The 6 Best Ecommerce Platforms for UK Businesses in 2020

The Best Ecommerce Platforms for UK Businesses

There are lots of ecommerce platforms to choose from but which ones are best for UK Businesses?

That is the question I have answered in this post as I have spent a lot of time reviewing ecommerce platforms for this website and below are the platforms that I think are the best choices.

They aren’t in any particular order as there isn’t an overall best, just a selection of really good platforms that are perfect for building an ecommerce store.

Disclosure – this list contain affiliates links and this means that if you sign up to any of the platforms, I do receive a small commission but this in no way impacts the choices of platform for this list.

Summary Table

PriceEcommerceGold RatingAverage Load TimeSupport
ekm ecommerce logoFrom £32.49/m4.5 / 51.30 SecondsUK Based – Phone, Chat & Email
From $29/m4.5 / 51.60 Seconds24/7 – Phone & Chat
bluepark logoFrom £24.99/m4.4 / 50.76 SecondsUK Based – Phone, Chat & Email
From £29.95/m4.3 / 51.44 SecondsUK Based – Phone, Chat & Email
Ecwid LogoFrom Free4.2 / 5N/AChat, Email & Phone
create.net logoFrom £9.99/m4.2 / 50.82 SecondsUK Based – Email & Chat

Best Ecommerce Platforms for Start Ups & Small Businesses

Being a start up ecommerce business can be challenging so you want to choose a platform that is going to give you the best chance of succeeding. They also offer the ability to scale your business from a small start up to a multi-national ecommerce giant.

Option 1: EKM

The first choice on my list is the UK’s biggest ecommerce platform. Formerly known as EKMPowershop, they have helped over 80,000 businesses start selling online since they were established in 2002.

For new businesses and even established ones, EKM is a great platform for helping you to build and grow an ecommerce business. This is not only due to the ecommerce software but also the fantastic support you get from the EKM team.

From your introductory phone call to your own dedicated account manager, EKM do everything they can to support you and your business.

With every package, you also get access to EKM’s Evolution Team. This is a team of ecommerce specialists including designers and marketers who review your site and advise on any changes that they think can improve your business, best of all, they will implement these changes free of charge once you give them the go ahead.

The ecommerce software itself is also very a good and gives a good foundation for you to build your store, built into the platform are some of the following features:

EKM Pricing

ekm ecommerce logo

Basic

£32.49/m

• Up to 500 Products
• Up to £50k Annual Turnover
• Unlimited Data Storage
• No Transaction Fee

ekm ecommerce logo

Standard

£64.99/m

• Unlimited Products
• Up to £150k Annual Turnover
• Unlimited Data Storage
• No Transaction Fee

ekm ecommerce logo

Advanced

£194.99/m

• Unlimited Products
• Up to £1 Million Annual Turnover
• Unlimited Data Storage
• No Transaction Fee

EKM Features

Hosting

  • Ecommerce Grade Servers
  • Unlimited Bandwidth & Storage
  • PCI Compliant Servers
  • 99.9% Uptime
  • 1.3 Second Average Load Time

Marketing

  • WordPress Blog
  • Custom Meta Data
  • SEO Friendly URL’s
  • Facebook Messenger for Live Chat
  • Social Plugins

Ecommerce

  • Multiple Payment Gatways inc PayPal, Stripe, Klarna, Worldpay and SagePay
  • Abandoned Cart Statistics
  • Discount Manager & Loyalty Points
  • Customer Reviews

Themes

  • 69 Free Mobile Responsive Themes
  • Live Customiser
  • Input Custom CSS & HTML
  • Bespoke Design Service

Try EKM For Free!

Exclusive 28 Day Free Trial

Option 2: Shopify

I can’t make a list of the best ecommerce platforms and not include the biggest in the world can I?

Shopify is undoubtedly the king of hosted ecommerce platforms and as you can see in the image above, they power over 1 million ecommerce store. That is more than every hosted platform on this list combined!

While the Shopify platform is a brilliant ecommerce platform, much of their success has been down to how easy it is to set up a dropshipping business with them. The Shopify App store contains many integrations with some of the world’s biggest dropshipping platforms.

However, they are the choice of many traditional ecommerce stores as the platform is easy to use and creating good looking online shops can be easily done, even by a complete beginner.

Shopify Pricing

Basic

Basic

$29.00/m

• Unlimited Products
• No Turnover Limit
• Unlimited Data Storage
• 2% Transaction Fee

Standard

Standard

$79.00/m

• Unlimited Products
• No Turnover Limit
• Unlimited Data Storage
• 1% Transaction Fee

Advanced

Advanced

$299.00/m

• Unlimited Products
• No Turnover Limit
• Unlimited Data Storage
• 0.5% Transaction Fee

Shopify Features

Hosting

  • High Performance Servers
  • Unlimited Bandwidth & Storage
  • PCI Compliant Servers
  • 99.9% Uptime
  • 2.18 Second Average Load Time

Marketing

  • Blog
  • Custom Meta Data
  • SEO Friendly URL’s
  • Sell on Facebook
  • Product Reviews

Ecommerce

  • Multiple Payment Gatways inc PayPal, Klarna, Worldpay and SagePay
  • Shopify Payments powered by Stripe
  • Discount Codes
  • Digital Products

Themes

  • 8 Free Mobile Responsive Themes
  • Shopify Theme Store
  • Live Customiser
  • Stock Image Library
  • Third-party themes available

You also get access to the Shopify App store, which offers over 1000 apps that you can use add a variety of functionality to your store. You can choose from apps that are built in house by the Shopify team or opt for ones from third-party developers.

Free 14 Day Shopify Trial!

No Credit Card Required

Option 3: Bluepark

The smallest platform in terms of numbers on this list as they power just over 2000 ecommerce stores but their platform does pack a punch.

Launched in 2004, Bluepark quickly became a favourite amongst the UK ecommerce community and is a very popular choice and highly recommended on business forums.

Bluepark take a slightly different approach to many of their competition. They haven’t gone with the app model to add functionality, instead they give you everything already installed, depending on your package obviously. This means that the platform is ready to go, straight out of the box.

You also get access to Bluepark’s support team, who offer excellent advice and help on keeping your website performing as it should.

In autumn 2019, Bluepark updated their admin dashboard from their old, rather complicated set up to a new, more user friendly one and it has definitely been a good change!

Bluepark Pricing

bluepark logo

Retail

£24.99/m

• Up to 500 Products
• No Turnover Limit
• 500mb Data Storage
• No Transaction Fee

bluepark logo

Business

£39.99/m

• Up to 2000 Products
• No Turnover Limit
• 1gb Data Storage
• No Transaction Fee

bluepark logo

Enterprise

£59.99/m

• Unlimited Products
• No Turnover Limit
• 2gb Data Storage
• No Transaction Fee

Bluepark Features

Hosting

  • High Performance Servers
  • PCI Compliant Servers
  • 99.99% Uptime
  • Daily Back-ups
  • 0.76 Second Average Load Time

Marketing

  • Blog
  • Custom Meta Data
  • SEO Friendly URL’s
  • Build your own Affiliate Network
  • Built in Email Newsletter

Ecommerce

  • Multiple Payment Gatways inc PayPal, Stripe, Worldpay and SagePay
  • Create Categories and Brands
  • Discount Coupons and Gift Vouchers
  • Abandoned Cart Emails

Themes

  • 42 Free Mobile Responsive Themes
  • Block Based Customiser
  • Bespoke Theme Design
  • Add Custom HTML, CSS and JavaScript

Try Bluepark for Free!

14 Day Free Trial, No Credit Card Required

Option 4: ShopWired

The third choice on this list is ShopWired, one of the newer platforms having being established in 2013. However, they have been very successful in that short period of time and now power over 8500 ecommerce stores. They also boast the likes of Wowcher and EDF Energy amongst their customers.

ShopWired have built their platform and pricing plans to accommodate business of all sizes, from ones that are just starting out to multi million pound commercial enterprises. To find out more about ShopWired’s pricing and packages, click the link below to my full review. Some of the benefits you get with ShopWired are:

As ShopWired are based in the UK, you also get access to their brilliant UK Support team, who are their to help you keep you ecommerce store up and running. I have written a full review of the ShopWired platform, which is linked below, along with a link to their 14 day free trial.

ShopWired Pricing

Pro

Pro

£29.95/m

• Up to 750 Products
• Up to £75k Annual Turnover
• Unlimited Data Storage
• No Transaction Fee

Advanced

Advanced

£59.95/m

• Unlimited Products
• Up to £200k Annual Turnover
• Unlimited Data Storage
• No Transaction Fee

Premium

Premium

£119.95/m

• Unlimited Products
• Up to £500k Annual Turnover
• Unlimited Data Storage
• No Transaction Fee

ShopWired Features

Hosting

  • Hosted on Amazon Web Servers
  • Unlimited Bandwidth & Storage
  • PCI Compliant Servers
  • 99.95% Uptime
  • 1.44 Second Average Load Time

Marketing

  • Blog
  • Set Individual Meta Data
  • SEO Friendly URL’s
  • Voucher Codes
  • Sales & Promo Stickers

Ecommerce

  • Multiple Payment Gatways inc PayPal, Stripe, Klarna, Worldpay and SagePay
  • Abandoned Cart Recovery
  • Digital Downloads
  • Subscriptions

Themes

  • 19 Free Mobile Responsive Themes
  • 5 Paid Mobile Responsive Themes
  • Theme Customisation
  • Access to HTML, CSS and JavaScript
  • Bespoke Design Service

Try ShopWired For Free!

14 Day Free Trial, No Credit Card Required

Option 5: Ecwid

Ecwid is probably the most unique and versatile ecommerce platform on the market, simply because it allows you to do so many things.

In its basic form, it operates the same way as a traditional ecommerce platform by allowing you to build a website using their secure hosting environment.

But where Ecwid really stands out from the crowd is their integration into other platforms. With Ecwid, you can add ecommerce functionality to any website, no matter the platform that the site is built on.

The main one of these is WordPress and it allows you to have all the benefits of a fully hosted ecommerce website, within the WordPress framework and it can all be managed within your WordPress dashboard. This is great if you have an existing blog or business website and want to start selling through it.

They also offer great integration with other website builders such as Wix and Squarespace but you don’t even need a website! The platform allows you to sell via your Facebook page and Instagram accounts, making it a great option for online influencers.

Ecwid Pricing

Ecwid Logo

Venture

£15.00/m

• Up to 100 Products
• No Turnover Limit
• Unlimited Data Storage
• No Transaction Fee

Ecwid Logo

Business

£35.00/m

• Up to 2500 Products
• No Turnover Limit
• Unlimited Data Storage
• No Transaction Fee

Ecwid Logo

Unlimited

£99.00/m

• Unlimited Products
• No Turnover Limit
• Unlimited Data Storage
• No Transaction Fee

Ecwid Features

Hosting

  • Hosted on Amazon Web Services
  • PCI Compliant Servers
  • Cloudfront CDN
  • Secure Checkout
  • Unlimited Bandwidth

Marketing

  • Social Selling via Facebook and Instagram
  • Sell on Multiple Sites from One Dashboard
  • Facebook Pixel
  • Custom Meta Data

Ecommerce

  • Multiple Payment Gatways inc PayPal, Stripe, Worldpay and Apple Pay
  • Schedule Order Pick-Up from Physical Stores
  • Discount Coupons
  • Gift Cards

Themes

  • 79 Free Mobile Responsive Themes
  • Customise Fonts and Colours
  • Layout Options for All Pages

Start a Free Ecwid Store!

No Credit Card Required

Option 6: Create.net

Create.net is a UK based platform that offers some really good ecommerce features. The platform was established in 2001 and has enabled over 30,000 people to start a website.

It is a really good option for a small ecommerce website and boutique businesses. The platform has been designed to be easy to use to allow people with very little to no web building experience to build a professional looking website.

The platform is highly rated by its customers and having your own dedicated account manager, no matter which package you choose. This adds a personal touch that you don’t get with some other platforms.

In terms of ecommerce, it may lack a few features that would be required by large ecommerce platforms and that is why I think it is a good option on smaller businesses. Unfortunately, I cannot list much information on the hosting as they don’t provide much on it but the sites I tested loaded in a average 0.82 seconds, which is very impressive.

Create.net Prices

create.net logo

Personal

£9.99/m

• Up to 50 Products
• No Annual Turnover Limit
• 3gb Data Storage
• 4% Transaction Fee on first £750 of Sales

create.net logo

Professional

£19.99/m

• Up to 150 Products
• No Annual Turnover Limit
• 10gb Data Storage
• 2% Transaction Fee on first £1k of Sales

create.net logo

Business

£39.99/m

• Up to 500 Products
• Up to £150k Annual Turnover
• 20gb Data Storage
• No Transaction Fee

Create.net Features

Ecommerce

  • Multiple Payment Gatways inc PayPal, Stripe, Worldpay and SagePay
  • Create Sales
  • Discount Coupons
  • Ebay, Amazon and Google Tools

Themes

  • 35 Free Mobile Responsive Themes
  • Drag and Drop Page Builder
  • Bespoke Theme Design
  • Web Designer’s Kit
  • Image Optimisation

Marketing

  • Blog
  • Social Share Widgets
  • Related Products
  • Custom Meta Data
  • Related Products

Try Create.net for Free!

14 Day Free Trial, No Credit Card Required

Option 7: WooCommerce

Arguably the most popular ecommerce platform in the world, powering an estimated nearly 3 million ecommerce websites. This is not surprising as it is the main ecommerce plugin for the hugely popular WordPress CMS.

In its standard form, WooCommerce is a very simple and basic plugin but due to the vast amount of both free and paid plugins available in the WordPress ecosystem. You can easily create ecommerce sites, b2b websites, booking sites and membership and subscription sites. The list is pretty much endless!

With WooCommerce you also have a huge selection of themes, both paid and free that you can choose from. This makes customising your website to fit your business really easy and many themes also have many customisation options within them as well.

One of the reasons why the WordPress + WooCommerce system is so popular is that it isn’t a massive learning curve, like some other self-hosted ecommerce platforms. Yes, it does take more time to learn than the fully hosted platforms mentioned above but it is still relatively easy.

My WooCommerce Review!

Detailed review of the WooCommerce System

Best Ecommerce Platforms for Big Businesses

Option 1: Shopify Plus

Shopify Plus

Check out Shopify Plus!

Enterprise Level Ecommerce Platform for Global Businesses

While the majority of the Shopify customer base will be perfectly fine with the basic packages, they also have a service for big businesses called Shopify Plus.

With Shopify Plus, the Shopify team have taken what is already a very good platform and turbo charged it for big businesses to cope not only with a large number of orders but also to sell internationally. This is combined with support from a team of specialists who will work with you to make sure that your website is doing everything it can to generate the most revenue for your business.

There are also a range of tools you can use to grow your business with multi-channel selling and integrations with third-party technologies to detailed analytics and reporting that will show you what is working and what isn’t within your site.

Option 2: EKM Pro Package

EKM Pro Package

As with ShopWired above, EKM not only cater for new businesses but also large ecommerce businesses. That is why they created the EKM Pro package that is for businesses with an annual turnover of more that £1 million.

The aim of the EKM Pro package is to basically let the experts at EKM do what they do best, which is to build and manage the webmaster, design and digital marketing aspects of running a website and leave you to concentrate in running the business side of things.

The EKM Pro package is customised to fit you and your business so that it does exactly what you need it too. With the EKM pro package you get all of the features of the standard packages, along with:

  • Exclusive Payments Rates
  • Strategic Account Manager
  • Marketing Account Management
  • Enterprise Level Performance

The EKM Pro package is truly set up for big businesses and basically gives you your own team of ecommerce experts to build and run your website, while you go and build your business.

Take a Look at EKM Pro!

UK Based Enterprise Grade Ecommerce Software

Option 3: ShopWired Enterprise Package

ShopWired Enterprise Package

The second entry on this list for the ShopWired platform and this is because of their Enterprise Package which is purposly geared towards ecommerce businesses with turnovers in excess of £500,000 a year.

The Enterprise Packages are customised around you and your businesses ecommerce needs and along with all of the great features you get in the standard plans, you also get:

  • Premium Support from a specialist team of enterprise grade support engineers
  • Strategic Account Management
  • Store Evolution
  • Advanced Access to New Features
  • Marketing Management & Support

ShopWired have proven success with supporting big businesses to manage and grow their ecommerce requirements and that is why they boast the likes of EDF energy and Wowcher amongst their customers.

Check out ShopWired!

An Ecommerce Platform for Big Business

Conclusion

There are many different options out there for ecommerce platforms but for me many just aren’t a good enough option for UK Businesses and that is why I created this list.

I personally have used more than one platform on this list to build an ecommerce platform and the ones that I haven’t used are ones that I have tested and reviewed and would happily recommend them to others or use them myself for a future ecommerce project.

If you are considering a couple of the options on this list, I would highly recommend trying them out first and seeing if you like them and if they would be suitable for your business.

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