What are the Best Options for Website Builder for Ecommerce Business?

Did you know over a quarter of small businesses (28 percent) in the United States still don’t have a website? This is according to a new report from Top Design Firms that came out in February 2021. The number was worse before the pandemic – 36 percent of small businesses in America didn’t have a website.

In a post-pandemic world, it’s imperative for small businesses to take the ecommerce route to survive. And that begins with building a website.

What are the Roadblocks to Ecommerce Adoption by Small Businesses? Read this blog to know more

Setting up an online store gives local businesses an easier way to reach more customers and explore new geographies, and ultimately an edge over their competition. Moreover, it provides a digital channel they can own and deeper insights into the customers who purchase goods and services from them.

So what are the best options for website builder for ecommerce business?

 

How to choose a website builder for ecommerce?

First and foremost, it is important to know that not all website builder options offer ecommerce capabilities. Building an ecommerce website is different than creating a standard website since, in addition to a domain name and hosting, an online store also needs tools and software for processing payments, ordering confirmation and updates, and feedback, among other things.

The next step is to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What exactly are my needs?
  • What kind of website am I looking to build?
  • What am I going to sell on the website?
  • What is my budget?
  • Do I have an idea about how my website will look?
  • How flexible am I from my initial ideas?
  • What are my technical abilities and knowledge?
  • What are my expectations from the online store builder tool?

Whether you are a local business or an ecommerce agency, you don’t need to know coding to set up a website. There exist several online store builder options in the market that make it as easy as a few clicks of a mouse.

Let’s explore some popular options for website builder for ecommerce business.

How to Sell Online in 2021: 10 Tips for Small Businesses Getting Started with Ecommerce

WordPress+WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a plugin for WordPress and is the most popular ecommerce option among WordPress users. If you are a WordPress pro, this is an easy choice for an online store builder. There are over 300 apps and more than 50,000+ plugins to choose from on WooCommerce. The platform offers no traditional customer support since it is free, but there are plenty of community resources to help you onboard and grow.

Pros

  • 100 percent customizable 
  • Free 
  • Easy to switch your existing WordPress website by just adding WooCommerce 
  • Free themes and templates, plus ones you can buy

Cons

  • Tedious and time consuming if you don’t know basic WordPress 
  • You may need coding knowledge or help for some advanced stuff

Pricing

WooCommerce is free and can be added to your WordPress website at no cost. The plugins, however, come at a price. You must also pay for hosting, paid themes, integration with additional payment gateways, advanced shipping features, and email marketing integration. Overall, it should cost you about $100 per year for a basic ecommerce website. But then you always have the option to pay as you grow.

Website Express and Website Pro

Vendasta offers white label WordPress hosting on Google Cloud Platform. With Vendasta’s Website Express, you get seven ecommerce-specific templates with pre-installed Divi Builder and WooCommerce. The service is completely managed, so the suite of developer tools do the heavy lifting while you can focus on running your business. Website Pro is the professional paid version and comes with additional features.

Pros

  • Most up-to-date security of Google Cloud platform
  • Top-quality hosting with low maintenance 
  • Toolkit of products to grow your online presence 24/7 customer support
  • Completely managed service

Cons

  • Difficult to customize your website past themes

Pricing

Vendasta offers two editions of the web hosting tool – Website Express and Website Pro. Website Express is free, while Website Pro offers more features but comes at a cost. 

How to get Your WordPress Pro Website Ecommerce Ready? Read this blog

Shopify

Shopify provides an easy-to-use website builder for ecommerce platform known by the same name Shopify. You can begin as a complete novice on the online store builder, which gives a good choice of templates for designing your online store. There is also the option to sell on multiple platforms like Amazon, Ebay, Pinterest, etc. with one click.

Pros

  • Organized inventory system 
  • 2,000-plus apps to add on 
  • Great mobile app 
  • 24x7 customer support

Cons

  • Pricing isn’t great, especially compared to free options hosted on WordPress. 
  • Difficult to customize your website past themes
  • You need to know coding beyond a point

Pricing

The Basic Shopify plan comes for $29/month, and entails an online store, including ecommerce website, and blog, unlimited products, two staff accounts, and 77 percent shipping discounts. 

The mid-range Shopify plan comes for $79/month, and includes the first two from the Basic plan, plus five staff accounts, professional reports, up to 88 percent shipping discounts, and USPS priority mail cubic pricing. 

The Advanced Shopify plan costs $299/month, and includes the first two in the Basic plan, plus 15 staff accounts, professional reports with advanced report builder, third-party calculated shipping rates, USPS priority mail cubic pricing, and up to 88 percent discounts in shipping.

Wix

Wix is an excellent option for  website builder for ecommerce business, and cheapest among the lot. Its artificial design intelligence platform enables anyone to get a customized website in one go. The Wix Stores app helps with everything needed to create and manage an online store. 

Pro

  • Very easy to use 
  • Can sell on social channels and marketplaces 
  • 24x7 customer support

Con

  • Not built for extensive ecommerce use 
  • Design is kind of overwhelming
  • Doesn’t have all third-party apps and features

Pricing

The Business Basic plan comes for $20/month, and offers unlimited products, free domain for 12 months, $300 ad vouchers, and 20GB storage and five video hours among other things. 

The Business Unlimited plan costs $25/month, and offers unlimited products, free domain for 12 months, and $300 ad vouchers. Additionally, you get 35GB storage, 10 video hours, professional and social media logo files, and 1,000 product reviews by KudoBuzz. 

The Business VIP plan costs $35/month, which includes the first three components of the basic plan – unlimited products, free domain for 12 months, and $300 ad vouchers. Additionally, you get 50GB storage, unlimited video hours, professional and social media logo, 5,000 product reviews by KudoBuzz, customized reports, Priority response and VIP support.

Squarespace

Squarespace is the best website builder for ecommerce in terms of functionality and ease of use. You get drag-and-drop software paired with amazing templates, and an all-inclusive platform so you stay in one ecosystem.

Pros

  • Ideal for online stores with few products 
  • 24x7 customer support

Cons

  • Not suited for businesses with large stores 
  • Backend capabilities confusing and difficult 
  • Not a lot of integrations other than Amazon affiliate tracking, Mailchimp, Instagram, and Pinterest

Pricing

The Business plan comes for $18/month with free custom domain, unlimited products, bandwidth & storage, professional email from Google, premium integrations and blocks, advanced website analytics, $100 Google Ads credit, and promotional pop-ups 

The Basic eCommerce plan costs $26/month, which includes all the above included in the Business plan, plus point of sale payments, ecommerce analytics, merchandising tools, and products on Instagram.

The Advanced eCommerce plan costs $40/month, and includes everything that’s there in the Basic Commerce plan, plus advanced shipping and discounts, commerce APIs, and limited availability labels.

BigCommerce

BigCommerce has great tools for order management, analytics, and reports. The online store builder also helps with advertising, coupons, and SEO. The good part is BigCommerce gives you options to scale up your operation as your business grows. It is quite similar to Shopify, but not as good and difficult to use. 

Pros

  • More than 600 apps and growing
  • 24/7 customer support

Cons

  • Not great for startups or small businesses 
  • Design interface isn’t as intuitive, lacks options, and is often confusing 
  • Limited free designs and not great looking
  • Paid themes are costly and costs upwards of $145 
  • No mobile app

Pricing

The Standard plan comes for $29.95/month and offers unlimited products, file storage, bandwidth, and staff accounts. It connects your online store to POS integrations, gives real time shipping quotes, professional reporting tools, and a built-in blog.

The Plus plan costs $79.95/month, and has all the above included in the Standard plan. Additionally, there is Google customer reviews, option for product filtering and custom product filters. 

The Business VIP plan costs $35/month. The plan includes all the above included in the Plus plan, but also includes price lists, unlimited API calls, express routing, priority support, and API support.

Conclusion

Like most things, online store builders too come in different shapes, sizes and plans. The most popular website builder may be just that – popular – but may not suit your needs or pocket. So go through all options carefully before taking a final call.

Want to learn more about ecommerce websites and how to sell online? Download this guide, The Ecommerce Ecosystem: A Post PandemicPlaybook.

About the Author

Anusuya is a content specialist at Vendasta. A career journalist, she has spent the past decade writing about data and digitalization, and how new innovative technologies are redefining businesses and our everyday lives today. During the course, she has interacted with some of the top CEOs and policymakers, spoken at global conferences and delivered guest lectures at universities. Earlier, she worked with some of the best-known business media brands in India and learned to read stock markets and corporate balance sheets. A writer by choice, an editor by profession, and a tech commentator by chance, Anusuya is passionate about news and numbers, but it’s the intersection of technology with sustainability and social causes that excites her most.

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