5 ecommerce tools for small business to make your life easy during peak season

ecommerce tools for small business

The holidays are coming, and for retailers that means one thing: peak season! From the online boost of Cyber Monday through Black Friday to the last-minute scramble on Super Saturday (the last Saturday before Christmas) retail businesses are put to the test. Ecommerce tools for small business can help them as they look to meet demand, ship on time and make the most of these highly profitable few months. 

This year’s peak is expected to be as big as ever, with many retailers anticipating 28% year-on-year revenue growth. As always, there’s a lot to play for this festive season, and that means retail businesses need to have the most effective ecommerce tools for small business in order to be at the top of their game – regardless of their size. 

For SMEs one of the key elements to a successful operation over the peak season is their choice of ecommerce software. The right software gives these businesses the tools they need to react fast, meet customer expectations and leverage fully the opportunities at hand. 

But which ecommerce platform is best? The answer will vary from business to business, depending on their unique needs. However, here we have distilled five options for you to review for this season’s peak. These are the five most popular ecommerce solutions in Capterra’s directory:

  • Rated 4+ stars by users on Capterra.co.uk
  • High search volume in the UK

Shopify

Rating: 4.5/5

Ease of use: 4.5/5

Customer service: 4.4/5

Pricing: From £23/month

Free trial: Yes

ecommerce tools for small business

Shopify is a commerce platform for online and in-store retail. For ecommerce, the platform provides users an online storefront, social selling capabilities, and a payment platform for card transactions.   Shopify provides a broad set of tools and handles everything from marketing and payments, to secure checkout and shipping.

Reviewers praise Shopify for its ability to seamlessly link back- and front-office processes as well as the large number of apps delivered on the platform and the associated levels of customisation. Other benefits highlighted by users include the free SSL capability and the fact that there’s no requirement for hosting. However, some reviews noted that the pricing can get high and that the payments gateway is a little restrictive.

Our take: Shopify is a solid ecommerce option for most small businesses, especially those that are looking to rapidly build a professional ecommerce operation from scratch. 

Squarespace

Rating: 4.6/5

Ease of use: 4.4/5

Customer service: 4.5/5

Pricing: From £13/month 

Free trial: Yes

ecommerce tools for small business

The Squarespace ecommerce platform provides templates, merchandising and shipping tools aimed at small businesses. The software also provide a range of secure checkout options. Other features include built-in tax tools, discount and gift card tools and conversation capabilities around abandoned carts. 

Squarespace users appreciate the software’s ease of use and cost efficiency. There’s also praise for the quality of its templates, as well as for Squarespace’s convenient support services. However, some users complained that the blogging capability on the platform is too complex to use, while others highlighted challenges around the customisation of templates.

Our take:  Squarespace is a good option for businesses that value great design but don’t have the resources needed to build a premium ecommerce site internally. 

Magento

Rating: 4.3/5

Ease of use: 3.6/5

Customer service: 4/5

Pricing: Upon request 

Free trial: Yes

ecommerce tools for small business

Magento provides a broad range of ecommerce tools and is aimed at companies that want to spend significant time and resource enhancing their online capabilities. The company provides solutions for both large and small business needs. For small businesses, its software includes core commerce features such as cloud hosting and deployment, support, business intelligence and sales acceleration tools.

The reviews on Capterra praise Magento as the most extensive and full-featured open source ecommerce software available. Users are positive about the out-the-box functionality provided by the solution and the flexibility of its customisations and add-ons. However, some reviewers feel that Magento is too focused on larger organisations, while others have had trouble setting the software up. 

Our take: Magento is best suited to businesses that want to grow quickly and are looking for a feature-rich software package – even if that comes with greater complexity.

Ecwid

Rating: 4.6/5

Ease of use: 4.6/5

Customer service: 4.6/5

Pricing: Free plan available 

Free trial: Yes

ecommerce tools for small business

The Ecwid software enabled businesses to sell across websites, social, in-person and through online marketplaces. Ecwid provides centralised inventory, order management and pricing and enables firms to use Google and Facebook advertising to drive sales. The platform also enables retailers to market, merchandise and sell products and services with mobile management and point-of-sale integration. 

According to users, Ecwid requires no training and is simple to operate. Reviews also praise the way Ecwid brings all online sales channels together for a complete online solution. There were some negative comments however around the customisation of templates and the available design options. 

Our take: Overall, Ecwid is a great solution to help small businesses get up and running online in no time and with minimal hassle.

TradeGecko

Rating: 4.4/5

Ease of use: 4.4/5

Customer service: 4.4/5

Pricing: From £30/month 

Free trial: Yes

ecommerce tools for small business

TradeGecko is an inventory control platform and is targeted at multichannel brands, ecommerce companies and wholesalers. The software provides businesses with multi-channel inventory management and order management tools as well as reports and insights based on inventory and sales data. TradeGecko also enables businesses to automate their supply chains. 

User reviews highlight the software’s ease of use and intuitive user interface. Other benefits cited by reviewers include the ease of integration with online marketplaces and simplified inventory management. However, some reviews complained that the smartphone app is limited and that there have been issues with updates. 

Our take: TradeGecko is a great option for any business looking for a simple and effective way to improve complex inventory management processes. 
Take a look at the Capterra directory today to find the best ecommerce platform for small business.