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There are seemingly countless ecommerce platforms for small businesses available, so figuring out which is best for you is tough. You want an accessible, affordable, and scalable solution for selling products and services online—but now need to figure out which tool is the best fit. I've got you! In this post, I make things simple, leveraging my experience managing online commerce businesses and using dozens of different ecomerce platforms to bring you this shortlist of the best ecommerce platforms for small businesses overall.

What is an Ecommerce Platform For Small Businesses?

Ecommerce platforms for small businesses are online tools that enable these businesses to create, manage, and operate an online store with ease. They provide essential functionalities like website creation, product listing, payment processing, and order management, all tailored to the needs of small-scale operations.

Ecommerce platforms for small businesses are designed to be user-friendly, allowing business owners with minimal technical skills to effectively run their online storefronts. They offer a cost-effective way for small businesses to enter and thrive in the digital marketplace, expanding their reach and increasing sales opportunities without the need for significant investment in IT infrastructure.

Overviews Of The 10 Best Ecommerce Platforms For Small Businesses

Here’s a brief description of each of the best eCommerce platforms for small businesses on my list, showing what it does best, plus screenshots to showcase some of the features.

1

Subbly

Best for subscription-based ecommerce models

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.8
8 reviews

14-day free trial

From $19 /month

Subbly is a subscription eCommerce platform that's designed to help small businesses set up and manage their online stores. Excellent option if you're looking to sell products or services on a recurring basis.

Subly is a platform that is easy to use, flexible, and won't break the bank. It's got a clean interface, it's not overly complicated, and it's got a pricing model that's friendly for small businesses. Plus, it's specifically designed for subscription businesses. And, unlike other platforms, it will give you the power to handle almost everything related to your subscription business without the need for a plugin or integration.

I like the way Subbly allows you to integrate with shipping platforms like Pirate Ship but also gives you the option to easily export to a CSV file that you can upload to the platform of your choice or your in-house fulfillment system.

Additionally, there are a few standout features that I really appreciate. First off, the checkout process is super customizable. You can tweak it to fit your brand and your specific needs. Plus, it's got a built-in subscription management system, which is a lifesaver. It makes it easy to manage all your subscribers, send out notifications, and handle renewals. And let's not forget about the analytics. Subbly provides some really useful insights into your sales and customer behavior.

Subbly integrates with HotJar, Twilio, Pirate Ship, Shipstation, Drip, Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Intercom, and Klaviyo. You can also set up an integration with Zapier to connect to thousands of additional apps (requires a paid subscription with Zapier).

2

Lightspeed eCom

Best for multi-channel sales

Freemium plan available

From $14.08/month

Lightspeed is a cloud-based ecommerce platform that’s perfect for small businesses who want to set up and start selling right away. The tool features an awesome drag-and-drop website builder that doesn’t require any coding experience to get started. Lightspeed also has advanced inventory management features like product variants and bundling which allow you to customize how your products are purchased. It's easy to add automations for cross-selling and discounts at checkout as well.

Once you set up your store, you can immediately sell on social media platforms like TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram, as well as Amazon, eBay, Google Shopping, and Walmart. You can optimize your ecommerce operations with features like product management, order fulfillment, and customer relationship management. It’s easy to add shipping and payment options. And their mobile app is perfect for keeping track of things on the go.

Lightspeed’s built-in SEO tools help you to boost conversion rates. Features like abandoned cart emails can help your customers come back for more. And their Lightspeed Retail feature allows you to sync products between a bricks-and-mortar store and your ecommerce storefront.

Lightspeed integrates with a wide variety of platforms like Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Printful, ShippingEasy, Zoho CRM, Salesforce, bindCommerce, Quickbooks, Kliken Stats, UniSender, HubSpot, and ZenDesk. Many additional integrations are available by connecting a paid Zapier account.

Pricing starts at $14.08/month, and a freemium plan is available.

3

BigCommerce

Best all-in-one ecommerce platform

15-day free trial

From $29/month and 2.59% + $0.49/transaction

BigCommerce is an ecommerce platform that helps small businesses scale their online presence and increase sales. It provides tools for creating an online store, managing products, and processing payments, as well as providing analytics and insights into customer behavior.

BigCommerce offers various tools for creating an aesthetically pleasing website with a professional look. It has a drag-and-drop editor that makes designing the storefront easy. There is also an in-depth style editor that allows users to change colors and fonts within the template without needing any coding knowledge. This includes customizable templates that can be used to create unique designs that reflect the business’s brand identity and style. The templates are also mobile responsive, allowing customers to browse the website from any device without compromising on quality or design.

BigCommerce offers powerful marketing tools such as product reviews, discount codes, gift cards, and automated email campaigns. These features help businesses reach new customers by increasing visibility through SEO tactics. The platform allows businesses to create customized product pages which provide detailed information about each product so that customers can make informed decisions when purchasing items from the store. It also has built-in email marketing capabilities so users can easily create campaigns and send out newsletters or promotional emails directly from the platform itself.

Additionally, it integrates with Google Shopping Ads so businesses can list products on Google’s search engine results pages without having to manually upload each product individually. BigCommerce provides built-in payment processing services which make it easy for customers to pay for purchases quickly and securely using a variety of payment methods such as credit cards or PayPal. The platform also integrates with other popular payment providers such as Stripe or Amazon Pay so that businesses can accept payments from more customers around the world.

Features include customizable templates, built-in SEO, marketing tools, shipping & fulfillment, inventory management, reporting features, mobile-friendly design, responsive checkout, multiple payment gateway options, extensive third-party integrations, and 24/7 customer support.

Integrations include LiveChat, ShipStation, Georgias, Mailchimp, Quickbooks Online, Yotpo Product Reviews, Justuno, Brightpearl, Acumatica, ActiveCampaign, Hubspot, Klavyio, Shopgate, Printify, and dozens of other apps.

BigCommerce costs from $29.95/month and offers a 15-day free trial.

4

WP Engine

Best for non-technical users

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.6
195 reviews

From $25/month

WP Engine is a web hosting provider that’s primarily used for blogging due to its superfast site speed. Recently, they have started offering their Genesis pro subscription plan that comes with a feature-packed website builder. The framework comes with built-in marketing features.

The Gutenberg-ready site builder can be used to create reusable modules and enable next-level customization on headers, logos, or any aspect of your ecommerce website to match your design language. There’s an open-source community of developers that audit the framework and add new security features.

You can use the sample child theme that sits on the top of the framework to beautifully edit the design of your site without affecting the underlying site code.The community also provides for hundreds of useful integrations, plugins, add-ons, and extensions. It integrates with WooCommerce and other major ecommerce apps.

With WP Engine as the web hosting provider, the sites load super fast, which in turn can be great for the site to rank on Google.

The pricing for WP Engine’s startup plan starts at $25 per month.

5

Shopify

Best customer service

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.4
4760 reviews

3-day free trial + $1/month for the first three months

$29/month, 2.9% + $0.30/transaction

If you have read my other articles on ecommerce platforms, you might have noticed that Shopify is a frequent feature in them. From storefront to inventory management to marketing tools, Shopify equips an ecommerce site with all the necessary tools to launch and scale an online store in 2021.

The product has features like SEO tools, email marketing, search optimized product pages, shopping cart, and more. The Shopify SaaS is known in the industry for its stability and always-on availability. Shopify lets you perform all the necessary inventory management tasks like tracking and adjusting inventory, exporting or importing inventory via CSV files, and more. Shopify’s analytics give you critical ecommerce insights like store visits, transaction data, site speed, and more.

The product works with other commonly used ecommerce business apps like Oberlo, Facebook Messenger, Amazon, Stocky, Apple Business Chat, and 3k other apps including marketing, reporting, shipping, and customer support. The Shopify mobile app lets you sell products and manage your ecommerce store on the go.

Shopify has direct support via chat and email. Also, it is backed by one of the largest active communities of ecommerce entrepreneurs. You can engage with the community via the Shopify community forum or via social media groups dedicated to the product.

Shopify costs from $29/month when paying monthly, with 2.9% + $0.30/transaction. Shopify offers a 3-day free trial from their website. If you shop around, you can find affiliates who offer 14-day free trials.

6

Squarespace

Best online store template library

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.4
1059 reviews

14-day free trial

From $16/month.

Squarespace is a popular website builder and ecommerce platform that allows users to easily create and manage their own websites and online stores. It offers a variety of customizable templates and drag-and-drop design tools, making it easy for users to create professional-looking websites without needing to know how to code. In addition to its website building capabilities, Squarespace also offers robust ecommerce functionality, with features such as inventory management, payment gateway integration, and customizable product pages.

Squarespace is known for its user-friendly interface and sleek, professional design templates, which allow users to quickly and easily create beautiful websites and online stores. I especially appreciated the all-in-one nature of the platform, which eliminates the need for separate hosting, design, and ecommerce tools.

Squarespace is known for its high-quality customer support, offering a variety of resources to help users get the most out of the platform. The platform offers 24/7 email support and live chat support during business hours, as well as a comprehensive knowledge base and community forum where users can get answers to common questions and connect with other Squarespace users. Additionally, Squarespace offers a variety of online resources, including video tutorials, webinars, and in-depth guides, to help users learn how to use the platform effectively. 

Squarespace integrates with Flickr, Foursquare, Instagram, Facebook, Soundcloud, AMP, Apple News, Apple Pay, FedEx, PayPal, Stripe, Square, USPS, UPS, Dropbox, Google Search Console, Pinterest, and others. 

Squarespace costs from $16/month. Payment processing adds a 0-3% transaction fee per purchase. They offer a 14-day free trial. 

7

PrestaShop

Best open source ecommerce platform

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.3
153 reviews

Free to download

PrestaShop is a free and open-source ecommerce platform that enables users to create and manage their own online stores. It offers a range of features and customization options, including product management, payment gateway integration, shipping and tax configuration, and a variety of design templates and modules. 

PrestaShop is highly flexible and can be customized to suit the needs of businesses of all sizes, making it a popular choice among small and medium-sized enterprises and startups. With a large and active community of developers and users, PrestaShop also offers a wide range of plugins and integrations to extend its functionality and tailor it to specific business needs.

PrestaShop is praised for its flexibility, affordability, and wide range of features. With its modular architecture, users can customize the platform to meet their specific needs and requirements, making it a popular choice for businesses with unique or complex ecommerce needs. Users appreciate the wide range of free and paid modules and themes available, as well as the easy integration with a variety of payment gateways and shipping providers. Additionally, users praise PrestaShop's responsive and helpful customer support, which includes a comprehensive knowledge base, community forums, and professional support options. 

PrestaShop integrates with QuickBooks, eBay, Amazon, USPS, and ICEcat. Because PrestaShop is open source, you have the option to build your own custom integrations (with some programming know-how). 

PrestaShop is free to use.

8

Lightspeed

Best cloud-based retail POS system

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.1
312 reviews

14-day free trial

From $99 per month

Lightspeed eCom is a feature of Lightspeed HQ, a cloud-based retail POS system. Lightspeed eCom lets you import stock from your physical store to your ecommerce platform with a one-click system. It gives shoppers live updates on quantity on hand levels.

Apart from that, the tool lets you make mass updates to your inventory data with spreadsheet imports and exports. The analytics dashboard gives you data on daily, weekly, and monthly performance. The tool also provides a special conversion report that tells you where your store needs optimization to increase sales.

Support is available by phone with varied time listings based on its different offices. Apart from that, the support can also be reached by email. Lightspeed integrates with apps like Mailchimp.

Restock, Stripe, and other retail ecommerce apps. The pricing for the plan that includes the ecommerce features starts at $99 per month.

9

Swell

Best for headless ecommerce

14 days free trial

From $59/month

Swell leverages headless ecommerce technology to create customized customer experiences for your online store. Swell offers ecommerce features like unlimited pages, real-time shipping quotes, payment processing, and more. In terms of inventory management, you can add unlimited product options, variants, and attributes. It also comes with features like bulk editing and product bundling.

Apart from that, you can track item shipment, and edit order items before finalizing orders. The product gives you in-depth sales reports that you can filter by product, customer, coupon, and more. It also comes with PayMotion, a multi-channel ecommerce platform that provides revenue optimization features designed to boost sales.

Swell offers support via phone, email, and live chat. The basic plan starts at $59 per month with a 14-day free trial.

10

WooCommerce

Best Wordpress add-on for ecommerce functionality

Free to download

Free to use.

WooCommerce is a popular ecommerce plugin for WordPress, one of the world's most popular content management systems. It enables businesses of all sizes to easily create and manage their online stores, with features such as product management, payment gateway integration, shipping and tax configuration, and customizable design options. 

WooCommerce excels in providing a user-friendly and customizable ecommerce platform that is easy to set up and use. I appreciated the wide range of design options and customization tools available, as well as the numerous integrations with popular payment gateways, shipping providers, and other systems. WooCommerce is highly flexible and scalable, making it suitable for businesses of all sizes and with varying needs. 

WooCommerce also has tons of community support, with a wealth of resources and plugins available to help them get the most out of the platform. With a large and active community of users and developers, WooCommerce offers a wide range of extensions and integrations to extend its functionality and tailor it to specific business needs.

WooCommerce integrates with the likes of MailChimp, MailPoet, SendGrid, Mailgun, SparkPost, Madrill, Conversio, Optinmonster, Constant Contact, Aweber, MailerLite, and others. 

WooCommerce themes cost anywhere from $0–100/year; shipping services around $0–$108/per; and payment processing from 2.9% + .30 cents per sale plus a monthly fee of $0–$30. WooCommerce pricing will vary greatly depending on what services of theirs you decide to buy into, and at what subscription tier. 

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Other Options

Here are a few more that didn’t make the top list.

  1. EvolveAR

    Best for augmented reality (AR) shopping experiences

  2. Wix

    Best for customizability

  3. Square

    Best for mobile optimized stores

  4. Ontraport

    Best marketing automation platform for scaling small businesses

  5. Smartlook

    Best marketing app to track user behavior and improve conversions

  6. Volusion

    Best ecommerce platform for small businesses in terms of reliability

  7. BeProfit

    Best real-time profit calculator app for ecommerce stores running on Shopify

  8. Evidence

    Best social proof app for ecommerce stores to increase conversions

  9. Auro CRM

    Best open source CRM software for small ecommerce businesses

  10. ewiz commerce

    Best ecommerce software to leverage AI-based personalization

  11. eHopper

    Best ecommerce tool to sync online orders with POS

  12. Shift4Shop

    Best turnkey ecommerce solution for small businesses

  13. Nexternal

    Best USPS compatible ecommerce checkout cart for small businesses

  14. Rain Point of Sale

    Best POS tool for retail businesses

  15. Liftoff

    Best ecommerce platform for small businesses to manage multiple clients from a single dashboard

  16. Elavon

    Best payment processing for SMBs

  17. FreightWise Logistics Cost Management

    Best transportation cost management tool for small businesses

  18. Now Commerce

    Best small business online ordering platform for wholesalers and distributors using QuickBooks

  19. GetMeAShop

    Best online shop platform for Indian ecommerce businesses

  20. Shippo

    Best professional shipping aggregator for small businesses

  21. CloudShoppy

    Best for Indian companies

  22. Bookmark

    Best AI-based website builder for small ecommerce businesses

  23. K-eCommerce

    Best ecommerce platform designed for Microsoft Dynamics and SAP business applications

  24. Helium 10

    Best eCommerce tool to sell on Amazon

  25. SellerChamp

    Best ecommerce software for small businesses to do a bulk listing of products

  26. Kangaroo

    Best loyalty program tool for small ecommerce businesses

  27. Ensemble

    Best ERP solution for small businesses

  28. MarketStudio

    Best product content automation tool and multi-channel marketing platform for small businesses

How I Picked The Best Ecommerce Platforms For Small Businesses

I started by researching all the popular e-commerce platforms to build your own online store, based on user reviews and ratings. Then, I narrowed down the options by weighing a variety of factors that make software the best option for small businesses. The following are the criteria that I used to evaluate the top software.

User Interface (UI)

I look for platforms with a user-friendly interface. This is not only good for beginners, but also for experienced users who need to find advanced features quickly. The easier it is to distinguish elements on the platform visually, the better.

Usability

You may be using this platform to do dropshipping or build an online storefront for your physical store to diversify your sales channels. Whatever the reason, you need a platform that is easy to learn and master. Therefore, I look into available support, tutorials, training videos, and online documentation. 

Integrations

Is it easy to connect with other tools? I look for third-party apps, like Zapier, that let you connect to external tools (these typically require an additional monthly fee). Also, I look into pre-built integrations that the platform already has to make it easy for you to accept Apple Pay, start a social media integration, and connect with Squarespace or another payment processor. Finally, I look at custom integrations made possible through available API and webhooks.

Pricing Plans

I search for information on paid plans, transaction fees, and anything relevant to your purchasing decision. If available, I will mention free plan options, free trials, and any relevant discounts.

Ecommerce Platforms For Small Businesses: Key Features

Inventory Management: Does the tool make complex inventory management tasks simpler? Does it have features like tracking the stock levels? Does it let you add multiple variants to each product? Does it give you real-time data about stock levels?

Inventory management is one of the most crucial aspects of an ecommerce platform and also its most complex one. Doing this right solves a major barrier that ecommerce business owners face while competing with large retail giants. 

Analytics: Does the tool provide useful insights and data about your store performance? Are digital analytics laid out strategically to assist optimization?

Customization: What is the level of customization you can achieve with the website builder, integrations, and basic functionality? As a small business owner, you need to depict and customize your ecommerce platform according to the brand’s design language and tonality of your business. 

You need to maintain consistency between the look and feel of your online store with that of your website. So we need to look for things like customization of the header, footers, brand colors, fonts, and more.

Support: How good is the platform’s support feature? What are the various modes of support? Is support available 24/7 or just on weekdays? Is there a knowledge base available? Is there an active community of customers and developers behind the product? 

Support is a critical aspect of using any new product. It becomes all the more vital for products like ecommerce platforms that directly deal with revenue generation.

Ecommerce Platform For Small Business: Software FAQs

To make this list of best ecommerce platforms for small businesses even more comprehensive, I wanted to cover some of the most frequently asked questions on the topic.

Other Ecommerce Platform Reviews

Here are some similar ecommerce platform reviews that you can check out if you haven't quite found what you're looking for yet.

What's Next?

Since we are big on helping you win at work, how about a quick guide that will run you through the set up of 3 essential reports for e-commerce? You may also be interested in learning about the ecommerce conversion funnel and 9 proven e-commerce marketing strategies that will help you shine!

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By Francois Marchand

Francois Marchand is The Ecomm Manager's content strategist and editor. He is passionate about helping and educating business leaders, ecommerce professionals, and digital marketers grow their skill sets to stay ahead of the competition. Francois holds a BA Specialization in Communication Studies & Journalism from Concordia University (Montreal, QC) and 20+ years of experience in ecommerce, marketing, traditional and digital media, and public relations, including The Vancouver Sun, National Post, CBC/Radio-Canada, Unbounce, and Vancouver Film School. He also hosts The Ecomm Manager Podcast, discussing ecommerce best practices, customer experience, branding, inventory management, shipping and delivery, and analytics with expert guests.