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Once you decide to set up your own online shop, your next bother will be settling on the best e-commerce builder for online stores. You don’t want to end up with an option that you will struggle to navigate, , or that will saddle you with huge transaction fees, or cause you to have to deal with problems you could have avoided...if you’d just made the right choice up front.
At the very least, a great builder should be the kind that can let you create a professional looking e-commerce store complete with robust analytics, trouble-free inventory management, and reliable customer service. I’ll be letting you in on all these features shortly, together with others that have proved useful as well.
Two important questions you will want to ask yourself as you sort through the available options in this guide include:
Guess what, you’ll be able to figure all of that out as you read over the best e-commerce website builder reviews below. So, without any further ado, let’s get right into it.
An Overview Of The Top E-commerce Website Builders
Plugin cost: Free (Requires WordPress Hosting)
How To Choose An E-commerce Website Builder
To begin with, let’s look at the design and themes.
Themes determine how your site will look. Look at the range of themes the builder has and which niches they cover. You’ll realize that some builders, like Wix, have a relatively huge collection of templates covering a broad range of industries.
Others, like Squarespace, have fewer templates, yet they are well-designed and detailed.
Whereas some offer these templates for free, other builders will require you to part with a few dollars in order to get what they classify as premium themes. Either way, the templates should look great and be easily customizable.
Ease Of Use/Functionality
You can figure out how easy or difficult it is to use an e-commerce website builder by examining the details accompanying it, reviews by users, or testing it out (if there’s a free trial).
Pay attention to the level of customization the themes present, analytics, dashboard setup, ability to add extra features or plugins, and so on.
If possible, first equip yourself with basic knowledge about starting a blog. This will help you to make a better decision in the end.
Available Payment Options
You are definitely going to need a couple of payment options, because your customer’s preferences also vary. Each website builder will let you know the kind of payment system you can incorporate into the platform, from the conventional debit and credit cards to online payment systems like PayPal and so on.
More people are using their smartphones to shop online today than ever, and the trend hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down. Therefore, it’s non-negotiable that the e-commerce builder you opt for should have features, applications, and systems that allow you to make it mobile friendly.
It would be great if you equipped yourself with more knowledge about how to make an e-commerce website mobile friendly up front too, as this will put you in a position to properly evaluate said feature. You can start by watching the video below.
Because you’ll be doing this on your own and it will be an extension of your business, it’s better if you opt for a company with better response times and multiple-channel support.
Some builders have free and paid versions. Others only have the latter. Obviously, the prices vary from company to company. So, examine the details in the offered packages to determine which one suits you best.
This will depend on the provider and the e-commerce platform you choose as well. You can seek more information about it from your host.
In addition to what we’ve mentioned, also look at the following:
Reviews Of Top E-commerce Website Builders
Over the years, Wix has grown to be not only one of the most feature-rich but also the best free e-commerce website builders. Users of this platform, mostly small businesses and tech startups, love it for being an easy-to-use platform that allows decent creative control.
You do not need a lot of effort to get the site to look a specific way, because it utilizes a drag-and-drop editor. Expect to have plenty of templates at your disposal that come with eye-catching designs which let you add videos and interesting features to your online store.
To get started on using Wix’s website builder, you only need your email address. Once you’ve registered, you can integrate an online store and upgrade it later as your needs change.
Wix has also invested in an excellent 24/7 customer support team, in addition to having tons of video tutorials and articles that will help you navigate the platform with ease.
Shopify is a revered name in the e-commerce space. Perhaps the best thing about Shopify is that it offers you a collective group of e-commerce solutions to set up your store and start selling your product.
Like Wix, this platform utilizes a drag-and-drop editor, making it easy to use for non-coders. Once you are ready to start, you only need to choose a Shopify plan and buy a domain that you will point to your Shopify store.
Then, choose a proper template for your store and edit it. Next, add all the relevant payment structures, descriptions, and products...and voila! You are ready to start selling.
Unfortunately, you only have about 10 free templates to choose from. The rest are classified as premium, and each costs upwards of $100. Nevertheless, the themes are versatile, and they cover plenty of niches.
Weebly’s platform is among the best and easiest e-commerce website builders that also sets itself apart by being powerful enough to help you build a great e-commerce store without needing any HTML skills. However, if you are great at using CSS or HTML, they will gladly let you utilize them.
Initially, Weebly was known to have some of the least interesting templates ever, but they seem to have heard those complaints and have responded with new stylish designs. The majority are already mobile friendly.
However, if you’d love something more versatile, you can seek the help of an independent designer.
Squarespace is a well-known website builder among designers, photographers, and other creatives who prefer a minimalistic website. But their greatness doesn’t stop there.
Squarespace has built a name for itself in the e-commerce space, thanks to their fully loaded e-commerce solution. On this platform, everything is available for you to build the website of your dreams.
In addition to taking care of the fundamentals, like securing your site and loading your pages with optimal speed, they also provide you with the tools to customize your website to your preference.
They avail some of the most beautiful templates for any website, living up to their tagline of “Build it Beautiful.” Even though their selection comprises a huge collection of photographs, you can swap their photos for yours to make it more of your own.
Rarely will talk about leaders in e-commerce website building end without mention of BigCommerce. So far, it’s one of the most scalable platforms, as admitted by its passionate users and critics. It’s also one of the most awarded e-commerce solutions providers.
Whether you want a simple store or something as massive as Amazon, BigCommerce has you covered. Since it’s a specialized e-commerce builder, expect to find just about everything you will need to set up a complete store, from data tools to plenty of built-in features.
BigCommerce provides people without any web design skills an excellent web store while also catering to tech-savvy people who like to tinker with their own HTML or CSS code to create their own unique online store.
On their roster of clients are business heavyweights like Toyota and Ben & Jerry’s. This has increased customer confidence in the platform.
Jimdo Website Creator
Jimdo Website Creator offers all the tools and features you need to set up a competitive e-commerce store. However, it’s not as feature-rich as its close competitors, like Shopify or Magento.
Expect e-commerce specific templates, up to eight languages, a free domain name for a year, plus all the essentials for creating an online store on all their paid plans. And activating the Jimdo online store only takes minutes.
You can use this tool comfortably, regardless of your level of tech knowledge. The incorporation of an artificial intelligence system into the builder makes it even more friendly to beginners. The drag-and-drop editor is quite fast in getting the elements exactly where you want them on your site.
Advanced users can access HTML and CSS code on the platform to customize their stores further.
Volusion has remained one of the best website builders for online stores, mostly due to their focus on the operational side of it. This option has some of the best e-commerce software on the market that can elevate your inventory and customer management operations to competitive levels.
Proof that they can be trusted lies in the fact they’ve worked with huge companies like Intel and Slickwraps.
Most of what you need to set up your store has already been built into Volusion’s dashboard. Plus, there are plenty of videos and tutorials to make the process even easier for you.
The behind-the-scenes professionals handle the security, tracking, SEO, and product images, among other things, for you. What’s more, the checkout experience on Volusion is seamless as is the backend usage for your site’s administrator.
Even while in preview mode, you can still edit items. On the platform, you have access to HTML and CSS editors for those who need to customize their site further.
Well known as a platform that provides excellent uptimes and has impressive speeds as a web host, GoDaddy has also earned its place among the top 10 e-commerce site builders on the market due to their capable e-commerce solutions.
Apart from having a website builder with e-commerce capability, they offer hosting as well to enable you to install self-hosted e-commerce software such as Magento or WooCommerce. Today, GoDaddy takes pride in being the best e-commerce website builder for small businesses, especially start-ups and new entrepreneurs.
With GoDaddy, you can create your website and get it to go live within minutes. The platform does most of the work for you, so getting started is pretty easy and fast.
WordPress With WooCommerce
WooCommerce is the answer to monetizing your WordPress site. WooCommerce is basically a free plugin that provides your WordPress site with an open-source shopping cart for your online store. WooCommerce provides users, over 48 million of them, with the features they need to sell their products at very affordable prices.
The gist of WooCommerce is to allow you to buy various extensions and add-ons for your online store at a one-time fee, costing you far less than being hosted on a bigger platform like Shopify with features you do not really need.
WooCommerce is adaptable to any size of business. A small business benefits just as much as a medium or big business. The hardware and software prerequisites are as basic as just having WooTheme and WordPress minimum requirements.
Bookmark Website Builder
Apart from being one of the top e-commerce website builders on the market, this is one of the friendliest options today. It uses a smart design assistant known as AiDA (Artificial Intelligence Design Assistant) to help you create your e-commerce website.
With Bookmark Website Builder, you have dozens of design combinations so no one website really looks the same. AiDA does all the hard work in creating your site in accordance with the functionalities you have specified you need.
Once you have picked out the photographs and the theme, among other features, AiDA provides you with a version close to what you want. Any significant changes you need, AiDA will help you achieve that within minutes.
Each of these 10 e-commerce website builders is special in its own right. As you've also noticed, each is capable of helping you set up a fully-functional online store and sustain it as well. You will also easily find an option that suits your skill level, whether you are a beginner or advanced user.
The likes of Wix, Weebly, and Bookmark would be an excellent option if you are a novice. For advanced users looking for versatility, WooCommerce, Shopify, and BigCommerce would be great platforms to start with.
As you compare e-commerce website builders, remember to put into consideration all the factors I discussed earlier. That includes your goals, needs, preferences, and everything else involved in choosing the best online e-commerce website builder.