4 Best Paid eCommerce Platforms

The following platforms are best for beginners with little experience setting up or managing a webshop. These five providers offer solutions for small businesses and individuals for setting up their online stores fast. Almost everything is taken care of for you, so you won’t have to set up payment processors, deal with transactions, or even manually send out invoices.

Wix’s main direction is giving its customers a straightforward way of building a website or an online store. In fact, their platform powers over 500,000 businesses worldwide. Wix also provides hosting for your online store and their plans are quite cost-effective starting from $23/month with an annual subscription.

You get to choose from 500+ free mobile-optimized eCommerce themes and create your store in 90+ languages for a global reach. Starting from the cheapest plan, you can add unlimited physical products and accounts. However, subscription selling comes with a higher tier plan (starting from $27/month).

Wix’s eCommerce platform’s main features are abandoned cart recovery, customizable checkout page, instant purchase buttons, add to cart from a gallery, wishlists, loyalty programs, discount codes, and customer accounts. Furthermore, you get $300 worth of online ad credit and some useful online marketing tools. Wix also supports multi-channel sales through Facebook, Instagram, and eBay.

However, you can only access some features with higher-level plans, so make sure to double-check if the essential store elements you’re looking for are coming with the plan you choose.

Payment Options

Wix offers payment integrations with 40+ providers, including PayPal, Stripe, and Square. They also have an in-house developed payment platform, Wix Payments, which you can use to accept credit/debit card payments and integrate with other payment providers. Starting from the Unlimited plan, you also get a multi-currency converter feature that lets you accept foreign currency and sell your products worldwide.

Wix also comes with an automated sales tax calculator, which is pretty handy. However, this feature has transaction count restrictions based on the plan you choose.

Online Store Management and Reports

Wix has a straightforward website and an online store builder. Furthermore, you can do all the store management, refunding, and tracking from the Wix’s dashboard. Wix also has a mobile app, where you can add products, fulfill orders, track your inventory, get notifications, and more.

Wix supports both direct and drop shipping, which you can also manage through the dashboard. You can set up shipping rules, add custom shipping rates, and print shipping labels. A great perk is Wix’s partnership with USPS, which gives you discounted rates on shipping costs.

The analytics side is also packed with useful reports. You get access to Google analytics, customizable reports, top products’ reports, and business insights. The availability of different statistics depends again on the subscription plan you choose.

Customer Support

Wix has 24/7 customer support through a ticketing system and a callback function. Unfortunately, they don’t offer support over live chat, which is questionable in today’s standards. They do have an extensive knowledge base where you should find answers to most of your questions.

Also, when you first sign up with Wix, their Launch Experts help you get your store online quickly. That’s a great feature, especially if you’re new to online stores.

Pricing

Wix’s eCommerce viable plans start from $23/month with yearly payments. You also get a free domain for one year when going with the annual payments.

Wix doesn’t charge for transactions when integrating with third-party payment processors or Wix Payments. The standard credit card processing fees still apply to the latter.

Business Basic: $23/month with annual payments

  • Free eCommerce templates
  • Unlimited accounts and products
  • 20GB of storage
  • Integration with Google Analytics

Business Unlimited: $27/month with annual payments

  • Everything in the Business Basic plan
  • 35GB of storage
  • Subscription selling
  • Automated sales tax (100 transactions/month)
  • Advanced shipping options
  • Currency converter
  • Facebook, Instagram, and eBay integrations

Business VIP: $49/month with annual payments

  • Everything in the Business Unlimited plan
  • 50GB of storage
  • Automated sales tax (500 transactions/month)
  • Priority support
  • Customized reports
  • Loyalty program

Wix’s cheapest plan is rather basic. You miss many great features that can help your online store grow or make managing your shop more efficient. However, the upside is that the next tier plan isn’t that expensive, with only a $4 difference in the monthly expenses. We recommend going with the Business Unlimited plan for those reasons above.

Unfortunately, Wix doesn’t have a free trial other than building a free website without eCommerce capabilities. Still, you get a 14-day money-back guarantee to test it out.PS! After you sign up, check the pricing page occasionally as we have noticed that Wix has been offering a 50% discount on some business days.

Get started with Wix here.

Read Wix tutorial

2. Shopify – the Most Popular Platform

Shopify is a well-known eCommerce platform provider, with over one million stores, 2.1 million active users, and $155B+ worth of sold goods on its platform. Their plans start from $29/month. They have an in-house payment processing platform and substantial discounts on shipping rates.

You have a choice between 73 mobile-optimized themes from which 9 are free, and 64 are paid, starting from $140. There’s no limit on the number of products you can add. However, you need a plugin app to process subscription services, something you can purchase from the Shopify App Store.

Some of the other notable features are abandoned cart recovery, gift cards, custom discount codes, and integrated marketing tools such as email marketing, and social media distribution (availability based on the country). Yet, with the cheapest plan, you can only add two contributor accounts.

Payment Options

Shopify gives you the option of using their in-house developed Shopify Payments platform. What is great about it is that it’s integrated with most of the major gateways from credit cards to Google Pay, Apple Pay, etc.

They also have increased security protocols with Level 1 PCI compliance and a default fraud analysis. You can also track and manage the payments in an integrated back office.

Online Store Management and Reports

Managing your inventory and orders, and setting up product pages are also very straightforward and easy. Their interface allows you to drag-and-drop your products, includes automatic image optimization, and you can purchase additional plugins from Shopify’s App Store.

You can print shipping labels and send customers automatic tracking updates. Also, Shopify has cooperation agreements with DHL Express, UPS, and USPS, which gets you additional discounts on shipping costs.

Shopify allows you to easily integrate your website with Google Analytics to get basic data about your store’s performance. However, the professional eCommerce reports come from the Shopify plan. Building custom reports are only possible from the Advanced Shopify plan.

Customer Support

Shopify has 24/7 customer support over email, live chat, and phone for paying store owners. Otherwise, you can find answers to your questions through forums or Shopify Help Center.

Pricing

The plans start from $29/month and include all the main features, but the significant difference comes from the transaction fees. You also get access to more detailed reports with the higher-tier plans.

The transaction fees for online credit card rates start from 2.9% + 30¢, and the additional charge for using any other payment provider begins at 2%.

Basic Shopify plan: $29/month

  • 2 accounts
  • Shipping discount up to 64%
  • Online credit card fee 2.9% + 30¢ or 2% using other providers

Shopify plan: $79/month

  • 5 accounts
  • eCommerce reports
  • Shipping discount up to 72%
  • Online credit card fees 2.6% + 30¢ or 1% using other providers.

Advanced Shopify plan: $299/month

  • 15 accounts
  • Custom reports
  • Third-party shipping rates calculations
  • Shipping discount up to 74%
  • Online credit card fee 2.4% + 30¢ or 0.5% using other providers

The downsides of the cheapest plans are the higher costs for transactions and the availability of useful reports. However, the plan costs and additional perks scale well with the size of your online store.

Shopify also offers a 14-day free trial with no credit card information required so you can test out their platform rather easily.

Get started with Shopify here.

Read Shopify tutorial

3. Squarespace – Best Online Store Builder

Squarespace is a great all-in-one platform for building a successful online store to sell goods. They take care of all the server management and give you easy-to-use tools for building and running your shop. Their pricing is quite cheap, starting from $18/month with annual payments and basic features.

You get access to tons of mobile-optimized and customizable templates, which you can further tweak by using CSS and Javascript. You can upload as many physical products as you need, but the subscription selling option comes only with the Advanced Commerce plan.

Other main features are the customizable promotional pop-ups and banners, abandoned cart recovery, automatic shipping rate calculations (ZIP code level in the US), customizable discount rules, custom integration with APIs, and limited availability labels for promotional use. However, some of these features are only available with higher-tier plans, so take a look at the pricing section for Squarespace below.

Payment Options

Squarespace allows you to accept major credit card payments directly to your bank account. You can also set up a Stripe account to accept more payment methods such as Apple Pay, PayPal, etc. All of this allows your online store to accept major currencies from around the world.

You can also set custom tax rates with support to VAT, HST, and GST. The taxes also reflect automatically on customizable invoices.

Online Store Management and Reports

Squarespace’s interface makes it easy to use. Set up your product pages, manage your inventory, track any outstanding orders, and manage your customer base from one central location. Use a simple drag-and-drop tool, update your customers on email, and print packing slips from one central location.

You get access to website analytics and additional sales and conversion metrics to track your online store’s success. You also get an overview of your customer base with further data on total spending, average basket value, and other benchmarks. Among the reports, you can find the best-selling goods, current sales trends, conversion monitoring from a visit to sales, and many more.

Customer Support

Squarespace has 24/7 email-based customer support. Their live chat support is available only from Monday to Thursday. Outside of the live chat hours, you’re greeted by a chatbot, which respond to specific keywords from your written question. It can handle simple requests, but for more specific questions, you might want to get in touch with a support person.

They do claim that all inquiries get answered within an hour.

Pricing

Squarespace is available with both monthly and annual payments, but the latter comes cheaper with every plan. Also, the yearly plans come with a free domain for one year.

The transaction fees only apply to the Business plan (3%). Yet, credit card processor fees still apply to all plans.

Business plan: $18/month annually or $26/month monthly

  • Free templates
  • Unlimited contributors and products
  • Website analytics
  • 3% transaction fees

Basic Commerce: $26/month annually or $30/month monthly

  • Everything in the Business plan
  • No transaction fees
  • Customer accounts
  • On-domain checkout process
  • Additional eCommerce analytics

Advanced Commerce: $40/month annually or $46/month monthly

  • Everything in Basic Commerce plan
  • Abandoned cart recovery
  • Subscription selling
  • Automatic shipping rate calculation

The downside of the cheapest plan is that it comes with 3% transaction fees, no customer accounts, checkout is redirected from your domain, and no abandoned shopping cart recovery.

However, you can get started with Squarespace for free without adding a credit card to try them out.

Get started with Squarespace here.

Read Squarespace tutorial

4. Zyro – the Cheapest Base Plan

Zyro was just founded last year, and they came out of the gate fresh and with new ideas for a simplistic eCommerce platform. Their plans are quite cheap, starting from $8.99/month (with a 3-year commitment) and having some state-of-the-art AI integrations to help you build an online store.

You can choose between 11 free mobile-optimized storefront themes, which you can modify in a handy grid setup with drag and drop functionality. You can add physical and digital products, but they don’t support subscription selling at this point. You’re also limited to 100 products with the cheapest plan, which upgrades to unlimited with the next tier.

The other main features are a live chat plugin that comes as a default, custom discount codes, and gift cards. The abandoned cart recovery feature and integrations with Facebook and Instagram are available with the higher-tier Plus plan. US customers can also benefit from a default integration with Amazon.

Payment Options

Building your online store with Zyro allows you to accept payments from the major credit card companies VISA, MasterCard, Discover, and AMEX. You can also add a variety of 3rd party payment applications such as PayPal, Stripe, and Square, to name a few. In total, you get access to over 70 supported payment gateways, which is quite impressive.

Online Store Management and Reports

Starting from the cheapest plan, you get access to a simplistic interface for all of your inventory, shipping, and tax management. You can set up your product pages with an intuitive drag and drop function, set shipping options, and create custom tax rules for your products.

Your online store with Zyro is easily integrated with Google Analytics to track basic website metrics and has a built-in remarketing application. You also have a complete overview of order tracking and invoicing. Yet, in all that simplicity, when your online store grows, you might want to have more data and analytics options.

Customer Support

Zyro’s customer support is available 24/7 over email and live chat. The live chat option becomes available after you sign up. Even though you can email them 24/7, don’t expect a quick response. Our inquiry received an answer about 16 hours later when we reached out. But, when we got in touch through live chat, we got a reply much faster.

Pricing

The cheapest online store compatible plan starts from $8.99/month with a 3-year commitment. You can also choose an annual or a monthly payment plan with higher prices. All plans come with a free domain for the first year. You also get free access to Unsplash’s image library, which is a great addition.

What’s even better is Zyro’s no-commission policy, which means they don’t charge you on transactions. However, credit card processor fees will still apply to every plan.

eCommerce plan: starts at $8.99/month (renews to $19.99/month)

  • 11 free themes
  • 100 product limit
  • Live chat plugin
  • Discount codes and gift cards

eCommerce “+” plan: starts at $13.99/month (renews to $28.99/month)

  • Everything in the eCommerce plan
  • Unlimited products
  • Abandoned cart recovery
  • Multi-language store option
  • Integration with Facebook, Instagram, and Amazon

The most significant limitation of the cheapest plan is the 100 product cap. You are also missing out on some great features that come with the eCommerce “+” plan. We recommend going with the higher-tier plan straight from the beginning as there isn’t a huge price gap between the two.

Zyro doesn’t offer a free trial option, but you can cancel your subscription within 30 days for a full refund.


For further reading suggestion on E-Commerce Product Strategy, please click to read the below article.

https://www.toptal.com/product-managers/ecommerce/ecommerce-product-strategy

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