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.net ecommerce platforms

Best .NET eCommerce Platforms for Startups [Expert Tips]

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When choosing an eCommerce platform, one of the crucial decisions for individuals in leadership roles, such as CEOs, CIOs, or business owners, is selecting the appropriate technology stack.

There are numerous factors to consider when evaluating .NET e-commerce platforms, including features, scalability, cost considerations, and the programming language utilized.

One crucial aspect that businesses often prioritize is the ecommerce website development cost, which plays a significant role in decision-making.

The foundational technology employed holds immense importance for developers involved in the process.

If you’ve reached this point, it’s likely that your website already relies on ASP.NET.

In most scenarios, the decision boils down to choosing between the Microsoft .NET stack and different PHP or Java/JavaScript iterations.

Business proprietors should familiarize themselves with essential aspects of Microsoft .NET and ASP.NET technologies to establish an eCommerce IT team capable of elevating their online store to a prominent position in the market.

What is a .NET eCommerce platform?

A .NET eCommerce platform is a solution or software built using the Microsoft .NET framework.

The .NET framework is a software development platform developed by Microsoft, and it provides tools, libraries, and runtime environments for creating various types of applications, including web applications.

A .NET eCommerce platform leverages the capabilities of the .NET framework to create a comprehensive system for running online stores and managing various aspects of eCommerce operations.

This platform typically includes features such as product catalog management, shopping cart functionality, order processing, payment gateway integration, customer management, and more.

It allows businesses to establish and manage their online presence, sell products or services, and interact with customers in a digital commerce environment.

Using a .NET eCommerce platform can offer advantages like scalability, security, and the ability to integrate with other Microsoft technologies and services.

However, the choice of an eCommerce platform should be based on a thorough evaluation of a business’s specific needs, goals, and technical requirements.

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Why Choose .NET for eCommerce?

ASP.NET stands out as a highly favored framework for web development, commanding widespread adoption. Esteemed global giants like Microsoft, Dell, and Toyota have embraced their capabilities.

Within this article, our focus will be directed toward examining prime eCommerce platforms constructed upon the foundation of ASP.NET technology.

Furthermore, we will delve into the distinctive attributes that set each platform apart, elucidating reasons that might sway your preference for one option.

Nonetheless, before delving into these platforms, exploring the advantages inherent in opting for an eCommerce solution grounded in the ASP.NET framework is essential.

In the realm of eCommerce initiatives, it’s paramount for forward-looking enterprises to grasp the significance of ongoing tool development.

The landscape of development tools is swiftly advancing, representing a dynamic domain. 

Conversely, the eCommerce website you construct should be able to endure for a minimum of a decade while remaining subject to maintenance and updates during that span.

This necessitates assurance in terms of future access to both developers and software over these 10 years.

This is precisely where Microsoft takes the lead over its competitors—ASP.NET has maintained a presence since 2001 and has consistently evolved.

Frequently, vendors are positioning their platforms with a greater emphasis on ASP.NET than just. NET.

This shift is attributed to the fact that the ASP.NET framework holds the role of constructing web applications that encompass eCommerce ventures.

Simultaneously, it’s crucial to recognize that ASP.NET constitutes a more extensive global development toolkit component. NET.

Is .NET good for eCommerce?

Some of the benefits of selecting .NET as a preferred framework for eCommerce development include:

Scalability:

ASP.NET boasts exceptional scalability, adeptly accommodating the demands of expansive eCommerce enterprises without encountering any obstacles.

Security:

ASP.NET arrives equipped with built-in security mechanisms that shield your website against prevalent threats like SQL injection and cross-site scripting.

Performance:

The performance and stability of ASP.NET websites are widely acknowledged, contributing to their reputation for swift and reliable functionality.

Free development tools:

Microsoft generously offers Visual Studio as a complimentary resource for developing a spectrum of applications spanning web, mobile, desktop, IoT, and more. This platform also extends support to over 20 programming languages.

Customization:

.NET allows for highly customizable solutions, enabling businesses to tailor their ecommerce platforms to their specific needs and branding.

Cross-Platform Compatibility:

With the introduction of .NET Core (now .NET 5 and later versions), .NET has become cross-platform, enabling developers to build applications that can run on Windows, Linux, and macOS.

Global development community appeal:

Within web frameworks, ASP.NET and ASP.NET Core have secured spots among the Top 10 most favored options, as evidenced by the Stack Overflow 2021 developer survey.

An abundance of ASP.NET and .NET developers in the job market:

The prevalence of Microsoft .NET and ASP.NET technologies in the curriculum of numerous technical universities worldwide has resulted in a substantial pool of developers with varying levels of expertise. This enables your business to effortlessly find developers for hire tailored to its specific needs.

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List of Top .NET eCommerce Platforms

Example 1: NoP Commerce

Pricing: Free to use ($250 for copyright “Powered by NoP Commerce removal)

NopCommerce stands out as a prominent .NET eCommerce platform within the market. It is a free and open-source .NET solution revered for its remarkable scalability, security, and robustness.

NopCommerce’s architectural design adopts a clean and modular approach, empowering .NET developers to seamlessly tailor and manage front-end markup and back-end functionality.

The platform extends a wealth of sophisticated e-commerce websites and an array of add-ons and themes to cater to developers’ needs.

Its well-structured architecture empowers developers to craft and uphold websites effectively while seamlessly integrating with local services and extensions, offering a streamlined and hassle-free experience.

Features

  • The multi-store feature allows developers to run multiple stores from a single installation.
  • ACL access gives developers control over products, categories, vendors, and every aspect
  • Multi-currency and multilingual support
  • Creates responsive designs and offers the best SEO features
  • CMS features allow the creation of blogs, forums, custom landing pages, and other content
  • Allows creation of downloadable products such as ebooks, software, or music
  • Supports multiple payment gateways such as PayPal, Amazon Pay, and 2Checkout.

Example 2: Virto Commerce

Pricing: Depends on the quantity and product type purchased.

Virto Commerce represents an open-source eCommerce solution meticulously designed for B2B enterprises, boasting features like API-driven architecture, modularity, composability, and headless capabilities.

Tailored specifically to cater to the unique needs of B2B businesses, the current iteration of this platform is constructed upon the .NET 6 development toolkit, which benefits from Microsoft’s support until 2024.

 Notably, this .NET eCommerce open-source solution caters to both medium-scale and enterprise-level businesses.

Having debuted in 2011, Virto Commerce continues to thrive as an enterprise-ready eCommerce platform designed for both B2B and B2C functionalities.

It remains rooted in the Microsoft framework and has been optimized for seamless integration with Azure Cloud since 2019.

The platform’s development journey has harnessed advanced technologies like Liquid and AngularJS, culminating in a sophisticated and robust eCommerce solution.

Features

  • Offers multi-store functions
  • Offers advanced management features for complex B2B and B2C product listings and catalogs
  • Store owners can manage digital, physical, and subscription-based products with Product Information Management (PIM) feature.
  • Offers product enhancement suggestions through machine learning analysis
  • Integrates seamlessly with accounting software, ERPs and IMS.
  • Advanced promotional features allow the creation of banners, ad campaigns, and coupons.
  • Personalized pricing of products according to location and purchase history

Example 3: Umbraco

Pricing: Pairs with Ucommerce for Umbraco
Umbraco stands as a cost-free and open-source Content Management System (CMS).

Rooted in ASP.NET, it does not inherently provide pre-built e-commerce functionalities. To implement Umbraco, online store proprietors must enlist a third-party e-commerce solution that integrates seamlessly.

Notable options for integration include Ucommerce or Merchello. The origins of Umbraco trace back to its prototype’s inception in 1999.

The system’s inaugural version was unveiled in 2003, marking the commencement of its evolution through subsequent iterations.

Features

  • Umbraco pairs with Ucommerce to make a powerful and seamless .NET eCommerce platform.
  • Ucommerce CMS enables execution of content on Umbraco open-source (free version) and Umbraco Cloud )cloud version)

 

Combining Umbraco and Ucommerce presents a practical solution for businesses that initially focus on building their website’s content and subsequently incorporate online sales capabilities.

Ucommerce provides developers with a sturdy API and comprehensive documentation detailing its adaptability through plugins or theme customization.

Example 4: Grandnode

Pricing: It is an open-source and free .NET eCommerce platform.

GrandNode is an open-source, cross-platform, and cost-free .NET eCommerce software built on MongoDB and ASP.NET Core 2.2 foundations.

This solution stands out as one of the .NET platforms capable of seamless operation on Windows, Linux, and MacOS.

Additionally, GrandNode is optimized to support Docker, facilitating rapid installation within seconds.

It emerges as the ideal choice for businesses seeking to sell uncomplicated products.

GrandNode is a specialized solution tailored for discerning users, offering functionalities like auction management, product kits, and booking and reservation products.

Representing a mature solution, GrandNode empowers developers to create highly functional, contemporary, and high-performance eCommerce systems.

Features

  • Offers catalog management to store owners for their users and visitors
  • Keeps details on customers with its customer management system
  • Equipped with various marketing and SEO tools for effective promotion
  • Manages blogs, newsletters, and other web pages of products with its content management system
  • Enables a user-friendly interface for owners to manage store and orders
  • Enhanced customer experience during the checkout process with the support of multi-currency payments.

Example 5: SimplCommerce

Pricing: Pricing details of SimplCommerce are customized according to usage

SimplCommerce represents a cross-platform eCommerce platform that significantly emphasizes delivering strength and scalability within a modular eCommerce ecosystem.

This open-source ASP .NET eCommerce solution is freely accessible and boasts rich features. These attributes empower developers to craft themes from the ground up, tailored to the business’s specific requirements, which can then be seamlessly imported.

Additionally, SimplCommerce supports localization, enabling a broader reach. SimplCommerce is a compact yet potent Sitecore experience platform encompassing an array of robust functionalities.

Features

  • Comes with built-in features for rich products, such as attributes, variations, and comparisons
  • The multi-vendor option enables owners to authorize multiple vendors to sell in a single store.
  • The localization option enables transferring the store to the owner’s native language.
  • Developers hired by owners can customize store themes and plugins in Simple Commerce.
  • Integrates multiple payment gateways such as Stripe, Paypal, Braintree, and Cashfree

Example 6: Sitecore

Pricing:

The cost of Sitecore products is contingent upon factors such as the nature of the project pursued by business owners, the monthly visitor count on the website, the incorporation of add-ons, and the number of installations required.

Sitecore is a premier .NET e-commerce platform renowned for its prowess in web content management. This platform is accompanied by an integrated e-commerce solution known as Sitecore Experience Commerce.

The fusion of capabilities within Sitecore seamlessly intertwines web content, customer interactions, preferences, and e-commerce management. 

This amalgamation empowers developers to craft a system that delivers pertinent and personalized customer experiences in real-time, transcending multiple channels.

Furthermore, Sitecore emerges as a platform that consistently releases updated versions at intervals. The most recent iteration, Sitecore version 9.0, introduced the Sitecore Experience Accelerator (SXA) Storefront.

Through the SXA storefront, software development teams can construct and deploy comprehensive e-commerce stores efficiently.

Features

  • Sitecore features a user-friendly drag-and-drop editor, equipping users with over 40 e-commerce controls. These controls empower business owners to effortlessly craft collections, products, and landing pages for their online stores without requiring developer assistance.
  • The platform supports both multi-warehouse and multi-store functionalities, enhancing its versatility.
  • Among .NET e-commerce platforms, Sitecore’s Content Management System features are exceptionally robust and comprehensive.
  • Sitecore introduces a real-time customer tracking approach, enabling businesses to capture customer interactions, preferences, and behaviors. This accumulated data informs valuable insights for delivering personalized experiences.
  • Multi-language and multi-currency support are seamlessly integrated within this tool.
  • Sitecore incorporates an embedded marketing automation approach, streamlining marketing endeavors.
  • The platform introduces an efficient customer management system, facilitating easy tagging, segmentation, and overall management of customers.
  • Sitecore offers a sophisticated inventory management system that facilitates seamless management across multiple warehouses and stores.
  • The platform seamlessly integrates with back-office systems, including ERPs and CRMs.
  • Sitecore’s comprehensive capabilities encompass order management, enabling businesses to handle order fulfillment, cancellations, holds, returns, refunds, and product adjustments within pending orders.

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Example 7: Optimizely

The brand’s history is intertwined with a series of mergers and acquisitions. Beginning in the early 2000s, this eCommerce platform was recognized as Episerver.

However, a significant transformation occurred in 2021 when the company adopted the name Optimizely following its acquisition of a digital experimentation company.

Currently, the Optimizely brand encompasses two distinct eCommerce products:

B2C Commerce (from Episerver) and B2B Commerce by Insite (formerly InsiteCommerce).

This situation can present challenges and economic concerns for clients, particularly those in B2C and B2B segments.

Such clients must invest in acquiring, customizing, and maintaining two eCommerce platforms. These platforms, developed by separate teams, exhibit minimal similarities in terms of code and architecture.

However, Optimizely has endeavored to foster cohesion between them through their shared interface.

Example 8: Kentico

Kentico boasts a well-established ASP.NET eCommerce platform with a product legacy from 2004. Like Optimizely’s strategy, Kentico has opted to conceptualize its products as an interconnected network of digital experiences.

The Kentico Xperience platform is a comprehensive solution equipped with an array of tools and resources that empower the initiation and administration of online stores, content deployment, and the orchestration of digital marketing campaigns.

Kentico offers a responsive design framework that furnishes complete control, complemented by tailored marketing functionalities to effectively oversee all marketing endeavors and gather customer insights.

Diverse website themes are at the disposal of users within the Kentico ecosystem. For online store proprietors, Kentico presents an array of potent eCommerce extensions.

These encompass various offerings ranging from payment gateways to currency converters and beyond.

How Can Clickysoft Help your Startup?

ClickySoft offers reliable and professional .NET development services tailored according to your specifications.

Our expert developers are here to cater to your specifications and give you a store with functionality.

Our service is relatively affordable that serves every business type with ease.

We have made it easy for businesses and eCommerce store owners to initiate and scale their businesses with functional web and mobile solutions.

Expert Opinion – Recommendations

Although all the NET eCommerce platforms mentioned are useful, our professional opinion would be to go for  NoP Commerce and Virto Commerce. The reason is that both these platforms are almost free with multi management functions for your stores. 

Conclusion

Choosing a .NET ecommerce platform hinges upon various tiers of requirements and the extent of customization essential for an online business store.

These .NET ecommerce platforms empower software development firms to construct impactful websites for clients, crafting experiences that leave a lasting mark on end-users through top-tier features, user-friendly navigation, and unwavering robustness.

In this discussion, we delved into the intricacies of the leading .NET ecommerce platforms. 

While they share the common foundation of utilizing cutting-edge Microsoft technologies for online store provision, they each possess their own distinctive traits and unique feature sets.

Hence, prior to selecting the ideal platform for your client’s e-commerce software, it is imperative for every developer to possess a comprehensive understanding of these platforms and to be well-informed about the array of features that each platform brings to the table.

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