9 Best eCommerce Platforms UK for Startups

Choosing the best eCommerce platform UK for a startup or a small business will tremendously help you expand your business. You will be able to find new customers and make more sales – We will review in this article some of the best eCommerce platforms on the market to help you find the right one.

 We will evaluate each eCommerce platform by what it offers, positives and negatives.

 We have reviewed the following 9 Best eCommerce platforms UK for Startups:

  • Shopify
  • Martave
  • Wix
  • EKM
  • ShopWired
  • Ecwid
  • Bluepark
  • Squarespace
  • WooCommerce.

Overview of the UK’s eCommerce market:

According to Statistica, the UK is the most developed eCommerce market in Europe. 

The Office for National Statistics, Internet sales as a percentage of retail sales has reached 36.3% in January 2021. It is the biggest ever increase in online sales since records of online sales began in 2006. 

 

 

Shopping online by age group:

The ONS has published statistics on online shopping by age group. In 2018 and 2019, 97% of the 16-34-year-old people have made an online purchase while 70% of people above 35 years old has made an online transaction.

Shopify:

Shopify is one of the most powerful eCommerce platforms in the UK market. Its popularity comes from its simplicity in launching ready-made eCommerce stores and the customisation of all of its features. Shopify does not need any coding knowledge and it offers a huge choice of themes and apps that cover all merchants’ needs.

Shopify uses its payment gateway for starter plans, they also have a point of sale (“POS”) for retailers. Shopify offers a 14-day free trial period.

Shopify’s basic package initially looks cheap, but merchants have to pay for each addon feature, making the final bill far more expensive than the monthly cost.

Shopify advantages:

  • Ready-made eCommerce store.
  • Easy customisation.
  • Choice of plugins that cover any feature a merchant wants in a shop.
  • Integrated Shopify payment gateway.
  • You can load unlimited products to your shop.
  • No contract.

Shopify disadvantages:

  • Expensive in the long term.
  • It is not a content management software like WordPress.
  • Limited Search Engine Optimisation features.

Pricing Plans:

Basic Shopify Shopify Advanced Shopify
$29/mo $79/mo $299/mo

 

Martave:

Martave is a UK based eCommerce platform that works with women, refugees, small businesses and unemployed people to empower them to start their online businesses. Martave offers free eCommerce websites on a subdomain. You can sell all kinds of products on Martave. Stripe is the main payment gateway that Martave offers. They offer six fully customisable themes. 

Martave advantages:

  • Offers free-forever eCommerce websites.
  • 14 Day trial period.
  • Fully customisable eCommerce themes.
  • Integrated payment gateway.
  • Customers can save their shipping addresses and payment methods.
  • Customers can create a wishlist.
  • No contract.
  • No transaction fees.
  • Free SSL certificate.
  • Load unlimited products to your online store.
  • Excellent Search Engine Optimization functionality.

Martave disadvantages:

  • It is a startup company that is best suited to sole traders, individuals and small businesses.
  • It has a limited number of themes.
  • It is still a little-known company.

Martave is an excellent option for merchants and should be considered as a UK alternative to Shopify for individuals and small businesses and individuals.

Pricing Plans:

Starter Business Business Plus
£0/mo £24.99/mo £39.99/mo

 

Wix:

Wix is a website builder and one of the best UK eCommerce platforms for entrepreneurs. Wix offers merchants the option to choose one of more than 70 eCommerce templates.

Wix templates offer plenty of features, theme customisation and product help and support. Wix’s website builder is a drag and drop. Merchants have full control over their websites.

Each template offers merchants the ability to customise every element to create a novel online store that’s almost custom made. 

Wix advantages:

  • Merchants can add products from the store front end so you do not need to edit in the back-end.
  • Wix offers a mobile app to make changes to your online store on the go.
  • Offers a lot of plugins to get almost any feature you want such as a choice of payment gateway.
  • Wix offers a tax and shipping rate calculator.
  • Wix offers coupons and discount vouchers
  • Comprehensive analytical reports to optimise your store and get more sales.
  • Integration to CRM marketing systems, manufacturers and accounting systems. When you get an order, your manufacturer or wholesaler get notified.

Wix disadvantages:

  • Once you choose your template, you will not be able to change it so you need to be sure about your template choice.
  • Wix apps costs are addons that cost more.
  • Wix SEO is not their main selling point.
  • It is difficult to migrate to a new eCommerce platform because Wix does not offer an export functionality.

Pricing Plans:

Business VIP Business Unlimited Business Basic
£22/mo £17/mo £13/mo

 

Squarespace

Squarespace is a website builder. Squarespace offers a lot of flexibility and customisation when designing your online store. You can change your eCommerce template at any time.   

Squarespace allows merchants to customise any element of their online store including the checkout to make the checkout process unique to your brand.

Squarespace offers a seamless editing experience to enter all product details, descriptions and photos. Squarespace offers unlimited products on its plans. Squarespace offers detailed sales reports for merchants to watch and analyse their performance. Squarespace offers a great platform to manage your inventory so you can replenish your stock in good time.

Squarespace advantages:

  • Switch themes anytime while keeping your shop online without interruption.
  • Offers a great deal of customisation.
  • Affordable price plans.
  • Customers can work from the front-end to enter details in their shop.

Squarespace disadvantages:

  • Squarespace does not have many themes.
  • Beginner users find Squarespace eCommerce platform difficult
  • Square space offers limited payment gateways options.
  • Plugins are limited. Merchants will not get all the functionalities they want due to a lack of plugins.

Pricing Plans:

Personal Business Basic eCommerce Advanced Commerce
$10/mo $15/mo $20/mo $30/mo

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin. WordPress is the most popular content management system on the internet. It is number one for creating websites. Using WordPress to eCommerce websites is the most obvious option for many due to its flexibility, user-friendliness, and unlimited plugins.

WooCommerce requires some technical knowledge to set up the site. Since WooCommerce is just a plugin, it requires hosting and domain name that cost extra. To run a WooCommerce site, you will need many WordPress plugins that are usually billed quarterly or annually.

WooCommerce advantages:

  • WooCommerce is simply a free WordPress plugin.
  • WordPress is a content management system that allows users to create many landing pages and blog pages.
  • WooCommerce allows users to benefit from many free and paid WordPress plugins.
  • WooCommerce allows merchants to use WordPress’s themes that are versatile and readily available.
  • WooCommerce allows merchants to customise their themes as much as they want.

WooCommerce disadvantages:

  • Requires some technical knowledge.
  • You will need to buy plugins.
  • You will need to buy a domain and a hosting plan.
  • In case of technical issues, you will need to contact a developer.

 

Ecwid:

Ecwid stands for eCommerce widget. It is an eCommerce platform that offers a widget that can integrate into any website whether it is on Wix, WordPress, Squarespace, Weebly or Joomla. You could also sell on Facebook, Instagram, eBay and Amazon. Ecwid is similar to WooCommerce because it integrates with WordPress and that it can turn any website into an eCommerce website using their widget. It is designed for small businesses that want to turn their website into an eCommerce site.

Ecwid advantages:

  • Terrific themes are available.
  • Offers a free plan.
  • Free advanced statistics that explain traffic to your website in detail.
  • Add your Ecwid eCommerce store to multiple website sites, personal blogs, and social media platforms and manage all the selling channels from the Ecwid store.
  • Plenty of payment gateway integrations.
  • There are no transaction fees.

Ecwid disadvantages:

  • Reviews suggest limited customisations.
  • Reviews suggest that Ecwid websites aren’t unique enough.
  • Some options are difficult to find.
  • More suitable for small businesses.

Pricing Plans:

Free Venture Business Unlimited
$0/mo $15/mo $35/mo $99

 

ShopWired:

Shopwired is UK based eCommerce platform. They have excellent reviews on Trustpilot. They are more like EKM and Shopify. Their main selling point is that they are UK based and they have excellent customer services.

ShopWired advantages:

  • Powerful theme customisation
  • Manage your products with ease
  • Quick, simple, secure checkouts
  • Sell on eBay, Facebook & Instagram
  • UK platform, UK support team
  • Best rated support team on TrustPilot
  • Help guides, videos and tutorials
  • Best rated for security & compliance

Shopwired disadvantages:

  • Relatively few apps compared to Shopify or WooCommerce.

Pricing Plans:

Pro Advanced Premium
$29.95/mo $59.95/mo $119.95/mo

 

Bluepark: 

Bluepark is a UK based eCommerce platform. Bluepark’s website says that “Bluepark has a wealth of features and options available, without the need of costly plugins, to make your online shop work efficiently and sell more. Easily customise your design, showcase your products, manage payments, delivery and reordering, send email newsletters, list products on eBay and keep your accounts in order. We have everything you need built-in, no matter the size of your business.”

Bluepark advantages:

  • There are no costly apps or plugins to install, all features are fully built-in, incorporated into the package price.
  • One of the most comprehensive sets of features in the eCommerce industry, with each one as flexible and customisable as possible.
  • From eBay to QuickBooks and PayPal to Trustpilot, Bluepark’s comprehensive third-party integrations offer a complete end-to-end solution out of the box.
  • Sell on all devices instantly with our wide range of mobile-responsive templates, or simply create your own. No coding knowledge is required.
  • Bluepark doesn’t charge transaction fees and we’ll never force you onto a higher-priced plan because you’re successful.
  • The Bluepark platform is constantly improved and upgraded with new functionalities, all for free, so you can stay ahead of your competitors.
  • Bluepark’s hassle-free migration service allows you to move your current online shop to our fast and easy to use eCommerce platform without disruption.
  • Bluepark’s super-fast and secure web hosting platform ensures your online shop is available to your customers at all times, at lightning speed.

Bluepark disadvantages:

  • Their themes look basic but they are functional.
  • SSL certificates are not included. It costs extra.
  • Unlike Ecwid, Multi-channel selling requires multiple sites.

Pricing Plans:

Retail Park Business Park Enterprise Park
£24.99/mo £39.99/mo £59.99/mo

 

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