With so many different ecommerce platforms out there, choosing one for your small business can be a real headache. Whilst some business owners want the quick and easy option, others want full customisation and options for coding. Below, we look at some of the best platforms available for building your business website.
Shopify offers small business owners a fantastic all-in-one package that doesn’t require users to have in-depth knowledge about programming and ecommerce. There are plenty of free web shop templates and their fees are pretty reasonable.
Most importantly, Shopify allows users to download a range of apps, (both free and paid), that help you to customise and develop your business even further. One example of this is a marketing plugin that helps to improve your SEO, making it easier for potential customers to find you.
Being one of the most popular platforms, Shopify is definitely a site for businesses of all abilities and sizes.
Perfect for those ‘run from your living room’ businesses, Squarespace allows business owners to set up a beautifully designed ecommerce site on a shoe string budget. It’s highly customisable, without asking its users to know any code whatsoever, and you can upload as many products as you want.
Whilst it doesn’t offer much in the way of SEO or CRM, you do get full control of your inventory management, making it easy to upload a whole range of products. This probably isn’t the site for you if you’re a larger business, but for smaller retailers and professional looking to sell goods or services, it’s perfect.
An affordable ecommerce site with plenty of ready to use features as standard, BigCommerce is an excellent site for small businesses and those who might be a little rusty when it comes to their ecommerce knowledge.
The helpful people at BigCommerce will guide you through setting up your site every step of the way. Whether you’re moving your site from another platform or need help with marketing and SEO, their team has you covered.
For a reasonable price, you have access to a range of site templates as standard but also have the option to code if your experience allows for it. The site is very similar to Shopify and if you want to get your site set up quickly, BigCommerce is definitely one to look out for.
Symphony Commerce is a SaaS platform that offloads much of the IT and backend ecommerce issues off onto their experienced team. Whilst these things are crucial to the smooth running of a site, they can be difficult to manage if you’re a small but fast-growing business.
This platform works as a kind of ‘commerce as a service provider’, allowing you to focus on the core areas that make your online store the best it can be, rather than dealing with the techie stuff.
The pay-as-you-go pricing is great for businesses on a budget that are rapidly expanding but if you’re more of a DIY from home business, then a simpler ecommerce platform like Squarespace or Shopify might be better for you.
Before You Commit
It’s always wise to thoroughly research multiple platforms before you commit to anything to make sure the site you choose is going to work well with your business. Choose a platform that is within your capabilities and not just one that looks good on paper. Most importantly, remember to have fun building your website and never stop learning.