Ecommerce Website Builders

 

Looking at 7 e-commerce website builders good for everyone in 2019

Running an e-store can be not a costly solution – if you choose one of e-commerce site builders on the market. We have estimated a lot of them so to compose you the list of 7 best tools, which you can use. Some of them are specialized tools and offer ONLY e-commerce solutions, while the rest are general site builders with e-commerce embedded as one of many functions.

We hope that you, after reading the list, can decide for yourself, which tool is the best for you or, at least, how to choose from the best based on the sounded considerations, pros, and cons in this article. 

 

Introduction to the world of e-commerce website builders

So, how to choose a really good tool for e-commerce? There are a plethora of tips based on what each e-commerce website builder should do: 

  1. Themes. No wonder that on the market of specialized tools tuned at commerce, one wouldn’t see all themes unpaid. There are free and paid themes. For instance, in BigCommerce, the ratio between them is 1/10 – 7 free and about 70 paid themes. You can make adjustments of both types of them, to some extent, but the paid themes are designed to make things a bit simpler, more vivid, and alluring at the beginning, without much fine-tune – just to save your time. Also, consider that there may be different degrees of personalization between free and paid themes, as well as the paid themes may take money for the usage either one-time or on a monthly basis.

  2. Ease of use. It shall be comprehensible for you to set up an online store using the given interface. If it is not – then you are obliged to resort to the assistance of the help center of an e-commerce sites builder, which is not gonna economize your time, as you understand. Also, it would be great if a top e-commerce sites builder had an artificial design intelligence – ADI – to help you personify a site according to your preferences or if this is a wizard, which is letting you through the stages of creating and filling up the store with your merch.

  3. Payment options. This is one of the most important factors of each store – the money means of payment you may process and the bigger number of channels of payment you are allowing to your customers, the more are the chances that they will buy from you, as they find this or that way of payment convenient for them.

  4. Friendliness to mobile screens. That’s an essential thing, as half of the customers want to buy something from their mobile or tablet. If they aren’t given this possibility in your store, they are going to search for a store, which gives.

  5. Transaction fees. They are equally important for you and your customer. You may decide to pay all transaction fees on your own or to transfer this obligation on the shoulders of your customers. This means that either you will increase the cost of your merch, deduct from your price, or stipulate clients to pay additional money for financial transactions during the time of making the transaction. These three ways should be decided on your own but the main fact is that every site builder has transactions fees based on the selected payment channel. The thing is that some site builder may also take an additional commission for processing your payments or not take it and in this case, the commission is still taken by the payment system/gateway.

  6. Management of your merch – with a possibility of bulk management of items on sales, you can safely run a store with thousands of items, unlike the cases (like it is true with Wix, for instance), when you can’t do the management semi-automatically and has to make every change with hands (terrible for time expenses).

  7. Stats. It is important for you to know, how many visitors you had, how they behaved on your site, how many sales you had per unit of time, and other things. Sometimes, connecting Google Analytics helps but the best e-commerce website builders for small business are going to give you the needed stats inside of their interface without additional efforts.

  8. Additional features. There are plenty of such ‘adds’ – a possibility to connect to large best e-commerce platforms (like Amazon, eBay, or even booking.com if your merch is apartments, houses, villas, and their rent), social media integration (like Facebook, Instagram, and other ones, including of regional importance relevant for China, South Korea, or Russia) – not only to sell through their commercial platforms but also to write posts, make shares, and do interesting content for the audience.

Below, we are also giving you additional criteria concerning the features and functionality of each site builder so to make your decision for the choice of e-commerce site builder weighed.

 

What are 7 e-commerce website builders on our consideration list today: rating

  1. Shopify
  2. BigCommerce 
  3. Weebly
  4. Wordpress & WooCommerce 
  5. Wix
  6. Magento
  7. Squarespace

 

Review of Shopify 

Shopify is the best e-commerce site builder on the market, without a doubt. It is excellent for its themes, power of sales, reporting, a number of channels to accept payments, bulk management of merchandise, customer feedback (your clients may leave feedback on the merch that they bought), and connection to sales and social platforms. Nearly 0.8 million online stores all over the world use Shopify, which signifies its excellence.

 

The advancements of Shopify:

  1. You can adjust every its 100+ templates with ease.

  2. Great SEO.

  3. 14-days trial to understand if that is your tool or not.

  4. You can sell in over 150 countries of the world – where the yearly sales cumulatively are over 82 billion dollars up to this moment.

  5. Over a kilo of apps from its store – free and paid ones.

  6. Nearly every payment means of the world.

  7. No limits in hosting, bandwidth, and the number of pages.

 

The shortcomings of Shopify:

  1. You are not getting too far in customization of themes. If you want something really much more sophisticated – look at Magento and WordPress.

  2. Not so many free templates. Others require the monthly running price.

  3. Many apps are paid, which increases the monthly running cost or the one-time setup cost.

  4. Technical issues you’re facing may not always be answered by a support team – so you will either have to call them (to the US, UK, Australia, or New Zealand), write on the support forum to wait for assistance of the developer, to find the solution online elsewhere, or to resort to the help of some knowledgeable person.

 

Review of BigCommerce 

This is a mid-business type of enterprise founded in 2003 with 350+ employees located in Australia (HQ) and in the USA. 

 

The advancements of BigCommerce:

  1. The same as Shopify, it is an all-in-one solution, which completely covers your needs with one umbrella of solutions.

  2. A high ease of use with a comprehensible drag-and-drop-based interface.

  3. Slightly lower pricing than in Shopify (the highest-cost plan).

  4. No transaction fees of a site builder itself – only the dedicated fees of the chosen payment means or gateways (unlike Shopify, which charges you extra for using its non-embedded payment system of own development, in addition to charges of dedicated payment gateways).

  5. Vast sales channels.

  6. SSL makes complete security for the payments.

  7. Adjustable shipping options.

 

The shortcomings of BigCommerce:

  1. This site builder charges successful customers – if you want to sell more than a limited ceiling of each plan, you have got to develop own plan with MUCH bigger monthly pricing – it was one of the major points of disappointment in this system in 2015-2016.

  2. Expensive paid themes and a few unpaid (starting from 170 dollars of a one-time payment for a paid theme).

  3. Theme editor is not the easiest one and could have undergone a lot of improvements to become lighter.

  4. The abandoned cart is an additional payment, which is high-cost compared to Shopify’s.

  5. No mobile app so you could work on the go with the store you’re running.

  6. RSS in the blog isn’t accessible.

 

Review of Weebly

Weebly is famous for its general ease and light interface, millions of customers of which are happy about. The intuitive site creation process is deprived of much behind-the-scenes functionality as one will find in Wix, for instance, but the main goal of this non-specialized site builder is to deliver you a prompt result.

 

The advancements of Weebly:

  1. Fabulous ease of use.

  2. It is possible to run it for free (with fair limitations, certainly).

  3. Fantastic themes, which may require only a few slight touches to completely meet your expectations.

  4. Solid e-commerce as for a non-specialized tool.

  5. Own app center.

  6. Frankly nice analytics tools to estimate how well you’re going.

 

The shortcomings of Weebly:

  1. Billing ties you to 6 months at least.

  2. When you do your SEO, when saving and publishing, the system may override some of your efforts, making it necessary to do constant rechecking. 

  3. Content management, especially for pictures, is tangled.

  4. Not fabulous for blogging – it means that you will not power up your sales by means of blogging, as it has just ordinary power.

  5. The backup system is not of strength – and you may easily lose your site in the case if anything goes wrong or your site is mutilated by some bad guy.

 

Review of Wordpress & WooCommerce best e-commerce website builder

A WooCommerce is a website builder’s add-on designed specifically for Wordpress. Combined with tremendous websites-making power of Wordpress, WooCommerce e-commerce software is something that can possibly make your sales power the same high as in Shopify and BigCommerce. Many standalone starters of web stores often resort to WooCommerce and, after some hand of a professional programmer applied to connect these two and start a store, they can sell the potentially endless number of merch online. 

 

The advancements of Wordpress & WooCommerce: 

  1. This is a free add-on, as an open-source soft.

  2. Highly customizable and flexible (but does require code editing knowledge or attraction of some programmer).

  3. Strong analytics inside.

  4. Provides high security of transactions.

  5. Large help community – not only helpful it is for you but also for programmers who are working on tough issues of connecting Wordpress & WooCommerce for their clients.

  6. Great and fast performance, does not load websites too much.

 

The shortcomings of Wordpress & WooCommerce:

  1. Frequent updates may need manual tuning on your Wordpress-powered website several times a year.

  2. The add-on is free but additional plugins and extensions installed to power up sales may cost and largely inflate your expenses.

  3. Does require an assured hand to manage.

 

Review of Wix 

Wix is the most popular non-specialized e-commerce website builder thanks to many commercial efforts of the Wix management team and pricey online strategy. It is designed to try to be the best in many areas of website building, not only e-commerce. It offers an advanced number of nice e-commerce themes to adjust to your design’s vision. 

 

The advancements of Wix:

  1. Offers a lot of front-end and back-end powers.

  2. Relatively inexpensive pricing for an online store.

  3. Has backups and restores.

 

The shortcomings of Wix:

  1. The templates must be chosen once and for all – as you can’t change a theme without losing all information while you go live with your e-commerce website.

  2. Limitations in storage + bandwidth in every plan.

  3. No bulk management system, you have to do EVERY change and import manually, which is why it is not suitable for large stores, ya just can sell a couple of dozen of items so not to make the inventory management a huge time loss.

 

Review of Magento builder

Magento is one of the popular solutions for e-commerce websites. This builder is known and admired and it has been a locomotive of making online stores for years. But, certainly, it has own cons.

 

The advancements of Magento:

  1. The flexibility of templates. Modification of source code is allowed.

  2. Easy third-party apps integration.

  3. You can have many multiple things under one account: stores, locations, languages, currencies, and pricing. That all together is mostly unachievable by other website builders. For instance, thus, you can alter the pricing amongst the territories, time of the year, customers that already bought from you and the new ones – among other great opportunities of web building.

  4. Large users’ community to help you out.

  5. Mobile-friendliness, surely, is here at 100%.

 

The shortcomings of Magento:

  1. It is expensive. It is nearly impossible to find out on Magento’s pages, how much the website builder costs – you either have to buy it or try to find out after the trial period ends. So, resorting to third-party data, we are saying it costs: 
  2. Free for a Community run (very limited)
  3. Cloud version depends on how much you sell per year and costs from $24,000 to $190,000 a year. That’s the cost of a house in the US or several houses in the underdeveloped countries.
  4. Enterprise e-commerce also depends on annual sales and is as high as from $22,000 to $125,000 a year. 
  5. Not too many developers to help you out with complex technical reasons due to a very complex system of Magento’s technical core, which includes 200+ database tables and 20,000+ files. If you can find some really good specialist – his/her price tag for work is gonna be rocket high.
  6. Load times of websites based on Magento are the worst in the industry. 
  7. Bad hosting and bad product support, which is devastatingly surprising considering its hefty big pricing.

Altogether, pricing, tangled work process, and bad support made a lot of users of Magento to migrate elsewhere, to other modern e-commerce website builders.

 

Review of Squarespace

This e-commerce website builder is not only functional and powerful for sales, offering some cool features of the best e-commerce sites makers like Shopify (bulk management, for instance), but also it is loved for outstandingly beautiful templates, which are especially alluring to iOS users, who appreciate beauty over everything.

 

The advancements of Squarespace:

  1. Marvelous designs right from the start – in every theme.

  2. Nice blogging – with rich commenting, ability to connect several authors, make the scheduled posts (a practical solution when you’re away from PC but your readers are waiting), podcasts, and AMP support. 

  3. Fabulous customer support, which really tries to solve (and solves!) every your issue.

  4. The mobile app allows editing your website on the go.

  5. Bulk management of goods that are sold online. It is easy to have hundreds of them on sales.

 

The shortcomings of Squarespace:

  1. Weak SEO downsides many of your efforts to get your site known.

  2. The visual editor takes time to get used to. You will do much more clicks with your mouse than you would in other e-commerce website builders.

  3. Sub-navigation consisting of only one level is definitely not a good solution for online stores, with many merch groups and other aspects of their reflection and grouping.

  4. Page speed is one of the lowest on the market – however, nothing terrible, not like it is in Magento.

 

A quick overview: what tool’s right for you?

  1. Shopify. Good for pure commerce online; offers all tools you need; does not require any coding from users; and allows starting selling fast and efficiently. Highly customizable and widespread e-commerce website builder.
  2. BigCommerce. It’s a chaser of Shopify but harshly limits users in annual sales – to make more money on their users, which is kinda shameful and un-cool. That is partially compensated by the absence of platform’ commissions for sales.
  3. Weebly. It is great for easy websites, which you don’t have to customize too deep for you. But it lacks unpaid themes.
  4. Wordpress & WooCommerce. Amazing for sales only for those who want to deal with code. However, it may be the most low-cost solution.
  5. Wix. Universal website builder with very weak e-commerce and manual management of everything.
  6. Magento e-commerce website maker. A tangled and too pricey system, which is highly doubtful to be ever recouped if you’re not a mega-large store like Amazon.
  7. Squarespace. Elegant solution with refined pages and mid-power e-commerce.

 

A short conclusion

Now you know a bit more about how to build an e-commerce website. It is up to you to decide, which your primary goal is. Just use it in a free trial, touch it with your hands, and then decide what to spend your money on. It would be wise to select between the price and functionality. 

 

FAQ about building an e-commerce website

 

How to create an e-commerce website?

Pick any e-commerce website builder to your liking or start trying several. Register, choose a theme, personalize it, upload your merchandise and just start selling. See how it goes.

 

How to set up an e-commerce website?

Many e-commerce website builders have hints on the arrangement of the goods and work within their interface. Listen to these hints and follow them. It is easier than you might think.

 

How much does an e-commerce website cost?

They all cost in a wide range – from a few dozen bucks a month (like it is true for WordPress & WooCommerce) for nearly 200,000 dollars a year – in Magento.

 

How to design an e-commerce website?

You have to choose a theme to your liking first and then, based on your needs, to personalize it using a mouse and a keyboard. Sometimes, a coder help may be necessary.

 

How to promote e-commerce website?

SEO is a free way to do it. Paid advertising is possible in a number of channels – Google, banner ads, social media, ads in mobile apps, and other websites & marketing options.

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