Do you want strangers on the internet to trust your business out of the countless options they have?
Then you need an online storefront that looks premium and professional. Choose the best ecommerce platform for your small business and you could see boosted sales and your goals within reach. Think of it as one of the first steps of your small business ecommerce blueprint.
But how do you know which platform is best for your growing business? And which ecommerce features should you look out for? With so many choices out there, your search for the best can get overwhelming.
That’s why we put together this list of the best ecommerce platforms for small businesses. Sift through it and pick the one that suits your business.
7 best ecommerce platforms for small businesses
- Shopify: Best for small businesses seeking a plug-and-play all-in-one package
- WooCommerce: For small businesses with a WordPress site
- BigCommerce: For businesses that have grown into large corporations
- Squarespace: For a DIY ecommerce website
- Wix: For image-centric ecommerce site design
- Weebly: For simple stores with small product catalogs
- Square Online: For physical retailers expanding into ecommerce
Shopify at a glance:
- Price: Basic Shopify: $39/month; Shopify: $105/month; Advanced Shopify: $399/month
- Free trial length: 3 days.
- Integrated sales channels: Facebook, Instagram, Google, Walmart Marketplace, eBay, and Amazon.
- Mobile app features: Suite of mobile tools to fully manage your online business.
- POS: Yes.
- G2 rating ⭐: 4.4/5
Shopify is widely regarded as the best ecommerce platform for small businesses. Our comprehensive ecommerce website builder comes with free tools and features that allow you to sell online and in a brick-and-mortar store, as well as via social commerce, third-party marketplaces, and dropshippers. With Shopify, you can design your store using any of more than 100 paid or free themes—zero code skills necessary.
Shopify also has features to handle other areas of your company, not just small business ecommerce. You can use our best-in-class suite of ecommerce tools to build a complete business command center to run a successful online store.
Shop Pay gives you affordable online transaction fees, Shopify POS offers in-person sales, and Shopify Fulfillment can help you ship out orders. Shopify users also get competitive shipping rates from USPS, UPS, DHL Express, and other shipping carriers. For web hosting, the platform offers unlimited bandwidth and online storage, so your prices won’t go up as your site gets more traffic and sales.
Shopify also offers a free email marketing service, abandoned cart recovery, search engine optimization (SEO), and more native tools for small business owners. Shopify’s mobile app is so powerful, you can manage your business from your phone using features for fulfilling orders, adding products, real-time sales and inventory updates, and more.
Missing a feature? There’s an extensive library of more than 6,000 third-party apps that can extend your website’s capability even further.
With Shopify, you can set up a beautiful ecommerce store without knowing how to code, design, or do anything technical online. If you want to see some examples of online stores built with the Shopify ecommerce platform, check out the following:
WooCommerce at a glance:
- Price: Average monthly fee is up to $30; WooCommerce estimates costs to be $120/year for hosting, $15/year for domain name registration, up to $100/year for your site theme, up to $108/year for shipping, 2.9% plus 30¢ per sale, up to $348/year for marketing and communications, up to $79/year for SEO, up to $65/year for SSL certificate.
- Free trial length: None, but offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Integrated sales channels: Google Shopping, Etsy, eBay, Facebook, Amazon, Pinterest, and Walmart; integrations are disjointed.
- Mobile app features: Add products, manage orders, and view analytics.
- Point-of-sale: Native POS available.
- G2 rating ⭐: 4.4/5
WooCommerce is WordPress’s answer to selling online. What launched as a platform for blogging websites has now evolved into a website builder, with the option of adding WooCommerce for the ability to make online sales.
WooCommerce is open source, so it’s customizable if you have the technical skills to design and code websites. Like Shopify, there are more than 6,000 third-party integrations if you want to expand the functionality of your store. As a result, WooCommerce offers a lot of flexibility.
The WooCommerce plug-in is a free business platform, but you may need to pay for premium tools when you start adding integrations and plug-ins.
Learn more: Monetize your WordPress blog without migrating to an entirely new platform with the Shopify Buy Button. You can embed the button and start sharing products on social or messaging apps for only $5 a month with Shopify’s Starter plan.
BigCommerce at a glance:
- Price: Standard: $29/month; Plus: $79/month; Pro: $299/month, when paid annually; Enterprise custom pricing.
- Free trial length: 15 days.
- Integrated sales channels: Google Shopping, Facebook, price comparison engines, eBay, Amazon, Walmart, Etsy, and Instagram.
- Mobile app features: View analytics, update orders, manage inventory and products, and search for customers; some features are Android only.
- Point-of-sale: Yes.
- G2 rating ⭐: 4.2/5
BigCommerce is a full-featured ecommerce platform. As such, it can be overwhelming for small businesses.
BigCommerce is an option for large businesses, corporations, or enterprises that need specific, customizable solutions. Companies of these sizes typically have access to more technical resources or budget to bring on those resources, which is necessary when building and customizing an online store through BigCommerce.
BigCommerce has features for international commerce, SEO, and multichannel selling on social and third-party marketplaces. It also has an integration with PayPal for payment options like buy now, pay later.
Squarespace at a glance:
- Price: Personal: $16/month; Business: $23/month, Basic Commerce: $27/month; or Advanced Commerce: $49/month; Enterprise pricing also available.
- Free trial length: 14 days, with a one-time, seven-day trial extension.
- Integrated sales channels: Shopping Feed extension to sell on Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and Google Actions.
- Mobile app features: Website editing, shipping label scanning, order management, inventory management, and customer communication.
- Point-of-sale: Available via mobile app.
- G2 rating ⭐: 4.4/5
Squarespace is another option for small businesses because of its easy-to-use interface. You can set up an online store using Squarespace’s templates, drag-and-drop tools, and reliable functionality.
Squarespace originally launched as a website builder, not necessarily an ecommerce platform, but has since added features to accommodate online sellers. Many Squarespace users sell services rather than products, but you can still use it for product-based businesses.
Features include scheduling and calendar integrations, email marketing, social media integrations, and embeddable maps to help people find your physical location (if you have one). Squarespace also offers recurring billing for subscription-based businesses.
Wix at a glance:
- Price: Light: $16/month; Core: $27/month; Business: $32/month; Business Elite: $159/month. Custom enterprise pricing available.
- Free trial length: No free trial.
- Integrated sales channels: Facebook and Instagram require third-party app Ecwid.
- Mobile app features: The ability to manage your website, though lacks key business tools like inventory management; requires a separate app to use mobile POS.
- Point-of-sale: Yes.
- G2 rating ⭐: 4.2/5
Wix also has a website builder with additional ecommerce-specific features. Paid plans offer ecommerce capabilities, including order tracking, online payments, multichannel selling, and abandoned cart campaigns. You need a paid plan for access to analytics tracking to monitor your ecommerce key performance indicators (KPIs).
When it comes to designing your storefront, there are more than 500 templates to choose from. The drag-and-drop interface is allows you to customize the look and feel of your online store. Wix supports subscription-based billing and dropshipping through third parties.
Weebly at a glance:
- Price: Free. Paid plans start at $8/month.
- Free trial length: n/a.
- Integrated sales channels: n/a.
- Mobile app features: Drag-and-drop builder, order fulfillment, inventory management, payments, and analytics.
- Point–of–sale: Integrated Square POS.
- G2 rating ⭐: 4.1/5
Weebly is powered and operated by Square, so it has tight integrations with other Square-owned small business platforms. These include an integrated and secure online shopping cart and inventory management.
Weebly’s ecommerce platform for small businesses has filtered product search, optimized mobile checkout, order management and processing, and flexible shipping options. Weebly has basic features but is simple for businesses to get started.
7. Square Online
Square Online at a glance:
- Price: Free; Professional: $12/month; Performance: $26/month; Premium: $72/month.
- Free trial length: n/a; free plan available.
- Integrated sales channels: Google Shopping, Instagram, and Facebook.
- Mobile app features: View live sales data, data analytics, payment processing, mobile POS, money transfers, receipts, discounts, refunds, and inventory tracking.
- Point–of–sale: Integrated Square POS.
- G2 rating ⭐: 4.3/5
Square originally launched with its POS device for retailers but has since expanded to include other business management tools. One of those tools is Square Online. Along with integrations with other Square products, Square Online works with mobile wallets, Afterpay, and more.
When you build an online storefront with Square, you can start with one of many templates tailored for small businesses like retail and restaurants. Square Online offers built-in payment processing for 0.9%, plus 30¢ per transaction.
How to choose an ecommerce platform
Consider several key factors to ensure your chosen platform can meet the needs of your business and help you achieve your goals. Here are some important criteria:
Cost and pricing
Your budget is undoubtedly one of the most crucial factors. Consider both the upfront and ongoing costs of the platform, which may include hosting fees, transaction fees, additional services or plug-ins, and the cost for any necessary development work.
Ease of use
Your ecommerce platform should be intuitive and easy to navigate, especially if you’re not particularly tech savvy. You should be able to add products, create discounts, manage orders and inventory, and perform other key tasks without much difficulty.
You want a platform that can grow with your business. Make sure it can handle increased traffic and sales volume as your business expands. Look for platforms that offer larger plans or can be extended with additional features as needed.
The platform should allow you to create a site that reflects your brand. This includes the ability to customize your storefront’s design, change layouts, and add or remove features as needed.
This is critical in ecommerce, as you’ll be handling sensitive customer data like credit card information. Make sure the platform is PCI-DSS compliant and provides SSL certificates.
It’s likely that you’ll want your ecommerce platform to integrate with other software that you use, like email marketing services, accounting software, or a customer relationship management (CRM) system. Check to see if the platform supports these integrations.
With the growing number of mobile shoppers, your ecommerce platform must provide a seamless experience across all devices. Check whether the platform offers mobile-optimized themes or templates.
Look for platforms that provide reliable, round-the-clock customer service. This is critical when you encounter issues or have questions about using the platform.
Your ecommerce platform should support your marketing efforts. Look for one that offers features like social media integration, email marketing, abandoned cart recovery, and customer reviews.
Depending on the size and complexity of your catalog, you might need a platform with strong inventory management features, including bulk import/export, stock alerts, and support for multiple product variants.
The platform should support a variety of payment options to cater to different customer preferences, such as credit/debit cards, Shop Pay, Apple Pay, and more.
Compare ecommerce platforms
It’s clear there are many options available for an ecommerce platform. Thinking about Shopify and another tool to start and grow your online store? See how Shopify stacks up to other tools below.
The best ecommerce platform is different for each business
There really is no universal answer when it comes to finding the best ecommerce platform available. Many business decisions are unique to your online store and your specific goals. Whether budget or features are the priority, or something else entirely, there’s an ecommerce platform out there for every business.
At the end of the day, it comes down to finding a platform that’s easy to use and ready to grow with your online store. Don’t be afraid to try a few out before committing. Free trials can give you an early impression as to whether a platform will work for you.
Ready to create your first business? Start your free trial of Shopify—no credit card required.
Best ecommerce platform for small business FAQ
What are the best platforms to sell for small businesses?
Which is the best ecommerce platform for beginners?
Shopify is widely-regarded as the best ecommerce platform for beginners. Shopify’s plug-and-play, all-in-one package includes free tools that allow merchants to sell both online and in-person, and through social media, third-party marketplaces, and with dropshippers. Shopify also offers unlimited bandwidth, free email marketing service, abandoned cart recovery, search engine optimization (SEO), and more native tools for business owners.
Which ecommerce site is the most used?
Shopify is the most-used ecommerce platform while Amazon is the most-used ecommerce marketplace. Ecommerce merchants typically sell on both marketplaces and through their own website built on an ecommerce platform.
What features should I look for in an ecommerce platform to ensure the success of my online business?
When choosing an ecommerce platform, look for features such as ease of use, mobile responsiveness, secure payment gateways, SEO optimization, and inventory management. These features can help ensure a seamless shopping experience for your customers and help you manage your online business efficiently.