The Future of Shopping is Digital: Best Tools For your Small Business

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The Future of Shopping is Digital: Best Tools For your Small Business

Aug 11, 2022

The BOOM of eCommerce

Though digital shopping has been steadily growing since the late 2000s, the eCommerce industry has experienced a boom in popularity in the past couple of years. Covid-19 is credited with being the catalyst for this extraordinary growth. Lockdowns related to the pandemic kept people away from brick-and-mortar stores and incentivized online shopping. In fact, in the first quarter of 2020 online sales experienced 10 years' worth of growth in 3 months. 

But the pandemic resulted in more than just a temporary shift in the retail market. It proved to business owners that digital storefronts had their advantages, especially for smaller companies. Physical storefronts are expensive to maintain compared to an eCommerce website. Additionally, traditional stores rely on a steady amount of foot traffic to be successful. Digital storefronts, on the other hand, can reach a much broader audience of consumers. This means that smaller businesses can cast a wider net when they are first starting out. 

Best Platforms


Shopify is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms, and for good reason. It offers business owners everything they might need to effectively run a store even at the platform’s most basic level. At $29 a month, it is easily one of the most cost-effective eCommerce platforms available. Shopify is also incredibly easy to use, meaning anyone can take advantage of its features.

Here are a few key features of Shopify:

  • 24/7 support
  • Mobile commerce ready
  • Full blogging platform
  • Supports multiple languages
  • Unlimited orders, product listings, and file storage


You may already recognize Wix as a leading website-building platform, but they also offer eCommerce solutions. Wix business basic is the most budget-friendly eCommerce platform coming in at $23 a month. But for a budget-friendly option, Wix still offers a surprising number of features. Wix makes it very easy to build a stunning storefront. Your entire website can be built simply by dragging and dropping page features where you want them, meaning no technical knowledge is necessary. 

Here are a few key features of Wix:

  • 500+ templates
  • Scroll effects
  • SEO features
  • Blogging capability
  • Mobile friendly designs


BigCommerce is one of Shopify’s top competitors for small to medium-sized online businesses. The most impressive thing about BigCommerce is how easy it is to use. A clean dashboard and clear directions make it possible to set up your online store in literal minutes. However, BigCommerce is a little more expensive than some other platforms at $30 a month. Fortunately, for that price, you get access to an impressive number of features.

Here are a few key features of BigCommerce:

  • Unlimited products, orders, and file storage
  • Visual store builder
  • Supports PayPal, Stripe, Apple Pay, and Amazon Pay
  • Sell via Facebook, Pinterest, eBay, and Amazon
  • SEO features

What Tools Are a Must Have

Digital Payment Options

One of the primary reasons online shopping has become so popular is because of its convenience. Part of that convenience is being able to pay for your purchases with your preferred paying method. This is why it is so important for you to offer your customers several payment methods at checkout. Keep in mind that different demographics of people will have different preferences. For instance, younger people are more likely to use newer payment methods such as PayPal or cryptocurrencies. Think about the audience that your business is most likely to appeal to and offer payment methods that match their preferences. 

Shipping Service Integrations

Doing business online requires a more robust logistics operation than the traditional method. Both physical stores and online stores require products to be shipped to a warehouse before they can be sold, but only online stores need to then ship those products to a final destination. Investing in shipping service integration can simplify your shipping process by automating operations like label generation and shipping quotations. This can save you money that would otherwise be spent on tedious labor. Artificial intelligence is also very adept at handling large amounts of data. This means shipping service integrations can lower the number of mistakes made in your logistics operations. 

Email Marketing Platform

Email marketing is one of the most effective digital marketing methods because of how direct it is. It is one of the few ways that you can deliver marketing messages directly to individual customers. But because an email must be sent to each individual customer, it can also be incredibly tedious when done manually. This is where email marketing platforms step in to help. By automating the process of sending out marketing emails, you can spend more time on the facets of your business that need a human touch. Email marketing platforms also make it easy to target specific segments of your audience depending on the purpose of the email. For instance, you can send an email directly to customers who have abandoned their cart on your website and encourage them to complete the transaction. 

Social Media Management Solution

Over the past couple of years, social media has become a powerful tool for businesses. It is an effective way to engage with your company’s audience and market to consumers. But it takes a lot of time and attention to effectively run a social media account. Social media management platforms allow you to schedule posts in a calendar-like format. This makes it easy to consistently post to your company’s page without taking too much of your time away from other priorities. 

Meet The Author:

Nick Rojas

Nick Rojas

Nick Andrew Rojas is a business consultant turned journalist who loves working with small and medium-sized companies. He has contributed to many publications such as Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, and Yahoo. In his spare time, he hangs out at the beach with his dog Presto.

The opinions expressed in our published works are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the National Association for the Self-Employed or its members.

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