audiences and sell to people in different countries and linguistic regions with a few clicks of the mouse button.

For instance, the Amazon Seller’s program gives you access to over 310 million customers worldwide. Walmart Marketplace grants you access to over 220 million customers.

But even if you choose a self-hosted international ecommerce platform such as WooCommerce (or a SaaS alternative such as Shopify), there is no harm in expanding your global reach.

Besides, reaching an international audience is a fantastic way to boost brand awareness, credibility, and trust with global shoppers.

Increased Revenue

The second benefit of international ecommerce websites and platforms is increased sales and revenue.

Come on. Isn’t it plain obvious?

Selling to a diverse and large global audience allows you to increase your sales and revenue remarkably. This, of course, we are comparing to your competitors who haven’t gone international yet.

There are countless examples of companies that successfully implemented international market expansion.

You probably have several products from global brands in your home or office. And you probably bought these items from an ecommerce platform.

International ecommerce platforms offer you the chance to service a demand for your products in countries where customers never knew you even existed.

Additionally, reaching a wider global audience helps you to diversify your market. This prevents dependency on a single revenue stream from one country, market, or region.

Cost Effective and 24/7 Available

Another benefit of international ecommerce websites and platforms is they are normally cost-effective to set up and run.

It is way more cost-effective to launch ecommerce platforms than establishing physical stores in several countries.

You don’t have to worry about expenses such as rent, utilities, and staffing in multiple locations. Besides, international ecommerce websites allow you to automate processes, bringing your costs down further.

On top of that, remember that we said these platforms are software solutions. Set it in motion and the website will work around the clock.

Customers can shop fast and at any time, which is convenient while bringing down the cost of generating sales.

Another thing. International ecommerce platforms come with integrations and services that streamline the order fulfillment process. This saves you a lot of time and money. For instance, many ecommerce platforms will gladly help you with warehousing and shipping.

Customer Data

Another great advantage of international ecommerce platforms is they help you gather lots of customer data effortlessly.

Ecommerce platforms come with detailed dashboards, tools, and reports that let you better understand customer behavior, demographics, preferences, and pain points.

You can use this data to make better business decisions, improve your products, and boost sales.

Personalization and Localization

Since you understand your customer better, ecommerce platforms make it remarkably easy to personalize shopper experiences.

With the data you collect, you can tailor your products and services to the customer’s needs, which creates a personalized and more rewarding shopping experience.

Additionally, you can fine-tune your content and marketing messages to resonate best with customers, which leads to more sales later.

Finally, you can easily localize your website and products to better connect with customers in different geographic and linguistic regions.

Other Benefits of International Ecommerce Platforms

The above are just five advantages of ecommerce platforms. Other quick benefits include:

  • Affordable advertising and marketing;
  • Easy product and price comparisons;
  • Faster response to customer and market demands;
  • Easy to scale;
  • Reduced sales and customer support costs;
  • Upsells and cross-sells;
  • Efficient inventory management;
  • Community building features and social media integrations;
  • And more.

As you can see, investing in an ecommerce platform has many advantages that make it a worthwhile venture.

But are there disadvantages? You bet – anything with advantages comes with disadvantages.

Disadvantages of International Ecommerce Websites and Platforms

disadvantages of international ecommerce websites and platforms

Before you start an online store on any international ecommerce platform we share later in the article, it’s important to learn a bit about the possible problems you might face.

That way, you know what to expect and can prepare beforehand. At the same time, it will save you a lot of undue stress, money, and time later on.

I say this because some of these problems are expensive and time-consuming. They can also reflect poorly on your brand image and reputation.

So, what are the challenges of selling on international ecommerce websites and platforms?

Continue reading to learn more.

Security Issues

First, data security is one of the most common challenges anybody with a website faces.

Now and then, we read of expensive data breaches that exposed sensitive user information. This includes names, telephone numbers, credit card numbers, and social security numbers.

If you’re an ecommerce business in the healthcare industry, it includes sensitive medical records, which you don’t want in the wrong hands.

For instance, when Yahoo was hacked back in 2016, the breach exposed the details of Yahoo’s three billion users. The stolen data included names, email addresses, and passwords.

Normally, these data breaches attract huge losses, fines, and legal problems. For instance, Yahoo paid roughly $470 million to cover investigations, legal settlements, remediation, and damage control.

Another company, Equifax, spent $1.4 billion to clean up the mess after a breach that would have been avoided if they had renewed their security certificate.

I have also been hacked before, so I know how frustrating things can get.

My point is that security is a major concern for ecommerce businesses.

Our recommendation is to choose an ecommerce platform that prioritizes security. If you’re going the self-hosted route, ensure you have military-level security for your online store or hire a professional.

For example, use SSL certificates, firewalls, backups, and secure payment gateways to safeguard your customer’s data.

High Competition

Going into business for yourself or launching an online store for your existing venture is thrilling.

In the heat of the moment, you might overlook that ecommerce is highly competitive because there is a low barrier to entry.

I mean. You can start an online store on Shopify and be up and running today.

On top of that, some niches are overpopulated, which might make selling your products or services challenging.

Most people take to spending more on advertising, which can help you get the word out.

However, there are other cost-effective ways of website promotion, such as SEO, email, and marketing translation.

There are many other ways of getting noticed, but the success of your online store ultimately boils down to how hard you work.

Technical Issues

While most international ecommerce websites are normally easy to use, the manual process of creating an online store might be challenging to people who aren’t tech-savvy.

Setting up a functional ecommerce website might require you to have technical skills in web design, SEO, and performance optimization.

Otherwise, you might end up with a slow website that is hard to use.

Other than that, you might need technical expertise to fix problems that may arise.

For instance, you should have the skills to address issues with payment processors, plugin incompatibility, broken design, and more.

If your ecommerce website crashes, you will probably lose sales and customers. It pays to have some basic skills to troubleshoot the problem and fix the issue quickly.

The best is to keep your ecommerce website simple but if you lack the tech chops, we recommend hiring an expert.

Shipping Logistics

Another challenge that ecommerce businesses often face is shipping logistics.

Shipping is normally not an issue if you sell in a physical store since customers walk in and buy.

And if you ever need to ship anything to a customer, you can always use local courier services.

When selling online, things are different since you’re servicing a global audience and will rely on both local and international shipping services.

This is where things get tricky.

Normally, when people buy online, they often pay extra for shipping.

These extra shipping costs are based on factors, such as product weight, destination, delivery method, distance, customs, and more. For instance, same-day delivery often costs more than standard delivery.

The shipping costs add to the total price of the product.

If the total price of the purchase is too high due to these shipping fees, it might discourage buyers from completing purchases.

At the same time, poorly calculating these extra fees might dent your profit margins.

Now that we know the benefits and challenges of international ecommerce platforms, let us look at some of the best players in the game.

The Best International Ecommerce Websites and Platforms

We haven’t listed the following ecommerce websites and platforms in any particular order.

Do your due diligence before choosing, and always select a solution that is right for your business needs.

So, which is the best international ecommerce platform?

Let’s start.

WooCommerce

woocommerce international ecommerce platform

I might be a little biased here because I’m a huge fan of WordPress, but WooCommerce is undoubtedly one of the best ecommerce platforms around.

It’s a powerful plugin for creating an ecommerce website using the WordPress CMS.

Packed with many exciting features and options, it’s easy to see why WooCommerce has over seven million active installations, according to WordPress.org.

Firstly, WooCommerce is free, allowing you to start your online store and scale as your business grows. This also means you have full ownership of your store’s content and data forever.

To help you create a visually appealing online store, WooCommerce offers over 85 premium-quality themes. You can also use your WordPress theme, giving you creative freedom.

And to add the required functionality, you have more than 844 extensions.

WooCommerce allows you to accept bank transfers, cash, credit cards, and mobile payments using 100+ payment processors, including PayPal and Stripe.

This ecommerce platform supports international shipping via popular carriers, such as FedEx, UPS, USPS, and Royal Mail.

WooCommerce is translated into multiple languages. Additionally, you can translate and localize the ecommerce platform using the amazing TranslatePress plugin.

TranslatePress Multilingual

TranslatePress is the easiest way to translate your WordPress site. It's fast, won't slow down your website, works with ANY theme or plugin and it's SEO friendly.

Get the plugin

Or download FREE version

Moreover, you can integrate WooCommerce with WordPress chatbot plugins to offer multilingual customer support.

If you’re a developer, you can connect WooCommerce with virtually any service using a powerful REST API and webhooks.

Key Features:

  • Free;
  • Lots of themes and extensions;
  • SEO-ready;
  • Multiple payment gateways and shipping options;
  • Multilanguage support;
  • Inventory management;
  • Mobile app (Android and iOS);
  • Excellent customer support.

WooCommerce is a solid ecommerce platform to sell physical and digital products. It’s best suited for small-medium businesses and anyone who loves looking under the hood.

Shopify

shopify ecommerce platform

When I first came across Shopify a few years ago, it was a run-of-the-mill ecommerce platform. The setup process was confusing and the online store builder was clunky.

But a lot has changed for the better ever since.

Today, Shopify is a powerful ecommerce platform that helps you create an online store or sell in person. It’s trusted by more than 4.5 million site owners globally.

Creating a store is incredibly easy as you can start with a free trial to set things up before fully launching.

You have a drag-and-drop store builder that lets you create your website without any coding knowledge. However, in my opinion, it’s good for simplistic website designs.

To customize your design, you have access to 196 themes. To add functionality, Shopify comes with over 8k apps.

The commerce platform processes payments via Shopify Payments – their built-in payment processor. However, you can accept payments via 100+ third-party payment gateways but at an extra fee.

To help with shipping logistics, you have the Shopify Fulfillment Network. Additionally, Shopify supports multiple currencies and languages.

Shopify offers fast, secure hosting with level-1 PCI compliance and a 256-bit SSL certificate.

Key Features:

  • Built-in SEO tools;
  • Vast theme store;
  • Integrations via apps;
  • Detailed analytics;
  • Strong security;
  • Point of sale;
  • In-built marketing tools;
  • Awesome 24/7 customer support.

Shopify is a brilliant ecommerce platform for starting an online store or accepting in-persons quickly. They offer four pricing plans ranging from $24/month to $2,300/month.

Wix eCommerce

wix ecommerce platform

Another strong contender on our list is Wix eCommerce, the ecommerce solution from Wix.com trusted by 3+ million businesses.

Wix eCommerce is a remarkably easy-to-use ecommerce platform perfect for absolute beginners no matter your coding knowledge. Whether or not you’ve ever built an online store, this platform has your back covered.

Creating an online store is super-duper easy you could be selling internationally within a week.

You can choose from over 900 free and fully customizable website templates. Customize your template using the intuitive Wix Editor that makes creating the perfect design a breeze.

If you want to rush the process, you have a powerful AI Website Builder that does all the heavy lifting.

To supercharge your site and add integrations, Wix eCommerce offers a rich app market with hundreds of extensions.

You can sell on your site, in person (either using Wix Retail POS or Wix Mobile POS), on popular marketplaces (e.g., Amazon), and manage it all in the Wix dashboard.

Shipping with Wix is a joy. You can buy and print discounted shipping labels from numerous carriers inside your dashboard.

Selling internationally is easy thanks to Wix Multilingual, currency converter, and over 80 payment providers.

Key Features:

  • Extensive template library;
  • Robust app market;
  • Built-in marketing tools;
  • Super-fast and secure hosting;
  • Wix Editor;
  • Wix Retail POS and Wix Mobile POS;
  • AI Website Builder;
  • Excellent 24/7 support;

Wix eCommerce is the perfect solution to set up an online store quickly. You can sell physical goods, digital products, dropshipping (Wix Dropshipping Platform), print-on-demand, and subscriptions.

The price ranges from $29/month to $159/month to unlock basic to advanced ecommerce features.

BigCommerce

bigcommerce

BigCommerce is a reliable SaaS ecommerce platform trusted by many businesses including big-name brands such as BMW, Johnnie Walker, and General Electric.

With a long list of enterprise-grade features and seamless deployment, there are not enough words to do BigCommerce justice. Due to the sheer number of features, there is a slight learning curve for beginners.

Once you have an account, you create a store by choosing and customizing one of the many themes in a visual page builder. The best part is you can edit HTML and CSS directly to create the exact look you want.

Additionally, you can extend your online store further thanks to the robust BigCommerce Apps Marketplace with hundreds of powerful enterprise integrations. You can even integrate BigCommerce with WordPress.

BigCommerce lets you launch a truly cross-channel experience. You can sell on multiple storefronts, marketplaces, social media, and in-store all from a single dashboard.

The ecommerce platform allows you to accept payments in 100+ currencies via multiple payment gateways such as PayPal, Stripe, and Apple Pay at zero transaction fees.

Shipping is handled through ShipperHQ and a host of other partners at industry-leading rates.

BigCommerce is multi-lingual, allowing you to localize and translate your online store using apps and third-party translation APIs.

Key Features:

  • Global CDN for fast-loading online stores;
  • Themes and integrations;
  • Military-grade security;
  • Reporting and analytics;
  • Built-in SEO features;
  • Unlimited bandwidth and product storage on all plans;
  • Unlimited staff accounts;
  • Retail POS;
  • Mobile app;
  • Abandoned cart saver;
  • And much more!

Between you and me, BigCommerce is a powerhouse ideal for all businesses, big or small. It’s robust and highly scalable, yet relatively easy to use.

For small businesses, prices range from $29/month to $299/month billed annually. You must contact their sales team for their Enterprise plan.

Webflow Ecommerce

webflow ecommerce

Bringing up the rear is Webflow Ecommerce, an agile ecommerce platform that helps you create an appealing ecommerce store without coding.

And these guys drink their own Kool-Aid, too. They built the Webflow.com website using – you guessed it – Webflow!

Getting started is easy and free. This leads you directly to the visual page builder with onboarding steps. Here you choose you want to create an ecommerce store. From there, you can start building your online shop. As easy as A, B, C.

You can tell these folks put effort into their drag-and-drop page builder (known as Designer). You start with a blank site or choose from 2,000 free and paid templates.

To add more features and power to your website, check out the Webflow Apps Marketplace with plenty of free and paid integrations. You can also connect your store to Zapier to integrate with even more services.

Webflow allows you to sell physical and digital products and accept payments in 200+ countries using Stripe, PayPal, Google Pay, and Apple Pay.

Order fulfillment is effortless with Webflow since you can set up custom shipping regions and rules. Further, you can create shipping labels and automate order tracking.

You can easily localize and translate your Webflow online store in Designer.

Key Features:

  • Intuitive Designer drag-and-drop website builder;
  • SEO-friendly;
  • Customizable transactional emails;
  • 2k customizable templates;
  • A sizeable app marketplace;
  • Analytics;
  • Awesome 24/7 customer support.

Webflow is a brilliant solution for creating an online store without breaking a sweat. The ecommerce platform is perfect for freelancers, agencies, and enterprises.

Ecommerce plans range between $29/month to $212/month billed yearly.

And here we are.

We’ve covered five of the best international ecommerce platforms. In a later post, we might cover how to sell internationally with online marketplaces such as Amazon, Alibaba, Walmart, Tmall, eBay, Wayfair, and more.

That said, which ecommerce website or platform should you choose? Here’s my quick take.

Summary: International Ecommerce Websites

  • WooCommerce – The best overall in my view if you want to build a fully-fledged ecommerce platform. It’s also great for people who love tinkering with code and settings. It can take time to launch an online store depending on your inventory but it’s worth it. You have plenty of customization options that are fun to play with but remember some extensions can become pricey.
  • Shopify – This is a versatile ecommerce platform to get up and running quickly. The feature set is appealing but the online store builder is a bit quirky from my experience. Overall it is a good option especially if you’re considering dropshipping using Oberlo and AliExpress.
  • Wix eCommerce – A fabulous ecommerce platform especially for absolute beginners. You have an intuitive visual builder and many options without the mental strain of complex platforms.
  • BigCommerce – A powerful ecommerce platform perfect for enterprises and businesses on the verge of growth.
  • Webflow Ecommerce – Same as Wix.

So, what’s your favorite ecommerce platform? Please share your thoughts, and how we can improve the article in the comment section. If you loved this post, don’t leave without sharing it.

Happy creating and cheers to your success!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *