The Best eCommerce Website Builders for an Online Store

Everything you need to know about eCommerce platforms, including the features, fees, and forewarnings to be aware of before you get started.

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What is an eCommerce website builder

An eCommerce website builder, commonly called an eCommerce platform, is where you can build an online store. They are the fastest and easiest way to start selling online, regardless of whether you’re starting from scratch or looking to move to a more established store online.

Why you need an eCommerce website builder

Online store builders offer thoughtful website designs, must-have eCommerce features, and advanced eCommerce solutions to help you customize your store, make it as intuitive as you want, and future-proof it with options to grow and scale it.

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The must-haves for any online store website builder

If you’re stocked up and ready to sell, the next step is to build an eCommerce website. While most eCommerce platforms answer the question of how to build an eCommerce website, it’s easy to get swallowed up by the plethora of options, features, and benefits available. This list aims to eliminate that confusion, so you can focus on what you really need.

Design templates

It’s the age of eCommerce, and your website is your storefront. The best platform for eCommerce websites will have ready designs that make a lasting impression.

Screen responsiveness

With a smartphone in nearly every pocket, a responsive website design that ensures a good experience no matter the screen size is essential for building eCommerce websites.

Inventory management

Top eCommerce platforms let you track your inventory every time you make a sale and know when you’re running low or when to add an out-of-stock message.

Payment processing

A core component of any store is accepting payments online. Multiple payment options from your eCommerce platform are just a bonus for the seller and buyer.

SSL Security

If people are going to share their payment details with you, they need to be assured that it’s safe and that it’ll stay that way. The best eCommerce platforms guarantee this.

Shipping options

Your online store builder should let you calculate costs and choose between standard, rushed, and online (courses, designs, etc.) delivery options.

CRM integration

Making a sale goes hand in hand with managing customer relationships. The best eCommerce website builder will offer the option to integrate with email marketing tools and such.

Ease of use

These platforms exist to make your life easier. So whether it’s a B2B eCommerce platform you’re looking for or B2C, it should be easy to use and efficient.

What the cost breakdown for an eCommerce website builder looks like

A website builder with eCommerce costs different than most other software services because they use a different pricing model. There are usually three types of charges that you need to account for when considering an eCommerce website builder.

Total fee = Base monthly fee + Payment gateway fee + Transaction fee

Our picks for the best platforms for eCommerce websites

While there are several options for building eCommerce websites, here are our top picks for new entrepreneurs and small businesses. For more enterprising ventures, the list could expand to other options, like BigCommerce, which excels with multichannel selling.

Wix is a significant player in the eCommerce website builder universe, delivering in heaps for solopreneurs and small business owners. One of the simplest eCommerce platforms in terms of set-up, it also comes with a ton of free themes to choose from. What’s more, the On-page support is comparable to no other.

  • Plenty of free themes to choose from
  • Exceptionally simple and beginner friendly
  • On-page support for all needs

Shopify is one of the best eCommerce website builders out there. With an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface, it takes new users just a few minutes to get a hang of the platform. While there is an extensive list of apps to add on, even on the Basic plan, these can quickly add up. The downside is that they have a very limited pool of free themes and a fairly weak SEO ranking performance.

  • Very quick load time
  • 1-click selling
  • Social and multi-channel selling

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Squarespace is the best eCommerce platform for small businesses and anyone who doesn't want to be overwhelmed with a plethora of features. It works particularly well for print-on-demand businesses. Low starting prices mean that you can start selling for as low as $18 a month. While the drag-and-drop feature might not be the best, their access to inventory, SEO, social selling, and analytics features is a definite advantage.

  • Great designs, perfect for simple stores
  • Good SEO tools
  • Integrates with ShipStation

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While not an eCommerce website builder on its own, WooCommerce is a plug-in that can transform any WordPress website into an online store. You’ll find extensions for all your needs, including but not limited to payment gateways, email marketing, shipping, social media, and more. While the cost is free, some of these extensions come at a price. Those unfamiliar with WordPress may have a bit of a learning curve, but nothing beats a WordPress site for SEO, so it’s an acceptable challenge for most.

  • Extremely customizable
  • App for 1-click selling available
  • WordPress is arguably the best for SEO

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