Top 6 Ecommerce Platforms for Small Businesses
January 18, 2018
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Ecommerce is the fastest growing retail channel (online sales in the US are projected to reach $603.4 billion by 2021). Entering the world of ecommerce may seem like a daunting task for any small business, especially if you’re not a technology expert. However, no business owner can opt out of it without considerable losses.
There’s no reason to worry, though. There are several easy-to-use ecommerce platforms designed to help small businesses open their online shop. Before choosing your provider, you need to consider a few factors. First, define your needs and determine what you want to achieve by opening a webstore.
When you look at ecommerce platforms, familiarize yourself with their membership options, customer support, and the technology they use. For example, since many consumers buy products on their phones and tablets, it’s important that you chose a platform that has a cell phone ready theme. Another thing to consider is whether the platform enables shopping through various social media channels.
Depending on your technical skills, you may choose hosted or self-hosted ecommerce shopping cart softwares.
Hosted softwares, where a company develops and hosts the webshop software for you, are more user-friendly, and geared towards business owners with less time and IT expertise. Self-hosted platforms, in turn, are designed for more tech-savvy businesses, and require more involvement and technical skills. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of the best six hosted ecommerce softwares.
With over 500,000 active online stores, Shopify is one of the biggest ecommerce platforms out there. Its extremely user-friendly interface allows business owners with practically no IT skills to build beautiful, customized online stores. Shopify caters to small businesses just starting out, as well as large ecommerce operations generating millions of dollars.
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Shopify offers over a hundred shop themes to choose from, all of them easily displayed on cell phones as well. You can select from more than 1,200 apps to add to your store. Plus, Shopify has a database of experts who can help you design your webstore, and it offers 24/7 customer support.
In addition, Shopify charges no transaction fees, and provides fraud analysis as well as comprehensive SEO packages.
Shopify charges no transaction fees, and provides fraud analysis as well as comprehensive SEO packages
BigCommerce caters to the needs of both very small and larger businesses. The platform provides an extensive set of ecommerce tools to help you build your webshop, as well as opportunities to sell your products via social media. BigCommerce offers 24/7 customer support and a pool of approved experts you can hire to help you with your online store.
With BigCommerce, you can sell on Amazon and eBay as well. In addition, you may target B2B and wholesale audiences as well.
3. Wix Ecommerce
Small businesses with less than 50 product-types for sale often opt for Wix Ecommerce. This platform is simple and very easy to use; the only thing you need to do is drag-and-drop content on your online storefront. Its beautiful themes and precise imaging technology allows you to build eye-catching webshops easily and without any major tech skills.
Wix has recently launched Wix Code, a feature that allows people with no coding experience to build websites without hiring a developer
In addition, Wix has recently launched Wix Code, a feature that allows people with no coding experience to build websites without hiring a developer.
Squarespace offers sophisticated webshops for small businesses with simple ecommerce needs. In addition to beautiful store themes, Squarespace offers inventory management, unlimited product uploads, coupons, shipping configurations, email list management, and much more. If your business needs a classic ecommerce platform without the integration of payroll, accounting, and other business management softwares, Squarespace is a viable option for you at a lower cost than Shopify or BigCommerce.
Volusion currently serves over 180,000 business owners. It allows you to sell your products on Amazon and eBay, and offers comprehensive SEO packages along with social media management. In addition, the platform provides valuable feedback to business owners, including abandoned shopping-cart reports alongside a suite of reporting tools.
6. Weebly eCommerce
Consider Weebly eCommerce if you plan to sell less than 20 product types and don’t need to integrate various external business softwares. Similarly to Wix and Squarespace, Weebly provides elegant shop designs along with easy to use drag-and-drop store-building features at a lower cost than Shopify or BigCommerce. Weebly’s user friendly interface allows the least tech-savvy business owners to build eye-catching webshops.
It’s needless to say that ecommerce requires advanced payment options. Make sure to keep that in mind while building your online store. But if you provide your customers with the convenience of online payments, why don’t you extend this feature to your suppliers?
Try Veem, the next generation of international payments for business. Veem creates a direct connection between you and your international business partners, allowing for quick, safe, and low-cost payments. No middlemen means no hidden charges or unexpected delays. Veem offers competitive foreign exchange rates and $0 wire fees.
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