The Best Ecommerce Platforms for Australia 2022

man shopping on smart phone in front of laptop ecommerce platform

Shopify is our pick of the best ecommerce platforms on the market today. With slick inventory functions and marvellous multichannel integrations, Shopify is simply the best – though Wix is not far behind.

We know how tough it is to track down the best ecommerce platforms Australia has on offer. While you’re busy running operations, we’ve done the dirty work of in-depth ecommerce platform comparison – and the results are in.

The 5 Best Ecommerce Platforms:

  1. Shopify – 4.7/5
  2. Wix – 4.6/5
  3. BigCommerce – 4.4/5
  4. Square – 4.4/5
  5. Squarespace – 4.3/5

We compared online shops based on factors that matter most to Australian businesses: sales features, design, marketing tools, ease of use and value for money. Using our 15+ years of tech review expertise, Expert Market researchers gave each platform a ranking out of five (both overall and for each factor) and asked everyday users to try the platforms, too.

Check out our comparison table followed by a handy overview of the best ecommerce platforms.

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Shopify

Wix

BigCommerce

Square Online

Squarespace

Score
4.7
Score
4.6
Score
4.4
Score
4.4
Score
4.3
Best For

Sales-specific features

Best For

Creating a good-looking website with excellent sales features

Best For

Multichannel selling

Best For

Value for money

Best For

Selling digital products or portfolios

Price Range

$8-$3,000+/month (incl GST)

Price Range

A$32-$58 per month (incl GST)

Price Range

$43–$435/month

Price Range

A$0–A$85

Price Range

A$27.50–$57.20/month (incl GST)

10% off with code EM10

Free Plan
Free Plan
Free Plan
Free Plan
Free Plan
Free trial
Free trial
Free trial
Free trial
Free trial

Shopify 4.7/5

Sales features /5Design functionalities /5Value for money /5Help and support /5Ease of use /5
4.73.93.04.43.5

Best for sales features

In our latest round of testing, Shopify shot up to an overall score of 4.7/5 compared with 4.2 the year prior. This comes down to its intuitive inventory management tools and improved customer support. Shopify feels like an all-in-one platform; our researchers appreciated the wealth of sales and accounting features, such as daily revenue reports and an online invoice generator.

We found the platform intuitive, anticipating everything a merchant would need when setting up a store. Its ability to handle complex inventories makes it the best choice for store owners with a lot of products. It also offers superb multichannel integration, letting you sell through Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, eBay, and others. In that sense, it offers more options than Wix and Woocommerce. You can learn more about how the latter compares to Shopify in our comparison article on Woocommerce vs Shopify.

However, it’s the only platform to enforce its own transaction fee (2% on the ‘Basic’ plan) unless you use Shopify Payments. It also relies on third-party apps for much of its functionality, which adds to monthly costs.

Shopify is a secret weapon for complex inventory management.

Pros

  • Excellent multichannel integration
  • Best sales-specific features of any platform we tested
  • Strong server response time (pages load quickly)
  • Best for large or complex inventories

Cons

  • Transaction fees if you don’t use Shopify’s own payment gateway
  • Less creative freedom for your storefront than with Wix eCommerce
  • Fewer in-built features (you'll rely more on costly apps)

Shopify Pricing

Shopify offers a 14-day free trial period and five pricing plans, which we’ve converted from USD to AUD (to the nearest dollar).
Be aware, with Shopify Starter you can’t build an online store, but you can add sales functions to your existing website or social media channels.

For more detail, check out our Shopify pricing guide. Or take a look at our quick price plan comparison table:

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Starter

Basic

Shopify

Advanced

Plus

Price (Paying Annually)
Incl GST

$8/month

Price (Paying Annually)
Incl GST

$48/month

Price (Paying Annually)
Incl GST

$131/month

Price (Paying Annually)
Incl GST

$496/month

Price (Paying Annually)
Incl GST

From $3,000/month

Best For

Adding a buy button to your existing website or social media

Best For

Starting a small online store

Best For

Growing your business

Best For

Larger online stores

Best For

High volume merchants, large businesses

Key Features
  • Get “shoppable links” (URLs) to sell your products on social media and more
  • Product pages
  • Basic order management
Key Features
  • Create an online shop
  • Unlimited products
  • 24/7 support
  • Online credit card rate: 1.75% + 30¢
  • Sell in 33 currencies
Key Features
  • Abandoned cart recovery emails
  • Five staff accounts
  • Online credit card rate: 1.6% + 30¢
  • Shipping discounts
Key Features
  • Third-party calculated shipping rates
  • 15 staff accounts
  • Online credit card rate: 1.4% + 30¢
  • Custom international pricing
Key Features
  • 99.99% uptime
  • Built-in AR, video, 3D media on product pages
  • Automation for complex processes
  • Faster checkout
Rake in the revenue with our top rated ecommerce platform

Wix Ecommerce 4.6/5

Sales features /5Design functionalities /5Value for money /5Help and support /5Ease of use /5
3.93.54.24.34.0

Best for SEO and marketing

If you’re struggling to get the word out about your company, Wix’s ecommerce plans boast six marketing apps, social media integrations and live social media feeds. Uniquely, Wix offers a built-in video-maker and logo-maker as well as the option to hire quality-checked freelancers.

Wix scored a perfect 5/5 in SEO functionality testing, offering everything from image alt attributes to SEO best practice prompts. Overall it offers comprehensive ecommerce functions, including abandoned cart recovery, across all three price options.

The drawbacks? There’s a bit of a learning curve – some test users found the editor became cluttered at times. Plus, syncing your physical inventory with your online store is far easier on other platforms. There’s also no specific fraud detection, unlike with Shopify and BigCommerce.

Wix is our top choice for business owners looking to improve marketing and search engine reach.

Pros

  • Lots of creative control
  • Wide array of social selling and marketing features
  • Excellent SEO tools

Cons

  • Editor can get cluttered
  • Slow server response time
  • Inventory syncing is fairly difficult

Wix eCommerce Pricing

Wix offers a 14-day free trial on its premium plans, with three ecommerce-specific plans to choose from:

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Business Basic

Business Unlimited

Business VIP

Price (Paying Annually)
Incl GST

$32 per month

Price (Paying Annually)
Incl GST

$44 per month

Price (Paying Annually)
Incl GST

$58 per month

Best For

Starting a small online store

Best For

Selling internationally or subscriptions

Best For

High volume selling online or large-scale dropshipping

Key Features
  • List unlimited products
  • Take online payments
  • 20GB storage
  • 5hrs video
  • Facebook and Instagram sales
  • Abandoned cart emails
Key Features
  • 35GB storage
  • Sell subscriptions
  • Prices in local currencies
  • Print shipping labels
  • Automated sales tax for 100 transactions/month
  • 10hrs video
Key Features
  • 50GB storage
  • Customised data reports
  • Rewards for loyalty
  • Unlimited dropshipping (via Modalyst)
  • Unlimited video hours
  • Priority support
Transaction Fees

0%

Transaction Fees

0%

Transaction Fees

0%

Sometimes it can help to compare two similar ecommerce providers directly. If you're looking for more in-depth insight into Wix vs Squarespace, we've written a comparison guide to help you.

Work wonders with a well made Wix store

BigCommerce 4.4/5

Sales features /5Design functionalities /5Value for money /5Help and support /5Ease of use /5
4.64.23.04.53.3

Best for multichannel selling

BigCommerce is geared towards businesses with complex inventories that are serious about scaling. Its top notch inventory management and wide-reaching multichannel integration (Walmart, eBay, Amazon and Google Shopping) mean BigCommerce is best suited to clothing stores.

Overall, it feels like an all-in-one solution with marketplace and social media sales integrations plus email. One user said: “BigCommerce goes beyond just creating a website – you can create an online business with the capability of running itself once you have the setup correct.”

As far as pricing goes, BigCommerce scored low in value for money (3/5). That said, it charges no transaction fees – unlike Shopify and Square Online – and this is a major financial bonus.

While it’s still the least user-friendly platform we've tested (scoring 3.3/5 for ease of use), BigCommerce is brilliant at helping you to manage your entire business processes, not just sell products.

If you want to grow multichannel selling for your clothing store, BigCommerce is best.

Pros

  • Strong inventory management
  • No transaction fees
  • Multichannel integration across marketplaces and social media

Cons

  • Interface not very user-friendly
  • Overwhelming for tech beginners
  • Restrictive template designs

BigCommerce Pricing

BigCommerce offers a generous 15-day free trial period, and three core price plans in USD, which we’ve converted to AUD (enterprise pricing is available upon request):

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Standard

Plus

Pro

Best For

Starting a small or medium-sized online store

Best For

Growing your online store

Best For

Scaling your business to new heights

Key Features

Sell an unlimited number of products

Multichannel selling

Coupon creation

Reporting tools

Accept 100+ currencies

Receive real-time shipping quotes

Key Features

Abandoned cart recovery emails

Customer loyalty programmes

Store credit card payment details

No transaction fees

Key Features

Product filters for sizes and colours

Dedicated SSL security

Google reviews

No transaction fees

Seize big growth opportunities with multichannel selling

Square Online 4.4/5

Sales features /5Design functionalities /5Value for money /5Help and support /5Ease of use /5
3.72.64.74.13.9

Best value for money

Square Online lets you build a website and sell for free, which is by far its biggest selling point. It's also one of the quickest and most affordable ways to build an online store. Its self-serve features create a straightforward buying experience. “Perfect for a physical store looking to pivot online,” one of our test users aptly summarised.

While Square Online could massively improve its design flexibility (users scored it a measly 2.6/5) and offer better reporting features, it has all the essentials you need to start selling online for free, including multichannel integration. The transaction fees are relatively high, and the overall layout could be more intuitive, but Square Online is still an excellent no-frills approach to selling online.

We recommend Square Online for smaller online stores and restaurants as it doesn't overwhelm you with data fields like BigCommerce does.

Square Online is the best value for money platform we've tested.

Pros

  • Ability to sell for free
  • Great self-serve buying features
  • Easy to get your store up and running

Cons

  • High transaction fees
  • Overall layout could be more logical
  • Restrictive design tools

Square Online Pricing

Square Online has four price plans to choose from:

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Free

Professional

Performance

Premium

Best For

Starting your first online store

Best For

Establishing your SMB

Best For

Growing your SMB

Best For

Scaling up your business

Key Features

Sell unlimited products

Instagram and Pinterest integration

2.2% transaction fees

Key Features

Custom font uploads

Password-protected pages

Free custom domain for one year

2.2% transaction fees

Key Features

Customer reviews on your site

Abandoned cart recovery

Accept PayPal

2.2% transaction fees

Key Features

Advanced ecommerce analytics

Real-time shipping

1.9% transaction fees

Create your online store and sell for free

Squarespace Ecommerce 4.3/5

Sales features /5Design functionalities /5Value for money /5Help and support /5Ease of use /5
3.13.94.23.94.2

Best for ease of use

Squarespace impressed us with its intuitive inventory management, visual marketing approach and improved ease of use – going from a 3.4 to 4.2/5 score since our previous testing. In fact, it's now the easiest platform to use on our list.

It supports multichannel selling, offers the ability to create and brand your Instagram story posts, and allows for built-in social media live feeds on your website – a feature that costs extra with other platforms. Squarespace has also increased the number of integrated payment processors from two to five.

Space for improvement? Sure. Squarespace has limited stock monitoring capabilities and a relatively poor site speed. For a platform focused on design, we were disappointed to find a limited number of ecommerce-specific templates, too.

Squarespace will get you selling online regardless of your skills.

Pros

  • Excellent value for money
  • Easiest to use
  • Great for visual marketing

Cons

  • Relatively limited stock monitoring
  • Poor site speed
  • Few ecommerce templates

Squarespace Pricing

Squarespace offers a 14-day free trial period and has four main pricing plans. Also, don't forget you can save 10% on Squarespace by using code EM10 at the checkout.

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Business

Basic Commerce

Advanced Commerce

Price (Paying Annually)
Incl GST

A$27.50/month

Price (Paying Annually)
Incl GST

A$37.40/month

Price (Paying Annually)
Incl GST

A$57.20/month

Best For

New entrepreneurs and small business owners

Best For

SMBs looking to sell online

Best For

Medium-sized ecommerce businesses

Key Features
  • Sell unlimited number of products
  • Free Google account for one year
  • Google Ads extra credit
  • Sell gift cards
Key Features
  • Product waitlists
  • Sell on Instagram
  • Ecommerce analytics
  • Product reviews
  • Display stock levels
Key Features
  • Abandoned cart recovery
  • Sell subscriptions
  • Commerce APIs
  • Advanced shipping features (including a real-time cost calculator)
Transaction Fees

3%

Transaction Fees

0%

Transaction Fees

0%

No tech skills? No worries – build an easy ecommerce platform

Expert Verdict

The best ecommerce platforms are Shopify and Wix eCommerce, scoring a respective 4.7/5 and 4.6/5 in our testing. Shopify is an all-in-one ecommerce solution ideal for larger, more complex setups. In comparison, Wix eCommerce has more creative marketing options for Australian businesses eager to grow their customer base.

Increased competition between ecommerce website builders results in improved features every year. This is great news for business owners, who enjoy a pretty good selection of online store options. Nowadays, it’s easy for just about anyone to set up their digital storefront in a few clicks. If you’re worried about a lack of experience setting up an online store, Squarespace is the easiest to use, so take a look at its ecommerce platform templates.

Whether you’re looking to sell services, physical items or digital products, you’re sure to find an ecommerce plan that works for your business. Now you’re ready to visit the platform that will transform your takings and set sales soaring.

Accelerate your sales with our recommended ecommerce platform

FAQ

What is the best ecommerce platform and why?
Shopify is the best ecommerce platform because it has a wide range of sales-specific features and multichannel integration. In our research, Shopify scored 5/5 in its provision of alternative sales channels, the highest of any platform we tested. We were also impressed by its strong capability in large inventory management. Its huge selection of apps enables a highly flexible merchant setup, plus testing revealed a rapid server response time.
Can I build an ecommerce platform for free?
Yes, but you may not want to. Square Online is our pick of the best free ecommerce platforms, though it is worth remembering its transaction fees are pretty high. For most of its price plans, Square Online charges 2.2% transaction fees which could eat into your profit margins if you're not careful. In truth, you are better off choosing a paid plan from one of the ecommerce platforms we've reviewed.
What is the difference between Magento and Shopify?
While Shopify is a subscription-based ecommerce platform builder, Magento software is open source (free) but requires much more advanced setup know-how. Shopify is aimed at a wide range of skill levels, whereas Magento is only really for developers and those with a deeper interest in design control.
Sabrina Dougall

Sabrina writes about tech for business as well as consumer software. She covers topics ranging from digital marketing to ecommerce fulfilment, security systems, franking machines, and more. Having run her own successful small business, Sabrina knows first-hand how much there is to keep on top of. Writing with your company’s needs in mind, she distils truly useful product information (without the sales pitch).