Now seems like a good time given the current health concerns, to give our insights into the various ecommerce services available to small business owners. If you’re a small business looking to dip into the pool of online commerce, choosing the right platform can save you time and money. Let’s dig in.
1. Square: Starting with a swiper for accepting credit cards on your smartphone, Square has expanded into ecommerce and robust point of sales systems.
Pros: Base level is free (pay only transaction fees). Quick and easy setup. Good tools to integrate with your website. Offline tools like credit card swipers, & point of sale units. No maintenance required.
Cons: Store customization options are limited.
2. Shopify: A very robust platform that has the power and features to build almost any type of ecommerce solution.
Pros: Starts at $9/month. Quick and easy setup. Robust features and many addons to expand functionality. No maintenance required.
Cons: Can get complicated and expensive depending on your needs and addons. Some limitations on customization.
3. WooCommerce: The leading WordPress ecommerce plugin authored by the same company behind WordPress.
Pros: It’s free (pay only transaction fees to gateway). Huge ecosystem of addons. Unlimited customization options.
Cons: Regular maintenance is required. Separate payment gateway required. Can be complicated to setup for non tech savvy users. Requires WordPress.
4. PayPal: Now ubiquitous, PayPal has come full circle from unicorn startup, to industry standard, to infuriating market titan.
Pros: Free (pay only transaction fees). Quick and easy setup. Can integrate into existing ecommerce platforms. International customers prefer PayPal over credit cards.
Cons: Customization options can be limited and/or complex. PayPal can be troublesome for some people (both account holders and customers).
TLDR; Looking to get online quickly with no fuss? Choose Square or PayPal. Need more power and options? Shopify. Do you want to customize the entire shopping process? WooCommerce.