The 10th of March is eCommerce Day — a day to celebrate the strides that eCommerce has made in our country and the doors that it has opened for many small business owners. eCommerce is a goldmine for entrepreneurs, especially in the current climate of social distancing and customers opting to shop online. With big traditional brick and mortar retailers prioritising and investing substantial resources into their online presence, the smart thing to do for small businesses is to follow suit and find out which eCommerce platforms would be best for their business needs.

Tom Stuart, CMO at Lulalend and partner in the launch of eCommerce Day states: 

“It’s widely believed that South Africa’s economic recovery will need to be driven by small- and medium-sized businesses.”

The global health pandemic wreaked havoc on the economy, and small businesses will play an integral role in rebuilding it. If you have a business idea, don’t sit in doubt, take action and bring your vision to life. The easiest and most cost-effective way to start a business is doing so online. 

Having an online business has many advantages, namely;

  • Low start up and running costs,
  • Being accessible to customers 24/7, and
  • Increased customer reach

The online space is levelling the playing field in business because budding entrepreneurs can build a business from the ground up with minimal financial resources. All you need to build a successful online business in 2021 is to have a reliable internet connection, agility and patience. Whether you’re an existing business owner who’s ready to take the next step and move your business online or if you’re just starting your online business, which e-commerce platform to choose is a crucial decision you’ll need to make.

 

What is an eCommerce platform? 

eCommerce software allows businesses to sell products or services online. It enables you to do business online and for customers to buy goods or services.

 

What are the top eCommerce platforms? 

The eCommerce solutions market is saturated and showing no signs of slowing down but among the popular ones are the ones we will be comparing: 

  • Shopify
  • WooCommerce
  • Squarespace
  • Zyro
  • Wix 
  • 1-grid eCommerce Store Builder

 

How do you choose the right platform for your business? 

There are a few factors to consider when deciding on an eCommerce platform; costs, ease-of-use, customer support and designs to name a few.

PlatformTemplates

Live Chat

Number of Products

Online Store Management

Reporting
Wix500+ Free Templates

No Live Chat

Unlimited

User-friendly

Google Analytics Integration, Customisable

Shopify

100+ Templates

AvailableUnlimited
User-friendlyEasily Integrate Google Analytics

Squarespace

Unspecified Free Templates

Live Chat LimitedUnlimitedUser-friendlyWebsite Analytics, Track Conversion Metrics

Zyro

11 Free Themes Available

100 Product Limit on Cheapest Plan

User-friendlyGoogle Analytics Integrated

E-Commerce Store Builder50+ Free Templates

Available

Unlimited

User-friendlyGoogle Analytics Integrated

WooCommerceUnspecified

Unavailable

UnspecifiedUser-friendlyIntegrate Easily To Google Analytics

eCommerce Platform Comparison: 

We compare the entry-level eCommerce plans for the most popular platforms:

Wix

Shopify

Squarespace

ZyroeCommerce Store Builder

WooCommerce

Plans start from R340 a month

Plans start from R430 a month

Plans start from R270 a month

Plans start from R130 a month

Plans start from R319 a month

Free but must have web hosting and Wordpress

Which Is The Best eCommerce Platform For Small Businesses?

Evaluating each of the platforms, the one that will best suit your business is the one that prioritises your main concerns as a small business owner and offers an all-encompassing eCommerce solution at one cost. 1-grid’s eCommerce solution for small to medium businesses is a robust business tool at an affordable price. The Website Builder Large from 1-grid starts from R319 a month and has the following features:

  • Add unlimited products 
  • User-friendly website editor 
  • Free web hosting
  • Free .STORE domain
  • Multiple design layout 
  • Technical support 

 

Your journey to a successful online business starts with choosing the right virtual home for your store. We hope this post makes your choice slightly easier and that you feel empowered to get your business off the ground because time waits for no-one.