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Best Ecommerce Platform for Small Business in 2024

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Choosing the best ecommerce platform for small business can be daunting. I’ve been there myself, sorting through endless options and figuring out which would help my business grow. It’s not just about handling transactions; you need a platform that will support your growth and adapt with you as online retail changes.

What makes a fantastic ecommerce platform for small businesses? Is it the features, the cost, or how easy it is to use? The truth is it’s all of those things. But more importantly, it’s about finding a platform that gets your business and understands your customers’ needs. You want something that’s not just another tool but feels like a partner helping you succeed.

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The Best Ecommerce Platforms for Small Business in 2024

The Best Ecommerce Platforms for Small Business
Best Ecommerce Platform for Small Business in 2024 2

If you’re a small business owner aiming to sell online, picking the best ecommerce platform for small business is essential. The ideal e-commerce solution for small companies simplifies building your online store, handling inventory, processing payments, and boosting growth.

But with so many e-commerce platforms out there, how do you choose? Let me share my top picks for the best ecommerce platform for small business in 2024. These platforms offer everything from user-friendly features to affordability, helping small businesses thrive online.

If you’re new to selling online or considering a switch to something more robust, you’ll find the right e-commerce solution for your needs here. Let’s jump in.

Adobe Commerce (formerly Magento)

Adobe Commerce, previously known as Magento, tops the list of the best ecommerce platform for small business. This powerful platform offers advanced features and customization options to help you create a unique online store.

It is a great choice for small businesses looking for flexibility and adaptability in their e-commerce platform. However, it may have a bit of a learning curve for beginners, so having some technical skills or hiring a developer could be beneficial.

Magento Open Source is a no-cost, open-source platform with basic features. It’s budget-friendly but requires some technical expertise to set up. The free plan includes essential tools like a drag-and-drop website builder, site search, and mobile optimization.

It also offers integrated checkout, payment, shipping options, and an app marketplace for extensions. However, there are limitations.

Additional expenses like website maintenance, backups, domain name, and hosting are separate. Payment Card Industry compliance isn’t included, necessitating an extra cost. Overall expenses vary based on the chosen services.

Wix

If you’re an ecommerce enthusiast or a digital marketing lover looking to start or grow your small business, Wix might be the perfect solution. As one of the best ecommerce platform for small business, Wix offers various features designed to help you succeed in the competitive online marketplace.

One of Wix’s standout features is its user-friendly interface. With its drag-and-drop builder, even those with no coding experience can create professional-looking websites quickly and easily.

This intuitive design makes it accessible for anyone wanting to dive into ecommerce without spending countless hours learning web development.

Managing an online store involves more than just listing products; it requires robust tools that streamline operations.

Wix provides comprehensive store management solutions, such as inventory management, which easily tracks stock levels and manages product variations, and order tracking, which seamlessly monitors order statuses from purchase through delivery.

PRICING:

Business Elite: $159 / month | Advanced developer platform

Business: $36 / month | Standard eCommerce

Core: $29 / month | Basic eCommerce

Light: $17 / month | Free domain for 1 year

Square Online

Next up is Square Online, an e-commerce platform built by the same company behind the popular Square payment processor. If you already use Square to accept payments at your brick-and-mortar store, Square Online is a natural choice for taking your business online.

Square Online makes life easier by smoothly connecting with Square’s other tools. You can handle your online and in-store sales, inventory management, and customer experience from one dashboard. It also offers handy features like curbside pickup and local delivery.

Square Online has a free trial, which is excellent for small business owners just getting started. As your business grows, you can switch to a paid plan and unlock more advanced e-commerce features.

PRICING:

Free: $0 | No monthly fees | 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction

Plus: $29/mo billed annually | 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction

Premium: $79/mo billed annually | 2.6% + 30¢ per transaction

PrestaShop

PrestaShop is a popular open-source for best ecommerce platform for small business that’s been around since 2007. It powers over 300,000 online stores worldwide, making it a proven choice for small businesses looking to sell products online.

One of PrestaShop’s main benefits is its extensive feature set. Out of the box, it includes everything you need to build and manage your online store, from product descriptions to order processing to customer support. And if you need more functionality, thousands of modules and free themes are available to extend your store’s capabilities.

As an open-source platform, PrestaShop is also highly customizable. You can modify the code to create a unique e-commerce site if you have the technical skills. However, this does require a certain level of development knowledge, so it may not be the best choice for beginners.

PRICING:

Classic: Free download | Associated costs (hosting, domain name, etc.) are not included.

Hosted: From €24 excl. VAT/month | Free 14-day trial

Custom: Custom Quote | Contact Presta Shop

Spree Commerce

Spree Commerce is ideal for small businesses because it’s flexible, scalable, and cost-effective. It’s open-source so that companies can customize their stores without extra fees. With a wide range of extensions and integrations, adding features as needed is easy.

Plus, its robust architecture can handle growth without a hitch. With solid support and a helpful community, it’s a smart choice for small businesses aiming to excel in ecommerce.

Shopify

Shopify is a favored ecommerce platform for small businesses due to its user-friendly interface, comprehensive features like inventory management and secure payment gateways, scalability, extensive app ecosystem, mobile optimization, robust customer support, and focus on security and compliance. Its intuitive setup allows even beginners to manage online stores efficiently, while its scalability accommodates business growth.

The wide array of apps and integrations enables customization, and its mobile-responsive design ensures seamless shopping experiences across devices. Shopify’s dedication to security and compliance, along with its accessible support resources, make it an ideal choice for small businesses seeking to establish or expand their online presence.

PRICING:

Basic: $29 per month (when paid annually) | Online transaction fee of 2.9% plus 30 cents

Shopify: $79 per month (when paid annually) | Online transaction fee of 2.6% plus 30 cents

Advanced: $299 per month (when paid annually) | Online transaction fee of 2.4% plus 30 cents

Shopify Plus: Quote-based | Based on your credit card sales volume

Big Commerce: Best Ecommerce Platform For Small Business

BigCommerce offers several advantages as an eCommerce platform for small businesses. Its scalable infrastructure and robust feature set suit businesses looking to grow. BigCommerce provides a range of customizable templates that are responsive and optimized for mobile devices, ensuring a seamless shopping experience across different screen sizes.

The platform includes comprehensive eCommerce features such as advanced product management, secure payment gateways, and built-in shipping and tax calculators. Additionally, BigCommerce excels in SEO tools and marketing integrations, helping improve website visibility and drive traffic. With 24/7 customer support and extensive resources, BigCommerce ensures users have the necessary support.

PRICING:

Standard: $29/mo | Billed Annually | Sell online with your beautiful online store

Plus (Most Popular): $79/mo | Billed Annually | Grow your online business with marketing tools proven to increase conversion

Pro: $299/mo | Billed Annually | Scale your growing business with a comprehensive set of features

Enterprise: Contact sales or call 1-866-991-0872 for custom pricing | Power your team’s success with the best full-service open platform

Square Space: Best Ecommerce Platform For Small Business

Squarespace offers several advantages as an eCommerce platform for small businesses. Its user-friendly interface and all-in-one solution make it accessible even for those without technical skills. The platform provides a wide range of professionally designed, fully customizable mobile-optimized templates, ensuring a good user experience across devices.

Squarespace includes essential eCommerce features such as easy product management, secure payment options, and built-in shipping and tax tools. Its SEO tools and marketing integrations also help improve website visibility and drive sales. With 24/7 customer support and an extensive knowledge base, Squarespace ensures users have the needed assistance.

PRICING:

Personal Plan: $16 per month (annual billing) or $23 per month (monthly billing)—ideal for basic websites without eCommerce functionality.

Business Plan: $23 per month (annual billing) or $33 per month (monthly billing) – Includes eCommerce capabilities with a 3% transaction fee on sales.

Basic Commerce Plan: $27 per month (annual billing) or $36 per month (monthly billing) – Removes transaction fees and adds advanced eCommerce features like customer accounts and integrated accounting.

Advanced Commerce Plan: $49 per month (annual billing) or $65 per month (monthly billing). This plan includes all the features of Basic Commerce plus advanced shipping options, subscriptions, and abandoned cart recovery.

Choosing the best ecommerce platform for your small business depends on what you need and want to achieve. Think about how easy it is to use, the features available, customization options, and your budget before choosing.

Whichever platform you choose, remember that launching your online store is just the beginning. To succeed in ecommerce, you’ll need to continually test, optimize, and innovate. But with the right platform as your foundation, you’ll be well on your way to online sales success.

How to Choose the Best Ecommerce Platform for Your Small Business

Picking the right ecommerce platform can make or break your small business. It’s a choice that could lead to a booming online store or endless headaches and wasted time.

I remember the early days of my small business when choosing a platform felt like an endless maze. Hours slipped by as I researched and tested different options, growing more frustrated with each passing day.

But here’s the thing: there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The best e-commerce platform for your small business depends on your unique needs, goals, and resources.

The lessons I’ve gathered are meant for sharing. They’ll guide you confidently through this choice so that nothing stands in the way of concentrating on what’s crucial—developing a successful business while providing excellent service.

Buckle up. Here’s a quick guide on what matters most when deciding which e-commerce platform will work best for your small business.

Consider Your Business Model and Future Plans

First things first: what kind of products are you selling? Are they physical goods, digital downloads, subscriptions, or a combination? Different e-commerce platforms cater to different types of products and business models.

For example, selling simple products might be fine with a basic site builder like Square Online or Wix. However, if you have a large inventory with multiple variants, you’ll need something more robust, like Shopify or BigCommerce.

Think about where you want to go with your business. Are you planning on adding new products or exploring different sales channels? You need an e-commerce solution to grow alongside your ambitions and support your long-term goals.

When I started, I chose a platform that fit my current needs well. But as my business evolved, I quickly outgrew its capabilities. I had to migrate my entire store to a new platform, which was a massive headache. Learn from my mistake and choose an e-commerce platform with room to grow.

Evaluate Costs and Pricing

Budgeting is always a big deal for small business owners. E-commerce platforms offer various pricing options, from monthly subscriptions and transaction fees to premium add-ons.

Don’t just look at the starting price, though. Consider the total cost of ownership, including any additional apps, themes, or developer fees you might need. A “cheaper” platform could cost you more in the long run.

That said, don’t overspend on features you don’t need either. I’ve seen small business owners get seduced by fancy bells and whistles, only to realize they’re paying for more than they use.

My suggestion? List the essential e-commerce features and check how different platforms price them. Remember to include processing fees in your calculations since they can quickly pile up with increased sales.

For example, Square Online offers a free version with limited products, while Shopify’s Basic plan starts at $29 per month plus transaction fees. BigCommerce’s Standard plan is $29.95 monthly with no transaction fees, but you’ll pay more for advanced features.

Look for Essential Features and Customization Options

Your small business deserves an e-commerce platform that caters specifically to what you do best. Make sure it includes essential tools such as inventory management systems, seamless shipping options, reliable payment gateways, and clear product descriptions.

Consider your branding and web design preferences, too. Some website builders offer more customization options than others, from drag-and-drop editors to custom code. If you have a strong brand identity, you’ll want a platform that lets you showcase it.

Pay attention to how your customers navigate your site. Features such as search filters, product suggestions, and reviews can help them quickly locate items they’re looking for. Great customer service management matters just as much; opt for platforms with tools like live chat or a robust knowledge base.

I prioritized multichannel selling features when choosing a platform for my online store. I wanted to sell on my website, social media, and marketplaces like Amazon and Etsy. Not all platforms offer that flexibility, so it was a key factor in my decision.

Looking for something highly customizable was key for me so I could craft an engaging brand journey for my audience. Ultimately, I picked a platform featuring a simple drag-and-drop editor and many themes and apps to add more features.

The bottom line? List your non-negotiable features and prioritize e-commerce platforms that offer them. But don’t get too caught up in shiny objects, either. Focus on the features that will move the needle for your business.

Picking the right e-commerce platform for your small business might seem tricky, but it doesn’t have to be. Consider your business needs, check out the costs involved, and focus on must-have features to find a great match.

There’s no universal solution that fits everyone. What benefits one small business may be useless for another. Listen to your gut feeling, research thoroughly, and contact other business owners for help or guidance.

With the right e-commerce platform, you’ll be well on your way to online success. Happy selling.

Essential Features to Look for in an Ecommerce Platform

When picking the best ecommerce platform for your small business, it’s tempting to get swept up by sleek designs and trendy features. However, what’s truly important is finding a platform with the core tools you need to run operations smoothly and attract more customers.

After spending over ten years in e-commerce, I’ve learned that the right features can make or break a small business. So, let’s discuss what you should look for when picking an e-commerce platform.

Safe and Reliable Checkout Process

First and foremost, your ecommerce platform needs to have a secure and user-friendly checkout process. This is where the rubber meets the road in terms of converting visitors into paying customers.

A good platform should support multiple payment gateways, including credit cards and well-known digital wallets like PayPal or Apple Pay. More options mean higher chances of completing transactions with your customers.

But it’s not just about variety – you must also ensure the checkout process is smooth and glitch-free. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve abandoned a shopping cart because the checkout page was confusing or kept crashing. Don’t let that happen to your customers.

Inventory Management and Shipping Options

After perfecting your checkout process, it’s time to focus on what happens next. How will you manage inventory and make sure orders are filled quickly?

Choosing a good ecommerce platform means getting built-in inventory management tools that help you track stock levels, set alerts for low-stock items, and handle inventory across different warehouses or sales channels. Overselling can lead to unhappy customers, so these features are super important.

You should find a platform that connects with various shipping carriers and shows live shipping rates. This will help you give precise shipping costs to your customers and make order fulfillment more efficient.

Marketing and Customer Growth Tools

Getting the sale is just the beginning. To truly expand your small business, you must put effort into marketing and keeping customers returning.

Look for an ecommerce platform with built-in email marketing tools to easily send newsletters, promotional offers, and abandoned cart recovery emails. Bonus points if the platform integrates with popular social media channels for seamless cross-platform marketing.

Consider features like product descriptions, customer segmentation, and loyalty programs to boost growth. These tools help create a dedicated customer base that keeps returning for more.

Security Features

These days, keeping your business secure isn’t optional. Protecting your company and your customers’ private data from cybercriminals is necessary.

If you’re evaluating ecommerce platforms, finding one that includes SSL certificates and meets PCI standards is crucial. Also look for those with frequent security updates; these features protect your site and customer data during purchases.

Picking a platform with built-in fraud detection tools and customizable filters can help. You save time and money by flagging suspicious orders before they’re processed.

Business and Financial Management Capabilities

Don’t overlook your business’s backend operations. A good ecommerce platform helps you handle finances easily, assess how you’re doing, and make smart choices with data.

Find a platform that works with your accounting software and offers strong reporting and analytics tools. You should be able to track sales, keep an eye on inventory, and create financial reports easily.

Some platforms even offer built-in tax calculation and payment processing, saving you time and headaches come tax season.

Choosing the best ecommerce platform for small business isn’t just about picking any option; it’s about finding what’s best suited to help meet your goals. Prioritize those crucial features, and you’ll find yourself moving toward success quickly.

I’ve had excellent experiences with Shopify and BigCommerce, but don’t overlook other solid choices like Square Online. They offer unlimited products and third-party payment options, too. Take your time to research thoroughly, and choose a platform that will grow alongside your business.

Remember, your ecommerce platform is the foundation of your online store. Choose wisely, and you’ll be set up for success from day one

Comparing Popular Ecommerce Platforms for Small Businesses

When it comes to finding the best ecommerce platform for small business, it can be overwhelming to compare all the options. But don’t worry, I’ve been in your shoes, and I’m here to break it down for you.

Let’s dive into e-commerce platforms and see how some of the most popular ones compare.

Shopify vs. BigCommerce

Shopify and BigCommerce stand out as top e-commerce platforms for small businesses. Both provide various features and pricing options but offer something unique.

Due to its intuitive interface, Shopify is a great choice for simplicity paired with many app options. Meanwhile, if your business needs more advanced capabilities as it grows, BigCommerce provides robust built-in features. Based on insights from Website Builder Expert’s analysis comparing both platforms, although Shopify excels in user-friendliness and web design adaptability, those needing comprehensive solutions may prefer BigCommerce.

Regarding pricing, Shopify and BigCommerce have different plans with various features and transaction fees. Shopify’s basic plan costs $29 per month, while BigCommerce’s standard plan is a bit more at $29.95 monthly. Remember that Shopify adds transaction fees to your payment processing fees, but BigCommerce does not.

WooCommerce vs. Magento

If you’re looking for an open-source e-commerce platform with plenty of customization options, consider WooCommerce and Magento. WooCommerce is a plugin for WordPress, making it ideal if you already have a WordPress site up and running.

Due to its scalability and powerful features, Magento might be your best bet if you’re running a big business. While WooCommerce boasts ease of use and requires less time to learn, as noted by Cloudways, Magento offers the depth needed for large-scale enterprises.

WooCommerce is free, but don’t forget to budget for web hosting, themes, and extensions. On the other hand, Magento has a free, open-source version and paid enterprise plans that start at about $22,000 per year.

Wix vs. Squarespace

Starting in ecommerce? Consider using site builders such as Wix or Squarespace. They provide easy-to-use drag-and-drop features and numerous templates to make your online store look professional without breaking the bank.

As noted by Website Tool Tester, Wix gives you more design options and a bigger app market. On the other hand, Squarespace stands out with its stylish templates and superior blogging tools. But if you’re serious about e-commerce features, platforms like Shopify or BigCommerce offer much more.

Wix offers a limited free plan, with ecommerce plans starting at $23 per month. Squarespace starts at $12 monthly for a personal site, with ecommerce plans starting at $26 monthly. Both offer free trials, so you can test out the platform before committing.

Other Factors to Consider

Choosing the best ecommerce platform for your small business involves more than just comparing prices and features. You must also consider payment processing options, transaction fees, and how user-friendly it is for you and your customers.

For example, Square Online offers seamless integration with Square’s payment processing and POS system, which could be a major plus for businesses that already use Square. While some platforms, like Shopify, offer lower rates for payment processing, others allow you to choose from various third-party payment gateways.

It’s also worth considering each platform’s learning curve and ease of use, especially if you’re not tech-savvy. While most platforms offer some level of customer support, some are known for being more user-friendly and intuitive than others.

The Bottom Line

Finding the right ecommerce platform for your small business depends on what you need, how much you’re willing to spend, and your goal. Do some homework—compare features and prices. Don’t forget to try out free trials before making a final choice.

As someone who’s been through the process of choosing an e-commerce platform for my small business, I advise finding a platform that offers the features and flexibility you need to grow without breaking the bank on monthly fees or transaction costs. And don’t be afraid to start small and scale up as your business grows – that’s the beauty of ecommerce.

Choosing the Right Ecommerce Platform Based on Your Business Needs

When picking the best ecommerce platform for small business, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Your unique business needs will determine which platform fits you best.

I’ve helped countless small businesses with their ecommerce journeys over the years. From my experience, it’s crucial to zero in on what you need and aim for your specific goals.

Are you a startup just getting off the ground? A growing business looking to expand your online presence? Or do you have unique needs that require a more specialized e-commerce solution?

Let’s break this down and look at some common scenarios.

Startups and New Businesses

If you’re starting out, simplicity and affordability are probably your top priorities. You need an e-commerce platform that’s easy to set up and manage without causing technical headaches or high costs.

For many startups, Shopify is a fantastic option. It’s easy to use with many free themes and no coding needed. With plans starting at just $29 per month, it’s also affordable for new business owners.

Another option to consider is Square Online. If you already use Square for in-person sales, their online store integrates seamlessly. And the best part? It’s free to start, with no monthly fee (you only pay a small processing fee per transaction).

Both Shopify and Square offer essentials like SSL certificates to keep your site secure, and you can even snag a free domain name with certain plans.

Growing and Expanding Businesses

Your online store has come a long way, but now it’s ready for bigger things. To keep pace with this new growth phase, you’ll want an e-commerce platform packed with advanced tools.

Platforms like BigCommerce and Magento are great because they provide strong tools for inventory management, customer segmentation, and recovering abandoned shopping carts.

Sure, these e-commerce platforms come with a bit of a learning curve. But if you’re serious about growing your business, learning them is worth it.

One thing to watch out for as you grow is transaction fees. Some platforms, like Shopify, charge a small fee on each sale (unless you use Shopify Payments). Others, like BigCommerce, have no transaction fee, but the monthly cost is slightly higher.

Take a moment to crunch the numbers and see what works best for your sales volume. Don’t overlook the cost of any extra apps or integrations you might need.

Businesses with Unique Requirements

Every business has its own needs; sometimes, you need a specialized e-commerce solution. Whether selling digital downloads or handling subscriptions and recurring payments, the right tools can make all the difference.

If that’s the case, consider platforms like WooCommerce or Chargebee. WooCommerce is great for businesses that want total control and customization options (if you’re willing to get your hands dirty with a little code). Chargebee is designed specifically for subscription-based businesses.

Some platforms are designed for specific fields. For example, Weave is great for healthcare providers, while FreshBooks works well for service-based businesses that need help with invoicing and time tracking.

Look at the features and see which ones best suit your needs. Don’t hesitate to think creatively and consider options beyond the well-known brands.

Remember, your needs can change over time. The best ecommerce platform for small business is the one that grows and adapts to you.

Think about where your business stands today, but don’t forget to plan for the future. Pick a platform that can grow with you as your needs change.

Whether you’re launching a startup or expanding your business, there’s a site builder that fits your needs. With some research and knowing what features to look for, you can find the perfect website builder for your e-commerce goals.

With so many choices, it’s easy to feel lost. But keep your small business goals in mind, and you’ll find the perfect e-commerce platform.

Get Started with the Best Ecommerce Platform for Small Business

After selecting the ideal ecommerce platform for your small business, you’ll be ready to build your online store. Most platforms provide easy-to-follow guides and plenty of support resources so you can list products, customize layouts, and get sales rolling. Explore free trials or demo versions of various e-commerce platforms before deciding on a paid plan.

Don’t Let the Learning Curve Hold You Back

I get it; learning a new platform can be daunting. But trust me, as someone who’s been in the ecommerce game for over a decade, the learning curve is worth it. I was overwhelmed by all the options and features when I first started. But I took it one step at a time, and before I knew it, I was a pro.

Pick a platform that’s easy to use and feels natural. You want one with drag-and-drop site builders, pre-made templates, and many helpful resources. And remember, if you hit a snag, reach out for help. Most platforms offer customer support through email, chat, or phone calls.

Invest in Advanced Features for Long-Term Success

While choosing the cheapest option is tempting, I’ve learned that investing in advanced features pays off in the long run. When I first launched my online store, I went with a basic plan that offered little beyond the basics. But as my business grew, I quickly realized I needed more.

Optimizing your online store becomes a breeze with abandoned cart recovery, email marketing integrations, and advanced analytics in play. You can reach out to more potential buyers while making informed choices backed by solid data. When evaluating different e-commerce platforms, remember that it’s not about price; consider which features will propel you forward.

Take Advantage of Customer Support

When I first started, one of my biggest blunders was trying to handle everything independently. I soon learned that having a support system is vital. That’s why I always suggest picking a platform with top-notch customer support.

Check out platforms that offer round-the-clock support through various channels like email, chat, and phone. Having someone to help when questions or issues arise can save you a lot of stress and time. Don’t hesitate to use their resources, too—knowledge bases, tutorials, and community forums are there for your benefit.

Start Small and Scale Up

It’s tempting to try everything at once when you’re just starting. But trust me, beginning with the basics is a smarter move. List your products first, start your payment processing, and determine shipping logistics. Once you start seeing sales and hearing from customers, gradually introduce more features.

One of the great things about using a platform like Shopify or BigCommerce is that they make it easy to scale. You can start with a basic plan and upgrade as your needs change. And with apps and integrations, you can add new features and tools without switching platforms entirely.

Dario’s Takeaway

So there you have it – my take on the best ecommerce platform for small business. It’s not just about the features or the price. It’s about finding a platform that gets you, understands your unique needs and goals, and will be there for you every step.

Whether you’re just starting or looking to take your business to the next level, the right ecommerce platform can make all the difference. So don’t settle for less. Do your research, trust your gut, and choose a platform that will help you build the business of your dreams.

The future of retail is online, and with the right ecommerce platform by your side, there’s no limit to what you can achieve. So go out there and make it happen. Your customers are waiting.

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