What is the best e-commerce platform? Which e-commerce platform is best for small businesses?
We live in an era where creating your online store has never been easier. Many services can help you build a website, display products, and accept online payments.
Although it’s a good thing to have so many options available, making a decision is difficult.
There’s a lot of information out there. We have researched it, saving you hours of work: we have visited more than a hundred sites, read each customer reviews, tried all the software, and worked with real businesses using these platforms day after day.
We have compiled a comparison list of e-commerce platforms for you, which contains four easy-to-use e-commerce software solutions designed to help small businesses build online stores.
When comparing platforms, we always consider three main factors: Easy of use, price, and features.
As software developers, we believe that ease of use is critical. After all, if the software is not easy to use, it is useless to you! First, the software must be accessible.
The second factor is pricing. We know the value of every dollar, especially in small businesses. We must ensure that the platform is reasonably priced and that it can expand as the business grows.
Finally, we will provide a quick overview of these features so that you can understand each one’s capabilities.
That will let you know whether the software can do the work you need, without the hassle of trying multiple times and spending weeks trying various platforms.
Wix is a free website builder, but it starts at $20 a month and has an e-commerce plan to help entrepreneurs start online businesses.
Registering and starting to build your website is fast and straightforward, with access to a large number of free and modern-looking web templates and themes.
With Wix, you can use the drag-and-drop editor and mobile response templates, website editing is also straightforward.
The add-ons can help you build your e-commerce content. For an additional $10, you can use marketing tools such as email, chat, and forms.
There are also applications for more e-commerce tools, such as inventory, promotion, payment, and shipping options.
Although some people like to use the complete freedom that Wix has, we learned from entrepreneurs that a bit more structure might help when building an online store.
For example, when choosing a website template, Wix provides more than 500 models, many of which are not designed for e-commerce.
Sometimes, an e-commerce-centric platform can help you create a sandbox boundary to eliminate interference and keep you focused.
Wix has ease of use and price advantage. It is one of the cheapest options on the market, so if this is the most important thing for you now, we suggest you try Wix.
Only know that you will get a very basic e-commerce platform.
Ease of Use: High | Price: Starting at $20 USD / month | Features: Basic
Squarespace allows users to quickly and easily create beautiful websites and online stores. It’s hard to believe that beautiful templates are out of the box, and users just use Squarespace’s smooth content management system to drag and drop files in the background.
There is a reason why the platform can win many artists and business owners who are concerned about the design.
Squarespace is an ideal e-commerce platform for small businesses with simple e-commerce needs.
It provides many basic e-commerce tools, including payment processing, inventory management, coupons, waitlists, shipping configuration, and email activities.
If your small business does not need to integrate salary, accounting, and other business management software, then Squarespace is a good choice.
Squarespace it’s also one of the most affordable options on the market.
Remember, if your business takes off and the requirements become more complex, it may not help you scale up.
Squarespace has a 14-day free trial period.
Ease of Use: High | Price: Starting at $26 USD / month | Features: Moderate
WooCommerce is an e-commerce solution built on WordPress, a very popular content management system that has existed since like forever.
You may realize that WordPress is a free blogging service.
In fact, WordPress it’s more than that: WordPress supports more than 60 million websites on the Internet.
The reason why so many people like WordPress is because it is entirely customizable.
Your website can be anything you want. There is a plugin that can meet all your needs.
Whether it is email marketing, social media, payment, shipping and delivery methods, accounting, or software, you can chat with customers on your website in real-time.
However, to properly build an online store using the WordPress e-commerce plugin WooCommerce, you must first have a good understanding of WordPress, and you should also be familiar with some coding. Therefore, we rated ease of use as “moderate”. The learning curve here is steep.
In terms of pricing, WordPress is free, but you need to find your own hosting solution and deal with the additional cost of domain name registration.
You will also need some other plugins to run the store, for example, to help process payments, send invoices, email marketing, and social media.
Finding a beautiful theme to make your e-commerce store look beautiful, unique, and original, which can also be a challenge because the WordPress theme out of the box is not very beautiful.
If you don’t want to write a theme from scratch, you will most likely need to pay.
Therefore, we list the pricing as “variable”. This actually depends on the needs of each business.
Ease of Use: Moderate | Price: Variable | Features: Extensive
Shopify is a one-stop-shop for you to build an online store.
The platform is very user-friendly, enabling business owners and operators with few website building skills to create modern customized online stores.
In less than ten minutes, we can do many things. We generated a domain name, selected a modern, mobile-friendly template, displayed some products on the website, and uploaded customer information.
Don’t worry-you will have more than ten minutes to test. Shopify offers you a 14-day free trial period, and you can start a trial without a credit card or a plan. You are actually just using email to register and start building a store.
The plans vary from $29, $79 and $299, respectively. As the planned price rises, so do the features. These features include website builder, payment processing, inventory tracking, shopping cart software, shipping software, etc.
Shopify has a strong reputation on the streets: more than one million businesses worldwide use e-commerce platforms, and Shopify’s businesses have so far had sales of more than US$135 billion.
Ease of Use: High | Price: Ranges from $29 to $299 USD / month | Features: Extensive
If you want a simple, fast, and cheap option, Wix is a good choice. Companies focused on the design must go to Squarespace; Woocommerce offers many customization options for your store. Shopify is the best choice for an e-commerce experience out of the box.
There is no doubt that you can touch many options when setting up an online store. Our hope is that this guide can help you make decisions and saves you some time in the research process.
We can help you build your e-commerce, drop us a line here, or contact us, and let’s take your business to new heights.