This article will review the six best ecommerce platforms for small business, helping you decide which one is right for you.
As a small business owner, you need to build a website that lets you sell a few products right now, while giving you the option to scale in the future. An ecommerce platform will let you do just that, and choosing the right platform for you should be high on your to-do list.
Ecommerce platforms make your online life easier – you can usually build a store in just a few hours, without having to worry about coding or web hosting. This means you can focus on helping your business flourish.
Choosing a website builder is an important decision. After all, if your website can’t grow with your business, you’re only making things trickier for yourself in the long term.
And when it comes to choosing an ecommerce platform, you’re spoiled for choice, which make this all-important decision feel like a tough one. That’s why we’ve done our independent research to find the seven best ecommerce platforms for small businesses. These are:
For a quick insight, check out our top three rated ecommerce platforms for small business below:
After reading this article, you’ll have a clear idea of which platform can boost your business, and build you an online store that matches your ambitions.
The best ecommerce website builders for small business are:
- Wix – best website builder with ecommerce functionality
- Squarespace – best designed themes
- Weebly – best value for money
- Volusion – excellent analytics features
- GoDaddy – fastest to build an online store
- 3dcart – lots of built-in features
Ecommerce platforms allow you to plant your business online, stand back, and watch it bloom. With these six builders, you can start making money from your beautiful online store within just a few hours.
They’re not just for high-flying tech pros, either. You don’t need any coding knowledge to use ecommerce platforms, and you don’t have to organise web hosting or security – anyone can join the ecommerce party!
Sounds great, doesn’t it? In fact, the trickiest part is actually deciding which platform to use. Choosing a platform will depend on your needs; there many things to consider, but a few of the most important include:
- Number of products you have
- Type of products (i.e. digital, physical, service)
- Your budget
- Time constraints
- Scalability of your business
For small business owners, money can be an issue. Can your monthly budget handle an ecommerce platform-sized hit? Luckily, every platform we discuss either has a free plan or free trial, so there’s no need for credit card commitments just yet.
And with monthly prices for an ecommerce platform starting from just $8 per month, it doesn’t always have to be a huge hit for your budget. Now, let’s dive into each website builder to uncover more information…
Best website builder with ecommerce functionality
Wix is a dream for tech beginners – it’s easy to use, and lets anyone build an awesome online store. You can also add product videos, which is a great feature.
However, Wix lacks in certain ecommerce areas. For instance, Wix doesn’t support any abandoned cart recovery features. This means you’re unable to automatically send messages to customers who have left your website without finalising their purchases. It also doesn’t offer any multichannel selling.
Wix lets you create a store at no cost, so you can build your ecommerce empire’s foundations without spending a dime. However, to actually sell products, you’ll need to upgrade to at least the Business Basic plan, which costs $20 per month.
|Wix Pros||Wix Cons|
Best designed templates
If you’re looking to build an eye-catching portfolio or online business, then make space for this platform. Why? Because Squarespace stores stand out.
Not only does Squarespace support high-quality tools and social media integration, it provides the best designed templates of any ecommerce platform. With no app market, you’re somewhat restricted to its built-in offerings, but you’ll have a true site for sore eyes.
Even the Squarespace price plans look good – if you sign up for a year, you’ll pay just $12 per month on the cheapest plan. This plan is still only $16 per month if you pay month by month, though.
|Squarespace Pros||Squarespace Cons|
Best value for money
Most small business owners should be wary of hidden costs. Thankfully, Weebly is very budget-friendly, with the best value ecommerce price plans around. Plus, it’s super easy to use.
It has some brilliant additional features, particularly in blogging and its password protected pages. The downside? You can’t sell across Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest. Overall, though, Weebly is a safe pair of hands for your small business.
Weebly has four ecommerce price plans, starting from just $8 per month. For just a couple of dollars per week, you can have a wonderful Weebly website to promote your small business – how good is that?
|Weebly Pros||Weebly Cons|
Great analytics features
Volusion provides no illusions when it comes to data reports. Everything you need for tracking your site’s performance and progress is in one place – it’s a data-lover’s dream.
If you sell digital products, you’ll need to take your ecommerce dreams elsewhere, as Volusion doesn’t support them. But for selling all other product types, Volusion is a good solution.
Volusion offers a handy Prime Custom Plan, costing just $13.50 per month when you sign up for a year. Not looking to commit that long? No big deal – the Mini price plan will only set you back $15 per month.
|Volusion Pros||Volusion Cons|
Fastest to build an online store
GoDaddy uses GoCentral ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) to build your online store in minutes. If you want your business to get up and running online quickly, it’s a no brainer.
Sure, some features could be stronger – particularly when it comes to blogging – while naturally, GoDaddy means you lose some creative control when designing your website. Regardless, you can’t beat GoDaddy for speed.
GoDaddy can give you a website in a few minutes, and for a few dollars per month. Its Personal price plan costs only $5.99 each month, which includes a generous one month free trial, too.
|GoDaddy Pros||GoDaddy Cons|
Strong inventory system
3dcart is the opposite to Squarespace. It relies on powerful back-end tools and inventory features, focussing less on creativity and design. With no mobile app, you can’t edit your site on the go, but you’ll be hard pressed to find better built-in sales tools. This will also save you buying tons of apps, which can see costs quickly rack up.
3dcart’s cheapest plan is $19 per month, which is less than Shopify’s lowest price plan. So, if you want some great tools at a lower cost, 3dcart could be for you.
|3dcart Pros||3dcart Cons|
Small businesses don’t always remain small, which leaves the question: are there any ecommerce platforms for the big dogs? Yes – BigCommerce and Shopify.
Best built-in features
BigCommerce is a great option for scaling your business. Its brilliant benefits include multichannel selling, allowing you to reach a wider audience, and superb SEO (Search Engine Optimization) features to help bring more clicks to your website.
It’s not the easiest platform to use, but it comes with the best built-in features of any ecommerce website builder. We recommend making the switch to BigCommerce from any of the platforms listed above when you feel it’s time to move to the next level.
|BigCommerce Pros||BigCommerce Cons|
Best overall ecommerce platform
Shopify came top in our research for sales features and customer scores, proving it’s both simple and powerful. However, it’s the only platform to enforce its own transaction fees if you don’t use its own payment method, Shopify Payments.
Overall, though, Shopify is the best all-in-one ecommerce solution for your business, letting you scale quickly and easily.
|Shopify Pros||Shopify Cons|
There are many website builder options for your small business. These builders let you create an awesome online store for a relatively low cost, helping you get off the ground and into the world of ecommerce.
To recap, the 6 best ecommerce website builders for small business are:
- Wix – best website builder with ecommerce functionality
- Squarespace – best designed templates
- Weebly – best value for money
- Volusion – great analytics features
- GoDaddy – fastest to build
- 3dcart – strong inventory system
This list of six is a great fix for small businesses looking to get started online. However, as your store grows, so will your website’s needs.
If your store does grow quickly – and hopefully it will – you might want to consider switching to a big business-friendly platform like BigCommerce, which is ideal for fast growing ecommerce stores.
For now, though, we recommend trying one of the six builders listed above for your small business. Don’t forget that each platform either offers a free plan or free trial, so you can begin building the foundations for your future ecommerce empire at no personal cost.
Which is the best ecommerce platform?
Shopify is the best overall ecommerce platform on the market, it’s easy to use, offers the best sales tools and provides the most comprehensive customer support. For smaller businesses, Wix is a great option. It lets you build a store and sell a few products with ease.
Should I use BigCommerce or Shopify?
BigCommerce is for fast growing businesses looking to scale massively. It has the best built-in features of any platform, but it’s quite tricky to work because it uses complicated language. Shopify is better for smaller businesses. It’s much easier to use than BigCommerce, helping you build a store quickly.
Which is the cheapest ecommerce website builder?
Weebly is the best value ecommerce website builder, with pricing plans starting from just $8 per month. This is ideal for small businesses looking after their budget. BigCartel lets you sell online for free, but it cannot match Weebly for ecommerce tools and features.