Gone are the days when a brick-and-mortar store was a must for shop owners. Selling and buying goods via the Internet, in other words: e-commerce is the new cool. Not just cool, but convenient too. It saves a lot of time and exertion than actually going to a shop to buy stuff. Nowadays, everything we need can be bought with just a few clicks of the mouse or swipes of the screen.
Building an e-commerce store is no longer rocket science, and basically counts as a necessity rather than a luxury for most businesses. The best e-commerce platform for startups allows the owners to customise according to their needs. They are also easy for customers to access and actually create more sales.
When it comes to choosing the best e-commerce platform for small business or startups, it can quickly become quite overwhelming. With thousands of options available and each claiming to be the best, it can get a little hard to digest. We can easily get overpowered by the never-ending options and eventually just fail to decide which e-commerce platform is best for small business.
However, this will not be the case if we know what to look for in an e-commerce platform: be that a website builder or open source platform.
Features of an E-commerce Platform
Let’s make it a little easier for the rookies in this field by listing the elements that are vital for any e-commerce platform.
The best e-commerce platform for small business and startups is the one that doesn’t cost a fortune. Starting up a business could cost a lot in itself, so the means to sell shouldn’t. For those struggling with the question of which e-commerce platform is best for small business, the answer is the one that is the cheapest with most options. Startup businesses don’t need to have all the options in the very beginning. So instead, go for the ones that have basic options available at an affordable price. You can always expand as the business grows.
Setting up an e-commerce store isn’t enough in itself. People must be able to reach the store, and the URL helps them do that. For a better search engine optimised website it’s advisable to have an e-commerce platform that lets you customise the URL. Not every platform offers this; however, the best e-commerce platform for startups must have this feature. Remember, customisation is the key to attract your target audience and get more leads.
The best e-commerce platform for small business must have the flexibility required for expansion. Never go for an option that doesn’t have the scalability and room for growth expansion. A functional e-commerce platform has to be flexible enough to expand along with the business.
Research has shown that there are millions of people with access to a Smartphone and the Internet. This means that it is more likely for the customers to search for a store and explore it from their hand-held gadget rather than desktop. For an e-commerce store to succeed, it’s essential for it to have a mobile-friendly and responsive website. Google has even started to roll out mobile-first indexing. So now a mobile-friendly site is even more vital than ever. The best e-commerce platform for startups tends to be responsive most of the time. So, to get more customers and make more sales, choose the right option: the responsive option.
Another factor to keep in mind while researching which e-commerce platform is best for small business is speed. A website with slow speed doesn’t really work well with the customers. Most people tend to get tired of waiting for the pages to load and ultimately leave without buying anything. Slow speed equals lesser or no sales. It’s as simple as that.
Top 10 Best E-Commerce Platform For Startups In 2018
Now that we have some idea about the features of the best e-commerce platform for small business, here is a compiled list of the top ten best e-commerce platforms in 2018:
After taking a look at the pricing of the top 10 best e-commerce platform for startups, it’s time to dig in each one of them one by one.
Due to its user-friendly tools and customisation capabilities, it is quite cherished by many e-commerce store owners.
It has a fast and straightforward approach that is understandable even for a newbie with no previous e-commerce experience.
It offers a wide range of themes that are pre-designed, but the customisation option allows the user to personalise the website according to their needs.
Features of Selz
Selz has several features that make it one of the best e-commerce platform for startups. Selz is:
- Highly customisable
- Extremely easy to use
- Providing 24/7 customer support
- Offering different pricing plans for different business sizes
- Offering free trial
- Supportive of integrations (like Facebook, WordPress)
Highs and Lows of Selz
Shopify could easily be declared as the most popular e-commerce platform for small businesses. To answer the question of which e-commerce platform is best for small business, we could say the one that offers more for free. Shopify does just that with its 14 days free trial and ‘Lite Plan’. It provides the feature of adding a ‘buy button’ to an already existing page or website.
It is rather easy to set up and there is a lot of room for customisation, which is always a bonus for startups. Shopify offers various themes that can help in creating a customised e-commerce store.
Features of Shopify
What makes Shopify the best e-commerce platform for startups is that it provides:
- A large number of themes
- Integrated payment solutions
- 24/7 customer support
- Discount codes
- Offline selling via Shopify POS
- A Facebook store set-up
- Large range of shipping apps
Highs and Lows of Shopify
One of the most powerful e-commerce platforms for a small business is Magento. Even though it is on our list of the best e-commerce platform for small business, and it offers more than any other platform, yet it costs way more than any of its competitors.
Magento Open Source is their free platform, mainly for developers, but it doesn’t work without Magento web hosting. While, on the other hand, their cloud-based Magento Commerce, that offers more options, is not free. However, they are the only ones offering a complete control over your e-commerce website.
Features of Magento
Magento is on the top of our best e-commerce platform for startups because of its amazing features like:
- Promotions and Pricing
- Search Engine Optimisation
- Site and Content Management
- Catalogue Management
- Catalogue Browsing
- Product Browsing
- Checkout and Payments
Highs and Lows of Magento
Still stuck at the question of which e-commerce platform is best for small business? Keep reading.
Another wonderful option among the best e-commerce platform for startups is WooCommerce. What makes it qualify among the best ones? The fact that its free. Yes, that’s right, WooCommerce is absolutely free.
Built on WordPress, this e-commerce platform is an ideal solution for a startup business. WordPress is maybe the most basic platform to build a website on. WooCommerce offers a wide range of themes and plug-ins for e-commerce stores.
Even though this can qualify as the number one among the top e-commerce platforms, it does have its downsides, too. The major drawback is that there is no customer support if you happen to have an issue with the website.
Features of WooCommerce
WooCommerce qualifies as the best e-commerce platform for small business because of its amazing features like:
- Being built on WordPress
- Integration of commerce with content
- Adding only the required options
- Adding limitless products and users
- Booking unlimited orders
- Having more than 400 extensions
- Built-in blogging
Highs and Lows of WooCommerce
While most people are aware of Wix as a free website builder, it is also one of the best e-commerce platforms for startups. With its easy and simple interface, it’s a piece of cake to start building an e-commerce website with Wix.
Wix offers hundreds of templates and we can select the one that suits our business the best. They also offer an ad-supported version which comes for free and is ideal for the first-time investor in an e-commerce store.
Features of Wix
Looking at its features, it’s not difficult to see why Wix is classified as one of the best e-commerce platform for small business. Wix offers useful features like:
- Hundreds of templates
- Online store builder with drag and drop option
- Mobile friendly e-commerce website
- Safe checkout
- Several payment options
- Eye-catching product galleries
- Qualified store manager
- International tax and shipping
- Coupons and discounts
- 24/7 customer support
Highs and Lows of Wix
Have You Decided Yet?
Our list of the best e-commerce platform for startups must have given you some inspiration to choose the right e-commerce platform for your business.
The availability of several options makes it trouble-free when it comes to building an online store. However, deciding which e-commerce platform is best for small business that you want to run is entirely up to you. Whichever platform fulfils the needs of any business is the best for it. For some, it might be Shopify, while for others it can be Wix.
There may be unlimited options available when it comes to e-commerce platforms, but the decision should never be ill-informed. An impulsive decision could cost you in the long run. An e-commerce solution might seem tempting due to its maximum free features for a startup. However, if the platform isn’t flexible, then it may become problematic when the business starts to grow.
Before settling on any e-commerce platform, make sure that your money, time, and energy won’t go down the drain in the long run. Focus on scalability, even if that means you have to choose an option that doesn’t offer maximum features.
In the end, the final call will always be down to the one who is going to run the business. While trial and error may be an ideal approach in some cases, it might not be in this case. Therefore, make a well-informed and planned decision to prevent any mishaps in the future and make maximum sales through the website.
How Can Intelicle Help?
Are you looking for bespoke eCommerce solutions in Nottingham? Intelicle is a well-known web development and ecommerce web design expert in Nottingham and can assist you in growing your business by providing professional web design and development services. If you want to get the most out of today’s online marketing competition, contact us now.