7 eCommerce Frameworks and Roles in Shaping Online Retail Experiences

Published: | By Nadia Anagnostopoulou

In the context of in-person shopping, the factors that influence a customer’s first impression are often quite apparent.

Lighting, music choice, store arrangement, and store location, for example, will instantly shape a customer’s retail experience.

This translates into virtual shopping in the form of eCommerce frameworks.

We’ll be taking a closer look at some of the most well-known and useful eCommerce frameworks on the market below, so you can see for yourself their potential for shaping online retail experiences.

First, though, we’ll consider the bigger picture by going through a definition.

What is an eCommerce framework?


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When you build a virtual store, you’ll need to use an eCommerce framework.

You can think of this as the digital equivalent to the literal bricks and mortar used to put together a traditional shop, though in the case of eCommerce framework, there’s often a much higher degree of customization involved.

eCommerce frameworks directly influence the way your shop runs.

For example, choosing one that empowers you to provide an omnichannel experience to your customers will ensure that everyone who connects with your online business has the same high standard of experiences.

There are three main kinds of eCommerce framework, as below.


If you use a modern VoIP phone service, you’ve probably heard of SaaS, or software as a service.

In case you’re unfamiliar, SaaS is a hosted service. That means you’ll pay for it using a subscription-based model, and that the provider handles maintenance and upgrades.

Broadly speaking, SaaS is a highly flexible option that lets you easily adjust the virtual storefront to suit your needs.

Open source

Boasting freely editable code, open source solutions are well suited for companies that have access to skilled coders and developers.

The fact that you can edit the source code as you see fit means that open source frameworks are more customizable than SaaS.

However, it also means that maintenance and bug fixing falls entirely to you as an end user, not to the open source code provider.

Headless commerce

Lastly, you can opt for headless eCommerce if you’d like to decouple your eCommerce website’s front and back ends.

This would let you edit aspects of the front end without affecting the end that faces you as a result.

This option is great for anyone who’s looking to handle multiple front ends from a single back end UI.

What do you need from a good eCommerce framework?

To help you choose the best enterprise architecture tool for your eCommerce needs, we’ll break down some of the most essential qualities that any eCommerce framework should have.

These allow you to deliberately shape and perfect your customers’ online shopping experiences.



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The more features your eCommerce framework can offer you, the better its overall business capability is going to be.

This helps you adjust the customer-facing end to perfectly reflect your vision of how it should look.


The world of eCommerce is fast-paced and always evolving, which means your eCommerce framework should be capable of doing the same. A high degree of scalability helps with this.


In much the same way that personalization in marketing goes a long way towards encouraging customers to make purchases, being able to customize your eCommerce framework really helps fine-tune the customer experience.

Seamless mobile compatibility

If you’re using separate mobile eCommerce software just to make it easy for your customers to access your store--or for you to make changes--from a mobile device, you need a new framework. 

A good eCommerce framework should always be mobile-compatible and support the integration of eCommerce ads seamlessly to boost your online store's visibility and revenue.

Now that we know what they should offer you, let’s dive in and look at some excellent examples of eCommerce frameworks.

1. POWR.io



Improving the customer experience is right at the core of what POWR offers and believes in.

This highly customizable no-code solution is a great fit for just about any business.

It’s great at a whole host of key workflows, from gathering leads to driving conversions and well beyond.

In short, POWR helps you take your visitor traffic and turn it into an increase in sales easily.

Customizing the face of your POWR shop is very simple too.

You simply click on what you’d like, and the POWR editor does the behind-the-scenes work for you.

If you’re worried that not knowing how to code will limit your customization options, then POWR is the solution for you, because the sky’s the limit in that regard.

Plus, POWR offers you loads of integration options to empower you to curate the ideal back-end user experience.

To experience the transformative power of POWR for yourself, you can get started fully for free.

The cheapest option after that is just $4.94 per month, with plans never exceeding $80.99 monthly.

This makes POWR one of the most feature-rich, yet cost-effective solutions available.

2. Shopify



Perhaps one of the most well-known names in the game, Shopify is a hosted solution that offers options for any business, whether it’s a brand-new startup or an established enterprise.

Using Shopify is easy, all you have to do is click and drag the components you’d like into place.

This user-friendly interface is one of the biggest advantages Shopify offers.

It’s also easy to adjust the shopfront to the needs of your mobile customers, ensuring you don’t lose out on any valuable sales that might come from mobile traffic.

Following a 3-day free trial, Shopify costs you $1 per month for your first three months of membership.

After that, it runs at $51 per month for the basic plan, with the most feature-rich package costing $517 per month.

3. Magento

This open-source solution is both scalable and internationally popular.

It’s customizable and simple to start using, which makes Magento an attractive option for many.

Magento boasts an uptime in excess of 99.99%, making it a highly reliable eCommerce framework.

It also provides options geared specifically towards smaller businesses, alongside its more enterprise-focused offers.

There are two available versions of Magento.

The fully open-source version is completely free, albeit lacking in many features that the paid-for option offers.

This second version is branded as Adobe Commerce; its costs are calculated on an individual basis.

4. WooCommerce



WooCommerce is another open-source option that’s popular among many people seeking a customizable framework for their virtual store.

It’s entirely WordPress-based, so if you’re familiar with Wordpress to any degree, the learning curve will be much shallower.

Its main focus is on growth. Just as WooCommerce aims to help you grow as a business by making more successful sales, it’s also a scalable solution that evolves as your company does.

To start using WooCommerce, you’ll have to set yourself up for a free 14-day trial version first.

After that, you can pay to upgrade to any paid plan for $1 per month for the first three months.

Their cheaper plan is $39 per month, with their more expansive package costing $70 monthly.

5. Volusion

A SaaS solution that’s been available for around 20 years, Volusion is a solid choice for anyone seeking a SaaS-based eCommerce framework.

It markets itself as a ‘one-stop’ store builder, with options for inventory management, payment collection, and much more.

Volusion also offers a number of pre-designed themes you can adjust to suit your tastes.

This helps you get your store off the ground faster.

Pricing plans for Volusion range from $35 per month on their Personal plan to $299, if you opt for the Business package.

6. BigCommerce

With a notable focus on enterprise eCommerce, BigCommerce lives up to its name.

It’s a SaaS framework that can also be used as a headless option, making it more flexible in terms of whom it’s suited for, despite the emphasis on larger companies.

Flexibility and scalability are both key tenets of BigCommerce’s philosophy. Its large number of available integrations are proof of this.

BigCommerce’s pricing kicks in after an initial 15-day free trial period.

At that point, you can pay as little as $39 per month--or as much as $399 in monthly fees.

7. Squarespace



You might be familiar with Squarespace for its user-friendly website building capability.

While Squarespace can also be used for personal websites or other types of sites, it’s also effective as an eCommerce framework.

A major advantage of Squarespace is the fact that it’s very easy to use.

Thanks to the many templates it offers, you’ll be able to set your website up quickly no matter how you want it to look.

Additionally, Squarespace allows you to create stunning landing pages to enhance your online store's marketing and customer engagement efforts.

Squarespace’s pricing plans start at just $23 per month, though they climb to $65 per month for the more expansive plans.

Each of these plans follows a free 14-day trial period that lets you experience all Squarespace has to offer first.

Final Thoughts

Above all, remember to pay close attention to your company’s business needs as you’re choosing an eCommerce framework.

We’ve mainly focused on shaping customers’ experiences in your online store here--but the experience on your end has to be great too.

So, in other words, your employee experience should always be a significant factor to consider as well.

Your customers will also feel the results in a positive way when it’s a pleasure to run your eCommerce store.

This is because they’ll be able to enjoy benefits like frequent updates, quick restocks, and more.

With that said, different eCommerce platforms make for different experiences, so be sure to cast a wide net and try lots of different options.

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