If you type “ecommerce website builder” into Google, you will be overwhelmed by the number of options out there. Even if you only check out the results on the first page, it will take you a couple hours to read through everything and determine what platform is the best for your business.
That’s where we come in. We did the research and have the experience, so we can help small businesses and entrepreneurs pick an ecommerce website builder that will keep both them and their customers happy. Here are four ecommerce options we have used and would suggest based on your level of skill or necessary level of functionality:
If you are looking for an ecommerce website builder that is easy to use, WixStores is an excellent way to go. You can select one of hundreds of premade ecommerce templates, and drag and drop elements until you are happy with the way it looks. On each page, just about everything is editable from sections on the page to text font and colors to images and beyond. No coding or designing experience required.
WixStores isn’t only simple to use, all checkouts are secure, and they take no commission off your sales, making it excellent for small businesses or businesses where every cent counts. Within WixStores, you can track orders, link PayPal or accept credit cards, run promotions, and manage shipping and tax for everything on your website. As if that wasn’t good enough, they also offer 24/7 support, so you have a helping hand the entire time you have a website.
However, something we have learned from experience – that WixStores doesn’t mention on their website – is while you can optimize websites for mobile and desktop, there is no option for optimizing to tablet. If that’s something important to you, it may require a little more tech knowledge than your average drag and drop builder. Either way, for only $17 a month, WixStores is a great option for the more novice website creators.
Very similar to WixStores, Squarespace is a drag and drop ecommerce website builder that is easy to use regardless of how tech savvy you are. However, there are significantly fewer ecommerce templates available, so you may have to pick a template and customize the hell out of it to make it what you want.
Squarespace makes managing your products and store a breeze, offering unlimited product entries and a drag and drop sorter to organize products. You can also categorize each item and schedule when things go on sale ahead of time. Similar to WixStores, Squarespace offers mobile-optimization on all templates, accepts credit cards and PayPal, and offers end-to-end security. Squarespace also accepts Apple Pay and allows you to send shipping and tracking updates to buyers.
Recovering lost sales is also very simple thanks to Spacespace’s email integration that allows you to automatically send emails to customers who abandoned an order. At $18 a month when billed annually or $26 when billed month to month, Squarespace gives you a professional looking website without breaking the bank. But, they do take a three percent transaction fee on your sales, so you may need to factor that into overall cost.
Shopify is like the big brother of Wix and Squarespace because it offers more than one hundred templates to choose from, but you can also use HTML and CSS to create something more unique. While they try to market themselves as being perfect for novices and experts alike, making formatting changes on Shopify does require more skill than traditional drag and drop builders.
One great thing about Shopify is not only do they offer 24/7 support, they also have forums and Ecommerce University, so there are many different outlets to answer your questions. They also have an app that allows you to track orders, sales, and inventory with only a few taps on your phone. Similar to other ecommerce platforms, Shopify gives you unlimited products, helpful store analytics, and integrates with email to send automated messages. It also has options to search engine optimize nearly every piece of information that appears on your website.
Because of Shopify’s level of sophistication, it is more expensive than WixStores and Squarespace. There are packages with a monthly price of $29, $79, and $299, and each package charges different credit card rates, shipping costs, and transaction fees. They currently offer a 14-day free trial with no credit card required, so you can give Shopify a shot at no cost to see if it’s the right ecommerce website builder for you.
If you are a developer or have a good grasp of coding, WooCommerce could be an excellent option for you. Built on and integrated with WordPress, WooCommerce is entirely open-source, which means the sky is the limit on what you can customize. Select one of many themes available and then get to work!
WooCommerce offers unlimited products, variation options, images, and galleries, so you can beautifully showcase each item. It also accepts most payment options, including Stripe, PayPal, credit or debit cards, direct bank transfers, checks, and cash on delivery. You can customize shipping options, too, making it more simple than ever for your buyers to get your products. Basically, if there’s anything you want to do, you can do it with WooCommerce.
Here’s the catch. While creating a WooCommerce storefront is free, a lot of the fun functionality and elements that really make WooCommerce special are paid integrations. The prices for these integrations greatly vary depending on what you want, typically anywhere from $20 to $250. With that being said, it is possible to run your ecommerce site on WooCommerce and have it be functional for free. You’ll just have to settle for more basic functionality and options.
These are only four of the ecommerce website builders out there, but between the four of them, they make up a majority of the ecommerce websites that exist. If you want to know more about building your own ecommerce website, check out our blog or contact us.