eCommerce for small business has become a common practice whether it is about selling just a few products or moving the existing offline store online or creating an international online business with a wide range of products.
A variety of eCommerce platforms make it possible for everyone to start an online store.
Choosing a suitable eCommerce platform for a particular business and product is essential. This is the case when it’s not so much about which one is more popular or has more positive feedback. An eCommerce platform has to have the right tools and possibilities for the specific online store. It is important to take a look at the business plans and analyze the priorities to make the best decision.
Main considerations for eCommerce platforms for a small business
Budget: The price for using the eCommerce solution may be from free to thousands of dollars depending on the business’s size and tools. Most of the platforms offer free trials creating a great opportunity to see if the solution is right for the business and get started without any or fewer expenses.
Scalability: Consider your future goals and big plans. A small business does not have to stay small, it can grow and develop. Make sure that the platform you choose allows a business to scale, add different payment methods and new products.
Marketing: People have to be able to find your online store to make purchases. Check how the platform you are choosing helps you attract new customers and work with the existing ones, things like its SEO tools, email marketing, content management.
User experience: An eCommerce platform is supposed to provide a positive user experience not only for your customer but for your store as well. Check the navigation, product search, shopping cart usage. Simplicity for your customer in making a purchase and store management for you without advanced programming skills.
Speed: Photos and videos create impressions about the product in the online store. If they do not load fast enough, a potential customer might not be inclined to wait or trust your product. The eCommerce platform has to be fast and reliable allowing to place as many products as you wish and present them well.
Software integration: The ability to add extra applications and tools to the online store will boost sales and expand the possibilities without coding.
Mobile responsiveness: More and more users switch to making purchases from their smartphones. If the eCommerce platform is not mobile-friendly, the number of users will be limited and most likely will even decrease with time.
Customization: Different aspects of the online store should be available for personalization. Possibility to change the design of the store and make it unique adds a special touch to your business.
Understanding the most important requirements will make the choice easier. Now we can move to check the 3 top eCommerce platforms for small businesses and see if one of them might be perfect for your future online store.
Although Shopify is not one of the cheapest solutions on the market, it gives an opportunity to create eCommerce businesses of different sizes without facing technical problems and setup difficulties. The platform is for the ones who are committed to developing a successful online store instead of selling just a few products. Not only Shopify allows to start a new online store, but it is also possible to purchase an existing profitable store among over 3,000 available for buying. An upgrade to the $299 package per month gives enterprise a solution for large retailers.
- Easy setup and no coding is required.
- Very attractive store themes and a wide selection of templates.
- Possibility of integration with other platforms and multichannel selling.
- Built-in dropshipping tools.
- Built-in analytics and sales tracking.
- A sophisticated inventory system.
Wix is not only a free website builder but an eCommerce platform, especially popular among new businessmen without any technical background, still offering an enterprise solution for large retailers. Although Wix does not allow to sell products across different channels like Spotify, it offers other benefits. Except for selling physical and digital products, the booking features of Wix allow users to sign up for appointments and master-classes. Delivery orders and online reservations for the restaurants can be placed on the platform.
- Easy to use and navigate for a store builder with a drag and drop system.
- Variety of design options.
- Possibility to start paying for the store when the products start selling.
- Ability to add product videos.
The platform for small businesses in eCommerce, which intend to grow big. BigCommerce cannot be characterized as beginner-friendly and its advanced features will come at a cost, but this is the price to pay for the future potential. A 15-day free trial will allow checking the features and if they are all worthy.
- One of the most scalable eCommerce platforms.
- Variety of SEO tools and selling features.
- Multichannel integrations and ability to sell across various platforms.
- Unlimited staff accounts.
Of course, there are many other options. Now that you understand the main criteria for selecting the right eCommerce platform and are familiar with the best, you can browse for more and make an optimal choice.
Sandra Parker works as Business Developer in QArea and helps enterprises to accelerate their businesses through custom software development and testing. She love coding and managing projects.