Trying to pinpoint the best eCommerce platform for startups depends largely on the type of startup. Several great eCommerce platforms are available, and most offer a similar set of basic retail features. However, there are differences in specific features, broader platform ecosystems, pricing, and more.
While there are several eCommerce platforms, not all will be suitable for the unique needs of a startup company. Startups need to be flexible and scalable. Therefore, a startup needs an eCommerce platform that can respond to its needs as they evolve. This post will highlight the eCommerce platforms we think are best suited for eCommerce startups.
Top eCommerce Platforms for Startups
These are not the only eCommerce platforms available, but the following platforms are the ones that we think are best suited for startup companies. Our top eCommerce platform choices for startups include:
Shopify is the most popular eCommerce platform in the world. The Shopify platform is exceedingly flexible, scalable, and highly customizable. In addition, this platform is easy-to-use, offers many free and paid apps, and a rich ecosystem of expert Shopify Plus Partners that can help your startup design a world-class eCommerce website. No matter how big or small your business is, you likely won’t find a better eCommerce platform for your needs than Shopify.
With Shopify, you can build a great eCommerce website using a considerable amount of different themes, templates, and a user-friendly drag-and-drop website builder. If there are features or functions that are essential to your startup, you can explore Shopify’s extensive app market and quickly implement your desired features or functions with a click of a button.
On Shopify, you can sell anything. Your startup can sell memberships, subscriptions, physical goods, and digital items, and you can even dropship. Plus, Shopify offers an extensive range of payment options, so you can accept payments from all your customers in their preferred method. Beyond all of the great features and resources on the Shopify platform, Shopify is endlessly scalable, and its ecosystem is only getting bigger and better. So if your startup wants to stay on the cutting edge of everything related to eCommerce, Shopify is your best option.
Shopify offers a range of different plans for businesses to choose from. If you already have a website and you just want to add eCommerce features, you can choose from plans starting as low as $9 a month. If you want to use the Shopify platform to build a website, plans start as low as $29 a month. There are many different plans that offer different features and services. Be sure to explore the options available to your startup.
WooCommerce is unlike most other eCommerce platforms because it will not allow you to build your own website. WooCommerce is an eCommerce plugin for WordPress, the most popular Content Management System in the world. As a result, many would argue that WooCommerce isn’t a true eCommerce platform, and while that may be the case, WooCommerce is still a great option for startups.
WooCommerce is a great tool for startups that want to build their website on WordPress. It gives entrepreneurs the ability and freedom to adjust their website in whichever manner best suits their business needs. WooCommerce is perfect for startups because it is flexible and can be adjusted to fit a business of any size. In addition, WooCommerce is as simple and intuitive as any WordPress website because it is built on top of an existing WordPress website. This also means that you can access the extensive WordPress plugin and theme directory to customize your eCommerce store in endless ways.
One of the reasons WooCommerce is so popular with startups is that it is an open-source technology. WooCommerce is free to download and install on your existing WordPress website. When you are building a startup, keeping costs under control is a significant concern. You will still have to pay payment processing fees when using WooCommerce, and all associated WordPress hosting fees. However, WooCommerce lets your startup take greater control of its operational costs.
BigCommerce can handle exceptional scalability, making it a great eCommerce platform for startups that want to grow. One of BigCommerce’s biggest selling points is that the platform has many built-in functions and features, so startups don’t have to rely on apps and plugins to achieve the functionality they desire.
The driving principles behind BigCommerce are simplicity and freedom. Your startup can sell a diverse range of products, services, and subscriptions on the platform. BigCommerce allows your startup to reach customers across channels on popular platforms like Amazon, Facebook, eBay, and Instagram. In addition, BigCommerce allows your startup to accept payments from various payment gateways without paying a transaction fee.
Depending on your plan type, your startup can access more advanced features to help with marketing, reach users with abandoned carts, and more. BigCommerce offers a free trial for two weeks. Plans on BigCommerce start as low as $29.95 a month. The platform also offers enterprise plan options for businesses that exceed 400K in annual sales revenue.
Ecwid is similar to WooCommerce because it is a plugin, not a full website-building eCommerce platform. However, if your online business has a website that it is already comfortable with, Ecwid is a great way to add eCommerce functionality to a website. Ecwid has many customizable features and functions, but many of them are behind a paywall, even though Ecwid is an open-source technology free to download and install.
Ecwid is great for startups because it works with existing websites, is easy to use, offers many helpful resources and a large support community, and supports multi-channel sales. Plans for Ecwid start as low as 15 dollars a month. While Ecwid is simple to use, larger organizations might find that this eCommerce solution has limited enterprise functionality and features.
Wix is one of the most popular website building platforms in the world, and while it doesn’t have a reputation for eCommerce, it has several great features and functions for startups. The Wix platform has been helping entrepreneurs build stunning, intelligent online stores using HiTech features like AI for years. Startups that want to get ahead of their competitors should consider Wix for all of the platform’s features and functions.
The Wix platform provides an intuitive online store builder that even non-technical people can use to build stunning eCommerce sites. It also offers mobile-optimized themes, customizable templates, a large app store of additional features and services, and many other impressive features.
The big drawbacks to Wix are the checkout process and the limitations on the types of products sold using the platform. However, Wix is constantly working to improve its platform for eCommerce entrepreneurs. While Wix has some catching up to do with other more established eCommerce platforms, it offers a great website builder.
Like Wix, Squarespace is a popular website builder that you might not have considered as an eCommerce option. Squarespace is popular with entrepreneurs because it allows non-technical people to create beautiful websites. This platform is best known for its web design capabilities. Squarespace is also one of the few eCommerce platforms that give users complete access to the CSS code so that startups can make specific edits to the layout and design of their websites.
Squarespace gives eCommerce startups the ability to sell more types of products and services than Wix. Still, Squarespace also has fewer payment options and very few apps or plugins that can be integrated into the platform. Squarespace can be tried for free, but eventually, your startup will have to pay for a premium plan, which starts at $23 per month for the most basic version.
There are several options when it comes to eCommerce platforms. However, in our opinion, Shopify is by far the best option for eCommerce startups. Shopify offers the most comprehensive platform, apps, and payment options. Plus, it has the largest community of developers and users. However, before you make a final decision, you should do your due diligence and compare eCommerce platforms. If you need help evaluating an eCommerce platform for startups, reach out to an experienced app development partner.