It’s a big step for your business to set up your e-commerce website — whether it’s your first time or you’re looking for an upgrade, find out which are the best ever e-commerce website builders!
Chee Yong Qing
Reading time: 9minutes
With businesses moving out of the brick-and-mortar model, your e-commerce website is now the new shopfront of your business.
It is not only a place to generate leads and sales, but to also express your brand identity and be the one-stop solution for everything related to your business.
Fortunately, there are several e-commerce builders out there that allow you to create websites easily, and you don’t even need to have any web design or coding experience!
So what makes a good e-commerce website builder? What are the best options out there for you? Let’s take a look at our in-depth review of 4 e-commerce website builders. 👇👇
How to select a good e-commerce website builder
While every e-commerce website builder has that something extra to differentiate themselves from one another, there are several must-haves for all great e-commerce website builders out there!
No website builder is perfect, but here are some tips for you on what to look out for when considering which e-commerce website builder to choose from.
Most business owners are looking for a fuss-free experience in building their website.
Drag-and-drop website editors allow you to select an element, place it at your desired location, and customize it all from the same place! Monitor in real-time to see how your website will turn out.
Drag-and-drop editors are a must-have for fellow non-coders to build a website! Creating a website with a drag-and-drop editor can’t get any easier than this. 😋
Platforms that provide e-commerce website-building solutions often have a variety of pricing plans to suit different types of customers.
Small business owners may not need advanced features simply because the scale of their business does not require it.
For example, abandoned cart recovery notifications can be automated and sent out to customers who have abandoned their online shopping carts. But smaller businesses with only a small variety of product offerings will rarely have customers adding many items to their shopping cart, and thus have no need for such a feature.
It is essential that the features of your chosen pricing plan meet your existing business needs. Compare the differences between similarly priced plans from different website builder sites.
However, it is also important to take note of the advanced features that you will need in the future when your business grows. The pricing plans available should scale up with you – we want to avoid a situation of building a fresh new website with another website builder all over again when we grow into more complex business needs.
💡 Tip: Note that some specific website add-ons or plugins may incur additional cost and factor that into your consideration.
Different pricing plans also come with different limitations. Some basic plans will have a maximum cap of income that can be generated through your e-commerce website each year. Others will charge platform or processing fees by a fixed percentage in every transaction.
Other non-cost limitations may include a maximum number of product reviews, a maximum number of items you can list in your business catalog, or how many concurrent users can access your business account.
Generally, these plan limitations are removed as you upgrade your pricing plans.
Carefully read the website documentation and look up third-party website reviews to get a clearer sense of the specific limitations of every site’s pricing plans.
You will naturally upgrade your pricing plan as your business grows. What’s important is that you understand the shortcomings of each website’s pricing plans and anticipate when an upgrade is due.
Customer support and documentation
You’re going to need tech support at some point. 😥 The responsiveness of a platform’s customer support team can make all the difference between making a profit or loss if your website crashes one day.
Not every e-commerce website builder platform will have a 24/7 customer support team.
But what they must have is sufficient documentation, guides, and tutorials to help you troubleshoot and solve your website problems. These materials should be understandable to the regular person, and implementable without specific skills like coding.
So take your time to browse through their guides to troubleshoot common problems and see if you can understand them. Can you find an online community for the platform for support from fellow users? What are they saying on online forums and review sites about the platform’s customer support?
The point is to get a grasp of how the platform’s customer support will be like, and whether or not you find yourself being comfortable with the speed and amount of help available if you do encounter problems or questions for your e-commerce website.
Different user interfaces of website builders appeal to different kinds of users. The important thing is to find the one that you like best and that appeals to your customers.
Sign up for free plans or free trials to give the website builder a try – check out their template libraries and set up your main page. Compare the experiences of building a page between different sites and narrow down your choices.
Then, publish the sites and go through the payment process of purchasing a listed product – how’s the website experience from a customer’s point of view? Are there any problems that you simply cannot compromise on?
It’ll very likely be a long-term relationship with your chosen platform to build your e-commerce website. Find the user interface that is most intuitive to you! 😋
Familiar names like PayPal and Stripe are common online payment gateways, but some e-commerce websites also offer their own payment gateways.
Pay close attention to what payment gateways are available and note the differences in their transactional fees and credit card rates. Are these charges comfortable with you? There are platforms like Wix that offer commission-free business transactions.
Look beyond that and examine the benefits of these payment gateways on different sites. What advantages are there to a website’s organic payment gateways? For example, Shopify has Shopify Payments that feature an integrated back office to have a complete view of your business finances.
The best ever e-commerce website builders
EasyStore - Best versatility for Southeast Asia markets
EasyStore offers more than just a website builder for e-commerce in the Southeast Asia market — it strives to be an all-in-one sales solution on multiple sales channels.
This means that creating your e-commerce website with EasyStore paves the way to also sell on major social media platforms and major online sellers like Lazada and Shopee.
EasyStore’s Online Store has all the basic essentials needed to get started selling online. Custom domains, templates, analytic tools, SEO tools, and abandoned cart recovery gets new users easily started. Start with their free plan to build your website and get a good sense of how to use EasyStore.
Enjoy flexibility with EasyStore’s 100+ app plug-ins for your e-commerce website, multi-currency shopping cart, and set up your preferred shipping methods to reach your customers.
Its native mobile app also enables you to manage your orders, products, and customers all from your mobile device.
Take advantage of EasyStore’s marketing tools that include the ability to offer discount codes and vouchers, reward credits, blog and social media marketing, and even a referral program!
If you do decide to connect social media platforms and online sellers for your e-commerce business, EasyStore’s backend system syncs up your inventory management across all of these channels, including your website. This means that you can edit prices, add product variants, receive low stock alerts, and more, all from a single page!
😍Best thing about it: Great multi sales channel integration for Southeast Asia market.
🚨Worst thing about it: Limiting website builder for advanced users.
💳 Payment gateways: Stripe, PayPal, Braintree, GrabPay, FavePay, and more.
Shopify’s customer support stands out among its competitors. With 24/7 customer support and a live chat to instantaneously reach them, you’ll be assured to almost always find the help you need.
Even if it fails, Shopify has an extensive online forum where you can find help from fellow users, and a robust ‘help’ section with articles and guides to walk you through your setup and maintenance of your e-commerce website.
It’s easy to get started with their drag-and-drop website editor and template library. If you need more features, Shopify has their native app store to browse and add more apps to customize and boost your website.
Connect to social media and other online marketplaces to easily grow your audience and boost sales with Shopify’s integration with multiple sales channels.
New users will find themselves benefiting from the unlimited bandwidth, mobile optimization, marketing tools and SEO tools all built into Shopify. Other security features like SSL certification and fraud analysis helps to safeguard new users.
Learn more about your customers with Shopify’s analytics, customer accounts and customer profiles. Recover abandoned carts with ease and send emails to follow up with customers who’ve abandoned their shopping carts.
Easily organize your products with their inventory management feature – enjoy unlimited amounts of product listing and variations, including digital products.
Using its native payment gateway Shopify Payments charges a lower transaction fee than other payment gateways while having PCI-compliant secured transactions. Shopify Payments gives a comprehensive overview of your business finances
😍Best thing about it: World-class customer support.
🚨Worst thing about it: Edged towards using Shopify Payment to reduce transaction fees that start from 2% per transaction.
💳 Payment gateways: Shopify Payment, PayPal, Braintree, Amazon Pay, and more (depending on region).
Ready to wow your visitors with aesthetics, creativity, and great visuals?
Squarespace is the top choice for artists and creatives – making it easy to not just sell products, but also services, subscriptions, gift cards, and other digital assets. Artists and creatives will find Squarespace the optimal website builder that showcases their work portfolios online.
Beginner users will find the drag-and-drop editor friendly to use alongside Squarespace’s extensive template library.
Elements on your website can be easily linked to e-commerce features – direct visitors that click on a photo straight over to browse that product’s landing page.
Squarespace’s social media integrations make it a breeze to market and sell your products on platforms such as Instagram.
With its native analytics and SEO tools, you can easily check your site’s performance and make adjustments to boost your website and business performance.
Squarespace also features special areas of your website that you can limit to only to members – your e-commerce website can be more than just a selling platform, but also a space where special-access content can be uploaded for members subscribed to you.
😍Best thing about it: Great templates and a dedicated mobile app.
🚨Worst thing about it: Business Plan requires a 3% cut given to Squarespace for every transaction.
💳 Payment gateways: Stripe, PayPal, Google Pay, Apple Pay, and more.
Wix is one of the largest and most popular e-commerce website builders. Its reason for success? Wix offers everything that the regular e-commerce business needs, and offers it so well.
Its drag-and-drop editor is friendly to businesses of all sizes who may or may not have prior website experience and has over 800 website templates to get you easily started.
All 3 of its business pricing plans offer SSL secure payments, 1-year free domain, unlimited bandwidth, and 24/7 customer care. Other features that boost business performance like visitor analytics, unlimited listed products, and abandoned cart recovery are also included.
To garner the best traffic to your business website, Wix’s SEO tools are a huge standout feature for new and existing businesses alike. With websites that are mobile-optimized and integrations to sell on social media like Facebook and Instagram, Wix has a robust offering of platforms for you to reach your targeted audience.
All business owners should know that Wix does not charge any additional transaction or commission fees for every successful purchase from your customers. This is especially helpful for small businesses starting out their new e-commerce websites.
The higher-tiered pricing plans are simply the basic plans scaled up. Wix isn’t trying to get you to purchase the most expensive plans with more distinguishing features – upgrade your pricing plan because you find yourself organically growing into it, rather than being attracted to necessary or coveted features that are only available at higher tiers.
😍Best thing about it: No additional transaction/commission fees!
🚨Worst thing about it: Limiting for advanced users.
💳 Payment gateways: Wix Payments, Stripe, PayPal, pinwheel, Braintree, and more.
💰 Pricing: Business Basic: $17/month, Business Unlimited: $25/month, Business VIP: $35/month
There are many e-commerce website builders out there, but these top 5 platforms are the very best options out there that benchmark the industrial standard with their unique differentiating features!
If you’re growing your e-commerce business, don’t miss out on powerful synergies with communication channels like WhatsApp and Messenger to boost your customer engagement.