5 Best eCommerce Platforms in the UK You May Be Missing Out On

December 6, 2023
17 min read

In the dynamic world of digital eCommerce, selecting the right selling platform is a pivotal decision for UK businesses. As an eCommerce logistics company, Bezos understands the importance of this choice, which is why we've curated a detailed guide to assist businesses in making an informed decision.

What Is an eCommerce Platform?

The UK's eCommerce sector is a significant player in the European market, driven by a population that embraces online shopping. For businesses, choosing the right platform is crucial. It's not just about creating a website but finding a comprehensive solution that handles sales, marketing, inventory, and customer service seamlessly.

More specifically, a suitable platform does more than display products; it offers a secure, efficient, and engaging shopping experience, backed by analytics and marketing tools for targeted outreach and personalised buyer journeys. It also integrates smoothly with backend operations, ensuring inventory and customer interactions are managed with ease.

Additionally, security is non-negotiable, with platforms needing to meet stringent data protection standards. The ideal choice for a UK business aligns with its specific goals, whether that's local market penetration or international expansion, providing a foundation for growth and adaptability.

As we examine the top eCommerce platforms for UK businesses in 2023, we'll focus on those that deliver on these essential criteria, setting the stage for informed decision-making.

What Makes a Great eCommerce Platform?

Here’s what distinguishes a superior platform:

Key AttributeDescription
User Experience (UX)Platforms must provide a user-friendly interface, ensuring customers experience seamless browsing, fast loading, and easy checkout, while owners benefit from an admin panel that streamlines order handling, inventory management, and customer support.
CustomisationThey must provide robust customisation options to align the online store with the brand's identity, including personalisable templates, the ability to tweak CSS and HTML, and the flexibility to integrate brand-specific elements.
ScalabilityThe platform should scale effortlessly, managing more traffic, product listings, and customer data without compromising performance, while providing advanced features for business growth.
IntegrationA superior platform integrates smoothly with other tools and services, such as CRM systems, email marketing software, and accounting tools, essential for creating a cohesive ecosystem that streamlines operations and data management.
SupportAccess to a knowledgeable support team and comprehensive resources like tutorials and forums is crucial, particularly for businesses new to the online space.
Cost-EffectivenessThe platform should offer a good return on investment (ROI), with a transparent pricing structure without hidden fees and scalable plans that align with business growth.

Top eCommerce Platforms in the UK for 2023

In 2023, UK businesses are spoilt for choice with eCommerce platforms that offer cutting-edge features and scalability. Let's delve into the top contenders that are shaping the future of online retail.

1. Shopify: The All-Rounder

Shopify is known for its ease of use, comprehensive set of features, and flexibility. It is designed to cater to businesses of all sizes, from small start-ups to large enterprises, with Shopify Plus. The platform is also user-friendly, offering a clean dashboard and intuitive setup processes for store management, product addition, and order processing.

Key Features

  • Themes and Customisation: Users have access to a wide range of free and paid themes through Shopify's official theme marketplace. Customisation is facilitated through a visual editor, although it does not support drag-and-drop in the visual preview.
  • Maintenance and Security: As a hosted platform, Shopify handles all maintenance and security updates, allowing users to focus on store growth rather than technical details.
  • Apps and Integrations: Boasts a vast app marketplace, allowing for extensive personalisation and integration with a variety of third-party services.
  • Support: Offers 24/7 support through email, live chat, and phone, along with a community forum and a detailed knowledge base.

Pricing Structure

  • Starter Tier: At £1 per month initially, this plan is an economical entry point for new businesses.
  • Basic Tier: Priced at £19 per month, it's designed for companies just establishing their online presence.
  • Shopify Tier: At £49 per month, this option supports growing businesses with additional features.
  • Advanced Tier: For £259 per month, this tier offers advanced tools for scaling enterprises.
  • Shopify Plus: Starting at $2500 per month, this premium option caters to high-volume businesses with comprehensive needs.

Pros and Cons

Scored a strong 4.6 out of 5 in overall ratings, indicating high user satisfaction.Imposes transaction fees if its own payment gateways are not used.
Boasts a clean and intuitive user interface, which simplifies the process of creating an online shop.The trial period is limited and comes with restrictive design flexibility.
Offers a solid affiliate program, which is beneficial for eCommerce brands.Once a website theme is chosen and the site goes live, switching themes requires reformatting the entire site.
Provides a competitive edge in dropshipping functionality compared to its competitors.The platform is not fit for businesses that are still working on their inventory, as it prompts users to fill in inventory first.
Offers a high degree of customisation through its app market and direct features within the builder.
Known for its predictive automation, which assists merchants in setting up an online store tailored to their customers' needs.
Has a strong multi-channel integration feature, allowing sales through various social media platforms.
Supports users with complex eCommerce tasks like shipping and accountancy.

2. WooCommerce: The Open-Source Giant

WooCommerce is an open-source, highly customisable platform on WordPress, catering to online merchants of all sizes. Launched in 2011, the plugin quickly became popular for its simplicity to install and personalise, along with its free base product offering.

Key Features

  • Flexibility: It is suitable for selling physical, digital, and affiliate products.
  • Global Reach: Provides the ability to sell in multiple currencies and languages.
  • SEO Advantage: Being built on WordPress, it benefits from the robust SEO capabilities of the platform.
  • Customisability: Offers a wide array of built-in features and also boasts a vast collection of additional plugins and themes.
  • User-Friendly: It is known for its user-friendly experience, especially for those familiar with WordPress.
  • Analytics: The platform has built-in analytics tools to track sales, orders, and customer data.

Pricing Structure

The basic version of WooCommerce is free, but it can be tailored to your enterprise’s unique needs with an extensive range of extensions. These extensions vary in cost, with options available for free up to approximately £249 each. Also, keep in mind that additional charges will be incurred for web hosting, a domain name, and an SSL certificate, as these are not included with WooCommerce by default.

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons 
Highly customisable due to its open-source nature, allowing for extensive modifications and custom development.While the core plugin is free, costs can quickly add up when purchasing premium themes, extensions, and hosting services.
Integrates seamlessly with the WordPress ecosystem, which is beneficial for sites already on the platform.Not suitable for businesses that do not want to use or switch to the WordPress platform.
Core plugin is free, which can be cost-effective for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).Being self-hosted, it requires regular maintenance, including updates and backups, which can be a challenge for users without technical expertise.
Large community of developers and users contribute to the platform, offering support and creating a vast array of plugins and themes.As you add more plugins and products, the performance can slow down if not properly optimised and hosted.
Can scale with your business, from a few products to thousands, and from a handful of shoppers a day to hundreds of transactions per second.Users are responsible for security measures, from SSL certificates to safeguarding against hacks.
Benefits from the robust SEO capabilities of the platform, which can help with better search engine rankings.For users unfamiliar with WordPress, there can be a steep learning curve, and setting up an online store can be complex without specialised knowledge.
While there is community support, direct support options can be limited unless you use paid WooCommerce services or extensions.

3. Wix: A Beginner's Best Friend

Wix is lauded for its user-friendly interface. It's the ideal starting point for new entrants to the eCommerce space, providing a plethora of templates and an easy drag-and-drop editor. While its eCommerce features may not be as extensive as those in Shopify or WooCommerce, it's a solid choice for straightforward online stores.

Key Features

  • Stunning Templates: Offers a variety of professionally designed templates that are optimised for eCommerce, providing a strong foundation for building an attractive online store.
  • Global Shipping and Tax Management: Facilitates global online sales with features that help manage taxes and shipping rates for different regions.
  • Intuitive Drag-and-Drop Interface: Renowned for its easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface, which allows users to create and personalise their sites with ease, without the need for coding knowledge.
  • Wix ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence): For those who want a more guided approach, Wix ADI can automatically create a tailored online store based on the user's preferences and needs.
  • Customer Accounts: Customers can create accounts to streamline their checkout process, track orders, and receive personalised recommendations.
  • Abandoned Cart Recovery: Can help increase conversion rates by automatically sending reminder emails to customers who have left items in their carts.
  • Multilingual Stores: Allows businesses to cater to a global audience by offering their site in multiple languages.

Pricing Structure

  • Business Basic: £15 per month
  • Business Unlimited: £20 per month
  • Business VIP: £27 per month
  • Enterprise Plan: Custom pricing, which is determined based on the specific needs of the business.

Pros and Cons

Features an extensive range of store themes and a massive selection of plugins.Costs can escalate with premium themes and plugins.
Provides integration with a multitude of payment gateways.Extra transaction fees if not using the integrated payment processor.
Offers scalability to accommodate the evolving needs of businesses of various sizes.Limited by the number of products on the lower-priced plans.
Provides award-winning support, which is available 24/7.Some users find the platform not as intuitive as competitors.
Supports multi-channel selling capabilities.May not offer as many out-of-the-box features as some enterprise-level solutions.
Platform provides a robust point of sale (POS) system.Higher transaction fees on the cheapest business plan.
Offers advanced inventory and order management for businesses. Limited free themes compared to other platforms.
Includes its own payment gateway that does not incur additional fees.Some features require additional apps or extensions.
Free trial is also available.May not be the most cost-effective for very small businesses.

4. Squarespace: The Designer's Dream

For businesses where visuals are paramount, Squarespace shines. It offers stunning templates and powerful image editing tools. While it may not boast a vast app market, its built-in features are robust enough for businesses that prioritise a strong, ready-made design over the ability to extensively modify and tailor a platform.

Key Features

  • Integrated eCommerce Tools: Offers a suite of integrated tools for managing products, orders, inventory, and customer accounts, all within Squarespace's interface.
  • SEO Capabilities: Provides robust SEO features to help users optimise their sites for search engines, including page titles, meta descriptions, and custom URLs.
  • Social Media Integration: Users can connect their social media profiles for seamless content sharing and promotion across platforms.
  • Comprehensive Analytics: Offer insights into sales trends, customer behaviour, and website performance, aiding in data-driven decision-making.
  • Marketing Features: The platform includes marketing tools such as promotional pop-ups, banners, and email campaigns to engage customers and drive sales.
  • Blogging Functionality: Provides powerful blogging features with options for scheduling posts, social sharing, and author management.
  • Extensions Marketplace: Users can enhance their site's functionality with various extensions available in the Squarespace Extensions marketplace, ranging from finance and shipping to inventory and sales.

Pricing Structure

  • Business Plan: £18 per month
  • Basic Commerce: £22 per month
  • Advanced Commerce: £30 per month

Pros and Cons

High-quality, customisable templates with mobile optimisation.Limited third-party apps and integrations, particularly with platforms like Etsy and Amazon.
Offers a user-friendly interface that simplifies the addition of eCommerce functionality to existing websites.Less robust eCommerce features compared to other platforms, with basic free version functionalities.
Integrated sales and marketing tools, including Google Shopping integration.Limited payment gateway options, which could hinder specific merchant needs.
Strong customer support with a focus on UK-based real-time interactions.Limited international support and language options, with potential inconvenience for non-UK merchants.

5. BigCommerce: The Scalability King

Living up to its name, BigCommerce offers a platform that's built for growth. With its multi-channel selling capabilities, it's perfect for businesses looking to expand their reach across various platforms.

Key Features

  • SEO Capabilities: Provides advanced SEO features, including personalisable URLs and metadata, crucial for improving visibility and ranking on search engines.
  • Multi-Channel Selling: Supports integration with various marketplaces and social media platforms, allowing merchants to sell across multiple channels.
  • Scalability: Designed to support online stores ranging from start-ups to large enterprises, offering a platform that can grow with the business.
  • Payment Gateways: Integrates with a variety of payment gateways, giving customers multiple payment options.
  • Security: It offers a secure shopping experience with built-in SSL and various security features to protect both merchants and customers.

Pricing Structure

  • Standard Plan: £29 per month
  • Plus Plan: £79 per month 
  • Pro Plan: £299 per month 
  • Enterprise Plan: Custom pricing, which is determined based on the specific needs of the business.

Pros and Cons

Pros and Cons
No transaction fees.High monthly fees.
Built-in features for international selling, tax, promotions, etc.Less customisation compared to other platforms.
Easy design with templates and editing functionality.Limited blogging capabilities; not ideal for content-focused strategies.
24/7 customer support and a variety of support resources.Can be costly for small businesses, adding pressure to make sales.
Global reach with a significant presence in the UK market.May require reliance on a developer for personalisation.
User-friendly interface for easy store setup.

Unlocking eCommerce Growth With Bezos

In the dynamic realm of UK eCommerce, your platform choice can make or break your online success. But what about after the click? Enter Bezos, the game-changing logistics partner that transforms operational challenges into growth opportunities for SMEs.

We aren’t just another fulfilment service; we’re a growth catalyst. With a network spanning the UK, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, we offer a seamless solution that scales with your ambitions. Our full-service approach handles everything from storage to delivery, freeing up to five hours a day – time you can invest back into your business or enjoy at your leisure.

Plus, our AI-driven system doesn't just solve logistics issues; it anticipates them, ensuring your customer experience is as flawless as your eCommerce platform. With Bezos, not only are you shipping products; you're delivering happiness, backed by a dedicated account manager and a commitment to radical transparency.

For various businesses, whether they are UK drink brands or Australian consumer brands poised to conquer new markets, Bezos is the strategic partner you need. Our no-strings-attached policy means no hidden fees, no setup costs, and no minimum volumes. Just pure, scalable efficiency.

Ready to elevate your eCommerce business? Speak to a Bezos expert today and start saving now. Your growth journey can begin in less than 72 hours. 


As we navigate the bustling landscape of UK eCommerce in 2023, the importance of selecting the right platform cannot be overstated. Each one we've explored offers unique features, from all-encompassing ecosystems to customisable nature, user-friendly designs, and sleek templates. Your choice hinges on aligning these platforms' strengths with your business goals, ensuring that your online presence is not just established but primed for growth.

With that said, it's the behind-the-scenes orchestration of fulfilment that elevates customer satisfaction and loyalty. Bezos stands ready to streamline your logistics, from checkout to doorstep, ensuring that every order is a step towards building a sustainable, thriving business. 

So what are you waiting for? Take the leap towards operational excellence and speak to a expert today. Your journey to the top of the eCommerce ladder is just a conversation away.

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