squarespace ecommerce platform

10 Best Ecommerce Platforms for Small Businesses in 2021

Guest post by Arthur Rowley

Many years ago, custom websites would have cost a lot of money to develop. Nowadays, dramatic improvements have been made in technology that are easy to use, so things aren’t always hocus pocus! Today, it’s easy to build a custom e-commerce website using tools that contain what you need out of the box.

Choosing an ecommerce platform can be tough, but we’re here to help. Whatever you’re looking for in your business, let’s take a look at some of the best e-commerce platforms to use in 2021.

1. Shopify

This is arguably one of the most popular ecommerce platforms to use and it costs between $29.99 and $299 a month. If you want to try it out, you can get a free trial for two weeks. One of our favourite things is that they have fantastic customer support. 

A popular ecommerce platform for handling all aspects of your business, Shopify provides you with a whole suite of business tools at your fingertips. Shopify handles payment processing professionally, and tools such as Shopify Fulfilment can help with digital marketing, getting products into the hands of your customer.

Ecommerce platforms in 2021 can be cumbersome, but Shopify is slick in its nature. You really have an array of powerful features to use, and you don’t need a lot of technical know-how or a large budget to be able to scale up to an internationally renowned brand fairly easily.

2. Wix

Although there is no free trial, this is a competitively priced ecommerce platform as a service, ranging from $23-$49 a month. Customer service is also excellent, with 24/7 support. Wix integrates with all the top-selling channels, including Instagram and Facebook.

This drag-and-drop friendly tool allows you to build professional-looking websites easily. There are also services for hosting and domain name registration built-in. You can accept online payments, track your orders, create abandoned cart campaigns, and much more. This isn’t just a site builder designed to host passion projects – it’s a fully-fledged tool for comprehensive e-commerce website building.

wix ecommerce platforms

However, there are certain features that could have been implemented. Some shortcomings include a lack of inventory management features and an absence of low stock alerts.

If you are looking for a platform to host a business that stocks more than 20 or so products, you’ll want to have some serious inventory tracking tools. Also, if you’re trying to make the most of social commerce integrations, you’ll need to use third-party apps.

3. Bigcommerce

This is primarily an ecommerce platform for digital products or enterprise-level companies.

Prices can break the bank for a small business, ranging between $29.95-$269 96 a month. However, if you want to sample the tool for yourself, there is a free trial of 15 days. We found that customer support is highly comprehensive, with 24/7 phone, chat, email, and technical support available.

It is definitely a platform that integrates easily amongst all the popular sales channels, including Facebook, Google shopping, Etsy, Amazon, and Instagram.

ecommerce platforms - bigcommerce

One of the first things you notice is how many features are available to update orders, view analytics, manage your inventory, search for customers and much more. There are valuable features designed to make your eCommerce site sing, from SEO tools to multichannel selling tools.

However, some of them are more difficult to use compared to other platforms out there. BigCommerce has much more of a learning curve to it. Overall, we love how flexible you can be with this platform, and how much you can tinker with your e-commerce site.

4. Magento

While there is no free trial, this is advanced business software, although you may need some coding skills to manage the whole infrastructure by yourself.

It integrates seamlessly with all the major sales channels such as Amazon, and has a multitude of features, with thousands of integrations, SEO tools and more.

For some, it may not be suitable for small businesses because of the learning curve, but if you’re willing to put in the time, it could be a great tool.

It’s certainly a reputable e-commerce platform, with a track record of helping to turbocharge small business conversions and sales.

5. Nopcommerce

If you’re looking at an ecommerce platform for small business, this is a great one to start with because it’s open-source and free! The tool comes with several out-of-the-box features for effective B2C and B2B sales.

You can use a variety of tools for marketing and sales growth, and it works well with all popular payment methods and gateways. There is also functionality built-in for multivendor selling.

Even though it is completely free, there is a bit of a learning curve to get things started and running. The platform was developed using ASP.NET, and you need some understanding of this to run the platform.

If you’re not familiar with coding in this framework, this won’t be the best ecommerce platform to use. However, it integrates well once running, and you can do slick things like link any ecommerce platform with API.

It’s a great one if you want to track your orders, monthly customers or payment history. There are over 100 different integration options for effective e-commerce solutions.

6. Woocommerce

WooCommerce is a very popular e-commerce tool, with an average $30 a month fee. There isn’t a trial option, however, you can get your money back within 30 days if you don’t like it.

The tool supports sales on popular platforms, including eBay, Google Shopping, Amazon, Facebook and more.

We recommend this tool particularly for people who are familiar with WordPress. It is essentially an add-on for WordPress. It wasn’t originally developed as an ecommerce platform, meaning that you will probably need to rely on additional apps for many of the selling features.

ecommerce platforms - woocommerce

This is a problem if you integrate too many third-party tools because it increases the risk of things breaking. However, for those who are familiar with WordPress, it’s an all-around great tool.

7. Prestashop

This is an ecommerce platform like NopCommerce in the way that it’s completely free!

You can sell through all the major channels including eBay, Facebook, Amazon and Etsy to name a few. We really like all the add-on modules available, which are great for beginning businesses.

There are ways to track your inventory, the number of international sales, the state of your online shopping store and more. It gives you great analytics in general. Support options are available, but only between 9-6 (GMT-2).

8. Oracle CX Commerce

This tool is a fully-featured, cloud-native SaaS ecommerce platform that works with both B2B and B2C business models. You can create cutting-edge brand experiences to meet your customer demands.

In essence, Oracle CX Commerce allows you to create engaging and minimal buying experiences for customers. We really like how the sheer simplicity of the interface.

It’s very easy for you to drag-and-drop UI elements and streamline all parts of the e-commerce process without knowing much about building ecommerce sites.

9. Squarespace

This is a great one to try, and you can get two weeks free. After that, costs vary between $16 and $46 a month. We really like how customer support is open 24/7, and Squarespace makes it very simple to create cutting-edge websites in a matter of hours.

They have solutions to sell on all major platforms, including Amazon, Etsy, Google and more.

It’s a tool to create websites and manage all parts of your e-commerce funnel. The simplicity of the drag-and-drop functionality means it may in fact be the easiest ecommerce platform to use. There are some neat features for things such as shipping label scanning, or order and inventory management.

The great thing is that a number of features are available to use purely from the mobile app.

squarespace

10. Big Cartel

Although no free trial is available with Big Cartel, it’s relatively inexpensive – from $9.99 to $29.99 a month. That’s a pretty competitive price for what you get, including shipping tracking, store analytics, options to manage your discount, packing slip printing and much more.

The ecommerce platform benefits artists and craft makers and is very popular with creative small businesses. A lot of people who sell on sites such as Etsy love using it.

However, we found that the payment and integration options are somewhat limited, making it more difficult to scale as a multichannel small business.

Build your business with an ecommerce platform

Hopefully, now that you’ve read this article, you’re familiar with some ecommerce platform advantages. Every tool is different and there is no one-size-fits-all solution, but the 10 tools we’ve mentioned will serve as a great starting point. Always consider your budget, product range and previous expertise when making a decision. All the best with your small business’s future!

Are there any services that we’ve left out of this top 10 ecommerce platform review? Tell us about them in the comments section below.

Author’s bio:

Arthur Rowley is a freelance writer. He mainly specializes in digital marketing and the game industry. Arthur likes everything to do with technology and video games. He looks into the future of technology and is very excited about its daily metamorphosis and hopes in the future for what lies behind the curtain of technological development.


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