7 Best Ecommerce Platforms in Canada (2023)
To run a profitable online store, you’ll need one of the best ecommerce platforms in Canada. What are your options?
The number of Canadians shopping online is on the increase.
According to Statista, 27.6 million Canadians shopped online in 2021, an increase of 1.5 million since 2020. By 2025, this number is expected to reach 30.5 million.
This growth presents opportunities that businesses in Canada can use for selling physical and digital products.
To start selling online, you’ll need first to choose the right ecommerce platform, then build and market your products.
With so many ecommerce website builders out there, we decided to find out which ones are best for the Canadian market.
We researched and tested many of these platforms and narrowed down the list to seven.
Best eCommerce Platforms in Canada
Here is an overview of the best ecommerce platforms in Canada that you can choose from:
- Shopify – Sell more by shortening the checkout process and engaging your site visitors through chat.
- Squarespace – Schedule product sales and use pro tools to create social media content.
- Wix – Build a mobile app for your ecommerce site and promote products using AI-powered campaigns.
- Square Online – Sell using buttons and QR codes, and cultivate customer relationships through a loyalty program.
- BigCommerce – Start your ecommerce journey with a platform built for fast-growing online stores.
- WooCommerce – Add ecommerce functionality to your WordPress site and scale with many custom solutions.
- Weebly – Add background videos to your store and let customers search for products using a search tool with search suggestions.
Best Ecommerce Platform in Canada for a Quick Start and Growth
Shopify guides you through an initial setup process and lets you customize your store as you wish. If you need help building your site, you can hire designers and developers and give them access to your admin panel.
With Shopify, you can sell on Facebook and Instagram using shoppable posts and scale internationally using expansion stores optimized for local markets.
Ecommerce website design
Shopify makes it easy to design your store in line with your branding. There are both paid and free themes that you can customize. Alternatively, you can just select an industry-specific theme and start adding products. You can spice up your site by creating custom sections for providing more information about products, such as ingredient lists.
When it’s time to scale your ecommerce business, you can set up expansion stores with content and buyer experiences optimized for specific regions. These stores can be customized with local currencies, and you can even partner with local partners for services like delivery.
This accelerated checkout solution saves your customers’ shipping and billing information, giving them faster checkout while boosting your sales. Shop Pay connects you with customers, enabling you to send them marketing messages and gain insight into your sales performance.
Run a B2B online store
Shopify caters to B2B businesses with features for handling everything from inventory management to invoice payments. With these, you can offer wholesale discounts and net payment terms and also integrate with your ERP system. You can also create company profiles that include multiple buyers and customer-specific price lists and provide a portal for businesses to manage their accounts.
Sell via chat
Instead of waiting for site visitors to scroll through your site, you can engage and convert them through chat. You can see the cart of the customer you’re chatting with, offer instant discounts, and even automate saved responses that provide quick help.
- 100+ Templates
- Unlimited Products
- International Commerce
- 24/7 Support
- Shopify POS
- Ecommerce Automations
- up to 88% Shipping Discounts
- Standard Analytics Reports
- 5 Staff Accounts
- 1% Fees for 3rd Party Payments
- 0.5% Fees for 3rd Party Payments
- Lower Credit Card Fees
- 15 Staff Accounts
- Advanced Analytics Reports
- Duties and Import Taxes
All Shopify plans include 24/7 email and live chat customer support. If you use Shopify Payments to collect payments, you won’t incur any transaction fees.
Best Ecommerce Platform in Canada for Businesses Selling Art Products
Although Squarespace can host any type of online shop, it works well for businesses selling artistic products. To help you build the store you want, Squarespace gives you lots of creative freedom, including the option to highlight text using hand-drawn styles.
The platform also takes care of your site’s core SEO requirements, letting you focus on selling your products.
Squarespace allows you to edit every element of your store and highlight products with slideshows and scrolling blocks. You can use hand-drawn styles on text, adjust the shape and fill of buttons, and use the drag-and-drop editor to easily design your store.
Squarespace streamlines your business operations by automatically syncing your stock with third-party commerce platforms and providing you with USPS shipping labels. You can also automate the display of “Limited Availability” labels when stocks are low and schedule when a sale will go live.
Social media posting
Squarespace powers your efforts to sell on social media by connecting you to its Unfold and Video Studio apps. With these apps, you can customize templates, create reels, edit images, and convert your script to audio using a smart voiceover.
Promote your products directly to site visitors and loyal customers through email. You can choose an email layout and customize it, add images and product links, and even include buy buttons. You can create audience segments, automate your email marketing activities, and use analytics to measure performance.
Search engine optimization
Squarespace handles core SEO activities for you and integrates directly with Google Search Console to give you keyword and traffic insights. By default, you get a sitemap, SEO-friendly URLs for your pages, and mobile optimization for your online store.
- Mobile-Friendly Websites
- 100+ Templates
- Free Custom Domain
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- 2 Contributors
- Ecommerce Functionality
- Unlimited Products
- 3% Transaction Fees
- Custom Code (CSS & JS)
- Unlimited Contributors
- 0% Transaction Fees
- Point of Sale
- On-site Checkout
- Product Reviews
- Facebook and Instagram Selling
- Abandoned Cart Recovery
- Advanced Shipping
- Advanced Discounts
- Subscription Selling
- Commerce APIs
Although you can run an online store using the Business plan, the Commerce plans offer advanced features such as customer accounts and product wait lists. They also save you money since they don’t charge transaction fees.
Top Ecommerce Platform in Canada for Web Designers and User Experience
Wix uses an advanced page editor called “Editor X” and a drag-and-drop solution to give you flexibility when designing your store. Once you publish your site, Wix gets it indexed on Google within seconds.
With its email marketing features and AI-driven Facebook campaigns, Wix enables you to easily reach and convert site visitors for a boost in revenue.
Customer relationship management
Wix comes with a built-in CRM to help you engage prospects and customers. Using custom web forms, you can collect customer details and create mailing lists for marketing purposes. Wix’s CRM also lets you create workflows and automate actions.
Search engine optimization
The Wix ecommerce platform has a record of high SEO performance. For a quick SEO boost, Wix compresses your images for faster loading and creates and maintains your meta tags and XML sitemap. More importantly, Wix ensures that your ecommerce site is indexed by Google within seconds, giving you the opportunity to be found through search.
Make the most of your email marketing by choosing professionally-designed email templates and customizing them to fit your brand and message. You can personalize emails, schedule campaigns, and use A/B testing to identify the best-performing email layout and content.
AI-powered Facebook campaigns
Maximize your ad spend by leveraging Wix’s AI-powered campaigns. This AI solution identifies the right audience, locations, and placements and re-targets your site’s visitors on Facebook and Instagram. You also get the opportunity to run A/B tests and optimize your ads for maximum ROI.
This is a paid add-on that lets you build a mobile app for your online shop and give customers more shopping convenience. Enjoy creative freedom as you design and customize the look and feel of your app, include your branding, then add ecommerce functionality. Your app will not only sync with your site but will also update automatically to the latest iOS and Android versions.
- 500+ Ecommerce Templates
- Unlimited Products
- Abandoned Cart Recovery
- Sell on Instagram, Facebook, etc.
- 20GB Storage Space
- Multiple Currencies
- Sell on Amazon & eBay
- Modalyst Dropshipping - 250 Items
- Sell Subscriptions
- 35GB Storage Space
- Priority Customer Support
- Unlimited Modalyst Dropshipping
- 50GB Storage Space
- Upload Unlimited Videos
- 500 Auto Sales Tax Calculations
Choosing either the Unlimited or VIP plan will allow you to run a dropshipping business and collect product reviews. If you would like to add a loyalty program to your marketing mix, then choose the VIP plan. You’ll also incur transaction fees of 2.9% of the transaction amount plus 0.30 CAD.
Best Ecommerce Platform in Canada for Beginners
Square Online is built on Square’s powerful payment infrastructure. With their vast experience in processing payments, they enable you to sell online and offline while protecting your business from fraud.
As part of its marketing tools, Square Online gives you a free CRM and the opportunity to build a customer loyalty program.
Simple and safe online payments
Square Online has a lot of experience processing payments for retailers selling in-store, and now it brings that to online businesses. With it, you can accept payments in a fast and secure manner and allow your customers to pay using Apple Pay and Google Pay. The secure checkout protects your online store from payment fraud and notifies you of potential risks.
Let customers checkout from anywhere
With complex buyer journeys and increasing competition, boost your sales by selling online through multiple channels. Unlike other platforms, you can use links, buy buttons, and even QR codes to sell through emails, SMS, social media, and your own ecommerce website. Moreover, your customers can even pay in installments.
Using the CRM, you can collect and analyze sales and customer data and track your multichannel selling strategies to identify areas of improvement. You can track purchases across sales channels, identify frequent and one-off customers, and create customer segments for marketing purposes.
Marketing and sales features
Start your email and SMS campaigns quickly by choosing a template and setting up automations that increase your efficiency. In addition to traditional marketing activities, you can also send automated text messages to collect Google Reviews right after a sale.
Built-in loyalty program
With this paid add-on, you can reward your customers with loyalty points and encourage them to buy more. You’ll be able to track sales to learn customer preferences, personalize marketing messages, and turn your customers into brand advocates.
With the free plan, you can create a basic online store. But for important ecommerce features such as abandoned cart emails and the ability to set up flash sales in advance, you’ll need the paid plans. Transaction fees range from 2.6% + 30 cents to 2.9% + 30 cents.
Best Ecommerce Platform for Enterprises and Rapidly Growing Startups
BigCommerce is one of the best ecommerce website builders for big businesses and Canadian startups expecting to grow quickly.
If you’re planning to sell to international customers, BigCommerce has everything you need, including bulk product updates.
And to future-proof your business, you get the benefit of building your online store on a platform that enables headless commerce.
BigCommerce gives you the freedom to customize the commerce backend. This enables store owners to provide shoppers with personalized experiences that increase conversion without being limited by the back-end technology.
BigCommerce empowers you to give modern B2B buyers the shopping experience they demand. You can let them manage their staff accounts using roles and permissions, pay invoices online, and even create shopping lists. Moreover, your sales reps can log in to your B2B customers’ accounts and shop on their behalf, saving your customers’ time—and increasing sales.
Start selling online and reach customers globally using multiple storefronts, and save time by updating product descriptions in bulk. You can customize the checkout to match your new customers’ needs, sell in 100+ currencies, automate your taxes, and partner with local businesses.
With BigCommerce, you can go beyond your store and sell online on 150+ channels. You get integrations to help with inventory management across multiple channels, optimize your product catalog, and sync it to your back-end and ERP system. This product sync will help you avoid delivery delays associated with over-selling.
Use big data solutions to drive growth
Collect data from various touchpoints and analyze it using AI to create custom reports and gain insights into your whole business. This big data solution lets you provide each customer with a personalized shopping experience that helps increase purchase rates and volumes.
- 200+ Store Templates
- 24/7 Chat & Phone Support
- No Additional Transactions Fees
- Unlimited Bandwidth & Storage
- Annual Sales Limit - $50k
- Clients' Credit Cards Storage
- Abandoned Cart Saver
- 5 Storefronts & Inventory Locations
- Customer Segmentation
- Annual Sales Limit - $180k
- Google Customer Reviews
- Price Lists for B2B & B2C
- 8 Storefronts & Inventory Locations
- Filtering with Custom Product Filters
- Annual Sales Limit - $400k
All BigCommerce plans include real-time shipping quotes, 24/7 phone, email, and chat customer support, and the ability to set up multiple storefronts.
With BigCommerce, unlike other ecommerce platforms, you can sell products and accept online payments without extra transaction fees.
Top Ecommerce Website Builder for Any Online Business Using WordPress
Being an open-source ecommerce platform built for WordPress users, WooCommerce is popular with both big and small business owners. You can customize your checkout process, receive payments in 135+ currencies, and issue loyalty points to customers.
If you’re looking to scale quickly, choose the enterprise plan, and WooCommerce’s experts will help you build a strategy as well as custom solutions.
Designing your online store
WooCommerce uses Block Themes to provide you with maximum flexibility when customizing your ecommerce website. Blocks allow you to change individual website elements, like product galleries, buttons, or menus, without having to replace your installed theme.
Conversion-focused cart and checkout
The checkout process is highly customizable to allow you to create a checkout experience that converts. You can also add an express payment option, as well as the WooCommerce Payments integration that accepts payments in 135+ currencies.
If you’re an enterprise or fast-growing startup, then you can benefit from WooCommerce’s custom pricing, priority support, and expert advice on your ecommerce strategy. With the enterprise plan, you also get access to specialized WooCommerce partners to help you develop custom solutions for your online business.
Marketing and sales features
You have various ways of spreading the word about your ecommerce store. You can advertise on Facebook and Google Shopping, list your products on third-party marketplaces, and use email to follow up on abandoned carts. To get customer insights and advanced email workflows, you can integrate WooCommerce with any of the best email marketing software tools and services. You can also offer customers loyalty points and coupons to encourage purchases and integrate with the best SEO tools to guide your SEO efforts.
WooCommerce helps you fulfill orders faster and cheaper anywhere in the world, unlike other top ecommerce platforms. Whether you choose DHL or USPS, you can print shipping labels at discounted rates and organize for a free pickup from your home or office.
- Slack community of 1,000+ WooCommerce developers.
- Full-featured mobile app.
- 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Frequent WordPress updates can break your store’s functionality.
- Limited customer support.
WooCommerce is a free plugin. Other than your website-related costs, the only costs you’ll incur are those of the extensions you buy.
Note also that WooCommerce Payments charges transaction fees based on various factors, such as the location of your business and customer. If you choose the enterprise pricing plan, you’ll get expert solutions customized for your specific needs.
Best Ecommerce Platform for Simple and Flexible Inventory Management
Building your store with Weebly is simple. Beyond the simplicity of this user-friendly platform, however, lies powerful features to help you run your small online store without any stress.
You can import product information into your store and set up a search function that can read image captions. Technical support is also available when you need help.
Ecommerce website builder
Weebly is one of the best website builders for designing your own website without any technical knowledge. The drag-and-drop editor lets you add videos, maps, and text anywhere on your site. You can also include image and video backgrounds to add more life to your site.
Build email lists by importing contacts, and create marketing emails using customizable templates or a drag-and-drop email builder. You can create customer segments, preview emails on different screen sizes, schedule your campaigns, and analyze performance to learn what needs to be changed.
Track your stock levels and make it easy to manage supplies and customer orders. You can import/export products, create categories, and add labels to products to indicate reducing stock levels or when a product is on sale.
Powerful product search
Weebly’s advanced search tool enables visitors to your ecommerce website to quickly find what they’re looking for. The search tool accepts single words and phrases, provides search suggestions, and even reads photo captions to guarantee relevant results. These features not only make shopping more engaging but also increase your chances of making a sale.
Get detailed analytics on everything from website traffic and email marketing engagement to top products by order quantity and revenue. Weebly puts these details together in your dashboard to give you the context that will help you gain insight into your store’s performance.
- Unlimited storage space.
- Easy-to-use ecommerce website builder.
- Powerful product search solution.
- Limited store customization options.
- Abandoned cart recovery is only available in the Business Plus plan.
- 60+ Mobile-Friendly Templates
- Sell Unlimited Products
- SEO Tools
- Chat & Email Support
- No Weebly Ads
- Free Domain
- Unlimited Storage
- Phone Support
- PayPal Payments
- Request Reviews via Email
- Abandoned Cart Recovery Emails
- Priority Support
Read more about Weebly pricing
With the Business and Business Plus plans, you can automatically collect and publish product reviews and save up to 40% on shipping costs. These plans also feature zero transaction fees. If you choose the Pro plan, you’ll be charged 3% per transaction.
Best Ecommerce Platforms in Canada FAQs
Compared to other platforms, WooCommerce is free, making it the most affordable ecommerce platform for the Canadian market.
But since WooCommerce requires an existing website running on WordPress, meaning additional costs on web hosting and development, the next best options are Shopify and Squarespace.
Upfront, Squarespace is cheaper than Shopify and doesn’t have storage limitations like Wix. However, if you need lots of flexibility when expanding, then choose Shopify.
Setting up your online store on Squarespace will take you a very short time. The platform is easy to understand and includes pop-up guides that help you in the setup process.
However, Squarespace isn’t the best platform for big businesses. If you’ll be handling large transactions and want a platform that is relatively easy to work with, choose Shopify.
If you have a small inventory that consists of artistic products, then Squarespace is the best platform for you. You’ll have an easy time managing your store, and the costs will be low.
If you have a physical inventory like computer hardware, office supplies, or even services that you want to sell online, Wix is a great option. Small business owners will love the creative freedom that Wix provides for store design and the helpful tools included for service-based businesses.
Recap: What Is the Best Ecommerce Platform in Canada?
To choose the best ecommerce platform in Canada, start by establishing what you want to achieve through your online store. After that, check each platform on this list to find out whether it has the features you need to achieve your goals.
For instance, if you want to sell internationally, customizable storefronts and multiple currencies are some of the features you’ll need.
As you compare different ecommerce platforms, remember to check their customer support options, as well as limitations on bandwidth, storage, and customization options.
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- BigCommerce vs. Shopify
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