Last updated on November 8th, 2019 at 03:53 pm
It is not easy to select the best e-commerce store platform. Unlike a plain-vanilla business site that simply informs your customers of your products and demonstrates your knowledge through a blog, an e-commerce store requires many features such as:
- Product catalogue
- Payment gateway
- Email integration
- Detailed reporting of onsite visitor activity
E-commerce platforms have continued to innovate and integrate powerful features. If you want to know how to build an ecommerce website we have selected the 10 best ecommerce website builders and reviewed them comprehensively.
BigCommerce is a hosted ecommerce website builder that is available as a SaaS solution. Although it can be used for any type of business site, it specializes and differentiates itself as an e-commerce application.
SaaS means software that is hosted on the cloud and fully managed by the service provider. Only its utility is rented out, and the task of maintaining, backup and security rests with the provider.
Through Big Commerce, you could easily offer promos, discount coupons, and host an unlimited number of products.
It can be integrated with Amazon and eBay as well as every social network. As social selling become commonplace, this is a useful feature to have.
With the help of numerous APIs, it is possible to customize your online store on Big-commerce completely.
There are several packages on offer between $30 and $250 per month. Annual payments will save you quite a bit.
With millions of users, Shopify is probably the best-known e-commerce platform. Over a billion customers used Shopify last year, and total sales using the platform is said to have topped $100 billion.
Its appeal lies in the fact that it can be configured quickly. Just register, and after verifying your email address, you can set up a product catalogue in no time at all. It is super easy to add product titles, tags, and meta descriptions to every page.
Also, you have access to probably a hundred different themes at no extra cost. If you want to pay there are an innumerable number of them on offer.
With top-notch customer care that works through phone, chat, or social sites, Shopify sets new standards every day that are hard for other platforms to live up to.
Is there a drawback? Yes. Shopify can get expensive if you opt for customized themes and paid plugins. While the plans are affordable and range from $30 to $300 per month, there are additional overheads if you buy optional extras.
- Wix Stores
Wix is already well known as a website builder, what is not so well known is their robust e-commerce section.
It is a fully responsive drag and drop ecommerce website builder. There are 500 templates to choose from, depending on the type of store you wish to crate. There are also plenty of royalty-free images available.
Most of all, it has a fully functioning shopping cart with the most advanced features. The problem is that unlike Shopify, it is not a pure e-commerce platform but an offshoot of a website builder. Thus some features may appear to be somewhat elementary.
If you create a shopping site using Wix, remember that the template can’t be changed once you publish the site.
Volusion has existed since 1999 and offers a solid experience. There are several tools that are quite unique and useful, including options for subscriptions, loyalty programs, and the use of rich text in descriptions.
It integrates well with most popular payment gateways and charges no transactions fees. Not only do you have access to chat and phone support but also an extensive knowledge base that has a solution for virtually any problem.
Volusion has several plans that are limited by bandwidth and traffic. If you exceed the ceiling, you would have to pay extra and migrate to another tier.
Unlike others, Volusion does not offer SSL certification for free.
Magento, like Shopify, is a market leader. From Burger King to Pepe Jeans, the platform boasts of big brands that use its services.
With more than 9,000 extensions and plugins it is highly flexible and also open source. It is hard to build ecommerce websites using Magento if you are not an expert at coding. Thus if you have a Magento store, the likelihood is that you would need a web developer to design and maintain for you.
It is terrific for large business owners, but not so much for small scale startups. But its vast array of store management features make it stand out from the crowd.
A drag and drop online shopping site builder, Squarespace is similar to Wix. Its USP lies in the hugely attractive themes.
The disadvantage of Squarespace is that they have turned their focus from being a website builder to online shopping provider quite late and is not as feature-laden as the competition.
The stores that you could create are polished and with a smooth, intuitive interface. The enormous emphasis on visual appeal means it is ideal for stores selling high-value products such as niche boutiques.
Of course, it offers complete inventory management as well as control over shipping.
The built-in analytics provides you with details of visitors, sales, and revenue.
There is a reasonably efficient abandoned cart feature that allows you to send emails to those customers who left in the middle of buying. Often a little extra discount can lure them back, and Squarespace handles such promos perfectly.
OpenCart is an entirely open-source shopping platform. You can download and install it on your own server and tweak it in any way you need.
This e-commerce platform contains everything that you need to set up and manage a store regardless of the number of products that you have. There is a facility for a product review, and it supports the use of multiple currencies.
From the dashboard, you could control multiple stores, if needed. It also is able to work with every known payment gateway.
What is the drawback? Like any open-source software, it has to be heavily modified for SEO, and that means hiring a web developer for an extended period.
A late entrant to the field of e-commerce stores Yo!Kart offers a smooth and user-friendly design. It is well known for being SEO friendly and allows you to rank higher in Google with minimal effort.
Like Etsy, it is a multi-vendor platform which has a lot of features not easily found elsewhere. The system comprises of a native analytics tool and integration with a dozen payment gateways.
It can be availed on a subscription basis for $1299 (Life-time license) and self-hosted.
- Big Cartel
Big Cartel targets artists! The platform describes itself as ideally suited for selling jewellery, arts, handicrafts, and fashion.
Big Cartel is a way for those who already have an offline boutique or store to take a version of it online. It is easy to configure, manage, and maintain. It is definitely not created for millions of visitors. The simplicity also means it is hamstrung by limited functionality.
There are only 12 themes available, of which only two are optimized for mobile phones. But this is definitely not a disadvantage if you belong to the specific demographic that Big Cartel aims at.
Like Wix, MotoCMS is a website builder that can also be used for online store creation. It offers complete prebuilt stores which you only need to populate with images and descriptions of your products and publish.
The plus is that it takes minimum time to have an online store up and running. The minus is that it is not suitable if you have hundreds of products on offer and need an advanced feature set like full CRM suite and cart options.
From the mighty Amazon to an online store that sells handcrafted pottery, e-commerce is highly stratified with extraordinary needs for every type of business.
It would depend on you as the store owner to be able to identify your needs and outlay, and based on it, select a platform.
Some of these require a dedicated website maintenance expert while others can get by with some attention from you.
Identify your needs and select the one that works best for you.