Explore the Best E-commerce Platforms for Small Business

Sneha Hull | January 17, 2022 | 164 views

E-commerce Platforms for Small Business
The internet era has resulted in a sea of change in the purchasing and selling process. The pandemic shifted everything online and spawned E-commerce platforms for the selling and purchase of virtually everything. During the coronavirus crisis, small enterprises integrated the E-commerce platform into their company operations. Thus, a trend of small business online shopping emerged. This blog highlights the best E-commerce platform for small businesses to reach and elevate your business.

“E-commerce isn’t the cherry on the cake, it’s the new cake”

- Jean-Paul Ago CEO L’Oreal

Statista projects worldwide, retail E-commerce sales to reach 4.28 trillion dollars in 2020 and 5.4 trillion dollars in 2022. Additionally, by 2040, studies predict that internet sales will account for around 95% of all transactions. (Cofes)

The growing need for business-to-business (B2B) services has boosted the growth of B2B E-commerce, which comprises online sales and purchases between two firms. Considering the estimates provided by a few leading statistics, you simply cannot afford to overlook investing in this rapidly increasing section of the organization. Let us briefly review the benefits of B2B E-commerce for small businesses and the components that contribute to the success of an E-commerce platform.

Benefits of B2B E-commerce for Small Businesses

Before you get into picking the correct E-commerce platform for small businesses, have a look at the perks. Compelling benefits have driven many small owners to create an online shop for small businesses.

Let us have a glance at the several benefits of an online shop for small businesses.
  • Increased customer acquisition
  • Reduced operational costs
  • Increased revenue
  • Online presence
  • Increased marketing ROI
  • Eased tracking of a product online

An online shop saves time and energy, and with a single click or tap of the finger, you may offer your products and services to a large audience. It levels the playing field for small-medium-businesses (SMBs) and enables them to acquire clients on a global scale. Consequently, E-commerce platforms are critical for establishing your online store.

However, consider these factors before selecting the right E-commerce platform and setting an online shop for small businesses.  A platform should allow for the following:
  • Facilitating and fostering positive customer relationships
  • Allowing integration of an easy-to-use contact system
  • Utilization of an efficient transaction-processing mechanism
  • Ensuring the E-commerce platform's speed and security
  • Digital downloads

The global B2B E-commerce business was valued USD 6.64 trillion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.7 percent from 2021 to 2028. (Big Commerce)

Additionally, a smart E-commerce platform that is well-suited for your business-to-business store gives you a variety of features, market tools, and statistics that may help you increase your customer conversion rate and sales.

Now that you know the benefits of E-commerce and the factors to consider while selecting the best E-commerce platform for small businesses, let us jump to the meat of the blog.

Top B2B E-commerce Platforms for Small Businesses


Shopify

“E-commerce is not an industry; E-commerce is a tactic.”

– Tobias Lütke, CEO and founder of Shopify

Shopify is a software as a service (SaaS) platform that enables businesses to create online E-commerce stores. Shopify specializes in developing, hosting, operating and managing websites in the E-commerce market. It is one of the most extensively used multi-channel content management systems and the finest of E-commerce platforms for B2B firms, with a high percentage of small- and medium-sized businesses utilizing it.

Numerous market leaders, including FitBit, Penguin Books, Hyatt Hotel Corporation, RedBull, Budweiser, The New York Times and Pepsi, rely on Shopify to manage their E-commerce operations. As a cloud-based service, Shopify eliminates the need to deploy any website servers.

Shopify offers numerous benefits to its users:
  • Provides several built-in tools and features that enable businesses to tailor their website to their individual needs
  • Allows users to create, host and manage impeccably designed websites that are suited for smartphones
  • Is an extremely scalable E-commerce platform
  • The userinterface (UI) is simple to use

Shopify is one of the best E-commerce platforms for small businesses due to its automation and customization capabilities. However, the majority of this app's sophisticated capabilities are available for an extra cost. The trial is completely free and is recommended for businesses with a significant number of transactions. In spite of this, it remains one of the best E-commerce platforms for startups.

However, let’s also take a look at the drawbacks of Shopify:
  • Shopify's Content Management System (or CMS) does not support the publication of rich content such as blogs or vlogs
  • Fees can accumulate rapidly

Wix

Wix is popular as a free website builder, and it also offers one of the best E-commerce platforms for small businesses. This platform is primarily for entrepreneurs and offers a free trial. Wix empowers you to have complete creative control over your website. Additionally, Wix offers a slew of features, including a drag-and-drop shop builder, professional store templates, a variety of secure payment choices, the ability to compute global tax and shipping on the back end and access to inventory management.

Pros:
  • Massive template collection
  • Intuitive drag-and-drop interface
  • Market your site easily
  • Good site speed
  • Large selection of apps and plugins

Cons:
  • Inability to select a fresh template upon publication
  • Tracking and analytics are only available with a premium plan
  • Your website cannot be transferred

Magento

Magento is an all-in-one solution that is popular for both business-to-consumer (B2C) and B2B. It's quite professional and completely free. Magento is an open-source platform. Its customization capabilities, freedom to choose a hosting provider, responsive mobile design, SEO friendliness, and third-party connectors set it apart from other E-commerce platforms. Therefore, it is among the best E-commerce platforms for small businesses.

The firm offers enterprise-level solutions that enable you to create a seamless, omnichannel experience. Additionally, omnichannel is the future of retail, which is why a large number of businesses choose Magento E-commerce for their website.

Magento has been named one of Techliance's top ten E-commerce systems for 2021. (Magestore)

However, along with its advantages and promising features, it also carries a few disadvantages:
  • This process is more consuming than customizing other E-commerce platforms
  • Magento site creation demands a significant time and expertise commitment
  • Has a massive and intricate structure
  • You require self-management of your hosting and payment gateways

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is not an E-commerce platform; rather, it is a built-in WordPress plugin. If you already have a WordPress website, once installed, this plugin may effortlessly transform it into an online store. It is easily accessible due to its foundation in one of the most popular content management systems.

Not only is WooCommerce free, but it is also open source. It is completely configurable and designed for mobile use. WooCommerce is a very popular, custom E-commerce platform for small businesses that are already using WordPress. The open-source platform's extension shop features approximately 300 official extensions covering payment processing, shipping, marketing and accounting.

Pros:
  • Excellent scalability and adaptability
  • WooCommerce integrates with warehouse management and point-of-sale systems
  • Numerous customizability possibilities
  • Increased security

Cons:
  • WordPress-specific; cannot be utilized on non-WordPress-hosted websites
  • Certain extensions may require payment in order for your site to run at maximum capacity, resulting in hidden fees

Frequently Asked Questions:


Which E-commerce platform is best for startup?

The best E-commerce platforms for any startup would be the following:
  • Shopify
  • Wix
  • WooCommerce
  • SquareSpace
  • BigCommerce

What are the best E-commerce platforms for a small business?

All E-commerce platforms have their advantages as well as disadvantages. However, Shopify and WooCommerce are the most commonly used E-commerce platforms for small businesses.

What are the three types of E-commerce?

There are three main categories of E-commerce in use: business-to-business (B2B, e.g. Shopify, Alibaba), business-to-consumer (B2C, e.g. Amazon, Walmart), and consumer-to-consumer (C2C, e.g. eBay).

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How to Choose the Right Small Business Accounting Software?

Article | June 30, 2022

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Melio Announces Integration with Xero to Sync Payments Data

Melio | January 25, 2023

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Melio Announces Integration with Xero to Sync Payments Data

Melio | January 25, 2023

On January 24, 2023, Melio, the industry-leading B2B payments platform for small businesses, announced a new integration with the cloud-based accounting software platform Xero. Through this integration, Melio's small business clients will be able to seamlessly sync their accounts payable and receivable data with Xero, therefore saving time on bill payments, facilitating reconciliation, and enhancing insight into incoming payments. Melio's co-founder and CTO, Ilan Atias, said, "This two-way sync with Xero will help small business customers better understand how much money is going in and out of their accounts at a time when it is critical to keep a close eye on cash flow." He explained, "Moreover, this integration will help save customers time and simplify the bill-paying process while providing them with more visibility and control over their day-to-day finances." (Source – PR Newswire) The United States is home to 33.2 million small businesses, which accounts for 99.9% of the nation's businesses. This integration will enable these businesses to spend less time on accounting and more time growing their businesses. In addition, small business bills, payments, and invoice information will be seamlessly synchronized across the two platforms, saving time typing data into separate accounts and eliminating the guesswork of matching charges to open invoices. The VP of Partnerships, Americas, at Xero, Carol Haverty, stated, "Melio's integration with Xero offers tremendous value to our accounting and bookkeeping partners and their small business clients." She also said, "Melio and Xero have a shared vision of championing small business. We look forward to helping our customers streamline workflows and save time with this integration so they can focus on growing and running their business." (Source – PR Newswire) This is Melio's fourth synchronization with an industry-leading accounting software vendor, extending the company's track record of collaborating and integrating with financial institutions, software providers, and markets. About Melio Melio is a market-leading B2B payments technology firm that helps small and medium-sized businesses send and receive payments rapidly and without hassle, thereby improving their cash flow and productivity. Melio, one of the fastest-growing B2B payment platforms in the United States, is revolutionizing the transfer of funds between businesses. It serves banking institutions and software firms that want to provide accounts payable and receivable solutions to small business clients. The company was founded in 2018, with headquarters in New York, a research and development facility in Tel Aviv, and headquarters in Colorado for the western United States.

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Nuula Acquisition Helps Nav Lead Small Business Financial Health Platform

Nav Technologies, Inc. | January 27, 2023

On January 26, 2023, Nav, the best financial solution for small businesses, announced its integration with Nuula's assets for building momentum, which will assist the economic platforms of small businesses. This integration will add new mobile-friendly app features to the existing Nav platform, providing many financial options based on real-time data. Due to economic fluctuations in the country, banks and financial partners have stopped sponsoring small businesses. However, this platform would assist them to survive and grow their financial needs at a lower price and with easy processes. With the help of Nuula's assets, Nav will provide applications with a credit report, cash flow, and financial updates to enable the business owner to evaluate its growth. Greg Ott, CEO of Nav, says, "This acquisition means we will continue to deliver a financial health experience that eliminates subjective and irrelevant information small business owners are bombarded with every day." He adds, "I've been impressed by the caliber of Nuula's talent and excited to integrate our team. Together, we will continue to bring simplified financial insights and streamlined access to the best financing and credit options to small business owners." (Source – Cision PR Newswire) Former CEO of Nuula, Mark Ruddock, says, "Nuula and Nav both share a passion for helping small businesses succeed." He adds, "I look forward to seeing how Nav leverages Nuula's technology to extend Nav's already compelling product offering in exciting new ways." (Source – Cision PR Newswire) About Nav Technologies With almost 1.7 million active users, Nav Technologies has helped over 200,000 small businesses to deal with their financial problems in 2022. The company has developed class flow insights, business formation, payroll, accounting services, integrated accounts, and curated insurance according to the users' financial objectives. With the acquisition of Nuula's assets, there has been an increase in its active users. More than 50% of its employees have previously worked with Nuula. It makes its users understand their business needs to outrank others, give personalized reports, and provide dedicated funding managers.

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CoreChain Partners with Odoo to Embed B2B Payments and Financing for Small and Midsize Businesses

CoreChain Technologies | December 16, 2022

CoreChain Technologies, the first B2B payments network built on blockchain, announced that it has partnered with Odoo, a leader in open source all-in-one business software, to provide embedded B2B payments and financing for Odoo’s ecosystem of eight million users. The award-winning CoreChain platform is a white label solution that allows any company, ERP, bank, or payment network, to utilize embedded B2B payments. CoreChain’s distributed ledger technology provides a tamper-proof record for every buyer-supplier transaction, and an immutable source of truth for transactions with perfect visibility to both parties. CoreChain’s payments solution also unlocks opportunities to finance accounts receivable held in unpaid invoices that age toward settlement due dates, frequently 30 to 120 days in arrears. This enables small businesses to improve cash flow. Instead of relying on a traditional bank loan, suppliers can align with their customers to tap into new lines of credit. There’s a growing buzz around embedded payments,” said Briand Kitchens, Partner Advisor at Odoo. “However, while many B2C businesses have successfully embedded payments into their online and mobile offerings to increase revenues, boost customer loyalty and gain deeper customer insights, there’s been a void for those seeking better B2B solutions. CoreChain is that solution, offered as a white label service and built using blockchain to facilitate secure and efficient B2B payments. CoreChain’s embedded payments technology will bring tremendous value to the Odoo community.With 3,850 partners and 90,000 community members working with its software, Odoo has built a strong global ecosystem. The Company also has one of the biggest business app stores in the world, with more than 30,000 apps, and operates international offices in Belgium, Luxembourg, USA, India, Mexico, Hong Kong, and Dubai. “As one of the most popular business management software solutions in the world, Odoo sits at the nexus of millions of B2B transactions - including both payments and lending - and now in partnership with CoreChain, can offer a new source of value and revenue across its ecosystem. It’s always exciting to see the democratization of B2B financial transactions in action.” Chris Aguas, Co-Founder and CEO of CoreChain About CoreChain Launched in September 2020 and led by proven FinTech entrepreneurs, CoreChain is the first digital B2B payments network built on blockchain, and is building a network of networks, which enables businesses to pay other businesses securely, quickly, and efficiently compared to legacy methods, while unlocking lending opportunities for suppliers to finance working capital tied up in approved, but unpaid invoices. CoreChain’s award-winning distributed ledger technologyzautomates the exchange of transaction data and funds within a secure and trusted network environment, empowering B2B marketplaces, B2B software platforms and banks to offer payments and financing services to their buyers and suppliers via our API-centric, white-label platform. About Odoo Odoo is a leading provider of all-in-one, open source business software for small and medium sized businesses worldwide. Founded in 2005, Odoo thrives in a unique and fully open ecosystem combining the resources of its community and partners to deliver a full range of easy-to-use, integrated and scalable business applications.

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