Online shopping is getting more popular by the moment it seems, and many independent business owners and small companies want to promote their products digitally in order to better serve their customers. However, with so many selling options on the internet in today’s world, knowing which platform to work with can be a challenge.
Fortunately, we’re well-versed in online business matters, so we have compiled a helpful list of ten of the best platforms that small businesses and independent sellers can use to sell products online.
We’ll cover the basic features of each platform, what about the platform options appeal to sellers, and things to consider before deciding on a platform. Follow along to learn more.
Squarespace is a common favorite among online sellers for a number of reasons. For one, the platform is user-friendly and offers an array of sleek templates for sellers to use. Not to mention, Squarespace has several free template options along with high-quality paid options.
Service plans are relatively affordable and the features included in each subscription level simplify the processes involved in owning and operating one’s own online shop. For example, the Business package at $23 per month allows users an unlimited number of sales and various website customization options.
The Basic Commerce plan is only slightly more expensive at $27 per month and comes with additional e-commerce features. This option allows users a point-of-sale which is great for small businesses with a physical presence as well as an online store. On top of that, this option provides users with business analytics they can use to enhance their marketing strategies.
Other advanced packages are available and the fees associated with hosting a store through Squarespace are relatively low.
Shopify is worth considering for small businesses that want to incorporate dropshipping, or omnichannel sellers. This platform also provides users with a free 14-day trial so that they can explore their options to determine whether Shopify fits their needs.
Several package types are available through Shopify depending on the seller’s needs. The $29 per month option is quite popular, as it includes shipping discount opportunities, two staff accounts, point-of-sale access for physical stores, and abandoned cart reminders.
There is one less expensive package option at just $5 per month and other packages that are more costly than the popular $29 per month option. It should be noted that the higher the cost of Shopify packages, the less the platform charges users for transaction and processing fees.
Everyone has heard about Amazon, which has become a massive online marketplace in the past decade. It’s a go-to option for businesses of all sizes, in all industries, that sell all kinds of things. Further, Amazon is one of the most trusted and competitively priced shopping platforms in existence today.
That said, selling products on Amazon is not exactly easy, as due to having over 10 million sellers operating on the platform, competition is fierce.
Small businesses considering this platform can expect to pay Amazon 99 cents per unit sold under the Individual plan, but the Professional plan eliminates this charge for a single cost of $39.99 per month no matter how many or how few items sell.
While not exactly a platform on its own, WooCommerce is worth mentioning when discussing online marketplaces to sell products. Technically, WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that can convert a basic website into an online shop. It’s ideal for small businesses and new sellers that don’t have significant amounts of money to invest in store hosting, because WooCommerce has a free version.
With WooCommerce, sellers can accept appointment times or reservations, accept recurring payments, work with various shippers, collect pre-orders for upcoming products, develop a customer referral program, and much more (depending on the plan level).
One of the biggest setbacks associated with WooCommerce is the time it takes to learn how to effectively operate WordPress, but other than that, it’s a relatively solid store option.
For businesses related to crafting one-of-a-kind products or creating art, Etsy is one of the best platforms to sell online. It’s a selling platform like eBay in that it requires users to pay a listing fee to post product offerings, which is a 20-cent charge that keeps the listing active for an entire quarter (four months). Standard processing and transaction fees also apply when using Etsy as a selling platform. However, unlike several other platforms, Etsy also pays sellers to advertise their products through offsite ads.
For sellers who need more robust features, the Etsy Plus option might be worth considering at only $10 per month.
eBay is a classic selling platform, one of the oldest of its kind. While it was once a website designed to allow ordinary people to sell items via online auctions, it has evolved into a popular marketplace.
To use eBay, sellers need to pay a listing fee in order to keep product listings active for a determined amount of time. When sales are made, eBay takes transaction-related fees from the total that the seller made on the item they sold. Many small businesses find eBay a valuable resource as they do not have to pay monthly package fees in order to conduct standard eBay business practices.
Bonanza is another e-commerce platform that’s friendly to small businesses, as it’s designed to help owners grow their companies by expanding their professional and consumer networks while making sales at the same time.
Despite not being as big a name as eBay, Bonanza has existed since 2008 and the platform has developed a great reputation as an online marketplace to sell various products due to the client-friendly features they offer. Bonanza doesn’t charge listing fees or monthly fees and instead, they take only 3.5% of a sale’s value. It’s a great platform option for sellers with limited budgets to invest in online store memberships.
If you’ve not yet heard of Shift4Shop, you’re not alone, as it’s a relatively small platform, but for sellers in the United States, using this platform is free (so long as sellers use the credit card processing option). The fees are relatively reasonable at 2.9% for credit cards and an additional 30 cents per order, especially when the rest of the service costs nothing to use. For sellers who opt to use their own payment processing methods, paid versions of the platform start at only $29 per month, which can increase due to staff account numbers being limited with paid versions.
Shift4Shop comes with a selection of useful features as well, such as unlimited products and unlimited staff member accounts.
BigCommerce is a relatively popular name in selling platforms, and for good reason. It was primarily designed to accommodate online sellers, so the features that online businesses have at their disposal are numerous. The plan prices begin at $29.95 each month and they come with unlimited storage space, unlimited product listings, multiple currency options, and several payment options.
Additionally, BigCommerce is known as one of the best platforms to sell online because of its user-friendly interface.
However, BigCommerce does come with a few selling rules depending on the plan that the user subscribes to. This platform has a limit on the amount of income a business can generate from sales each year, so if the user surpasses this limit, they need to move up to a higher-capacity plan. While this option might not be great for rapidly growing businesses, it’s worth considering for new, small sellers.
Finally, Wix has to be included when covering the best selling platforms available. The platform is known for its website-building features primarily, but it’s a decent selling platform as well. Wix is ideal for small business owners who are relatively new to designing an online store, because the platform is very intuitive and user-friendly. It offers an array of attractive (and free) templates and the different package options are designed to fit the needs of a wide variety of seller types.
Like Squarespace, Wix allows users an unlimited number of sales, has an abandoned cart reminder feature included, and allows recurring payments for convenience.
For store owners who need significant storage space, it should be mentioned that Wix’s unlimited storage plan can be pricy ($59 per month). However, it might be necessary for stores with sizeable inventories because storage space is otherwise limited to 50 GB.
Every business is different, and as such, the best selling platform choice is going to be different from one company to the next. In this guide, we did our best to include a variety of platform options, from those aimed at already-established businesses to the platforms designed to assist budding entrepreneurs in pursuing business growth.
If after reading this guide, you’re still undecided when it comes to selling platforms, we invite you to contact Amasty. Our team will provide you with the tools and information you need to make the best possible decisions regarding your business.