But the thing is, doing so could turn your eCommerce store into a profitable business. Therefore, conducting the necessary research before settling on a provider is important, as it will benefit your business in the long run, and it could save you money too.
Which is why I’ve decided to write this article – I want to help you find the best eCommerce platform for your small business.
Hopefully, by the end of this post, you’ll be well informed and have a clear understanding of which platform to choose.
It’s not easy finding the best eCommerce platform for small businesses:
Shopify is undoubtedly the most popular eCommerce platform there is. And with prices starting at $29 per month with two staff account, it’s fairly well priced too. But one of the main reasons it holds this crown is because it has a seamless interface and user relationship.
In terms of design, Shopify is slightly limited in comparison to BigCommerce and ServerMania. However, it does have a web-based website builder with plenty of modern themes to choose from. And what’s more, it requires no coding knowledge.
In addition to this, there are tonnes more features including:
- Free SSL certificate
- Abandonment Cart Recovery features
- 24/7 customer support team
- Fully-featured mobile app
- Unlimited number of products
Furthermore, Shopify offers a 14-day free trial with no credit card required. For small businesses that will benefit from more than two staff accounts, there are a number of paid packages to choose from which range from $29.00-$299.00 per month.
Up next, it’s BigCommerce.
The unique selling point of BigCommerce is its price plans. Unlike eCommerce platforms such as ServerMania and Magento, BigCommerce structures its plans based on the number of sales per year – as opposed to the features included.
For small businesses, this is great! You get most of the same features, and you can upgrade your account easily as your store generates more sales.
And to ensure your store catches peoples attention, BigCommerce uses a Visual Merchandising design tool. Using a selection of widgets, you can completely customize your storefront to look exactly how you want.
But that’s only half of it, there are more features including:
- 80 responsive eCommerce templates
- Free Sitewide HTTPs and Dedicated SSL
- Unlimited products, storage, and bandwidth
- No transaction fees
- Accept Apple Pay, PayPal, Stripe, and all major credit cards
Now for those all important price plans. Online sales of up to $50k will cost you $29.95 per month. Up to $150k online sales will cost you $79.95 per month, and over $400k sales will cost you $249.95 per month.
Tip: paying annually as opposed to monthly will save you 10%
BigCartel is popular among artists and designers and is formally known as being one of the only eCommerce providers that offer a free plan. However, it is limited to just 5 products.
As an eCommerce platform, BigCartel is simple to use and has some useful options including Google Analytics, inventory tracking, and the option to connect a custom domain. And whereas its free plan is limited, there are additional plans with added features including:
- Monthly plans mean that you are not tied down into a lengthy contract
- Shipment tracking
- Real-time statistics
- Offer discounts and run promos
- The option to sell online and in person
As you can see, BigCartel is pretty straightforward in comparison to Shopify and BigCommerce. Nevertheless, it’s those simplicity’s that make it so well suited to small businesses.
The price plans range from $9.99 to $29.99, depending on the number of products. With the maximum number of products being 300, I’d recommend shopping around if you have more.
WordPress alone powers 30% of all existing websites on the internet. So it’s no surprise that WooCommerce makes an appearance in this list. Essentially, WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin for users who want to build an online store.
WooCommerce is an open source platform, which means that it’s completely customizable.
There are over 500 themes to choose from, and a further 1000 available on Theme Forest.
To give your eCommerce store the complete all-around package, WooCommerce provides unlimited products, images, and galleries. What’s more, users can sell physical products as well as digital downloads.
It offers the following features too:
- Accept PayPal & Stripe, Amazon Pay & PayFast payments
- Show customer feedback on your product listings
- Use a Verified Owners badge to mark verified reviews
- Customize every aspect of your eCommerce store
As for the plugin itself, WooCommerce is completely free, and there are plenty of free themes that you can install. However, the most impressive ones cost between $20 – $100.
You can also purchase plugins to boost the performance and functionality of your website from the WordPress app store.
If your knowledge of website builders is sufficient, then you’ll be familiar with Wix. But it’s not just a website builder, as it’s home to around 30 themes which are specifically designed for eCommerce websites.
The thing that attracts people to Wix is its user-friendly interface. No technical knowledge or coding skills are required, which make it a front runner when it comes to building online stores.
However, because Wix is mainly used for designing your storefront, you’ll need to visit its app store to transform your website into a fully-featured eCommerce store. Inside the app store, you’ll find a library of tailor-made apps for online store websites.
But that’s not all, there are tonnes more features including:
- Drag and drop editor
- Multiple payment options including PayPal & Stripe
- Reliable 24/7 customer support
- Professional store management feature
- 100% commission free
- Free SSL security
In terms of price, Wix offers three eCommerce packages that range from $20.00 to $35.00 per month. The most popular plan is priced at $14.00 per month and includes 10GB storage and unlimited bandwidth.
But, which one is the best?
Well, choosing the platform which is best suited for your business depends on a number of things, including the features you require and your budget.
Are you looking for a platform that offers a free plan so you can test the waters, or are you in need of a platform that has the potential to occupy a large business?
With the right approach, one of the five eCommerce providers above should provide you with the features you require at the best possible price.