Choosing the best ecommerce platform for artists is one of the most important initial steps you’ll take as a creator to sell your work online. The digital landscape, with its host of easy-to-use website builders and sales tools, has opened the door to endless opportunities for artists. With the right technology, you can showcase, advertise, and sell your creations.
While many online platforms will give you an opportunity to sell artistic pieces, there are only a handful with specially-chosen features just for artists.
Today, we’re going to be exploring the potential of a number of leading ecommerce platforms for artistic creators in the web today.
Probably the best-known ecommerce system of all time, Shopify is ideal for selling a host of products and services alike. With Shopify, you can sell commissions, digital art pieces, or physical items, depending on the nature of your creative business.
Shopify’s service is particularly compelling to artists just getting started online, because it’s easy to understand and use. You can set up your company with access to Shopify Compass, find useful videos and tutorials to guide you, and even chat with other art business owners.
The simplified setup also includes a range of customizable themes to choose from, specifically designed to suit artistic brands. Features of Shopify include:
- Comprehensive support for scaling your business
- Integrated marketing with Google Ads and Social media
- Numerous learning materials for beginners
- Simple set up with customizable themes
- Dedicated payment gateway with discounts
- Multi-channel selling
Shopify also comes with a variety of add-ons and plugins which can help you to enhance the functionality of your website. Plus, you get excellent support from a wide selection of ecommerce site-building experts.
Pricing for Shopify starts at around $29 per month for the Basic plan. Although you can add sales functionality to an existing website for less, you won’t get access to Shopify building tools this way.
For growing businesses, there are higher-tier packages, like Shopify for $79 per month and Advanced for $299 per month. The more you spend, the more advanced features you’ll get, like state-of-the-art reporting and analytics. You’ll also get a higher tier of customer service.
- 14-day free trial for testing functionality
- Shopify integrations with a range of payment options
- Extensive range of artist-first themes
- Excellent choice of plugins
- Lots of support for new artists selling online
- Extra costs for plugins and advanced themes
- Transaction fees if you’re not using the integrated payment option.
Further reading 📚
Wix is likely to be one of the most appealing options for artists in search of a simple way to sell online. Popular among a host of website owners, the software is both modern and easy to use. You can even get access to an AI called Wix ADI to help build your artistic website for you. This minimizes the amount of work you need to do to get online.
Wix makes it easy to maintain control over your website, with a huge range of customization options, hundreds of templates, and a dedicated app store. There are tons of ways for developers to get involved and build in extra functionality too.
Unfortunately, Wix does struggle a little compared to its competitors in terms of ecommerce functionality. Though the website builder does make it relatively easy to sell products online, you might not have the capabilities you need to scale drastically on the web. Of course, a lot of artists won’t need to build a complex store.
Wix Pricing is one of the main reasons why it’s such a popular ecommerce builder. You’ll need to choose a business or ecommerce plan to sell online, which start at a price for £13 per month, with access to unlimited bandwidth and secure online payments.
There’s Business Unlimited, for more storage space and automated sales tax, and Business VIP for £22 per month which comes with priority customer care and review support.
- Great customization options with good looking templates
- Seamless integrations with tools like Google analytics
- Lots of plugins and apps
- Secure payment options
- Reviews and dropshipping available
- Mobile app access
- Some limitations to ecommerce functionality
- Difficult to change templates
Further reading 📚
Squarespace is one of the top picks among artists selling online today. The eCommerce platform is particularly popular among creative professionals, because it’s excellent at delivering high-quality, aesthetically-appealing websites.
Most of the sites built with Squarespace are “visual-focused”, which means it’s ideal if you want to introduce your images and creations in the best possible light. You can create entire galleries to spotlight your work in no time, though you might find the functionality a little less intuitive than with some market leading tools.
There’s no drag-and-drop interface with Squarespace, which can be quite disappointing for some. However, you do get excellent themes, and a decent amount of customization options. There’s also access to everything you need to take commissions, schedule appointments and sell digital or physical products already built into your technology.
Squarespace offers a 14-day free trial to all beginners who want to test out what the technology can do. You’ll then be able to create a website starting at £10 per month, but this won’t offer access to ecommerce functionality.
The Business plan at £15 per month is the first one which allows you to sell products. There are also dedicated plans like the Commerce package for £20 per month with no commerce transaction fees, and the Advanced Commerce package with abandoned cart recovery at £30 per month.
- Beautiful themes for visually-focused sellers
- Excellent range of social media integrations
- Annual plans include a free custom domain
- Easy to set up commissions and bookings
- SSL certificates with all plans
- Can be limited when it comes to payment options
- No app market for extra functionality
Further reading 📚
Square might not be the first company you think of when looking for ways to grow an online business. The brand is best known for offering point of sale technology to small businesses in the offline world. However, since Square’s acquisition of Weebly, you can also use the system to build a convenient website online.
Square Online is an easy-to-use online environment where graphic designers, artists, and photographers can build their own website with drag-and-drop templates. Though some of the fonts and images are a little outdated, you do get a simple enough backend for beginners. Plus, the checkout experience is usually very effective.
With automation elements in place to sync data about your offline and online art sales, Square Online makes it easier to keep track of what’s going on with your business. The user-friendly environment even allows you to build your own blog and pick a domain name so you can have a more significant presence online.
Square Online has a free plan which allows you to start experimenting with functionality on the web. However, you won’t be able to start actively selling products until you’re willing to pay something. There are transaction fees to consider when managing payments, and the cost of buying a custom domain to think about too.
The “ecommerce” plan offered by Square Online will get you started for around $12 per month. There’s also access to more analytics and advanced tools on the Performance plan, for $26 per month. If you’re willing to pay a decent amount more per month, the $72 monthly plan lowers transaction fees significantly.
- Excellent pricing structure
- Easy-to-use environment
- Easy to take credit card payments online and offline
- Various SEO tools for your online store
- Discount shipping with premium packages
- Can get expensive over time
- Some limitations in customization options
Further reading 📚
Similarly to Shopify, BigCommerce is a very well-known service, with an excellent range of features for all kinds of artists. If you’re planning on scaling your business to sell prints across the globe, BigCommerce can help you to do that. However, you may find some of the functionality a little complex if you don’t have any coding knowledge.
BigCommerce is compelling to a lot of artists because it comes with everything you need to build a successful website already built into the technology. You don’t have to rely on plugins and extensions like you would with Shopify or WooCommerce.
BigCommerce also offers excellent access to multi-channel selling opportunities, so artists can find new customers across Pinterest, Instagram, and Amazon. BigCommerce will help your business to grow and scale online, but you may need to be willing to invest a little more time into your online presence to leverage the benefits.
Pricing for BigCommerce is a little higher than you’d expect from other ecommerce solutions for artists, but it’s still relatively affordable. The Standard package starts at $29.95 per month, which allows you to sell up to $50k annually with no transaction fees, and 24/7 support.
If you want to sell more, and you need to segment your customers, you can access the Plus package for $79.95 per month. There’s also a Pro package for $299.95 per month, and an Enterprise package for a custom price.
- Built-in tools for visual merchandising – ideal for artists
- No transaction fees with any plan
- Unlimited products, storage, and bandwidth on each plan
- Wide selection of free apps
- Great for multi-channel selling
- Can be a little complex for beginners
- Not the best range of themes
Further reading 📚
When it comes to flexible online selling, artists will struggle to find anything more versatile than WooCommerce. The number one ecommerce plugin for WordPress, WooCommerce ensures you can build a site entirely unique to your needs. Artists all over the world already rely on this tool.
WooCommerce can work with a host of additional plugins, so you can build all the functionality you choose into your website with minimal fuss. There’s also access to the full WordPress plugin and theme directory too. Everything is intuitive and easy-to-use, even for absolute beginners.
WooCommerce also gives you more freedom when it comes to choosing your business model. You can launch omnichannel sales strategies in minutes, sell unlimited products and manage unlimited orders, start dropshipping, and access various social media integrations.
WooCommerce is also completely open-source, so you own all of your data and content, making it easy to export if you decide to move to another site builder.
As an open-source solution, there are no fees to install WooCommerce into your website, but you will have additional fees to pay. You’ll need to consider the cost of processing transactions, as well as paying for your website hosting, and managing premium themes and plugins.
Some artists may also need to access the specialist help of developers to customize their sites and set up specific features.
- Complete customization for selling features and products
- Add extra features from thousands of plugins
- Affordable access to online selling
- Lots of design freedom for creative sellers
- Wide selection of themes
- Easy to use environment
- May require some technical knowledge to use correctly
- Can get expensive with added extras
Further reading 📚
Pixpa is an excellent tool for building an online store dedicated to selling art online. The solution is actually ideal for build a portfolio, enhanced with SEO and marketing tools, you can draw as much interest from potential leads as possible.
Pixpa makes it quick and simple to get started online, particularly if you’re a photographer. Many of the templates available are intended to sell art based on the snaps you’ve captured. You can create full galleries where users can easily browse through the content you’ve designed, and there’s no need for any coding knowledge to master your storefront.
As one of the most user-friendly tools for artists, Pixpa also comes with convenient 24/7 live support, so if you ever have trouble with your art sales, you’re not left high and dry. You can even start out on the platform for free, with a trial available for beginners.
A free trial offers insights into the functionality of Pixpa to begin with. After that, you’ll be able to start on the paid plans from $3 per month (billed annually), though there’s only a handful of features available here, such as up to 5 pages of galleries, and up to 100 images.
The more expensive your chosen package, the more you’ll get in terms of number of images supported, and access to marketing tools. You can only start selling your art online once you upgrade to the Business package at $16 per month.
- Lots of great tools for showing off your art
- Attractive aesthetic themes
- 1 year of free domain name support
- Sell your downloads or prints
- Affordable pricing
- Smaller plans are limited in features
- Not the most comprehensive content management system
Sellfy is a powerful ecommerce tool, designed specifically for companies hoping to sell more products online with minimal hassle. You can create your own art gallery or art market depending on your specific needs and start selling digital products in no time.
Sellfy comes with all the functionality you’d expect from a leading store builder, including unlimited sales per year, and lots of rich features already built-in, so you don’t need to rely on add-ons and widgets like you would with a wordpresss site. You can connect to social media platforms, and access search engine optimization features too.
Sellfy’s packages come with 24/7 support to help get you on your way whether you’re selling physical or digital products. Plus, there’s a built-in print-on-demand offering, so you can find products from other creatives to help you expand your portfolio.
There’s a free package available from Sellfy, but it’s extremely limited. You do get tax and VAT settings built-in, but you’ll only be able to sell up to 10 products online. On the plus side, you can still access print on demand and full store customization.
The initial paid package starts at $19 per month with access to digital and subscription product selling and a custom domain. There’s also a business package for $49 per month to allow up to $50k in online sales, and a Premium $99 per month option too.
- Print on demand services included
- Tax and VAT calculation
- Unlimited sales and products
- Multiple options for payments (Stripe, PayPal, etc)
- Analytics for business insights
- Mobile optimized websites
- You’ll need an advanced premium package to remove branding
- Free package is very simplistic
Further reading 📚
9. Big Cartel
Big Cartel is a unique approach to selling art online, specially created for artistic professionals. Unlike marketplaces like Etsy, you can still build your own ecommerce website, but the templates and tools are intended specifically for people selling art.
Big Cartel is great for building a highly attractive online store, with tons of free themes to choose from, which you can customize as much as you choose. You’ll also have the option to dive deeper into the code behind your store if you’re looking for something more unique.
Big Cartel packages allow you to sell both online and in person, while syncing your inventory across both environments. You can also run discounts and promotions, track shipments, and use real-time statistics to learn more about your target audience. Depending on the pricing package you choose, you’ll also have sales tax automation too.
Many customers love Big Cartel for it’s exceptional ease of use, though it’s worth noting this product isn’t quite as scalable as some of the other options on the market, like Shopify.
You can start selling up to 5 products for free with Big Cartel, on the “Gold” package. This allows you to use up to one image per product, and access real-time stats with a custom domain. The first paid package starts at $9.99 per month, with access to five images per product, free custom themes, and theme code editing.
The most expensive package is $19.99 per month to sell 500 products. There are no listing fees, and you get all the advanced features you could want, including sales tax autopilot.
- Great for creatives and artists
- Plenty of customization and template options
- Good for inventory management
- Access to theme code on some plans
- Shipment tracking on all plans
- Not ideal for a larger business
Further reading 📚
The Best Ecommerce Platform for Artists
There’s no shortage of excellent ecommerce platforms out there for artists, if you’re willing to step outside of solutions like Etsy and Ebay. The key to success is finding a tool you can rely on to offer everything from excellent customer support, to email marketing, advertising pop-ups, and a range of payment solutions.
Take your time to consider all the options available, and make sure you take advantage of free trials to test the functionality of each tool whenever you can.