5 Best Online Shop, eCommerce Store Builders
You possess the business acumen to start your own business, but your tech skills don’t quite measure up to the technical expertise required to create and launch your own ecommerce site? You could hire a developer or an agency that can undertake this task for you, or you could just as easily use a store builder tool and build your own online store without having to write a single line of code. Store builder platforms are used by millions worldwide to market and sell their products and services online. These tools not only help with the creation, but also with the marketing and maintenance of such websites.
Store builder tools are helping entrepreneurs, small businesses and start-ups create stunning ecommerce platforms without requiring them to delve into the intricate world of programming or website design. You can think of ecommerce store builders as a one-stop shop for all your ecommerce related needs, which provide you everything from beautifully designed storefronts to showcase your products to marketing, payment processing, billing, inventory and shipping management tools. Therefore, store builders don’t only make it possible for you to create a website with virtually no technical knowledge, but they also provide all the means to successfully market and manage your business.
To successfully kick-start your ecommerce business, you need to know which site builder offers what, and which features you’ll be needing most.
How to Choose a Store Builder Tool for Your eCommerce Site?
Ecommerce builders are created with simplicity and convenience in mind, however, not all store builders are created the same. Some site builders may be more ecommerce oriented than others, some will provide more in terms of design and functionality, others will score higher in the marketing and social media tools they provide. Before you decide on a particular site builder, we recommend taking a step back and think about how your business is going to be and what are the tools you may be needing to achieve all that. Almost all site builders will offer a free domain and free hosting for your online store, so these are aspects that you usually don’t need to worry about. Instead, here are some other factors to consider, which are closely related to the ecommerce aspect of your website:
- Does the store builder offer mobile optimized, responsive templates? Considering the large number of users that do their shopping on their smartphones, you need your online store to be mobile-ready.
- Does the store builder provide integrated ecommerce solutions to manage payments, orders, shipping, inventory, and other aspects of an online store?
- Does the site builder tool have integrated email campaigns so you can effortlessly market your product and services?
- Does the site builder tool allow you to easily integrate third-party tools?
- Do they have a free plan or trial period to test out their platform?
There are many other aspects you can take into account such as the flexibility of the platform, how good their support team is, whether their platform ranks high on usability, whether you will be able to build your online store just as easily as you anticipated, how expensive and varied their plans are, etc. Most store builder platforms offer a free plan, which you can sign up for to test the platform and see whether it measures up to your requirements.
The Best Store Builder Tools to Check Out
The following reviews of the best store builder tools can assist you in picking out the most suitable tool and help you kick-off your store building activities as soon as possible. We’ve purposefully highlighted the ecommerce features of each of these site builders so you can have a clear breakdown on what you can achieve with each.
Wix is one of the oldest and most multi-faceted site builder tool in the industry, and it’s particularly suited for ecommerce sites. Wix has hundreds of designer-made storefronts, mobile-optimized templates, and beautiful product galleries that look great on any device. Their Drag ‘n Drop site builder tool helps you get your products or services online as quickly as possible. Wix allows you to test out their platform with a free plan that includes 500 MB storage and 1 GB bandwidth.
Apart from design-related elements, Wix has an all-in-one management platform that helps you track your orders and manage inventory, allows the integration of multiple payment options including PayPal and credit cards with secure checkout, helps you launch promotions and give out coupons, and set customized tax and shipping rules for different destinations. 24/7 support is also included.
Wix’s paid plans range from the most basic plan for $4.50/month to a VIP plan that costs $24.50/month. You’ll get a free domain with all plans except the Basic plan. Each plan has different configurations in terms of storage and bandwidth. Some plans will include access to Form Builder App and Site Builder App, and include up to 10 email campaigns per month.
Weebly provides complete ecommerce solutions to successfully launch and manage your online business. Weebly’s integrated shopping cart allows you to start selling immediately after launching your online store. Weebly takes care of all and every aspect of your online store: helps you create beautifully designed mobile optimized ecommerce sites, gives you the necessary tools to track inventories, manage products, payments, shipping options, email campaigns, coupon codes, create branded digital gift cards, and essentially put your online store’s management on autopilot. Weebly’s Android and iPhone apps help you manage your online store even on the go.
Weebly allows your customers to easily share your products on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. On Weebly, you can sell everything from physical goods to services and digital goods.
Apart from the free Weebly plan, which allows you to test drive the Weebly website builder tool, paid plans are created to respond to different website building needs. Weebly’s Business and Performance plans are the most suitable for ecommerce platforms and they include a free domain name, Google AdWords credit, unlimited storage, checkout on your domain, possibility to sell unlimited products, SSL security, possibility to sell digital goods, SEO tools, online marketing tools and loads of other useful features.
Volusion is a popular online store builder that powers over 50,000 websites. Volusion is purpose built for ecommerce and meets all your marketing, design, and online store management requirements. You can choose from 75+ ecommerce templates, easily add products and launch your online store without having any technical know-how. Volusion takes care of everything for you, so you can focus on selling and driving more traffic to your website. With more than 900 features, Volusion is one of the most feature-packed, secure and robust online store builder tools.
Volusion’s designs fit every device, so you don’t have to worry about missing out on mobile shoppers. Its shopping cart integrates with eBay and Amazon, thus giving you an opportunity to increase your sales volume. Volusion’s platform is PCI compliant, it supports all payment methods form credit cards to PayPal, and allows you to install SSL certificates.
Volusion has a free 14-day trial version and 4 paid plans with pricing that ranges from $15/month for the Mini plan to $135/month for the Premium plan. All packages include unlimited file storage, responsive templates, mobile commerce, Volusion mobile app, Facebook Store, and automatic tax rates. Whichever plan you choose, you’ll be able to create professionally looking online stores very easily.
BigCommerce is another industry-leading store builder tool with an overwhelming list of features for every and any aspect of ecommerce. Its out-of-the box themes and all-in-one customization framework coupled with an extensive suite of marketing, SEO, payment and shipping management tools are there to help you grow and expand as a business. BigCommerce has a 15-day free trial to make sure you have the possibility to check out their platform before committing to any of their plans.
BigCommerce’s paid plans include unlimited products, storage, bandwidth, dedicated SSL, responsive website, single page check-out, and 24/7 live agent support. There are two plans for new and growing businesses, these are the Standard and Plus plans, which cost $29.95/month and $79.95/month, and two plans for high-volume businesses. Of these two plans, the Pro plan costs $199.95/month. The Enterprise plan can be fully customized to your needs.
Although BigCommerce features several advanced features, their platform is easy to navigate and you can quickly learn its ins and outs. Whether you’re a brick-and-mortar store moving online or you’re a small business about to hit it big, BigCommerce can handle all your needs.
Webs is an extremely user-oriented, lightweight site builder platform that makes it easy for you to sell online. Unlike BigCommerce and Volusion that are specifically build to create small to enterprise scale online stores, Webs focuses on smaller businesses wanting to establish an online presence.
In terms of ecommerce capabilities, Webs allows you to build and online store with a large selection of over 450 customizable themes that look good on mobile as well, with the possibility to easily add products and categories, and add up to 5 product images for each product. Other features include the possibility to add global currency options, accept payments with PayPal or Stripe, boost sales and engage customers through coupon codes, drive more traffic to your store with SEO Booster tools, and easily manage inventories with Webs’ inventory control tools.
Unlike its competitors, Webs offers only two plans – the Enhanced plan for $12.99/month and the Pro plan for $22.99/month. Each plan includes a free custom domain name, – a feature that you cannot find at every online store builder – access to premium themes, email and live chat support.
If you only want to launch a small or medium sized online store, Webs is one of the most affordable and user-friendly option to start selling your products online.
You don’t need to hire an agency or be a tech guru to start selling online. All of the above store builder tools strive to make it as easy on you as possible to get your products online, while giving you ample opportunities to customize and configure your website. While some tools are more advanced than others, all have budget-friendly plans with features that can help your business to grow and expand.