Being able to do business transactions completely online can be game-changing for small business owners, opening them up to a whole new market of potential customers and making it easier for existing customers to stay engaged. Luckily, there are many great website-building platforms geared toward e-commerce to help small business owners connect with clients and customers, generate sales, and convert potential customers.
What Are E-commerce Websites?
E-commerce websites are online platforms for selling your goods and services. Good e-commerce websites have several key elements to facilitate the safe sharing of personal information like credit card numbers and shipping addresses. E-commerce websites are used to make money transfers, collect customer information, deliver downloadable content, manage shipping, advertise your content on search engines, and more.
If a company wants to stay competitive in the modern marketplace, having a quality e-commerce website is essential. As small businesses grow, they rely on e-commerce websites to keep up with demand and safely store customer information. Find out more about how an e-commerce storefront can support your business by learning about the best e-commerce platform for small businesses available today from all of the options below.
Shopify is an incredibly popular e-commerce platform that currently hosts over 800,000 online stores. Shopify offers small business owners a powerful but easy-to-use way to move their business online. Make sales easy with diverse website templates, embedded product options, customizable widgets, and a secure checkout. You can also use the convenient management dashboard to check on the status of different transactions or take advantage of SEO insights to attract customers who are looking for your brand. Shopify prices start at just $9 per month for Shopify Lite, so it's an affordable platform with a decent value for the cost.
Another top choice for e-commerce beginners is Wix, which is packed with features to customize every site to your creative specifications. Wix can take the visual design of your online storefront to the next level, automatically showing users how any changes will influence how their site looks to customers. A drag-and-drop interface lets you personalize every part of your store, making it easy to implement Wix tools like abandoned cart recovery, product zoom, and 15 different secure payment platforms. Wix offers a free plan, and its paid plans give you impressive storage, support, and analytics for an affordable price.
If you have serious plans to grow your business, consider choosing BigCommerce to host your e-commerce website. Its technology is highly scalable, meaning every feature of your website can grow as your sales climb. BigCommerce offers the ability to connect with customers and make sales on different social media websites simultaneously. They also have the SEO tools you'll need to boost your name recognition, such as optimized URLs to help customers find you and a content delivery network to keep your website loading quickly. BigCommerce's plans have a higher cost than many other platforms, but they are well worth the expense.
Founded in 1999, Volusion brings years of experience to the world of e-commerce. Volusion's strong suit is analytics, with strong inventory features, an intuitive mobile app, and full integration with over 1,000 third party apps. You can use Volusion to measure the success of each page on your site and track progress over time, so it's great for developing a strategy for growth. Its average prices are a bit higher than its main competitors, but all of the built-in data analysis features may be worth it for a more experienced business owner looking to get more out of their data.
WooCommerce is an open-source e-commerce platform that works with WordPress, which means you can fully customize and personalize the code to your specifications. You can also choose from attractive pre-designed themes that are compatible with mobile browsing if you're not super design-savvy.
WooCommerce is extremely affordable in its most basic form, with plans starting at $6.95 per month. For this price, you'll get built-in blogging, advanced embedding, and the ability to edit the metadata on your website, giving you more control of your SEO rankings.
If your business sells digital products, Sellfy is one of the best e-commerce platforms available today. Sellfy allows users to create their own storefront while also integrating online shopping features into their personal websites or social media. The process of setting up your shop is simple and intuitive, made even better by the fact that all storefronts are automatically optimized for mobile use.
For the basic plan, which costs $29.99 per month, you can post an unlimited number of digital products, generate discount codes, and choose between PayPal and Stripe for processing payments.
3dcart isn't for beginners, but if you have some basic tech experience, you will appreciate their range of useful back-end features, with over 200 add-ons to choose from. 3dcart has an impressive system for managing inventory, making it easy to add products and update your website. They have more payment gateways than any other e-commerce platform currently on the market, offering compatibility with over 160 payment options. With prices starting as low as $19 per month and no transaction fees, 3dcart is ideal for business owners who want a powerful interface at budget prices.
GoDaddy is all about making e-commerce simple and easy for everyone, with a user-friendly interface that anyone can use to quickly build a website and get it online. Creating a website is fully automated on GoDaddy, allowing you to answer a few questions about your business to generate a custom page. GoDaddy's e-commerce plan costs $25 per month and offers basic features in all of the main categories, from inventory management to customer insights. It is an ideal solution for business owners who want to get on the web as quickly as possible without having to navigate a complex interface.
First and foremost, Squarespace is a website builder, and its themes and templates are simply a cut above the rest when it comes to visual appeal. It has a variety of sleek, customizable templates that make your products stand out, and all of its features focus on delivering professional quality. Squarespace's e-commerce templates also come in a variety of industry and product themes, further tailoring your web presence to what you're selling. With quick view, image zoom, social media integration, and more, Squarespace can build and manage a high-powered site starting at $30 per month.
When deciding on an e-commerce platform to host your online business transactions, it's important to think about your short-term and long-term needs. If you need a simple, user-friendly interface, you might consider GoDaddy or Wix as a starting point for your business, while if you're looking for high-powered back-end tools you may want to consider investing in one of 3dcart or Volusion's top plans. Ultimately, any of these popular platforms will give you the tools, you need to simplify your business and streamline sales through a high-quality website.