Ecommerce Website Builders: Best in 2021
Reading Time: 10 minutes
If you are a business owner in search of the best and easiest way to open an online store – then a nice eCommerce website builder might come in handy. Without draining millions from bank accounts for shiny online stores, you can use these easy-to-use platforms that can be swiftly set-up without prior technical expertise.
But, with so many choices on the table, how does one decide which one is the best for the business needs at this exact moment?
We’ve done some research to discover the best eCommerce website builders for new entrepreneurs. We have narrowed the selection down to the top 8.
8 eCommerce Website Builders for your online store
4. WooCommerce and WordPress
5. Big Commerce
What Is an eCommerce Website Builder?
Website builders are easy to use online tools, allowing people to build a website without prior knowledge of design, code, programming or development. Well, eCommerce website builders are the same thing, just a bit more specialized for online selling niche.
Specialized website platforms, such as Shopify, Magento, and BigCommerce are eCommerce website builders designed to be easy to use for everyone, from amateur to expert. Most of them work as visual drag and drop editors, offering online tutorials for support.
Picture 1. choose the right platform
Best eCommerce Website Builders in 2021
Shopify is an excellent eCommerce platform for building online stores of all sizes. Entrepreneurs with businesses of all sizes can list out as many products they have, not minding the number, since Shopify has no bandwidth limitation. Meaning that the online store can be easily scalable as the business expands.
Shopify doesn’t only include excellent eCommerce design templates, but also it offers design customization according to business preferences. Along with the design customization, Shopify’s app store allows people to add more features to the website, without entering the code or changing the backend structure. Those features range from SEO tools, visual builders, tracking tools and many more.
Shopify integrates beautifully with channels like Amazon and eBay, allowing entrepreneurs to start selling using different commerce websites. It has all the relevant payment and shipping methods covered.
- Starting price for small business size online store is $9/monthly.
- There’s a simplified plan and that’s the cheapest option in the market. This one doesn’t give you the eCommerce website builder functionality, however, it lets you use Shopify “buy button” on your website
- The themes are the best in the market and they’re all optimized for mobile
- Option to sell on Facebook directly. There is also an element with which you can offer your customers gift cards and discount codes
- This platform provides applications from accounting to design, marketing, orders. shipping, and more
- The support is available 24/7. This can be a great deal for you if you want to feel secure while building your site
- There is no FTP, so you can’t modify your store files all by yourself.
- There are additional fees for payments from non-Shopify payment processors like PayPal
- If you want to run a blog on your site, there may be a little problem, the blog feature went to the second plan, and it is minimal. It’s there, but it’s not big enough to develop a real blog
- Apps in the Shopify app store, largely aren’t free, so carry that in mind
- If you ever decide to move away from a Shopify, it may be a challenging move.
Picture 2. Shopify’s features
With around 500 templates and its drag and drop features, Wix found its place right around the top. It provides an excellent choice if you want to create a stunning eCommerce website. Their fantastic image and video placement can give your product galleries an awesome look, you can also be assured that everything will look great on phones because they haven’t forgotten about optimization.
Payment methods cover all from money transfers, credit cards to PayPal. Great thing is that Wix doesn’t even charge a transaction fee. An interesting addition to the online store is Wix ShoutOut, which can be used a newsletter to your customers, keeping them updated on news, offers, and other highlights that they may find important.
Wix is a perfect solution for business owners who don’t have extensive experience in building websites. Drag and drop feature enables everyone to design a professional-looking eCommerce website. Wix is also a perfect solution for eCommerce businesses which operate from physical locations. The application allows you to run payments through your website and physical card processor at the same time.
- One of the cheapest website builder solutions
- Many different ways of conducting payments including Square, 2Checkout and many more
- Priority support option
- Beautifully designed templates
- Many website customization tools
- There are analytics and reporting feature, yet it is very limited
- Tracking numbers can’t be integrated nor automated
- One of the biggest drawbacks is that the product pages don’t have a filter for sorting
- a website template cannot be switched once you have built your site on it
Picture 3. Wix user interface
This one comes with a hefty price if you ask us, at least the paid version. The free version is the open-source solution whose idea kind of reminds us of woo-commerce. This version doesn’t include hosting and domain so you should keep that in mind. The other version paid one, bears a price tag of a 50,000$. The price is sort of justified with a fact that it is used by some of the biggest companies around the globe.
Magento is one of the most advanced platforms for e-commerce currently on the market today, largely because of its scalability. Magento requires more knowledge and skills than any other eCommerce website builder on the list. Another key feature is that it’s not going to have the technical support as others may have.
As it is open-source, Magento gives you the power of customization. If you possess the skills needed, you can create almost anything your heart could imagine. Whether you want to build from zero or go with one of the many pre-installed themes. There is also a wide variety of great extensions that can improve your site’s functionality.
- It is suitable for stores of any size and volume
- User interface customization possibilities are endless
- Lots of apps are available from third-party sellers
- The hosted option of Magento is more than expensive
- So many features become too many
- You have to find your hosting and domain name if you go for the open-source version
Picture 4. Magento dashboard
4. WooCommerce and WordPress
WooCommerce as we already said has some touchpoints as Magento. It’s a self-hosted open-source software that needs its hosting and domain.
WooCommerce is essentially a popular WordPress plugin, so you firstly need to install WordPress and then WooCommerce, which is an e-commerce platform working on a content management system that WordPress provides. In other words, WP is what you will need to use when building your site, and then with WooCommerce, you’ll add actual eCommerce functionality to it.
WordPress is a lot more user-friendly than Magento, and there are so many plugins you can get for WordPress to enhance your website’s functionality. WooCommerce is essentially free, but adding different extensions will produce extra cost for you.
- It is free and it is quick to install
- If you are familiar with WordPress, it’s easy to scale
- You have full control of a website
- There is a ton of themes available
- If a feature is not to be found in WooCommerce, you can easily search for WordPress plugin to help out
- Hosting and a domain name aren’t included
- If you want to customize your website, coding knowledge is preferable, not a must, but it is easier for developers
- WordPress itself doesn’t provide customer support. All the support must be provided by your host
Picture 5. WooCommerce
5. Big Commerce
BigCommerce is a perfect match for every serious business owner, as well as for beginners. It offers a variety of features that make the BigCommerce platform super user-friendly.
Moreover, marketing features that are built-in can help you promote your site, SEO tools help you get your site noticed by search engines and a safe shopping cart as well as a payment gateway for your clients.
BigCommerce offers a free trial, so you can stop your subscription whenever you want. An important thing to mention is that BigCommerce doesn’t take fees on your transactions, however, it will put a limitation on the value of sales that you can make depending on the pricing plan that you’ve chosen.
- Great SEO tools
- Great conversion tools
- In-app marketing tools
- Product configuration options
- Analytic tools
- Great security
- Secure payment gateway
- Ability to sell via Facebook, eBay, Amazon, etc
- This website builder provides 24/7 support
- Premium themes for BigCommerce can be really expensive
- Translations are very complex
- Sales limitations
Picture 6. BigCommerce pricing plan
Squarespace has excellent design interface, with some of the most modern templates out there. It is a tool primarily for building regular websites, but it has a nice eCommerce feature.
This eCommerce website builder is for companies that are interested in a modern look, while with a focus on minimalism. It includes features for social media, design, inventory, and marketing, literally anything that a modern eCommerce store might require. It allows you to change templates at any given time, without losing any of your content. However, Squarespace has fewer integrations then others ad isn’t meant for building big eCommerce businesses, so think twice before you decide.
- Wide variety of themes
- Page loading time is quick
- The 24/7 support
- Full social media integration
- SEO support is solid
- Tracking and analyzing tools for traffic and sales
- You can only collect payments through Stripe or PayPal
- Abandoned cart recovery is available only on the $40 / month plan
- Some of the themes aren’t necessarily built for eCommerce websites so you need to be careful when picking your design
Picture 7. Squarespace landing page
Volusion isn’t something new on the market, on the contrary, it has been here for quite some time now. Although once a mighty force in the industry, things have shifted with the appearance of eCommerce solutions like Shopify, all-in-one solutions that included the website as well as hosting and domain.
Volusion fits best of the companies that are just starting, partly because of its pricing, which is so desirable. You shouldn’t, however, expect much customization options for your theme, yet it looks and feels very clean and smooth.
- Simple SEO Features
- One Page Checkout Feature
- Email Marketing Tools
- Simple Payment Processing
- Daily Website Backups
- Very cost-efficient
- Over 40 themes
- FTP client is provided
- Ratings and reviews are built-in
- Themes need refreshing and updates
- Some tools are hard to use
- No possibility of changing themes when the website is made
Picture 8. Volusion logo
BigCartel is a great choice if your budget for building an eCommerce store is very limited. It is aimed at creatives, bloggers and smaller shops that want a quick and reliable solution. They are among very few eCommerce providers that offer a free plan. However, the free version lets you sell only 5 products and it is very limited. So if you are selling only a couple of products and you don’t need advanced features – BigCartel is the right platform for you.
- Very easy to use and it is therefore beginner-friendly
- Free plan
- Appealing templates and themes
- Basic tools for building and marketing your business
- Not very flexible
- Doesn’t have a SEARCH function
- Limited payment options
- Not so many features
How to Choose the Right eCommerce Website Builder for Your Business?
There is a huge amount of choices for eCommerce website builders, but not every one of them will have exactly what you want. When choosing which platform fits your business the most, think about your niche, business KPI’s and your product.
To choose the best option, consider the following:
Is this eCommerce website builder within your budget? Prices can differ when it comes to eCommerce site builders, so you’ll need to consider how the platform’s pricing works with your budget. You should consider a platform with different packages so you can scale your business and add extra functionality as your needs grow through time.
Needs and Priorities
Before you even start looking for a corresponding eCommerce website builder, you need to think about what your website should be able to do. This will make it easier for you to decide which ones to include (or exclude) from the equation.
Custom Building Development
Another crucial part that should be considered is time. If a website requires custom builds, that work can take up to several weeks for decent execution.
So you can ask yourself questions like how much experience in design you have, which media you’d like to include, etc.
Scalability and Customizability of the Plaftorm
When you’re building a business from scratch, it’s probably hard to imagine what you might need in the future if/when your business grows. That’s why it’s extremely important that your website builder is scalable and customizeable. You’d want a platform with fast and reliable APIs, which can allow for hundreds of requests per second. Make sure to think long term; you’ll thank you later.
Another major key point when deciding about your desired eCommerce website builder should be customer support a provider offers. While developing an online store, you want to be sure that there is available support in every step. Support will make the process a lot easier and more intuitive, as well as faster.
How Much Does It Cost to Build an eCommerce Website?
For many of the listed eCommerce website builders, prices can go as low as 15$ for a month, although you’ll have limitations with the level of pricing class you’ve chosen. There are also “free” options, yet all of them include paid versions that are easier and more intuitive for a customer to use. Take WooCommerce for instance, it is a free design platform for your eCommerce website, yet common add-ons for your page may cost you from 10$ to 60$ a year.
Wix, for example, offers a few options from which you can choose. Business Basic, which will cost you 20$ a month, Business Unlimited for 25$ and Business VIP for 30$ a month. Shopify has similar pay grades, so you’ll have to pay 29$ for a basic Shopify, while Advanced version costs up to 299$ a month. For more information about other eCommerce website builders and their pricing visit their websites.
If you’re having trouble deciding which online store solution is right for you, you probably won’t go wrong with Shopify. It is one of the best eCommerce website builders, and it’ can easily justify the price point. It has a customizable app store and the analytics you’ll need to manage an eCommerce store.
The other contender with an all-in-one builder is Wix, which has a bit more limitations. If you want to run a CMS, choose a WordPress site, and explore a variety of options that WooCommerce provides. Limitless customization, great content management, excellent SEO, all subscription-free and open source, and those are just some of the benefits you get from using WordPress. You’ll probably end up spending some time and money on customizations, your domain name, and your web host.
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