Local Marketing

Best small business ecommerce platforms and what to look for

The key features SMB ecommerce platforms need to simplify your online sales processes

Quick summary
  • Choosing the best ecommerce platform for small businesses can make or break your success at online sales.
  • Don’t overlook the value of SEO features when making decisions for your small business online store.
  • Semrush .Local is your guide to getting more local traffic to your small business ecommerce platform.

Selling via a small business ecommerce platform is a great way to scale and earn money while you sleep. But getting your ecommerce machine running smoothly is easier said than done.

First, you have to understand what makes a good small business ecommerce platform and choose the best one for you. Once you’ve set it up, you’ll need to leverage its marketing features to attract people to your platform.

But what features should small business owners be looking for to make the most impact with their SMB ecommerce platforms? Can you really just rely on paid ads to bring new customers to your online store? And how does local SEO relate to the online side of the business?

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A small business ecommerce platform is software that helps SMBs set up, run, and improve their online stores.

But not all ecommerce platforms are designed with the small business in mind; some offer too many advanced features that the average SMB would never use.

The best ecommerce platforms for small businesses are easy to set up —ideal for companies without a dedicated web developer.

SMB ecommerce platforms also offer lower startup costs and free plans with minimal requirements for inventory management.

Some platforms even plug in to your existing content management system (CMS). Plugins tend to be easier to learn than dedicated systems and make linking your ecommerce and SEO strategies simpler.

Get connected: Building backlinks to your ecommerce site should be a priority in your SEO strategy. Use Semrush’s Listing Management to distribute your essential business details to the top online directories and boost your backlink profile.

What makes a great ecommerce platform?

The best ecommerce platform for your small business will align with your sales goals, resources and type of products/services.

But with so many options, it can be overwhelming to search through all the different features and make a decision.

If you're new to ecommerce and plan on running the platform yourself, choose an intuitive interface to flatten the learning curve. The best ecommerce platforms for small businesses provide step-by-step guides, so beginners can create professional-looking online stores themselves.

Look for features that help you optimize your products for search, like:

  • Easy title tag, meta description, and URL editing.
  • Simple management for image alt-text.
  • Tools for sharing products and pages online.
  • Canonical tag management to prevent duplicate content.
  • Automatic sitemap.xml and robots.txt generation.

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Other common features include secure payment gateways, easy-to-customize templates, digital marketing tools, and built-in review functionality.

It’s not easy to compare SMB ecommerce platforms without seeing them for yourself, so take advantage of free trials.

Free audit: There’s no need to jump into a search tool subscription either. Get a free audit of your online presence today with Semrush’s Listing Management .

The best ecommerce platform for small businesses

Some of the most well-known solutions for ecommerce also happen to be well suited to small businesses.

Shopify consistently ranks among the top choices for small businesses because of its user-friendly interface and comprehensive set of tools. The drag-and-drop website builder and the Shopify App Store let small businesses customize their online stores without a developer.

WooCommerce is an open-source ecommerce plugin for WordPress. It’s an excellent option for small businesses that already have a WordPress website and the basic platform is free.

Wix’s strong suit is its website-building capabilities. This makes it a great solution for SMBs that have yet to build their main website.

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Squarespace is an all-in-one website building and hosting platform, popular for its simplicity and design-focused approach.

Weebly caters to small businesses seeking a straightforward and user-friendly solution. Plus, it comes with online store templates that get you up and running fast.

Launching an ecommerce platform is about more than just setting up an online store.

It's about creating the best shopping experience for your customers. And that journey begins before they’ve even clicked through your shop.

Make the right impression: Customers will likely interact with your brand long before they start browsing your online store. Improve your conversion rates with customers who discover you on search with Semrush Local . The tool comes packed with features for optimizing your business listings and search presence.

Why you can’t ignore local search traffic for your SMB ecommerce platform

Local SEO is a game-changer for small businesses looking to compete in local markets.

But have you considered that local SEO can also benefit your small business’s ecommerce?

Leveraging synergies between your ecommerce and local search strategies allows you to attract nearby customers actively searching for products like yours.

For example, Google Business Profile is a free tool for managing your online presence on Google Maps and Search.

The added benefit for ecommerce businesses is that you can upload products/services and include a link to your online store.

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To take advantage of local search to bring traffic to your ecommerce platform:

  • Claim or create your Google Business Profile , if you haven't already.
  • Add your products and services. Include high-quality images, detailed descriptions, relevant keywords, and links.
  • Keep your product/service listings up to date with the latest offerings, prices, and availability.

Sending local customers to your ecommerce platform also leads to repeat in-person business. People may want to try the convenience of your online store before deciding to make the trip to your location.

Top ranking: Semrush Local helps small business owners rank well in Google Search’s Local Pack and Google Maps.

Check your
local listings for free

Get more local customers buying online with Semrush Local

Ignoring the power of local SEO to drive traffic to your SMB ecommerce platform leaves revenue on the table.

Instead, use Semrush .Local to take your online store to the next level.

Google Business Profile integration

Getting local customers to check out the products and services on your Google Business Profile is all about the right optimization.

But you’ll need to dive deep into the platform’s analytics to understand where to focus your efforts.

Semrush Local connects directly with Google Business Profile to better analyze your data alongside the platform’s other reporting tools.
Google Business Profile reports in Semrush

Local competitor insights

Starting a small business ecommerce platform means growing your potential customer base on a global scale.

But ignoring what's going on at a local level could be an expensive mistake.

Try Heatmap (a Premium Location tool) to spy on local competitors, get AI-powered local keyword recommendations, and use the data in your own strategy.
Semrush Local’s Heatmap tool

Better reputation management

Reviews on small business ecommerce platforms prove to online shoppers that you’re a trustworthy merchant.

But if you can’t back them up with 4.5+ reviews on Google Maps and Search, customers will quickly look elsewhere.

Use Semrush’s Review Management AI-powered tool to reply to customer reviews easily and track your progress to a better online reputation.
Semrush��’s Review Management tool

Local SEO audit and quick fixes

Is your NAP data in order? Are you missing out on valuable business listing opportunities? Do you even know where to begin to improve your online presence?

Semrush’s Listing Management quickly analyzes your online presence to highlight any errors or absent data in 70+ top directories.

Leave it to the tool to make the relevant fixes, saving you from having to log into each platform.
Correctly distributed listings in Semrush’s Listing Management tool
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