Written by Sabrina Dougall Reviewed by Natasha Willett Updated on 19 July 2022 On this page The best ecommerce platforms for small businesses Wix: Best overall Squarespace: Best for design Square Online: Best value for money Shopify: Best for sales-specific features BigCommerce: Best for multi-channel selling GoDaddy: Best for speedy setup Expert verdict How we test ecommerce platforms Expand 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. The overall winner in our research is Wix. It's user-friendly and offers strong SEO features, along with improved sales tools.Recently, we tested the best ecommerce platforms for small businesses, examining how they've improved or dropped off since we last reviewed them.We looked at the factors that matter most to small business, such as value for money, SEO (search engine optimisation) functionalities, marketing tools, ease of use, and sales features. We also asked everyday users to try the platforms, too.Below, you’ll find our comparison table followed by individual reviews for each platform. Swipe right to see more 0 out of 0 backward forward Wix Squarespace Square Online Shopify BigCommerce GoDaddy Score 4.7 Score 4.6 Score 4.5 Score 4.1 Score 4.0 Score 3.9 Best For A website that works well Best For Combining design with impressive sales features Best For Value for money (option to sell for free) Best For Sales-specific features Best For Multichannel selling Best For Speedy website launch Price Range Incl GST A$32-$58/month (incl GST)A$28.80-$52.20/month with code “GET10!” Price Range Incl GST A$25–$52/monthA$16-$52/month with code “EM10” Price Range Incl GST A$0–$85 Price Range Incl GST A$8-$3,000+/month (incl GST) Price Range Incl GST A$43–$444/month Price Range Incl GST A$24.95 (first year)A$36.95 (afterwards) Transaction fees 0% Transaction fees 0-3% Transaction fees 1.9-2.2% Transaction fees 5%-0.15% Transaction fees 0% Transaction fees 0% Key Features Around 900 design templatesLoads of website functionsSell on Facebook, eBay, Amazon, and moreTools to boost search engine visibility Key Features Stunning templatesSSL securityUnlimited product listingsMembers area and subscriptions Key Features Pickup and deliveryOrder fulfilmentSell on social channelsAccept PayPal (on Plus plan)Connect with Square card reader Key Features Website design toolsSell products or servicesOrder trackingInventory managementSelf-hosts its sitesShipping discounts Key Features Unlimited products, file storage and bandwidthSell on Amazon, Walmart and eBayLimited product filteringLimited inventory locations Key Features SSL securityEmail marketingTake appointment bookingsSocial postsPhone support Free trial Free trial Free trial Free trial Free trial Free trial Try Wix Try Squarespace Try Square Try Shopify Try BigCommerce Try GoDaddy Wix (4.7/5) Best overall Shooting up from 4.3/5 to 4.7/5 in our most recent research, Wix is today's winner. Since our first round of testing , Wix now lets you sell via Instagram and Facebook, and use drop shopping services.It's also the best ecommerce platform for small businesses looking to appear higher on the search engine results pages, getting you higher visitor traffic and more sales, thanks to its SEO Wizard tool providing step-by-step tutorials and helping you track your site’s SEO success with regular performance updates.There are 71 ecommerce-specific templates available, with in-built capabilities such as checkout buttons and industry-specific features. It's no wonder Wix scored the highest in our ‘website features‘ category, with 4.6/5.Syncing your physical inventory with your online store is far easier on other platforms, and you might find the sheer creative freedom Wix offers to be overwhelming at first, however, Wix is our overall winner for a reason – it's powerful, great for SEO, and simple to use. Wix Review: Worthy of Winning Best Website Builder? Pros Brilliant SEO features to help your small business grow Lots of creative freedom to help you design the exact storefront you want You can add product videos to help improve the buying experience There's no need to look beyond Wix for ecommerce features to help your small business grow Cons The amount of creative freedom can make it hard to adhere to ecommerce best practices You can’t switch templates after publishing your site Editor page can seem clustered and overwhelming at times Wix pricingWix offers a 14-day free trial period on its premium plans, of which there are three ecommerce-specific options. Check out our in-depth Wix pricing guide or take a look at the table below for a quick overview: Swipe right to see more 0 out of 0 backward forward Price (Paying Annually) $32 per month Price (Paying Annually) $44 per month Price (Paying Annually) $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 productsTake online payments20GB storage5hrs videoFacebook and Instagram salesAbandoned cart emails Key Features 35GB storageSell subscriptionsPrices in local currenciesPrint shipping labelsAutomated sales tax for 100 transactions/month10hrs video Key Features 50GB storageCustomised data reportsRewards for loyaltyUnlimited dropshipping (via Modalyst)Unlimited video hoursPriority support Transaction Fees 0% Transaction Fees 0% Transaction Fees 0% Sell without transaction fees thanks to Wix Go to Wix Wix is our top choice for small businesses looking to get online Try Wix Free Squarespace (4.6/5) Best for combining design with sales features What impressed us most in our second round of testing was Squarespace's improvements on user experience, shooting up from a 3.4/5 to a 4.2/5 ease of use score. It's now the easiest platform to build an online store with.With its sleek, ready-made templates to help your products stand out, you really don’t need to spend hours making a beautiful Squarespace store.Squarespace is also great value for money, supporting the sales of physical, digital, and service-based products, and the ability to sell through Instagram on its affordable price plans.However, it only supports two payment processors (compared to Shopify’s 100+ integrations) – which might restrict your options. Squarespace Review: Can Limitless Storage Space Square with the Cost? Pros Excellent sales for features for a ‘non-ecommerce specific’ website builder Best-designed templates of any platform we tested Excellent value for money Cons Limited stock monitoring capabilities Supports just two payment processors (Stripe and PayPal) Could offer more ecommerce-specific templates Squarespace pricingSquarespace offers a 14-day free trial when you sign up to one of its ecommerce plans.Plus, you can save 10% on your subscription by using code EM10 at checkout. Swipe right to see more 0 out of 0 backward forward Price (Paying Monthly) Business Price (Paying Monthly) Basic Commerce Price (Paying Monthly) Advanced Commerce Price (Paying Annually) A$27.50/month Price (Paying Annually) A$37.40/month Price (Paying Annually) 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 productsFree Google account for one yearGoogle Ads extra creditSell gift cards Key Features Product waitlistsSell on InstagramEcommerce analyticsProduct reviewsDisplay stock levels Key Features Abandoned cart recoverySell subscriptionsCommerce APIsAdvanced shipping features (including a real-time cost calculator) Transaction Fees 3% Transaction Fees 0% Transaction Fees 0% Try the best platform for digital product sales today Try Squarespace Squarespace has the design tools to help your business stand out online Try Squarespace Free Square Online (4.5/5) Square Online is one of the very best ecommerce platforms for small businesses. It has all the essential features on its free plan – including multi-channel selling – making it one of the best free ecommerce platforms, too.The ability to sell for free is a big draw. Instead, you pay 1.9% per transaction, which is relatively high compared to the competition in truth. It's still the best value for money platform we tested, scoring 4.6/5 in that category.It does only support one payment processor on its cheapest plans (Square POS), while BigCommerce and Shopify support over 100. You’ll also likely find the design options to be quite restrictive. Overall, Square Online is a no frills approach to selling online. It covers the basics very well, but doesn't go much further than that. Pros The best value for money platform we tested Offers multi-channel selling on its free plan Excellent in-built dashboard providing insights on sales and customer behaviour Cons Lack of prompts or tips to help you get started (unlike Wix) Expensive transaction fees when you don’t use Square’s payment processor Not the most logical of layouts, using some jargon in the backend Square Online pricingSquare has four price plans to choose from: Swipe right to see more 0 out of 0 backward forward Price (Paying Monthly) Free Price (Paying Monthly) Professional Price (Paying Monthly) Performance Price (Paying Monthly) 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 productsInstagram and Pinterest integration2.2% transaction fees Key Features Custom font uploadsPassword-protected pagesFree custom domain for one year2.2% transaction fees Key Features Customer reviews on your siteAbandoned cart recoveryAccept PayPal2.2% transaction fees Key Features Advanced ecommerce analyticsReal-time shipping1.9% transaction fees Try Square Try Square Try Square Try Square Square is the best value for money platform for small businesses Try Square Free Shopify (4.1/5) Best for sales-specific features Shopify is one of the most comprehensive ecommerce platforms on the market, offering the most amount of sales features of any platform we tested, including access to 1,200+ apps. So, why doesn’t it get full marks?In truth, Shopify is better suited to larger online stores with more complex inventories – it's a powerful solution that might be overkill or too expensive for most small stores, with price plans starting from A$7 per month. It also enforces transaction fees if you don’t use Shopify Payments – two things which may hinder the growth of your small business.However, Shopify's backend is really easy to navigate, outperforming the other platforms such as Woocommerce (as discussed in-depth in our comparison between the two), in our customer score category, with 4.8/5. Pros Excellent multi-channel integration (sell across all the big social media channels, and Amazon, eBay, Buzzfeed, and more) Offers largest choice of sales-specific features of any platform we tested Despite fewer in-built features, you can choose from 1,200+ apps to enable your store to do almost anything Cons Shopify imposes transaction fees if you don’t use its own payment processor (unlike BigCommerce, which charges zero fees) You’ll need to reformat your whole website if you decide to switch templates Cost of installing apps can quickly add up Design is far less intuitive than on Wix and Squarespace Shopify pricingShopify offers a 14-day free trial period, so you can test its sales tools and build your entire online store before spending a penny. If you’re happy with Shopify after that period, you’ll then need to upgrade to one of Shopify's price plans: Swipe right to see more 0 out of 0 backward forward Price (Paying Monthly) Starter Price (Paying Monthly) Basic Price (Paying Monthly) Shopify Price (Paying Monthly) Advanced Price (Paying Monthly) Plus Price (Paying Annually) $7/month Price (Paying Annually) $42/month Price (Paying Annually) A$114/month Price (Paying Annually) A$433/month Price (Paying Annually) 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)Product pagesBasic order managementOnline credit card rate: 5% + 30¢ Key Features Create an online shopUnlimited products24/7 supportOnline credit card rate: 1.75% + 30¢Sell in 33 currencies Key Features Abandoned cart recovery emailsFive staff accountsOnline credit card rate: 1.6% + 30¢Shipping discounts Key Features Third-party calculated shipping rates15 staff accountsOnline credit card rate: 1.4% + 30¢Custom international pricing Key Features 99.99% uptimeBuilt-in AR, video, 3D media on product pagesAutomation for complex processesFaster checkout Ready to take your online business to the next level? Shopify is best for scaling your brand Try Shopify Shopify's sales-specific tools are unrivalled by any platform we tested Try Shopify Free BigCommerce (4.0/5) Best for multi-channel selling At no extra cost, BigCommerce allows you to sell your products via Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, eBay, Google Shopping, and Pinterest. It's also perfect for online clothing stores thanks to its industry-leading inventory management features.BigCommerce also provides useful SEO prompts when you add products, and imposes zero transaction fees (unlike Shopify).However, as a small business owner juggling different tasks, you might find BigCommerce time-consuming and tricky to use, especially compared to the user-friendly platforms Wix and Squarespace. We actually rate BigCommerce as one of the top platforms for large companies instead. Pros The only platform that allows you to send transactional emails No extra transaction fees, unlike Shopify Superb multi-channel integration with social media platforms and online marketplaces Cons Our research participants said the interface was slightly challenging to navigate The only platform we tested that doesn’t provide a mobile app Relatively restrictive design control, especially compared to Wix or Squarespace Geared towards large online stores BigCommerce pricingBigCommerce offers a 15-day free trial period, after which you’ll need to sign up to one of its three core plans: Swipe right to see more 0 out of 0 backward forward Recommended: Best Value Price (Paying Monthly) Standard Price (Paying Monthly) Plus Price (Paying Monthly) Pro Price (Paying Annually) A$43/month Price (Paying Annually) A$117/month Price (Paying Annually) A$444/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 productsMultichannel sellingCoupon creationReporting toolsAccept 100+ currenciesReceive real-time shipping quotes Key Features Abandoned cart recovery emailsCustomer loyalty programmesStore credit card payment detailsNo transaction fees Key Features Product filters for sizes and coloursDedicated SSL securityGoogle reviewsNo transaction fees Try now Try now Try now Prices converted from USD to AUD based on conversion rates on April 13, 2023. BigCommerce's multi-channel integrations can help your small business reach new audiences Try BigCommerce Free GoDaddy (3.9/5) Best for speedy setup Running a small business is hard work. You might be struggling for time, or lacking the creative inspiration required to build an online store from scratch – which is where GoDaddy comes in.It uses an ADI (artificial design intelligence) approach – first asking you a few questions, then generating a new website within minutes, with a new layout and proposed images. Simply put, GoDaddy is easily the best ecommerce platform for small businesses who are extremely tight on time.That said, GoDaddy’s website features lack the quality to help your website stand out online (in stark contrast to Squarespace), and you won't be able to sell digital products. GoDaddy Review: Live Fast, End up Furious? Pros Fastest and easiest-to-use platform we tested thanks to its ADI function Allows you to create up to five backup copies of your website to give you peace of mind when making changes to your site No surprise fees, just the set price plan and the usual credit card processor fees Cons Very limited creative control due to the ADI function creating the site for you Features lack depth and quality compared to every other platform we tested Doesn’t support the sale of digital products GoDaddy pricingGoDaddy offers a generous one-month free trial period and one ecommerce-specific price plan: GoDaddy can build your ecommerce store for you within a few minutes Try GoDaddy Free Expert verdictBuilding on our extensive period of research and hands-on testing, we’ve selected and reviewed the best ecommerce platforms for small businesses. Having read our review, you’re now ready to choose your platform – great news!Here’s a quick roundup of our top three…Wix came out on top thanks to its strong SEO features, improved sales features, and creative freedom.Squarespace is the better option if you want to build a beautiful online store that outshines the competition, offering industry-leading design tools and templates.Square Online is the best value for money option, combining ease-of-use with the option of a totally free plan – a killer combo for small businesses.Of course, we know that not everyone will find their perfect solution in one of these top three platforms. In that case, you should also check out Shopify for its sales-specific tools, BigCommerce for its multi–channel selling, and GoDaddy for its speedy setup features.Whichever platform you’ve chosen, though, we wish you and your business the best of luck for the future! How We Test Ecommerce Website Builders for BusinessesWe 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 Australian 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 product testing 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 builder, including shipping, inventory capacity, and payment options.Design: the aesthetic appeal and visual layout of a website created using the ecommerce product. It encompasses aspects such as page templates and customisable 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 the builder holds.Ease of Use: how user-friendly and intuitive a website builder is for people with varying levels of technical expertise.Value for Money: the balance between the cost of a 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 website builder. This can include tutorials, knowledge bases, and email or chat support. Written by: Sabrina Dougall Web Marketing Expert 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: Natasha Willett Head of Research 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.