Best Ecommerce Platforms for UK Businesses (2021)

Choosing which ecommerce platform to go for isn’t easy and that is why I created this list of what I think are the best ecommerce platforms for UK Businesses, specifically for small businesses and start ups.

Now this isn’t just a random list of choices, all of the options in this list are viable options, that I have personally tested and reviewed.

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Option 1: EKM

Who are EKM?

EKM is the UK’s biggest ecommerce platform, formerly known as EKMPowershop. They specialise in the UK ecommerce market and have helped over 80,000 businesses start selling online since they were established in 2002.

Best For?

The EKM platform is best for B2C businesses that need a reliable platform on which to build an ecommerce platform but need some support along the way. EKM is one of the best rated on trustpilot and much of that comes from the support that they offer their users.

This includes EKM’s Evolution Mode, which looks to improve your website by having a team of ecommerce specialists such as digital marketers and designers look at your site to see what improvements can be made and this is included with every package.

EKM Pricing

  • EKM Basic – £34.99/m (£50,000 Annual Turnover Limit)
  • EKM Standard – £69.99/m (£150,000 Annual Turnover Limit)
  • EKM Advanced – £209.99/m (£1 Million Annual Turnover Limit)
  • EKM Pro – £599.99/m (Annual Turnover in excess of £1 Million)

EKM Pros and Cons

  • Good UK Based Support Team
  • Evolution Mode
  • Large Selection of Free Themes
  • Fast UK Based Hosting
  • Large Selection of Features
  • Free SSL Certificate
  • Limited Theme Customisation Options
  • Admin Dashboard Could Be Easier to Use
  • Turnover Based Pricing

Learn More About EKM

Option 2: Shopify

Who Are Shopify?

Shopify are the world’s largest hosted ecommerce platform and since starting in a Canadian coffee shop in 2004, it has gone on to help over 1 million businesses start selling online around the world.

Best For?

Shopify is best for businesses that quickly and easily want to start selling online. The easy to use interface and simple layout is designed for both beginners and professionals alike and can be used for small start ups to multi national corporations.

Another great application of the Shopify platform is for traditional bricks and mortar businesses as Shopify offer their own point of sale system that can easily be linked with the online store, making inventory and sales management a more streamlined and efficient process.

Shopify Pricing

  • Shopify Basic – $29/m (2% Transaction Fee)
  • Shopify Standard – $79/m (1% Transaction Fee)
  • Shopify Advanced – $299/m (0.5% Transaction Fee)

Shopify Pros and Cons

  • 24/7 Support
  • No Turnover Limits
  • Easy to use Admin Dashboard
  • Good Theme Customisation
  • App Store
  • Stock Image Library
  • Transaction Fees
  • Need to Learn how to use Collections
  • App Required to Print Orders

Learn More About Shopify

Option 3: ShopWired

Who Are ShopWired?

ShopWired, one of the newer UK based ecommerce 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.

Best For?

ShopWired is a really good choice for any B2B company as they offer a range of features that are really useful such as trade accounts, bulk features and quotations.

It is also a very competent platform for B2C business and has been designed to be easy to use, the set up process is also very quick. So it doesn’t matter whether you are new to ecommerce or an experienced online seller, you will be able to get a store up and running in no time.

ShopWired Pricing

  • ShopWired Pro – £29.95/m (£75k Turnover Limit)
  • ShopWired Advanced – £59.95/m (£200k Turnover Limit)
  • ShopWired Premium – £119.95/m (£500k Turnover Limit)
  • ShopWired Enterprise – From £149.95/m (£500k Turnover +)

ShopWired Pros and Cons

  • Good UK Based Support
  • Fast Load Times
  • Easy to use Dashboard
  • Well Designed Themes
  • UK Based
  • Free SSL Certificate
  • Good Selection of Apps
  • Poor Theme Customisation
  • Extensions Need to be Coded in
  • Turnover Based Pricing

Learn More About ShopWired

Option 4: Bluepark

Who Are Bluepark?

Bluepark are one of the longest established UK based ecommerce platforms, having first launched back in 2004 and the platform has become a favourite amongst the UK’s online business community.

Best For?

The Bluepark is best for ecommerce business that want a bit more technical control over their website as the platform allows you to make lots of small changes to settings and design elements across your website.

It is also a great option for business who want a platform where the features are already installed as the Bluepark platform is an all in one solution, meaning that you don’t have to go installing apps to get certain features. Wholesalers, suppliers and manufacturers might also find Bluepark’s B2B features useful.

Bluepark Pricing

  • Bluepark Retail – £24.99/m
  • Bluepark Business – £39.99/m
  • Bluepark Enterprise – £59.99/m

Bluepark Pros and Cons

  • UK Based Support
  • Reasonably Priced
  • Good Theme Selection & Customisation
  • Lots of Features
  • All Features Built in
  • Steeper Learning Curve
  • Need to Buy an SSL Certificate
  • Workflow Could be Simpler

Learn More About Bluepark

Option 5: Create.net

Who Are Create.net?

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

Best For?

The Create.net platform is great for smaller and boutique style ecommerce businesses, that don’t need all of the features that the other platforms offer but still need an easy to use and competent ecommerce website and is a great UK alternative to the likes of Wix and Squarespace.

Create.net Prices

  • Create.net Professional – £19.99/m (Up to £2k Sales a month)
  • Create.net Business – £39.99/m (Up to £10k Sales a month)
  • Create.net Tailored – From £79.99/m

Create.net Pros and Cons

  • UK Based Support
  • Good Performance
  • Dedicated Account Manager
  • Theme Customisation
  • UK Based
  • Free SSL Certificate
  • Limited Ecommerce Features
  • Small Turnover Limits
  • No Phone Support
  • Small Number of Payment Gateways

Learn More About Create.net

Option 6: Ecwid

Ecwid Homepage

What is WordPress?

WordPress is the world’s most popular website builder and is estimated to power over 20% of the world’s websites and can be used for simple blogs or business websites to fully fledged ecommerce stores. It comes in both hosted form (wordpress.com) and self-hosted (wordpress.org) but self hosted gives more control and flexibility.

To turn WordPress into an ecommerce website, you will need to install an ecommerce plugin and in my opinion, Ecwid is one of the best options.

Who Are Ecwid?

Ecwid is one of the most versatile ecommerce tools on the market today and it is one of the few options that allows users to add a fully hosted, PCI secure shopping cart to a WordPress website. It also allows you to sell on additional channels such as Social Media platform like Facebook and Instagram, with all orders being managed in a single dashboard.

Best For?

The combination of WordPress and Ecwid is great for companies where content creation and SEO are at the heart of their marketing strategy as you have the great blogging and SEO abilities of WordPress and the fully secure checkout taken care of by Ecwid.

Ecwid is something you may want to consider if you have an existing WordPress site and want to add ecommerce functionality, without having to build a new website from scratch on another platform.

Ecwid Pricing

  • Ecwid Free Plan (Up to 10 Products)
  • Ecwid Venture – £15/m (Up to 100 Products)
  • Ecwid Business – £35/m (Up to 2,500 products)
  • Ecwid Unlimited – £99/m (Unlimited Products)

Ecwid Pros and Cons

  • Multi Channel Selling
  • Great Integration with WordPress
  • No Transaction Fee or Turnover Limits
  • Free Package
  • Easy to Use Admin Dashboard
  • Very Good Product and Order Management Tools
  • Ecwid can slow down WordPress sites
  • Some Basic Features on Available on Business or Unlimited Packages
  • More Technical knowledge required to build and maintain a self hosted WordPress site

Learn More About Ecwid

Conclusion

So there they are, what I think are best ecommerce platforms for UK businesses and the options on this cover ecommerce websites of all sizes, from small boutique to national/multi national ecommerce retailers.

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.