The importance of e-commerce cannot be overestimated in today’s world. More and more people find it more convenient to shop online than to do shopping in conventionally. The Internet era has substantially changed the
decision-making habits of the buyers. New technologies allow people to make purchases from all around the world simply staying in their houses. It has become a common thing for Millennials and Baby Boomers to conduct thorough research on e-commerce sites before purchasing something.
Thanks to E-commerce sites, customers have the possibility to buy products or services any time they want and pay with credit cards or use any other options offered by the site. For entrepreneurs E-commerce website is a tremendous advantage since it opens the door to their business for potential clients. Moreover, the revenues will no longer depend on the number of customers who can visit a shop. Having set an online store, you go beyond the geographical borders, which means selling across cities, counties, and even continents.
With E-commerce system business owners have access to real time data and analytics about their services and products. Furthermore, it is possible to see how clients interact with the site, which goods attract their attention, how much time they spend searching for something, how often they buy from you, etc. Such metrics gives deep insight into the core of the venture and helps to adjust it to the needs and preferences.
As soon as you made up your mind to establish an online shop, it is important to know how to build an E-commerce website. The way how your website is built and designed, determines whether customers will keep coming and shopping or flow away giving preference to the competitors. Pondering over the essentials of building an E-commerce website, remember that it must not be just cheap and effective for you, but it should be clear and easy for prospective customers to operate.
In case you strongly believe in your capabilities and skills that you can do it yourselves, you will need the best E-commerce website builder. To get the right one, it will be reasonable to scan the top E-commerce sites and see which platforms they use and know whether they affect the conversion rates positively or not. Every E-commerce website builder that grabs your interest must be a subject for rigorous analysis according to the following criteria.
These factors are crucial as they define how the website will look and they influence users’ first impression. A collection of templates that different builders offer is very different. Some themes can be free or demand a certain fee. If a template is well-designed, detailed, and customizable, then it is likely to be convenient for your business.
Whether it is easy to manage a site based on the particular platform, can be understood after testing it out or getting valid reviews. Key factors that deserve your attention are themes, analytics, dashboard setup, and possibility to embed new features or plugins if needed.
Taking into account that people have different preferences when it concerns payment, you are advised to choose an E-commerce website maker, which empowers you with various modes of paying. The latter may include traditional bank cards as well as PayPal, etc.
Statistics proves that number of people using smartphones to purchase online is constantly increasing. Hence, a great E-commerce builder should have systems, features, and applications, which assist to develop a mobile friendly site.
Modern developers suggest a wide choice of free or paid E-commerce website builders. Discussing prices, it would be wise to ponder over the sum of money and package of solutions you may obtain with them.
To save your time and efforts we suggest you an overview of the top E-commerce website builders which can be in line with your business.
Appropriate to big online shops
The Shopify E-commerce website builder suggests clear and plain interface. To start, go to the menu on the left side, which exposes typical elements of E-commerce shop (orders, discounts, products, and marketing instruments). With broad variety of beautiful themes, a merchant presents his company and brand in the most successful way.
Users praise the builder interface for its organic UX enabling them to start ownt E-commerce site on its platform easily. There is no need to waste much time on learning peculiarities of the solution or acquiring some special technical skills. You may go straight to the builder and begin designing a website immediately.
The Shopify system makes it achievable to conduct regular surveillance over the customers information thanks to database that connects an entrepreneur to account. That kind of information shapes a clear idea of clients’ preferences and reveals secrets of purchasing tendencies.
An enormous advantage of the analyzed builder is that it enhances the incorporation of the website with certain devices, which means you are sure to get broader pool of potential users. Another outstanding feature of Shopify is that it allocates multichannel and multiplatform undertakings that can be seamlessly operated directly through E-commerce platform.
The type of support, technology, varieties of instruments of the builder predetermines the price. Actually, cost may vary from $29 for a common plan to $299 for an advanced one. In addition, Shopify includes a set of different premium services like shipping discount, well-oiled customer service, etc.
Suitable for serious ventures and beginners
BigCommerce won popularity for its marketing instruments that foster quite promotion of a site. It provides many modern and professional themes that can be flawlessly adapted to mobile devices. A visual editor helps to transform your theme when needed. SEO of BigCommerce is rather effective for modification of URLs, meta-descriptions and title tags.
Applying BigCommerce you can place bright pictures and amazing videos to display the products on a website. How appealing they are depends mostly on the potential of the template. Scalability of BigCommerce is beyond any doubt, as it has huge control panel for generating new pages and lists of goods. Except this, BigCommerce site is effortlessly synchronized with various social media accounts.
There is a wide choice of plug-ins on the App Store that can be obtained free of charge or for a certain payment. These plug-ins can advance your marketing strategies. On-/ offline payment options are possible with BigCommerce site builder. In fact, the platform suggests 40 payment modes. Big plus is that BigCommerce does not demand transaction fees.
Technical support provided via email or phone is available all day round. The pricing ranges from $29.95 for a Standard plan to $249.95 for a Professional plan. The enterprise program will be even more expensive but it removes any restrictions on sales.
One of disadvantages of the presented website builder is that there are some limitations on sales. That means a merchant can sell the particular amount of products within a year term. This number is defined by the plan.
Suitable for a simple store.
Like many rivals, Weebly is an E-commerce website builder that assures the design of an online shop fast and efficiently. The solution allows business owners to generate a website in accordance with their brand and marketing aims. The Weebly builder has rather intuitive drag-and-drop tool.
Applying Weebly themes, which are trendy and beautiful, a user can build an E-commerce website that will stand out among similar ones. Overall, the choice of theme should match the goods on sale. Two other outstanding features are zoom function and flexible application of components such as pictures, slides, and videos. Thus, a description of products can be accompanied by videos.
A filtered search for goods and services enables to group them regarding their price, size, style, target audience, etc. The function for creating products variants is very convenient since it allows abundant varieties of the item. However, this editor is available only if you get the Business plan.
Countlesss plug-ins suitable for marketing objectives can be taken from Weebly App Center. Unfortunately greater part of plug-ins is paid. Concerning payment system, online transactions as well as credit cards are accepted. With Weebly you can keep abreast of the stocks but you will not receive an email telling you that some of goods are in small quantity.
The checkout function and the subscription type predetermine transaction fee. If cost is essential for your company, you can opt for the most affordable monthly option, in particular Pro plan, Business plan, or Performance plan.
Suitable for any size of business
WooCommerce is a well-known E-commerce solution developed to work smoothly and continuously with WordPress. It supplies entrepreneurs with everything required for developing their venture and bringing it to the top rates. WooCommerce is a perfect choice if you strive to receive higher revenues from the current WordPress site.
As an open source plug-in WooCommerce can be effortlessly modified according to your unique E-commerce project. It is no doubt beneficial that E-commerce builder can operate with any WordPress theme. The very moment you decide to launch an online store from a WordPress site the only thing to do is to install WooCommerce and here you to go.
If you are familiar with WordPress interface, which is quite simple to utilize, you will have no difficulties in understanding the operating principles of WooCommerce. In case there are some problems, multiple tutorials and videos are at your disposal.
Having applied this efficient E-commerce solution, your selling capabilities expand to both physical and digital products. In addition, you can make a site for members, take bookings online, and offer products on subscription terms.
Despite the fact that WooCommerce is absolutely free, it is rather flexible platform. It gives great opportunities for customization of online stores to a higher level. E-commerce entrepreneurs have access to 39 available themes, which are on WooThemes Store.
In terms of SEO, WooCommerce is powerful as it operates on WordPress. If compared with other website builders, it undergoes optimization much easier. Due to analytics system built into WooCommerce, you are always aware of such data as total sales, sales by date, and customer statistics.
Practically the best E-commerce website builder for small and middle-sized business.
Wix supplies a wide choice of professionally developed themes that can be optimized for desktop and smartphone when needed. The latter are characterized by abundant imagery including graphics and images. A striking characteristic is that templates are divided into categories covering various business fields. Thus, you can pick the one that suits a future online shop the best. A weak point here is that it is impossible to alter a theme and preserve the current site. Introducing changes means constructing a new site.
Even if it is your first attempt to make a competitive website, Wix is the best in this respect. The editor has all required tools for designing you need to create a website from scratch. Thanks to customizable templates, you are able to change the content adding new links, pictures, colors, and what not.
Except traditional free plug-ins Wix has premium plug-ins, particularly SEO friendly ones. These tools are beneficial for both business owners and customers. As for tech support, Wix definitely will not leave you alone if something goes wrong. In case a problem arises, you can go for one of the numerous support alternatives like phone, email, and social media maintenance, community forum, online tutorials, etc.
A positive sign of Wix is that this builder does not demand transaction fees from your newly established E-commerce site. The option regards premium monthly fee. If your business follows this model, there is no need to pay commission on sales.
Suitable for the so-called explosive growth of small and big companies.
This E-commerce platform may cause some challenges when used by merchants who lack tech experience. Magento is a trustworthy solution among the entrepreneurs worldwide. Developers characterize it as an exclusive ecommerce software. The analyzed website builder helps increase the amount of your online sales, develop effective loyalty management and payment programs. Magento works through free download from the official website or as a hosted service. The latter alternative will be quite expensive.
Free community version of Magento will be good and quite workable for a small business. With time, as your company grows it is easy to switch to premier program with additional options, which enhance better performance. Scalability of Magneto allows its users to add new pages, linking and improve navigation.
This builder is powerful enough to deal with huge loads of products, bytes of traffic, and growing sales. It means that it will better suits a big E-Commerce store. As for themes or templates, Magento does not supply any ready-made custom designs for your online store. If you want a professional and pleasant-looking template, it is recommended to address the third party.
If not to take into account some technical difficulties during set-up stage, this solution is user-friendly indeed due to its comprehensive dashboard equipped with well-organized sections. As the assortment of products enlarges, adding new ones will not cause any problems.
Regarding types of online payments, Magento empowers you to sync with such popular systems like Authorize.net and PayPal. Furthermore, such experimental features as guest checkouts and one-click payments are also available.
Suitable for a wide range of businesses.
Squarespace is among the best E-Commerce website builders for the current year. It is certainly capable of launching a competitive site for online store. This builder utilizes Xero software and offers a sales platform with numerous features. Consequently, with Squarespace you receive a professionally developed website and well organized platform for selling your goods.
Squarespace successfully meets the most crucial requirement of the E-Commerce builder, that is product management. It is not difficult to manage the inventory on your website adding new goods or placing new information concerning the present items if you utilize Squarespace platform.
Although a number of available templates is lesser than that of other website builders, they are beautiful and can easily operate on any device (desktop, tablet, or smartphone). Squarespace has unrivalled features allowing to enhance users’ experience and increase conversion rates. The builder has completely integrated E-Commerce functions and does not depend on applications for online stores.
The prospective customers are able to select different kinds of products on your website. It proves the fact that Squarespace provides you an absolute control over the goods flow on the site. Moreover, you receive much freedom to make, choose and change the product alternatives you’re your site suggests to the customers. There are also no restrictions concerning the volume of goods you are going to upload into store website. All this creates a positive impression of the E-Commerce site.
The content management system with its intuitive interface allow you to bring in order all the data about the available products regarding particular criteria like name, price, size, etc. In case you are going to run out of stock you will get an email informing you about this. Squarespace has got impressive promotional advertisements features. The website owner can design shipping, product, orders coupons to drive new clients. As most of website builders, Squarespace has simple pricing system based on different plans. Full social media and modern payment systems integration is also a big advantage of the discussed E-commerce solution.
E-commerce website builders analyzed in this article pose certain strong and weak points. Each builder is scalable enough to create a professional online store and manage it accordingly. You can easily pick one, which corresponds your level of tech skills and business objectives. While searching the answer to the question how to built an E-commerce website, mind the following tips:
Before searching for a website builder make up a list of your business priorities and features of E-commerce platform that can help implement them. And of course make sure that this solution is functional enough to meet the needs of your evolving venture.
You should not give up the idea of building online shop without addressing the specialist. The majority of E-commerce builders are user-friendly and provide guidance or detailed tutorials that give clear instructions throughout the whole process.
It is difficult to say how much money you will have to spend on this. The overall cost of E-commerce builder depends on such factors as platform and requirements, including design potential, programming and functionality, available plug-ins, in-build payment systems, etc.