Best eCommerce Platforms for Small Businesses
For small businesses, the key to success lies in creating a powerful eCommerce presence. However, with limited resources such as time and money, it can be difficult for them to build an effective online store from scratch.
Fortunately, there are various Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) eCommerce platforms designed to make the process of setting up and managing an eCommerce store much easier for small business owners.
With these solutions, small businesses don’t have to worry about developing their own website from scratch or managing its security manually; they just need to select the right SaaS eCommerce platform that fits their needs.
In this article, I’ve listed 9 best SaaS eCommerce solutions for small businesses.
9 Best SaaS eCommerce Solutions for Small Businesses
Shopify is a SaaS based eCommerce platform that allows businesses to create an online store in minutes to sell their products.
Shopify offers a range of features and tools to help you build and run an online store successfully. Shopify also offers various pricing plans to suit the needs of businesses for each size.
Pros of Shopify for small businesses:
- Easy to set up and use — Shopify is designed to be user-friendly and easy to use, even for those with little technical experience. You can easily set up your online store and start selling within a short period of time.
- Wide range of features — Shopify offers a wide range of features and tools to help you manage and grow your business, including customizable templates, payment processing, order management, and integration with a variety of third-party tools.
- Scalability — Shopify is designed to grow with your business. It offers a range of pricing plans to suit the needs of businesses at different stages, and can handle a large volume of traffic and orders.
- Security — Shopify is a PCI-compliant platform, meaning it meets the security standards required for handling online payments. It also offers secure hosting and fraud analysis to protect your business and customers.
- Customer support — Shopify offers a range of resources and support options to help you with any questions or issues you may have, including a knowledge base, a community forum, and live chat and email support.
Cons of Shopify for small businesses:
- Fees — While Shopify offers a range of pricing plans to suit the needs of different businesses, some users may find the fees associated with the platform to be high. In addition to a monthly subscription fee, there are also transaction fees for certain payment gateways, and additional fees for certain features and tools.
- Limited control over design — Though Shopify offers a range of customizable templates and design options, some users may find that they are limited in their ability to fully customize the look and feel of their store.
- Dependence on Shopify — Because Shopify is a hosted platform, you are dependent on the company to maintain and update the software. If there are issues with the platform or it goes down, it can affect your business.
- Limited control over data — As a hosted platform, you are also reliant on Shopify to store and manage your data. This can be a concern for some users who are concerned about data privacy or want more control over their data.
- Limited integrations — While Shopify offers integration with a variety of third-party tools and services, the platform does not offer integration with certain tools that merchants need for their business.
You might also like to read: Problems with Shopify: is it bad for small businesses?
- Shopify Lite: $9 per month – This plan allows users to sell products on an existing website or social media platform, and it doesn’t include a website or blog. The Shopify Lite plan includes features such as buy buttons, product listings, and the ability to process payments and track sales.
- Basic Shopify: $29 per month – This plan includes all the features of the Shopify Lite plan, in addition to a fully functional online store, the ability to sell on multiple sales channels, the ability to track inventory and process payments, manual order creation and a blog.
- Shopify: $69 per month – This plan includes all the features of the Basic Shopify plan, in addition to gift cards, professional reports, and third-party calculated shipping rates, abandoned cart recovery, and the ability to sell in multiple languages and currencies.
- Advanced Shopify: $299 per month – This plan includes all the features of the Shopify plan, in addition to advanced report building, real-time carrier shipping, third-party calculated shipping rates, and access to the Shopify Plus app store.
It’s also worth noting that Shopify charges transaction fees on sales made through their platform, which range from 2.9% + 30¢ on their Basic Shopify plan to 2.4% + 30¢ on their Advanced Shopify plan.
WooCommerce is an open-source eCommerce plugin for WordPress. It allows users to easily create and manage an online store on their WordPress website.
WooCommerce features integration with various payment gateways, inventory management, and the ability to customize the store’s appearance through templates and extensions. It is widely used and supported by a large community of developers and users.
Pros of WooCommerce for small businesses:
- Customizability — Because WooCommerce is built on top of WordPress, you have a lot of flexibility and control over the design and functionality of your online store. You can choose from a wide range of themes and plugins to customize the look and feel of your store. You can also use custom code to add additional features and functionality.
- Wide range of features — WooCommerce offers a range of features and tools to help you manage and grow your business, including payment processing, inventory management, and integration with shipping carriers.
- Scalability — WooCommerce is designed to handle a large volume of traffic and orders, and can be easily scaled up as your business grows.
- Large community — WooCommerce is an open-source plugin, which means it has a large and active community of users and developers. This means you can find a wide range of resources and support for your store, including themes, plugins, and other tools.
- Integration with WordPress — Because WooCommerce is built on top of WordPress, you can easily integrate your online store with your existing WordPress website. This can be helpful if you already have a strong presence on WordPress and want to add eCommerce functionality to your site.
Cons of WooCommerce for small businesses:
- Setup and maintenance — While WooCommerce is easy to install, it does require some technical knowledge to set up and maintain. You may need to spend some time learning how to use the plugin and make customizations to your store.
- Hosting and security — Because WooCommerce is a self-hosted plugin, you are responsible for setting up and maintaining your own hosting and security measures. This can be a concern for some users who are not comfortable with these tasks or who do not have the resources to manage them.
- Limited support — While there is a large and active community of users and developers for WooCommerce, the plugin does not offer the same level of support as some of the other e-commerce platforms on the market. If you encounter problems or have questions, you may need to rely on the community or pay for additional support.
- Limited integrations — While WooCommerce offers integration with a variety of third-party tools and services, it may not offer integration with certain tools that you need for your business.
- Limited advanced features — While WooCommerce offers a range of features and tools, it may not have all of the advanced features that some larger businesses need. If you have specific requirements for your store, you may need to look for a more robust eCommerce platform.
WooCommerce plugin is completely free and there are no transaction fees.
#3 Weebly eCommerce
Weebly is an ideal SaaS eCommerce solution for small businesses and entrepreneurs who want a simple, budget-friendly way to get online. Its intuitive drag-and-drop editor makes it easy to set up and customize your store.
Weebly’s eCommerce feature includes a variety of tools to help users create and manage their online store. Additionally, Weebly integrates with various payment gateways, such as Stripe and PayPal, to process online transactions.
Pros of Weebly eCommerce for small businesses
- Flexible and easy to use — Weebly eCommerce offers a highly intuitive user experience that makes it effortless to build, manage and grow an online store. Its drag-and-drop editor enables you to easily customize your store’s design. Also, its powerful features give you the flexibility to create products, sell in multiple currencies, generate discount codes and more.
- Robust product management — Weebly eCommerce’s built-in product management tools make it simple for merchants to organize their catalogs and keep track of inventory levels with accuracy. It also provides customizable shipping rules, allowing merchants to offer free or flat rate shipping options that best fit their business model.
- Secure checkout process — Weebly eCommerce comes with a secure checkout process that encrypts customers’ personal and payment details. It also provides support for a range of popular payment gateways, including PayPal, Stripe and more. This ensures that merchants are able to accept payments from around the world quickly and securely.
- Comprehensive analytics — With Weebly eCommerce’s built-in analytics dashboard, merchants can track key metrics like website visits, sales breakdowns and customer retention rate in real-time. This allows them to gain valuable insights into their store’s performance, so they can make informed decisions about how best to optimize their business.
- Multiple third-party integrations — Weebly eCommerce allows merchants to connect their store with a wide variety of tools and services, including marketing automation platforms, shipping software, bookkeeping apps and more. This helps them save time by streamlining processes and automating mundane tasks.
Cons of Weebly eCommerce for small businesses
- Limited payment options — Weebly works with Stripe, Square and PayPal as its primary payment gateways, but if you need to accept more forms of payments such as credit cards or bank transfers, you may not be able to do so with Weebly.
- Lack of marketing automation tools — Although Weebly does have some basic marketing features like email campaigns, it does not have the same level of sophistication that other platforms such as Shopify or BigCommerce offer in terms of automation and segmentation for your eCommerce business.
- Fee structure can get complicated for larger stores and businesses — As your store grows, there are several tiers you must upgrade through in order to access more features. As each tier comes with a different fee structure and additional costs, it can be difficult to figure out the true cost of operating your business on Weebly.
- Limited customization capabilities — If you’re looking to create a highly customized store, you may find that Weebly’s limited design options don’t quite meet your needs. You also have fewer options for customizing the checkout process and product pages compared to other platforms like Shopify or BigCommerce.
- Not suitable for large stores or high-volume sales businesses — If you plan on having thousands of products in your store or dealing with hundreds of orders per day, Weebly might not be the best option as it doesn’t scale well with larger stores or those with high volumes of orders.
Weebly eCommerce pricing
- Free plan: This plan includes basic eCommerce features and allows you to sell up to 10 products. It does not include a custom domain name or email, and it includes Weebly branding on your site.
- Connect plan: $10 per month – This plan includes a custom domain name, email, and the ability to sell unlimited products. It also includes basic marketing and SEO tools.
- Pro plan: $12 per month – This plan includes all of the features of the Basic plan, as well as advanced marketing and SEO tools, abandoned cart recovery, and the ability to accept gift cards.
- Business plan: $25 per month – This plan includes all of the features of the Pro plan, as well as advanced shipping options, abandoned cart recovery, and the ability to create custom reports.
BigCommerce is a cloud-based SaaS eCommerce platform that allows businesses to create and manage an online store. It offers a variety of features such as customizable templates, mobile optimization, and integration with various payment and shipping providers. It also provides tools for managing inventory, processing orders, and analyzing sales data.
BigCommerce is designed to be easy to use and is suitable for both small and large businesses.
Pros of BigCommerce for small businesses
- Easy to use — BigCommerce offers an intuitive dashboard that is easy to navigate and use, even for users with no technical expertise. This makes it ideal for small businesses that don’t want to spend too much time trying to figure out how the platform works.
- Mobile responsive — BigCommerce has a mobile-responsive design, which means it automatically adjusts to the size of any device’s screen for easy navigation and shopping. This increases customer convenience and encourages more people to shop on your store.
- The App Marketplace — BigCommerce’s App Marketplace offers a wide range of third-party integrations that are designed to streamline your workflow and improve your overall store performance. These apps cover everything from marketing and payments to accounting and analytics, making it easy for businesses to find the right solution for their needs
- Multiple payment options — BigCommerce supports a variety of payment gateways, allowing customers to choose their preferred payment method when making an online purchase. This gives customers more flexibility and increases the likelihood of them completing a sale.
- 24/7 Support — BigCommerce has a team of support specialists available to help you with any questions or issues you have regarding the platform. They offer round-the-clock assistance, so you can always get the help whenever you need it.
Cons of BigCommerce for small businesses
- Limited customization options — BigCommerce provides limited customization tools, making it difficult for businesses to truly customize the look and feel of their online stores.
- No free plan — BigCommerce does not offer a free plan, which makes it costlier than its competitors like Weebly or Big Cartel.
- Lack of advanced features — BigCommerce lacks some of the more robust features. For example, you can’t create customer loyalty programs on BigCommerce or use multiple payment gateways.
- Complex shipping setup — Setting up sophisticated shipping rules can be tricky with BigCommerce as there isn’t much flexibility in how you structure them.
- Standard plan: $29.95 per month – The Standard plan includes basic eCommerce features such as unlimited products, unlimited storage, and no transaction fees. It also includes a custom domain name, abandoned cart recovery, and marketing and SEO tools.
- Plus plan: $79.95 per month – This plan includes all of the features of the Standard plan, as well as advanced shipping options, fraud analysis, and the ability to create custom reports.
- Pro plan: $299.95 per month – The Pro plan offers all of the features of the Plus plan, as well as additional marketing and sales tools, the ability to sell on Amazon and eBay, and dedicated SSL.
- Enterprise plan: Custom pricing – This plan is customized based on the specific needs of your business and includes all of the features of the Pro plan, as well as dedicated account management and support.
BigCommerce offers an annual plan in which you can save up to 10% of your costs.
Sellfy is the best SaaS eCommerce solution for small businesses that helps users to sell digital products such as music, videos, podcasts, software, and more. It provides tools to control the price of your products and set up payment processing methods.
The platform also offers features like discount codes and coupons, analytics tools to track sales performance, customer reviews, product ratings, email notifications for purchases and more.
The Sellfy platform is powered by Python as its main programming language which makes it easy to create custom applications or integrate existing ones into Sellfy’s systems. Also, Sellfy has its own API to integrate with third party services.
Pros of Sellfy for small businesses:
- Sell products directly from the website — Sellfy allows users to sell products directly from their website by embedding a purchase button and store on their website.
- Print-on-demand — Sellfy allows users to sell physical products using their print-on-demand service.
- Marketing and promotion tools — Sellfy offers tools for running promotions, creating coupons, and tracking sales data.
- Digital product delivery — Sellfy provides the option to deliver products automatically after purchase.
- Secure downloads — Sellfy provides the option to protect your digital products with password protection and expiry date.
- Low fees — Sellfy charges a low transaction fee of 5% and doesn’t require any monthly or setup fees.
Cons of Sellfy for small businesses:
- Limited design options — While Sellfy offers some customization options, it doesn’t offer as much design flexibility as other e-commerce platforms. It doesn’t provide a lot of design customization options which may limit your ability to create a truly unique store.
- No integration with social media — Sellfy does not integrate with social media platforms, which may limit the ability to reach new customers.
- No affiliate program — Sellfy does not offer an affiliate program for users to refer new customers to the platform.
- Limited inventory management — Sellfy doesn’t have an inventory management feature, so it is difficult to keep track of stock levels.
- Starter plan: $29 per month – The Starter plan allows you to sell up to $10k sales volume annually and sell physical, sell-on-demand, digital and subscription-based products.
- Business plan: $79 per month – The Pro plan includes all the features of the Basic plan, selling up to $50k in sales per year while allowing to remove the Sellfy branding.
- Premium plan: $159 per month – The Premium plan offers all the features of the Business plan, selling up to $200k in sales annually, and additional features like product migration and priority support.
You can pay a year or two years beforehand to save costs.
Also, Sellfy allows you to try the platform for free.
Squarespace is another best SaaS eCommerce solutions for small businesses, designers, and entrepreneurs to create stunning websites quickly and easily. With Squarespace’s intuitive drag-and-drop editor, customizable templates, and powerful features like eCommerce integrations, blogging tools, analytics tracking and more, it’s easy to build an impressive online presence.
Plus, its customer service team is always available to provide help and support whenever you need it. Whether you’re starting from scratch or simply want to refresh your current site with a modern design look, Squarespace makes website building simple and straightforward.
Pros of Squarespace for small businesses:
- Easy to Use — Squarespace is incredibly user-friendly and easy to navigate, making it ideal for beginners who may not have much experience building websites. With drag-and-drop tools and intuitive design features like the Style Editor, you can customize your website with just a few clicks of your mouse.
- Flexible Design Options — Squarespace offers hundreds of professionally designed templates that make it easy to create a unique website in no time. And if you want something more custom, you can use their advanced design options such as custom fonts and colour schemes to give your site a completely unique look and feel.
- Reliable Hosting Solution — Squarespace provides reliable hosting solutions so you don’t have to worry about your website going down unexpectedly. Plus, they offer a 99.9% uptime guarantee so you know that your customers will always be able to access your site.
- Drag-and-drop page builder — Squarespace offers an advanced drag-and-drop page builder that allows users to design pages in minutes, while they provide a wide range of plugins and integrations which allow for customisation and personalisation of webpages.
- Security Features — Squarespace takes security seriously and provides several features to keep your site safe and secure. From SSL encryption to automated daily backups, you can have peace of mind knowing that your website is protected from any potential threats.
Cons of Squarespace for small businesses:
- High price — Squarespace is one of the most expensive eCommerce platforms available, with plans starting at $23/month for their basic plan. For many store owners, this comes as a huge surprise and can be hard to justify given all the features that other eCommerce platforms like BigCommerce have to offer.
- Limited marketplace integrations — Compared to other platforms, Squarespace has limited integrations with third-party services such as Amazon, eBay and Etsy. This makes it difficult for store owners who are looking to expand their business into these digital marketplaces.
- Poor support — Although Squarespace offers 24/7 customer service via email and chat support, users have reported long wait times and conflicting answers from customer service representatives.
- Limited payment options — Squarespace only supports a few payment processors, such as PayPal and Stripe, which can be limiting for store owners who need access to more payment options. Additionally, they do not offer fraud protection like BigCommerce does.
- Intimidating learning curve — Despite being one of the simplest platforms available, many users find Squarespace’s learning curve intimidating due to its complicated features and design customization tools. As a result, it may take some time before you get used to working with the platform.
- Limited analytics — Squarespace’s analytics dashboard is limited compared to other platforms and does not offer detailed information about customer behaviour or product performance. As a result, store owners have difficulty making data-driven decisions about their businesses.
- No dedicated app store — Unlike BigCommerce, Squarespace does not offer an app store where you can find third-party apps to enhance your eCommerce store. This makes it difficult for store owners who are looking for additional features that are not available on the platform.
- Lack of expertise — Since Squarespace is complex and has a steep learning curve, store owners may need to hire outside help in order to get their eCommerce site up and running. This can be costly and time-consuming, especially when compared to BigCommerce which offers free training sessions.
- Limited scalability — While Squarespace does offer several plans that are suitable for businesses of all sizes, it lacks the scalability of other platforms such as BigCommerce which allows store owners to easily upgrade or downgrade their plan whenever needed. As a result, store owners may find themselves unable to meet the growing needs of their business without upgrading.
- Personal plan: $26 per month – This plan includes the basic features and tools to manage an online store with a limited product number.
- Business plan: $33 per month – The Business plan includes all the features of the Personal plan, as well as additional features such as the ability to sell an unlimited number of products and fully integrated eCommerce. The transaction fees for this plan is 3%.
- Basic Commerce plan: $36 per month – This plan includes all the features of the Business plan, as well as eCommerce analytics. The transaction fees for this plan is 0%
- Advanced Commerce plan: $65 per month – The Advanced Commerce plan includes all the features of the Basic Commerce plan, as well as advanced Shipping & Discount management tools.
Squarespace also offers a 14-day free trial for all paid plans.
You can also choose the annual plan in which you can save up to 30% of your costs.
Volusion is a SaaS based eCommerce platform that has been providing eCommerce services since 1999, helping entrepreneurs and businesses bring their products to the world. With Volusion’s powerful tools, you can build a custom store in minutes, easily manage your inventory, accept payments from customers and analyze sales performance data.
Pros of Volusion for small businesses:
- Easy Setup — Volusion makes it easy to get started with its platform by offering step-by-step setup guides for both new and experienced users. It also provides helpful resources like webinars, tutorials, and more to help you understand how everything works and make sure you get up and running quickly.
- Comprehensive Support — Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been running an online store for years, Volusion provides the support you need to succeed. Their team is available 24/7 via phone, email, or chat to answer any questions you have about using the platform or growing your business.
- Robust eCommerce Platform — Volusion offers a powerful and user-friendly platform with everything you need to create and manage your online store. They offer dozens of built-in features, including inventory management, marketing tools, analytics, and more. This makes it easy for even beginners to quickly launch a successful online store.
Cons of Volusion for small businesses:
- Limited customization — Volusion offers limited customization options compared to some other e-commerce platforms, which may make it difficult to create a unique and branded online store
- Limited scalability — Volusion may not be suitable for very large or high-traffic online stores, as it is not as scalable as some other platforms.
- High fees and pricey plans — Volusion’s plans start from $35 which is not budget friendly for small businesses. It also charges fees for a variety of features and services, including transaction fees and annual fees, which can add up over time.
- Limited payment options — Volusion only supports a limited number of payment gateways, which may not be suitable for all users.
- Personal plan: $35 per month – The Personal plan includes features such as customizable store design, the ability to sell up to 100 products, and basic analytics.
- Professional plan: $79 per month – this plan offers all the features of the Mini plan, selling up to 5000 products and having 5 staff accounts, and additional features and tools.
- Business plan: $299 per month – The Business plan includes all the features of the Professional plan, selling an unlimited number of products, unlimited GMV (Gross Merchandise Volume), having 15 staff accounts and additional features and tools.
- Prime plan: Custom pricing – The Prime plan as an enterprise solution offers additional resources and support for larger businesses with an unlimited number of products, GMV, and staff accounts.
14-day free trial is also available for Volusion’s paid plans. Also, Volusion offers an annual plan in which you can save up to 10% of your costs.
Ecwid is an innovative SaaS eCommerce platform that makes it easy for small businesses to start selling online. With over 1 million active stores worldwide, Ecwid might be the perfect choice for entrepreneurs who are looking to quickly and easily set up an online store without spending a fortune on custom coding or web design services.
Pros of Ecwid for small businesses:
- Flexible pricing: Ecwid offers a range of pricing options, including a free plan for small businesses and paid plans for larger businesses.
- Responsive design: Ecwid stores are designed to be mobile-friendly and responsive, meaning that they look and function well on a variety of devices. This is important for businesses that want to reach customers on the go.
- Strong support: Ecwid offers a variety of resources and support options, including a comprehensive knowledge base, live chat, and email support. This can be helpful for businesses that need assistance setting up or troubleshooting their online store.
- Multiple integrations — The platform integrates easily with other systems, such as CRM, marketing automation, social media, etc., so you can streamline operations and maximize efficiency.
- Secure payment processing — Ecwid provides secure payment processing solutions that keep your customer’s financial information safe.
Cons of Ecwid for small businesses:
- Only connect one online store — You can only connect one online store and no other platforms. Also, you will need to upgrade your subscription for certain features like loyalty programs and international payments.
- Free plan: The Free plan includes basic features needed to launch and manage an online store. This plan allows selling up to 10 products. The transaction fee is $0.
- Venture plan: $19 per month – the Venture plan allows you to sell up to 100 products and it has additional features like selling e-goods and selling on Instagram and Facebook. The transaction fee is $0.
- Business plan: $39 per month – with the Business plan, you can sell up to 2500 products. The plan includes additional tools and features like having 2 staff accounts and selling additionally on eBay and Amazon. The transaction fee is $0.
- Unlimited plan: $99 per month – The Unlimited plan offers all the features of the Business plan, as well as additional features such as priority support and the ability to integrate POS and branded mobile apps. The transaction fee is $0.
You can also choose the annual plan in which you can save up to 25% of your costs.
#9 Big Cartel
Big Cartel is an eCommerce platform designed for artists, makers, and independent retailers. It offers a range of tools and features to help businesses create and manage online stores and sell products online. With Big Cartel, you can create a beautiful storefront with just a few clicks.
Big Cartel it’s free to start – meaning you don’t have to invest any money upfront to get started on building your dream store. Whether you’re selling one-of-a-kind items or multiple products in bulk, Big Cartel is here to make sure that each customer transaction goes smoothly.
Pros of Big Cartel for small businesses:
- Easy to customize — Big Cartel makes customizing your store a breeze with its intuitive user interface and design tools. You can add images, videos, descriptions, logos, and more to make your store look professional and attractive.
- Powerful analytics — The platform provides powerful analytics that offer insights into product sales performance and customer engagement. This data can be used to optimize products and promotions for maximum success.
- Supports multiple payment options — With Big Cartel, customers have the option of paying via PayPal or major credit cards like Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and more.
- Big Cartel templates are free — As an added bonus, Big Cartel offers a wide range of free store templates that you can use to get started quickly.
Cons of Big Cartel for small businesses:
- Limited features — Big Cartel offers fewer features than other eCommerce platforms, so it may not be suitable for an online business that requires more customization and advanced functionality.
- Low scalability — Big Cartel is tailored towards smaller stores and doesn’t offer enough flexibility to accommodate high-volume businesses looking to expand their operations.
- Limited product options — There’s a limit to the number of products you can have in your store, which is capped at 500.
- No weight-based shipping — Weight-based shipping options aren’t available on Big Cartel, so it may not be suitable for businesses that need this feature.
Big Cartel pricing:
- Free plan: With the free plan you can sell up to 5 products. It’s a great choice for those who have a limited number of products.
- Platinum plan: $9.99 per month – The Platinum plan allows you to sell up to 50 products and includes additional features such as product, shipping, tax management and analytics tools.
- Diamond Plan: $19.99 per month – The Diamond plan offers the same features and tools that the Platinum plan includes. The difference is that you can sell up to 500 products.
The great offer is that Big Cartel gives a 30-day free trial for all the paid plans.
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