The Right Fuelcard Company Review

By Julia Watts | Content Manager | Updated: 20 July 2021

Is The Right Fuelcard Company the right fuel card company for you? Our in-depth review is here to help you decide… 

The Right Fuelcard Company logo
The Right Fuelcard Company's cards

  • Offers a huge range of fuel cards from a variety of different brands
  • Fixed weekly fuel pricing is available
  • Gives insight into your company’s fuel spend with 24/7 online access
  • HMRC-approved invoices
  • Fantastic customer service, with dedicated account managers


  • Management tool and station-finder would be more convenient if available as apps
  • A couple of customers say their fuel cards took longer than expected to arrive
At a glance: The Right Fuelcard Company offers a good variety of cards for businesses of all shapes and sizes – but its biggest benefit is its fast, friendly, and personalised customer service

The Right Fuelcard Company (also known as Right Fuel Card) currently supplies thousands of UK businesses with fuel cards. Its cards come from a handful of different brands, and while that choice can feel overwhelming, Right Fuel Card is happy to help customers decide which of its programs they should plump for.

But is it the right fuel card supplier for your team? The company’s name may say so, but with over a decade’s experience of researching and analysing the fuel cards industry, it’s our job to put that to the test.

So, read on as we examine Right Fuel Card’s fuel cards, management tools, prices, customer service, and more – all with the goal of helping you to decide whether this fuel card supplier is the right fit for your needs…

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The Right Fuelcard Company’s fuel cards

At the time of this writing (in June 2021), Right Fuel Card supplies traditional, credit card-style fuel cards from the following brands:

BrandCards available for…Network coverage
  • Fleets of LCVs
  • Fleets of HGVs or coaches
  • Mixed fuel fleets
1,000+ Shell stations (with some cards, you can choose to upgrade to 3,500 multi-branded stations)
  • Fleets of diesel vehicles
  • Mixed fuel fleets
1,200+ Esso stations, including almost 200 HGV, PSV and LGV sites (you may be able to upgrade to include Shell and BP, boosting coverage to 3,400 sites)
  • Fleets of LCVs
  • Fleets of vans
  • Fleets of HGVs
2,800+ multi-branded stations
UK Fuels
  • Fleets of LCVs that travel nationwide
  • Fleets of HGVs or coaches
2,300+ stations, including Tesco and Morrisons (but buying fuel at these incurs a surcharge)
Right Fuel Card’s Supermarket fuel card
  • Fleets of LCVs
  • Fleets of company cars
  • Personal cars being used for business travel
1,300+ stations, including 600+ Tesco sites, 300+ Morrisons sites, and 300+ Sainsbury’s sites

Right Fuel Card also supplies a prepaid fuel card program called RightPay. RightPay cards can be used to buy fuel at over 2,500 stations across the UK, where you’ll benefit from fixed weekly fuel prices. According to Right Fuel Card, RightPay is suitable for fleets of all kinds.

The Supermarket Fuel Card
The Supermarket Fuel Card
The RightPay Card
The RightPay Card
Did You Know?

While traditional fuel cards work more like credit cards, prepaid fuel cards are comparable to gift cards – you load the cards up with money, and your employees then use them to pay for fuel. Prepaid fuel cards are less flexible than traditional fuel cards, but you can get hold of them without a credit check.

Right Fuel Card’s other benefits

So, besides its variety of fuel card programs, what else can Right Fuel Card offer to your business? Let’s take a look at some of its key offerings, and explore how they might benefit you:

✓ Your own personal account manager

When you apply for a fuel card through Right Fuel Card, you’ll be set up with one of the business’s fuel card experts. According to Right Fuel Card, they’ll spend time getting to know you and how your business ticks, and will endeavour to help you understand how to use your fuel cards to their full potential (which essentially means saving as much money and time as possible!).

This is a really nice touch if you’re new to the world of fuel cards and could use a bit of guidance. In fact, many of Right Fuel Card’s customers rave about how helpful their account managers are – skip down to our customer review section to see for yourself!

✓ 24/7 online management

Using Right Fuel Card’s online portal, you’ll be able to check out tailored reports on your team’s card usage, 24/7. This means you can stay on top of how much your staff are spending, what they’re buying, and so on. Ideally, you’ll be able to use this information to identify areas of unnecessary spend, or even spot fraud.

You can also use your online account to see and print out your HMRC-approved invoices, order more fuel cards as your team grows, and cancel any cards that go missing or are no longer needed.

Of course, it has to be said that pretty much all fuel card suppliers offer 24/7 account management through an online portal of some kind. But it’s such a useful tool that it’s still worth shouting about in every instance!

✓ An easy station-finder

If you sign up to Right Fuel Card, your staff will also gain access to an online station-finding tool, designed to be used on their mobile devices while out on the road. They simply input their location and select the fuel card they’ve got, and the tool will show them their nearby accepting stations. They can also narrow down their searches by looking specifically for HGV-friendly sites or 24/7 facilities.

It’s not clear whether this tool uses automatic location information from your drivers’ devices to speed up the search process, or whether it actually plots out a route to your employee’s selected station for them. But we do know that the ability to find the closest accepting station with a few taps of a touchscreen is bound to be a big time and fuel-saver for your team.

Get free quotes from the best fuel card suppliers for you
Just answer a few questions – it only takes a minute
Do you already use fuel cards? YES NO

How does Right Fuel Card’s pricing work?

When it comes to fuel cards, we have to look at costs from two perspectives: the fees charged by your fuel card supplier, and the costs associated with the fuel you buy. Let’s take a closer look at these factors.

Right Fuel Card’s fees and charges

First off, it’s worth exploring the fees and charges you’ll pay to Right Fuel Card in exchange for its services. Unfortunately, UK fuel card companies are not very transparent about how much their fees actually cost (in most cases, you’ll need to contact the supplier to get that info). However, we can give you an idea of the kinds of charges to expect.

Right Fuel Card will charge your business a monthly card fee for each fuel card your team holds.

The amount you pay for these fees will be based on your estimated fuel usage, which you’ll give the company when you apply for a fuel card program – so it’s super important that you get those figures as accurate as possible. Typically, businesses that buy more fuel will pay cheaper fees.

There’s also a series of potential charges that you could be subject to. These include:

  • A card replacement fee, if a card has been cancelled under certain circumstances
  • A paper invoice fee, if you request that a paper copy of one of your invoices be sent to you
  • A monthly invoice fee

Fuel pricing structures and costs

Through its different fuel card options, Right Fuel Card offers a choice of two different pricing structures for fuel:

Fixed weekly pricingUsually applicable to a particular kind of fuel (depending on which card you choose), fuel prices will change only on a weekly basis, staying fixed for the seven days in between. Handily, Right Fuel Card will send you price notifications via SMS or email every week, so you’ll always know what those all-important costs are.
Pump pricesProbably the pricing structure you’re more familiar with: your team will pay the fuel prices set at each station, which aren’t fixed. Usually, you’ll also have to pay a surcharge if you buy fuel at a station that doesn’t belong to your chosen fuel card’s brand. For example, the Esso Fleet Card can also be used at Shell and BP stations. But you’ll pay pump price at Esso stations, and pump prices plus a surcharge at Shell and BP stations.
Did You Know?

Our free quote-matching service has been designed to help you easily find and compare the best fuel card options, at the best prices, for your business. Simply answer a handful of questions about what you need (it only takes a minute), and we’ll match you up with the best suppliers for you. They’ll then be in touch with tailored, no-obligation quotes, and answers to all your questions. It’s quick, free, and easy.

Is Right Fuel Card the right supplier for my business?

Every business is different, so the answer to this question is never a simple yes or no. But checking out the more tailored Q&As below should help you to decide whether Right Fuel Card can provide what you need…

“I run a fleet of HGVs/coaches – does Right Fuel Card have good fuel cards for us?”

Yes! Esso’s Commercial fuel card can be used at almost 200 HGV, PSV, and LGV-friendly stations, while cards from UK Fuels, Keyfuels, and Shell also give you access to HGV-friendly sites.

Some of Right Fuel Card’s cards also offer specific benefits for HGVs, too. The Shell CRT card, for example, nets you cheaper rates at core HGV sites.

“I run a super small team/I’m a one-person band – can Right Fuel Card cater to me?”

Certainly. While it doesn’t call out any particular card as suitable for small operations specifically, Right Fuel Card does say that it can help any business of any size – including one-person bands – to find the right fuel card for them.

“I want the cheapest fuel prices – will I get them with Right Fuel Card?”

This is a difficult one to answer, because it really depends on the fuel card you choose and the stations you use. It also depends on whether you incur surcharges (for example, by using a station outside your card brand’s network), and how much those surcharges are – information that isn’t publicly available to us.

If you want to be particularly savvy when it comes to fuel costs, our advice is to plump for one of Right Fuel Card’s fixed weekly pricing cards (if you find one that matches all your needs, of course). Fixed pricing makes it much easier to predict and budget for your team’s spend, plus there’s the fact that fixed prices are linked to the wholesale fuel market, which means they’re often cheaper than pump prices.

It’s also worth pointing out that Right Fuel Card supplies a dedicated supermarket fuel card, given that fuel is often a little cheaper at supermarket forecourts.

“Customer service is important to me – will I be happy with Right Fuel Card?”

All evidence points to yes. Right Fuel Card’s friendly and dedicated customer service team has attracted some really high praise from customers – you can read all about it in the next section!

Get free quotes from the best fuel card suppliers for you
Just answer a few questions – it only takes a minute
Do you already use fuel cards? YES NO

What do Right Fuel Card’s customer reviews say?

Right Fuel Card has a glowing reputation among its customers, with an overall rating of 4.7 out of 5 from 1,554 reviews on Trustpilot. In fact, a truly impressive 89% of reviewers have rated the company as ‘Excellent’ (as of this writing in June 2021).

So, what do customers love about this fuel card supplier? Most cite dedicated and polite customer service, and many even shout out their helpful account managers:

“Great customer service, great all round – everything I could ask for as a small business. Plenty of phone calls to check if everything is okay and if I needed any help. Gul Fraiz has been brilliant while setting my account up. No complaints at all.”

  • PC Home Improvement, review dated June 2021
“Fast, efficient, very polite and very humble staff. I’m loving the whole experience. I got my card in time and everything is well.”

  • Pemberayl Shahwe, review dated June 2021
“They do exactly what they’re supposed to do. I received the fuel card, it’s easy to navigate the online account. Good fuel price.”

  • PT Express Ltd, review dated June 2021

Of course, though few and far between, there’s also been some more negative feedback levelled at Right Fuel Card.

One reviewer discusses the fact that they weren’t given all the pricing information they needed before signing up for their cards, though Right Fuel Card has responded that prices were fully explained in an introductory email:

“We put in premium diesel fuel (the reason we wanted to use Shell) and got the forecourt ticket. When the invoice came from Rightfuel, it was a lot more. On calling them they announced that they include a surcharge of 22.5% on top of forecourt prices if you buy premium fuel. That and the monthly charge to have the card. It wasn't notified to us on applying for the card. Needless to say, that's not a price we can afford to sustain.”

  • EJE Kent, review dated June 2021

The lesson here? If you sign up to Right Fuel Card (or any fuel card supplier, for that matter), make sure you find out everything you need about what you’ll be paying for your fuel. Of course, you’d want your supplier to be as transparent as possible before you sign the dotted line, but you can help yourself by reaching out to ask the right questions before making your decision.

We’ve also noticed a small handful of customers who talk about the fact that their cards took longer to be delivered than they expected:

“I was waiting for my fuel card for over a month.”

  • Wall Art Murals, review dated June 2021

To the company’s enormous credit, Right Fuel Card has quickly replied to almost every review – in most cases to thank the reviewer for the positive feedback, but also to provide an explanation or a solution in the case of more negative feedback. This shows Right Fuel Card to be a supplier that’s on the ball when it comes to customer service and communication – something we love to see here at Expert Market!

NB: Where we have edited reviews, we have done so for grammar and spelling only

Expert verdict

Overall, we’re really happy to recommend Right Fuel Card to businesses of all shapes and sizes – largely thanks to its positively glowing customer testimonials, and its dedication to helping you understand and use your fuel cards to their maximum potential. The company’s dedicated account managers and weekly price notifications (for fixed fuel price customers) stand out in particular as hugely helpful benefits.

We’re also fans of the supplier’s easy to use management portal and its station finder tool (though both could be even more convenient if they were available in app form). We also like the fact that options for cheaper fixed weekly pricing are available through various cards.

Of course, if you’d like even more personalised help in choosing the right fuel card supplier for your business, you should try our free supplier-matching service. Simply answer a few questions about your operation and its fuelling needs, and we’ll match you up with the right suppliers for you. They’ll then be in touch with tailored quotes, and answers to your questions. It’s free, quick, easy, and designed to help you compare the best options for you.

Julia Watts Content Manager

Specializing in the complex realms of telephone systems, business energy, vehicle tracking, asset tracking, and fuel cards, Julia writes content that cuts through the noise to help you find the right solutions and technologies for your business. Having spent five years working across the dynamic world of entrepreneurship, she loves helping exciting ventures – big or small – to flourish.

Mobile Commerce Trends & Statistics 2021

By Julia Watts | Content Manager | Published: 28 May 2021

What is m-commerce?

m-commerce, short for mobile commerce, is the practice of using a mobile device to pay for goods and services online.

Did You Know?

The term ‘mobile commerce’ first appeared in 1997, when Kevin Duffey used it to describe “the delivery of electronic commerce capabilities directly into the consumer’s hand, anywhere, via wireless technology”.

m-commerce vs ecommerce

Whereas m-commerce refers to the practice of buying and selling through a mobile device, the term ecommerce encompasses any transactions made – and paid for – online. In this sense, m-commerce can be seen as just one arm of ecommerce; a Russian doll, slotting into its slightly larger counterpart.

m-commerce, then, is ecommerce – just tailored to the mobile experience.

And, just as increased computer ownership and the post-dotcom boom saw ecommerce blow up, the inexorable growth of smartphone ownership is seeing m-commerce rise, too.

In 2012, just over one billion people in the world owned a smartphone. By 2023, that figure is expected to reach a mind-boggling 4.3 billion – which, for perspective, is well over half of the earth’s current population.

m-commerce is the fusion of two of humanity’s most treasured pastimes – buying things, and owning the latest smartphone.

Is it any surprise we’ve gotten so good at it?

m-commerce: The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

We probably didn’t need a reason to do any more shopping online, but the ongoing coronavirus pandemic certainly gave us one.

The COVID-19 enforced shutting down of high streets everywhere meant paying for things with our smartphones graduated from being a mere convenience, to a full-blown necessity. And the statistics prove it.

Across the pond, the $861.12 billion spent with US merchants in 2020 was up an astounding 44% year on year. That’s triple 2019’s growth, and makes it the biggest upturn the country’s online spending rate has seen in over 20 years.

From a global perspective, online sales rose to $26.7 trillion in 2020 to make up almost a fifth (19%) of all retail sales. In the UK, that split was even more weighted towards ecommerce, with nearly a quarter (23.3%) of all retail sales being of the digital variety.

So what about mobile commerce?

Well, after many years of stagnation, a pandemic turned out to be just what smartphone shopping needed. In the UK, m-commerce rose a whopping 73% year-on-year in 2020, as more and more Britons turned to their devices for a diversion from the disease.

Did You Know?

For UK online-only fashion retailer In the Style, sales via its mobile app rose by more than 400% in the year ending 31st March 2021.

All in all, m-commerce sales made up over half (55%) of In the Style’s sales for that period, compared to a mere 19% the year before.

But just how meteoric has the rise of m-commerce been in the last couple of years or so? Let’s take a deeper dive into the data.

Man using phone to pay for goods and services

Mobile commerce statistics

Here are 30 mobile commerce statistics that you need to know for 2021:

Growth in m-commerce

1. m-commerce retail sales in the UK are expected to reach £105 billion by 2024.

2. The UK’s mobile consumer spend is expected to increase 181% by 2025, outstripping the growth rates of both France (170%) and Germany (164%).

3. In January 2021, UK online sales grew 74% year-on year.

4. UK m-commerce sales, however, hit the stratosphere, with a 1% growth rate for the same period.

5. Mobile app downloads in 2020 increased by 24% to 143 billion.

6. The mobile app market is expected to generate a revenue of almost $692 billion in 2021 alone.


7. M-commerce accounts for over half (54%) of total ecommerce sales.

8. Globally, consumer spending on mobile alone is projected to total $270 billion by 2025.

9. 79% of smartphone users have used their mobile device to make a purchase online within the past six months.

10. At 66.7%, the UK has the second highest percentage of mobile shoppers (as a proportion of all internet shoppers) in Europe. Only Germany has more.

11. However, the UK’s customers led the way for total spend in 2020. At $2.9 billion, Briton’s outspent both the Germans ($2.8 billion) and the French ($1.7 billion).

12. Of all the sites visited by UK-based m-commerce buyers, Amazon is the most popular.

13. Over a quarter ($2.2 billion) of the $7.9 billion splurged on 2018’s Cyber Monday was spent via smartphones.

14. The conversion rate for shoppers on mobile in Q3 2020 was 2.9%. This was actually the lowest compared to other devices, including desktop (5.74%), tablet (4.41%), and ‘other’ (13.63%).

15. The average m-commerce order value in Q3 2020 was $66.80. This was the lowest compared to other devices, including desktop ($93.46), tablet ($79.15), and ‘other’ ($131.86).

16. Only 12% of polled consumers find mobile shopping convenient.

17. 80% of shoppers use a mobile device – rather than going to a physical shop – to search product reviews and compare prices.

18. Around one-third of a consumer’s decision to make a purchase is influenced by using their mobile device to unearth extra information.

19. In Q1 2020 in the UK, the penetration rate of online shopping among smartphone users was over one-third (34%).

Consumer using a smartphone

Mobile payments and banking

20. Mobile payments are set to replace debit cards as the UK’s most popular way to pay by 2022.

21. 74% of the UK’s population use mobile devices to manage their finances.

22. By 2023, more than a quarter (25.5%) of the UK’s population will be making in-store payments via their smart mobile devices.

23. Unsurprisingly, tech-savvy Generation Z (specifically, the 18 to 23 age bracket) had the highest rate of mobile and digital payment usage in 2020.

24. 45% of Gen Z consumers used a mobile wallet to pay for a purchase in 2020.

25. Boomers are the slowest generation to embrace mobile wallet payments. In 2020, just 20% of this group made a purchase via their smartphone.

26. In 2019, 8% of all UK retailers offered some form of digital payment method.

27. The total value of payments made with a mobile app device in 2020 came to a whopping $503 billion globally.

28. In 2019, there were around £8.3 million mobile payment users in the UK.

29. Around one in every 20 fraud attacks is the result of a rogue mobile app.

30. 60% of fraudulent transactions in Q4 2019 came from a mobile browser.

Mobile commerce trends

Smartphone ownership is on the rise, an ongoing pandemic is fuelling more virtual ways of doing business, and mobile wallets are easier to use – and more widely accepted – than ever before.

Now, with a tech-hungry generation growing into themselves, cryptocurrency expanding its influence over the finance landscape, and 5G set to open even more doors, it’s no surprise that m-commerce is booming.

From voice purchases to augmented reality, let’s take a look at some of the trends taking mobile commerce all the way to the top.

One-click payments for a faster checkout experience

If there’s anything we humans like more than buying stuff online, it’s things being easy to do. Pair the two together, and you’ll get something that looks a lot like one-click payments.

Amazon has been onto this particular trend for a while now, but it’s recently been jumped on by social media platforms (Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook in particular) too, to capitalise on the thing UK shoppers covet most: convenience.

Did You Know?

Amazon’s 1999 patent on one-click payment technology – which was licensed by Apple in 2000 – expired in 2017.

Time to start an ecommerce business, anybody?

When one-click payments are enabled, a consumer typically only has to enter their card and address details the first time they buy from a website. For subsequent purchases, all their info is saved, making for a slicker, more seamless experience at the virtual checkout.

It’s not hard to see why so many of retail’s top names are embracing this particular mobile commerce trend.

Traditionally, m-commerce doesn’t have the best conversion rates. Whether this is down to a poor user experience across the board, the comparative comfort of using a tablet, or the small screens inevitably involved with mobile purchases, m-commerce’s checkout abandonment rate is a high one.

Average checkout abandonment rates in 2021

  • Desktop: 73.07%
  • Tablet: 80.74%
  • Mobile: 85.65%

Source: Barilliance

One-click purchases, then, should do a lot to reverse this historical trend, making the m-commerce customer experience both more convenient and more expedient – not to mention a heck of a lot more tempting!

Sites becoming better optimised for mobile

“A widescreen iPod with touch controls. A revolutionary mobile phone. And a breakthrough internet device.”

When Steve Jobs first promised the above at an expo in January 2007, people were shocked when he unveiled not three separate devices, but rather a single piece of technology – the iPhone. Jobs’s words, however, were also prophetic, in that they predicted how smartphones have come to dominate the way we search for, consume, and share information in 2021.

For many of us, our phones are our computers. They’re where we browse, research, and part with our money. We also know that mobile shoppers are fickle. They will skim, they will scan, and – if your site isn’t set up well to handle smartphone users – they will skedaddle.

Did You Know?

More than half (52.2%) of all website traffic is generated by – you guessed it – mobiles!

If you’re running a business, and your website isn’t optimised for mobile, you’re missing a trick. After all, 61% of customers say they’re more likely to purchase from smartphone-friendly sites – so it’s fair to say that they’re one of the biggest mobile commerce trends we’ll see going forward.

Here are just a few ways in which you can start to set your site up for (mobile) success:

  • Choose a reliable web hosting service
  • Use a responsive WordPress theme
  • Ensure that any payment gateway you’re using has been customised to fit the look and feel of your website
  • Optimise your images and site content to drive down page load speeds
  • Create a mobile app

And remember, optimising your site for mobile audiences isn’t merely a ‘tick box’. It’s a constant process, and one that you’ll need to keep revisiting by seeking regular feedback, testing your site with Google’s free tools, and keeping your site’s UX (user experience) as clean and clutter-free as possible.

Did You Know?

Mobile-optimised sites are a paid marketer’s dream. A massive 52% of PPC (pay-per-click) sessions come through mobile users, while over half of YouTube visits also come via mobile devices.

Progressive web apps

On average, an app will lose 20% of its users between the first contact a customer has with it, and the first time they actually utilise it.

Given what we already know about the power of the mobile when it comes to making sales, that’s one in five potential customers, simply gone – before they’ve even engaged with your app!

This is where progressive web apps (PWAs) come in.

PWAs are, essentially, websites that are engineered to look, feel, and behave like native mobile apps. Unlike these native apps, though, PWAs don’t need to be downloaded from a third-party app store. They won’t sit on your phone, taking up valuable homepage real estate and forcing you to delete other apps to make space.

Rather, you can securely (and quickly!) download PWAs straight to your phone. Like native apps, they can send you push notifications, operate across multiple browsers, and – in some cases – even work offline. There are few of the development costs involved with getting a conventional app off the ground, and PWAs can even offer superior security setups than their native counterparts.

The benefits of PWAs as a hot mobile commerce trend, then, are crystal clear:

  • No more user drop-off at the stage of app download, meaning more shoppers will access your site
  • Offline access, so customers can browse and buy even in the absence of an internet connection
  • Quick loading speeds, meaning less incentive for time-pressed consumers to vacate the premises before checking out your catalogue
  • Push notifications allowing you to send instant discounts, offers, reminders, and product news straight to your customer base’s phones
  • Member logins, meaning you can access more granular data relating to your users’ purchase history and marketing preferences, and foster enhanced customer loyalty
Did You Know?

Progressive web apps result in 50% more customer engagement, as well as boasting a 36% higher conversion rate than native apps.

It can give the size of your customer base a caffeine hit, too. Starbucks’ PWA has doubled the coffee giant’s daily active user base since its implementation!

Mobile chatbots

You’re probably already familiar with chatbots – AI (Artificial Intelligence)-powered tools that help you navigate a website, seek customer support, and find the right product for you.

Consumer using a chatbot on a mobile device

But did you know that chat bots are big business? With research suggesting that chatbots will be responsible for driving $112 billion in retail sales by 2023, these agreeable automatons appear poised to play a commanding role in m-commerce’s future.

Did You Know?

Chatbots can save a business up to 30% in customer support costs.

Mobile wallets

Of course, when it comes to buying something online, a consumer needs more than a chatbot, a progressive web app, and a mobile-optimised site.

They need a safe, secure, and simple way of paying, too – and mobile wallets offer just that. With the big names including Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay (formerly Android Pay), these wallets allow smartphone users to store virtual copies of their credit cards, tickets, and even QR codes and access passes for subscription-based services, all within their mobile device.

Did You Know?

The UK accounts for a quarter of Europe’s total digital transaction value (around $164 billion), making it the biggest digital payments market on the continent.

Consumer paying for coffee with a mobile device

Mobile wallets offer a whole host of benefits for merchants, including security (they’re compliant with recent EU payments legislation, such as PSD2 and SCA), as well as a reduced risk of card payment fraud and chargebacks.

For the cardholder, they’re just extremely convenient!

That’s probably why us simplicity-oriented Brits have been so quick on the uptake. One 2019 report suggested that more than four-fifths (81%) of UK citizens were using some form of online payment, with mobile wallets specifically gaining around a million more adopters each year.

In fact, by 2023, it’s expected that almost 12 million UK residents will rely on their phones as their primary payment method.

Want more? To see how the UK’s mobile wallet journey currently compares to the rest of the world, explore our globe-trotting guide to mapping mobile wallet payments around the world.

Omnichannel commerce

On average, businesses with omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain 89% of their customers. 

It’s a neat piece of data that brings to mind two questions.

First – what is omnichannel commerce, exactly?

Well, omnichannel commerce constitutes a multichannel approach to selling.

Broadly, it’s concerned with ensuring a seamless customer experience with your brand and website, across a range of devices and settings.

Omnichannel commerce thinks about what kind of journey your customer is going on, whether that’s:

  • walking through the front door of your bricks and mortar store
  • exploring your site from their desktop computer
  • hitting ‘Buy Now’ from their mobile

Let’s look at an example that illustrates why omnichannel thinking is going to play such an important role in the future of m-commerce.


Meet Suzie.

Suzie is preparing to visit the Zara shop in Oxford Circus to do some shopping.

A day earlier, Suzie browsed Zara’s site from her desktop computer – to get an idea for what to buy, and to check stock levels so she’s not disappointed when she arrives in-store. Before setting off, she uses her iPhone to check Zara’s opening hours, and give herself plenty of time to shop.

Arriving at the store, Suzie uses her iPhone to access the web, in order to read up more on certain products. She also finds the perfect dress, but alas – it’s not in her size.

Luckily, though, she’s able to access Zara’s site from her touchscreen, and order the same garment (but in the right size) to her flat. Job done!

Suzie may not be strictly real, but she does represent how real shoppers behave. According to Digital Commerce 360’s 2021 report, in the last six months:

  • 56% of consumers have checked online for a product’s availability at a nearby store
  • 48% have ordered online, before picking up a product in store
  • 35% have ordered online, and picked up from a shop’s drive-through service

Which brings us back to our second question…

Can your business afford to neglect the power of omnichannel commerce?

Did You Know?

Research from Google indicates that 98% of Americans switch between multiple devices in the same day.

Social commerce

Social commerce is just about what it says on the tin: using social media to sell your products.

With social commerce, a customer doesn’t even have to leave their chosen social media platform to make a purchase. Like one-click ordering, everything they need to buy is right there, all available within the self-contained experience of the particular social platform or app they’re using.

While Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest have long been fertile grounds for individuals and solopreneurs selling their homemade wares, they also represent tantalising opportunities for bigger businesses – particularly those looking to capitalise on social media’s growing role in mobile commerce.

97.5% of the UK’s social media users access these platforms from their mobiles. In Romania (98.1%), Ireland (98.2%), and Albania (98.8%), social media penetration is even higher – so it’s understandable why social commerce strategies are becoming such a priority for businesses all over Europe, and beyond.

Voice commerce

With smart speakers on the rise – more than one in five UK households (21.1%) has one, and that number is growing – it’s only natural that voice commerce would be hot on their heels.

Did You Know?

Between 2018 and 2020, the number of people using voice assistants on their smartphones rose by 11%.

Voice commerce is the practice of using a virtual assistant (such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Microsoft Cortana) to order products online. This could be through a smart speaker, or directly through a virtual assistant-equipped mobile device, such as a smartphone.

Woman utilising voice commerce on her smartphone

“Hey Siri, find me a new pair of headphones.”

That’s what one significant trend in the future of mobile commerce looks like, and here’s why:

  • Mobile users are three times more likely to utilise voice commerce to shop
  • 31% of the world’s smartphone users use voice search at least once a week
  • The voice recognition market is set to reach $27.16 billion by 2025
  • 71% of consumers prefer voice search over typing
  • 32% of smart speaker owners have synced the device to their smartphone

For the user, it’s a convenient, conversational way to shop – while for your business, it’s a growing source of customers. So how do you equip your online store to be voice commerce victorious?

Well, optimising your site’s copy and content to reflect the way people actually speak is a great start. Avoid overly robotic or complicated language, and speak with the user in mind. From the technical side, you can implement schema markups, and set up product categories and tags for voice searches.

For more info, SmartOSC has a great guide to optimising your site for voice commerce searches.

AR (augmented reality)

If you’ve ever used your mobile to catch Pokémon, gun down zombies, or begin virtual court proceedings while donning the face of a cute kitten, you’ve experimented with some form of AR (augmented reality).

Yet AR isn’t just for messing around (or becoming an internet meme). In fact, it’s emerging as a highly influential trend in the world of mobile commerce.

Consumer using AR to make a purchase

According to Statista, consumer spending on augmented reality mobile apps is forecast to hit a global total of $15.5 million, as early as 2022.

Designed to expand and enhance our vision of ‘reality’ by superimposing layers of digital information onto it, AR is continuing to pick up a litany of commercial uses for shoppers.

Home Depot’s app uses it to help give consumers an idea of what certain products would like in their home, while IKEA’s ‘IKEA Place’* leverages AR to generate furniture recommendations to fit the specific dimensions of a user’s room. Elsewhere, the AR-powered app of cosmetics giant Sephora enables its users to ‘try on’ different shades and colours of makeup – using nothing but their mobile phone.

The world’s biggest brands are already cottoning on. So why should yours pay attention to the opportunities that AR mobile commerce presents?

  • 61% of online shoppers prefer to buy from sites that offer AR technology
  • 35% say AR would make them shop online more frequently
  • Almost two-thirds (63%) of customers believe that AR would improve their shopping experience
  • Two in three (65%) online shoppers use AR to learn more about a product
Did You Know?

9 out of 10 brand advertisers say they’re already using – or at least planning to use – AR in their marketing campaigns.

Can your business afford to be the odd one out?

* IKEA was the first brand to embrace AR on its app. Not-so-coincidentally, IKEA Place was also the second most popular app on the App Store when it landed, with 13 million downloads in just six months. Either that’s a lot of people looking for Kallaxes, or AR technology showing some serious promise!**

** We’re banking on the latter.

Advantages of m-commerce

Our breakdowns of the key mobile commerce trends and statistics in 2021 got you hyped? Us too.

So read on, as we break down the top three benefits m-commerce can have for your business.

Wider reach

With smartphone ownership trends mirroring the similarly meteoric rise of m-commerce adoption, embracing mobile commerce technology can expand the breadth of your customer base.

Whether it’s through a social media platform, progressive web app, or alternate dimension, customers are finding increasingly innovative ways to use their smartphones to purchase, bank, and pay. And, as the 2020s mature and this kind of tech enters the mainstream, the world’s consumers will expect you to be able to deliver it.

Adopting mobile commerce practices now has the potential to turn every smartphone user in the world into a potential customer. And, with over half of the planet’s population already the proud owner of a smart mobile device, that’s, well… a lot of customers!

Consumer satisfied with the convenience of mobile commerce

On the go: Reach consumers at the right time

It’s a question email marketers have been labouring with for a generation.

“When’s the best time to reach a customer?”

It’s also one musing that mobile commerce happens to have all but fixed. Because, when the consumers you’re targeting are smartphone users, the answer to the above is a simple one…

All the time.

When you embrace the opportunities m-commerce advertising represents – that is, delivering your messages directly to your customer’s smartphone, exactly when they’re most engaged – you’ll see better results.

In this regard, the biggest m-commerce advantages you need to know about are geo-tracking and programmatic marketing. Through a combination of both, you can see when your customer is browsing your store, then send them tailored offers and discounts to entice them to buy.

The average adult spends almost four hours per day on their smartphone, and few of us leave our homes – even for a walk around the block – without their familiar outline in our pockets.

Done well, targeted m-commerce advertising will not only generate more conversions. It’ll build your brand, and help foster greater customer loyalty to boot.


The more convenient something is, the more we’re attracted to it.

Whether that’s a way to shop, bank, pay, or get paid, mobile commerce solutions provide an easier, more effective way of doing things. Similarly, the more convenient you can make your checkout and site experience for the user, the more people will gravitate to your business and brand. It’s that simple!

Disadvantages of m-commerce

Despite most of the current trends being in favour of m-commerce, this stream of revenue won’t be for everyone.

Here are three reasons why you might think twice before implementing a fully realised mobile commerce strategy.

Poor customer experience

Despite all the momentum m-commerce is continuing to generate, there’s still the elephant in the room to sit with. Here, we’re talking about the glaring fact that using such a small screen to do everything just… isn't that enjoyable!

Consumer frustrated with the poor user experience on mobile

In fact, the poor user experience that mobile commerce has historically been maligned for providing is thought to be responsible for some of the industry’s chief setbacks. Most notably, there are its poor conversion rates when compared to computers and tablets, which offer users a much larger screen size to work with.

Did You Know?

The average smartphone screen size is 5.5 inches. For tablets, it’s double that, while the length of a typical computer ranges anywhere from 21 inches to well over 30.

So what can you do about it? Well, when it comes to the screen size of your average smartphone, the answer is: not much!

What you can do, however, is set your mobile-optimised site up for success. That includes:

  • Making the user experience (UX) a smooth one by providing a page overview, and clearly signposting the different parts of your site
  • Eliminating any tech bugs or issues
  • Utilising on-page SEO (search engine optimisation) best practice techniques. These include compressing images – a little trick that helps the page load quicker, and reduces the chance of users ‘bouncing’ off your site straight away – and optimising the article’s internal and external links.
There’s also a whole bunch of stuff you shouldn’t do, too, such as including autoplaying videos, pop-ups, intrusive ads, and any other annoying page elements. For the full list, we’d recommend checking out our guide to avoiding the 9 most common web design mistakes.


Okay, okay. Hold on a second.

Augmented reality? Voice commerce? Progressive web apps? It all sounds good… but how much is it all going to cost me?

Herein lies one of the key drawbacks associated with m-commerce – that it tends to be very costly to get set up. Starting your own online business is expensive enough as it is, particularly when you include the outlay involved with designing, creating, and maintaining a website.

And, when you add in the tasks of optimising that website for mobile and voice searches (not to mention formulating strategies for social commerce, too!), the bill starts looking especially long. Plus, there’s also the issue that many businesses (particularly solopreneurs with limited resources, or less tech-savvy sole traders) don’t have the luxury of boasting an entire tech department to hand.

Building an AR-friendly website? Where would you even start?

Our advice would be to keep it simple. Build up your m-commerce strategy bit by bit. Don’t try and do it all at once – start by ensuring that your website looks good and is easy to use. Invest in your SEO and content, and commit to a conversational style – it’ll bear fruit when it comes to ranking for relevant user voice searches.

As your brand and online presence grows, you can continue to invest more in your m-commerce strategy, and spread out the outlay over time. So take it slow, but don’t neglect investment in your mobile commerce strategies entirely – in the long term, they’ll be crucial to your business’ success.

Security and fraud issues

Did You Know?

According to one report, mobile fraud attempts more than doubled between 2018 and 2019.

Unfortunately, there are still lingering security concerns when it comes to mobile devices.

To some extent, this is borne out in the statistics, too, with the majority of fraudulent transactions being made through a mobile browser. Mobile scams – in which a consumer is contacted by a fraudster via a call or text message, and convinced to move money to an external account – are particularly rife.

Mobile user contemplating whether to answer a call from an unknown number

Reassuringly, though, there are benevolent forces working in favour of consumers and merchants everywhere. PSD2 and SCA – recent EU rulings that implemented greater security in m-commerce transactions – has helped, while existing PCI regulations protect customer data. From your side, there’s also a plethora of anti-fraud tools you can employ (such as Accertify and Ravelin) to safeguard you and your customers from harm.

You can also ensure that you’re asking for all the correct AVS (address verification service) and CVV (card verification value) information at the checkout. This helps prevent fraudulent transactions, for one, while also covering your back in case a customer decides to raise a dreaded chargeback.

Did you enjoy our guide to the top mobile commerce trends and statistics in 2021?

Let us know by dropping a line to, or Tweet @expertmarket to share your thoughts. Thanks for reading!

Julia Watts Content Manager

Specializing in the complex realms of telephone systems, business energy, vehicle tracking, asset tracking, and fuel cards, Julia writes content that cuts through the noise to help you find the right solutions and technologies for your business. Having spent five years working across the dynamic world of entrepreneurship, she loves helping exciting ventures – big or small – to flourish.

Chargeback Fraud Statistics 2021: Everything You Need to Know About Chargeback Fraud

By Julia Watts | Content Manager | Updated: 29 June 2021

Let’s wind back the clock forty years or so.

Credit cards had been around for a little while, but their uptake wasn’t massive. People didn’t quite trust them yet – with their susceptibility to fraud being one of the biggest issues.

To assuage these doubts – and boost public confidence in their credit cards – the banks introduced the chargeback.

But what is a chargeback, exactly? Why do they happen, how do people abuse them, and what can you do to fight chargeback fraud?

Read on for the answers to all these questions and more, and to get acquainted with the top chargeback fraud statistics in 2021.

Hand drawing a dollar sign and circular arrow on a blackboard to represent chargebacks

What is a chargeback?

Chargebacks allow consumers to dispute a payment they’ve made with their credit card, and submit it to their bank for reversal. The decision then rests with the customer’s bank (also known as the issuing bank, or card issuer), which can choose to either side with the consumer, or the merchant.

Should the bank come down on the side of the consumer, the payment is refunded, and the merchant slapped with an additional fee for their troubles.

As you can imagine, chargeback claims tend to fall into two general categories: those that are legitimate, and those that, well… aren’t. Whereas some cardholders requesting chargebacks will genuinely have been the victim of fraud, others are the fraudsters themselves. Their only goal? Taking advantage of chargeback policies to claim spent money back illegally.

Also known as ‘friendly fraud’, chargeback abuse can have serious consequences for merchants.

So just why do people initiate chargebacks with their bank? Let’s take a look at the five most common reasons they occur.

The most common reasons for a chargeback

Fraudulent motives aside, there are several other reasons why a cardholder might initiate a chargeback. Here are five!

The purchase was made with a stolen card

It’s every customer’s worst nightmare. You’re at a bar, reaching into the pocket of your trousers to pay for a round, and the familiar bulge of your wallet is gone – stolen.

You cancel your cards when you get home, but it’s too late – a fraudster has made purchase after purchase, milking your account. What can you do?

Fortunately, this kind of situation is what chargebacks were invented for. Should your card be used as part of a fraudulent transaction, you have every chance of claiming back the money by disputing the payment with your bank.

Purchases being made with a stolen credit card are responsible for the lion’s share of all chargebacks. Close to a third (30%) of all chargebacks are initiated as a result of transactions made with a stolen card.

The product never arrived, or the service never took place

Usually when something we’ve ordered online doesn’t arrive, we go straight to the seller to find out what’s happened. Typically, this route will usually get you some answers, or at least a refund.

Some consumers, however, skip this step and go straight to their bank to raise a dispute. As a first port of call, this isn’t recommended. However, if a consumer has already tried and failed to contact the merchant directly, and has heard nothing about a new shipping date or reimbursement, then it may be a case of merchant fraud.

In this case, the chargeback claim is a totally valid one!

Likewise, a customer that has purchased a service (such as a flight, holiday package, or spa weekend) that was unable to take place may also choose to issue a chargeback.

Again, this isn’t best practice as a first recourse. However, if a merchant has failed to respond for calls for a refund – and has not issued a statement around when a replacement service is able to take place – then the consumer may wish to resort to a chargeback. They have 120 days from the date of the transaction to raise a dispute with their bank.

A product never arriving is the second most common reason a consumer will issue a chargeback. Over a quarter (26%) of chargebacks are initiated as a result of a purchase never being delivered.

Retailer shipped wrong product

Another common reason consumers will initiate a chargeback – rightly or wrongly – is as a result of a retailer shipping an incorrect product.

As is the case with the above, the best practice here would be to contact the merchant directly, to explain the situation and request a replacement or refund. However, many consumers – whether it’s the frustration of receiving the product, an unwillingness to address the admin involved in the exchange, or the lack of an adequate response from the merchant – may initiate a chargeback.

A retailer shipping the wrong product is the reason behind a whopping 15% of all chargebacks initiated by cardholders.

The product or service didn’t meet the customer’s expectations, or the description on the website

We’ve all been there. That beautiful grey shirt you bought online a week ago has finally arrived! You rip open the packaging, pull the shirt out, and then experience a sharp intake of breath. It’s not grey, it’s… blue!

Everyone’s felt the crushing disappointment of an ecommerce order not being what we wanted – or expected – it to be. Whether it was the fault of the photos on the website, the merchant’s description of the product, or simply your screen resolution, it’s upsetting. Some of us write an angry email, some of us cut our losses, and some of us settle for the blue shirt. Others initiate a chargeback!

4% of chargebacks occur when a purchase doesn’t meet a customer’s expectations. Another 4% are a result of a product not matching the description it was advertised with on the website.

Clerical errors

Sometimes, a merchant may accidentally bill a customer twice for the same purchase, or fall prey to one of the myriad administrative errors that can occur when selling online.

When this happens, some consumers – rather than contacting the merchant directly – may initiate a chargeback with their bank to claim back the duplicate payment.

3% of chargebacks occur as a result of clerical errors on the merchant side, such as a payment inadvertently being billed twice.

Source: ClearSale

What is the chargeback process?

Read on, as we break down the four key steps in the chargeback process…

What is the chargeback process

1. Cardholder initiates dispute

First up? The customer realising something’s wrong with a purchase they’ve recently made – or making the decision to deliberately try and game the system.

The cardholder notifies their bank (the ‘issuing’ bank) to dispute said transaction. 

The issuing bank then extends the customer a provisional line of credit – so they get their money back, but it’s not set in stone. There’s still some investigating to do…

2. Issuer sends transaction back to acquirer digitally

To achieve this, the issuing bank gets in touch with the seller’s bank (the ‘acquiring’ bank, or acquirer for short), for some more info about the transaction.

3. Acquirer either resolves or sends back to merchant

The two banks work things out, after which the acquiring bank gets in touch with the merchant, to issue them with a chargeback notification.

4. Merchant either accepts or fights the chargeback by sending evidence to the acquirer

Now, it’s the merchant’s turn to decide.

Accept the chargeback, lose the money from the sale, and pay the fee that comes with it?

Or fight it?

Should the merchant pick the second option, they can dispute the chargeback by sending evidence of the transaction in question back to the acquirer.

This must be provided with a rebuttal letter, and can include proof that the correct verification was obtained, or that the correct practices were followed at the point of sale. The merchant can also draw attention to any other documentation that proves the purchase was an authentic one.

Receiving the evidence and dispute, the acquiring bank relays this to the issuer, which reviews the evidence and makes a call. If that decision is in favour of the merchant, that provisional credit initially issued to the customer is reversed, and returned to the merchant’s coffers.

Woman being defrauded over the phone

If the issuing bank comes down on the side of the customer, they keep their money, and the merchant – in addition to losing their takings from the original transaction – pays a chargeback fee.

What are chargeback fees?

Chargeback fees occur when a customer’s dispute over a purchase is deemed by the issuing bank to be a legitimate one.

If this happens, the merchant gets slapped with a chargeback fee – a cost that usually comes in at around £15, but which can, technically, total as much as 40% of the sale’s value.

Annoying for the merchant, certainly – but not too bad, right?

Wrong. On top of that £15, the merchant also loses the cost of the product or service (if it was delivered), as well as the initial costs they paid (let’s say 2 to 4% per transaction) to process the transaction in the first place.

Then, add to this all the outlay that comes with customer acquisition, as well as all the operational and logistical costs. Storing the product in a warehouse, having it picked, packed, and posted… it all costs money!

And all that money isn’t recuperated when (whether legitimately or not) a customer dispute is upheld. While ‘friendly fraud’ may be a trifling matter for the consumer, it can be crippling for merchants. 

But what is chargeback fraud, exactly? Let’s take a look.

What is chargeback fraud?

Chargeback fraud (also known as ‘friendly fraud’) is when a consumer takes advantage of their rights as a cardholder, and files a chargeback for a legitimate purchase. Basically, it’s a consumer wanting something for nothing!

However, friendly fraud can take a wide variety of forms, and can include the consumer:

  • Not understanding – or being unwilling to wait for – a lengthy delivery period
  • Experiencing “buyer’s remorse”
  • Forgetting about a transaction, and not recognising where it came from when it later appears on their credit card statement
  • Discovering – and not wanting to pay for – a purchase made by a family member
  • Deeming the process of requesting a refund from the merchant directly to be too inconvenient
  • Being unaware (or at least claiming an unawareness of) a recurring billing cycle or monthly subscription

So, what are the current trends through which we can analyse the patterns and prevalence of friendly fraud?

Here are the 19 chargeback fraud statistics that you need to know about in 2021.

Chargeback fraud statistics

Chargeback fraud statistics

  1. A customer who is successful in filing – and winning – a chargeback dispute is nine times as likely to initiate another one.
  2. 40% of consumers who file a chargeback will do it again within 60 days.
  3. Just one in 20 customers will complain directly to the merchant if there’s an issue with their order, with the remaining 19 at risk of initiating a chargeback.
  4. 81% of customers admit to ‘convenience’ as their primary motivator when it comes to filing a chargeback.
  5. Friendly fraud generally goes up at a rate of around 41% every couple of years…
  6. …which means that chargebacks increase at a rate of over 20% each year!
  7. 86% of chargebacks are probable cases of ‘friendly fraud’.
  8. One study found that almost half (49%) of friendly fraud chargebacks occur as a result of a misunderstanding. The customer simply wasn’t aware they were filing a chargeback!
  9. Each year, the global average cost of chargebacks is around 0.47% of total merchant revenue.
  10. At 0.66%, the software industry has the highest average chargeback-to-transaction ratio.
  11. The financial services (0.65%) and media and ecommerce content (0.56%) industries are also at risk of a high incidence of chargebacks.
  12. In a recent study, almost two-thirds of the 47 countries involved (31, or 65.95% of the total) experienced an increase in their chargeback-to-transaction ratio.
  13. Of these countries, Belgium’s chargeback-to-transaction ratio increased the most, with Thailand, Switzerland, Ireland, and New Zealand just behind.
  14. American Samoa’s chargeback-to-transaction ratio fell the most, mirrored closely by that of Poland, Chile, Panama, and Peru.
  15. This same research indicates that the overall chargeback-to-transaction ratio fell by 25.1% between 2019 and 2020.
  16. However, at 1.94%, the overall chargeback-to-transaction rate is still high; this means that there’s almost one chargeback for every 49 legitimate transactions.
  17. The cost of false positives (that is, legitimate purchases that are incorrectly flagged as fraud) is thirteen times the cost of actual fraud.
  18. Online sales make up over half (55%) of all fraud experienced by multi-channel merchants.
  19. Merchants lose $2.40 (£1.70) for every $1 (71p) a fraudster takes.

Chargebacks vs refunds

Let’s quickly make a key distinction between a couple of terms that tend to (incorrectly) get used interchangeably – the chargeback, and the refund.

Typically, a refund refers to money returned to a consumer by a merchant. If a customer is dissatisfied with a purchase, they contact the company they bought it from. At this point, the merchant can either comply – and refund or credit the customer – or dispute the customer’s complaint, and deny any form of refund or compensation.

A chargeback happens when the customer wants a refund, but requests it via their bank, rather than going to the merchant. This solution is worse for the merchant, because – in addition to being out of pocket for the refund – they’ll also be liable to pay a chargeback fee to their acquiring bank or third-party merchant account provider.

Here’s where the dreaded double refund can come in.

If a customer requests a return of their money from both the merchant and their bank, they may receive two refunds, with the bank paying them back while the merchant’s refund is still processing. This is especially awful news if you’re the merchant. You’ve not only refunded the customer, but then had the transaction amount deducted from your coffers by the bank – before getting slapped with a chargeback fee for your troubles!

Unless you’re the one receiving the cash injection, double refunds aren’t good. So how do you avoid them as a merchant?

How can you avoid a double refund?

Funnily enough, the easiest way to avoid getting stung by a double refund is by providing excellent customer service.

Of course, you’ll get a big helping hand if your customer decides to come to you with their grievance, rather than running straight to their bank. When they come to you first, it’s your chance to listen to the complaint, learn what’s caused the issue (so you can prevent it from happening again), and – if there’s reasonable cause for complaint – issue the refund.

You should also ask your customer whether they have already contacted their bank.

  • If they have, you shouldn’t issue the refund, as it’s likely that the customer has already initiated a chargeback.
  • If they haven’t, you should strongly recommend that they don’t contact their bank, as you are already processing their refund directly.

It’s also important to let the customer know what to expect regarding the refund. Be transparent about how long the money will take to reach their account, and send an email confirmation to ease their mind. That way, there’s less chance they’ll become frustrated at the length of time it’s taking for their refund to arrive, and less chance they’ll feel inclined to issue a chargeback.

Of course, there are still customers who will try and cheat the system by requesting a refund from both the merchant and their bank. Sadly, there’s not much you can do if that’s the case. However, by committing yourself to strong customer support, you’re not only protecting your business from double refunds – you’re ensuring your customers will buy from you again!

Green pen highlighting the word fraud in a dictionary

Which industries are most at risk of chargebacks and chargeback fraud?

Whether it’s the type of stock or services they sell, the reputation of the industry, or simply the nature of the market, some industries are more at risk of experiencing chargebacks than others.

As mentioned earlier, the software industry – at 0.66% – has the highest chargeback ratio. This can potentially be attributed to the fact that software is typically sold on a subscription basis (SaaS, or Software-as-a-Service).

This business model relies on charging people on a recurring monthly cycle – and on free trials that soon turn into a high monthly cost. Because of this, consumers may be less likely or willing to pay for the subscription when it does turn into a paid one, and request a chargeback accordingly.

Other industries with notably high chargeback rates are financial services (0.65%), media and ecommerce content (0.56%), retail (0.50%), and travel (0.50%).

When an industry or business type experiences a higher chargeback ratio at large, it tends to wind up being labelled by the banks as ‘high risk’. These are enterprises earmarked as being easy targets for fraudsters, and – in addition to the above – include:

  • Travel
  • Online pharmaceuticals
  • Adult entertainment
  • Dating services
  • Gaming
  • Health and wellness
  • Online gambling
  • Jewellery
  • Legal services

If you’re a merchant operating in one of the above industries, chances are high you’ll need to secure the services of a merchant account that specialises in catering to risky businesses.

For our top picks, explore Expert Market’s guide to the best high risk merchant accounts in 2021.

How does chargeback fraud work?

Chargeback fraud may be an insidious way for cardholders to take advantage of a basic consumer right – but that doesn’t mean it can’t be combatted.

What is chargeback reversal?

A chargeback reversal (also known as ‘representment’) occurs when a merchant – after disputing a chargeback, and proving it was legitimate – is able to void the chargeback.

By providing evidence to the bank that the transaction was a valid one, the chargeback is accepted as a case of fraud, and is reversed.

While – as a responsible seller – you have ethical obligations to honour a chargeback in cases of actual fraud, you should absolutely dispute anything you believe to be friendly fraud.

So just what are your rights as a merchant, exactly?

What are your rights as a merchant?

Just as the ability to raise a chargeback is a consumer right, the option to dispute one is the right – nay, the responsibility – of the merchant… particularly if the transaction is a fraudulent one.

Remember, despite the extent to which it may seem that the consumers hold all the cards, there are a range of rules and regulations put in place by the card brands (VISA, Mastercard, etc.) designed to safeguard you – the merchant.

Here are just a few.

Chargeback protection measures

Reason codes

When a chargeback is first issued, the issuing bank takes down the customer’s reasoning for filing it. This is then used to assign the chargeback a ‘reason code’ – one of a standardised list of reasons that a customer may give for disputing a transaction.

What this gives you, when the chargeback lands on your business’s desk, is a clear idea of why the customer is unhappy. Knowing this can help you determine the reason the chargeback was raised, whether it’s valid, and – if not – provide fuel for further investigation and dispute.

Late delivery

Should a product you’re shipping arrive to the customer later than specified, it’s not good. But it doesn’t represent legitimate grounds for a chargeback, either.

In fact, late delivery doesn’t mean a customer can automatically file a dispute. First, they must at least attempt to contact you for a refund – or for more information about the status of the product – and return the item if they no longer wish to keep it. Otherwise, the chargeback will not be upheld.

It goes without saying, then, that this is your chance, as a business, to shine. Hit your customer with top-notch customer service, instill them with confidence that the product will be arriving, and – if they still don’t want to play ball – refund them promptly. It’s better and less costly than dealing with a chargeback!

The 15-day waiting period

Another merchant protection measure against chargebacks is the 15-day waiting period involved.

This is the amount of time the issuer (which, as you’ll remember, is the cardholder’s bank) must wait after receiving the dispute, but before they can file a chargeback. Handily, this gives you over two weeks with which to liaise with the customer, and process a refund if necessary.

Purchase price only

As we discussed earlier, chargeback fees are sometimes levied as a percentage of the transaction’s value.

However, this includes the value of the product only. This percentage does not take into account any taxes, surcharges, or other costs for shipping or handling that may have been applied to the final purchase price at checkout. This, of course, is great for merchants, as it helps prevent chargeback fees from ballooning out of control!

Still, your policy should never be to merely limit the damage caused by chargebacks, but to fight them head on. So read on – here are eight ways you can.

Fighting chargeback fraud: 8 top tips

Top 8 tips for fighting chargeback fraud

1. Create a compelling rebuttal letter

When you dispute a chargeback raised against your business, you must include a rebuttal letter as part of your evidence.

It’s like the executive summary of a business plan, or the opening statement of a CV. When you fight a chargeback, this is the first thing the issuing bank will read, and a lot rests on it. So it’s fair to say it needs to be succinct, compelling, and informative – all at the same time, no less!

A good rebuttal letter should sum up all the key enclosed evidence to support your case, as well as:

  • The amount you are contesting
  • The chargeback’s reason code
  • An outline of how the documents provided prove the legitimacy of the disputed transaction

We’d recommend downloading a sample template online as a starting point, and customising it to your business’s liking. To say this document is important is an understatement – so make sure you put in the time and effort to make it sing!

2. Ensure that the AVS and CVV details match

When a customer buys something online, they have to enter both their AVS (Address Verification Service) and CVV (Card Verification Value) details.

An AVS check ensures that the physical address details the customer is using in the transaction match those that their bank has on file for them.

A CVV, on the other hand, is the little number on the back of a credit or debit card. A CVV check ensures that that number is the same as the one the cardholder has entered to make the transaction.

If you’re an ecommerce merchant, you’ll need to be able to prove that you’re checking for an AVS and CVV match with every sale you make. Without doing this – and in the absence of sufficient proof of it come chargeback dispute time – your case doesn’t stand a chance of success.

3. Store sales receipts

For bricks and mortar businesses, keeping hold of paper receipts of transactions can help you dispute a chargeback claim – especially if they’re signed.

Ecommerce merchants should also retain all digital copies of receipts, although these are most effective when paired with other forms of cardholder verification, such as an IP address or delivery confirmation.

When fighting a chargeback, you can also bring to the bank’s attention any relevant passages within your business’s terms and conditions. If you’ve covered yourself adequately in the small print – and have done nothing else wrong, of course! – you have a much better chance of winning the dispute.

Hook piercing a credit card to represent chargeback fraud

4. Keep transcripts of any communication with the customer

Whether it took place by email, live chat, social media, or even over the phone, keeping transcripts of any customer communication is vital.

If the customer, for instance, reported receiving the goods – but then later filed a chargeback claiming the opposite – you could utilise a record of the conversation to support your counterclaim.

In some cases, a merchant may even utilise customer communication as evidence – even if it wasn’t with them. For example, if a consumer files a chargeback for flights to Mallorca and a week’s worth of accommodation – but are spotted ‘checking in’ to a series of bars and restaurants on that particular Balearic island – it might be just the ‘smoking gun’ that a merchant needs to overturn a chargeback.

5. Retain delivery confirmation and tracking numbers

If a chargeback lands on your desk that claims the customer never received their order – yet you’re sure they did – you might be able to prove this with the order tracking numbers.

This confirmation that the order arrived – and, even better, was signed for – can offer the crystal clear proof that your customer is in the wrong.

Of course, this only works if what you’re selling is a physical product that was delivered to a bricks and mortar address. If your wares are digital, try and uncover some kind of evidence that suggests the customer used your business’s online product or service – whether that be a download, a view, or a page visit.

6. Hold onto records of your previous (undisputed) transactions

When fighting a chargeback, providing a history of successful transactions can be compelling supporting evidence. This is particularly the case if those previous undisputed transactions involve the same product or service involved with the chargeback you’re currently tackling.

It’s also worth presenting any previous successful transactions you’ve made with the customer that’s raised a chargeback. If you have a long and fruitful history of trading with them, it may be easier to understand the reasoning behind their decision to raise a dispute, and – if it is a case of fraud – to be able to prove this in your case.

7. Utilise digital evidence

Copies of invoices and receipts are great, but if you can obtain a truly compelling piece of digital evidence, you give yourself every chance of winning a chargeback dispute.

One such method is through IP addresses. If you’re able to prove, via your site’s web analytics, that a customer was actually on your site when the purchase was made, you have a very strong case indeed!

8. Provide quality customer service!

Like death and taxes, chargebacks are unavoidable. You’ll have to deal with at least some, no matter how incredible your team and products are. Still, providing excellent customer service can minimise the likelihood that you’ll experience chargebacks.

It’s often hard to completely safeguard your business from ‘friendly’ fraudsters.

But, by ensuring you respond promptly to customer grievances, ship products with speed, and are transparent about your terms, conditions, and refund policies, you do yourself a big favour. By keeping the likelihood of customer issues occurring to a minimum, you reduce the risk of chargebacks creeping into your business, and impacting your bottom line accordingly.

Now you know what to do when it comes to preventing and dealing with chargebacks. But how about what not to do?

Common mistakes when dealing with chargebacks

1. Not understanding reason codes

One merchant mistake that’s all too prevalent when it comes to fighting chargebacks is not understanding the reason code classifications involved.

Reason codes not only inform you why the chargeback has been raised, but also help you figure out the elements you’ll need to present an effective rebuttal. If you don’t understand what they mean in the first instance, you’ll struggle to fight against them!

2. Not following through with every case, or being too slow to respond

You won’t want to dispute every chargeback you receive – some, after all, are legitimate cases of a purchase being made with a stolen card.

For the chargebacks you do choose to fight, however, you should ensure you’re following through with the process to the end. Gather your documentation, pull together all the evidence at your disposal, and write a compelling rebuttal letter. Don’t put things in the ‘too hard’ pile, forget about them, or take too long to respond, or it won’t just be your wallet that takes the hit – it’ll be your reputation, too!

3. Not engaging with your customers across enough communication channels

When it comes to chargeback prevention, communication is key.

Providing prompt, polite customer service if a customer has an issue with a product or delivery means they’re less likely to become angry and resentful towards your company. Treating customer complaints with care and attention – and, if appropriate, refunding their purchase – means they’re more likely to end up harbouring positive sentiment towards you.

That, in turn, means they’re more likely to approach your business directly in the case of issues, rather than raise a chargeback instead.

Through that lens, it makes excellent business sense to be engaging with your customers across as many communication channels as possible. That means maintaining a diligent presence on social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, as well as installing chatbots on your website.

The more communication tools you have in your business’s arsenal, the quicker you can respond to complaints. The faster you can respond to complaints, the less likely you’re going to end up on the wrong end of a chargeback claim!

4. Not leveraging fraud protection tools

As your ecommerce business grows and potentially fraudulent transactions increase, failure to use a fraud protection tool can be costly.

These tools, such as Accertify, Sift, and Kount, leverage AI-powered technology to automatically fish out cases of suspected payment fraud – before they slip through the net. By catching these transactions early, you can stop them at the source, and avoid drowning in a sea of chargebacks later.

Should you get chargeback insurance?

At first glance, chargeback insurance might seem like the ‘silver bullet’ for all your chargeback fears and doubts.

For all intents and purposes, it works like many other insurance policies. You pay a premium to the provider, which, in turn, protects you financially from the loss incurred by chargebacks. However, the extent of the coverage provided – and the costs involved – tend to vary wildly. So is chargeback insurance really worth it?

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.


  • Well suited to businesses selling products with an average value of $500 or more
  • Chargeback insurance providers use a filter to help you identify any upcoming instances of potential fraud
  • Can deliver a decent ROI for businesses in the right niche

X Cons:

  • Typically doesn’t cover cases of ‘friendly fraud’
  • Coverage often runs out if your business’s chargeback ratio surpasses a certain threshold
  • Expensive
  • Can be complicated to know where your responsibilities end, and those of your chargeback insurance provider begin
  • Not a ‘one size fits all’ form of coverage

As you can see, chargeback insurance is unlikely to make sense for all UK businesses.

On paper, protection against the damaging effects of chargebacks looks great. But read the small print, and you’ll see that the actual extent of the coverage you’ll receive can be highly inconsistent. While it should cover instances of card theft, chargeback insurance is unlikely to cover friendly fraud.

Many providers’ policies will also stop being effective should your chargeback ratio exceed a defined limit – making those contracts not worth the paper they’re printed on! You can buy the insurance, but make no mistake – the onus will remain very much on you to keep your chargebacks in line, and your processes up to date.

For this reason, chargeback insurance should never be seen as a kind of ‘catch all’ solution to combating fraud. Nor should these policies be viewed as a replacement for practicing good customer service, building up your own anti-fraud processes, and being diligent when it comes to disputes.

Our verdict: While businesses selling high-priced luxury items may find it worth the investment, we don’t recommend chargeback insurance for UK businesses at large. Investing in your own chargeback disputes processes – and optimising your customer service practices – should always be your first port of call.

Did you enjoy our guide to the top chargeback fraud statistics in 2021? Let us know by dropping a line to, or Tweet @expertmarket to share your thoughts. Thanks for reading!

Julia Watts Content Manager

Specializing in the complex realms of telephone systems, business energy, vehicle tracking, asset tracking, and fuel cards, Julia writes content that cuts through the noise to help you find the right solutions and technologies for your business. Having spent five years working across the dynamic world of entrepreneurship, she loves helping exciting ventures – big or small – to flourish.

The Top 5 Hootsuite Alternatives in 2021: Time to Migrate?

By Julia Watts | Content Manager | Updated: 30 April 2021

Fly the nest from Hootsuite and choose one of our favourite Hootsuite alternatives…

Hootsuite logo

Hootsuite is popular, but it’s not for everyone. There are alternative social media management platforms with more features, cheaper price plans, and sleeker interfaces – and we’re here to help you find them.

Whether you disliked using Hootsuite, or you’re simply looking for a new tool, we’ve got five of the best Hootsuite alternatives for you to choose from. In this article, we’ll review each alternative, making direct comparisons to Hootsuite in order to help you decide exactly which one is right for your business. Check out our table below to see which platforms made the cut…

The 5 best Hootsuite alternatives

Please note that Sprout Social and Buffer charge in USD as standard.

Hootsuite alternativeBest forStarting price


Best overall Hootsuite alternative


Sprout Social

Best for large companies

$99/month (per user)


Best free alternative



Best for using just Twitter



Best for getting expert help

Bespoke pricing

If you don’t have the time or necessary skills to create social media campaigns yourself, there’s another option.  Rather than sign up to and get to grips with a new software, you can hire affordable social media experts to create campaigns and bring results to you, allowing you to focus on other areas of your business.

If that sounds good, simply use our free comparison tool to tell us what you’re looking for, and we’ll match your business with social media advertising agencies that best fit your ambitions. They’ll then be in touch with you with more information about how their service can help grow your business, along with no-obligation quotes. It’s quick, easy, and free to get started.

Did You Know?

In 2020, Facebook reported over 2.7 billion monthly active users.

1. Sendible

Best overall Hootsuite alternative

Sendible is our top Hootsuite alternative because it has more integrations than any other platform. Those integrations include the key social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, but also WordPress, Slack, and the online graphic design tool, Canva.

What’s more, Sendible provides you with a social media inbox that gathers your messages, tweets, and social media comments into a single feed, which is something Hootsuite doesn’t do. Instead, Hootsuite has separate streams for each type of notification.


  • More integrations than any other social media management tool
  • Get accurate reports created within 15 minutes, or create custom reports yourself
  • Suggestions for types of content you should post based on topics you’ve previously selected

X Cons:

  • No free plan available
  • Mobile app could be easier to use
Sendible screenshot
Sendible makes it really easy to schedule posts and grow your company’s social media presence

Sendible pricing

Sendible has four price plans to choose from, and offers a 14-day free trial. When billed annually, the prices are:

PlanCostBest forWhat you’ll get


£21/monthGetting started on your own

1 user

6 social profiles

One-click reports


£65/monthSmall agencies and brands

4 users

24 social profiles

One-click reports


£145/monthGrowing agencies and brands

7 users

49 social profiles

Build 14 custom reports


£299/monthLarge teams and agencies

15 users

105 social profiles

Build 45 custom reports

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2. Sprout Social

Best Hootsuite alternative for large companies

Used by Dove and PepsiCo, Sprout Social is one of the best social media monitoring tools, and has everything your profit margins need to shoot upwards.

Our favourite thing about Sprout Social is the ability to create chatbots to have on your own social media channels to help you respond to as many of your followers as possible. We also like its response rate and time analysis reports, which can help you understand the engagement with your posts in greater detail than on Hootsuite.

However, unlike Hootsuite, Sprout Social’s price plans charge per user. This means your costs on Sprout Social can quickly sprout upwards if you add just one or two extra users to your account.  It’s not the cheapest Hootsuite alternative out there, but it’s one of the most powerful.


  • Ideal for large and growing businesses
  • Powerful and insightful reporting features
  • Chatbot tools to help you engage with customers via social media

X Cons:

  • Features are geared towards large businesses, so it might be overkill for startups
  • Doesn’t support management of Facebook groups
Sprout Social screenshot
Sprout Social is designed to help large businesses reach even wider audiences via social media

Sprout Social pricing

Sprout Social charges per user, with three price plans to choose from. You’ll also get a 30-day free trial period. Prices are in USD.

PlanCostBest forWhat you’ll get
Standard$99 per user, per monthEssential tools to get started

5 social profiles

All-in-one social inbox

Tasking and CRM (customer relationship management) tools

Professional$149 per user, per monthPowerful tools for social business

10 social profiles

Everything in Standard, plus:

Competitor reports for Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter

Suggested scheduling for optimal send times

Helpdesk integration

Advanced$249 per user, per monthAdvanced tools to scale your business

Everything in Professional, plus:

Message spike alerts for increased message activity

Chatbots with automation tools

Saved and suggested replies

Digital asset and content library

3. Buffer

Best free Hootsuite alternative

Buffer is a great option if you’re looking for an alternative to Hootsuite’s free plan.  Buffer’s free plan supports Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, but you’ll need to sign up to a paid plan if you want to use Pinterest. Buffer’s interface is easier to navigate than Hootsuite’s, but that’s about it when it comes to redeeming factors.

Buffer is suitable for scheduling and re-publishing posts, but it doesn’t offer many features designed to help you engage with followers. When you compare that to Sprout Social’s live chatbot feature, then you can see how Buffer can occasionally get outshone by the competition.


  • Manage Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram on its free plan
  • iOS and Android app to help you manage on the go
  • Integrates with popular apps such as Zapier

X Cons:

  • Cannot manage Pinterest on the free plan
  • Limited number of integrations compared to other Hootsuite alternatives
Buffer screenshot
Buffer has one of the most generous free plans on the market

Buffer pricing

Buffer is the best free Hootsuite alternative, but it also offers four paid plans (charged in USD) to choose from, as well as a 14-day free trial on its paid plans:

PlanCostBest forWhat you’ll get
Free$0/monthStarting up on your own

3 social channels

10 scheduled posts

1 user

Pro$15/monthStartups or small businesses

8 social channels

100 scheduled posts

1 user

Premium$65/monthGrowing businesses

8 social channels

2,000 scheduled posts

2 users

Business$99/monthMedium to large businesses

25 social channels

2,000 scheduled posts

6 users

Did You Know?

In 2020, 1.3 million new users joined social media every day.

4. TweetDeck

Best Hootsuite alternative for Twitter management

Whether you found Hootsuite’s choice of channels overwhelming, or you don’t need any other channels aside from Twitter for your business, then TweetDeck’s single-platform approach could be just what you need.  It’s completely free to use and comes with your Twitter membership, so there are no extra fees to worry about.

With its rows of long columns displaying your Twitter messages, mentions, and new followers, TweetDeck’s interface is similar to Hootsuite’s, so you should have no problem navigating the platform.

However, the main drawback of TweetDeck goes without saying: it only supports Twitter, and therefore it’s impossible to compare with Hootsuite in terms of managing other social media channels. That said, if you want to manage Twitter and no other channels, then TweetDeck is the right Hootsuite alternative for you.


  • Ideal for managing Twitter
  • Free to use
  • Easy to schedule tweets from within the app

X Cons:

  • Cannot manage any other social media channels, such as Facebook or Instagram
  • You’ll need to install other tools if you want to manage alternative platforms
TweetDeck screenshot
TweetDeck is ideal if you want to manage only your Twitter account, at no cost

TweetDeck pricing

TweetDeck is completely free to use and comes with your Twitter membership.

5. Yell

Best Hootsuite alternative for getting expert help

Yell is the best alternative to Hootsuite if you want a hands-off approach to managing your company’s social media channels. While Yell doesn’t actually offer a social media management software for you to use, its team of experts can build, manage, and maintain a bespoke social media campaign for your business, while you focus on other areas of your company.

If you don’t have the time or the right skills to manage your company’s social media channels effectively, then using a third party like Yell is a time-saving option that can help your business grow online.

Read our full Yell review to learn more about its full digital marketing services.


  • One of the largest providers of social media advertising for small businesses
  • Allows you to focus on other areas of your business
  • Access to expert advice on how to grow your business quickly

X Cons:

  • Minimum 12-month contract
  • You’ll need to request a quote to get a clear price
Yell social media advertising screenshot
Yell’s social media experts will create a bespoke campaign for your business to help you reach new customers, while you focus on other areas of your business

Yell pricing

Unlike the other Hootsuite alternatives in this article, Yell provides a bespoke service that’s unique to your company’s needs.  In order to get a clear price, you’ll need to request a free quote first. Luckily, we can help you there.

Simply tell us what you need on our free comparison tool, and we’ll select trusted social media advertising agencies – from a list that includes Yell – that best suit your requirements. They’ll then be in touch with you to give you more information on how their service can help grow your business, along with no-obligation quotes for you to compare before spending a penny. It’s quick, easy, and free to get started.

Hootsuite alternatives: Case studies

We spoke to Hootsuite customers and asked them to describe their experiences. The two case studies below should help you understand what to look out for when choosing a Hootsuite alternative, and what to avoid.

Kat Marketing logo

James Beattie, Head of Digital at KAT Marketing

“Hootsuite has been a staple for us over many years as it was always the best out there, but it hasn't moved with the trends in social media for a long time now. The biggest niggles come with imagery, as every platform needs specific sizing and Hootsuite just does not offer the flexibility you need when running multiple accounts across many clients. 

“The less said about how long it took the platform to effectively link with Instagram the better. It was truly staggering. It's a platform that hasn't moved with the times, and that's a shame for what used to be the market leader.”

It'seeze websites logo

Claire, Social Media Executive at

“I often find that Hootsuite disconnects our pages or fails to post our scheduled posts without very much warning. This is a real downside to the platform, as it's intentionally built to save time and keep all your posts in one place. The platform often requires babysitting to make sure it's doing the job correctly.

“One of our predominant social media channels is our Instagram account, with a 7.3K following. Getting our posts to look great on our grid is an important factor for us. We are, after all, a design company. 

“Hootsuite still doesn't offer the function to allow you to choose a cover photo on any videos you schedule for Instagram, often resulting in a blank square on our page's grid. This means that I have to continuously monitor our scheduled posts, and often I need to manually post the scheduled posts, just so that I am able to properly maintain our grid and keep it looking professional.”

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Expert verdict

Finding a Hootsuite alternative should be easy, especially since we’ve selected and reviewed five of the best options in the UK. Now that you’ve reached the end of the article, you should have a clear idea which one is right for your business. But let’s quickly recap…

The best Hootsuite alternatives are:

  1. Sendible – best overall
  2. Sprout Social – best for large companies
  3. Buffer – best free alternative
  4. TweetDeck – best for Twitter
  5. Yell – best for getting expert help

Even if, after reading this article, you don’t think you have the time or resources to manage your own company’s social media channels – don’t worry. The best solution would be to hire a social media advertising company to handle everything for you.

They’ll create a bespoke campaign for you and help advertise your business to some of the billions of active social media users worldwide. To get started, just tell us what you need on our free comparison tool (it only takes a minute), and we’ll match you with social media experts that can best help your business grow online.

They’ll then contact you with more information about how they can save you time and boost your business, along with no-obligation quotes for you to compare. It’s totally free to get started.

Julia Watts Content Manager

Specializing in the complex realms of telephone systems, business energy, vehicle tracking, asset tracking, and fuel cards, Julia writes content that cuts through the noise to help you find the right solutions and technologies for your business. Having spent five years working across the dynamic world of entrepreneurship, she loves helping exciting ventures – big or small – to flourish.

Epos Now Review 2021: Is Now the Time?

By Julia Watts | Content Manager | Updated: 7 April 2021

With this Epos Now review, find out whether signing up is now or never…

Epos Now logo


  • Rapidly growing business with lots of investment into new features
  • Rated ‘Excellent’ on TrustPilot from 8,000+ reviews
  • User-friendly software and hardware
  • Offers an ‘Order and Pay’ collection service via Yoello, ideal for a zero contact service

X Cons:

  • No free customer support plan
  • Small number of online reviews report repeated unwanted sales contact

Epos Now was formed in 2011, and currently supports over 30,000 businesses in retail and hospitality sectors across the world. The company’s aim is to level the playing field between small, independent stores and large corporations, by offering affordable yet powerful EPOS solutions.

That’s why Expert Market is proud to work with Epos Now, helping you find the best possible EPOS system at the best possible price.

Used in over 70 countries across three different continents, Epos Now is clearly popular –but keep reading this Epos Now review to learn more about its features, pricing, and what its customers think of its hospitality and retail-based systems.

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Epos Now Retail features and benefits

Epos Now offers an impressive range of features, making it one of the best EPOS systems for retail businesses – from independent vape stores to large scale electronics retailers. Below, we explore some of the features and benefits that make Epos Now a top choice for retailers (and that made us want to partner with the company!).

Real-time automated reports

Using Epos Now Retail’s cloud technology, you can access large swathes of real-time information – including sales figures, employee insights, and stock counts – at the touch of a button, from any location or device across the globe. This makes it easy to track your company’s performance and identify your top-performing employees, which can help boost your team’s productivity.

Seamless integration with ecommerce, click and collect, and delivery

If you’re looking to sell online, you can easily integrate your retail business with ecommerce platform BigCommerce, as well as over 100 apps spanning categories including accountancy, delivery, customer relationship management, and click and collect service providers. These apps typically cost between £15 and £25 per month.

Wide choice of payment processors available

Epos Now offers integrations with all the major payment processors – including WorldPay, takepayments, Google Pay, and Apple Pay – to give your retail business the flexibility it needs to take more payments from a wider range of customers.

Epos Now stock report
You can view your stock at the touch of a button
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Epos Now Hospitality features and benefits

As one of the top EPOS solutions for hospitality, Epos Now Hospitality boasts plenty of features that could help your business grow in the post-COVID climate, whether you run a pub, cafe, restaurant, or hotel. Below are some of the features that should make it onto any Epos Now review…

Online ordering, delivery, and pay-at-table options

Future-proof your business and become more robust in the post-COVID world by integrating your business with the major food delivery apps, including Deliveroo, and by offering pay-at-table services to help your customers feel more comfortable.

Epos Now has also teamed up with the mobile platform, Yoello, to provide a fully-contactless delivery and collection service, which is ideal for orders during lockdown. You can get the first 90 days of this feature for free, with bespoke pricing available after that period.

Epos Pocket app

You can use your mobile device to take payments quickly and easily from any location in your hospitality business. This can help reduce long lines at the till, remove physical receipts, and minimise physical interactions between staff, boosting your overall efficiency.

Real-time stock control

With Epos Now, you can get real-time stock counts down to the ingredient level, across all your different business locations. You can also automate purchase orders so you never run out of your most important ingredients or inventory, and create drinks recipes to help reduce the overuse of certain ingredients.

EPOS Now on multiple devices
You can use Epos Now on different devices to help future-proof your business
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Epos Now pricing

Epos Now offers subscription-based pricing for its ‘Complete’, ‘Handheld’, and ‘Tablet’ systems, all of which are suitable for both retail and hospitality businesses. Each system offers good value for money, and it’s worth noting that there is no contract when you pay monthly, meaning you can cancel anytime. You’ll also need to pay for customer support, which costs about £30 per month as a 12-month subscription.

SystemAnnual costMonthly costWhat you’ll get

EPOS software

Cash till

Cash printer

Handheld£29 (plus £0 upfront)


£15 (plus £149 upfront)

EPOS software

Mobile device

Epos Pocket app



EPOS software

iPad POS stand

Receipt printer

Cash drawer

Installation and training

Extra hardware costs

If you’d like to buy extra hardware, these are the individual costs for each item:

  • Tablet: £599
  • Barcode labels: £25
  • Staff swipe cards: £39 each
  • Cash drawer: £49
  • Receipt printer: £130
  • Barcode scanner: £180

In a nutshell, Epos Now offers affordable and transparent pricing, making it one of the best value for money EPOS systems out there.

Compare EPOS Now quotes and save money Compare Epos Now Pricing Here

Is Epos Now right for my business?

Epos Now is suitable for every business in the retail and hospitality sectors, but is it the ideal solution for your business? Below are some common scenarios and responses that will help you decide.

“I need features that can help my business during lockdown restrictions”

Epos Now offers numerous features to help future-proof your retail or hospitality business during the post-COVID era, including integrations with various delivery companies and ‘click and collect’ software. It even offers a mobile EPOS system, enabling you to take orders on the go and manage your business with minimal physical interactions. These integrations are priced monthly, and typically cost between £15 and £25 per month.

“I don’t want to pay for customer support”

While you do get full installation and training when you sign up to an Epos Now subscription, you’ll need to pay extra for customer support. It’s a 12-month subscription that costs approximately £30 per month, and includes software updates, online backups, and next-day replacement of damaged EPOS equipment.

“I don’t have a massive budget”

Epos Now’s ‘Complete’ EPOS package costs just £47 per month, and comes with zero contract fees, meaning you can cancel your subscription at any time if you can no longer afford it. This package can also be paid for upfront at £799. If you run a very small business, you can sign up to the ‘Handheld’ package, which costs just £29 per month, or £15 per month when you pay £149 upfront.

What do Epos Now customer reviews say?

To give you a clearer understanding of what real life customers of Epos Now think of the software, we scoured its Trustpilot page (which boasts an ‘Excellent’ rating) to see the Epos Now reviews:

“I've worked in Hospitality for 30ish years and I’ve seen many till systems in my time. This one is fast becoming one of my favourites.”

  • Drew, Epos Now customer

“A fairly good system with good hardware. The software is fairly straightforward, although there are a few tweaks needed for the takeaway operator. The onboarding support was very good, with helpful and timely advice provided by Lorna.”

  • Syeda, Epos Now customer

“A very patient Jakub took me through the sales procedure, answering many of my questions. I was then passed on to Christopher Sillis who was a superb trainer, guiding me through everything in a professional but friendly way.”

  • Cheryl, Epos Now customer
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Expert verdict

We’ve now concluded our Epos Now review, showing you exactly what the provider has to offer. It’s a user-friendly EPOS provider, offering transparent pricing and a strong selection of features to help your business thrive in the post-COVID world. We’re particularly impressed by the fact that you can integrate your business with over 100 apps to give you the flexibility to navigate this unpredictable world we find ourselves in.

We recommend Epos Now to all businesses within the retail or hospitality sectors, which is why we’re proud to work with the company, helping you find the best EPOS suppliers at the best price.

Julia Watts Content Manager

Specializing in the complex realms of telephone systems, business energy, vehicle tracking, asset tracking, and fuel cards, Julia writes content that cuts through the noise to help you find the right solutions and technologies for your business. Having spent five years working across the dynamic world of entrepreneurship, she loves helping exciting ventures – big or small – to flourish.

GoToConnect Review: Is it the Right Communication System for Your Business?

By Julia Watts | Content Manager | Updated: 31 March 2021

We examine GoToConnect’s features, prices, add-ons, and pros and cons in this in-depth review of the VoIP communication system


  • Boasts more than 100 features for VoIP, plus audio and video conferencing
  • Free local and long distance calls
  • Excellent UC capabilities for remote teams
  • Super easy visual call routing
  • Robust add-ons available for call and contact centres
  • Compatible with over 180 desk phone models


  • Video meetings can only show up to 25 HD video feeds
  • Prices for add-ons aren’t advertised, so we can’t advise on how affordable they are

At a glance: GoToConnect is an intuitive VoIP phone system that also comes with video conferencing and instant messaging. Its competitive pricing and highly customisable calling make it an excellent choice for a variety of business types.

Part of GoTo, LogMeIn’s suite of business solutions, GoToConnect is a cloud-based VoIP (voice over internet protocol) system. It’s a comprehensive, easy to use, and popular system that’s earned itself a raft of glowing customer reviews. But is it the right phone and communications system for your business?

To help you decide, we’ve put GoToConnect under our metaphorical microscope, examining its features, pros and cons, and price tag. We’ve also taken a look at what real-life GoToConnect users have to say about the system, to provide the most accurate and insightful review that we can.

So, what can GoToConnect offer your team, and where might it fall down? Let’s find out.

GoToConnect being used on a desk phone and laptop

What are GoToConnect’s key features and benefits?

Boasting all the functionality you’d expect from a business phone system, GoToConnect does plenty of things well. But these are the highlights you really ought to be aware of:

✓ Unified communications channels

Over the past couple of years, telephones system providers have shown a monumental shift in focus. Because now, phone calls on their own aren’t enough to cover the ever-diversifying communication demands of today’s businesses.

For teams to be able to communicate and collaborate efficiently, they need unified communications (UC) – that is, a system that lets them choose between multiple communication channels depending on the situation.

GoToConnect is one such system – as well as VoIP calling, it includes instant messaging and HD video meetings with every license. With video conferencing built directly into the GoToConnect app, you can jump into remote catch-ups, workshops, and presentations with one click. We particularly like the fact that meeting participants don’t need to download any apps to take part – simply send them a link to open in their browser, and they can go from there.

Now, GoToConnect’s video conferencing only supports HD video feed from up to 25 webcams at once, so if you ever want to run a meeting with more people than that, you won’t be able to see everyone. That said, you can still welcome up to 250 participants into a single meeting – they just won’t all be visible.

✓ Easy call customisation

All that said, we're fully aware that phone calls are still very much a used and useful avenue of communication – and as far as our research has found, so is GoTo. In fact, our favourite thing about the GoToConnect system is how easy it makes setting up and customising call flows and routing schedules. This is thanks to a colour-coded, drag-and-drop interface that GoToConnect calls the Dial Plan Editor.

From this interface, you can visualise and lay out call flows – telling your system where to direct calls when the business is open versus when it’s closed, how long to keep callers waiting before asking them to record a voicemail, which ‘sound clips’ to play to callers at which points, and more. With this, you can create tailored journeys that reflect your brand’s policies, and respect your employees’ time.

A screenshot of GoToConnect's call flow editor
GoToConnect’s drag-and-drop call flow editor

✓ Access from anywhere

Reviewing a business product in 2021 without talking about COVID-19 is like talking about Pisa without mentioning the Leaning Tower. But how does GoToConnect fit into that discourse? Essentially, it adapts well as a communication system during and post-pandemic (whenever that fabled time may come) because it is truly mobile.

In other words, it comes as both a mobile and desktop app that you can download onto any device, wherever you may be (internet connection permitting, of course). That means your team members can make and take business calls, join meetings, and send instant messages via their own smartphones or computers while working from home.

✓ A variety of integrations

In order to make your workflows more streamlined, GoToConnect can be integrated with a variety of other systems, many of which you may already be using. These systems include Salesforce, Zoho, Slack, Microsoft systems, G Suite, and more.

✓ Call and contact centre analytics

If your business has a call centre or a contact centre, GoToConnect offers some excellent functions and analytics that you should know about. These come in the form of two add-ons, which you can choose between: Support Center for call centres, and Contact Center Pro for contact centres.

Support Center is easy to set up – GoToConnect says it can be deployed in 24 hours – and easy to use as well. Its digestible analytics dashboards show how individual agents, as well as the team as a whole, are performing, plus real-time call queues, hold times, and abandon rates. This add-on also enables modes like whisper (listen in on calls and discreetly coach the agent as they talk with a caller) and barge (take over a call if the agent needs help).

Contact Center Pro, which is powered by inContact, integrates over 30 digital communication channels – from voice calls to web chats to social media messages – so you can more easily manage your customer communications, assigning agents to conversations based on their availability. You’ll also be able to quickly change contact routing, and interactive voice responses (IVR).

Bear in mind, though, that these two applications are add-ons, which means they don’t come with GoToConnect as standard. In other words, you’ll have to pay extra for them. We’ll discuss and review how much GoToConnect costs in the next section.

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How much does GoToConnect cost?

The first thing to note about GoToConnect’s pricing is that it’s based solely on user numbers.

This is a different approach to what we’re used to seeing in the telephones world, where most companies provide their product in tiers. For example, you'll usually find basic tiers that simply provide the system’s core functionalities, and so cost less, and more advanced tiers that come with added features and capabilities, and so are more expensive.

Instead of doing that, GoTo provides the same Connect product to all of its customers. The price you pay for it will simply depend on how many people will be using it at your business. 

So without further ado, these are the numbers in question:

PackageNumber of usersPrice (per user, per month)
Tier 1One to four£21.95
Tier 2Five to nine£18.95
Tier 310 to 24£17.95
Tier 424 to 49£15.95
Tier 550 or more£14.95
Bespoke100 or moreTailored to your business
Did You Know?

GoToConnect comes with free unlimited calls, both local and long distance.

Whether this pricing structure works out in your favour or not depends on the situation you’re in. For example, if you run a business with over 50 users, you’ll be paying just £14.95 per user, per month, which is a brilliant price for a comprehensive system like GoToConnect. By comparison, Vonage’s most sophisticated package costs £14.50, while RingCentral’s costs £24.99.

On the other hand, if you run a small team of one to nine users, you’ll pay more for GoToConnect than you probably would for a basic package from another provider (Vonage’s cheapest package, aimed at smaller teams, costs £9, while RingCentral’s is £7.99).

Of course, the big difference here is that GoToConnect is not a basic package. Yes, you’ll pay more, but you’ll get a lot more bang for your buck in return – including the same 100-plus features that are on offer across the board, to businesses of all sizes.

It’d be remiss of us not to mention GoToConnect’s add-ons: Support Center and Contact Center Pro. Unfortunately, GoTo doesn’t share the price tags of these platforms – presumably because they’re tailored to each business – so we can’t advise on how cheap or expensive they are. To find out, you’ll need to get in touch with the GoToConnect team for a quote.

Speaking of quotes, it’s always a good idea to gather and compare as many accurate quotes as possible before you choose a phone system. Of course, that can be a time-consuming endeavour, especially alongside those inevitable competing priorities. Fortunately, we can make it quicker and easier.

Simply answer a few questions about your communication needs, and we’ll match you up with the best UK phone system companies for your business. Those companies will then be in touch directly with no-obligation quotes that are tailored to you, as well as answers to any questions you have. This process is free, fast, and easy.

Is GoToConnect right for my business?

Now you understand a bit more about what GoToConnect has to offer and how much it costs, it’s time to consider whether it’s the right solution for you. Check out the following common scenarios that apply to you to find out how it'll suit:

“My team is working remotely due to COVID-19”

Don’t worry: like lots of modern phone systems, GoToConnect is cloud-based and accessible through a mobile and desktop app, meaning you can use it on any device, anywhere, without the need for dedicated desk phones.

It also comes with UC capabilities like video meetings and instant messaging, giving your team more diverse and convenient ways to keep in touch while working in separate buildings. Your business may well be using these channels already via separate providers (think Zoom and Slack), but the benefit here comes from having them all accessible through a single system – and a single price tag.

“I want a full phone system, complete with desk phones”

We understand – sometimes mobiles don’t feel professional enough, and there’s a lot to be said for the functionality a proper desk phone can provide. If you’re looking to prep your office for your team’s return, GoToConnect can supply VoIP phones (also known as IP phones) and conference phones that are compatible with its system, from manufacturers including Cisco, Poly, and Yealink.

In fact, GoToConnect can be used in conjunction with over 180 different desk phone models, so if you’ve already got phones in situ, it could be that they’re compatible – just make sure you check with GoTo.

“I don’t want to spend very much”

Which, when you’ve got a business to run, is perfectly reasonable. On this front, we can recommend GoToConnect: its transparent pricing is affordable and suitably scalable, decreasing as you hire more employees into your company. Plus, there’s the boon of free local and long-distance calls, which could potentially save you plenty of money.

“I’m concerned about the security of cloud-based systems”

It’s easy to be wary of the cloud, what with company data and conversations being handled and stored by your system provider, and away from your premises. But you shouldn’t let that worry stop you from taking advantage of a truly beneficial technology. Because, like most VoIP providers, GoToConnect keeps things secure by carefully adhering to the latest in security standards – namely SOC 2 Type II and GDPR.

GoToConnect also features call encryption to make sure phone conversations remain your business's alone, and can keep important meetings locked with password protection.

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What do GoToConnect’s customers say?

Across review sites G2 and Capterra, GoToConnect has accrued over a thousand reviews from users. And it’s largely good news – indeed, the reviews are overwhelmingly positive. On Capterra, GoToConnect has earnt a user score of 4.5 out of 5, while on G2, 76% of reviewers have given the system five stars (as of this writing).

Here’s a snapshot of what some of the latest reviewers had to say:

“This software is easy to use even for a novice like me. This system is able to grow with my company, and I can make the necessary adjustments myself with ease. If I do ever run into a situation that I have trouble with (all centered around my being close to a Luddite), the customer service department is quick to contact and ready to help. They have been understanding and helpful and supportive all the way. I can't say enough about how great this service is.”

  • Ann H., Capterra reviewer
“It is really functional. Standard features for voice calls include a variety of call management services (e.g. caller ID, call routing, as well as an auto attendant, virtual fax, call recording, and call forwarding). There are also dashboards and analytics to make it easy to see how the service is being used, and how well calls are being handled.”

  • Victoria J., G2 reviewer
“It has so many features and a great dashboard to help you achieve what you need to do for your company. We were able to easily answer our phones off-site while the pandemic was occurring.

“We are able to stay flexible with who answers the phone and how the dial plan works. We are able to easily set up new employees and delete people when they leave. We have international and remote workers that can also be used in the same system as if we were all in Colorado.”

  • Steve J., G2 reviewer

As with any product, though, GoToConnect can’t be the perfect solution for everyone. Here are a couple of examples of the most common gripes we found among customers:

“If I had any criticism at all, it might be that I would have liked a bit more thorough online documentation for a beginner. Something like a ‘setup wizard’ might have been helpful, but calling [GoTo’s] support line (even at 11pm in the evening) got me exactly what I needed, so I really have no serious complaints.”

  • Michael W., Capterra reviewer
“The Dashboard flow can be a little better. It would be nice to see all the attributes for the user on a single page.”

  • Kesari I., G2 reviewer

Expert verdict

Throughout our research, we’ve found so much to like about GoToConnect: from intuitive customisability to modern UC capabilities. Its scalable pricing makes it a solid option for both large teams and small operations – particularly those looking for an extensive raft of comms and calling features.

Remember, though, that you should investigate a variety of systems before settling on one to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Fortunately, we can help you to gather and compare accurate quotes from systems that suit your business’s particular needs.Tell us a bit about your team, and we’ll match you up with the right companies behind the scenes. They’ll then be in touch directly with bespoke, no-obligation quotes, and a listening ear for your questions and concerns.

This tried and tested quote-finding method is quick, easy, and free – just answer a few questions, then sit back and wait for the offers to come to you!

What other phone systems could I consider?

If you’re not sure whether GoToConnect is right for you, why not explore the other options? Check out our detailed reviews for the following phone systems:

RingCentralRead our RingCentral review
8×8Read our 8×8 review
4ComRead our 4Com review
MitelRead our Mitel review
Lily CommsRead our Lily Comms review

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Julia Watts Content Manager

Specializing in the complex realms of telephone systems, business energy, vehicle tracking, asset tracking, and fuel cards, Julia writes content that cuts through the noise to help you find the right solutions and technologies for your business. Having spent five years working across the dynamic world of entrepreneurship, she loves helping exciting ventures – big or small – to flourish.

The 5 Best Shopify Alternatives in 2021

By Julia Watts | Content Manager | Updated: 26 May 2021

You’re shopping around for alternatives we’ve got the solutions you need.

Whether you’ve tried and disliked Shopify, or simply fancy an alternative, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve carried out extensive research into a whole scope of Shopify alternatives, whittling them down to just five.

In our research, we hand-tested each platform – including Shopify – and invited everyday users to try them too. We used those findings to score each platform out of five in key areas such as sales tools, design functions, value for money, and help and support. We also developed a customer score, which indicates how likely our participants are to recommend that platform.

Below, check out our colour-coded comparison table to see all of these scores – and which of the platforms outperformed or fell below Shopify, and in which areas. Then, read on for detailed reviews of one, informed by our research and testing, including real life examples of businesses using that platform.

The top Shopify alternatives comparison 2021

Ecommerce platformSales features /5Design functions /5Value for money /5Help & support /5Customer score /5Overall rating /5Price plans
Shopify4.£22 – £219/month
BigCommerce4.£22 – £220/month
Wix4.£13 – £22/month
Squarespace4.£20 – £30/month
Square3.£0 – £54/month


Green – better than Shopify

Amber – close enough

Red – you're better off with Shopify

Why choose a Shopify alternative?

Shopify is one of the best ecommerce platforms out there, but it’s not for everyone. As you can see from our comparison table above, it doesn’t offer the best value for money, and it could provide stronger design tools and help and support. Shopify’s multitude of features and relatively expensive price plans could also be overkill for building small online stores – to counter this, we’d recommend using Wix or Squarespace.

Unlike most of its rivals, Shopify imposes its own transaction fees on top of the regular credit card company fees, unless you use its payment processor, Shopify Payments. Shopify also relies on third-party apps for lots of its functionality (unlike BigCommerce), which can add unnecessary costs to your monthly bill. These are just a few reasons, but read on below as we examine each of the Shopify alternatives in more detail…

1. BigCommerce

Best Shopify alternative for medium-to-large businesses

PlatformSales featuresDesign functionsValue for moneyHelp and supportCustomer score /5Overall ratingPrice range /monthFree trial?
Shopify4.£22 – £21914 days
BigCommerce4.£22 – £22015 days

bigcommerce logo

BigCommerce is the most natural Shopify alternative, suitable for small, medium, and large businesses alike. However, it betters Shopify in two key areas: transaction fees and in-built features.

Unlike Shopify, BigCommerce waives its own transaction fees on all of its supported payment processors (of which there are over 65, including Stripe, PayPal, WorldPay, and digital wallets like Apple Pay). Instead, you only pay the regular credit card company fees.

BigCommerce also offers everything you need to sell, ship, and advertise as an in-built feature. In contrast, Shopify charges an extra 2% per transaction on its Basic plan (£22 per month), going down to 1% on the Shopify plan (£58 per month).

With Shopify, you might need to install third-party apps to get some extra functionality, whether it’s in areas like email marketing or customer reviews. This can see your monthly costs quickly add up.

In summary, BigCommerce is slightly better value for money than Shopify and is arguably the best platform for large companies in general.


  • Provides far more in-built features than Shopify, which relies on apps
  • Imposes zero transaction fees on all payment processors, unlike Shopify
  • Offers fantastic multi-channel integration, helping you sell to multiple audiences

X Cons:

  • Doesn’t offer a mobile app to help you manage your store on the go, unlike Shopify
  • Interface isn’t as user-friendly as Shopify’s
skullcandy bigcommerce example
Skullcandy - BigCommerce customer

BigCommerce pricing

PlanCost (billed annually)Best forWhat you’ll get
Standard£22/monthStarting a small or medium-sized online store

Sell an unlimited number of products

Multichannel selling

Coupon creation

Reporting tools

Plus£59/monthGrowing your online store

Abandoned cart recovery emails

Customer loyalty programmes

Store credit card payment details

Pro£220/monthScaling your business to new heights

Filter products through size and colour variants

Dedicated SSL security

Google reviews

BigCommerce is the best Shopify alternative for fast-growing businesses looking to scale start selling on bigcommerce

2. Wix

Best Shopify alternative for small businesses

PlatformSales featuresDesign functionsValue for moneyHelp and supportCustomer score /5Overall ratingPrice range /monthFree trial?
Shopify4.£22 – £21914 days
Wix4.£13 – £2214 days

Wix logo

Given its creative freedom and drag-and-drop design, Wix is the Shopify alternative for you if you know exactly how you want your storefront to look.

A quick note: Wix dropped points in the design functions category because it’s impossible to change templates once you go live, unlike with Shopify. Still, Wix offers a larger selection of templates than Shopify, with 71 of its 500+ templates coming with in-built ecommerce capabilities such as check out buttons.

Outscoring Shopify in our value for money research, Wix has far cheaper price plans and offers more comprehensive customer support, making it one of the very best ecommerce platforms for small businesses.

However, Wix doesn’t have the sales-specific tools to match Shopify. For instance, it only supports multi-channel selling via Instagram as an in-built feature.  To remedy this, you can install the Ecwid app (£0 to £99 per month, depending on the size of your store) onto your Wix store to gain access to ecommerce features that rival the likes of Shopify and BigCommerce. 


  • Much easier than Shopify to design your brand image the way you want
  • Far cheaper price plans than Shopify
  • Offers more comprehensive help and support than Shopify, to ensure you’re never stuck for long

X Cons:

  • Not ideal for building medium to large online stores, unlike Shopify
  • The amount of creative freedom can feel daunting
  • Relies on the Ecwid app in order to match Shopify in the sales tools department
celebs on sandwiches wix example
Celebs on Sandwiches - Wix customer

Wix pricing

PlanCost (billed annually)Best forWhat you’ll get
Business Basic£13/monthSmall businesses looking to sell online

Unlimited bandwidth

20GB storage

Free domain for one year

Upload up to 5 hours of video

Site Booster app (to help improve your site’s visibility on search engines)

Visitor Analytics app

£75 Google Ads voucher

Sales analytics and reports

Business Unlimited£16/monthGrowing businesses

35GB storage

Upload up to 10 hours of video

Professional logo

Pro ecommerce features such as automated tax sales

Business VIP£22/monthMedium to large businesses

50GB storage

Upload unlimited video hours

Priority response on the Wix Answers page

VIP support

Wix is ideal for building beautiful, small online stores without costing the earth Start selling on Wix

▶ Read more: Full Wix Review

3. Squarespace

Best Shopify alternative for creating a beautiful website

PlatformSales featuresDesign functionsValue for moneyHelp and supportCustomer score /5Overall ratingPrice range /monthFree trial?
Shopify4.£22 – £21914 days
Squarespace4.£20 – £3014 days

Squarespace logo

Squarespace is one of the finest Shopify alternatives for creative and cost- conscious users, offering the most professional-looking templates we’ve ever tested, with affordable price plans to boot.

In fact, Squarespace is the best value for money platform we tested, offering price plans ranging from £20 to £30 per month, with the ability to sell digital and service-based products, while offering multi-channel integration via Instagram. This is one of the many reasons why we rate Squarespace as the best platform for selling subscriptions.

In contrast to Shopify, though, you may find your business outgrowing Squarespace if you plan to scale quickly. In that case, we’d recommend opting for BigCommerce instead, or installing third-party services onto your Squarespace store, such as Zapier – which connects your apps to automate your repetitive tasks – to help bolster your ecommerce and finance capabilities.


  • Enables you to design an ecommerce store that really stands out
  • The best value for money platform we tested
  • Offers much sleeker templates than Shopify

X Cons:

  • Steeper learning curve than on Shopify
  • Supports only two payment processors (Stripe and PayPal) compared to Shopify’s 100+ options
Fiele Fragrances squarespace example site
Fiele Fragrances - Squarespace customer

Squarespace pricing

PlanCost (billed annually)Best forWhat you’ll get
Basic Commerce£20/monthSMBs looking to sell online

Point of Sale app to help you sell in person

Selling via Instagram

‘Limited availability’ labels

0% transaction fees

Advanced Commerce£30/monthMedium-sized ecommerce businesses

Abandoned cart recovery emails

Sell subscription products

Advanced shipping features (including a real-time cost calculator)

Squarespace is the best Shopify alternative for designing stunning online stores start selling on squarespace

▶ Read more: Full Squarespace Review

4. Square

Best free Shopify alternative

PlatformSales featuresDesign functionsValue for moneyHelp and supportCustomer score /5Overall ratingPrice range /monthFree trial?
Shopify4.£22 – £21914 days
Square3.£0 – £54Free plan

Square logo

Offering a generous free plan, which comes with multi-channel integration and the ability to sell unlimited products, Square is one of the best free Shopify alternatives.

You should choose Square over Shopify if you want to use one of the best free ecommerce platforms, you don’t mind having a simple website, and you want to be able to build your online store within a couple of hours. 

Other than that, Square is underwhelming compared to Shopify, especially when you look at the available payment processors. Square only supports one (Square) on the free plan, with PayPal available on the other plans, while Shopify supports over 100 on all plans.


  • Enables you to sell online for free (you only pay 1.9% per transaction)
  • Quicker to build a website than on Shopify
  • Represents good value for money with its combination of strong features and affordable plans

X Cons:

  • Very limited customisation compared to Shopify
  • Large transactions when you don’t use Square’s payment processor
  • Lacks the prompts and supports found on Shopify when designing your store
Square website screenshot
Sheek Studio - Square customer

Square pricing

PlanCost (billed annually)Best forWhat you’ll getTransaction fees
Free£0/monthSmall stores selling for freeSell unlimited products

Instagram and Pinterest integration

1.9% for European cards

2.9% for non-European cards

Professional£9/monthElevating your brand with a custom domainUse your own domain name

No Square branding or ads

Free custom domain for one year

1.9% for European cards

2.9% for non-European cards

Performance£19/monthGrowing your businessHave customer reviews on your site

Recover lost sales with abandoned cart emails

1.9% for European cards

2.9% for non-European cards

Premium£54/monthScaling your business with lower transaction feesSave with lower card transaction fees

1.75% for European cards

2.9% for non-European cards

Square is the best free Shopify alternative by a long way start selling on square

5. GoDaddy

Best Shopify alternative for quick and easy design

PlatformSales featuresDesign functionsValue for moneyHelp and supportCustomer score /5Overall ratingPrice range /monthFree trial?
Shopify4.£22 -– £21914 days
GoDaddy3.£19.99One month

godaddy logo

GoDaddy is one of those Shopify alternatives that uses speed and agility to paper over its creative cracks.

With GoDaddy’s ADI (artificial design intelligence) feature, you can have a website that’s ready to go live within minutes, once you’ve answered a few questions about how you want your site to look. Yes, it’s lightning quick, but you won’t be able to customise your site as much as you can on Wix or Squarespace.

GoDaddy does provide all the basics you need to start selling online, though, including multi-channel selling via eBay and Amazon.


  • No surprise fees, unlike Shopify’s transaction fees and third-party app costs
  • Quickest and easiest ecommerce platform we tested
  • Allows you to create up to five backups of your website

X Cons:

  • Very limited creative control due to the ADI feature
  • Lacks the quality in its ecommerce features offered by Shopify
  • Cannot sell digital products, unlike on Shopify
coco river godaddy example
Coco River - GoDaddy customer

GoDaddy pricing

PlanCost (billed annually)Best forWhat you’ll get
Ecommerce£19.99/monthSelling online

Send up to 25,000 marketing emails per month

Flexible shipping options

Add discounts and promos

24/7 support

Stuck for time? GoDaddy is the quickest and easiest Shopify alternative out there start selling on godaddy

How to choose a Shopify alternative

As you can see from our research results and comparison tables, there are some important areas to think about when choosing an alternative to Shopify.

You need to consider:

  • The quality of sales tools
  • Template and design flexibility
  • Value for money
  • The help and support options
  • Ease of use

The right Shopify alternative for you depends on your budget and skill level, and the amount of time you have spare to build your website. For instance, Wix, Square, and GoDaddy are quick and easy to use, offering affordable price plans as well.

At the steeper end of the learning curve are BigCommerce and Squarespace. The former can help you create an ecommerce empire, while the latter gives you the tools and templates to create a web-designer-worthy website.

Expert verdict

We’ve shown you the best Shopify alternatives, backed up by our independent research and participant testing. You might already know which one you should pick, but let’s quickly recap what we’ve discussed.

The 5 best Shopify alternatives are:

  1. BigCommerce – best for medium-to-large businesses.
  2. Wix – best for small businesses.
  3. Squarespace – best for creating a beautiful website.
  4. Square – best free Shopify alternative.
  5. GoDaddy – best for quick and easy design.

BigCommerce is the best Shopify alternative for building medium or large online stores, while Wix is the better option for small businesses. Squarespace has the tools you need to create a stunning website, Square is the best free Shopify alternative, and GoDaddy is the quickest and easiest solution, thanks to its ADI tools.

Julia Watts Content Manager

Specializing in the complex realms of telephone systems, business energy, vehicle tracking, asset tracking, and fuel cards, Julia writes content that cuts through the noise to help you find the right solutions and technologies for your business. Having spent five years working across the dynamic world of entrepreneurship, she loves helping exciting ventures – big or small – to flourish.

The 5 Best Ecommerce Platforms for Large Companies in 2021

By Julia Watts | Content Manager | Updated: 26 May 2021

We’ve carried out in-depth research into the best ecommerce platforms for large companies, and the results are in…

In this chaotic COVID era, you don’t have time to search for and test different software yourself. That’s why we’ve conducted extensive research into the best ecommerce platforms for large companies, rigorously testing them and creating unique overall ratings out of five for each one.

We finalised our ratings by hand-testing each platform’s sales tools and website functions, and examining their inventory management and marketing features, paying particular attention to their multi-channel integrations. For large companies, these are the most important areas of ecommerce.

Below, you’ll find a quick overview of the five platforms that topped our research results, followed by individual reviews and real life examples of large companies using that platform.

The best ecommerce platforms for large companies:

Ecommerce platformBest forLarge business price plan Bespoke plan?Overall rating /5
BigCommerceBest for international growth£220/monthBigCommerce Enterprise4.4
ShopifyBest for inventory management£219/monthShopify Plus4.3
WixBest value for money£22/month4.2
WooCommerceBest for building a store from scratch Custom pricingAlready bespoke4.1
SquareBest for simplicity£54/month4.0

BigCommerce (4.4/5)

Best for international growth

toyota bigcommerce screenshot
Toyota – BigCommerce customer

BigCommerce review

Used by household names like Ben and Jerry’s and Toyota, BigCommerce is clearly one of the best ecommerce platforms for large companies.

In our testing, we were impressed by its seamless integration with all the main social media channels, plus Amazon and eBay, which could help your store reach enormous audiences across the globe.

BigCommerce also provides lots of SEO (search engine optimisation) guidance while you’re uploading products, so you can improve your site’s visibility on Google’s results pages. Your business can scale even further by signing up to the bespoke ‘Enterprise’ plan, with pricing based on your annual sales figures.

Don’t forget, these are all in-built features that are being continually updated, so there are no unexpected costs to worry about – unlike with Shopify, which relies on third party apps for some ecommerce functions. Another plus for BigCommerce is that, in contrast to Shopify, BigCommerce waives its own transaction fees. 

Though it dropped points due to our research participants finding it difficult to use, and restrictive in terms of design flexibility, BigCommerce’s significant advantages mean it’s still the best ecommerce platform for large companies.


  • Offers a wider choice of in-built features than any other platform, helping your business grow without unexpected costs
  • Brilliant SEO prompts and tips when you’re adding products
  • Superb multi-channel integration, exposing your business to billions of active users worldwide

X Cons:

  • Editing interface could be much easier to navigate, and there is no ‘undo’ button for anything other than text updates
  • The only platform that doesn’t provide a mobile app to help you grow on the go
  • Relatively restrictive design control

BigCommerce pricing

BigCommerce offers a 15-day free trial period and three price plans, with the ‘Pro’ plan aimed at large companies. It also offers an ‘Enterprise’ plan for businesses earning over £300k per year, with custom pricing.

It’s worth noting that BigCommerce is the only platform that requires certain revenue brackets for your business to qualify for each plan.

PlanCost (billed annually)What you’ll getRequired revenue (past 12 months)
Pro£220/monthFilter products with colour and size variants

Dedicated SSL security

Google review on your site

0% transaction fees

£130k – £300k
EnterpriseCustom pricingPriority customer support

API support

Price lists

0% transaction fees

99.99% web hosting uptime

BigCommerce is designed to help large companies like yours grow across the globe Start Selling on BigCommerce

Shopify (4.3/5)

Best for inventory management

heinz shopify screenshot
Heinz – Shopify customer

Shopify review

Currently supporting the websites for Heinz and The Economist, Shopify is another heavy-hitting platform.

That’s no surprise when you consider Shopify’s powerful and user-friendly inventory management features. We particularly liked how you can upload multiple products at once, generate daily revenue reports, and view all your multi-channel sales in one place.

Shopify’s multi-channel selling is excellent – enabling you to sell via Facebook, Amazon, Instagram, and more – but you will have to install additional apps to do so (in contrast to BigCommerce). You’ll also need to install an app if you want to sell subscription-based products.

While Shopify supports an impressive 100+ payment processors, making it easier for your business to make sales across the globe, you’ll need to pay transaction fees unless you use Shopify Payments (again, unlike BigCommerce). You can get even more information in our full Shopify review.


  • Powerful and customisable inventory management features to make your company’s growth even easier
  • Offers the best sales-specific features of any platform we tested
  • Far more user-friendly than BigCommerce

X Cons:

  • Transaction fees imposed unless you use Shopify Payments (unlike BigCommerce)
  • Required to reformat your entire site should you change templates after going live
  • Costs of installing apps can quickly soar

Shopify pricing

Similar to BigCommerce, one of Shopify’s three price plans is aimed at large companies, while it also offers a bespoke plan, ‘Shopify Plus’, for businesses generating £1,500 or more per month in revenue:

PlanCost (billed annually)What you’ll get
Advanced Shopify£219/month

0.5% transaction fees (unless using Shopify Payments)

Advanced reports

Third-party calculated shipping rates

Shopify PlusCustom pricing

Support 10,000 transactions per minute

Manage up to 10 stores at once

Shopify Plus Academy training guides and customer support

Shopify has incredible inventory management tools to help your large business scale Start selling on Shopify

Wix (4.2/5)

Best value for money

logmein wix homepage
LogMeIn – Wix customer

Wix review

Ensuring the success of your large business means cutting costs where you can, which is where Wix comes in. Its value for money also makes it an excellent alternative to Shopify.

Wix is far cheaper than BigCommerce and Shopify, and provides SEO guides, intuitive design tools, and access to the Ecwid app (costing £0–£99 per month, on top of your Wix subscription, depending on the size of your store), which gives your site powerful ecommerce tools to rival the more expensive platforms – all on a £22 per month price plan, which is actually Wix’s most expensive. You can read more about its pricing in our full Wix Ecommerce review.

Like Shopify, Wix relies on third party apps for most of its multi-channel integration, which will increase your monthly costs. It’s also worth remembering that you’ll be unable to switch templates after you’ve gone live, but you are able to preview your site before publishing.


  • Offers more creative freedom than Shopify and BigCommerce, allowing you to build and convey your brand message with ease
  • Add product videos to help improve the customer’s experience
  • More affordable than BigCommerce and Shopify

X Cons:

  • The amount of creative freedom can become a hindrance when trying to adhere to ecommerce best practice
  • Relies on apps for most of its multi-channel integration
  • Syncing your physical inventory is harder than on Shopify or BigCommerce

Wix pricing

Wix offers a 14-day free trial period and three ecommerce-specific plans. The most suitable plan for large companies is the Business VIP plan (remember you can install the ECWID app for extra ecommerce functionality):

PlanCost (billed annually)What you’ll get
Business VIP£22/month

50GB storage

Unlimited video footage hours

Priority response on Wix Answers

VIP support

Collect 3,000 customer reviews

Wix is brilliant value for money and can help your large business cut costs Start selling on Wix

WooCommerce (4.1/5)

Best for building a store from scratch

all blacks shop woocommerce screenshot
All Blacks Shop – WooCommerce customer

WooCommerce review

WooCommerce is the ecommerce plugin that turns your WordPress site into a powerful online store.  As an open-source platform, it’s free to install and you can build a totally unique website from scratch, as long as you know how to code, or hire a web developer to help you.

Unlike using website builders (that’s every other platform on this article), you’ll need to source and pay for your own web hosting (we recommend Bluehost), security, and domain name.  You’ll also need to handle all your site’s updates and maintenance, but that should be simple work for your IT department.

That said, WooCommerce is not for tech beginners, but it does offer limitless customisation, which can help you create a truly bespoke website without relying on templates.


  • Limitless customisation, allowing you to create a truly unique online store
  • Free to install (but you’ll have recurring costs to consider like web hosting, security, and other apps)

X Cons:

  • By far the least beginner-friendly platform we tested
  • Self-hosted platform which means you’ll need to handle all the updates and maintenance yourself

WooCommerce pricing

As an open-source platform, WooCommerce offers no set price plans. It’s free to install, but you’ll need to pay for different services in order to build a successful online store:

  • Web hosting (we recommend Bluehost at £14 per month)
  • Domain name (£10 per year)
  • Security (£8 per year)
  • Themes (£0 to £100+)
  • Other plugins (£0 to £300+per year)
  • Web developer fees (£70+ per hour)
WooCommerce enables you to create a truly unique online store for your large business start selling on woocommerce

Square (4.0/5)

Best for simplicity

the salon square screenshot
The Salon – Square customer

Square review

In stark contrast to WooCommerce is Square, the all-in-one package that’s ideal for time-conscious users.

It's the best ecommerce platform for large companies that need a new website built within an hour, and don’t mind using one brand (Square) to provide both the online store and payment processor. Square packs a punch for such a simple platform, offering multi-channel integration, abandoned cart recovery emails, and excellent revenue and traffic reports. 

However, it does appear quite restrictive when you consider its limited design options, and its single available payment processor (you can install PayPal on the most expensive price plans, though), which isn’t ideal for large companies.


  • Easiest platform to use when you don’t stray far from the site’s generated design
  • In-built insight dashboard providing data on sales, customer journeys, and recovered sales via abandoned cart emails
  • Excellent marketing features for such a simple platform

X Cons:

  • Lacks prompts and tips to help you get started
  • There are no templates so you are restricted to the site’s generic design
  • Expensive transaction fees if you don’t use Square’s payment processor

Square pricing

While it’s one of the best free ecommerce platforms, we recommend that you sign up to at least the ‘Premium’ plan, which is aimed at large companies:

PlanCost (billed annually)What you’ll get



Customer reviews

Instagram and Pinterest integration

Abandoned cart recovery emails

1.75% transaction fee for European cards

2.9% transaction fee for non-European cards

Square is the ideal solution for your large business if you're stuck for time start selling on square

Expert verdict

Following an extensive period of research and testing, we’ve selected and reviewed the best ecommerce platforms for large companies available in the UK. You may already know which platform is right for you, but let’s recap the top three…

BigCommerce is our top recommendation, and is the best option for international growth, providing everything you need to scale your business as an in-built feature.

In close second is Shopify and its superb inventory management tools, followed by Wix and its combination of affordable price plans and impressive ecommerce features.

The main reason these are the best ecommerce platforms for large companies is because they provide multi-channel integration. This feature is crucial for your business in reaching new audiences across the world and boosting sales, which is what running a large company is all about.

Julia Watts Content Manager

Specializing in the complex realms of telephone systems, business energy, vehicle tracking, asset tracking, and fuel cards, Julia writes content that cuts through the noise to help you find the right solutions and technologies for your business. Having spent five years working across the dynamic world of entrepreneurship, she loves helping exciting ventures – big or small – to flourish.

The 5 Best Ecommerce Platforms for Subscriptions

By Julia Watts | Content Manager | Updated: 26 May 2021

Read on for everything you need to know about the best ecommerce platforms for subscriptionsno subscription required…

Finding the best ecommerce platform for subscriptions requires a little research – you can’t just select any old software and expect it to offer what you need. Thankfully, we’ve done all that research for you.

We thoroughly tested a wide range of ecommerce platforms to see which of them deliver the best features for businesses selling subscriptions online. Thanks to our in-depth research, not only will we recommend the best platforms, but we’ll advise on the different price plans you should choose, and the apps or features you should use.

The 5 best ecommerce platforms for subscriptions

Ecommerce platformRequired price planExtra app/feature needed?
SquarespaceCommerce Advanced  (£30/month)No
WixBusiness Unlimited (£16/month)

Business VIP (£22/month)

SquareAny (£0 – £54/month)Recurring Invoices feature
ShopifyAny (£22 – £219/month)Yes – we recommend PayWhirl 
BigCommerceAny (£22 – £220/month)Yes – we recommend Rebillia Platform

Ready to subscribe to more info? Great. Let’s look at each platform in more detail…

1.  Squarespace – Commerce Advanced plan (£30 per month)

Squarespace is the best ecommerce platform for subscriptions because it offers the best value for money. 

It has the best ecommerce features of any ‘non-ecommerce-specific’ website builder, offering everything you need to start selling subscriptions, already in-built, at just £30 per month, making it one of the top ecommerce platforms for small businesses.

During our testing, we particularly liked the order automation feature – once a customer purchases their first subscription, Squarespace then handles all the subsequent orders, meaning you don’t need to worry about follow up emails or rebilling issues.

Squarespace might not be quite as simple to use as Wix or Square, but it also offers the sleekest templates of any platform we tested, enabling your subscription boxes, packages, or membership deals to truly stand out from the competition.

Read Full Squarespace Review

squarespace subscriptions


  • Excellent multi-channel integration – sell your subscriptions via Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and more
  • No extra app costs to worry about, unlike with Shopify or BigCommerce
  • Order automation feature means you don’t need to worry about rebilling or sending follow up emails

X Cons:

  • You cannot create free subscription products
  • Wix has more affordable price plans
  • Supports just two payment processors, compared to Shopify’s 100+ options

How to offer subscriptions on Squarespace:

  1. Sign up to the Commerce Advanced plan.
  2. Enable the customer accounts feature, so visitors can save their details on your website.
  3. Sell only physical or service-based products (you can’t sell digital subscriptions).
  4. Use Stripe as your payment processor (it’s not possible through, PayPal, Squarespace’s only other supported payment processor).
Squarespace is the best ecommerce platform for subscriptions that we tested Start Selling on Squarespace

2. Wix – Business Unlimited (£16 per month) or VIP plan (£22 per month)

The (close) second-best ecommerce platform for subscriptions is Wix, the user-friendly option that offers two suitable, affordable price plans to choose from.

On Wix, you can add product videos to help visitors better understand your subscription products, customise your template to your heart’s content, and make use of its SEO Wiz tool, which provides prompts to help your website rank higher on the search engine results pages.

However, Wix has weaker multi-channel integration than Squarepsace. You’re only able to sell via Instagram, but you can install apps to help you sell through other channels.

Overall, Wix is an affordable and easy-to-use option for you to start selling physical and service-based subscriptions.

Read Full Wix Review

wix subscriptions


  • Add product videos to improve the buyer’s experience
  • Excellent SEO tools to help search engine users find your business more easily
  • More affordable price plans than Squarespace, Shopify, and BigCommerce

X Cons:

  • Multi-channel integration could be stronger
  • Cannot switch templates after you go live unlike on Squarespace, Shopify or BigCommerce
  • Amount of creative freedom can feel daunting at first to tech beginners

How to offer subscriptions on Wix:

  1. Sign up to the Business Unlimited or Business VIP plan.
  2. Connect to a payment processor that supports recurring payments (Wix Payments, IsraCard, Stripe, or PayPal).
  3. In the dashboard, visit Products > Create a Subscription.
  4. Sell physical or service-based products (you can’t sell digital subscriptions).
Wix is one of the most popular ecommerce platforms in the world sell subscriptions on wix

3. Square – using the Recurring Invoices feature on any plan

Square price plans from from £0 per month to £54 per month

Short on time and watching your budget? Then Square might be for you.

It offers a totally free plan that comes with multi-channel integration to help you sell via Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest, and you can have your site created within an hour. On this plan, you simply pay 1.9% per transaction instead of a monthly fee, making Square one of the best free ecommerce platforms we tested.

Square is excellent value for money, but you should know that there’s very little design flexibility and there aren’t any templates, so you should use Wix or Squarespace if you want to spend time designing a unique storefront. What’s more, Square’s process for setting up subscriptions isn’t nearly as seamless as it is on the other platforms (we explain how to do it below).

Having said that, we found that Square also offers excellent in-built email marketing features, which can really help you promote new subscription services and gain more sales. 

square subscriptions


  • Generous free plan with multi-channel integration, making it excellent value for money
  • Offers useful in-built dashboard to help you keep track of your subscription sales
  • Quicker and easier to build a site than any other platform on this article

X Cons:

  • Limited design and customisation because there are no templates
  • Only supports one payment processor on the free plan (PayPal is available on the other plans)
  • Enabling subscriptions isn’t as seamless as on the other platforms

How to offer subscriptions on Square:

With Square, there’s no ready-out-the-box ‘subscription’ option, like there is on Wix and Squarespace. Instead, you need to set up a recurring invoice series, which is still simple to do, but it does require some extra steps:

  1. Go to Invoices on your dashboard.
  2. Click Recurring > Create Recurring Series.
  3. Select a customer from your directory, or enter new details (you can only enter up to nine customers at once).
  4. Choose the customer’s card you’d like to charge from the Invoice Method drop-down.
  5. Toggle Allow Automatic Payments.
  6. Select start date, recurrence frequency, and the end date.
Watching your budget? You can start selling subscriptions for free on Square Start selling on square

4. Shopify – using the PayWhirl app on any plan

Shopify price plans range from £22 per month to £219 per month

Shopify is one of the most comprehensive ecommerce website builders on the market, so why isn’t it the best ecommerce platform for subscriptions?

First things first – Shopify came top in our ‘sales features’ research, offering the best sales-specific features of any platform.  You can sell your subscriptions via social media platforms and online marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay. Plus, you’ll get an online invoice generator to help you take payments more easily.

On the downside, you’ll need to install a third-party app to start selling subscriptions on Shopify.

Installing an app is an extra cost to consider on top of Shopify’s price plans, and it’s another set of your own subscriptions to juggle. However, using apps can enable you to sell digital products, unlike on the other platforms.

Read Full Shopify Review

shopify paywhirl app


  • Superb multi-channel integration with all the main social media platforms including Facebook Messenger, plus Amazon and eBay
  • Best inventory management features of any platform we tested, helping you upload products and ship orders with ease
  • Access to app market makes it more customisable than Squarespace or BigCommerce

X Cons:

  • Relies on apps for subscription capabilities, which can get expensive on top of its price plans
  • Transaction fees imposed unless you use Shopify Payments
  • Price plans aren’t as affordable as Squarespace, Wix, or Square

How to offer subscriptions on Shopify:

  1. Visit the Shopify app store.
  2. Search for ‘subscriptions’ in the search bar.
  3. Select an app (we recommend PayWhirl, scoring 4.8/5 in the Shopify app store thanks to its generous fee plan and a 14-day free trial on its premium plans).
  4. Click Add app.
Shopify has brilliant sales-specific tools to help you sell more subscriptions start selling on Shopify

▶ Read more: What are the best Shopify alternatives?

5. BigCommerce – using the Rebillia Platform app

Another powerful platform, BigCommerce is designed to help your business scale into an ecommerce empire. 

It offers the widest range of in-built features of any platform we tested, with unrivalled data reports and zero transaction fees to boot (unlike Shopify, which imposes its own fees unless you use Shopify Payments). Yet, it’s still not the very best ecommerce platform for subscriptions.

For all its in-built features, you’ll still need to install an app to start selling subscriptions. Again, this is another cost to consider on top of BigCommerce’s price plans, which are already the most expensive in this article. However, that’s simply because it’s the best platform for large companies.

bigcommerce rebillia platform app


  • Has widest choice of in-built sales features of any platform we tested, helping you scale your subscription business with ease
  • Zero transaction fees on all price plans, unlike with Shopify
  • Multi-channel integration across all the main social media platforms

X Cons:

  • Requires an app to start selling subscriptions, which can add to your monthly costs
  • The most difficult-to-use platform in this article
  • No mobile app to help you sell on the go, unlike every other platform here

How to offer subscriptions on BigCommerce:

  1. Visit the BigCommerce app store.
  2. Search for ‘subscriptions’ in the search bar.
  3. Select an app (we recommend Rebillia Platform – it was designed specifically for BigCommerce stores, and is the highest-rated ‘recurring payments’ app by users, starting from £15 per month).
  4. Click Get This App.
BigCommerce can help turn your subscription-based business into an ecommerce empire Start selling on BigCommerce

Expert verdict

We’ve shown you the best ecommerce platforms for subscriptions, backed up by our independent research and user testing. Now, you should have a clearer idea of  which one your business should subscribe to. Let’s just recap what we covered.

The best ecommerce platforms for subscriptions are:

  1. Squarespace (on the Advanced Commerce plan).
  2. Wix (on the Business Unlimited or VIP plan).
  3. Square (using the Recurring Payments feature).
  4. Shopify (by installing an app).
  5. BigCommerce (by installing an app).

Out of them all, we recommend Wix or Squarespace. These platforms provide everything you need to start selling subscriptions already in-built, while also offering superb marketing tools to help you start reaching more subscribers more easily.

Julia Watts Content Manager

Specializing in the complex realms of telephone systems, business energy, vehicle tracking, asset tracking, and fuel cards, Julia writes content that cuts through the noise to help you find the right solutions and technologies for your business. Having spent five years working across the dynamic world of entrepreneurship, she loves helping exciting ventures – big or small – to flourish.

Business Recycling: How to Manage Your Commercial Waste Responsibly

By Julia Watts | Content Manager | Updated: 22 January 2021

Get acquainted with the who, what, and how of commercial recycling in 2021

Recycling: the data’s in, and it doesn’t reflect well on UK businesses.

Recent studies suggest that not only does a whole quarter of England’s entire waste output come from enterprise organisations, but as many as nine in ten businesses don’t have a green policy in place.

Yet it's difficult to see why UK companies are dragging their heels here. Commercial recycling has so many benefits, ranging all the way from the noble (the planet, boosting employee morale) to the downright self-serving (saving you lots of money, and improving public perceptions of your business).

So read on to find out how to handle your business’s recycling, and learn more about the types of waste you can recycle in the UK.

We’ll also shine the spotlight on one of the country’s leading providers of affordable waste management services, and you’ll be able to compare commercial recycling quotes that are tailored to your business, too.

How to handle my business’s recycling

Did You Know?

It’s over 30% cheaper to recycle than it is to create general waste.

The business case for recycling is obvious – with landfill taxes rising year on year, straight up waste disposal isn’t all that cheap anymore. Plus, the cultural, environmental, and hygiene advantages of commercial recycling all speak for themselves.

So just how do you handle your business’s recycling?

Basically, your options boil down to either doing it yourself, or outsourcing it to a third party company. If you’re keen on the latter, we’d recommend exploring our guide to the best waste management companies in the UK. Or, you can skip to our top business recycling company recommendation below.

But more on that soon.

If the DIY route is more your thing, stay put – because it’s time to talk about waste transfer licences.

1. Get a waste transfer licence

Firstly, any form of commercial waste disposal – whether that’s recyclables, confidential documents, or general rubbish – doesn’t come free.

If you:

  • Transport waste (a carrier)
  • Buy, sell, or dispose of waste (a dealer)
  • Arrange for someone else to buy, sell, or dispose of waste (a broker)

… then you need a waste transfer licence. This applies to not just regular waste, but recycling, too.

Failure to register as either a waste carrier, dealer, or broker can result in fines of up to £5,000. Plus, disposing of your business’s rubbish without this licence constitutes fly tipping – an act which can land you with a fine of up to £50,000, or an unwanted shoutout in the local paper.

If you plan on keeping your business’s recycling in-house, you’ll need to register as a waste carrier. This costs £154 to do.

Licences are also divided into upper and lower tiers. If your business’s recycling responsibilities fall into the former category, you’ll need to renew your registration every three years, at the cost of £105.

You’d better make sure all the details on your application are correct before you submit them, too – updating them after the fact will cost you an extra £40!

2. Separate your recycling from your general waste

Now your licence is sorted, it’s time to start recycling. But to do that, you’ll need to make it as easy as possible for you and your staff to segregate recyclable materials from the regular old rubbish.

By far the most straightforward way of doing this is to use colour-coded bins.

Colour-coded business recycling containers

Colour-coded bins help you keep rubbish out of the recycling (and vice versa), and make it simple for your staff to get on board with.

They’ll also help you separate out the different types of recyclable materials, allowing you to keep your dry mixed recycling away from the glass.

We’d also recommend removing personal employee bins, and placing recycling containers in strategic points around your building. Locating the paper box next to the printer, for instance, is a match made in sustainability heaven.

You can also implement a mini recycling rewards scheme, to incentivise your staff to cut out old, lazy habits.

3. Reduce and reuse

Okay, so recycling gets most of the plaudits. But what about the other two ‘R’s’? Don’t they deserve a little love?

As a matter of fact, they do. Reducing and reusing are really the foundations for any successful recycling policy, and are even baked into the Environment Protection Act’s waste management hierarchy.

Infographic visualising waste hierarchy

A couple of ways you can apply these principles at work are:

  • Reducing the amount of rubbish you produce. This includes getting rid of cheap, single-use plastic (straws, we’re looking at you!), and, if necessary, modifying some of your existing admin processes. Laminated paper, for instance, can’t be recycled – can your business do without?
  • Reusing items you no longer need in fun, creative ways. Whether that’s keeping misprints to use as scrap paper, or re-employing an empty glass jar as a plant pot, try to regularly engage your staff in your sustainability efforts.

For more tips on how to achieve this, check out our guide to reducing plastic pollution at work.

What type of waste can I recycle?

The type of waste you can recycle at your business is divided into two main categories; dry mixed recycling, and glass.

You can also secure special arrangements to recycle textiles, wood, inert waste (such as bricks), and WEEE (waste electrical and electronic equipment).

Dry mixed recycling

This includes:

  • Paper
  • Cardboard
  • Tins
  • Plastic bottles
  • Cans

This does not include:

  • Glass
  • Black refuse bags
  • Wood
  • Waxed paper cups
  • Liquids
  • Textiles
  • Polystyrene
  • Food waste


Glass bottles aren’t only good for holding refreshing beverages. They’re great for the economy, too – if you recycle, that is. Research estimates that, for every 100,000 tonnes of glass recycled, 500 jobs are created.

Moral of the story: recycle your glass!

These are the types of recycling available to UK businesses. For the types of waste removal, see our separate article.

The best companies for business recycling

Chosen to outsource the handling of your business’s recycling? You’ve made a good choice… a really good choice.

Firstly, you won’t have to deal with the expense – or the hassle – of acquiring a waste transfer licence. Secondly, when you sign up with a waste management provider, they’ll provide your bins for you. Thirdly? Well, you’ll get not only your business’s recycling sorted, but your rubbish, too.

This allows you to satisfy your business’s Duty of Care (as described in Section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990), as well as fulfil your moral and spiritual obligations to the planet.

Plus, there are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to outsourcing your business’s recycling and waste management. You’ve probably already heard of the ‘Big Five’, after all – a kind of cabal of the industry’s biggest suppliers, which includes names such as Biffa and Veolia.

But, while these huge, transnational service providers have a monopoly over recycling collection services in the UK, our top pick is a company with a more homegrown flavour. Introducing…


Newcastle-based CheaperWaste provides glass collection and dry mixed recycling services to UK businesses. On top of that, its rubbish disposal services are also pretty fab, with food waste, skip hire, and confidential waste disposal all available. The company is also going strong throughout COVID-19, too, supporting its customers by continuing to operate throughout the pandemic. CheaperWaste has even added PPE and COVID-19 test kit disposal to its litany of services, to complement its existing hazardous and clinical waste collection offerings.

To find out more, head to our dedicated CheaperWaste review – updated for 2021, and boosted with videos and case studies for your reading pleasure.

Compare quotes from commercial recycling providers

There’s no easier way to say it. Outsourcing to a waste management company just makes things easier.

The process of obtaining accurate quotes for your business, though – and comparing multiple suppliers accordingly – isn’t so simple. Trawling the net for opaque pricing info, wading through a sea of open tabs, braving the brain-numbing, repetitive drone of on hold ‘music’… who’s got the patience for that?

Not us. That’s why we came up with a better way to get quick quotes from leading companies. Keen to try it out?

Simply provide us with a few details about your business by answering the first question of our quote-finding quiz below. It’ll only take about 30 seconds, and it’s designed to give us a better idea of your requirements.

Understanding exactly what you’re looking for in terms of a business recycling solution helps us to help you. Our algorithm will only match you with the waste and recycling collection suppliers that are the right fit for your business, to save our time – and yours.

These suppliers will then be in touch to provide quotes and advice that are all completely tailored to your requirements.

And the best part? It’s free – you just have to be based in the UK to be eligible.

Happy researching!

Compare Quotes From Leading Commercial Recycling Providers and Save
It takes just 30 seconds...
1. Have you outsourced your business's recycling before? YES NO
Julia Watts Content Manager

Specializing in the complex realms of telephone systems, business energy, vehicle tracking, asset tracking, and fuel cards, Julia writes content that cuts through the noise to help you find the right solutions and technologies for your business. Having spent five years working across the dynamic world of entrepreneurship, she loves helping exciting ventures – big or small – to flourish.