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