The Best Ecommerce Platforms for Canada 2022

Open laptop with the word website across the screen, comparing best ecommerce platforms

After extensive research and testing, Shopify topped our list of the best ecommerce platforms on the market today. With slick inventory functions, sharp SEO tools and improved sales functions, Shopify is simply the best online store creator.

We know how tough it is to pick out the best ecommerce platforms Canada has to offer. While you’re cooking up great ideas to keep business operations running smoothly, we’ve completed our latest round of research.

We compared ecommerce platforms based on factors that matter most to Canadian businesses: value for money, design, ease of use and sales features. Researchers gave each platform a ranking out of five (both overall and for each factor) and asked everyday users to try the platforms, too.

5 Best Ecommerce Platforms:

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

Below, you’ll find our comparison table followed by a handy overview of each platform.

Swipe right to see more
0 out of 0

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

SEO and marketing

Best For

Multichannel selling

Best For

Value for money

Best For

Ease of use

Price Range

CAD$27.24 – CAD$374.45

Price Range

CAD$22.54 – CAD$70.13

Price Range

CAD$37.51 – CAD$375.64

Price Range

CAD$7.51 – CAD$97.68

Price Range

CAD$22.54 – CAD$57.61

10% off with code EM10

Looking for website builders?

This page compares ecommerce platforms for building online stores where you can sell products. If you're looking for generic website builders (to create portfolios, personal sites, business or landing pages), check out our guide to the best website builders.

Shopify 4.7/5

Would suit your business if you want excellent sales-specific features

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

Shopify

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. Our researchers appreciated the ability to upload single or multiple products, receive daily revenue reports and use an online invoice generator for simpler payment collection.

Shopify also offers superb multichannel integration, letting you sell through Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, eBay, and others (it offers more options than Wix eCommerce, the runner-up of our best ecommerce platforms).

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 also adds to 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)
  • Intuitive inventory management features

Cons

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

Shopify Pricing

Shopify offers a 14-day free trial period plus three core price plans, which we’ve converted from USD to CAD:

Swipe right to see more
0 out of 0
Plan

Basic Shopify

Plan

Shopify

Plan

Advanced Shopify

Price

CAD$36 per month

Price

CAD$98 per month

Price

CAD$372 per month

Best For

Starting a small online store

Best For

Growing your business

Best For

Larger online stores

Key Features

Sell an unlimited number of products
24/7 support
2.9% + 37¢ online credit card rates
Sell in 33 currencies

Key Features

Abandoned cart recovery emails
Five staff accounts
2.6% + 37¢ credit card rates
USPS Priority Mail Cubic® pricing

Key Features

Third party calculated shipping rates
15 staff accounts
2.4% + 37¢ credit card rates
Custom international pricing

Sell like never before with Shopify

Wix eCommerce 4.6/5

Would suit your business if you want SEO and digital marketing prowess

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

Wix

If you’re struggling to get the word out about your company, Wix eCommerce plans boast six marketing apps, social media integrations and live social media feeds. It 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.

Drawbacks? There’s a steep learning curve – test users found the editor clustered and challenging to use. 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
  • Video-builder and logo-maker included

Cons

  • Editor is clustered and challenging to use
  • 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:

Swipe right to see more
0 out of 0
Plan

Business Basic

Plan

Business Unlimited

Plan

Business VIP

Price

CAD$25 per month

Price

CAD$32 per month

Price

CAD$44 per month

Best For

Small businesses looking to sell online

Best For

Growing businesses

Best For

Medium to large businesses

Key Features

Online payments
Unlimited bandwidth
20GB storage
Free domain for one year
Upload up to 5 hours of video
Sales analytics

Key Features

35GB storage
Upload up to 10 hours of video
End-to-end order fulfillment
Automated sales tax for 100 transactions/month
Offer subscriptions

Key Features

50GB storage
Unlimited video hours
Priority response on the Wix Answers page
Customized data reports
Unlimited dropshipping products

Reach a wider audience with Wix

BigCommerce 4.4/5

Would suit your business if you want wider multichannel selling options

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

BigCommerce

BigCommerce is geared towards larger enterprises and is best suited for online clothing stores. A major reason for this is its strong multichannel integration – BigCommerce enables sales through Walmart in addition to eBay, Amazon and Google Shopping.

Its stand-out feature is inventory functionality, though overall it feels like an all-in-one solution with great multichannel marketplace and social media sales integrations. 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 – and this is a major financial bonus.

While it’s 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 process, not just sell products.

BigCommerce can grow multichannel selling for your clothing store.

Pros

  • Strong inventory management functionality
  • 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 CAD (enterprise pricing is available upon request):

Swipe right to see more
0 out of 0
Plan

Standard

Plan

Plus

Plan

Pro

Price

CAD$37.51 per month

Price

CAD$100.13 per month

Price

CAD$375.64 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

Multiply inventory capability with BigCommerce

Square Online 4.4/5

Would suit your business if you want value for money.

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

Square Online

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.

While it could massively improve its design flexibility (users scored it a measly 2.6/5), and offer better reporting features, Square Online 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 an excellent no-frills approach to selling online.

We recommend Square Online for small online stores 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
  • Straightforward set-up
  • Easy to get started quickly

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:

Swipe right to see more
0 out of 0
Plan

Free

Plan

Professional

Plan

Performance

Plan

Premium

Price

CAD$0 per month

Price

CAD$15 per month

Price

CAD$32.50 per month

Price

CAD$90 per month

Key Features

Sell unlimited products
Instagram and Pinterest integration
2.9%+30¢ transaction fees

Key Features

Custom font uploads
Password-protected pages
Free custom domain for one year
2.9%+30¢ transaction fees

Key Features

Customer reviews on your site
Abandoned cart recovery
Accept PayPal
2.9%+30¢ transaction fees

Key Features

Advanced ecommerce analytics
Real-time shipping
2.6%+30¢ transaction fees

Get online and sell for less with Square Online

Squarespace Ecommerce 4.3/5

Would suit your business if you need a user-friendly interface.

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

Squarespace

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 performance. For a platform focused on design, we were disappointed to find a limited number of ecommerce-specific templates, too.

Squarespace is the easiest platform for a basic online store.

Pros

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

Cons

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

Squarespace Pricing

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

Swipe right to see more
0 out of 0
Plan

Basic Commerce

Plan

Advanced Commerce

Price

CAD$33.76 per month

Price

CAD$61.28 per month

Best For

SMBs looking to sell online

Best For

Medium-sized ecommerce businesses

Key Features

Product waitlists
Sell on Instagram
Ecommerce analytics
0% transaction fees

Key Features

Abandoned cart recovery
Sell subscriptions
Advanced shipping features (including a real-time cost calculator)

Get online in no time with Squarespace

The Best Free Ecommerce Platform

Square Online is the best free ecommerce platform for businesses in Canada. Offering reasonable functionality at zero cost is a huge draw for many. It’s the only platform in our review to offer a free ecommerce product, though Shopify, Wix, BigCommerce and Squarespace all provide at least a 14-day free trial period.

That said, nothing in this life is truly free: Square Online takes a slice of every sale made on its free platforms. Also, its design features scored pretty low in our user testing. Overall, you’d make far better use of your time and resources by investing in a premium model to grow your sales the way you need to.

Expert Verdict

The best ecommerce platforms are Shopify and Wix eCommerce, scoring 4.7/5 and 4.6/5 respectively in our testing. Shopify is the all-in-one ecommerce solution, ideal for larger, more complex setups. In comparison, Wix eCommerce has more creative marketing options for Canadian 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. Whether you’re looking to sell services, physical items or digital products, you’re sure to find an ecommerce plan and price that’s right for you.

Why not bookmark this guide and come back to it after you’ve come up with a budget?

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. Its huge selection of apps enables a highly flexible merchant setup, plus testing revealed a rapid server response time.
Is Shopify the best ecommerce site?
Yes, Shopify came out on top of our best ecommerce platforms research. Scoring an impressive 4.7/5 overall, test users noted its strong capability in large inventory management. Of the online store builders we tested, Shopify came out on top thanks to its stellar sales-specific features – including stock monitoring, which neither Wix nor Squarespace offer.
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).