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Best Ecommerce Platforms for Small Businesses

When growing your online business, it’s essential to remember that an ecommerce platform is more than just a tool – it’s the backbone of any successful online business. These comprehensive software solutions not only enable businesses to create branded online experiences and sell products to a global audience but also offer an integrated environment that optimizes marketing, sales, and daily operations. With the right ecommerce platform, small businesses can enhance customer interactions, improve operational workflows, and unlock unprecedented avenues for growth.

In this article, we’ll explore the best ecommerce platforms tailored to meet the unique needs of small businesses – including what basic features you should look for on top of the standout features these platforms offer. Below, we explore what Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Shift4Shop, Ecwid, and Adobe Commerce offer to help you determine which aligns best with your business goals.

What Are the Basic Features You Should Look For?

Choosing the right ecommerce platform is a pivotal decision for businesses aiming to establish a successful online presence. Several key features should be carefully considered to ensure the ecommerce platform you select aligns with your business’s goals.

Payment Processors/Gateways: Ensuring smooth and secure transactions is at the heart of a successful ecommerce experience. When selecting an ecommerce platform, seek one that provides a variety of trusted payment gateways. This ensures that customers can use their preferred payment methods, be it credit cards, digital wallets, or other online payment solutions. Some platforms provide in-house payment systems, like Shopify Payments, that offer the benefit of reduced or eliminated transaction fees but might come with restrictions on what type of third-party payment methods are accepted. 

Educational Resources: As a business owner advancing in the world of ecommerce, having access to educational resources is like having a trusted mentor by your side. Look for an ecommerce platform that provides tutorials, guides, webinars, and blogs. These resources can be your go-to for learning the ropes, from setting up your online store to troubleshooting any potential issues.

24/7 Support: When choosing an ecommerce platform, prioritize one that offers 24/7 customer support. This means you can reach out for help anytime, day or night. Whether it’s a technical hiccup, a payment question, or simply needing advice, having responsive support ensures that any issue is resolved quickly, keeping your business on track.

Customized Site & Dashboard: Your online store is your digital storefront and should reflect your branding. Look for an ecommerce platform that allows you to customize the look and function of your store to suit your vision. And don’t forget about your dashboard – it should be tailored to display the key metrics and data you need to manage your business effectively.

Mobile App: As you work to grow your ecommerce business, you’ll want instant access to your ecommerce platform wherever you are. A mobile app for managing your online store can be a game-changer. It lets you oversee your business on the go, from tracking sales to handling customer inquiries. 

Built-in Marketing Tools: Look for an ecommerce platform with built-in marketing tools. This includes email marketing, SEO features like blogging, social media integration, and advertising features. Having these tools at your reach simplifies your marketing efforts and can help you attract and keep customers.

Multi-Channel Selling: This refers to the practice of selling products on multiple online sales channels simultaneously. This includes being able to integrate your online store with online marketplaces such as eBay and Etsy and social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, which have features that allow for direct product listings and sales. 

By choosing an ecommerce platform that supports multi-channel selling, you ensure that your products are present wherever your potential customers are. This capability not only amplifies your reach but also boosts your chances of conversion, as customers can engage with your brand on their preferred platform.

B2B/Wholesale Capabilities: If you’re aiming to cater to other businesses or bulk buyers, it’s essential to choose an ecommerce platform that offers robust B2B and wholesale features. This includes tiered pricing options, bulk order discounts, customizable catalogs, and the ability to set minimum order quantities. Some platforms allow you to create exclusive access or portals for registered wholesalers. By having these capabilities integrated into your platform, you can seamlessly expand your operations and cater to a broader audience, ensuring that both individual consumers and large-scale buyers are well-served.

SSL Certificate: Short for “Secure Sockets Layer” certificate, an SSL certificate is a digital certificate that provides authentication for a website and enables an encrypted connection. SSL certificates are crucial for websites, especially for those handling sensitive information, such as ecommerce sites, banking portals, or any site where users log in with passwords or provide personal information. While most ecommerce platforms will offer SSL certificates, it’s important to double-check that it’s included in the plan you choose. 

Which Ecommerce Platform is Right for Your Business? 

Selecting the right ecommerce platform is a pivotal decision for any business. With many options available, each offering unique features and capabilities, it can be overwhelming to pick the right one for your business. Here are some of the ecommerce platforms we think are best suited for small businesses. 


Shopify has a worldwide reputation for being an extremely user-friendly platform that can handle everything, from businesses just starting out to enterprise-level sales. Shopify offers over 8,000 apps and plugins, free templates for documents like purchase orders and privacy policies, and more resources that help set first-time ecommerce business owners up for success. It’s the ecommerce platform best set up for dropshipping and selling through Facebook and Instagram ads.


Shopify offers a variety of pricing options to cater to different business needs and stages. Here’s a breakdown of Shopify’s pricing plans:

  • Starter Plan: This $5/month plan is only available for new merchants and those in the free trial period, and is tailored for new business owners who are keen to reach their audience via social media channels. This plan provides a streamlined online store experience and enables sales at events, as well as through social media and chat apps through product links. 
  • Basic Shopify: This plan starts at $39 per month and offers essential features for getting your ecommerce store up and running. It includes unlimited products, 24/7 customer support, a free SSL certificate for secure transactions, and access to the Shopify dashboard and mobile app.
  • Shopify: The regular Shopify plan comes in at $105 per month and includes all the features of Basic Shopify, along with additional tools like professional reports and gift card support.
  • Advanced Shopify: This plan is priced at $399 per month for businesses with more complex needs. In addition to the features from the previous plans, it offers advanced report-building tools and third-party calculated shipping rates for accurate shipping costs.
  • Retail Plan: They also offer a Retail Plan at $89 per month, where you can sell in-store with advanced staff, inventory, and loyalty features. 
  • Shopify Plus: This $2000 per month plan is Shopify’s enterprise option. The Plus plan includes a dedicated account manager for 24/7 personalized support, unlimited staff accounts with additional permission settings, a more customizable checkout, and a wholesale channel, among other exclusive features. Some companies, like Shipfusion, earn the designation of Shopify Plus Partner, recognized for the level of quality, service, performance, privacy, and support needed to help ecommerce businesses succeed.

While Shopify does charge 0.5%-2% transaction fees depending on which plan you choose, you can also save 10% on each plan when switching from monthly to annual payments.

Basic Features

Educational Resources 24/7 Support Customized Site & Dashboard Mobile App Built-in Marketing Tools Multi-channel selling SSL Certificate Included
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Standout Features

  • Centralized Inventory Tracking: Shopify facilitates centralized inventory management, effectively helping businesses monitor product availability. This feature aids in preventing inventory-related challenges, such as running out of stock.
  • Integrations and Add-Ons: Shopify offers a variety of integrations that allow businesses to extend their store’s functionality through thousands of third-party apps and services. For dropshippers, Shopify has easy-to-use apps that allow you to sync with all major dropshipping sites, like Alibaba, Aliexpress, and Oberlo.
  • Loading Speed: While it might not be an obvious consideration, loading speed is incredibly important in ecommerce. Of all the platforms in this list, Shopify comes out with the best load times, which could impact conversions.
  • Wholesale Channel: Offered in Shopify’s Plus Plan, the wholesale channel allows you to create a separate, password-protected storefront connected to your online store to manage both B2C and B2B offerings in one place. This channel enables you to offer products at wholesale prices or exclusive products to certain customers. The channel also allows you to create customized price lists and discount codes.
  • Shopify Shipping: The platform’s integrated shipping lets you connect your store with Shopify’s shipping carrier accounts, allowing you to print labels directly from your admin account and display calculated shipping rates at checkout. However, Shopify Shipping has limitations, such as limited courier options and often inaccurate shipping rates due to variable product sizing. Luckily, since Shopify is such a popular platform, many Third Party Logistics (3PL) providers offer Shopify fulfillment services that can seamlessly integrate with your store to start fulfilling orders from day one.


WooCommerce is the world’s most popular open-source WordPress plugin used by millions of businesses worldwide. WooCommerce is an ideal choice for those looking to establish an online shop from scratch or introduce sales capabilities to their current WordPress blog or website. Being open-source, WooCommerce is a highly flexible solution that businesses can modify for their own individual needs, creating a completely customizable online shopping experience.

Once you download and install WooCommerce on your WordPress website, you’ll have access to an intuitive interface with an onboarding wizard that takes you through the steps of setting up your online store. You can either build the functionality your business needs yourself, or download some of the hundreds of extensions already available on the Woo Marketplace.


The WooCommerce plugin for WordPress is free to install and use. However, since the plugin is meant to be an add-on for a self-hosted WordPress website, businesses will have to pay for their domain name, web hosting, SSL certificate, and payment gateways themselves, along with other add-ons like professionally made store themes and plugins depending on the needs of the business.

If you want to use WooCommerce but don’t have an in-house developer, WooCommerce provides a list of certified Woo Experts that can help you with your store, from small fixes to building it completely. 

Basic Features

Educational Resources 24/7 Support Customized Site & Dashboard Mobile App Built-in Marketing Tools Multi-channel selling SSL Certificate Included
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Standout Features

  • Fully customizable: Are you picky when it comes to website themes? Or do you want to avoid having a similar look and feel to other ecommerce sites? With WooCommerce, you can completely customize how your online store looks. You can use WordPress’s drop-and-drag web-building functions, or you can create custom code, so every part of your site is exactly as you want it.
  • SEO Features: Search engine optimization depends on many factors, like content, user experience, speed, metadata, and more. As an open-source platform, WooCommerce allows you complete control over these aspects, like URL and navigation link customization, page titles, and search functionality. And while some ecommerce platforms have only basic SEO tools available, WooCommerce has access to and integrations with WordPress’s content management features and wealth of SEO plugins. 
  • Extensions: If you don’t want to create certain parts of your ecommerce store from scratch, you can download one of over 800 WooCommerce extensions. These extensions include payment solutions, product add-ons and recommendations, back-in-stock notifications, and subscriptions, and built-in integrations for Facebook, TikTok, Google Analytics, and more.
  • WooCommerce Shipping: Businesses can print shipping labels straight from their WooCommerce dashboard. However, this is only available for domestic orders with USPS and DHL and requires your business to drop off the prepared packages yourself. For a more seamless ecommerce fulfillment experience, consider partnering with a Third Party Logistics (3PL) provider that offers WooCommerce fulfillment services.

Woo Express by WooCommerce

WooCommerce has recently released a new all-in-one ecommerce platform, Woo Express, that offers built-in hosting with custom domain names, SSL certificates, order tracking, and more, with all the powerful functionality of WooCommerce. It offers a great turnkey solution for small ecommerce businesses who don’t already have their own website set up.


The new Woo Express plans are designed to accommodate diverse business requirements, offering varying degrees of features, tools, and support to facilitate the creation and management of online stores. Here’s an overview of the Woo Express pricing plans:

  • Free Trial: WooCommerce offers a 14-day free trial for all available plans.
  • Essential Plan: This plan starts at $39/month and offers you everything you need to launch an online store – including unlimited staff accounts, automated site backups, live shipping rates, a custom domain, and 50GB storage for product images and media. 
  • Performance Plan: WooCommerce’s most popular plan starts at $70/month. This plan includes all the features of the Essential Plan, plus discounted shipping rates, personalized product bundles, back-in-stock notifications, and 200GB of storage for product images and media. 

With each plan, you can save 35% by switching from monthly payments to annual billing.

Basic Features

Educational Resources 24/7 Support Customized Site & Dashboard Mobile App Built-in Marketing Tools Multi-channel selling SSL Certificate Included
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Standout Features

  • Optimized Checkout: WooCommerce focuses on optimizing the checkout process to enhance user experience, which can increase conversion rates.
  • No Coding Required: WooExpress provides a platform that doesn’t require coding skills. This accessibility can benefit users seeking to create and manage online stores without extensive technical knowledge.
  • Extensions: Woo Express offers a curated list of powerful WooCommerce extensions, including payment and product-related functions, and all of the social media integrations you’d need.
  • Open Source: Since Woo Express is an open-source platform, you actually own your own store and data. You’ll be able to customize and run your store however you like, with no problems moving your data elsewhere if you choose to.


BigCommerce is an ecommerce platform focused on medium to large-sized businesses that has been growing in popularity as one of the most powerful options for online stores. With customization options, scalability, and integration capabilities, BigCommerce offers a flexible solution for businesses looking to establish a strong online presence. BigCommerce allows up to 600 variants of each SKU – offering endless room to scale for ecommerce companies that plan to grow their product offerings.


BigCommerce offers a range of pricing plans to cater to different business needs and sizes. Here are some of their pricing options:

  • Standard Plan: Starting at $39 per month, this plan is designed for smaller businesses and includes essential features like up to 3 storefronts, unlimited storage bandwidth, professional reporting tools, and real-time shipping quotes. 
  • Plus Plan: Priced at $105 per month, this plan offers more advanced features for growing businesses. Some of these extra features include consumer group segmentation, stored credit cards, and abandoned cart recovery. 
  • Pro Plan: Starting at $399 per month, this plan is designed for larger businesses and offers additional features like Google customer reviews and product filtering. 
  • Enterprise Plan: This plan offers custom pricing and is tailored to large enterprises with specific requirements. It includes API support and express routing, priority support, and customer success management. 

With each plan, you can save 25% by switching from monthly to yearly payments.

Basic Features

Educational Resources 24/7 Support Customized Site & Dashboard Mobile App Built-in Marketing Tools Multi-channel selling SSL Certificate Included
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Standout Features

  • No transaction fees: There are no extra transaction fees with BigCommerce, no matter which plan you choose.
  • SEO Features: BigCommerce allows you full control of your URL structure, with no forced strings, like /products/ and /collections/. Google favors shorter URLs, so having full control over the structure could benefit your website’s SEO. And while most ecommerce platforms will include a built-in blogging option, BigCommerce has a robust blogging feature that can improve SEO.
  • Customer Group Segmentation: Businesses can create customer groups with specific pricing and discounts, catering to different customer segments all in one website.
  • Product Reviews and Ratings: BigCommerce allows customers to leave reviews and ratings for products, fostering trust and influencing purchasing decisions, without needing to integrate with any third-party apps.
  • Shipping: BigCommerce offers third-party real-time shipping rates on any of its plans. To take full advantage of this, make sure you partner with a reputable 3PL that offers BigCommerce fulfillment services to ensure both you and your customers are getting the best rates.


Shift4Shop, formerly known as 3dcart, is an ecommerce platform that provides businesses with tools to establish, customize, and manage their online stores. Shift4Shop offers a range of features for various aspects of ecommerce, from website customization to SEO tracking. Shift4Shop aims to assist businesses in establishing a solid online presence and connecting with customers in the competitive ecommerce landscape.


Shift4Shop offers a distinctive pricing approach. As long as your online store generates a minimum of $500 in monthly sales, you can utilize the platform’s End-to-End plan for free. If your business consistently reaches or surpasses this sales threshold, you won’t incur a monthly subscription fee, making it a cost-effective choice for many small businesses.

However, the free End-to-End plan is only available to merchants operating within the United States, and only when processing credit card payments through Shift4Shop. For international merchants, the following plans are available:

  • Basic: For $29 per month, enjoy unlimited products, inventory control, digital downloads, and product reviews. The maximum sales cap on this plan is $100,000 per year.
  • Plus: For $79 per month, you can add product Q&As, segment customer groups, and let customers compare products. The sales cap for this plan is $250,000 per year.
  • Pro: At $229 per month, this option includes every feature from the End-to-End plan, including auto-ship, shipment delivery notifications, and a quote system. The sales cap for this plan is $1 million per year.

Each plan gives you a 10% discount when choosing to pay annually.

Basic Features

Educational Resources 24/7 Support Customized Site & Dashboard Mobile App Built-in Marketing Tools Multi-channel selling SSL Certificate Included
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Standout Features

  • Shopping Cart Features: Shift4Shop provides a shopping cart system that includes one-page checkout, secure payment processing, and multiple shipping options to enhance the shopping experience. You can even enable gift wrapping for items year-round, or include it as an option during holiday seasons.
  • Optimized for Mobile Commerce: Shift4Shop offers mobile-responsive templates and design tools. This optimization ensures that customers can conveniently browse and make purchases from online stores using smartphones and tablets. 
  • Built-In CRM: Shift4Shop offers a built-in customer relationship management (CRM) system that lets you keep track of customer interactions without having to download or pay for an additional app.
  • Free Domain Name: Shift4Shop allows businesses to use their own site name for free, without placing it under a subdomain. They even claim they can register a domain for you if your business needs one.
  • Shipping: Shift4Shop enables businesses to display real-time shipping rates at checkout, rather than a flat rate. In order to provide customers with the best shipping experience – and to save on your business’s shipping costs – consider partnering with a 3PL that offers ecommerce fulfillment services.


Ecwid offers a straightforward solution for artists and small businesses globally, allowing them to establish attractive online stores without needing tech experts.

Ecwid can seamlessly integrate onto your existing website by embedding Ecwid’s code into your site’s HTML. If you’re starting your ecommerce business from scratch, Ecwid provides a basic sub-domain (like to serve as your Instant Site landing page.

While Ecwid can operate as an independent page, it’s primarily a one-page platform. This setup might be suitable for single-product sellers. However, for a more diverse product range, it’s ideal to incorporate Ecwid into a pre-existing site.


Ecwid offers a few different options for ecommerce businesses, including a free plan for businesses that only have a few products ready to sell:

  • Free: The free plan includes 5 products, Facebook advertising, tax invoices, and a website
  • Venture: For $19/month, this plan includes 100 products, integrations to sell on Instagram and Facebook, the mobile store management app, live chat support, discount coupons for customers, access to the app market, customized checkout, and more
  • Business: For $39/month, this plan includes 2500 products, integrations to sell on Amazon and eBay, 2 staff accounts, phone support, abandoned cart saver, inventory tracking for all products and variations, your own branded mobile shopping app, and more
  • Unlimited: For $99/month, this plan includes unlimited products, the ability to sell via the branded mobile app, in-person POS integration, unlimited staff accounts, and priority support

Each plan gives you a 25% discount when choosing to pay annually.

Basic Features

Educational Resources 24/7 Support Customized Site & Dashboard Mobile App Built-in Marketing Tools Multi-channel selling SSL Certificate Included
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Standout Features

  • No transaction fees: No matter which plan you choose, there are zero transaction fees when using Ecwid.
  • Branded mobile app: For a one-time extra fee, Ecwid users can turn their store into a branded iOS or Android mobile app. Ecwid handles all of the technical backend of running a mobile app, so you just have to customize it before your customers are able to download it for instant access to your store. This app is included in Ecwid’s Unlimited plan.
  • Automated Google Ads: If you don’t have the time to manage a Google Merchant Center account for your business, you can use the integration between Ecwid and Google to set up automatic ads that you can manage from your Ecwid account. This includes free product listings, or, for an extra fee, automated paid Google Smart Shopping ads to get your products in front of even more potential customers.
  • Digital Products & Subscriptions: Ecwid provides the capability to offer a mix of products, from tangible items and digital content to subscriptions and various services. With the platform, you can distribute digital products up to 25 GB, making it suitable for offering ebooks, video tutorials, design elements, or sound recordings. Additionally, Ecwid caters to subscription-based services and payment plans for premium products.
  • Shipping: While Ecwid does not offer its own fulfillment options, many 3PLs that offer ecommerce fulfillment services can integrate seamlessly with the popular ecommerce platform. Partnering with a 3PL means you won’t have to worry about figuring out any of the logistics of how to ship or what to charge, so you can continue building the best business for your customers. 

Adobe Commerce (formerly Magento)

Adobe Commerce (formerly Magento Digital Commerce, one of the biggest names in ecommerce prior to Shopify) offers ecommerce businesses a powerful platform for establishing and managing their online stores. Adobe Commerce has multiple offerings, depending on your business needs: a self-managed open source option and one turnkey, fully managed platform.

Magento Open Source (formerly Magento Community) is the free, self-hosted, open-source edition of Adobe Commerce that allows you to build your online store from the ground up. Magento Open Source has several essential ecommerce features built-in, like site search, integrated checkout, and mobile-optimized shopping, but requires you to create and manage all of the back-end operations yourself. 

This includes things like hosting for your website, payment processing, site security, content management, customer support, and more. It’s a good option for small businesses with teams that know how to code and implement these features and is a powerful, completely customizable solution for businesses that have the development resources.

Adobe Commerce (formerly Magento 2 Enterprise) is the business-ready version of the platform that comes equipped with drag-and-drop content management, instant functionality, and powerful business tools, so you can set up your online store to start selling right away. If your business experiences rapid growth, Adobe Commerce comes with comprehensive features that you can implement right away – like a complete B2B/wholesale suite – to scale your business without having to wait and build them yourself first.


Adobe Commerce’s pricing options are available upon request, as they vary based on each business’s specific needs and scale. To get detailed pricing information, businesses can contact the Adobe team directly to discuss their specific needs and receive a customized quote.

Magento Open Source remains free, with the caveat that your business will have to pay for hosting and development yourselves.

Basic Features

Educational Resources 24/7 Support Customized Site & Dashboard Mobile App Built-in Marketing Tools Multi-channel selling SSL Certificate Included
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Standout Features

  • High-Quality Integrations and Extensions: Adobe Commerce integrates with other Adobe products like Adobe Target, Adobe Experience Manager, Adobe Real-Time Customer Data Platform, and more.
  • 100% Customizable: With Adobe Commerce, you’re not limited by free or paid themes for your site. If you have a team that is adept at developing websites, or you have the means to hire a developer familiar with Adobe Commerce, you’ll end up with an online store that is completely unique to your brand.   
  • Multi-Store and Multi-Language Support: Adobe Commerce supports the management of multiple online stores from a single backend. This feature also extends to numerous languages and currencies, catering to businesses with diverse global audiences.
  • Live Search: This feature enhances the shopping experience by providing real-time search suggestions and instant results as customers type, making product discovery smoother and more efficient.
  • SEO Features: When using the open source platform, you have more flexibility when it comes to modifying your ecommerce website to improve SEO. You’ll be able to fully customize your URL structure, install extensions for customizable blogging features, and have more control over things like meta descriptions, which can all improve how easily customers can find your business.
  • Shipping: There currently aren’t any integrated shipping options with this platform, but since the open-source platform is so popular, most reputable 3PLs have the capability to offer seamless Magento fulfillment services.

Which Ecommerce Platform is the Best?

For many small and growing businesses, Shopify often emerges as a preferred choice. Its intuitive interface makes it user-friendly, even for those new to the world of ecommerce. Moreover, with its enterprise-level plans, Shopify ensures that as your business expands, the platform can adapt and scale alongside it, supporting your evolving needs. 

However, it’s essential to remember that every ecommerce business is unique, with distinct requirements and goals. While Shopify might be a great fit for many, it’s crucial to evaluate your specific business needs. Examine the functionalities each platform offers and choose one that aligns most closely with your objectives. In the end, the best platform is the one that empowers your business to reach its fullest potential.

Next Steps: Order Fulfillment for Ecommerce Businesses

The journey doesn’t end after choosing the best ecommerce platform for your business. The next pivotal step is ensuring your order fulfillment process is streamlined and efficient. An impeccable online shopping experience should be followed by timely and accurate delivery – after all, how your customers receive their products will influence their lasting impression of your brand.

As a growing business, you have enough going on without having to worry about order fulfillment, as well. Your time is better spent on growing your business rather than dealing with the intricacies of inventory management, packaging, and shipping logistics.

Shipfusion offers turnkey fulfillment solutions, so you don’t have to worry about the complexities of logistics. Shipfusion seamlessly integrates with all major ecommerce platforms, ensuring a hassle-free connection between your online store and the backend logistics. Our white-glove onboarding service means you won’t have to lift a finger while we build and test the integrations. 

Our fulfillment service provides peace of mind knowing your orders are in expert hands and ensures your customers receive their purchases promptly, accurately, and in perfect condition. Ready to scale your ecommerce business to the next level? Contact our fulfillment team at Shipfusion today and discover how we can tailor our services to your unique needs, ensuring your operations run smoother than ever.