eCommerce revolutionized the way small businesses sell, opening them to new markets, reducing operational costs and growing revenues.
The number of online shoppers is expected to reach 2.14 billion by 2021.
To help you reach these buyers, here we will show you the best eCommerce solutions for small businesses that require minimum effort and investment to set up and run an online store.
- Learn about each eCommerce platform's key features and cost
- Learn how to identify the best eCommerce solution for your small business
Table of Contents
eCommerce solutions are platforms that allow businesses to create and run online stores.
They come with all the key tools built-in, allowing you to manage sales, customers, products and other day-to-day operations.
Most eCommerce solutions also come with:
- Customizable templates
- Inventory management (digital) facilities
- Shipping features
- Payment gateways
- Product categorization
- And more
5 Advantages Of Using eCommerce Solutions For Small Businesses
Here are the top advantages of using the best eCommerce solutions for small businesses:
- Quick entry to online selling: With any of the eCommerce software listed in this post, your online store can be ready within minutes. They have pre-built templates that you should only configure and insert your products. Then, you are ready to start selling.
- Easy administration: Most of the platforms on the market offer themes that are ready to use. They just need a little customization so that you adjust them according to your needs. This is great because anyone can personalize their online stores without having any knowledge in coding.
- Customer service: Almost all of the available eCommerce solutions offer 24/7 customer support. So, whenever you come up with an issue you can just talk to your team. And the problem will be solved as soon as possible.
- Omni-channel selling: eCommerce software makes it possible to sell on different platforms like Amazon or Facebook and manage your customers and sales from one dashboard. This is great because it saves you both time and effort.
- Easy payments and shipping: These platforms also have integrated payment gateways that allow you to receive easy and secure online transactions. What’s more, they also come with different shipping options from which customers can choose.
10 Best eCommerce Platforms For SMEs
Here are the best eCommerce solutions for small businesses to consider in 2021:
Wix is one of the best eCommerce solutions for small businesses because it provides a wealth of features for a rather small investment.
The software offers more than 500 hundred templates that are totally customizable and mobile-friendly. It also makes it possible to incorporate various types of media such as animations, video backgrounds and scroll effects.
What’s great about Wix is that it has built-in SEO and analytics which allow you to track your website performance.
Among the other features, there is free hosting, social tools, a chat, mailbox and contact management as well.
As for the transactions, the platform accepts secure online payments or deposits, commission-free.
Wix offers three pricing plans:
- Basic ($17/month)
- Unlimited ($25/month)
- VIP ($35/month)
All of these plans accept online payments and domain connection. The main difference between them is the number of video hours they support.
The Business Unlimited and VIP plan differs from the Basic plan on logo creation, social media logo files, priority response and VIP support.
Wix is trusted by more than 150 million users around the globe which makes it one of the best eCommerce platform for small businesses on the market.
Squarespace is another great eCommerce platform for small businesses that is mostly popular among photographers, restaurateurs and fashion designers.
This platform offers a range of blogging, marketing and SEO tools as well as built-in analytics. A Squarespace online store can integrate with popular apps, social media and payment gateways including Stripe, PayPal and Apple Pay.
As far as design goes, it offers numerous award-winning templates that are mobile-friendly and highly customizable.
Squarespace offers four pricing structures:
- Personal ($12/month)
- Business ($18/month)
- Basic Commerce ($26/month)
- Advanced Commerce ($40/month)
The Business plan can be a good fit for small businesses because it includes all the necessary features for a modest price, including:
- Mobile optimized templates
- SEO features
- 24/7 customer support
- Basic website metrics
- Advanced website analytics
While the Basic Commerce plan offers great features like checkout on the domain and selling on Instagram, it doesn't have an abandoned cart recovery or advanced shipping features like the Advanced Commerce plan.
Shopify is the third most popular platform in the world with a market share of 12.15%.
This platform is trusted by more than 1,00,000 users worldwide.
It offers 70+ professional themes that include mobile shopping carts and can integrate with over 100 payment gateways.
Shopify gives small businesses more advanced tools than Wix or Squarespace. For instance, it facilitates Facebook selling, free shipping options, product reviews, gift cards and discounts among others.
What’s more, this platform gives you full access to the HTML and CSS files of your store, making it fully customizable.
Shopify has several pricing plans:
- Basic Shopify ($29/month)
- Shopify ($79/month)
- Advanced Shopify ($299/month)
The main differences between these are in the number of staff accounts, Shopify payments and point of sale.
With 24/7 support, manual order creation, discount codes, fraud analysis and abandoned cart recovery, among other features, Shopify is a great option for small stores that want to be able to scale their operations easily and efficiently.
BigCommerce is one of the most popular platforms among the apparel & fashion, health & beauty, manufacturing and food & beverage brands.
Some of the key features bigCommerce provides are:
- Theme customization
- Checkout customization
- Mobile optimization
- WordPress integration
- Digital wallets integration
- Coupons & discounts
- And more
Similarly to the other eCommerce solutions on this list, BigCommerce includes SEO tools that allow you to optimize your pages and products for search engines.
What’s unique about it is its capability to sell across channels, i.e. to make your products available on several platforms while managing the entire inventory via BigCommerce.
It also facilitates international selling as it:
- Supports 250+ local currencies in over 129 countries
- Offers multi-language interfaces
BigCommerce pricing plans include:
- Standard ($29.95/month)
- Plus ($79.95/month)
- Pro ($299.95/month)
The Standard plan is convenient for small businesses as it includes unlimited accounts, products, file storage and bandwidth, as well as social media integration, responsive design, coupons, discounts and gift cards, to name a few.
The Plus plan offers more advanced features such as customer segmentation and abandoned cart recovery tool, making it a better option for the fast-growing online businesses.
Weebly is one of the most budget-friendly eCommerce platforms for small businesses. It is perhaps best known for its customizable email templates, built-in SEO features and website analytics.
Its shipping tool allows you to send products to national and international customers, while its inventory features allow you to easily manage import and export.
Furthermore, Weebly allows you to create coupons and gift cards, accept payments using Square, Stripe or PayPal, and feature customer reviews.
Weebly affordable pricing plans consist of:
- Pro ($12/month)
- Business ($25/month)
The Pro plan is very basic and has very few selling options.
The Business plan, on the other hand, is the right fit for small companies, giving them access to all the features listed above, as well as the unlimited storage, SEO and analytics, a free domain and even $100 credit for Google Ads.
With 28.15% of the total market share, WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce solution for small businesses and large enterprises alike. (Datanyze)
WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin known for its great content management system.
It offers more than 400 extensions including payments, shipping, marketing and accounting.
This software provides countless themes and unrestricted customization both in terms of UI and UX.
Its product categories, tags and attributes allow users to easily navigate through the inventory, while the product ratings and reviews features provide the social proof they need to make their purchasing decision.
In addition, some of the useful extensions also include:
- Customer accounts and guest checkout
- Email templates
- Search engine optimization
- Related products
- And more
To calculate the final cost of your WooCommerce store development project, consider these factors:
- Choosing a host ($3.95 - $5,000/month)
- Registering a domain ($15/year)
- Picking a theme (optional cost - $20 to $100/year)
- Store management
- Payment gateway
Square can be another great choice of an eCommerce platform for small businesses. It is powered by Weebly so it comes with the same customization options.
This solution facilitates selling on your website, Facebook and Instagram. It accepts the major payment gateways while keeping transactions secure.
Product management, simple orders, SEO, email templates are also among its most popular features.
Unlike Weebly, however, Square is able to track customer behavior and create custom invoices. It also uses AI to help you identify products and match them with a relevant category.
This is one of the rare of eCommerce solutions for small businesses that offers a free plan.
So with $0 investment, you can build your online store and enjoy features like:
- Selling unlimited items
- Integrating Instagram
- Leveraging SEO tools
- Integrating with Google Pay & Apple Pay
- Accepting Square gift cards
- And more
However, do keep in mind that Square takes a transaction fee of 2.9% + $0.30.
Besides the free plan, the platform also offers the Professional plan for $12/month. It offers inventory management, gift cards, contact forms, abandoned cards emails, Facebook ads, Pinterest integration, product reviews and more.
GoDaddy makes it possible to sell everywhere and manage everything all in one place.
This platform enables you to sell directly to marketplaces like eBay or Amazon and promote your products on Facebook.
It integrates with PayPal, Apple and Google Pay.
You can choose from an array of mobile-friendly templates and enjoy a range of marketing tools including email campaign builder and SEO.
They also offer cloud hosting, an option more and more popular these days.
GoDaddy has one eCommerce pricing plan for $19/month with which you will get 24/7 support and advanced analytics.
There is a free one-month trial.
Next on our list of best eCommerce solutions for small businesses is Magento. Just like WooCommerce, it is an open-source software, which means users can customize it according to their needs.
This is a slightly more advanced template that may require some development assistance.
It is known for:
- Great scalability
- SEO friendly
- Full integration between existing systems
- Process recurring payments
- Member subscriptions
- And more
Magento Open-Source is free of charge, so your final cost will depend on the third-party fees only.
Volusion has more than 180,000 users in various industries including food & beverage, fashion and retail.
This platform offers expertly-designed themes that are responsive and that customers can use from any device.
What’s more, it also includes content editor, navigation editor, homepage slideshow and product category pages.
With Volusion, you can process orders easily, use the Related Products features to incentivize more sales, apply various shipping options and secure checkouts.
Other popular features include SEO, abandoned cart reports, deals of the day, gift cards and ROI tracking.
Volusion offers several pricing plans:
- Personal ($29/month)
- Professional ($79/month)
- Business ($299/month)
With the Personal plan, you can only have one account and sell up to 100 products.
The Professional plan can host up to five accounts and a sales volume of up to 5,000 products. It also comes with some additional eCommerce tools including:
- Ratings and reviews
- Abandoned cart reports
- Phone orders + CRM
The Business plan allows you to sell an unlimited number of products. This plan comes with advances features like Amazon & eBay integrations, advanced report builder, deal of the day and loyalty program and more.
Volusion also offers a 14-day free trial.
5 Key Features Of eCommerce Systems SMEs Should Use To Grow Their Revenue
Here are the top features of eCommerce software for small businesses:
The best eCommerce solutions for small businesses offer hundreds of pre-made templates which you are able to customize as you please, adjusting your user interfaces (UI) to reflect your brand identity.
And, going beyond UI, features such as multiple shipping options, payment methods, product categorizations, discounts and coupons can help you customize your users' experience and incentivize more sales.
One of the best features of eCommerce software is its ability to automate routine as well as complex processes such as:
- Detect customers’ addresses when shipping products
- Calculating taxes, shipping rates, pricing for selected products
- Customer registration and generating usernames and passwords
- Send notifications and emails
- And more
Automating these can significantly improve your efficiency and customer service.
3. Marketing Tools
With the marketing tools these platforms offer, you can drive traffic to your website and grow your audience.
Here are some of them:
- Emails: eCommerce software comes with various email templates that you can personalize. For instance, with Shopify Email, you can create campaigns and send emails using your domain name. Later, you can use your dashboard to analyze their performance.
- SEO: These platforms also include various SEO features. Wix, for instance, offers stores that load fast and are mobile-friendly. What’s more, it allows optimizing titles, product descriptions, meta and alt text which are essential in increasing your search engine visibility.
- Social media: Solutions like Squarespace allow integrating with different channels like Facebook and Instagram while allowing consumers to buy directly from them.
4. Analytics And Reporting
The analytics and reporting tools within the eCommerce solutions for small businesses help you measure success and give you an insight into how well your store is performing.
So, thanks to these features you can:
- Monitor visitor numbers
- View sales, refunds and coupons over time
- Get alerts when traffic is spiking or dipping
- See your top products and categories
- Track cart abandonments
- Check trends over time
All these will help you understand what is working or not and allow you to improve your selling strategies to increase your revenue.
Most of these solutions integrate with a number of third-party platforms to improve your online store's performance.
Some the most popular integrations are:
- Payment gateway integration: eCommerce software integrates with most credit cards and platforms PayPal, Stripes, Apple Pay and Google Pay. These facilitate easy and secure transactions.
- Marketplace integration: You can also connect your online store with other selling platforms such as eBay and Amazon, while managing sales from your online store. This can help you increase your reach and, consequently, sales.
- Social media integration: Your online store can integrate with Facebook and Instagram to facilitate direct social media selling, while processing your payments within the store.
The Bottom Line On eCommerce Solutions For Small Business
The best eCommerce solutions for small businesses help growing organizations reach online markets effectively and on budget.
They require minimum to no development which helps keep the final cost at bay and gives you more control over the evolution of your store.
Each of these eCommerce solutions comes with its unique sets of features and advantages. To find the one that fits your needs, focus on:
- Templates and customization options
- Features for process automation
- Marketing tools such as email campaigns and SEO
- Built-in analytics
- Third-party platform integrations
Selecting the right platform will make your day-to-day operations easier and accelerate business growth.