Statista and eMarketer projected that online retail sales from e-commerce websites would soar to $6.51 trillion by 2023. Some experts even predict that the global share of e-commerce retail sales will reach 24% by 2026- a 5.2% increase in six years.
As many people increase their online shopping, you undoubtedly would love to have a share of the e-commerce market. And these platforms can help you open an online shop without investing much money.
But how can you choose the best platform that allows you to compete favorably? This guide reviews the 5 best e-commerce platforms for small businesses to help you make an informed decision. You might also enjoy reading: 10 Strategies to Boost Your E-commerce Conversion Rate.
Best e-commerce Platforms for Small Businesses
Let’s discuss these best e-commerce platforms for small businesses in detail.
- Price: Basic $39/month, Shopify @ $105/month, Advanced @ $399/month.
- It is integrated with Instagram, Facebook, Walmart, Google, eBay, and Amazon.
- POS available
- Customer service support: Email support, Phone call support, community forum, 19 languages, and support content
- 3 days free trial length
- 4.3/5 G2 rating.
Why do I recommend Shopify?
Shopify is one of the best e-commerce platforms you should check out if you run a small business. Its site builder provides free tools and features to sell online and in person.
And if you are big on social media and third-party marketplaces or are a drop shipper, you can integrate your account with Shopify and make money online.
Its paid and free customizable themes allow you to design your store as you wish without coding skills. And there is more.
Small businesses with international customers could benefit from competitive shipping rates from DHL Express, UPS, and UPS. And with unlimited bandwidth and online storage, you can increase traffic and sales on your site without paying hefty fees
Other reasons for choosing Shopify include the following:
- Free email marketing services
- Search engine optimization
- Abandoned cart recovery
- Additional native tools for small business owners.
- Mobile-friendly (allowing you to fulfill orders, update inventory, and add products).
- Ability to extend your website from over 6,000 third-party apps.
Pros Of Choosing Shopify:
- User-friendly: It is built for the average user. You can add products, process orders, and create discounts with ease.
- Low startup cost: Its low monthly fees make it affordable for small business owners.
- Unique, customizable themes: You have access to 70+ free themes and other paid versions that are easy to implement
- Convenient payment: Those using Shopify’s payment gateway don’t pay transaction fees.
- Excellent marketing tools: Shopify provides several marketing tools, including social media integration, email marketing, and search engine optimization.
Cons Of Choosing Shopify:
- Shopify’s SEO features and functions need improvements.
- It doesn’t allow a high level of design flexibility for its theme template like other platforms.
- Once you invest time and resources into building a Shopify store, it can be challenging to move to another platform without significant effort and potential data loss.
- Shopify relies heavily on third-party apps for additional functionality.
- Price: Basic @ $23/month, Business unlimited @ $27/month, and Business VIP @ $49/month.
- Wix e-commerce is integrated with social e-commerce through the third-party app Ecwid.
- Available POS.
- 24/7 Callback service
- Support mobile app features without inventory management functions.
- 4.2/5 G2 ratings.
What Makes Wix The Best e-commerce Platform For Small Businesses?
It is a cheap e-commerce website builder that can help small businesses with a limited budget. Wix e-commerce is easy to use with a drag-and-drop interface, making it easy to create an online store without any coding skills. It also has excellent customizable templates that look good on desktop and mobile devices, ideal for businesses that want to reach customers on the go.
Wix supports various payment options like credit cards, PayPal, and debit cards, thus providing customers with a secure checkout experience.
Moreover, it offers inventory management features for tracking stock levels and detailed analytics to track your site’s performance, including traffic, sales, and customer behavior. Its landing page builder is only available in Shopify with a third-party app.
Wix e-commerce also allows you to send abandoned cart emails, conduct real-time shipping rates and tracking, and perform SEO.
Pros Of Using Wix e-commerce:
- It is easy to use, even for beginners.
- Since it is fast, it provides an incredible user experience and SEO.
- Better built-in templates than other options like BigCommerce and Shopify.
- Wix offers several customizable templates for online stores that you can modify to match your business’s branding and style.
- Its pricing plans are affordable for small businesses, with the option to upgrade as the business grows.
Cons Of Using Wix e-commerce:
- Wix’s e-commerce features are less extensive than other e-commerce platforms, which may limit your business’s ability to scale and grow.
- You’ll pay transaction fees on each sale you make through the platform, thus reducing your business’s profits.
- Its SEO capabilities are limited compared to other e-commerce platforms.
- Price: Free plan, professional @ $12/month, performance $26/month, and Premium $72/month.
- Excellent customer support through email, chat, and phone.
- Supports mobile app features (mobile POS, payment process, data analytics, inventory tracking, refunds, and money transfer.)
- Social e-commerce integration
- 4.3/5 G2 rating.
Why Do I Recommend Square Online?
It is user-friendly for solopreneurs and small businesses with limited web development experience. With Square Online, you can choose to create a regular website or one with e-commerce. This means you can run an educational blog or an e-commerce store.
It has business management tools like Square Online, which integrates with other Square products and payment options such as Afterpay and Mobile wallets.
Square Online provides you with many customizable templates that you can use for restaurants, retail, and non-profits. You can quickly expand your business or add products to your store with this e-commerce platform for small businesses.
Pros Of Using Square Online:
- Eye-catching site designs
- It is an easy-to-use dashboard to help non-tech-savvy business owners manage their stores.
- It offers excellent value at a lower price.
- It has a free plan.
- It offers powerful email tools.
Cons Of Using Square Online:
- It is not ideal for large companies since it lacks big data insights such as inventory turnover ratio and social media selling integrations.
- Square Online doesn’t have advanced SEO capabilities, which could disappoint you if you’re focused on SEO.
- It lacks Amazon integration.
4- Square Space
- Price: Personal plan $16/month ($12/month for an annual subscription), business plan $26/month ($18/month for a yearly subscription). Other pricing plans include Basic commerce @ $30/month and Advanced @ $46/month, but the prices reduce if you do annual subscriptions.
- 14 days free trial length
- 24/7 customer support options via email and live chat from Monday to Friday from 4 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- It has mobile features such as shipping label scanning, POS, website editing, and inventory and order management.
- It has integrated sales channels that allow you to sell on eBay, Amazon, Google Actions, and Etsy.
- 4.4/5 G2 rating.
Why Choose Square Space?
An easy-to-use interface makes it one of the best e-commerce website builders for solopreneurs. Even with little technical know-how, you can easily set up an online store with SquareSpace templates. The drag-and-drop tools don’t require specialized skills.
Its top features include calendar integrations for better scheduling, social media integrations, embeddable maps to help customers find your location, and email marketing.
It allows you to sell personalized and digital products, although the basic plan lack abandoned cart emails and real-time tracking.
Pros Of Choosing Square Space:
- Easy to use for stores with small product catalog
- You only pay the credit card processing fees.
- It is cheap and suits those with a limited budget and technical skills.
Cons Of Choosing Square Space:
- It lacks valuable marketing tools such as landing page builder, one-click upsells or cross-selling.
- Limited integration options
- It only has three payment gateways- PayPal, Square, and Stripe.
- Slow loading time than other platforms
- Price: Standard plan $29.95/month, Plus plan $79.95.month ($71.95/month annual subscription), Pro plan $299.95/month ($269.96/monthly yearly subscription).
- 24/7 technical customer support via email, phone, or chat.
- 15 days free trial
- Sales channel integration with social e-commerce, Google shopping, eBay, Walmart, Amazon, price comparison engines, and Etsy.
- Supports mobile app features, including POS, updating orders, view analytics, customer search, and inventory management.
- 4.2/5 G2 rating.
What Makes BigCommerce An Ideal e-commerce Platform For Small Businesses?
It has growth plans and easy-to-use technical resources suitable for small businesses. Its features suit small business growth, including SEO tools, international commerce, social commerce, third-party marketplace, drop shipping, coupons, and Amazon FBA integration.
BigCommerce is also compatible with affordable payment options for your customers. Furthermore, you can use third-party apps to enjoy features like personalized products, reward points, cross-selling, and upselling.
Pros Of Choosing BigCommerce:
- Its integration of sales channels allows you to sell items across multiple channels, such as eBay, Amazon, Facebook, and Pinterest stores.
- Excellent SEO performance
- It compatible with cheap payment options
Cons Of Choosing BigCommerce:
- It is more expensive than most e-commerce platforms and may be unsuitable for those with a limited budget.
- Limited free themes for designing your store
- Selling limits suggest you upgrade, but that can be expensive.
What to read next:
- Amazon FBA vs. FBM: Which is right for your business?
- 9 Proven Tips To Make Money With eCommerce.
- 7 Easy Psychological Pricing Strategy For eCommerce.
- How Much Money Do You Need To Get Started In eCommerce?
As e-commerce grows, entrepreneurs are taking advantage of the best e-commerce platforms for small businesses to compete for online customers. If you choose the right platform, you will undoubtedly make good money and expand your operations.
Shopify is my favorite choice if you want to jumpstart your online store with a limited budget. It is easy to use and integrates with other online sales channels.