The Best Ecommerce Platforms For Beginners (2024 Comparison)

Launching an online store for the first time can seem daunting, but choosing the right ecommerce platform sets you up for success. With over $5 trillion in global ecommerce sales expected in 2024, there’s huge potential for new entrepreneurs to grab a slice of this growing market.

As an ecommerce expert who has helped thousands of beginners build their first online stores, I’ve compared the top solutions to reveal the best platforms for getting started this year based on ease of use, features and value.

In this up-to-date 2024 guide, you’ll discover:

  • The 3 easiest beginner-friendly ecommerce builders
  • Key features to consider when choosing a platform
  • Pros, cons & pricing for each solution
  • Answers to the most common questions about starting an online business
  • Tips to effectively market your new ecommerce store

Let’s dive in to find the perfect platform to turn your side hustle into a thriving ecommerce empire!

Our Top Picks for Beginners

#1 Shopify

With over 2 million users, Shopify strikes the best balance between ease of use and advanced features to grow a business long-term. Their simplified Lite plan starts at just $9 per month.

Ease of Use
While not as simple as some competitors, Shopify makes it easy to launch a polished, professional storefront in very little time. We’re talking days, not weeks or months. Their integrated payment processing, shipping solutions and mobile capabilities also simplify running an ecommerce operation.

While Shopify Lite limits you to single products, their higher tier plans give you full-featured inventory management, discounts and marketing tools. Robust analytics help you identify opportunities to improve, and a library of themes makes it simple to showcase your brand.


  • Established brand with thriving app ecosystem
  • Scales with your business growth
  • Built-in payment processing & shipping discounts


  • Transaction fees on higher tiers
  • Can get pricier as you grow


  • Lite Plan: $9/month
  • Basic Shopify: $29/month
  • Shopify: $79/month


#2 Squarespace

For anyone wanting an all-in-one website and store builder, Squarespace is a top contender with beautiful designer templates trusted by over a million websites. Value-packed plans start at $12 per month.

Ease of Use
Squarespace’s intuitive drag and drop editor makes it simple for complete beginners to create a polished online presence along with basic ecommerce functionality.

While Squarespace isn’t as scalable as Shopify for a high-volume store, it lets you sell physical and digital products beautifully while managing inventory, shipping, taxes and discounts.


  • Award-winning modern templates
  • Integrated powerful blogging and websites
  • Built-in marketing and analytics


  • Limited product variants/inventory management
  • Fewer app integrations than Shopify


  • Personal Plan: $12/month
  • Business Plan: $18/month
  • Basic Commerce Plan: $26/month


#3 Sellfy

For selling digital downloads, Sellfy provides the simplest setup with built-in hosting, payment processing, email marketing and more.

Ease of Use
Sellfy makes the process so easy, you can create an online store that earns money in under 15 minutes. Just upload your digital products and start selling.

While Sellfy focuses on digital products, their integrated toolkit provides everything needed to market and sell ebooks, online courses, photos, design templates and more.


  • Quickly sell digital products
  • Fully hosted platform
  • Built-in marketing automation


  • Digital downloads only
  • Less design customization than Shopify


  • Starter Plan: $19/month
  • Professional Plan: $29/month
  • Premium Plan: $49/month


Choosing the Best Ecommerce Platform For You

The best ecommerce platform depends on your business needs. Here are key factors to consider:

Types of Products

If selling physical products, make sure your platform handles multi-variant inventory, shipping rates and order processing. Digital downloads like ebooks have fewer requirements.

Design Flexibility

Some solutions like Shopify offer great freedom to customize your brand look while Squarespace limits you more to their designer templates.

Built-in Functionality

Many beginners benefit from platforms with integrated payment processing, email marketing automation and otherselling tools without needing external apps.


Ensure your chosen platform easily grows with your business in terms of traffic, product variants and order volumes.


Watch for monthly subscription fees, transaction costs per sale and how pricing scales as your revenue grows.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does an ecommerce platform do?

Ecommerce platforms provide pre-made tools and structure to help entrepreneurs create an online storefront, manage products, process payments, track orders and market to customers without needing advanced technical skills.

How much does it cost to build an ecommerce website?

Using an integrated platform like Shopify or Squarespace, you can create an attractive online store for $29 – $79 per month. This covers hosting, themes, payment processing and business tools needed to manage your inventory and orders.

Can you really build an online store in a day?

Yes! With software doing the heavy lifting, the easiest platforms like Sellfy allow creating a great-looking online store in under an hour. You can have a fully functional store up in a day. Maximizing sales takes more effort with marketing and fine tuning.

How do you choose a domain name?

Your domain name is your online store’s address—choose something catchy, short and easy to remember that matches your brand. Verify domain availability at registrars like Namecheap before registering.

How much traffic do you need to make money?

While more visitors mean more potential customers, focus first on conversion rate optimization rather than raw traffic numbers. Persuade more visitors to become paying customers, then scale traffic through marketing. Even modest conversion rates can become lucrative at scale.

Marketing Your Ecommerce Store

While a polished online store is essential, effectively spreading the word and persuading visitors to become customers takes skill.

I recommend beginning by identifying your ideal buyer persona—determine the demographics, interests and values of those most likely to purchase what you offer.

Next, discover where these potential customers spend their time online—which social platforms and niche communities they engage in. Participate authentically in these spaces to raise awareness and forge connections.

Consider running small test campaigns with various platforms—Facebook, Instagram and TikTok ads can efficiently showcase your products to relevant audiences. Don’t overinvest upfront; iterate and expand what performs best.

Email marketing and retargeting help nurture consumer relationships by providing useful, personalized content rather than always pushing sales messages.

Measure analytics to determine what content and platforms convert curious visitors into customers so you can double down on what works.

The First Step Is Yours

I hope this beginner’s guide provides a blueprint to launch your ecommerce destiny. Succeeding online does take consistent work, but the rewards can be life changing financially and a source of great pride in turning your passion into a prosperous business.

The hardest part is taking that first step rather than overthinking and never beginning. Business clichés exist for a reason—you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

Choose your platform partner wisely, commit to regular improvements and let your entrepreneurial side flourish! Please reach out if you need any help bringing your vision to life.

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