The 6 Best Ecommerce Platforms for Small Businesses

Our site is reader-supported – by clicking our links, we can match you with a potential supplier, and we may earn a small commission for this referral.

Every year, we put market-leading ecommerce platforms through several rounds of hands-on testing against 300+ different criteria to find out who really comes out on top for small businesses. This time around, the best ecommerce platform for small businesses is Shopify.

Shopify’s advanced inventory management features and smart AI text writing mean it’s best suited to ambitious merchants eager to grow their business. But Shopify’s ability to sync with online marketplaces leaves a lot to be desired – plus it’s not the cheapest solution.

What are the Best Ecommerce Platforms?

  1. Shopify: Best overall
  2. Wix: Best for bookings and services
  3. BigCommerce: Lowest transaction fees
  4. Square: Best free plan
  5. Squarespace: Best-looking online stores

Click any of the above links to go straight to the provider’s website where you can try a free trial.

With 82% of Australian households making ecommerce purchases in 2023, it’s a small wonder you’re keen to sell online. The convenience and popularity of online shopping means the market is ready, waiting and larger than ever.

To help you decide quickly, we created an easy comparison of online store tools. Below, you’ll find a side-by-side summary of the top ecommerce platforms followed by individual reviews of each one. Read until the end for more guidance about how and where to sell online.

Quick Comparison: Best Online Store Tools

Swipe right to see more
0 out of 0




Square Online


Best For

Sales-specific features

Best For

A website that works well

Best For

Multichannel selling

Best For

Value for money (option to sell for free)

Best For

Combining design with impressive sales features

Price Range
Incl GST

A$7-$2,000+/month (incl GST)

$1 for first month

Price Range
Incl GST
Price Range
Incl GST


Price Range
Incl GST


Price Range
Incl GST
Transaction fees


Transaction fees


Transaction fees


Transaction fees


Transaction fees


Key Features
  • Website design tools
  • Sell products or services
  • Order tracking
  • Inventory management
  • Self-hosts its sites
  • Shipping discounts
Key Features
  • Around 900 design templates
  • Loads of website functions
  • Sell on Facebook, eBay, Amazon, and more
  • Tools to boost search engine visibility
Key Features
  • Unlimited products, file storage and bandwidth
  • Sell on Amazon, Walmart and eBay
  • Limited product filtering
  • Limited inventory locations
Key Features
  • Pickup and delivery
  • Order fulfilment
  • Sell on social channels
  • Accept PayPal (on Plus plan)
  • Connect with Square card reader
Key Features
  • Stunning templates
  • SSL security
  • Unlimited product listings
  • Members area and subscriptions
Unlimited storage space?
Unlimited storage space?
Unlimited storage space?
Unlimited storage space?
Unlimited storage space?
Free trial
Free trial
Free trial
Free trial
Free trial
Try Shopify Try Wix Try BigCommerce Try Square Try Squarespace

1. Shopify: Best Overall

  • Subscription pricing: Mid-to-high
  • Transaction fees: Fairly high
  • Ease of use: 3.5/5


  • Up to 1,000 inventory locations
  • Good shipping discounts
  • Marketing automations
  • Great AI text writer


  • Lots of fees
  • No native marketplace connections
  • Limited staff accounts

Suited to: Ambitious Sellers with a Clear Business Plan

Shopify is a comprehensive online selling tool with a website builder – and we’re impressed. The best feature of Shopify is that it will scale as your business grows. That means you’ll start with a clean, well-presented shopfront and you can bulk import products as your catalog expands.

Shopify website editor preview with fashion model image
Shopify includes a library of free stock images for you to use.

Who We Recommend Shopify For

Shopify is aimed at business-savvy merchants with a very clear business plan. If you’ve sourced your products, decided on your branding, and looking to scale up your sales, then Shopify has the sales features you need.

We recommend Shopify over BigCommerce for sellers with dozens of inventory storage spots. Why? Shopify can cope with up to 1,000 inventory locations (on all plans), whereas BigCommerce facilitates selling and distribution from just four, five or eight (depending on your plan). Wix has much weaker inventory management features than Shopify.

Connecting Marketplaces to Your Shopify Store

There are no native features to connect your Shopify store with any of the main online marketplaces. Exceptions are Facebook and Instagram marketplaces as well as a wholesale option called Handshake. For any of the others, you’ll have to connect an app, which comes with monthly fees. For instance, to connect Etsy, you’ll have to pay $19 per month to synch up to 20,000 products.

Unfortunately, third-party apps can present difficulties with functionality, because Shopify cannot help you when these go wrong. We’ve seen many Shopify community discussions between 2019-2023 trying to find workarounds when Amazon apps stop working.

Shopify app store Amazon channel This app is not currently available on the Shopify App Store. If you have support questions, contact Shopify directly.
This is the app which Shopify's help assistant specifically recommended.

Shopify’s AI Features

This year Shopify released its AI writing tool Shopify Magic, which we found effective in crafting creative prose for our product descriptions. While Wix has a similar AI text generator, it doesn’t offer the same range of tones of voice as Shopify’s tool.

Similarly, the AI chatbot assistant in the help center was quick and mostly effective at answering my questions about setting up additional sales channels. Its comprehension was not perfect, for instance, it couldn’t understand that the Amazon by Shopify app was no longer supported. Instead, it repeated (outdated) instructions for downloading that very app.

Shopify Pricing

Here’s an overview of Shopify’s pricing plans:

Swipe right to see more
0 out of 0


Basic Shopify


Advanced Shopify

Shopify Plus


$7 per month


$2,000+ USD per month

Best For

Selling on social media

Best For

Starting a small online store

Best For

Small and medium sized businesses

Best For

International sellers

Best For

High volume retailers

Key Features
  • Get shoppable links (URLs)
  • Product pages
  • Basic order management
  • Customer support
Key Features
  • Sell an unlimited number of products
  • One users
  • Sell in 33 currencies (1.5% conversion fee)
  • Standard reports and analytics
Key Features
  • 5 user accounts
  • Shopify API customization
  • 88% shipping discounts
  • Shipping insurance (with Shopify Payments)
Key Features
  • 15 staff accounts
  • Advanced reporting
  • Third-party calculated shipping rates
  • Collect duties and import taxes at checkout
Key Features
  • Faster checkout
  • Automate workflows
  • Security and compliance
  • Priority support

In terms of costs, Shopify pricing is not the most generous on the market – in fact, the free trial period is now just three days. Although it offers a really accessible entry price point (its Starter plan is $5 monthly), that comes with 5% transaction fees when you’re signed up to Shopify Payments. And you’ll likely need apps with – you guessed it – more monthly fees.

You’ll have to pay transaction fees and payment processing fees for every sale across all plans. That’s not the case with Square or BigCommerce. This places Shopify on the pricey end of the ecommerce platform scale.

That said, it’s not without its advantages. Overall, its tier structure, while not exactly cheap, is very clear on what each tier gets you. In our Woocommerce vs Shopify comparison, we noted how Woocommerce’s lack of priced tiers makes it harder to budget for when compared to Shopify, for example.

We’ve gone into more detail in our Shopify pricing breakdown, in case you’re still undecided. Otherwise read on for more options.

Shopify for Wholesalers

Shopify looks set to take on Alibaba and Amazon as it moves into the wholesaler space. In September, Shopify announced investment in Faire, a platform that helps D2C (direct to consumer) merchants shift to a wholesale business model.

2. Wix: Best for Bookings and Services

  • Subscription pricing: Mid-to-lower end
  • Transaction fees: Just the standard credit card rates
  • Ease of use: 4/5


  • Accept deposits and pre-orders
  • Bookings with multi-calendar synch
  • AI assisted web design


  • Maximum 50,000 products
  • Restricted storage space
  • Capped sales tax automation

Suited to: Services-Based Business Leaders

Wix tops our website builder list thanks to the wide range of features but dips into second place when we consider its sales platform. The reason is its selling features are slightly less generous – Wix limits the number of transactions with automated sales tax, for instance.

red box outlines "generate AI Text" above a text box describing a recipe book
Stuck for inspiration? Wix has a built-in AI text generator for product descriptions.

Who We Recommend Wix For

Wix is a good all-rounder platform that’s suited to a wide range of business users. It’s not so complicated that only seasoned professionals can use it – we’d comfortably recommend this for beginners with very little web design or even commerce experience. You’ll get more design control than GoDaddy, but it’s not as complicated to configure as WordPress/WooCommerce.

AI-Assisted Store Set-Up

We’re excited about Wix’s use of AI, such as the text generator to speed up content creation. AI assists in the set-up process too, with Wix suggesting features you’ll need based on your industry.

Here are some examples:

  • If you run a restaurant: table reservations, food delivery, menu listings
  • Hotel managers: season-specific room pricing, list add-on services at extra cost
  • Fitness enthusiast: bookings (in person or online) via Wix Fit, subscriber-only content,  automated reminders
  • Creative professionals: membership areas with paywall content, video streaming

Wix is better for the services industry compared to Square because the latter isn’t set up for paid members-only pages.

Just the Ticket!

If you’re selling tickets, then Wix takes a 2.5% commission from every sale.

Wix Pricing

Wix offers a 14-day free trial period on its premium plans, of which there are three ecommerce-specific options:

Swipe right to see more
0 out of 0




Business Elite



$15 per month


$30 per month


$44 per month


$179 per month



Best For

Basic small business website

Best For

A small online store

Best For

Expanding online sellers

Best For

Fast-moving online stores

Best For

Competitive large retailers

Key Features
  • No online store
  • 2GB storage
  • No Wix ads
  • Free domain (1 year)
  • Customer data forms
Key Features
  • 50GB storage
  • Free domain (1 year)
  • Sell products, video, music
  • 1 auto backup/month
  • Basic gift cards
Key Features
  • 100GB storage
  • Free domain (1 year)
  • Sales tax automation
  • Print shipping labels
  • Sell in 6 currencies
Key Features
  • Unlimited storage
  • Free domain (1 year)
  • Loyalty rewards
  • Priority customer support
  • Custom reports
Key Features
  • Account manager
  • Performance tracking and site optimization
  • Enterprise-grade security

Wix is very similar in pricing to Squarespace, with Squarespace Business costing $25 per month (compared with Wix Core at $30 per month). But Wix could prove cheaper as Squarespace charges 3% transaction fees on its Business plan, whereas Wix charges no equivalent fees.

We’ve created a Wix pricing page if you want to look more closely at costs.

Wix offers a 14-day free trial and is suited for a wide range of businesses
At Last, Pay on Android

More than six months after launching tap to pay on iPhone, Wix has now launched smartphone payment on Android. Now in-person sellers can take payments on non-Apple smartphones.

3. BigCommerce: Lowest Transaction Fees

  • Subscription pricing: Good range of options
  • Transaction fees: PayPal (via Braintree) only
  • Ease of use: 3.3/5


  • Sell on Amazon, Walmart, eBay
  • Limitless products, storage, staff accounts
  • Sell in multiple currencies


  • Limited product filtering
  • Extra cost for more storefronts
  • Few free templates

Suited to: Product Retailers with a Large Customer Base

If your products are popular with everyday shoppers across Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Facebook, and Instagram, then BigCommerce is a convenient platform to manage orders from all of these streams. With Shopify, you’d need to install apps (at extra cost) to achieve the same multichannel sales set up.

But the best bonus of all has to be the lack of transaction fees across major payment providers.

Another advantage of BigCommerce is the opportunity to speak with its web platform experts on its easily accessible phone line. That means it’s much easier to access customer support on BigCommerce than it is on Wix (you’d need to request a callback through a customer service ticket on the latter).

Who We Recommend BigCommerce For

It has to be said BigCommerce is really aimed at larger sales operations or businesses that are looking to scale up in the near future. Its unlimited products and file storage space are clearly intended for thousands, not hunreds, of products.

The lowest priced Standard plan ($29 per month, paid annually) isn’t great value for money, as it’s missing some key features such as abandoned cart recovery, which is included with all Shopify plans (even its $5 Starter plan). You should aim for a budget of minimum $100 per month to invest in BigCommerce.

BigCommerce Pricing

You get a generous 15-day free trial when you sign up to BigCommerce for the first time. Here are the price plans:

Swipe right to see more
0 out of 0




Price (billed monthly)

$39 per month

Price (billed monthly)

$105 per month

Price (billed monthly)

$399 per month

Price (billed annually)

$29 per month

Price (billed annually)

$79 per month

Price (billed annually)

$299 per month

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

Key Features

Abandoned cart recovery emails

Customer loyalty programmes

Store credit card payment details

Key Features

Filter products through size and colour variants

Dedicated SSL security

Google reviews

Note: BigCommerce only lists its pricing in USD.

BigCommerce pricing is very similar to Shopify’s: both have a plan for $29 per month and one for $299 per month. Yet Shopify charges more transaction fees than BigCommerce, making the latter a more affordable option for many retailers.

But this will depend on the payment gateway you choose because Shopify Payments removes Shopify’s transaction fees (though credit card processing fees still apply).

Still, BigCommerce charges processing fees between 2.59% + $0.49 and 2.05% + $0.49 under its Braintree pre-negotiated rates.

Slowl-AI Getting There

In July, BigCommerce announced big plans for Google Cloud AI technology integrations such as product recommendations and product descriptions. As of September, there’s still no sign of these on the platform, however. BigCommerce seems to be slower at launching its AI web builder features compared with main rival Shopify.

4. Square: Best Free Plan

  • Subscription pricing: Affordable
  • Transaction fees: Industry standard
  • Ease of use: 3.9/5


  • Take payments on free plan
  • Integrates well with POS (card reader)
  • Automatic tax calculation


  • No membership log-in areas
  • Limited web editing on cheaper plans
  • Unsuitable for international selling

Suited to: Small-to-Medium Sellers and Local Businesses

You’ll likely have seen Square’s sleek white card readers at bars and stores in your neighborhood. It’s a popular choice of payment terminal, likely due to its very low cost basic hardware. Its website builder product is affordable too – you can sign up to sell online with no monthly subscription fees on the Square Free plan.

This September, Square launched AI-generated product descriptions, which help you to publish your new product pages faster. That’s a really valuable time-saver, and means you won’t have to spend time and money on professional copywriters each time you want to launch a new product range.

website editor basic menu view
I couldn't quite position my image as I would have liked it to display.

Who We Recommend Square For

Square is ideal for entrepreneurs and small business leaders who sell in person as well as online. For instance, if you picture yourself selling through your website, but also attending festivals, and events, and perhaps selling at a brick-and-mortar location, Square is a good choice.

The Square POS (point of sale) hardware devices are, admittedly, an additional expense. However, Square’s ability to offer a very wide range of payment options for your customers is a big pull factor.

Square’s Limited Free Plan

The drawback of the Free plan is the basic nature of the editing tools. You won’t have as much design customization as you would with Square Plus. And you’ll have Square-branded adverts on your site.

But given how speedy, slick and clear Square’s free website builder is, we have little to complain about here.

Widening Sales Features for Local and National Sellers

Square has recently launched improvements to Square for Retail’s checkout including the addition of a “buy online, pick up in-store” option. We really love that, across all price plans, you can opt for a courier to come straight to your location as soon as a sale goes through.

Shipping is now more streamlined, thanks to a refreshed Shipments Page, from which vendors can manage online, in-store, and subscription order fulfilment.

However, Square is not the best for international sellers. For $79 a month, you can subscribe to either Square Premium or BigCommerce Plus – but only BigCommerce stores accept payments in multiple currencies.

Square Pricing

Square has three price plans to choose from:

Swipe right to see more
0 out of 0







$36 per month


$99 per month

Best For

Smaller businesses

Best For

Growing your loyal customer base

Best For

Customer service-focused sales

Key Features

Sell unlimited products

Instagram and Pinterest integration

Collect customer contact data

Discount coupons

Key Features

Better site editing tools

Customer accounts

More item customization

Order status text alerts

Key Features

Real-time shipping rates

Lower transaction fee (2.6% + 30¢)

24/7 phone support access

Square’s premium price plans are good value for money, in our eyes. At just $29 per month, Square Plus will send personalized product recommendations to your customers (if they’re logged in). Customers will also get order status text alerts. That’s a surprisingly affordable price point for such a personalized customer experience. By contrast, BigCommerce doesn’t even allow for product filtering on your site until the $299 a month (paying annually) Pro plan.

Square’s simple pricing structure (monthly subscription fee + set fee per transaction) is also much easier to understand than Shopify’s multi-layered payment fee structure.

That said, you should be aware of the following payment processing fees with Square:

  • AfterPay (you get the full amount upfront, but the customer pays in installments): 6% + 30¢ per transaction fee
  • Cash App (digital wallet): 2.9% + 30c per transaction fee
  • PayPal: 3.49% + 49¢ per transaction fee
  • Google Pay/Apple Pay (via Square Payments): 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction fee

5. Squarespace: Best Looking Online Stores

  • Subscription pricing: Lower end
  • Transaction fees: Reasonable
  • Ease of use: 4.2/5


  • World class template designs
  • Precise web design editing
  • Unlimited bandwidth


  • Very few apps available
  • Transaction fees on Commerce Basic
  • No multi-currency selling

Suited to: Artists, Creatives, and Visually-Driven Brands

Squarespace works well as a portfolio website, showcasing the aesthetics of your brand with classy web design. Think of your Squarespace website as a virtual art gallery: lots of white space, few features, and impeccable taste.

website section with image of child's craft activity, a small paragraph of text and lots of white space
Squarespace will suggest designs based on your business.

Who We Recommend Squarespace For

Squarespace is best suited to creative professionals such as photographers, artists, content creators, and high-end wellness or luxury brands. We appreciate Squarespace for its aesthetically appealing web designs, and recommend it for portfolio-based selling.

Squarespace’s Lovely Editing Process

Using Squarespace, editing your web design is a really pleasant experience, and feels much smoother than using Shopify, GoDaddy or Square. Unlike most website editors we’ve tested (see our GoDaddy review for comparison), you can actually move every text box or image to the precise position you’d like.

Squarespace updated its editing experience this year so that a grid appears in the background when you click and drag design elements. This makes it easy to line them up evenly with others on the page.

Squarespace Pricing

There are four Squarespace price plans to choose from, all of which are relatively low cost compared with the larger platforms Shopify and BigCommerce:

Swipe right to see more
0 out of 0



Commerce Basic

Commerce Advanced


$16 per month



$25 per month


$34 per month


$52 per month

Best For

Early stage entrepreneurs

Best For

Small businesses

Best For

SMBs looking to sell online

Best For

Growing retail businesses

Key Features
  • Free domain (1 year)
  • Unlimited bandwidth and storage
  • Collect visitor data
  • Video maker
Key Features
  • Sell unlimited number of products
  • Free domain (1 year)
  • Free Gmail (1 year)
  • Pop-ups and banners
Key Features
  • Point of Sale
  • Collect reviews
  • Product waitlists
  • Free Gmail (1 year)
  • Free domain (1 year)
Key Features
  • Abandoned cart recovery
  • Sell subscriptions
  • Local shipping rates
  • APIs for custom integrations

You may have noticed Squarespace pricing is similar to Wix, and they’re near competitors because of their focus on design and style. You wouldn’t come to either for complex inventory management and warehouse services, for instance.

Squarespace Commerce Basic and Wix Core are similarly priced, but with Wix, you’ll get 5 hours of video storage versus 30 minutes with Squarespace. You’ll also get slightly better selling features from Wix at this price point, including abandoned cart recovery emails, applying discounts automatically, and the ability to accept pre-orders.

But if you want to sell more than 50,000 products, you should choose Squarespace over Wix. And if product reviews are important to you, Squarespace is the better choice once again, as Wix limits these.

Squarespace for Online Instruction

As of August, you can now sell digital “Courses” (learning programs) on your Squarespace site. While this is a decent idea that’s highly relevant to its creative business user base, it remains to be seen how successful this model will be given the competition from Patreon, YouTube, and purpose-built education platforms such as Coursera and Udemy.

Buying Guide: How To Choose the Best Ecommerce Platform for Your Business

The best ecommerce platform for Staples (a brand that happens to use Shopify) isn’t necessarily the best choice for you. Here are the factors you should bear in mind when it comes to selecting an online selling tool:

  • Selling location – Wix is better for digital sales, but Square is easy to connect with in-person selling
  • Fee structure – Shopify has several payment fees, whereas Square has one
  • Level of technical skill needed – Wix is on the easy side, whereas WordPress/WooCommerce is harder
  • International selling capability – BigCommerce supports multiple currencies, Squarespace doesn’t

After you’ve identified those key features of your business plan, you can move forward with selecting an ecommerce platform. We’ve gone into more detail about which type of user each tool is best suited to, in the reviews below.

What’s the Difference Between an Online Marketplace and an Ecommerce Platform?

It’s easy to get confused about the different types of online selling platforms. But the differences matter. A lot. An online marketplace is owned by a company, and shoppers can buy from many different sellers who list their goods there. By contrast, an ecommerce platform is a tool you can use to build your own online store, and yours are the only goods or services for sale on that website.

Here are the different examples:

Online marketplaceEcommerce platform
Walmart MarketplaceWix
EtsySquare Online

As you can see, the marketplace sites (also confusingly known as ecommerce sites), are akin to a shopping mall where you can choose to enter a number of different stores. But the ecommerce platforms are the online version of your physical store.

Ecommerce websites From sources across the web Amazon Shopify eBay BigCommerce Wix Walmart Magento Allbirds Best Buy
The Google results for "Ecommerce sites" confusingly combine ecommerce platforms and marketplaces.

Should I Use an Ecommerce Platform or Online Marketplace?

Honestly, there’s nothing stopping you from using both. But if you do, you’ll need to ensure you synch your inventory across all of your online sales channels. That way you’ll avoid a situation where you can’t fulfil orders from your website because you’ve already sold out on eBay.

Let’s quickly look at the differences between using an ecommerce platform versus an online marketplace:

Online marketplaceEcommerce platform
Website speed and hosting is managed by the platform owner (not you)You’re responsible for website speed and hosting
Quick and easy to set upMore involved set-up process
Minimal tech skills neededSome tech confidence needed
No control over user journeyCustomize checkout, pop-ups, and more
Compete for visibility of your products among other sellersShoppers only see your products on the site
Web domain is marketplace nameOption to use a custom domain name
Platform takes a large commission (8-15%) plus listing and payment processing feesPlatform takes smaller commission (0-5%) plus payment fees (2-4%) plus monthly subscription fee

The main points of difference are the cost to you (the seller) and product visibility. Let’s look at each of those.

Costs of Ecommerce Platforms vs Online Marketplaces

The main costs of ecommerce platforms are the monthly subscription fee (although Square Online has a free plan), which online marketplaces typically do not charge. Almost all ecommerce platforms charge payment processing fees (except, again, Square Online, which instead charges a flat fee for its premium monthly plans).

Online marketplaces typically take a commission per sale – some ecommerce platforms do this as well, such as Shopify. This is what makes Shopify a pretty expensive ecommerce platform. Some online marketplaces charge a listing fee – eBay and Etsy do this. However, ecommerce platforms do not charge such a fee.

You can also pay extra to “boost” visibility of your product listing on an online marketplace. On platforms like eBay, you are charged only when a click on a paid placement leads to a sale. On Etsy, however, you are charged per click no matter if the viewer buys your item or not. A model like this can cause you to lose out on profit per sale. However, promoted listings can draw in shoppers to browse the rest of your store.

four listings for brown women's coats, with highlighted text underneath each that reads "ad by etsy seller"
Etsy charges sellers per click on each promoted listing.

Product Visibility on Ecommerce Platforms vs Online Marketplaces

The supposed advantage of listing your products on marketplaces like Amazon is that buyers are already searching there. Therefore your products should automatically get lots of visibility from eager buyers. But if that were entirely true, there wouldn’t be any need for paid marketplace listings (described in the section above).

Therefore listing your products on a third-party marketplace is certainly no guarantee of better visibility for your wares.

With an ecommerce platform, SEO strategy is vital. That means you need to set your website up well enough that search engines pull in your product pages. However, you may also want to promote your ecommerce store with pay-per-click ads on Google, Bing, Ecosia or other search providers.

Expert Verdict

Our research found Shopify is the best site to set up an online store in 2024. Although it’s on the pricey end, it’s got the advanced selling tools that confident, ambitious merchants need to scale up in the competitive arena of ecommerce.

If you’re put off by the extra fees and tricky online marketplace connections, then larger-scale sellers can look to BigCommerce for a smoother retail experience.

Alternatively, local businesses that sell services, subscriptions, and paid appointments are usually best off with Wix. We favor Wix for bookings and other face-to-face business ventures, thanks to its convenient scheduling features.

How We Test Ecommerce Website Builders for Businesses

We tested eight market-leading ecommerce website builders to evaluate them in terms of functionality, usability, accuracy, and aesthetics so we can make the most useful recommendations to US businesses.

Our rigorous testing process means these products have been scored and rated in seven main categories of investigation and 47 subcategories – in fact, we covered 341 areas of investigation in total. We then gave each category score a ‘relevance weighting' to ensure the product's final score perfectly reflects the needs and requirements of Expert Market readers – and that's our algorithm in a nutshell!

Our main testing categories for ecommerce website builders are:

Website Features: the capabilities and functionalities offered by an ecommerce website builder, e.g. blog functionality, SEO capability, and marketing capacity.

Sales Features: the sales capabilities and sales functionalities offered by an ecommerce website builder, including shipping, inventory capacity, and payment options.

Design: the aesthetic appeal and visual layout of a website created using an ecommerce builder. It encompasses aspects such as page templates and customizable themes.

Customer Score: external customer opinion; the feedback and ratings given by customers who have used a particular ecommerce website builder – the market position and reputation a website builder holds.

Ease of Use: how user-friendly and intuitive an ecommerce platform is for people with varying levels of technical expertise.

Value for Money: the balance between the cost of an ecommerce website builder and the benefits it provides. It considers factors such as pricing plans, subscription models, and available features.

Help and Support: the assistance and resources available to users when they encounter issues or need guidance while using an ecommerce builder. This can include tutorials, knowledge bases, and email or chat support.



What is an ecommerce platform?
It’s a proprietary set of tools that allow you to sell things online, either directly to customers or, in some cases, to other businesses. More simply, an ecommerce platform is an online store. It usually consists of a website that’s customized to suit the particular product offering. Often it’s linked to other digital sales channels, such as social media shopping and marketplaces like Amazon, Google Shopping, Walmart or Etsy.
Which is the cheapest ecommerce platform?
Square is the most affordable route to setting up your online sales. You can actually publish a custom online store and take payments from customers without paying any monthly subscription fees. You’ll only pay when you sell (a transaction fee of 2.9% + 30¢ in the US). Note that you can’t accept PayPal payments until you upgrade.
Written by:
Sabrina Dougall
Sabrina is a business journalist whose career began in news reporting. She has a master's in Investigative Journalism from City University London, and her work has appeared in The Times, The Daily Express, Money Saving Expert, Camden New Journal, Global Trade Review, and Computer Business Review. She specializes in writing about SEO (search engine optimization). Having run her own small business, Sabrina knows first-hand how critical digital marketing is to building a client base and local reputation.
Reviewed by:
A head shot of Natasha Willett - a blonde woman in a work shirt with a blue background
For over 9 years Natasha has worked as a mixed method researcher working across a range of sectors from insurance and policy development, to business services and software. As a member of the Market Research Society, Natasha is an advocate for high ethical, commercial and methodological best practices.