Before this, we discussed why you should get your own eCommerce website. In that article, we discussed the pros and cons of having your own website, and why it is a far better option than using social media as your eCommerce platform. So now, lets discuss which of them is the best eCommerce platforms in Malaysia.
There are a lot of eCommerce platforms out there. A simple Google search can show you just how many platforms are out there, each of them with their own features and specialties. But that does not mean that every one of them were built equal. Some of them might have various features, display, overlay, that fits different business owners.
So in this article, we’re going to look at the best of the best eCommerce platforms in Malaysia, and see which one is the best fit for your business.
Factors To Consider
In this article, there are 6 chief factors we’re considering; Price, Features and Flexibility, Templates and Designs, and finally, Customer Support.
We’ll be discussing all of these 6 factors, and we will be comparing each of the platforms to each other to find out which one of them is worthy of being called one of the best eCommerce platforms in Malaysia.
Shopify is quite easily the most popular eCommerce platform in the world, let alone in Malaysia. With their reputation as one of, if not the biggest eCommerce platform in the world, lets do a thorough analysis to see if all the hype is deserved, or not.
Lets face it, when it comes to factors to consider in choosing an eCommerce platform, pricing might be the biggest factor. For some, pricing is the only factor. To these people, Shopify might not be the best fit for their eCommerce platform.
The reason? Simple. Shopify does not offer any free plans. Their price starts at the Shopify Lite plan for 9.00$/month (RM 37.16), and their highest priced plan, the Shopify Advanced costs a cool 300.00$/month (RM 1238.55). And to make it worse, their lowest priced plan does not even get you an eCommerce website. Instead, what you get is a ‘Buy’ button that you can place on your social media or any other websites you own.
But does this mean that Shopify is the worst out of the bunch when it comes to pricing? Well not really.
The reason being although Shopify does not offer any free packages and their cheapest package also does not offer any eCommerce website, they allow you to put unlimited products in your store at the cheapest price. Their Shopify Basic plan costs 29.00$/Month (RM 119.73), but it allows you to market unlimited products.
Other than the three plans already mentioned, Shopify also offers the Shopify plan, at 79.00$/Month (RM 326.15).
If we’re looking at features alone, then it’s easy to see why Shopify is the one of the best eCommerce platforms in Malaysia. Shopify is a giant in the eCommerce platform business, and their features reflects that.
Shopify’s setup page is one of the easiest one to use. Their setup page is armed with a much-needed dashboard where you can quickly add products, customize the look of your page, and many more. Another cool feature of Shopify is that they ask you if you’re moving from another platform, and if you are, they will provide you a link that helps with importing your products from the previous platform to Shopify.
Adding a product is also a simple task, thanks to Shopify’s clear fields for titles, descriptions, images, prices, and everything else you could need. To sum it up, Shopify is all about simplicity and ease of use. You can see this in the rest of their pages, from where you manage your products to where you receive the reports for your eCommerce business.
Other features Spotify offers includes;
- Unlimited orders, products, file storage, bandwidth
- 24/7 support
- Mobile commerce ready
- Use your own domain name
- Point of sale
- Free SSL certificate
- You can accept credit cards + 100 payment gateways
- Automatic carrier shipping rates
- Automatic taxes
- Web-based website builder with drag-and-drop
- Full blogging platform
- Multiple languages
- Customer profiles
- Customer accounts
- Search engine optimized
- Product reviews
- Gift cards
- Social media integration + sell on Facebook
- Inventory management
- Digital products
- Product variations
- Level-1 PCI compliant
- Advanced reporting
- Mobile app
Templates And Design
Without any exaggeration, Shopify is simply one of the best eCommerce platforms in Malaysia when it comes to the templates and design they offer. Shopify focuses on professionalism and modernity in their themes, and it’s not hard to see that from their collection of themes.
There are more than 100 themes for your choosing on Shopify, with a great mix of free and paid themes in it. No matter what kind of shop you’re envisioning your business to be, you’ll find a theme that’s perfect for you here.
Although some might think of Customer Support as one of the minor factors to consider, it is actually very important. Customer Support should always be at the forefront of your mind when you’re choosing the best eCommerce platforms in Malaysia for your business.
The reason being chances are you will be needing support in running your store. So why not just check their availability? After all, the platform it’s running on is the lifeblood of your business website.
And Shopify does not shirk in this requirement. They offer 24/7 live chat and phone support for all of their plans. This means that anytime that you’re having trouble with your store, you can just call them for assistance.
In the hustle and bustle of running an online store, this is a welcome peace of mind.
Although it might not be as popular as Shopify, Big Commerce is a huge eCommerce platform in its own right as well. It’s safe to say that it’s one of the biggest competitors to Shopify, and some users even swear that Big Commerce is better than Shopify. How true is that? That’s what we’re here to find out.
Much like Shopify, Big Commerce doesn’t offer any free plans for their customers. Their cheapest plan is the Big Commerce Standard plan, which is priced at 29.95$/Month (RM 123.35). Although this plan might be just a tad more expensive than Shopify Basic plan, it makes up for it by also having no limit to the number of products you can market. But one huge advantage that Big Commerce holds is that this plan also offers an unlimited amount of staff account, which can be huge for your business. Basically, what this means is that you can create accounts for your staff to help you run your online business.
They also offer two bigger plans, which is the Big Commerce Plus Plan which costs 79.95$/Month (RM 329.28), and their Big Commerce Pro plan, which costs 249.95$/Month (RM 1029.44).
Some people might say that Big Commerce is second fiddle to Shopify. This holds true for their features as well. After Shopify, Big Commerce has the cleanest dashboard out of all the other eCommerce platforms in Malaysia. Just like Shopify, Big Commerce’s dashboard has the aim of helping you create your own online store website in the matter of minutes.
One thing that I like the most about the Big Commerce’s dashboard is the sidebar menu, which helps navigating from one section to another seamlessly easy. Here, you can get to your products, orders, and customer info easily. You can even take advantage of some of Big Commerce’s marketing settings, analytics, and other modules. Then, you can optimize the appearance of your store to maximize sales. This is where they really make a mark for themselves as one of the best eCommerce platforms in Malaysia.
Adding your products is also very simple with Big Commerce, with the usage of tabs making it easy for you. It also ensures you don’t miss out any important details for your products.
Here are the other factors that help Big Commerce in their case as the best eCommerce platform in Malaysia;
- Unlimited products, orders, file storage, and bandwidth
- 24/7 live chat support
- Point of sale
- Visual store builder
- Migrate your store and import products
- Accept payments via PayPal powered by Braintree, Stripe, Apple Pay, Pay with Amazon and dozens more
- Manage orders and inventory
- Sell via Facebook, Pinterest, eBay, Amazon and Square POS
- Multiple marketing features
- Multi-layered hosting security and DDOS protection
- Level 1 PCI-compliant hosting
- Get found on product comparison sites
- Encourage return visits with email marketing
- SEO features
Templates And Design
In term of templates and design, Big Commerce might be better than Shopify. It has a nice library of themes, and the best part of it is that it’s arranged in categories. It is also responsive, fluid, and customizable.
When designing their themes library, Big Commerce clearly had the idea to establish a more fluid, modern user experience, and they succeeded. They also have both free and paid options for their themes, and even their free ones are expertly designed.
Just like Shopify, Big Commerce also offers a 24/7 livechat and phone support. This will be essential as you learn how to use your new online website.
Compared to Shopify and Big Commerce, 3DCart might feel like minnows in the fight to be the best eCommerce platform in Malaysia.
But 3DCart is quickly growing, and given a little bit more time, they might grow to stand side to side with the other giants.
Just like Shopify and Big Commerce, 3DCart also does not offer free plans for their potential users. But, their starting plan is a lot cheaper than the previous two platforms.
Their starting plan is the 3Dcart startup plan, which costs 19.00$/Month (RM 78.25). With this plan, you will be getting everything you need to start up your own eCommerce website, including 1 staff account, an eCommerce website and you can put up to 100 products.
But this plan’s advantage is that it is the cheapest plan to offer unlimited bandwidth, which ensures that your site can scale along with your customers.
If you want to get rid of the product limits, 3Dcart also offers unlimited products in their 3dCart basic at 29.00$/Month (RM 119.73), 3Dcart plus at 79.00$/Month (RM 325.37), and 3Dcart Pro at 229.00$/Month (RM 943.16).
When it comes down to the core, 3Dcart gets the job done. With their clear and sleek main user interface and dashboard, they try to make it so that every user has no trouble with creating their site.
A feature that is always welcome in any dashboards, the side bar is present here, and they also have a nice welcome video in the center when you log in for the first time. This video acts as a tutorial, and will help you answer any questions you have.
When trying to add products, you will notice that 3Dcart provides you with sample products in your catalog, which helps you understand how the process is supposed to go.
The product creation panel is passable, but there is a slight learning curve to be navigated before you can get completely familiar with adding products in your catalog.
Here are some other features 3Dcart offers;
- Sell from 100 to unlimited products
- Unlimited orders, file storage, and bandwidth
- 24/7 live chat support + phone + priority support
- Point of sale
- Mobile & social ready
- Sell online on eBay, Amazon, Google Shopping, Facebook, Shopzilla
- Upsell + crossell
- Bulk import/export
- Product questions & answers
- Customer reviews
- Digital products
- Waiting list
- Detailed product reports
- SSL certificate included
- FTP access to files
- Daily backups
- Secure level 1 PCI hosting
- Simple shipping setup
- Accept payments
- Marketing and SEO features
The SEO feature is very welcome, because it helps you rank your website on Google. The only downside to the features 3Dcart offers is the 3Dcart visual editor, which is a little outdated.
Templates And Design
Now here is where 3Dcart starts to lose their edge a little. They have more than a hundred of themes in their themes library, but not all of them is creative. That being said, 3Dcart’s library of templates and designs is more than sufficient if you’re running a bigger store. It’s when you run a smaller store that it becomes a problem.
You see, their themes are designed with a large scale business in mind. And their themes can be a little monotonous. But they do offer both free and premium paid themes, which is always a plus. As mentioned before, a great theme library is essential if 3Dcart wants to be considered as one of the best eCommerce platform in Malaysia.
3Dcart also differs from the Shopify or Big Commerce in the way they approach their customer support. Here, the type of support you get differs based on the plan you are on.
If you’re on the 3Dcart startup plan, you only get a 24/7 livechat support. But if you’re on the 3Dcart basic plan or the 3Dcart plus plan, you get the 24/7 livechat and phone support. And you’re on the 3Dcart Pro plan, you get 24/7 priority support.
This can be helpful if you’re on the more expensive plans, but can be an impediment if you’re using the cheaper plans.
Now although at the surface level Ecwid might seem unfit to be compared with the other eCommerce platform, but they have managed to survive in this competitive field by carving out a specific niche for themselves.
And that niche is being the best free eCommerce platform out there. Just how good is their free platform? Let’s find out.
As mentioned earlier, what separates Ecwid from their peers in the race to be the best eCommerce platform in Malaysia is the fact that they have a free plan for their customers. So let’s look at the Ecwid Free plan.
When looked at it roughly, Ecwid’s free plan might seem a little threadbare, with only one staff account, and a 10 products limit. But as people say, you get what you pay for. And in this case, you’re paying nothing. The best part about this plan is that even though it’s a free plan, you still get unlimited file storage and bandwidth, which means that your website is scalable.
Of course, there are limitations in place such as the aforementioned 10 products limit, but if you can work your way around this, Ecwid’s plan is a great free plan.
Ecwid also offer paid plan as well, starting from 15.00$/Month (RM 61.78) for their Ecwid Venture plan, 35.00$/Month (RM 144.15) if you’re using the Ecwid Business plan, and 99.00$/Month (RM 407.74) is how much their premier Ecwid Unlimited plan costs.
One thing that is very likeable about Ecwid’s interface is that it is very clear and straight to the point. Everything that is important is highlighted in the middle of the dashboard, which makes it easier for a beginner to know what he should be starting with.
Another lovely feature is the progress bar on the dashboard, which shows exactly just how far along are you in creating your own website.
The product’s addition panel is more of the same, with it being very straightforward, concise, and clear.
In a nutshell, Ecwid’s interface is very straightforward and easy to use, but it’s also allows for a lot of possibilities. Here are some other features Ecwid offers;
- From 10 to unlimited products
- Unlimited orders, file storage and bandwidth
- 24/7 live chat support + phone + priority support (no support on the free plan)
- Sell on multiple sites, blogs, and social networks
- Sell on any device and on the move
- Customer address book
- Smart shipping calculator
- Integrates with WordPress, Joomla and more
- Track inventory
- Sell digital goods
- Accept payments via 40 different payment options
- Define shipping options
- Level 1 PCI compliant
Templates And Design
Now here, is where Ecwid starts to show why they’re not as big as the other eCommerce platforms. Ecwid offers no choice of templates or themes for your website, or at least not one that is easily found.
What you have to do is you have to go to the Ecwid App Market, and look for themes there. But even here, the themes are from third-party sites which might cause problems, and it’s all paid themes.
Apart from that, you can do basic level modifications and customizations on your store, but it’s not a long term fix. This is something they need to fix if they want to stay in the race to become the best eCommerce platform in Malaysia.
Unfortunately for those planning to use Ecwid’s free plan, customer support is one of it’s limitations. For users of the free plan, you won’t be receiving any support at all. Which means that if you encounter any problems with your site or your business, you’re on your own.
For the paid plans, Ecwid offers 24/7 live chat for the Ecwid Venture plan, 24/7 live chat + phone for the Ecwid Business plan, and 24/7 priority support for the Ecwid Unlimited plan.
Now unlike the other three eCommerce platforms, SiteGiant is special as it’s locally born and bred, in Malaysia. This means that unlike the others, SiteGiant relates more to the needs and wants of Malaysian business owners, and Malaysian customers. Although SiteGiant might not be as big as the eCommerce platform globally, there’s no doubt that they’re the king of eCommerce platforms in Malaysia.
As you can see from this picture right here, one thing that jumps out from SiteGiant’s price list is that they do not offer any free plans. As mentioned, this might be a problem for some of the more frugal business owner.
But SiteGiant more than makes up for this with the pricing of their plans. You see, SiteGiant’s cheapest plan is the Unicart Basic, which costs RM590/Year, or roughly RM 49.20/Month. With this plan, you’ll be getting 2 staff accounts, and a limit of 500 products. This means that it’s way way cheaper than any of the plans we discussed before this. Although it comes with a limit on products, the 500 product limit is easy to work around.
Their other plans includes the Unicart Pro plan at RM 1290/Year, the Unicart Pro Plus plan for RM 1390/Year, and the Unicart Business plan at RM 2890/Year. Yes, that’s right, their most expensive plan costs only RM 240.85/Month. So it’s easy to see that SiteGiant has a big lead over everyone in terms of pricing.
Okay now that we have established the fact that SiteGiant is way more affordable than any other plans, how about their features? Does their cheaper price means that you have to make do with lesser features?
Fortunately, no. Anything that you’re looking for and is essential for an eCommerce platform is available from SiteGiant.
Everything from a product listing management, inventory auto-sync, free SSL certificate, it’s all there.
And to make it even better, SiteGiant understands that their customers are mainly Malaysians, which means that their businesses are mostly Malaysian based. Which is why they also included a feature called Malaysia Marketplace Integration, which helps syncs your products and your stock count to popular online marketplace in Malaysia such as Lazada, Shopee, and Lelong.
This helps you widen your reach, as you can sell through multiple platforms.
As if these were all not enough, SiteGiant also offers a Facebook Commerce feature for their users, which helps their customers sell their products through Facebook. This includes a Facebook messenger bot, a Facebook shop, and many more.
So in terms of features, you will be hard pressed to find any other eCommerce platform that offers features as Malaysian-centric as SiteGiant.
Template And Design
Speaking of the templates and design, it’s clear to see that there is a lot to be desired from the templates offered by SiteGiant. Their templates can be a little generic and outdated, and some of them might not even be mobile-friendly.
This is a far cry from other eCommerce platforms, and is something that SiteGiant will need to improve on if they’re serious about becoming the best eCommerce platform in Malaysia.
But even in the design aspects of the website, SiteGiant shows just how much they focus on Malaysians.
They offer a drag-and-drop website design feature, which is tremendously helpful for people who are not computer-savvy. This saves the users from having to edit codes manually.
SiteGiant also offers Livechat and phone support, although it is unspecified if it’s 24/7 or not.