A key step to start selling online is choosing the best ecommerce platform that you will use to build your website and online store. This platform will provide you with the skeleton of your website and a website builder, where you will add your content, your product descriptions, your blog posts, and so on.

Want to jump straight to the answer? Portmoni is the best ecommerce platform to start your online store in South Africa. It is very affordable and easy to use, and integrates with all the tools you need to operate seamlessly, like accepting Visa & Mastercard on your site.

Click here to start your 14 day free trial – there is nothing to pay now, and no long term commitment (Disclaimer: we operate Portmoni)

In case you want to look at other options, in this article we will review the following:

How to choose the best ecommerce platform for your online store

There are plenty of ecommerce platforms on the market, but not all of them are convenient to operate an online store in South Africa. The key points to consider when choosing an ecommerce website builder for your online shop are the following:

First, the platform needs to allow selling in Rands (ZAR). Even if you sell internationally, most of your customers will likely be from South Africa. Due to the regulations, the local payment gateways like Payfast also operate in Rands, so this is a must have.

Second, you need to be able to get local support easily: if you have questions or issues, it is very important to be able to reach somebody to ask your questions. You don’t way to have to wait days to get an answer. Ideally chat support is very nice to have.

And finally, the ecommerce platform needs to offer integrations with the right tools for your business. The minimum is to get access to a South African payment gateway if you want to accept Visa & Mastercard on your site. Ideally some other integrations are also nice to have.

What are the top ecommerce platforms to consider

If you’re getting started with online sales or have a small to mid-size store, there are really only 3 main choices to consider: WooCommerce, Shopify and Portmoni.

WooCommerce is free to start, but takes longer to get started and might be expensive to operate and customize (you will most likely need a developer for this, so it can become expensive).

Shopify has a very high number of apps, themes and customization, but is more expensive to operate, with higher monthly fees and a transaction fee of 2%;  due to all the options, the interface is also more complex to handle.

Finally, Portmoni is less expensive, does not take a percentage of your sales and is very easy to operate, but it also has less apps and customization options.

In conclusion

Portmoni is our solution of choice for the South African market. It ticks all the right boxes: it allows you to sell in Rands, has local support available quickly on WhatsApp and by email, and integrates with the key local providers in South Africa such as Payfast to receive payments by Visa & Mastercard on your site. Don’t take our word for it, check it out yourself by claiming your 14 day free trial.

In the next article, we will see how to deliver your products to your customers using the best courier companies in South Africa.

Read next: how to deliver your products: the best courier companies in South Africa

 

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