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Five E-Commerce Services for Frontend Devs

Selling physical or virtual products online is a way to make good money, so adding e-commerce features to an app or website is vital if you want to make a living.

Usually, building e-commerce sites or selling subscriptions online requires setting up a backend that will handle all the heavy payment lifting. But wouldn't it be nice if we could outsource that task to a third-party service, so we don't have to manage our backend?

I searched around online and found you five such services. The first one, Snipcart, I already introduced to you in a previous article.

1. Snipcart

Snipcart Logo

Pricing: 2% + payment gateway fees

Snipcarts unique selling point is an excellent HTML SDK. You generate some HTML elements with classes and data-attributes that define your product, a checkout button, and you're done.

No product-related configuration in a GUI needed.

Product prices will be checked via a Snipcart owned web scraping service directly from your page, so nobody tries to mess with you.

You can link Snipcart up to your custom backend logic with WebHooks if needed.

2. Trolley

Trolley Logo

Pricing: 2% + credit card fees

Trolley needs even less code than Snipcart, but that comes at the price of using their GUI to set things up.

When you clicked your product or subscription together, you get a link you can share on your page, via email or whatever text-based communication tool you use.

Trolley also offers some JavaScript widgets if you're not into the whole linking to third-party sites thing.

Like Snipcart, WebHooks allow further integration with backend processes, if needed.

3. FoxyCart

Foxy Logo

Pricing: $15 a month + $0.15 per transaction

FoxyCart is a solution similar to Snipcart. You can sprinkle HTML elements on your page to create products. A link or a form that submits to their API will then facilitate the purchase.

They also support HMAC product verification if you want to be safe that no one tampered with your links.

WebHooks are available if you have to handle additional logic on your side after purchase.

4. Commerce.js

Commerce.js Logo

Pricing: 3% + payment gateway fees

Commerce.js is, as the name implies, a JavaScript centric shop solution. You get a JavaScript SDK that allows you to retrieve all the data you need from an API. You build your UI around it inside your website or app.

The management of the store happens traditionally via a web UI.

I couldn't find any info about WebHooks here, but they also offer a Node.js SDK, so more customized logic probably has to be implemented.

5. Sellfy

Sellfy Logo
Pricing: $19 a month for <$10,000 sales per year

Sellfy is a more classical shop solution.

With Sellfy, you can create a webshop in a few minutes and embed parts of the shop into your website with generated HTML.

Like the other solutions, it also comes with WebHook support.

Which Service is Right for You?

FoxyCart and Snipcart are probably the most dev centric solutions here. They are especially useful if you don't work with non-technical people, for example, if you want to monetize your products. Having everything in code can be helpful, but it's not easy to maintain for regular folks.

Commerce.js hits a sweet spot here, it also allows for the most uncomplicated design customization, because it doesn't have a UI to start with. It comes with a backend that will enable even non-technical people to set up products, which is a huge boon.

Trolley is an exciting solution with all its "send a link and get money." I think it still integrates well with frontends but is probably not as customizable as the solutions mentioned above.

Sellfy is cheap and simple and the least dev centric solution here, but it still comes with HTML embeds, that can be used to integrate with your website.

Do you use other solutions? Let me know in the comments!

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