Select the Best eCommerce Website Builder for Your Business
If you run a brick-and-mortar store and you still don’t have a web presence, you may be losing many customers, both current and future ones.
Right now, at this very minute your potential customers are scouring the web for your official website, but can’t find it and go to your competitor’s web store instead. The sooner you will create a website, the sooner you will start making more money.
There are many ways to get a webstore, yet the cheapest and fastest are website builders. Based on my personal experience, they are easy enough to be effectively used even by non-techies, and functional enough to deliver enterprise-level shopping experience.
Depending on your particular business needs and ambitions, you may choose either a basic hosted shopping cart or an advanced, feature-laden eCommerce website builder. Below is a list of eCommerce site makers that I find suitable for building decent e-shops.
Shopify – is a specialized niche eCommerce software, which currently powers over 600000 businesses in around 175 countries worldwide. The system rightfully deserves the title of the best eCommerce website builder due to the extensive assortment of applications, tools and features that add to the functionality and design of your web store. With Shopify, you can launch small-to-super-large online stores with advanced performance that will certainly stand out from the crowd. Shopify feature set is as follows:
- Point-of-Sale (POS) Software – The system uses its own POS software that allows selling products in the retail store even in the offline mode. It also lets you manage multiple staff accounts and synchronize with accounting software, if there is such a need.
- Responsive eCommerce Templates – As an eCommerce-focused service, Shopify comes with a collection of readymade responsive templates that are fully-customizable and categories into thematic sections based on the type of a store you run.
- Integration Options – Shopify integrates with multiple external marketplaces, platforms and services, including accounting software, online retail platforms etc.
- Advanced eCommerce Features – The software is eCommerce-focused and, thus, it offers a set of powerful features and tools that contribute to its advanced performance. These include integrated blogging engine, Live View feature, product views and descriptions, multichannel and multilingual support, abandoned checkout recovery, SSL Certification and fraud payments protection, Shopcode use, Augmented Reality tool, access to customer profiles, integrated analytics and App Store, Tap & Chip Reader etc.
Free Trial: Yes.
Cost: From $9 to $299 per month.
WooCommerce – is an open-source WordPress shopping cart plugin, which makes it possible to start and manage a feature-laden small and medium CMS-based web store. The plugin has been currently used to create over 350000 web stores with advanced functionality. Let’s have a quick overview of its basic features now:
- Unlimited Customization – As a WordPress plugin, WooCommerce comes with unlimited webs tore customization options. However, to integrate and use it to the advantage, it’s still desirable to have coding knowledge and certain web design background.
- Inventory Management – The system allows integrating and managing multiple inventory tools to create and update product catalogues, add new categories, assign search filter options, control user registration procedure, accept online payments and orders, control your website statistics, adjust shipping and payment parameters etc.
- Geo Location Support – WooCommerce uses a free geo-location service that is known as MaxMind. The option is provided by default, but you can disable it in the system settings. The feature allows choosing geo-specific content (taves, currencies, shipping etc.) based on the IP of a user browsing the website.
Free Trial: No. The system is free.
Cost: The system is absolutely free yet is offers paid hosting and feature set that comes at extra cost and adds to the functionality of your eCommerce project.
Wix – is currently the most popular all-in-one website builder, which comes with integrated eCommerce engine and lets you build simple-to-mid-sized stores. The number of its eCommerce subscribers now exceeds 430000 users, who reside in around 190 countries across the globe. The system feature set is extensive and functional. Here is the brief overview of what it offers to its users:
- Integrated eCommerce Engine – The system has an integrated eCommerce engine, which comes with lots of design and performance customization options that grant access to myriads of options, including shipping and payment options, discount coupon creation, product import/export, product list upload/management, show window display options and many more.
- eCommerce Templates – The website builder boasts one of the richest collections of eCommerce templates that are customizable and mobile-ready by default.
- Marketing Tools – Wix offers a set of marketing tools to ensure smooth and flexible webs tore development process. These include secure shopping settings, mobile editing, multilingual support, integrated analytics, blogging and forum options to mention a few.
- Wix ADI vs Standard Editor – The website builder offers two website editing options: WIX ADI and Standard Website Editor. Wix ADI allows creating web stores in the automated mode by using the power of the Artificial Intelligence. Standard Wix Editor, in its turn, lets you pick and customize websites via a classic editor, which implies more effort/knowledge/time investment.
Free Trial: Yes.
Cost: $13 to $39 per month for standard projects and $23 to $500 per month for business/eCommerce websites.
BigCommerce – is another well established eCommerce website builder that comes with a hosted shopping cart. The system allows creating small, medium and even large web stores with business-focused features. It’s very popular, as it offers a set of comprehensive tools working out-of-the-box. Nothing to code. BigCommerce is also loved for the excellent social media integration, which also make it stand out from the crowd. Have a look at the feature set of the system now:
- Marketing Tools – The system grants access to a set of marketing tools, which encompass inventory list creation and management, email marketing, product return-exchange process organization, product parameters and special features, bonuses and gift certificates, CSV file import/export etc.
- Social Media Integration – BigCommerce makes it possible to trade both at different platforms as well as via social networks, including Facebook.
- External Integrations – With BigCommerce, you will be able to integrate your project with multiple third-party eCommerce applications that have positive effect upon your web store performance. The system offers a set of top niche integrations that are tailored to ensure the unsurpassed web design experience. These include shipping apps, (ShipperHQ, Endicia, Ordoro, ShippingEasy, ShipStation), marketing and conversion apps (Google AdWords, HubSpot, A/B testing packs etc.), CRM apps (Zoho, Salesforce, NetSuite etc.), API and accounting tools, ERP integrations to enhance the efficacy of your operations (NetSuite, Microsoft Dynamics, Brightpearl etc.) and more.
- Responsive eCommerce Designs – The website builder comes with a set of ready made responsive templates you can pick and customize to your liking.
Free Trial: Yes.
Cost: from $29.95 to $249.95 per month and more.
Squarespace – is a cloud website builder, which is a nice pick for everyone, who has an intention to start and manage eCommerce projects. The platform mostly works well for creatives, who need selling portfolios as well as the owners of small and medium web stores with hundreds of products presented in appealing show windows. Let’s enlist the basic feature set of the website builder now:
- Impressive Show Windows – Squarespace is one of those services that make it possible to create and update appealing product show windows with lots of customizable items offered for sale.
- Product Management Options – It’s up to you to add and manage products and their images, set up product prices, integrate videos and other media files, create and manage galleries, adjust product variations as well as shipping/payment parameters and loyalty programs.
- Responsive Templates – Squarespace cannot boast lots of quality templates, but what it really excels at is quality. Whatever design you are interested in, you can apply eCommerce functionality to it to further use the website as a web store.
Free Trial: Yes.
Cost: from $12 to $40 per month.
Volusion – is an eCommerce website builder, which lets newbies and web design pros create small and mid-sized online stores. This is the all-in-one system, which provides exceptional ease-of-use, convenience and security throughout all the stages of the web creation process. Apart from a standard set of options, the website builder also offers a list of eCommerce features, including:
- eCommerce Features – Volusion is proud of its list of eCommerce features, including extensive sales and marketing options, SEO optimization, multichannel integration, SSL Certificate, built-in CRM system and more.
- Advanced eCommerce tools – The website builder boasts a number of popular eCommerce tools, such as extensive inventory list, CSV file product import/export, Barcode Generator, powerful inventory management functionality, dropshipping integration, recovery tools, special vendor codes, professional currency tools, tax and shipping rate calculator, bot captcha application, mobile app for various devices etc.
- eCommerce Templates – the set of eCommerce templates of the website builder is not quite extensive yet it offers high quality, WYSIWYG editing environment as well as CSS/HTML code editing options. All Volusion designs are responsive by default.
Free Trial: Yes.
Cost: from $29 to $299 per month and more.
Weebly – is not a pure ecommerce website builder yet ot offers excellent shopping cart capabilities. The system has gained powerful eCommercefocus after its merge with Square in 2018/ and is now considered one of the most trustworthy niche systems that make it possible to start and manage different types of web stores – from small online shop and up to large stores with a rich product assortment. Weebly eCommerce platform is very flexible. So, if you’re looking to build a webstore with stunning visual effects and elegant layout, this website builder can be just what you need. Just have a look at its highlights to understand what I mean:
- eCommerce Tools – The system allows for CSV product import/export, safe payment options integrated shopping cart, easy and fast product upload and management, product/order tracking options, regular discounts, email marketing, product search filter option, blogging, integrated hosting and stats tracking.
- Responsive eCommerce Designs – Weebly comes with a collection of 100% customizable responsive templates, but it’s also possible to upload and customize your own theme from scratch or choose one of the third-party templates.
- Weebly Promote Tool – The website builder has introduced the advanced Weebly Promote Tool to ensure deep and flexible email marketing options. The tool automatically creates and sends messages based on the activity of users registered in the system. Current newsletter stats is tracks in the dashboard section. This is also where you can get access to eCommerce system templates for various email types, including promo newsletters, event and product introduction, bulletins and more.
- App Center – The website builder comes with the integrated App Center that offers a collection of services and apps (LiveChat, PinPoll, Call-Out-Box etc.) you can pick and integrate into your project with the single click of a mouse.
Free Trial: No.
Cost: from $0 up to $25 per month for standard websites and from $0 up to $38 per month for eCommerce projects.
3dcart – is the eCommerce software, which is entire focused on web store development and management. The system is not that popular as compared to the services listed above yet it allows creating web stores with distinct eCommerce feature set and excellent performance. Have a look at it now:
- Module-Based Structure – The platform is module-based, which allows choosing and adjusting the required modules with regard to your web store needs and functionality. Among the modules you can integrate into your website, the following should be the first to mention: Wish List, Facebook Ads/Connect, AutoResponder, Zapier, Group Deals, AWeber, LiveChat, MailChimp, RSS Feeds, Saved Carts, POS, eBay and more
- Marketing and SEO Tools – The system comes with lots of marketing and SEO tools provided out of the box, including CRM integration, automated newsletter mailouts, creation of user groups, built-in blogging engine, reporting feature etc.
- Product Management Options – While working with the system, you can add and manage products and their details, apply product import/export feature, adjust shipping and payment details, track and control warehouse stock product charts, watch and control web store statistics tools.
- Responsive eCommerce Themes – 3dcart allows choosing among dozens of responsive niche templates you can further customize as you need. Template switch option is available here as well.
Free Trial: Yes.
Cost: from $9 to $129 per month.
Big Cartel – is another sample of the specialized eCommerce website builder, which is created with the needs and requirements of photographers, artists, designers, painters, creatives as well as entrepreneurs in mind. In other words, the system is geared towards the needs of those users, who individually create state-of-the-art works with further intention to sell them online. The major advantages of the system are as follows:
- Ease-of-Use – Big Cartel is, probably, one of the simplest eCommerce systems for users with diverse web design background and proficiency level. The system makes it possible to launch, update and manage small online stores, offering around 50 unique physical or digital products for sale – not more. So, don’t expect deep functionality and flexibility from it.
- Extensive Product Management Tools – The website builder makes it possible to add and manage product lists, upload new items, complete customer checkout, create discounts and special offers, track inventory lists and tools, check product assortment available in stock, export/import CSV files, create and manage product galleries, integrate with Pulley service to properly list digital items etc.
- Order Management Options – Each time there is the need to manage order details, Big Cartel grants access to the list of orders available in each section you are interested in. This is where you can also track order statuses, create and send automated confirmation emails to customer placing their orders etc.
- Integrations – With Big Cartel, you can integrate with social networks, such as Instagram and Facebook. You can also pick and integrate popular add-ons and extensions into your web store. Some of them include Google Domains, Socialphotos, ShipRobot, LiveChat, MailChimp, Lucky Orange, Printful, Art of Where, ShipRush, ShipStation and more.
Free Trial: No.
Cost: from 0 up to $29.99 per month.
SITE123 – is a simple yet functional website builder, which can be a nice choice for eCommerce website development. The system allows creating small and mid-sized web stores that are responsive and feature-laden enough to come up to the needs of most user categories. Here is the list of SITE123 merits:
- Multilanguage Support – The website builder allows creating online stores in different languages, but the number of available localizations depends upon the subscription you’ll go for. The interface of the system is also available in 15 languages to provide user-friendly experience.
- Advanced eCommerce Engine – For those users, who plan to launch and independently manage online stores, the website builder offers a powerful integrated eCommerce engine. The tools lets you accept and manage online orders, add and update product galleries, create discount coupons, add and manage products and their settings, apply multiple gateway integration option, adjust shipping, tax and web store design parameters (show window and shopping cart design included).
- Versatile Payment Methods – SITE123 offers multiple currency choice options (including local and international currency support). The system also deals with Stripe, PayPal and 2Checkout payment systems that make it possible to accept online payments.
Free Trial: No.
Cost: from 0 up to $28.80 per month.
Are you going to start a long-lasting eCommerce business? Then you won’t go without a trusted platform to build it on. The list of services mentioned above encompasses standard website builders as well as open source shopping cart plugins to fit versatile needs and aspirations. These systems will provide you with everything you need to build and publish a website in one place. It’s up to you to make the choice based on the type and size of the web store you plan to launch, the budget you are ready to invest into it and the goals you pursue.