Choosing an ecommerce platform is not easy considering the cascade of things required to run an online store. Essentially, you need:

Web hosting (24/7 server space for your site)

Domain name (unique URL, purchased separately)

Website builder

Online payment system

Features to grow sales and improve the website

So-called “all-in-one” platforms include hosting, website builder, essential website features and sometimes a built-in payment system. More often than not, you have to connect the online store with an external payment solution, but this is often made easy in the platform’s settings. With an external payment system integrated, you pay transaction fees separately to that payment provider in addition to the website platform.

For this list, we include some of the most user-friendly and affordable ecommerce solutions suitable for a small business.

Mobile Transaction’s picks for the 7 best ecommerce platforms in the UK:

Platform Pricing* Best for Offer
Shopify $21.75–$299/mo Steady businesses preferring flexibility over cost of add-ons
Wix £10.50-£25/mo Editing in an easy-to-use visual editor with plenty of features
Big-
Commerce
$29.95-$249.95/mo Startups with a decent budget and plans for fast online growth
Woo-
Commerce
Free Merchants who want full control over hosting and website functions
EKM £32.49-£549.99/mo Quality of UK-based support and breadth of features on all plans
Square-
space
£15-£37/mo Simple online stores with good photos and a minimalistic style
Lightspeed £39+/mo Medium businesses keen on scaling both online and POS sales
Platform Best for Offer
Shopify Steady businesses preferring flexibility over cost of add-ons
Wix Editing in an easy-to-use visual editor with plenty of features
BigCommerce Startups with a decent budget and plans for fast online growth
WooCommerce Merchants who want full control over hosting and website functions
EKM Quality of UK-based support and breadth of features on all plans
Squarespace Simple online stores with good photos and a minimalistic style
Lightspeed Medium businesses keen on scaling both online and POS sales

Shopify – popular with small retailers

Best for: Shops with a consistent monthly turnover and detailed inventory library.

Pricing: $21.75 – $299 + VAT/mo

Pros: Many add-on features available. 

Cons: Extra fee for non-Shopify payments. Monthly fee charged in USD.

Shopify is a popular ecommerce platform in the UK, US and Canada, but is also used across the rest of the world. It is best for shops that want an all-in-one ecommerce solution with hosting, website builder, payment processing and plenty of features to customise the online store. In fact, Shopify has the widest choice of add-on integrations available to use with the online store, but they do come at a cost.

Shopify store editing on laptop

The Shopify store editor is generally user-friendly, while having the flexibility to expand through third party features.

Shopify’s main online store plans are Basic Shopify, Shopify and Advanced Shopify. The extent of features depend on the chosen plan, but there’s a steep price rise between the subscriptions. The monthly cost is highest on a pay-monthly subscription compared to paying annually, every other year or every four years.

Accepting card transactions through the integrated Shopify Payments costs a percentage and fixed fee per transaction – the pricier the subscription, the lower the fee. You also have the freedom to integrate with a wide choice of payment processors such as Skrill, Worldpay or Klarna, but each transaction through a non-Shopify processor incurs a ‘penalty’ cost of 0.5%-2% added to the transaction fees through that processor.

Basic Shopify Shopify Advanced Shopify
Monthly cost $21.75 – $29/mo* $79 – $59.25/mo* $219 – $299/mo*
Shopify Payments 2.2% + 20p 1.9% + 20p 1.6% + 20p
Other payments 2% + fee from payment provider 1% + fee from payment provider 0.5% + fee from payment provider

*Prices exclude VAT.

Basic
Shopify
Shopify Advanced
Shopify
Monthly cost
$21.75 – $29* /mo $79 – $59.25* /mo $219 – $299* /mo
Shopify Payments
2.2% + 20p 1.9% + 20p 1.6% + 20p
Other payments
2% + fee from payment provider 1% + fee from payment provider 0.5% + fee from payment provider

*Prices exclude VAT.

Basic Shopify has some feature limitations, for example the lack of gift cards and sales reports that are not as advanced as on higher plans. You do have a choice of 1000+ additional apps and features to add, but many of these have separate fees. Some website templates are free, but most of Shopify’s selection cost $140-$180 each.

Taking all these things into consideration – particularly if you’re not using Shopify Payments – the costs can easily rack up. However, if you’re in it for the long run and you have consistent sales, Shopify is a great choice that can grow with you.

Payments:

  • Built-in: Shopify Payments (Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, American Express, Apple Pay, Google Pay)
  • Integration options: PayPal, Worldpay, SagePay, Klarna and many others
  • POS integrations: Shopify POS, Vend, Hike POS, others

Can you try before you subscribe? Yes, Shopify offers a 14-day free trial.

Wix – top-notch visual editor

Best for: All-round value for non-programmers on a budget.

Pricing: £10.50-£25 + VAT/mo

Pros: Visual editor. Many additional features available. Low monthly cost.

Cons: Payouts can take up to 2 weeks. Customer service not the best.

Wix’s features are hard to beat in their price range. The most advanced plan costs max. £17 + VAT monthly, which gives you comprehensive website-building features as well as priority customer support, unlimited videos on your site and 50GB website storage.

Photo: Wix

Wix Business visual editor

Wix’s visual editor shows the page you’re tweaking, with plenty of intuitive editing options.

All plans have the same amount of ecommerce features with the option to add more tools and integrations from a wide range of external apps as well as Wix’s own apps. This could, however, rack up the monthly cost because many of the add-ons have separate subscriptions.

The less frequently you pay for a Wix ecommerce subscription, the higher the monthly cost. You can pay up to three years in advance for the lowest cost per month, but payments are non-refundable.

Wix subscription Business Basic Business Unlimited Business VIP
Monthly cost £10.50-£16/mo* £13-£19/mo* £17-£25/mo*
Wix Payments 1.9% + 20p

*Prices exclude VAT.

Business
Basic
Business
Unlimited
Business
VIP
Subscription cost/month
£10.50-£16* £13-£19* £17-£25*
Wix Payments
1.9% + 20p

*Prices exclude VAT.

Wix has its own payment system built in: Wix Pay