Before the digital age, to open a store you had to have a physical location. It was difficult to start a business. Not every entrepreneur could afford to purchase a building.
We live in a completely different world now. The internet’s evolution has created a new industry where passion and creativity are more important than real estate. Anyone can now start their own business without having to worry about foot traffic. You will still need to have a “home base” or location for your business. You will be building a virtual storefront rather than a physical storefront.
Ecommerce platforms allow business owners of all sizes to make a mark in the digital world. Shopify, Wix or Squarespace allow sellers to leave behind the restrictions of Amazon and eBay, and instead have full control over their ecommerce site. Problem?
Online selling has become a popular and cost-effective way to make a living in the digital world. There are many companies claiming to offer the best ecommerce platform for small businesses today.
There are so many options, so how can you choose the right platform for you?
How to Choose the Best Ecommerce Platform For Small Businesses
The process of choosing the right ecommerce platform can be compared to selecting a physical address for a brick-and-mortar shop. You need to take into account everything from the reputation of the site to the level of support that you can expect to bring your business to life.
Some companies will find the right platform to allow them to create something unique for their ecommerce store. You might need an open-source website builder that allows you to experiment with inventory management, abandoned cart retrieval, and other types of web hosting.
If you are a newbie in eCommerce business management, you may want to move from an open-source platform to a hosted one. These tools are easier to use for beginners, since they include many tools, including drag-and-drop customization and unlimited product support. Here are some key points to help you choose from the best performers we will list below.
Shopify is a key player in ecommerce and online sales. Shopify offers the most powerful sales tools on the market. It also has a large app market that is packed with plugins.
Shopify’s dedicated eCommerce platform is the best if you are serious about selling online. Shopify is software that you pay to use the SaaS model. It is specifically designed to help those who want to create the best online store. Shopify offers many advanced selling tools, as well as Squarespace and Wix alternatives. It also comes with a free SSL certificate to ensure your security. Access to discount codes, customer support 24 hours a day, and integrated payment processing will be available. You can also sync inventory and orders across different sales channels such as Amazon and eBay. You can also access new sales strategies like dropshipping using plugins.
Pricing: A 14-day free trial is followed by $29 per Month for the basic Shopify experience. Advanced Shopify can be purchased for $299 per Month.
To help you get started, we offer a free trial
There are many themes to choose from
There are many plugins available.
All plans include unlimited products
Payment options integrated
Great for any type of business plan
It is easy to accumulate fees quickly
The blogging platform is extremely limited
Wix is a great choice for eCommerce stores because of its value and performance. Wix is designed to give you complete control over your website. Wix eCommerce plans include a drag-and-drop store builder, hundreds upon templates, and a mobile optimized performance.
There are many payment options available and you can use a secure checkout system. You can also create amazing product galleries using your store manager tools. It’s also possible to calculate international tax and shipping from your back-end. Wix doesn’t have as many shopping options as Shopify, but this is to be expected for a site not solely focused on eCommerce.
Although Wix is not the best ecommerce solution in the world, it’s a great way to get started.
Pricing: If you are happy to display Wix ads on the website, pricing is free. To sell products, however, you will need to purchase the Business Basic plan, which costs $23 per monthly.
A wide range of themes with high quality to personalize your site
You have multiple secure payment options available for your customers
A large selection of plugins and apps
Start your journey for nothing
There are many discount and coupon options
Limited eCommerce features
There is no way to export your data
It is difficult to add additional functions because it isn’t open source
BigCommerce is a great tool if you are looking to create an online shop that sells across multiple channels and platforms. BigCommerce is an ideal solution for small businesses that are growing. It can be difficult to use due to its advanced functionality and features.
BigCommerce offers a wide range of features. This means that your software will have most of the functionality you require. Shopify and other app platforms won’t be as important to you. BigCommerce is a great way to grow your business, regardless of whether you sell on Amazon, Instagram or Square, eBay, Facebook or Pinterest.
BigCommerce has many sales features. You just have to ensure that your team is able to use all of the opportunities that BigCommerce has to offer. There are many SEO tools that can help your site get found on Google.
Pricing: BigCommerce pricing plans starting at $29.95 per Month. It is quite affordable when you consider all the features you get.
Visual merchandising tool built in
There are no transaction fees
Unlimited storage, bandwidth, and products
Rating and other options for product selection
There are many free applications available to choose from
It is ideal for selling on multiple channels.
Pricing can be difficult to understand
It’s not as simple as using some tools to set up.
A small selection of themes are available for free
Squarespace is a great ecommerce platform that allows companies to have a lot more creative control. Although Squarespace is similar to Wix in design, it offers a few more advanced features such as integration with social media channels.
SquareSpace is an excellent choice if you are looking for a way of creating a visually appealing online portfolio or business. SquareSpace offers a variety of modern and sleek templates that you can choose from. You can also change your style at any time. This tool doesn’t offer as many eCommerce features as Shopify. You can get SSL security and a domain for free with any annual plan. All plans include a mobile-optimized checkout and no transaction fees.
Pricing: Squarespace’s prices start at $18 per Month. This makes Squarespace a very affordable option. There is no free plan.
Excellent social media integration
There are many great templates available.
Plans that are budget-friendly
This is a great option for anyone who needs 24/76 customer service
Annual plans include a free domain
Transaction fees of large magnitude
Only Stripe, PayPal and Apple Pay offer limited payment options.
There is no app market
Do you want an ecommerce platform that allows you to integrate your offline sales strategy with your online selling? Square Online is a site-building tool from Square. Square allows you to create a website free of charge if you have an existing Square Point of Sale System. However, the store builder is powered By Weebly. This means you will have the same customization restrictions as your Weebly store.
The Square Online system is easy to use, and it works with Weebly’s solution for building stores. In no time, you can start building professional-looking stores. You also have access to advanced inventory management because everything is integrated with your Square point-of-sale system. Your inventory is updated when something sells online.
Square uses artificial design intelligence in its store builder. You get an enhanced experience without spending a lot. It’s easy to add products and features to your shop. The free plan will help you get started.
Pricing: Start free with the option of upgrading to a more advanced experience.
This is a great option if you already use features of the Square ecosystem
For beginners, it is easy to use
Combination of online and offline sales
Amazing inventory management tools
Great for AI design
There are limitations in customization options, especially with the checkout
There are limitations to the payment processing options available
Ecwid is a powerful online selling platform that was created to help companies sell their products from anywhere and at any time. Online registration is free and you can keep your account for as long or as you wish. Ecwid is a great option for businesses looking to integrate it with their existing websites, social networks, or business pages. All storefronts will be synced to and managed from one control panel.
Ecwid’s cloud-based platform is one of its greatest benefits. It’s hosted by the cloud, so you don’t need to install it. You can add Ecwid to any website with a plugin. This includes WordPress, Wix and Joomla sites. The features include a responsive design that works on all devices, automatic language detection and the ability to add your site or blog to multiple websites, blogs, and social media networks simultaneously. There are no setup fees or transaction fees. You can also choose from many different payment methods to securely accept payments.
Pricing – The Unlimited plan is a free forever plan that’s great for small businesses just starting out online. You can also use the Unlimited plan to sell everything online for $99 per month.
Uses your existing website
Premium plans at a reasonable price and a free plan
You have the option to sell on different marketplaces and social media sites
A mobile app can be created for the app store
Automatic language detection
Secure payment options available
High fees for integrated payment are a common occurrence
You need a website, not a solution by itself.
Lower plans do not have live chat or phone support
The back-end statistics are not very complete
Sellfy is a great option for small businesses because of several reasons. Their subscription-based pricing model is a great option for young start-ups. It works like this: instead of paying a commission for each item sold, you only pay a monthly fee. You get an ecommerce store that you can customize, POD access, and integrated marketing tools.
Let’s look at these features.
Sellfy allows you to sell digital products such as ebooks, videos and podcasts. You can also sell physical products through your Sellfy storefront.
Sellfy also offers POD (print-on-demand) services. You can customize the item that interests you with your custom text, design and branding, then sell it through your Sellfy shop.
It is simple to create your store. Upload your images and choose the fonts you prefer. Finally, select a layout. Simply add your products. Sellfy creates a mobile-friendly, clean website that customers can purchase from.
Sellfy’s backend allows you to track all aspects of your store, including visits, purchases and conversions. Sellfy also offers marketing tools that can help you expand your reach. Sellfy allows you to add product links on your social media. It also offers selling and tracking options for Youtube and Twitter.
Pricing: Sellfy comes standard with a free plan. This package allows you to set up a shop and sell up to ten items. You also have access to their POD service. Prices start at $19.99 per month and include features such as email marketing, product upselling and digital products.
For free, you can create your own eCommerce store.
You can sell digital, POD, and physical products.
Access to integrated marketing and analytics tools
Multiple payment options are available to customers, including Stripe, Paypal and other popular digital wallets.
There are limited integration options
You can’t sell digital products with the free plan.
You’ll automatically be upgraded to a higher-priced plan if your sales exceed the current plan.
Only ten products are allowed to be sold under the free program.
For their POD service, there are only a few shipping options beyond Europe.
Magento is a popular ecommerce platform for established retailers. This tool is used by some of the most successful companies around the globe to connect with customers online. Magneto supports other sales channels such as Amazon. Magneto can deliver next-level sales experience with its free-to-download software.
Magento is an open-source solution, so you will need to have some knowledge of the code or a professional to make it stand out. There are many people who are open to working with new brands in Magento to create the perfect website.
Pricing: Magento offers a free software version, but you’ll need to pay for hosting and premium tools. It’s also worth noting that this tool is available in an enterprise edition for $15,000.
Open source allows for total customization control
You have the option to modify your platform with flexibility
A huge community of developers is available to collaborate with
Great for international sites
Versatile Magento marketplace
It is difficult to use
It can be costly to set up
You need to manage your own hosting services and payment gateways
Zyro is an attractive and convenient website builder that has a lot of market experience. Hostinger initially launched the company as a product, but it later became a platform. The website builder is now completely independent and comes with everything that a brand needs to get online.
With a variety of stunning designs from Zyro, you can create a website in minutes. The drag-and-drop builder also features an intuitive grid function. This makes it less likely that you will end up with elements not aligned perfectly.
Zyro offers lightning fast performance across all devices so that you can provide the exceptional experience your customers expect. The AI content creator tool can be used to assist you in creating content for your website if you are having difficulty.
Pricing: The free plan is a good way to get started. However, the features are limited with 500 MB bandwidth and 500 MB storage. However, you get an SSL certificate and support for SEO. The Online Store costs $8.90 and offers unlimited storage and bandwidth. Zyro ads can be removed and a free domain is available for one year. A Website plan is available for $2.90 per monthly, and a Business plan for business use costs $4.90 per per month. Advanced Store plans are available for $15.90
It is easy to use and responsive
Drag-and-drop grid builder
Great for quickly creating websites
Creator of AI content
One year free domain
SSL Certificate Free
All paid plans include unlimited storage
Templates that are designed by top designers
There are not many blogging features
There is no live customer support
Editing code is not an option
Limited design customization choices
Let’s say that price is the primary consideration when choosing an eCommerce platform. NopCommerce might be a good choice in this case. It is completely free and customizable and used by more than 60,000 small- and medium-sized companies worldwide at the time this article was written.
NopCommerce offers many eCommerce features. NopCommerce is fully mobile-friendly and allows you to list unlimited products.
You have many options when it comes to adding payment options to your online shop, such as PayPal, Stripe and Braintree. If you are looking to expand your online store, you will be able to use nopCommerce integrations. NopCommerce lets you manage multiple stores from one nopCommerce account. You can manage multiple websites from different domains with one panel.
NopCommerce integrates seamlessly with Google Analytics for SEO. Users of nopCommerce can benefit from keyword tags and a custom URL section. Product pages also have SEO-friendly names.
Finally, nopCommerce boasts a community of 250,000 web developers.
Overall, nopCommerece offers a simple and feature-rich eCommerce platform. It’s an attractive choice for small businesses looking to expand. NopCommerce’s website is confusing for beginners, which could prove to be a problem.
Pricing: NopCommerce is completely free to use. You can opt for premium support if you wish to receive a response within 24 hours. For a year of support, prices start at $83.25 per month or $999 upfront. You can also pay for three months support at a flat fee, which is $499 or $166.33 per month.
NopCommerce is a great option for those with technical knowledge and seasoned web developers.
Unlimited product listings and product modification benefits users
It’s completely free
It features a multi-store feature.
Users have access to SEO features built in
It is open-source so customization options are unlimited
There are many integrations that you can choose from
Premium customer support can be expensive.
Its website is less user-friendly than its competitors’.
NopCommerce is not for small business owners who don’t have a strong tech background. This means that the steep learning curve could take you away form your core business.
It’s important to find an easy-to-use ecommerce and web hosting solution for small businesses. You probably don’t have the time or patience to learn how to use a new platform. Small businesses often don’t have the funds to hire an expert.
ADI is used by GoDaddy to make it easier to build your store. It also supports more industries than most of its competitors. GoDaddy’s Artificial Design Intelligence allows you to quickly and easily create something that fits your niche. You can lose creativity freedom, but speed is often a disadvantage. GoDaddy has a limited number of features, especially when it comes to blogging.
GoDaddy is a very affordable platform that will allow you to be one of the most user-friendly platforms available today. The service is not perfect for small businesses that are experiencing significant growth.
Pricing: The Online Store Price Plan starts at $19.99 per Month. You can also get a generous 1-month trial for free.
It’s simple and convenient to use
Artificial Intelligence Design Support
Great for speed if you need to get online quickly
No programming knowledge is required
There is very little creative control
There are not many advanced features.
Bloggers lack the tools
Volusion is a well-known eCommerce platform. Volusion is a great choice for entrepreneurs looking to expand their business. It gives you all the tools you need to create a perfect online store. Volusion’s ability to provide detailed data reports is one of its best features. All the information you need to track the performance of your site is in one place.
Volusion is a great way to help you grow your business at your own pace. There are some features that are missing from the Volusion package. You won’t be able to use the blogging tools provided by Volusion, which can make it difficult for you to create your content management system and marketing strategy. Volusion’s prices start at $29 per monthly, which is a plus.
Volusion is best suited for those who are open to new ideas and want to explore possibilities for future growth. Volusion is full of amazing tools, including SEO features that allow you to get more customers online.
Pricing: The personal package starts at $29 per Month. You can save as much as 10% if you subscribe annually.
Access to SEO tools built in
Many payment processing options, including Stripe or PayPal
Unlimitless product options
You can access CSS for custom editing
Tools for in-depth reporting
Calculate tax and shipping automatically
There are not many themes that you can choose from.
Volusion payments can only be made in the USA
Each plan has bandwidth limits
There are no blogging options
VetrinaLive, a newcomer to the eCommerce platform market, is VetrinaLive. It is a European tool, originally developed in Italy. Available in English, Spanish, Danish and Swedish.
VetrinaLive is designed to simplify online selling for beginners. It offers an intuitive interface that makes it easy. All your orders, customers, products, stock levels and other information can be managed from one modern dashboard.
VetrinaLive supports five payment methods, and Zapier and Webhook integrations are possible. You can also upload product videos or create bundles to promote you wares.
Support is available via Facebook Messenger chat and Whatsapp.
Your store can be set up to accept different currencies, highlight specific products, create product categories and offer special discounts. To offer a wide range of products, you can create product variants and organize them on your product pages.
Vetrinalive’s development is still in its infancy. It is missing many crucial features that make it difficult to compete with Shopify.
You also have very few customization and templates options.
However, the platform is still accessible to beginners thanks to the free plan that charges 0% in transaction fees.
Keep your eyes open, because Vetrinalive will continue to add new features to the site.
Pricing: You can get a 7-day premium trial for free and a free plan.
The base program costs EUR10 per month if paid annually. It can be upgraded to the highest plan which costs EUR34.90 each month if billed annually.
A free plan is available
Pricing plans with very affordable prices that can be extended or added to as required
The platform is very user-friendly and easy to set up.
Regularly, new features are added
All plans include 0% transaction fees
You have very few options for customization in your store
It is not possible to drag and drop the editor
Other than Zapier, there are no native integrations.
It lacks key features such as analytics, website tracking and SEO tools, abandoned cart recovery, blogging, and SEO tools.
You can unlock some core features, such as discount codes, only with the most expensive pricing plan
Their self-help knowledge is outdated and limited at the time of writing
Big Cartel is often recommended by larger companies as a great tool to help them build a successful online presence. This is because you will need to have a lot of knowledge in coding to make the most of the service. Pre-built themes and design options can be quite limited. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look into this option for your own small business.
Big Cartel is a great choice for artists and creative companies. You can even start selling free of charge with the free plan. Big Cartel is the perfect place for small-scale sales, such as selling unique pieces of art.
Pricing: The free plan is available or you can upgrade to BigCartel Premium starting at $9.99 per Month.
Small businesses get a free plan
Custom domains are available for use
This is a great opportunity for creative businesses
This tool is useful for selling products online and in person
Setup in a matter of minutes
You will need to have some coding knowledge
Limited payment options (PayPal and Stripe)
Only a few themes are available
No blogging, PCI compliance or advanced support
Shift4Shop, formerly 3dcart, aims to offer today’s business owners an all-in one solution for their eCommerce software.
Shift4Shop is the solution for you if you are looking to create, market, and sell the ultimate online site. Shift4Shop offers a variety of shopping cart software, as well as ecommerce buy buttons. The inventory system allows businesses to keep track of sales and products. Shift4Shop offers great flexibility and allows you to customize your theme as often as you wish.
However, there are some things that the Shift4Shop experience lacks. You don’t have support for mobile apps, but you do get unlimited orders, products, unlimited bandwidth and unlimited bandwidth. It’s also not easy to use, even though Shift4Shop offers a wide range of apps and SSL technology.
Pricing: Prices start at $19 per month. This could be the right tool for you if you are looking for a variety of tools at a reasonable price.
A powerful solution that can be customized to your exact specifications
Even low-cost plans have a huge range of features
POS is available to be sold offline
Free trial for 15 days
Unlimited products and bandwidth
It’s difficult to set up if your a beginner.
The free themes are a little out of date.
A relatively small number of apps
EKM isn’t as well-known in the ecommerce marketplace as WooCommerce and Shopify. It’s still worth your time. This amazing tool was founded in 2002 and is one of the first to be available in the UK. It is very similar to Shopify, and has many unique features. This service is especially well-suited for sellers in the United Kingdom. However, you can also use it worldwide.
EKM offers a complete eCommerce platform, which includes a domain name and payment options. There are more than 150 themes available, which is great if you want to have a variety of customization options. All features, including SSL certificates, are included in all plans.
This service has one drawback. It is primarily UK-focused, so the customer support is only available in the UK. If you are an international brand, this might pose a problem.
Pricing: Prices start at PS32.49 per monthly plus VAT. This is quite expensive. You can still try the service free of charge for up to 28 consecutive days.
A 3-month account manager will help you get your shop started
Online reviews are excellent
Amazing range of features
No cost domain name and SSL certificates
There are no transaction fees
Add WordPress to Your Site
Support is provided in the UK
All plans are subject to VAT
The prices are not the lowest on the market
Last but not least, X-Cart claims it is the top eCommerce platform for companies looking for an open-source, high-performing solution. Unlike other paid solutions, X-Cart charges only one-time licensing for the software. Unless you select the X-Cart hosted option, there is no monthly fee.
The X-Cart experience was designed to make selling online easy for small businesses. You can also download a free trial of the software to see if it is right for your business. The downside is that you will need to locate a hosting company, as with most open-plan solutions.
X-Cart also has a limited selection of themes.
Pricing: All packages come with a complimentary package. To find out the current prices, you will need to create an account.
There are many great editing tools available
Easy WordPress integration
International sales are great
Data on import/export inventory
SEO techniques that work
You will need to locate your web hosting.
There are not many themes to choose.
Additional support fees may apply
Pricing isn’t always clear
How do you choose which website builder option to use for your small company? It all depends on your needs. Each of the 15 options listed above has its own benefits. Shopify’s specialist functionality is a great option if you are looking for specific features that can be used to increase sales. SquareSpace, Volusion, and Volusion are great options if you’re looking for something with a lot more creative control.
GoDaddy is simple to use and Square gives you all the tools you need for combining online and offline sales. Wix is a great value for money and BigCommerce gives you all the functionality you need to succeed in multi-channel selling.
Which eCommerce platform will your investment be in this year’s market?