Which eCommerce platform should I use?


We recently wanted to test some product ideas. Until now, everything we’d built had been a service so this was a brave new world. We were going to try to sell stuff you could actually see!

One question we needed to answer was ‘how will we create our online shop front?’ We were aware there was a plethora of choice (such as eBay, Amazon and Etsy to mention just a few) in addition to the possibility of a more DIY approach using a simple website and a PayPal account.

After giving myself a headache building the typical comparison-spreadsheet-of-doom I felt it would be a waste not to share it with the world in case it could save anyone else the time and effort. Bear in mind this is the state of play now (Feb 2019) for UK-facing sites.


 Joining feeListing feeSelling feePayment processing fee
Not on the high street£199+VAT25%
Amazon£25+VAT/month OR £0.75/item sold15%
eBayListing fees abolished as of 03/03/1910%
Shopify$29/month2.2%+£0.20 +another 2% if you use an alternative payment platform

This table is fairly crude and misses out many of the other differences between these platforms, but it’s a starting point. A few other points of difference worth mentioning are:

  • Not on the high street offers something more like a partnership by giving you help with marketing your products.
  • WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin rather than a platform.
  • IndieGoGo and Kickstarter are both crowdfunding platforms.

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