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Best E-Commerce Platforms for Small Businesses in 2023

Autumn is here, and so are cozy winter days where you just need some stimulation due to the lack of sun. You hop on to the internet and go shopping for that sweet release of dopamine. 

That’s good news for sellers though!

Importance of ecommerce Platform for Small Business

E-commerce platforms have become vital tools for small businesses to reach customers online. They allow businesses to create an online store and marketplace presence without costly website development. Using e-commerce, small businesses can market their products to a national or even global audience at relatively low cost. The payment processing and order fulfillment services on e-commerce platforms also take care of important sales operations. Overall, e-commerce provides small businesses affordable access to online selling capabilities that can help their business grow sales and customers.

In this blog, we evaluate several leading e-commerce platforms that are well-suited for small businesses in the UK. Our analysis is based on key factors like features, flexibility, pricing, and support. Through relevant examples and statistics, we aim to help you choose the right platform to start or scale your online business.

Standout Features to Look For

Before looking at specific platforms, it is helpful to understand some must-have features for a small business e-commerce site.

  • Inventory Management: Keeping track of stock levels, orders, and shipments is essential. Look for platforms with robust inventory management tools.

  • Payments: Integrations with popular payment gateways like PayPal and Stripe make the checkout process seamless. buyer. Support for multi-currency payments expands your seller reach.

  • Marketing: Platforms that offer email marketing, abandon cart recovery tools, and integrated social selling capabilities on live streams help drive sales.

  • Reporting & Analytics: Insights into sales, traffic sources, and best-selling products are critical for data-driven decision making. Dashboard views and exportable reports are very useful.

  • Customization: Flexibility to tweak themes, layout, and design elements according to your brand needs is important for a personalized seller experience.

  • Support: Technical assistance should be available through ticketing portals and live chat. Expert guidance on marketing and operations is also valuable for growth.

Top Ecommerce Platforms for Small Business

With these features in mind, here are some of the best e-commerce platforms for UK small businesses:

Shopify: As the world's leading e-commerce platform, Shopify has every essential tool for online sellers. Its comprehensive app ecosystem allows deep customization. Starting from just £29/month, it's ideal for businesses of all scales. Flexible plans like Shopify Plus cater to enterprise needs.

WooCommerce: The world's most popular open-source e-commerce plugin, WooCommerce is free to use. However, businesses need to invest in hosting, themes, and extensions. While flexible, it requires technical skills. Support options are limited compared to proprietary platforms.

BigCommerce: Known for its beautiful storefronts and comprehensive features, BigCommerce starts from £29/month. Its App Marketplace simplifies extensions. Excellent 24/7 support helps businesses succeed. Analytics and marketing capabilities are top-notch. Over 90,000 merchants use BigCommerce worldwide.

SHOPLINE: An emerging leader from Asia, SHOPLINE provides a complete solution for social commerce and omnichannel sales. Its powerful AI-driven marketing automation tools and flexible themes attract fast-growing brands. Free 14-day trials are available on With personal mentorship, SHOPLINE helps businesses scale globally.

Squarespace: Specializing in beautiful storefronts, Squarespace excels at creating professionally designed sites without coding. Its commerce plans start at £16/month but have limited features versus Shopify and Wix. Lacks the flexibility of self-hosted platforms. Best suited for simple online stores.

Wix: With its drag-and-drop interface, Wix makes building an ecommerce site very simple. Advanced plans include valuable tools for £13/month. However, loading speeds are relatively slower. Limited customization options compared to Shopify for growing brands.

Which Ecommerce Platform is Best for You?

The right choice depends on your specific business goals and technical skills. Shopify remains very strong overall thanks to its established ecosystem. For flexible, professional-looking stores without coding, Squarespace and SHOPLINE are great options.

Wix and BigCommerce are worthwhile considering if robust API and extensive apps are priorities. WooCommerce is a cost-effective, open-source route. SHOPLINE stands out for social selling capabilities and global growth support through experts.

Key Factors Like:

  • Annual revenues (Shopify powers over £30 billion in commerce annually)

  • Number of online stores (WooCommerce powers over 30% of the top million online stores worldwide)

  • Market share growth

  • User reviews and ratings

  • Industry expertise and certifications

Can aid informed decision making. Do evaluate free trials extensively as e-commerce needs evolve over time.

In conclusion, digital commerce continues transforming the UK business landscape. An established platform combined with data-driven marketing will help entrepreneurs unlock growth opportunities in 2023 and beyond. With the right tools and strategies, small businesses can compete globally from any corner of the UK.

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