9 Best / Free eCommerce Software For Small Business

Updated: May 16, 2019 / Home » Web Hosting and Wordpress

Which is the best eCommerce software for small business? As a person that has his own online store, I had the opportunity to experiment with various eCommerce platforms. At the end of the day, all major eCommerce CMS are more or less the same, unless you are a big enterprise which requires various features and customization.

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In short, there are 2 types of eCommerce platforms, the Drag and Drop type and Self-Host. The Drag and Drop type is ideal for those that doesn’t want to toy with coding and just need a platform that works while focusing on what they do best – selling, the self-host platform allows you to get your hands dirty by optimizing the software for better SEO.

Do note that self-host are free but you still have to pay the hosting fee, not to mention the support and 3rd party addons are not free either. My advice is if you plan to scale up in the future, go for Magento. If you understand WordPress well, just use WooCommerce, and if you don’t know coding and just want a store that works, go for Wix, Weebly or SquareSpace.

Magento vs Woocommerce vs Shopify vs Prestashop

 

Magento

WooCommerce

Shopify

Prestashop

LanguagePHPPHPRubyPHP
Digital DownloadsYesYesYesYes
eBay IntegrationYesYesYesYes
Multi Store FrontYesNoNoYes
Affiliate3rd Party Module3rd Party ModuleYesYes
Multi VendorYes3rd Party ModuleYesYes
Payment Gateway2Checkout
Authorize.Net
PayPal
Stripe
Square
2Checkout
Authorize.Net
PayPal
Stripe
Square
Amazon Pay
2Checkout
Authorize.Net
PayPal
Stripe
Square
2Checkout
Authorize.Net
PayPal
Stripe
Square
Standalone SoftwareWordpress Plugin ExtensionStandalone SoftwareStandalone Software
Physical Retail IntegrationSquare Card ReaderSquare Card ReaderSquare Card Reader
Shopify POS
Square Card Reader

The chart above is a simple comparison of the features of 4 major notable shopping cart software packages available. Some such shopping cart software such as WooCommerce relies heavily on the extensible through third-party software components and applications. There are pro and cons for all 4 major CMS, it really depends on your needs.

↓ 01 – BigCommerce Essential | Drag & Drop | Starting Price $30/m

BigCommerce Essential

BigCommerce is the world’s leading cloud ecommerce platform for established and rapidly-growing businesses. Combining enterprise functionality, an open architecture and app ecosystem, and market-leading performance, BigCommerce enables businesses to grow online sales with 80% less cost, time and complexity than on-premise software. BigCommerce powers B2B and B2C ecommerce for more than 60,000 brands, 2,000+ mid-market businesses, 30 Fortune 1000 companies and industry-leading brands.

  • Tools that let you get back to business – Built-in apps, features and functionality to help attract customers and make more sales.
  • World Class Ecommerce Security – Security you can set and forget. Protect your store with unparalleled DDoS protection, site uptime, fraud alerts and PCI compliance.
  • Create Content and Commerce Experiences – Build for the future today. Re-launch your store with immersive content experiences and conversion-optimized features to sell more to happier customers.
  • Essential Omni-Channel Integrations – Sell everywhere, from your commerce hub. Sell products where your customers are already shopping — like Amazon and Instagram — from your BigCommerce Essentials control panel.

↓ 02 – OpenCart | Open Source Self-Host

OpenCart

OpenCart is an easy to-use, powerful, Open Source online store management program that can manage multiple online stores from a single back-end. Administrative area simply by filling in forms and clicking Save. There are many professionally-written extensions available to customize the store to your needs. The best free and open-source eCommerce platform. Everything you need to create, scale and run your business

  • Open-Source and Free – Open source means transparent. OpenCart comes with free downloads and updates. Zero monthly fees.
  • Powerful Store Management – Benefit from our built-in SEO. Easy manage products, customers, orders, taxes rules, coupon codes and more.
  • Extensions and Themes – The biggest eCommerce selections of modules and themes to expand your store functionality.
  • Support You Can Trust – We’ve got you covered. OpenCart offers free community or dedicated commercial support.
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↓ 03 – Wix Stores | Drag & Drop | Starting Price $16.50/m

Wix Stores

The Easiest Way to Sell Your Products Online. Choose a beautiful template, customize your online store & start selling. Customize your store’s look and feel. Choose from 100s of designer made templates, and change anything you want to create your professional eCommerce website. Just drag n’ drop. No tech skills needed.

  • Track Your Orders – Easily manage your orders and keep track of your inventory any time.
  • Get Paid Easily – Offer multiple options, such as credit cards and Paypal. 0% commission on all sales.
  • Promote Sales – Create, manage and share promotional coupons to keep customers coming back!
  • Manage Shipping & Tax – Set customized tax and shipping rules for each destination.

↓ 04 – Weebly eCommerce | Drag & Drop | Starting Price $25/m

Weebly eCommerce

Professional online stores for entrepreneurs. Have the freedom to launch and grow your online store wherever, whenever. Choose a unique online store design with a customizable theme to showcase your products. Our easy-to-use drag & drop builder helps you launch your online store quickly.

  • Emails – Use customizable email templates, like an abandoned cart or welcome email, to connect with your customers.
  • Facebook Ads – Build brand awareness and drive traffic to your site by creating Facebook ads right from the Weebly platform.
  • SEO & Site Stats – We optimize your site for SEO to help search engines discover you. Our analytics tools help you track site performance. Plus, you can further enhance your store with partners from our app center.
  • Shipping – Our shipping tool makes sending your products domestically or internationally, easy. Get real-time shipping rates dynamically by carrier, address, weight and quantity.
  • Inventory – Easily track inventory and supply with advanced inventory management tools such as bulk import and export features to help you manage a growing online store.
  • Coupons and Gift Cards – Create coupons with the coupon builder and make custom gift cards to increase sales.

↓ 05 – Squarespace | Drag & Drop | Starting Price $18/m

Squarespace

Squarespace’s mission is to provide creative tools that give a voice to anyone’s ideas. From designers creating the next generation of web and mobile experiences, to those managing their own online presence for the first time, Squarespace provides elegant solutions that set new standards for online publishing. By focusing our efforts on the fusion of design and engineering, we strive to create long-lasting products that place equal weight on form and function.

  • Customer Relationship Management – Use our CRM tools to gain insights including average order value, order history, and more. Easily identify your most loyal and valuable customers—as well as those who are at risk—and organize them using notes and tags.
  • Order & Inventory Management – Send shipment notifications, handle refunds, update stock levels, and fulfill orders of all sizes, on-the-go. Print shipping labels in batch with our ShipStation integration. Calculate real-time shipping rates from FedEx, UPS, and USPS at checkout to provide accurate shipping costs to customers. Easily provide customers with tracking numbers by scanning barcodes from our app.
  • Flexible Payment Options – Make more sales with more ways to pay. In addition to all major credit cards, your store is equipped to accept PayPal and Apple Pay. These alternative payment methods are fast and convenient, saving customers time and resulting in more sales for you.
  • Secure Checkout – 128-bit SSL encryption makes sure the connection between your customer’s browser and your website is secure. Customers expect the highest level of security, which is why we’ve chosen Stripe as our PCI compliant payment gateway for all commerce transactions.
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↓ 06 – Magento | Open Source Self-Host

Magento Open Source

This free edition delivers the performance and features required to meet the basic commerce needs of business today. Magento Open Source (formerly Community Edition) is the perfect platform for an emerging small business site, or if you want to experiment and learn how to build an online store from the ground up. With a ready-to-go sample store you can get a site up-and-running in no time, using comprehensive documentation and an extensive marketplace of affordable, off-the-shelf extensions and themes.

↓ 07 – Shopify | Drag & Drop | Starting Price $30/m

Shopify

The ability to accept credit cards in-store, on the go, and everywhere in between means you can sell anywhere your customers are. Shopify POS seamless integration makes it easy to sell your products and accept payments on any device while automatically updating your inventory, orders, and customer data. Selling your products in many places should be every bit as simple as selling in one. With Shopify’s ecommerce software, you get one unified platform to run your business with ease.

↓ 08 – WordPress WooCommerce | Open Source Self-Host

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is now the most popular eCommerce platform on the web, so you can rest assured you’re in good company. With hundreds of free and paid WooCommerce extensions, spanning all your logistical & technical requirements, you can rest assured there’s an extension for your specific needs. Built for WordPress, WooCommerce is built to integrate seamlessly with WordPress, making it the obvious eCommerce choice for existing WordPress users and connecting you to the fast-growing WordPress ecosystem.

↓ 09 – PrestaShop | Open Source Self-Host

PrestaShop

From your first online sale to shipping thousands of orders around the world, PrestaShop can take your ecommerce business to the next level. Key product features help you build the store you want today and the ecommerce business you imagine for tomorrow. Sell, grow. (repeat) PrestaShop has comprehensive product features for small, medium or large ecommerce stores. Hundreds of features are standard and 100% free.

Conclusion

Which is the best eCommerce software? Magento vs Woocommerce vs Shopify vs Prestashop? If you are running a small online store along your WordPress website, go with WooCommerce because of the good integration. For large complicated online store, Magento is the better choice. If you’re looking at online and offline retail integration, shopify’s iPad POS System is a really good feature.

  • Small with 100 or less items, go with WooCommerce
  • Large online store, go with Magento
  • Online with offline retail shop, go with Shopify

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2 comments on “9 Best / Free eCommerce Software For Small Business

  1. Gravatar
    Sing dong [ Reply ]

    Magento is a very nice platform for getting an e-commerce website. sometimes it is tough for users but overall it is better than all the users.

  2. Gravatar

    Magento is for larger stores, in our opinion. Shopify is for small to medium sized stores but can also power larger stores. It’s when a business wants to have multiple stores running off one database then Magento is the winner, unless we are completely and others can now do this? Magento also handles large stores, with multiple products, categories and attributes….simple.

    Shopify is a great system and perfect for start ups or businesses who want to start an online store, it’s also quite cost effective.

    Magento can be a hungry beast and to run a large store, you will need a large server to handle things. The bigger the database the bigger the server.

    Don’t really know too much about

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