Do you want strangers on the internet to trust your business out of the countless options they have? Then you need an online storefront that looks premium and professional. Choose the best e-commerce platform for your small business and you could see boosted sales and your goals within reach. Think of it as one of the first steps of your small business e-commerce blueprint.
But how do you know which platform is best for your growing business? And which features should you look out for? With so many choices out there, your search for the best can get overwhelming.
Best e-commerce platforms for small business
Best for small businesses seeking a plug-and-play all-in-one package
Shopify at a glance:
Price: Basic Shopify: $29.99/month; Shopify: $79/month; Advanced Shopify: $299/month; 10% discount on annual plans and 20% on biennial plans when paid upfront.
Free trial length: 14 days.
Customer support options: Callback phone support, email support, the support provided in 19 languages, community forum, and support content.
Integrated sales channels: Facebook, Instagram, Google, Walmart Marketplace, eBay, and Amazon.
Mobile app features: Suite of mobile tools to fully manage your online business.
G2 rating ⭐: 4.3/5
Shopify is widely regarded as the best eCommerce platform for small businesses. Our comprehensive site builder comes with free tools and features that allow you to sell both online and in-person, as well as via social commerce, third-party marketplaces, and dropshippers. With Shopify, you can design your store using any of more than 100 paid or free themes—zero code skills necessary.
Shopify also has features to handle other areas of your company, not just small business eCommerce. You can use our best-in-class suite of business tools to build a complete business command center. Shop Pay gives you affordable online transaction fees, Shopify POS offers in-person sales, and Shopify Fulfillment can help you ship out orders. Shopify users also get competitive shipping rates from USPS, UPS, DHL Express, and other shipping carriers. The platform offers unlimited bandwidth and online storage, so your prices won’t go up as your site gets more traffic and sales.
Shopify also offers a free email marketing service, abandoned cart recovery, search engine optimization (SEO), and more native tools for business owners. Shopify’s mobile app is so powerful, you can manage your business from your phone using features for fulfilling orders, adding products, real-time sales and inventory updates, and more. Missing a feature? There’s an extensive library of over 6,000 third-party apps that can extend your website’s capability even further.
With Shopify, you can set up a beautiful eCommerce store without knowing how to code, design, or do anything technical online. If you want to see some examples of online stores built with the Shopify eCommerce platform, check out the following:
50 Exceptional Shopify Stores to Inspire Entrepreneurs
27 Best Ecommerce Website Designs to Stand Out
Best for small businesses with an existing WordPress site
WooCommerce at a glance:
Price: Average monthly fee is up to $30; WooCommerce estimates costs to be $120/year for hosting, $15/year for domain name registration, up to $100/year for your site theme, up to $108/year for shipping, 2.9% plus 30¢ per sale, up to $348/year for marketing and communications, up to $79/year for SEO, up to $65/year for SSL certificate.
Free trial length: None, but offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Customer support options: Only available via live chat or email; no support offered for third-party apps and plug-ins.
Integrated sales channels: Google Shopping, Etsy, eBay, Facebook, Amazon, Pinterest, and Walmart; integrations are disjointed.
Mobile app features: Add products, manage orders, and view analytics.
Point-of-sale: Native POS available.
G2 rating ⭐: 4.4/5
WooCommerce is WordPress’s answer to selling online. What launched as a platform for blogging websites has now evolved into a full-fledged website builder, with the option of adding WooCommerce for the ability to make online sales.
WooCommerce is open source so it’s highly customizable, especially if you have the technical skills to design and code websites. Like Shopify, there are more than 6,000 third-party integrations to choose from if you want to expand the functionality of your store. As a result, WooCommerce offers a lot of flexibility.
The WooCommerce plug-in is technically a free business platform, so it can be budget-friendly. But when you start adding integrations and plug-ins, you may need to pay for premium tools, which can add up over time if you’re not careful.
Here’s an example of an online store built with WordPress and WooCommerce: Surf&Hemp sells a variety of CBD and surf products from its WooCommerce site, using a Google Pay integration.
Learn more: Monetize your WordPress blog without migrating to an entirely new platform, with the Shopify Buy Button. You can embed the button and start selling on your blog starting at only $9/month.
Best for small businesses that have grown into large corporations or enterprises
BigCommerce at a glance:
Price: Standard: $29.95/month; Plus: $79.95/month, or $71.95/month when paid annually; Pro: $299.95/month, or $269.96/month when paid annually; Enterprise custom pricing.
Free trial length: 15 days.
Customer support options: 24/7 technical support via phone, email, or chat.
Integrated sales channels: Google Shopping, Facebook, price comparison engines, eBay, Amazon, Walmart, Etsy, and Instagram.
Mobile app features: View analytics, update orders, manage inventory and products, and search for customers; some features are Android-only.
G2 rating ⭐: 4.2/5
BigCommerce is an extremely robust and full-featured eCommerce platform. As such, it can be overwhelming for small businesses. But if you have growth plans or access to technical resources, BigCommerce could be the best platform for you.
In most cases, BigCommerce is most valuable to large businesses, corporations, or enterprises that need specific, customizable solutions. These sized companies typically have access to more technical resources or budget to bring on those resources, which is necessary when building and customizing an online store through BigCommerce.
BigCommerce has features for international commerce, SEO, and multichannel selling on social and third-party marketplaces. It’s also compatible with many payment options and offers extremely affordable (sometimes free) payment processing rates.
Sharpstone Grinders is built with the BigCommerce eCommerce platform. The brand sells direct to consumers, as well as wholesale. It also has an integration with PayPal for additional payment options, including buy now and pay later.