Best Ecommerce Platforms for Small Business will be described in this article. The majority, if not all, of the products we offer here come from partners who pay us.This could affect the goods we write about as well as where and how they appear on the page. But, this has little impact on how we evaluate things. Our thoughts are entirely our own.
- Shopify is the best e-commerce platform in terms of overall functionality and use.
- BigCommerce is the best e-commerce platform for choosing a theme, creating a product, and taking payments.
- The best e-commerce platform for built-in functionality and payment methods is 3dcart.
- Volusion is the best e-commerce platform for ease of use and affordable processing fees.
- The best open-source e-commerce platform for small businesses is PrestaShop.
- WooCommerce: The best free e-commerce plugin for WordPress users
- Squarespace: The best e-commerce platform for very tiny businesses
Best free hosted ecommerce platform, especially for Square POS customers, is Square Online Shop. The best e-commerce platform for selling digital goods is Sellfy. AmeriCommerce: The best e-commerce platform for businesses who are expanding quickly, particularly for numerous storefronts, wholesale, and B2B You’ve probably thought about selling your goods or services online, like many other small company owners. And why wouldn’t you? A excellent method to broaden your consumer base and build brand recognition is to launch an online store.
According to Shopify, global e-commerce sales will rise from $1.3 trillion in 2014 to $4.5 trillion in 2021. An ecommerce platform—a piece of software that enables an online business to manage its website, sales, and operations—is required to begin selling online. Finding the best ecommerce platform provider for your company can take some time because there are more than 100 of them.
Top 10 Best Ecommerce Platforms for Small Business
In this article, you can know about Top 10 Best Ecommerce Platforms for Small Business here are the details below;
We’ll analyse 10 of the best ecommerce platforms available, as well as explain how they operate and what to look for, to help you make your decision. Having said that, there are some software programmes that stand out as the best e-commerce platforms for small business owners. We’ve produced a list of the top 10 ecommerce platforms for small businesses based on comments from business owners around the nation and our own research:
Top e-commerce platform in terms of usability and general functionality. You’d be hard-pressed to find a small company owner who doesn’t like selling on Shopify. Anybody wishing to enter the ecommerce industry will find the platform to be the ideal answer due to its simplicity of use and wealth of features. Also check PhotoBucket Alternatives
The Shopify platform features a drag-and-drop store builder, unlimited products, more than 100 custom themes, order logistics, mobile optimization, marketing tools, a thorough sales dashboard, inventory management, discounted shipping rates, cloud-hosting, round-the-clock customer support, and integrations with more than 2,200 applications, including more than 100 different payment gateways. If you choose not to use Shopify Payments, their in-house payment gateway, you will be charged an extra price. However, Shopify has its own proprietary programming language called “Liquid,” which makes customization more difficult.
The Shopify Lite package (for social media selling exclusively) costs $9 per month, whereas the Shopify Advanced plan, which has significant capabilities, costs $300 per month. The cost of using a credit card might range from 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction to 2.4% + $0.30 per transaction. The Shopify Basic package ($29 per month) will take care of the majority of your demands for small business owners just starting out in ecommerce.
“Shopify is by far my favourite ecommerce platform since it offers all the options and resources to help my business grow,” says Frank Roberson, owner of the custom clothing and accessory store The Bloodhound Shop. “The easily maintained, strong platform enables me to concentrate on developing new hand-drawn drawings rather than the hassles and work in the back office that often stifle the creative process.” “I’ve explored a lot of other ecommerce systems… and there are none with a cleaner and simpler shop interface and product page design than Shopify,” says Nate Masterson, owner of the health and beauty company Maple Holistics.
Finest e-commerce platform for theme selection, design, and payment processing. BigCommerce competes fiercely with Shopify as a leading e-commerce platform, providing nearly identical features at a comparable price. You actually can’t go wrong using either, however if you went with BigCommerce over Shopify, you might benefit from a wider selection of themes and designs as well as more payment processing choices.Overall, BigCommerce’s visual store builder makes it simple to set up and manage your store. You can add an unlimited amount of products and personalise your website with one of BigCommerce’s 80 available themes or by altering the source code.
Other features include 24-hour customer service, multi-layered security, single-page checkout, marketing tools, shipping logistics, cloud hosting, conversion optimization tools, and interfaces with a variety of third-party programmes, including the majority of major payment gateways (at no additional cost). But, you should be aware that the majority of BigCommerce’s themes are offered individually. The monthly costs for BigCommerce’s three essential plans range from $29.95 to $249.95. Moreover, BigCommerce offers a range of payment gateways, but they also provide special rates from Braintree that start at 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction and go as low as 2.2% + $0.30 per transaction.
Top e-commerce platform for built-in functionality and payment choices. Similar to BigCommerce, 3dcart offers relatively competitively priced plans and includes many of the same features as Shopify. Yet, with over 200 built-in capabilities, 3dcart is without a doubt one of the most feature-rich ecommerce platform solutions you’ll find. Even with their cheapest subscription, you’ll get features like one-page checkout, saved carts, unlimited product variants, and real-time shipping prices.
Overall, 3dcart enables you to create your online store by selecting from more than 80 themes (of which around half are free) and customising it using HTML. All 3dcart plans include with a free domain name, a shopping cart, limitless orders, a Facebook store, an integrated blog, unlimited bandwidth, and other features. Similar to BigCommerce, 3dcart offers cheaper costs if you use one of their payment partners and offers access to over 100 different payment providers.
The monthly prices for the 3dcart plans range from $19 to $229, with a yearly plan offering a lower price. The discounted rates for payment processing provided by 3dcart partners can range from 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction to as little as 2.5% with the most expensive options. Consequently, 3dcart is undoubtedly one of the best ecommerce systems for small business owners, given its enormous flexibility, reasonable rates, and payment processing options—just keep in mind that their themes need HTML updating.
Top e-commerce platform for ease of use and low processing costs. Volusion, albeit priced similarly to Shopify and delivering the same fundamental features, is likely the more straightforward and user-friendly ecommerce platform, in contrast to BigCommerce and 3dcart, which are both quite similar to Shopify and compete in terms of feature sets.
Many themes, many of which are free, as well as marketing tools, sales analytics, round-the-clock customer assistance, shipping logistics, customer and inventory management, and interaction with significant ecommerce marketplaces are all provided by Volusion. Nevertheless, the Volusion plans have an annual sales cap and, depending on which of the five plans you choose, limit your options for shipping, customer service, and payment processing.
These plans have monthly prices ranging from $29 to $299, with a savings available if you buy three months at once. While having few payment alternatives overall, Volusion does partner with reputable companies like Stripe, PayPal, and Authorize.Net and also offers its own in-house option, Volusion Payments.In fact, Volusion Payments offers some of the lowest processing costs in the industry, at 2.15% + $0.30 per transaction.
Since Volusion offers a platform that is straightforward, logical, and incredibly user-friendly, it offers the ability to save money on credit card processing even though it may not be as complex as Shopify in other ways. Erin Jump Fry, owner of Fancy Fortune Cookies, says that while no platform is perfect, she continues to use Volusion because of the ease with which she can incorporate the sales process into numerous other areas of her company, including remarketing, cart abandonment, email list building, email marketing, and order fulfilment procedures.
The top ecommerce platforms on our list up until this point have all been SaaS solutions, but for your particular business, an open-source platform might be a superior choice. PrestaShop is one of the top open-source ecommerce platforms, so you might want to give it some thought. PrestaShop is one of the most approachable open-source ecommerce platforms with the best out-of-the-box capabilities and is free to download. After downloading PrestaShop, you can update the programme code to personalise your online store and use add-ons from the PrestaShop marketplace. Also check How To Write A Good Bug Report
PrestaShop generally comes with a number of crucial e-commerce features, like one-page checkout, abandoned cart emails, inventory management, payment processor interfaces, price restrictions, coupons, discounts, and more. Moreover, PrestaShop has specific features for selling internationally and allows you to manage many stores from a single interface.
While PrestaShop is free to download, the final cost will depend on the payment processor and web hosting you select, as well as any development resources you require to set up and operate your store. PrestaShop may be the greatest ecommerce platform for your small business if you have easy access to a developer, have technical expertise yourself, or are just prepared to pay the charges to construct a genuinely unique and personalised online store.
The best free e-commerce platform for WordPress users.WooCommerce is an open-source, cost-free e-commerce platform that can be installed on a WordPress website to create an online store. Similar to PrestaShop, it is an open-source solution, so you may customise it whatever you like, albeit doing so could need some technical know-how.
WooCommerce is a plugin, but it has a lot of capabilities, like the ability to manage inventory and shipping, upload an infinite number of products, and interface with over 400 other programmes.WooCommerce is an excellent alternative for experimenting with e-commerce and monetizing your website if you already have a WordPress website. Although WooCommerce is available for free download, cloud hosting is an additional cost. Moreover, WooCommerce only supports PayPal or Stripe as payment processors unless you opt to download an additional extension, which may incur a fee.
According to Michael Greenspoon, creative director of marketing firm Brand Revive, “WooCommerce is our favourite platform because of how configurable it is.” To get it up and running and integrated, you might have to pay a developer. But, in the long run, that expense is mitigated by the fact that WordPress and WooCommerce are free.
Finest e-commerce platform for very tiny businesses. Squarespace could be able to provide all the functionality you require if you operate your business alone or only sell a few things. Squarespace’s ecommerce platform, which is primarily recognised as a website builder, enables you to manage customers, shipping and inventory, offer subscriptions, and retrieve abandoned shopping carts. Also, because Squarespace focuses on creating business websites, their templates are neat, polished, and simple to modify. Moreover, Squarespace has themes designed expressly for various business kinds, like blogs, restaurants, musicians, photographers, and more. Moreover, Squarespace offers powerful sales data, free cloud hosting, and marketing tools.
Squarespace uses Stripe and PayPal as their payment gateways, both of which have transaction costs of 2.9% + $0.30. Prices for the three Squarespace plans with e-commerce capability range from $26 to $40 per month. But, if you choose the $26 monthly plan, you will also be required to pay Squarespace an additional 3% transaction charge. Given this, Squarespace may be the best ecommerce platform for you if you don’t require a lot of functionality from your ecommerce solution and would rather concentrate on the look, feel, and design of your business website, with the option to sell online.
8. Square Online Store
The ideal choice for Square POS users and the greatest free hosted e-commerce platform. Similar to Squarespace, if you require a straightforward, approachable, and economical platform to start with ecommerce, Square Online Store can be a suitable option. You may quickly and easily set up an online store using Square Online Store, which is a component of the Square product range and is powered by Weebly. You can select one of several free themes from Square Online Store, modify it to fit your company’s needs, and begin collecting payments with Square virtually immediately.
All Square Online Store plans include with a free SSL certificate, unlimited products, product choices, inventory management, automatic tax calculations, Instagram connection, and more. Additionally, and maybe most significantly, Square Online Store syncs with Square POS without any issues, making it a top ecommerce platform for small businesses that currently use Square. Moreover, Square only charges Square costs (2.9% + $0.30 per transaction) for credit card processing on their most basic plan, which is entirely free. Their premium plans, on the other hand, run from $16 to $79 each month.
Hence, if you already use Square and are a brick and mortar store owner considering expanding your business online, using Square Online Store as an ecommerce platform is simple and cost-effective. However, Square Online Store can be a good option if all you need is a free ecommerce platform to launch your online store.
The best e-commerce platform for vending digital products. The best ecommerce platform for you might be one that focuses on digital selling, like Sellfy, even though many of the systems we’ve seen so far allow you to offer digital goods. With Sellfy, you can quickly and easily create an online storefront, display your digital products, and let customers explore, purchase, and download them. Also, Sellfy gives you the ability to sell on social media or embed products and buy buttons on an already-existing website that you own.
In general, Sellfy contains ecommerce necessities like a functioning shopping cart, safe payment methods, and marketing tools—as well as capabilities targeted at digital products like the ability to set subscriptions, PDF stamps, restricted downloads, and more. The Pro plan is $29 per month, and the Pro Plus plan costs $99 per month on Sellfy. If you use the Pro plan, you’ll additionally have to pay Sellfy an extra 2% transaction charge in addition to your choice of PayPal or Stripe for payment processing. If you plan to offer only digital goods, Sellfy is a fantastic ecommerce platform to use.
Finest e-commerce platform for B2B, wholesale, and expanding businesses. Last but not least, you’ll undoubtedly want a solution that can meet your objectives if you run a wholesale, B2B, multi-store, or swiftly expanding e-commerce organisation. If your online store fits into one of these categories, AmeriCommerce may be the finest ecommerce platform for your small business. AmeriCommerce is an e-commerce platform that focuses on multi-store functionality as well as wholesale and B2B features, as you might expect.
With AmeriCommerce, you can create your online store by selecting from more than 60 free themes and customising it with a “what you see is what you get” editor, HTML, or CSS. The fact that all of AmeriCommerce’s plans come with the same features—unlimited staff accounts, various sales channels, advanced pricing options and product variants, a workflow rules engine, marketing tools, and more—is likely its most distinctive feature.
Additionally, all of their plans come with their B2B- and wholesale-specific tools, like manual order entry, bulk discounts, a variety of customer categories, and choices for restricted access. Additionally, all AmeriCommerce subscriptions allow you to manage any quantity of stores from a single dashboard. The quantity of products you may offer, your storage space, and your bandwidth are the only differences between the AmeriCommerce services. AmeriCommerce provides five programmes with monthly costs ranging from $24.95 to $299.
The least expensive plan includes infinite items, 50 gigabytes of bandwidth, and five gigabytes of storage, while the first plan starts with 100 products, two gigabytes of traffic, and 250 megabytes of storage. Moreover, AmeriCommerce offers over 50 different payment gateways, but you may also select to use their in-house processing, AmeriCommerce Payments.
Depending on your plan, AmeriCommerce Payments’ credit card processing costs range from 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction to 2.4% + $0.30 per transaction. AmeriCommerce is undoubtedly a top ecommerce platform option for individuals that require the types of capabilities it offers thanks to their distinctive plan structure, cutting-edge feature set, and general usefulness.
How Ecommerce Platforms Operate
A consumer browses a catalogue of products that have been published onto the ecommerce platform on a modern ecommerce website. A image, a description, and an SKU number should be included for each product. The customer adds a product to their online shopping basket when they locate one they want to buy.
The shopping cart is a component of e-commerce software that keeps track of the item being purchased and changes the product database appropriately. The majority of e-commerce platforms come with built-in shopping carts. Debit or credit cards are frequently used for online purchases, thus the merchant requires a payment gateway—a piece of software that connects to your e-commerce platform and authorises transactions securely. The retailer will also require a merchant account, a unique kind of commercial bank account that enables the retailer to receive money from processed credit card purchases.
Some ecommerce platforms provide payment gateways and merchant accounts separately, while other platforms offer in-house payment processing or payment gateway integration. The e-commerce platform handles the logistics surrounding the delivery of the product after payment has been received and the order has been placed. While some e-commerce platforms additionally offer shipping services, others permit integration with an outside service provider.
A good ecommerce platform should be able to carry out all of these tasks while giving customers a branded experience that mirrors your company’s marketing and enables you to deliver prompt and effective customer support.
The top e-commerce platforms for small businesses will also provide tools to help you expand and advertise your site, such as abandoned cart recovery, social network integrations, loyalty programmes, and discounts.
What to Look for in an Ecommerce Platform
Let’s examine the many components of an ecommerce platform to discover how they affect your online store’s overall experience.
You should think about how these aspects will affect your unique needs and how the platform you’re considering will or won’t fulfil them when choosing the finest ecommerce platform for your small business.
Type of Platform
Small business owners can choose from a wide variety of ecommerce platforms. There are ecommerce systems for larger B2B companies as well as those with a web-builder basis that are perhaps more appropriate for the smallest firms. The type of business you want to start, the industry, your technical skills, your budget, and other factors will all affect the type of platform you require, as we already discussed. Yet, ecommerce platforms that are software as a service, or SaaS, as opposed to those that are open source, represent a significant distinction to take into account in the sector.
With a SaaS ecommerce platform, you effectively pay a monthly subscription for access to their service, which allows you to set up and manage your online store. SaaS systems typically offer a wide range of services and have a substantial amount of built-in ecommerce capabilities. SaaS ecommerce platforms also take care of your web hosting, upgrades, security, PCI compliance, and almost everything else related to the back-end, more technical aspect of your online business.
On the other hand, open-source e-commerce platforms must be manually downloaded and installed and are typically free. This implies that you are in charge of setting up your own web hosting and taking care of the other software-related issues we highlighted. Open-source software, in contrast to SaaS platforms, allows you full access to their source code, allowing you to edit, modify, and add to it as you see fit.
Although open-source ecommerce systems are frequently thought of as being free, they may actually end up being more expensive than SaaS alternatives, depending on your development and maintenance requirements.
While choosing the finest ecommerce platform, price will be a major factor for small business owners. The monthly subscription fee and transaction or processing fees are the main costs related to e-commerce platforms. Some basic e-commerce systems don’t require a monthly subscription, but almost all do. This charge is often a modest portion of each online purchase.
You will often have access to more features on your ecommerce platform as your monthly subscription increases. Depending on the provider, monthly subscription costs might range from a few dollars to several hundred dollars. The ideal e-commerce platform for your small business will meet your budget, but if you want to launch a profitable online store, you need look for a solution with a complete set of features that will aid you in managing your business.
However, even though the software is free to download, costs will include web hosting, security, upgrades, and maintenance, as well as any associated development costs for starting, customising, and operating your online store. As we mentioned above, open-source options are typically thought of as free ecommerce platforms.
Stock Size and Inventory Options
You should think about how many things you plan to offer while choosing the best ecommerce platform. Several platforms change their prices based on the size of your inventory. For instance, the free edition of Ecwid’s e-commerce platform only permits you to sell one item; but, for $15 per month, you can sell up to 100 items. On the other hand, some of the best e-commerce platforms let you sell an infinite amount of goods regardless of your subscription package. Along these lines, you should also check out the features the ecommerce platform provides to assist you in managing your inventory and listing your products.
- Does the platform allow for bulk uploads?
- Does it offer SEO optimization for product listings?
- How does it manage changes and updates to products?
You may get a sense of how various ecommerce systems will work for your inventory by responding to these and similar questions, which is crucial if you run a big or expanding business.
- Do you provide goods or services for sale?
- Is the thing you’re offering digital or physical?
- How big is it if it’s a tangible product?
Do you intend to market to consumers outside of your home nation? While choosing the best ecommerce platform, it’s crucial to take into account the kind of things you’ll be selling because different products and services will require different types of solutions.
Shipping fees and taxes will also vary depending on the kinds of goods and services you sell. You should also find out how any ecommerce platform manages shipping and taxes since these will be time-consuming but necessary components of your online store operation. Some of the better e-commerce platforms will offer these capabilities, or at the at least, give you the opportunity to interface with third-party solutions, even though not all of them provide shipping services and automated tax calculations.
To let you personalise the look of your online store, the majority of ecommerce platforms will provide you with a wide selection of themes, both free and premium.mIn order to further personalise the look and feel of your store, some will even let you alter the source code. You should make sure that clients will find your store appealing and will come in to browse and buy your stuff. You should also look into the editing tools that an ecommerce platform provides in addition to the design options.
The finest ecommerce platform for your small business will be one that offers drag-and-drop or “what you see is what you get” editing if you have little to no technical skills. On the other hand, if you can modify code or have a dedicated development resource, you might pick an open-source platform or one that allows for HTML editing.
Some e-commerce systems are hosted, as we briefly described above, whilst others require self-hosting, which entails finding web hosting and managing the programme yourself.
Although self-hosting gives you greater control over your online store, it can be time-consuming and potentially expensive to maintain due to the variety of components required. Hosted e-commerce platforms, on the other hand, provide hosting for their users through external providers like Amazon Web Services. Hosting in the cloud is another name for this kind of service. Cloud hosting is a common feature among ecommerce platform suppliers. Again, with hosted ecommerce platforms, the provider is in charge of security, upgrades, and maintenance, so you can focus on other areas of your online store.
Cybersecurity should be given high consideration because just over 32% of all cyberattacks are directed at ecommerce companies. You definitely don’t want a customer to experience fraud while making a purchase on your website. As a result, you should think about the security features that various ecommerce systems provide.
As we just stated, many hosted platforms will come with strong security features that the provider will manage and keep an eye on. You should specifically look for e-commerce systems that employ SSL certificates, have multiple layers of security, and are at least Level 1 PCI compliant. By keeping an eye on transactions, employing an address verification system, and demanding a CVV on credit card payments, you as a merchant can take further security precautions.
The leading ecommerce systems’ capacity to integrate with a wide range of other programmes contributes to part of what makes them so strong. Several activities involved in running your online store might be streamlined with the use of this kind of capability. Ecommerce marketplaces (such as Amazon and eBay), payment gateways, social networks, content management and point-of-sale systems, and email newsletter services are examples of common ecommerce platform connections.
While choosing the finest ecommerce platform for your small business, you should take into account what additional tools you might require. Some ecommerce platforms offer better integration options than others. You should also take into account the fact that a lot of companies charge extra to link with third-party programmes.
Consequently, it’s important to think about whether a platform with more built-in capability is more economical than one that merely provides a large number of integration choices. 34.5% of all e-commerce sales in 2017 were made using a mobile device, and that percentage is predicted to increase to over 50% by 2021. Due to this, you must ensure that the ecommerce platform you select has store layouts that are mobile-responsive and designed for various platforms, such as desktop, smartphones, and tablets.
Furthermore, if you’re a business owner who is constantly on the road, you might want to think about ecommerce systems that provide a mobile app so that you can easily edit your store, manage orders, or view transactions using a mobile device.
Last but not least, you’ll want to be sure that you have access to knowledgeable assistance that can help you with issues as they happen because you’ll be using your ecommerce platform every day. Ecommerce platforms provide customer support in a number of ways, including speaking with a representative directly, reading documentation and how-to instructions, and participating in a forum community tailored to that specific piece of software.
Working with leading ecommerce platforms that provide 24/7 customer assistance through several modes of communication is ideal (phone, text, and live chat).
The Bottom Line
Thus, selecting the best ecommerce platform for your company out of all the possibilities available is a crucial choice. The ideal ecommerce platform for your small business will be the one that most closely satisfies your needs and budget, even if all solutions will have advantages and disadvantages.
As a result, you should be aware of what you’re looking for in terms of a variety of criteria, including price, platform type, payment processing alternatives, and specialised features and capabilities, before you start investigating the top ecommerce platforms available. Having said that, the ten ecommerce systems on our list are a wonderful place to start and can serve companies of all sizes.
The finest ecommerce platform for your small business can ultimately only be chosen by you, and once you’ve made that important choice, you’ll be well on your way to setting up your website, uploading your products, and starting to sell and run your online store.