There has never been a better time to take your brick-and-mortar store online. Having a virtual shop allows you to reach markets outside of your immediate locality, serve your loyal customers from the comfort of their own homes, and boost your bottom line by accommodating more sales.
What’s not to like?
Except, the prospect of building an ecommerce website and putting everything in place to make it happen can feel incredibly overwhelming. Luckily, there are a ton of dedicated (and very affordable) ecommerce platforms out there that make it quick and easy.
In fact, with the options we’ve pulled together for you here, you could have your online shop up and running in a matter of hours with all the elements you want working in tandem – want to show off your eco-friendly ecommerce packaging? You can absolutely do that.
If the fear of going online is holding you back – don’t let it! This is the perfect time to create an ecommerce store to complement in-person shopping opportunities.
The Best, Most Affordable Ecommerce Platforms
A quick glance at monthly starting prices:
Starting price (USD)
Starting price (GBP)
|Shopify||$29||Pricing in USD only|
|BigCommerce||$29.95||Pricing in USD only|
|Selz||$26||Pricing in USD only|
If you already have a WordPress site, WooCommerce is the easiest way to tack a store onto your online presence. It’s a simple plugin that allows you to create shoppable pages on your website using premade templates and a drag and drop builder.
If you don’t already have a WordPress site, it’s quick and easy to set one up. This guide here takes you through the process step by step.
Forest Whole Foods uses WooCommerce to power their store.
The great thing about WooCommerce is you can make it as simple as you like. If you just sell a small collection of local cheeses, you can create a store that reflects that.
Alternatively, if you want to create an all-singing, all-dancing platform for people to buy your luxury cars from, it has the capabilities for you to do that too.
Best of all, it’s totally free to use. You can tap into the plugin’s secure payment framework, experiment with configurable shipping options, and more without spending a thing. Here’s our guide to WooCommerce email in case you’ve decided to go with this platform and are thinking about your marketing strategy already.
Price: Free to use in conjunction with WordPress
Unlike WooCommerce, Shopify is essentially an ecommerce store in a box.
When you sign up, you have everything you need at your fingertips to create a beautiful looking store, optimize your product pages to attract more customers, and manage the day-to-day activities of running an online business.
Drink Uproot hosts their ecommerce store on Shopify.
As well as the basic selling features, Shopify also has a suite of marketing tools you can leverage to get more eyeballs on your products.
And if you’re all about looks, the site has thousands of premade templates that will instantly make your store look professional.
Price: Try it free for 14 days. After that, the cheapest plan is $29 per month
With BigCommerce, you can build out your ecommerce store in less than a day with intuitive drag and drop elements.
As well as beautiful templates that have been specifically designed to create seamless shopping experiences, BigCommerce comes with an arsenal of tools that help keep operations smooth and customers happy.
Ethel’s Baking Co. uses BigCommerce to sell their products online.
Again, you can make it as complex or as simple as you like. Set up a basic one-pager to show off your latest line of wines, or create a multi-page store filled with content-rich experiences.
Price: Try it free for 15 days. After that, the cheapest plan is $29.95 per month
If you’re looking for a super simple ecommerce platform that doesn’t require you to know a lot about web design, integrations, and all that jazz, PrestaShop is a great option.
Poupadou created their ecommerce store using PrestaShop.
The platform is free to use and lets you do a variety of things. You can customize your store with your brand colors and choose from a selection of professional-looking themes.
On top of that you can easily manage your products and orders, and you can even translate your store into different languages and currencies to reach a wider audience.
Price: Free to use
nopCommerce is an effective solution for small businesses looking to set up an ecommerce store and scale. The platform is free to use, yet it provides sellers with a whole host of tools and functions to get set up quickly.
Decks.com uses nopCommerce for their online store.
As well as integrations with payment and shipping services, it also lets you manage your warehouse and inventory, plan and execute an ecommerce marketing strategy, and create a mobile friendly store that lets your customers buy while they’re on-the-go.
Price: Free to use
Magento is an all-in-one solution for businesses of all sizes that want to succeed online. While ecommerce is a huge part of its offering, it also serves big businesses that are looking for enterprise solutions.
If you’re hoping to expand and grow, it might be worth starting out with a bells and whistles platform like Magento if you don’t fancy switching over later down the line.
Oddbins powers their ecommerce site with Magento.
As well as integrated core ecommerce features, like premade templates, in-built payments solutions, and shipping options, Magento also features a suite of features geared towards growth. These include business support, business intelligence, and sales enablement tools.
Price: Magento Opensource is free to download and you can configure the platform as you please. The paid version is a lot more expensive and targets Enterprise customers.
Weebly is first and foremost a website builder, but it has an ecommerce element that allows small businesses to quickly create an online store for their site.
Little Choc Apothecary uses Weebly to sell their products online.
Like many of the other options listed here, Weebly comes equipped with a collection of professional store templates to choose from as well as a fully integrated shopping cart.
This provides a secure and seamless checkout experience for your customers and means you can start selling online straight away – you don’t need any complicated technical know-how to get started.
Price: Weebly has a free plan with limited features. You’ll need to upgrade to the Pro ($9/£9 per month) or Business plan ($16/£18 per month) to use a customized shopping cart, coupon codes, third party payment providers, and other features
Like Weebly, Wix is a website builder at its core. However, it has the option to attach an ecommerce store to your website for an affordable amount each month.
The tools available mean you can choose from hundreds of professional store templates, brand your ecommerce store, add as many products as you like, accept secure online payments, and manage end-to-end fulfillment.
Cuts & Bruises barbers hosts their ecommerce site on Wix.
As well as features to make the ecommerce side of things a breeze, Wix also has a number of advanced marketing tools that help you optimize your site and get it in front of the right people.
Price: The cheapest plan starts at $17/£22 per month
Opencart lets you create an ecommerce store for free with the help of key integrations, tools, and features.
Garden on a Roll uses Opencart to sell their products online.
As well as the usual suspects, like the ability to implement a secure payment provider at checkout, inventory management, and professional templates to choose from, small business owners can also tap into the built-in SEO tools, manage customer data, and apply coupon codes to increase sales.
Price: Free to use
SquareSpace is another website builder with an ecommerce add-on. The platform boasts beautiful looking customized templates and provides a really simple way for you to showcase your products at their best.
Artips Studio hosts their online store on SquareSpace.
SquareSpace was built for simplicity. Visitors can easily browse your goods, add them to a cart, and go through a secure checkout process. The best part is you can have your store set up in no time at all with the intuitive drag and drop builder.
Price: SquareSpace’s Business plan lets you add a fully integrated ecommerce store to your website for $16/£15 per month
Selz is an all-in-one solution that comes with all the usual features of an ecommerce platform, as well as tools that help you scale and manage your online store.
Tommy’s Used Cars hosts their online store on Selz.
It integrates with a range of powerful software, including Sendinblue (via Zapier) that lets you stay in touch with your customers via email.
This means you can manage everything from one central place. The in-built marketing features help you promote your store to the right people and create successful ad campaigns on Google and Facebook.
Price: Try it free for 14 days. After that, plans start at $26 per month
Other Affordable Ecommerce Platforms
The sites we’ve listed here are some of the best ecommerce platforms in the world (and also some of the cheapest), but there are plenty more affordable ecommerce platforms out there that might be better suited to your needs.
The platform you choose will depend entirely on the products you’re selling, your technical know-how, and the elements you need the most help with.
Fortunately, the majority of small business ecommerce platforms provide hundreds of free, professional templates to choose from, let you brand your store so it reflects the look of your brick-and-mortar shop, and help you integrate secure checkout processes and payment options.
Compare Ecommerce Platforms and Choose the Right One For You
While a lot of these ecommerce platforms offer similar features and services, it’s worth digging deeper into the ones that interest you the most to see if they have everything you need.
Once you’ve got a shortlist, you’ll be much better positioned to get started and succeed with your new online store. Then you’ll be able to grow sales by connecting it with an email marketing service like Sendinblue.