The best all around of the UK ecommerce platforms - especially for support
ShopWired is probably the UK’s most popular ecommerce platform and
it is certainly the platform that receives the best reviews for functionality, customer service and technical support. On review websites like
Trustpilot and G2.com.
If you're a merchant who appreciates a solid technical support team, customer service and overall reliability then ShopWired is the best
platform for you to choose from.
ShopWired also offers a very competitive pricing structure in comparison to both the other UK platforms
and the North American ones too.
ShopWired caters for businesses of any size, and has a huge following with micro and small businesses. They are often praised for the intense support given
to merchants to help them grow and flurish, helping to scale them into 6 or 7 figure turnover businesses very quickly.
ShopWired also boasts a number of big name UK brands who use the platform at scale, processing huge volumes of orders. These brands include Wowcher, EDF Energy, Superdrug and The Spectator Magazine.
ShopWired offers 3 standard packages and 3 enterprise packages. The starter package costs £34.95/month, slightly more
and is slightly more expensive than Shopify's £24/month package. But ShopWired does not charge transaction fees and
you can use a payment gateway like Revolut for 1.0% +20p per transaction (in comparison with Shopify Payments at 2.0% +25p per transaction).
ShopWired has turnover limits on each of its packages, similar to the likes of EKM and BigCommerce, but the turnover limits are much more generous. On ShopWired's
starter package the turnover limit is £75,000/year in comparison with EKM's £50,000/year and BigCommerce's $50,000/year.
ShopWired has a wide range of apps and integrations but the vast majority of all apps on ShopWired, unlike other platforms like Shopify or BigCommerce,
are provided free of charge. Most platforms will charge for at least some of their themes, but on ShopWired all themes are free themes.
ShopWired is a platform designed, developed and supported from the UK. Whilst it does operate internationally (with a large amount of clients both in Europe and North America),
its main focus is on UK businesses.
The feature set has been specifically designed for UK SMEs and it has great features for small businesses of all shapes and sizes.
ShopWired's support is the best rated of all of the platforms that we'll compare in this article. They are consistently reviewed as excellent and
ShopWired's support team are known for going ten extra miles to help their customers as much as they can.
ShopWired scores excellently on Trustpilot, scoring an excellent 4.9/5.0 stars.
97% percent of reviews are excellent and only 2% percent are negative.
These reviews make ShopWired the best rated ecommerce platform on Trustpilot.
A similar story can be found on G2.com. For customer satisfaction and popularity, ShopWired is the best rated shopping cart software scoring 4.9/5.0,
and easily surpasses the score of similar platforms like Shopify, at 4.3/5.0 or BigCommerce at 4.2/5.0.
ShopWired has a great set of platform features and perhaps more native (core platform) features than other providers like Shopify. ShopWired has more functionality
built in, whereas platforms like Shopify require installation of external apps.
Integrated sales channels
ShopWired is integrated with most of the major sales channels like Etsy and eBay. It also integrates with third party platforms that connect sales channels together
like Channel Grabber and Linnworks.
- The best rated ecommerce platform
- The best rated support team
- UK platform, UK focus
The best ecommerce platform for apps and integrations
Shopify is possibly the largest SaaS ecommerce platform in the world, boasting over one million
ecommerce websites to its platform and perhaps another half a million users of other types (such
as users of the 'buy now' button).
With such a large platform comes a large gravity and Shopify's enormous sizes pulls in a huge range
of Shopify Experts who build apps, integrations, productivity tools and themes. No other platform
on the market competes with Shopify's Expert Ecosystem. That's why we're happily ranking Shopify
as the best ecommerce platform for apps and integrations.
Shopify also has a great selection of themes for your ecommerce website, all easily customisable through
its section & block drag & drop theme editor.
For UK users, Shopify's pricing is competitive. Shopify's starter package, known as Shopify Basic
is prices at £24/month (with no VAT). Shopify's so-called 'growth package' is priced at £69/month and Shopify's
Advanced package, touted as being suitable for businesses at scale costs £259/month.
We've written a more in-depth guide to Shopify's pricing structure that explains each package in more detail.
But the big downside of Shopify's pricing is their transaction fee structure, which is almost unique amongst the major ecommerce
platforms. Designed to force merchants onto Shopify's own payments platform, if you don't use Shopify Payments you'll have
to pay an additional 2% on each transaction that goes through your store.
So, if you accept payment by PayPal you'll have to pay 3.4% +20p PayPal fees
and an additional 2%, a grand total of 5.4% +20p - making Shopify probably the most expensive for processing payments.
Sure, if you use Shopify Payments you don't need to pay that, but Shopify Payments is built on Stripe's payment system but with an
extra charge ontop. Most users of Stripe will pay 1.4% +20p per transaction but use it when it's called Shopify Payments
and you'll find yourself paying 2% +25p per transaction (for no clear benefit).
Shopify's ecommerce platform grew out of an idea by two Canadian entrepreneurs and the platform
has a strong North American/US focus. Many features are geared towards sellers in North America and
features that are essential for UK businesses (like proper calculation of VAT) are unavailable.
Shopify's support team has a poor track record in supporting Shopify customers beyond the mere basics.
Their support team won't provide support for any third party apps, integrations or themes that you
install so you'll need to contact each of the support teams individually.
In contrast to Trustpilot reviews, Shopify has a much better score on G2.com.
G2.com is not a very popular review platform in the UK so it might be fair to say that most of the reviews on G2.com are from international (mostly North America) users.
Shopify has a good set of core platform features, but many features are not available or limited.
Shopify prefers to push merchants to download, configure and install an app to enable functionality that
is available as part of the core platform on other platforms like ShopWired.
Using an app has its own downsides such as needing to get support from a third party or having to pay an additional fee.
Integrated sales channels
Shopify's app ecosytem means it is integrated with every sales channel that you can think of. The basics like
eBay, Amazon and Etsy are standard integrations, and many others like Play.com are integrated too.
- Huge number of apps
- Huge number of integrations
- Good theme customisation system
- Poor customer technical support
- Most expensive transaction charges (for all gateways)
- US based feature set
Best for big companies and enterprise
BigCommerce started to gear its platform and services towards its enterprise offering
a few years ago and now forms its main focus. If you're a large business operating at scale
with a need for a reliable platform that is not too expensive, then BigCommerce might be
the ideal choice for you.
For smaller and micro sized businesses, like the majority of ecommerce stores within the UK,
BigCommerce's offering is perhaps not as strong as those of its rivals like ShopWired, Shopify
BigCommerce's pricing packages are similar to Shopify's. Their standard package is $29.95/month
(which is approximately £24-£25), it's next package is $79.95/month and its pro package is $299.95/month.
BigCommerce does not charge transaction fees like Shopify, but does advertise credit card rates for each
package, provided by its partner Braintree (a PayPal product). Transaction fees range from 2.05% + $0.49
up to 2.59% + $0.49 per transaction - so still much more expensive than using a payment platform
Like Shopify, and all of the best ecommerce platforms in this guide, BigCommerce has a North American
focus as that is where most of its customers are located. It suffers from a similar problem to Shopify
and lacks key features around VAT and other UK business customs.
BigCommerce's packages each come with a turnover limit restricting the amount of sales you can make
through your website. BigCommerce's limits are quite low in comparison with other platforms that
have similar restrictions and the starting $29.95/month package has a limit little over $40,000/year.
BigCommerce ranks poorly on Trustpilot
with a rating of only 1.6/5.0. They have received 348 reviews in total with 38% of them bad and a further 15%
either poor or average.
BigCommerce has a good range of platform features, and all of the standard functionality that you'd expect from an ecommerce platform. However,
similar to Shopify, because BigCommerce is a North American company and most of its customers are in the US, its focus is geared towards
customers outside of the UK.
You'll therefore find the platform lacks features specific to UK businesses - so do not expect
VAT functionality to be as comprehensive as it needs to be.
Integrated sales channels
BigCommerce has an array of apps and integrations available through its app store. You'll find that all of the major
sales channels like eBay and Amazon are well connected to BigCommerce, and many other sales channels too.
BigCommerce also has a good range of integrations with Dropshipping companies too.
- Good range of ecommerce features
- Good range of apps and integrations
- Relatively simple theme customisation system
- Support is not well regarded and can be slow to resolve issues
- Platform has a North American focus so some key features missing
- Turnover limits on each of their packages are comparatively low
Good ecommerce platform if features aren't important
Wix is a website building platform
that provides websites for lots of sectors - not just ecommerce. So it is not a specific ecommerce platform like the other services
we are covering in this guide.
Wix has a huge range of website templates that you can use to build your website and a great drag and drop editor. The format of
Wix's theme editor makes advanced customisations not possible (like those possible with the likes of ShopWired and Shopify) but is a great tool
for those with no experience in building websites before.
Wix is perhaps a platform best suited to very small/micro businesses with only one employee (you) and those turning over around £20,000 per year. It
lacks some of the basic ecommerce functionality that all ecommerce specific platforms have such as no low stock alerts, no free analytics or reports,
and only a simple solution for abandoned carts.
Wix is one of the cheaper platforms, and this is perhaps as a result of the fewer features that it offers. The cheapest ecommerce package is
£13/month and the most expensive £22/month. Wix does not charge transaction fees or have turnover limits on any of their packages.
Read more about Wix pricing in our article, Wix Ecommerce Pricing (2023 Guide & Summary).
Wix is an Israeli platform, but has offices around the world and provides support from many different countries (although not from the UK).
It has an international focus, so isn't particularly targeting merchants in any particular country.
Customer support on Wix is not well regarded. Many customers complain about the lack of any real support.
Wix's customer support team are not based in the UK and are not familiar with UK business's needs.
Wix’s Trustpilot reviews have improved a lot recently.
Our initial review found a rating of 1.7/5.0 but this has recently improved to a much more acceptable 4.6/5.0 - it seems as a result of a campaign by Wix to get
some more reviews. There's still a significant amount of 1-star and 2-star reviews (around 30% of them), but 65% of reviews are 5-star - so it seems very much a
'mixed bag' of results.
Wix’s ratings on G2.com are better, with
an overall score of 4.2/5.0. Wix's best ratings on G2.com surround the 'ease of use' of the platform (at 8.9/10.0) but this is
perhaps not surprising for a simple platform. Wix only scores 7.9/10.0 for support experience.
Wix is really only suitable for very low inventory websites, it lacks basic features for stock and inventory management, almost no native reporting or analytics
and only few simple tools for order management and discounts and offers. If you're looking for an ecommerce platform with
anything more than very basic features, Wix will not be suitable for you.
Integrated sales channels
Wix also lacks basic integrations with the most common sales channel platforms. Whilst you can perform some integration functions (e.g. connect Wix and eBay together) the
features for syncing data between channels are basic.
- Large selection of themes
- User friendly interface
- Can create a website within a few minutes
- Lack of basic ecommerce functionality
- Poor customer service experience
- Few integrations and useful apps
Best platform for high quality templates
Squarespace, like Wix, is a website builder that
provides websites to all types of businesses. As part of this offering, it also provides an ecommerce solution. Like Wix, Squarespace provides a
drag & drop website builder allowing you to preview your website as you build it - in real time.
Squarespace is primarily a website builder, not an online selling platform. To build an ecommerce site with
Squarespace you will need to spend a lot of time tweaking your template and setting up your store. Ecommerce functionality is not 'out of the box' and
features that lend themselves to selling things like digital products are not easily configured.
There are currently only two payment processors that you can use, either Stripe or PayPal and some online shopping features like
selling subscriptions or gift cards are only available on the higher plans.
Squarespace offers two ecommerce packages. The first is Basic Commerce and costs £20/month. With this package there's no
abandoned basket recovery, you can't sell subscriptions or setup anything other than basic shipping rates, and you can't create discounts.
Advanced Commerce costs £30/month, and adds in the features the basic commerce package misses. For any type of seller the advanced package
is going to be essential to use. Squarespace is therefore comparable with the best platforms like ShopWired and Shopify in price.
Squarespace does not charge transaction fees on orders. However, given that the only gateways available are PayPal (3.4% +20p per transaction) and Stripe (1.4% +20p per transaction),
it is perhaps more expensive to sell on Squarespace than other platforms like ShopWired where payment gateways such as Revolut allow you to sell at 1% +20p per transaction.
Squarespace is yet another North American platform, so if you're keen to work with a company in the UK - don't choose Squarespace.
Unfortunately, as is typical with the North American platforms, customer support on Squarespace is poor. Many users complain of slow
response times, technical issues not addressed, and waiting sometimes weeks for simple questions to be answered. Perhaps Squarespace has grown too big and
is struggling to keep up with customer demand.
As is typical, Squarespace fairs better on G2.com with a
star rating of 4.4/5.0 stars (towards the higher end). However, these reviews are not specifically for its ecommerce solution and just around its website builder in general and
so should not be relied upon for a rating of its ecommerce offering.
Ecommerce functionality on Squarespace is thin on the ground. Some features that users might consider basic are not available and other features are complicated to setup.
Squarespace is definitely more of a website builder than an ecommerce platform, and not really a platform to use if you have anything over 100 products.
Integrated sales channels
Squarespace has no native integrations with sales channels like eBay or Etsy - this is not their focus. If you want to sell on both platforms you'll need to do so independently
and track inventory manually to ensure that you don't oversell a product.
- Great selection of high-end themes
- No transaction fees or turnover limits
- Easy to use website builder
- Not focused on ecommerce
- Not multi-channel integrations
- No advanced theme customisation ability
Best platform for artists, creatives and crafters
Big Cartel is an ecommerce platform specifically
designed to cater for makers, artists and crafters. It's target merchant market heavily overlaps with that of Etsy.
Big Cartel has a range of customisable templates so that you can change the look and feel of your website, but places restrictive limits where it
needn't do so (for example a limit of 5 images per product). Payment gateway choice is very limited in comparison with platforms like ShopWired and Shopify
and Big Cartel is definitely not a platform suitable for businesses who want to, or already are operating at, scale.
Big Cartel is however a popular platform with a large following in both the UK and America. It serves around 6,000 or so merchants in the UK
so is certainly a more popular platform than something like EKM.
Big Cartel is inexpensive and they even have a free plan (although its only suitable for merchants selling 5 or less products). Big Cartel has a $9.99/month plan
for selling up to 50 products and $19.99/month for selling up to 500 products.
Big Cartel has quite big feature limits such as only being able to upload five images per product and you can't remove these by paying more money. Their free package
is probably only suitable for a tiny slither of merchants, so the feature limits on that package probably don't matter much.
Big Cartel does not charge transaction fees but integrations with payment gateways are limited which can cause transaction costs to be higher (if there is
Big Cartel has received only a handful of reviews on G2.com, just 24 in total.
Overall, the reviews on G2.com of Big Cartel are positive and Big Cartel's review score is 4.3/5.0 stars.
- Free package available
- Easy to get online quickly
- Great platform for artists
- Low customisation options
- Lacks quality and in-depth features
- Low product limits
A good ecommerce platform for UK SMEs
EKM is one of the
most well established platforms in the UK, having launched in 2002 (making it perhaps the oldest of the
platforms in this guide). Its website boasts that it has helped 80,000 businesses since
Originally known as EKM Powershop, EKM has fallen in popularity over recent years and we estimate
it has probably only around 4,000 users in 2023, with well over 95% being located in the UK. A
large part of its customer base has been lost to its North American rivals, and websites such as Builtwith.com
report it having lost nearly 1,000 customers to Shopify in recent years.
Having said that, EKM is probably still one of the biggest UK based ecommerce platforms
mostly servicing the small and micro business sectors, but with a good helping of larger UK brands as well.
EKM is on the pricer side of the platforms in this guide, with its starter package around £10 per
month more expensive than Shopify's at £34.99/month (plus VAT). It's also perhaps one of the more stingy platforms
too in terms of features available on the EKM Basic package, only allowing up to £50,000/year turnover
and only allowing 1 staff account.
EKM's more expensive packages are more generous however, and its £69.99/month package allows for up to 5 staff accounts,
£150,000/year in sales and includes what they call Product urgency features and the ability to sell Gift cards.
But, it's probably worth noting that on platforms like ShopWired and Shopify, these are standard features across all packages.
In late 2022, EKM introduced transaction fees on all their packages (with a similar structure to Shopify's). If you don't
use the payment gateway provided by EKM's parent company, ClearAccept, you'll pay up to an additional 2% fee to EKM on each order your store processes.
As an example, for an order of value £100 processed through PayPal, you'll pay £3.40 in processing fees to EKM and an additional £2.00 to EKM.
Like ShopWired, EKM is a UK platform with a UK focussed functionality suite and UK based support team - making it a good
choice for a UK business who would prefer to use a UK supplier.
EKM has a great reputation for providing first class customer to support to all of its merchants.
EKM has great reviews on Trustpilot
and whilst the review scores are not as good as ShopWired's, they are still praised for the level of support, service and
overall quality of their platform by their customers. 89% of their customers rate them as Excellent, 6% great and about 5% Bad to Average.
EKM have no reviews on G2.com which is perhaps
a little surprising given that G2.com is a platform specifically used for rating business software like ecommerce platforms.
EKM's platform was built and designed in 2002, around 20 years ago. It's therefore unsurprising that many of their users find the platform
a little buggy and the user interface a little dated.
In a recent update, EKM have attempted to mirror Shopify's drag and drop functionality for
theme editing. It launched in May 2022 with one theme but EKM haven't made any progress recently and still, in April 2023, only a single theme uses the new system.
Integrated sales channels
Unfortunately EKM does not offer the same level of apps and integrations that the other platforms in this article do, and it could be said that they have
a lot of catching up to do. Integrations with platforms like Etsy and Amazon are lacking, and users often complain about the functionality offered by
its eBay integration. We can perhaps conclude that users of EKM are not merchants who sell much on other sales channels.
- UK based platform and support team
- Well rated technical support
- Established since 2002
- Outdated user interface
- A poor range of apps and integrations
- Not well integrated with other sales channels
Good for social media integration
is slightly different from other ecommerce platforms as it functions primarily as an ecommerce
widget that integrates into existing websites. For example, if you already have a website on
another platform like Wix or WordPress, you can easily integrate Ecwid to sell your products.
That’s where the name comes from, Ecwid is short for ‘ecommerce widget.’
Ecwid is useful if you don’t mind using a plugin to facilitate sales on your existing platforms
and don’t want the hassle of building a complete ecommerce store.
To read our full 2023 review of Ecwid, click here.
Ecwid offers a free plan with lifetime access, but you’re limited to ten products and will
receive no support. To unlock all the platform features, there are three Ecwid price plans
to choose from.
The basic Venture package costs £14.08/month, the Business package
is £29.08/month, while the Unlimited plan costs £82.50/month (all prices
excluding VAT @ 20%). All packages come with a 17% discount if you choose to pay annually, which
is less than the industry average.
These prices are relatively cheap compared to other ecommerce platforms, but the price is
arguably reflective of the fact that Ecwid’s features and functionalities pale in comparison
to other ecommerce platforms like ShopWired.
A more detailed guide to Ecwid pricing can be found in our article, How much does Ecwid cost?.
- The free version lets you list up to ten products
- Packages are affordable and provide something for everyone
- Seamless integrations with other popular sites like Wix, Squarespace and social media platforms
- Good selection of features
- The website builder is basic compared to ShopWired
- Plug-ins can be on the expensive side
- Basic SEO tools are lacking, for example there’s no option to make custom URLs
Ecwid was founded in 2009 and has its headquarters in Encinitas, California and
Ulyanovsk, Russia. But don’t worry if you’re based in the UK, Ecwid serves merchants
in 175 countries and is available in 50 different languages.
Ecwid does not currently appear to be affected by any sanctions in relation to its business
interests in Russia.
The level of customer support you receive from Ecwid depends on your package. With the free
package, you only receive email support. The Venture package adds live chat support, whilst
the Business and Unlimited packages include email support, live chat, and phone support
available from 2pm - 10pm Pacific time.
These times equate to 9pm - 5am GMT in the UK. This is bad news for UK
merchants on higher packages as they won’t have convenient access to Ecwid’s support team.
A UK-based platform like ShopWired who operate 9 am-11 pm might be a better option.
Beyond human support options, Ecwid does offer helpful online guides and also includes a live
status page where you can view the platform’s current status and report history to log previous issues.
Ecwid is rated ‘Average’ on Trustpilot
with an average score of 3.4/5 stars out of 307 reviews.
While this is a respectable score, 12% of their reviews are rated bad with
issues stemming from payment problems, support, and confusion over what’s available in the free package.
Ecwid has good reviews on G2.com
with a 4.8/5 star rating from 278 reviews. Most positive reviews mention the ability to
integrate Ecwid with social media sites and websites to easily facilitate ecommerce sales.
Negative reviews mention the lack of features in the free version of the platform.
As we’ve already said, Ecwid is slightly different from other online store builders as it
primarily serves as a widget for use within existing websites and social media channels.
The idea is that you get the power of an ecommerce store wherever you want to place it.
After inputting a small amount of HTML code, you can easily embed Ecwid into other platforms.
That said, as an all-in-one ecommerce platform, Ecwid lacks behind rivals like ShopWired.
Although you can build a standalone website with Ecwid’s ‘Instant Site’ feature, the available
options are quite basic and restrictive. For this reason, merchants who wish to build their own
custom store from scratch with tons of customisation options might want to look elsewhere.
Integrated sales channels
Ecwid’s main selling point is its integration with other sales channels.
Ecwid integrates directly into site-building platforms like WordPress and Wix with a simple app
installation. And for social media pages, you can add an embedded call-to-action button that
will take customers to the next stage in the buying process directly from their social pages.
A good ecommerce platform if you don’t need to use plug-ins
prides itself on being an all-in-one ecommerce platform for those who don’t
want to use plug-ins or add-ons.
All features are fully built into the platform and ready to use from the start.
These features are updated regularly to ensure that Bluepark remains functional. With over 40 themes
to pick from and hundreds of customisation options, Bluepark lets you create the perfect look for
your online store. Many of these themes are optimised for mobile, so there’s no coding involved in
making your site functional across devices.
The main drawback of Bluepark is that it can be difficult for users who haven’t built their own
online store before.
Bluepark offers three pricing packages depending on your specific needs. The basic Retail package
with essential features is £24.99/month + VAT at 20%. The Business package with additional
features costs £39.99/month + VAT, while the most expensive Enterprise package with all features
costs £59.99/month + VAT.
Bluepark do offer a 14-day trial so you can try it before you commit to a subscription. Once
your trial has expired and you’ve signed up for a paid package, there are no hidden charges or
transaction fees, what you see is what you pay.
- All-in-one ecommerce platform with all features built in
- Multi-channel integration
- Fast and friendly UK-based support
- No added transaction fees
- Has a steeper learning curve to learn all of the built-in features
- Issues have been reported from using different currencies
- Customer service can be over-technical for new users
- Themes are not customisable and Bluepark charges around £700 to design a theme for you
Bluepark operates out of Oxfordshire, UK and prioritises its UK customers. However, they do
have customers across Europe and the US too.
Bluepark claims to provide 24/7 support and prioritises UK customers.
Bluepark claims they don’t use automated answering services or queues. Instead, they believe
in old-fashioned phone calls with a real agent on the other end. They also claim to reply to
emails within two hours if it’s sent during Bluepark’s working hours. Whether Bluepark’s
support team is large enough to effectively manage such a high demand is unknown.
Blue park doesn't have any reviews on G2.com. As is the case with EKM, this is surprising
given that G2 is a review platform dedicated to business software like ecommerce platforms.
Bluepark is a solid platform for UK businesses with UK support on hand.
All of Bluepark’s features are pre-installed and ready to use. This simplifies the process
for users who aren’t sure what add-ons they’ll need or who want access to everything from
As soon as you sign up for a 14-day free trial with Bluepark, you’ll receive access to
their five-step Setup Wizard for building your new online store.
When your store is ready for launch, Bluepark has handy tools to ensure everything looks
good and will attract traffic. Their ‘Going Live Check’ lets an agent check all aspects of
your store and make notes on any areas that need improvement, while the ‘Site Review’ option
reviews your website and gives you tips on how to improve it for Google.
Integrated sales channels
Bluepark users benefit from built-in, multi-channel sales and order management options
to control multiple shops in real-time from one designated parent site. Bluepark also has
dedicated Google Shopping integration to get your products in front of millions of users when they
search the web.
While Bluepark has some solid ecommerce features, it lacks in some key areas.
For example, Bluepark only integrates with QuickBooks accounting platform whereas ShopWired also
includes other platforms like Xero and Kashflow. Similarly, Bluepark only has integrations
with 12 payment gateways, while ShopWired has over 40 to choose from including Klarna, PayPal,
Stripe, WorldPay, SagePay and Barclaycard. These can become potential stumbling blocks for
merchants with specific needs.