5 Best Ecommerce Website Builders in 2019

5 Best Ecommerce Website Builders in 2019 - BigCommerce

The UK ecommerce market is the world’s third-largest e-retail market, and it’s projected to have 66.7 million users by 2023, while the average revenue per user currently stands at approximately £1,100. One of the trends in online shopping is the phenomenon of hosted ecommerce platforms. Some of the best ecommerce website builders you’ve probably heard of are BigCommerce and Shopify, among other platforms.

Now, these platforms fall into the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) category, and compared to on-premise solutions, they are far more cost-efficient. According to Forrester, the leading marketing research agency, in comparison with on-premise solutions, hosted ecommerce solutions can decrease your online store budget by 80%. In simple words, building an online store with a hosted ecommerce platform eliminates the cost of software updates and hiring a technical staff for on-premise ecommerce solutions, while cutting down the design costs by half at the same time.

In order to find the best ecommerce website builders, we took various criteria into account including cost, ease of use, and the most prominent features these ecommerce solutions offer. So stay with us to find out what the top five ecommerce websites in 2019 are.

BigCommerce

5 Best Ecommerce Website Builders in 2019 - BigCommerce

Free Plan/Trial: 15-day free trial

Ease of Use

BigCommerce is an ecommerce platform that features intuitive navigation and a user-friendly dashboard. However, when compared to other e-retail solutions, BigCommerce might not be the most straightforward platform out there, mostly due to the wealth of features it offers. Exploring these features takes time, but considering that with the BigCommerce ecommerce website builder you can start a profitable online business without technical knowledge, it might be well worth your time.

Features

Apart from offering a 99.99% uptime and incredible site speed via the Google Cloud Platform’s infrastructure, BigCommerce also made sure that digital merchants can have a fully functional online store with their basic plan. The ecommerce giant lets merchants add an unlimited number of products to their store, which can be used alongside the powerful promotions tools that support over 70 coupon and discount options.

Another big plus for the BigCommerce ecommerce website builder is its faceted search, which allows online shoppers to find products quickly. Moreover, this feature doesn’t require third-party integration, as it’s built into the BigCommerce default shopping system – along with a myriad of other functionalities that with other ecommerce solutions require apps and plugins.

With BigCommerce, online merchants can simplify the checkout process via the Stored Credit Cards feature that remembers and safely stores customers’ credit card details. Plus, the ecommerce platform supports numerous payment gateways, which simplifies the shopping process even further.

Lastly, one of the prominent features of this ecommerce solution, commonly found in the best ecommerce website builders, is the multichannel sales feature. After setting up a store with BigCommerce, you can list it on Facebook, Pinterest, as well as Amazon, and many other marketplaces. With the option of syncing your inventory, you can track your multichannel listings from the BigCommerce dashboard, and reap the benefits in the form of increased sales.

Pros
  •         Unlimited products and bandwidth
  •         A wealth of built-in functionalities
  •         Abandoned Cart Saver and Customer Reviews features
  •         Compatible with mobile devices
  •         Real-time shipping rates
  •         Excellent SEO tools
  •         No transaction fees
  •         24/7 support

 

Cons
  •         Premium themes start at $170
  •         Annual sales limit

Verdict

All in all, the BigCommerce ecommerce website builder is an excellent ecommerce solution that equips its users with everything they need to launch an online store and expand their businesses by diving into the multichannel sales waters with just a few simple clicks. Having a comprehensive set of built-in marketing and SEO software tools is a big plus, in addition to the cross-platform compatibility of BigCommerce stores.

On the other hand, the lack of a more affordable standard plan and the annual sales limit requiring users to upgrade their plans may be a deal-breaker for some. Additionally, those who were hoping to build an ecommerce website free of charge or at a low price might find BigCommerce’s plans a bit pricey. Then again, you can always try out this platform and decide on whether BigCommerce is the right ecommerce platform for you.

Try Bigcommerce

Wix.com

5 Best Ecommerce Website Builders in 2019 - Wix Stores

Free Plan/Trial: 14-day free trial

Ease of Use

Wix has been known in the website-building arena as one of the simplest tools for creating sites. Creating or adding an online store to your site is no different than creating a non-ecommerce site. You can see how the changes you make to your storefront will look once your online store is live thanks to the WYSIWYG editor you’ll find on the Wix.com ecommerce website builder.

This ecommerce solution is beginner-friendly, so setting up your store comes down to dragging and dropping the site elements you want to appear on webpages while configuring your store. Wix Stores deserves extra points for user-friendliness and its intuitive interface.

Features

With the Wix ecommerce solution, you choose from 83 stunning templates from the Online Store category and make your virtual shop stand out from the competition. Apart from your store’s design, you can easily add/edit products and collections – regardless of whether these are digital items or physical goods. Wix lets you sell any type of product, and if you upgrade your online store to a Premium plan, there’s no limit on the number of products you can add to your store.

Apart from these features, the Wix.com ecommerce website builder offers various discount tools, as well as the option of creating accounts for your customers. When it comes to built-in features, Wix supports the product zoom function and price controls for creating shipping and tax rules. Its comprehensive collection of apps also adds more functionality to your online store with contact forms, live chat options, etc.

Pros
  •         Affordable ecommerce plans
  •         Easy-to-use ecommerce solution
  •         A wealth of beautiful store templates
  •         No sales fees
  •         Variety of payment methods
  •         Built-in SEO tools
  •         Customer accounts
  •         Native mobile apps
Cons
  •         Includes basic ecommerce tools only
  •         No Abandoned Cart Recovery feature
  •         No option for selling on social media channels
  •         Real-time shipping rates available to US merchants only
  •         Limited customer support hours

Verdict

Looking at the Wix.com ecommerce website builder as a whole, the platform does a decent job of helping digital merchants set up an online store at an affordable price. The Wix App Marketplace compensates for the lack of built-in functionalities available with Wix Stores. This ecommerce solution is ideal for small and medium-size businesses that need basic ecommerce tools.

However, the lack of an advanced ecommerce toolsets can be a bit of a letdown for merchants looking for an all-inclusive ecommerce platform. Some of the features we’d like to see available in the future include the option of selling across multiple channels, as well as a built-in search box and dropshipping functionalities. Still, if the features you expect in the best ecommerce website builders include the option of creating a simple online store with an attractive storefront design, Wix Stores might be a perfect match for your online business.

Try Wix

Weebly

5 Best Ecommerce Website Builders in 2019 - Weebly

Free Plan/Trial: No free trial/ 30-day money back guarantee only

Ease of Use

Much like its competitor Wix, Weebly is also an ecommerce website builder that allows beginners to create an online store in no time. The simplicity of the Weebly ecommerce website builder allows digital merchants to design their storefront according to their preferences and without hiring technical staff. The platform features a drag-and-drop editor that’s quite intuitive. So if you’ve just entered the ecommerce waters, and you’re still learning about selling online, Weebly is probably your best bet for building a store with ease.

Features

One of the characteristics that the best ecommerce website builders should offer is the option of adding unlimited products, as well as having unlimited storage. Weebly fills out these two criteria with two of its three premium plans – with the Pro Plan, digital merchants can only have 25 products in their store.

When it comes to designing features, the ecommerce platform can compete with other ecommerce giants offering a vast selection of online store templates. You can easily edit any of these templates, and give your online store the look you had in mind.

The Weebly ecommerce website builder also offers a lot of options as far as product presentation goes. The zoom function, videos, and slideshows available with Weebly’s ecommerce product will help you showcase your products in an entertaining and transparent manner. You can also add up to 250 product variants. A search box is available too, and depending on your plan, you should have the option of adding it to multiple pages on your site.

Another notable feature of Weebly’s ecommerce product is the platform’s in-house shopping cart solution, which is automatically set up. The Weebly ecommerce website builder also provides options for creating coupons, displaying customer reviews and managing your inventory with advanced inventory tools. Unfortunately, the automatic tax calculator is available to US merchants only, which we hope is something that will change soon.

Pros
  •         Affordable ecommerce plans
  •         Simple and intuitive ecommerce platform
  •         Attractive template designs
  •         Optimised for mobile devices
  •         Powerful email marketing service (with Business Plus)
  •         Numerous apps in the App Center
  •         Easy to implement SEO tools
  •         Dedicated iOS and Android apps
Cons
  •         No option to sell across multiple channels
  •         Pro Plan includes a 3% transaction fee
  •         Only three payment gateways supported
  •         Customer service not available at all times

Verdict

Here are our final thoughts on using the Weebly ecommerce website builder. Weebly is a solid choice for anyone who wants a user-friendly store builder with great templates. The ecommerce functionalities, however, only cover the basics. So if you’re looking for more advanced ecommerce tools, you should probably consider Weebly alternatives such as BigCommerce or Shopify.

Try Weebly

Shopify

5 Best Ecommerce Website Builders in 2019 - Shopify

Free Plan/Trial: 14-day free trial

Ease of Use

You’ll find a clean and simple user interface with the Shopify ecommerce website builder. The left-side menu features the most important sections of an online store, including Orders, Discounts, Products, and Marketing Tools, among other features. So everything you need to launch a Shopify store is just a few clicks away. If there’s anything that might confuse you, there are plenty of helpful resources about everything related to Shopify.

Features

One of the things we like about Shopify is how suitable it is for both small businesses and large corporations. In addition to offering digital merchants a vast array of templates (170+), Shopify also has quite a bit to offer when it comes to online selling, starting with the option of adding an unlimited number of products.

Apart from unlimited products, the Shopify ecommerce website builder also supports selling across multiple sales channels, and it includes product zoom and abandoned cart recovery functionalities. With the Basic Shopify plan, digital sellers can also create orders manually and offer discount codes to increase conversion rates. Products-wise, Shopify allows merchants to create up to 3 product options and 100 product variants. Additionally, you can import/export your store’s inventory in a CSV file.

A Shopify feature worth mentioning is its Fraud Analysis, which helps identify fraudulent orders by using different criteria (the number of payment attempts, IP address details, etc.). The list of payment providers the Shopify ecommerce website builder works with is quite extensive (100+ payment options), which is another plus for the ecommerce platform. Online sellers can create member accounts, as well as manage their online store on the go with the Shopify mobile app.

Pros
  •         Easy-to-use ecommerce solution
  •         Fast and secure ecommerce platform
  •         Unlimited products
  •         100+ payment options available
  •         Responsive and beautiful store themes
  •         Dropshipping available via apps
  •         1,200 apps in the Shopify App Store
  •         Customer support available 24/7
  •         Dedicated iOS and Android apps
Cons
  •         0.5%–2% transaction fees
  •         Only 3 product options available
  •         The blogging system somewhat complicated

Verdict

So should you use the Shopify ecommerce website builder to set up your online store? If you want a fast and secure ecommerce platform with a comprehensive set of ecommerce tools, the answer is yes. The Shopify app store, featuring more than 1,200 apps, might play a deciding factor in choosing this platform over others. If there’s an ecommerce functionality Shopify doesn’t offer by default, the chances are you’ll be able to add that functionality via an app. If, on the other hand, the transition fees and pricing plans are too high for you, Wix or Weebly might be good alternatives to Shopify.

Squarespace

5 Best Ecommerce Website Builders in 2019 - Squarespace

Free Plan/Trial: 14-day free trial

Ease of Use

Squarespace is our final candidate for the best ecommerce website builder for 2019. This year marked 16 years since this ecommerce platform was first launched, telling us the company is doing something right in the competitive ecommerce market. It certainly provides its users with an easy-to-use ecommerce solution. The WYSIWYG editor allows you to see all the changes you make as you’re making them. In simple words, you have a convenient live preview of your site at all times.

While you don’t need technical knowledge to get a grasp of Squarespace’s online store builder, be patient, as there’s a small learning curve to mastering this platform. However, once you spend enough time on Squarespace, all the pieces will start coming together, and you’ll be able to experiment with your online store confidently using Squarespace’s clean and intuitive interface. Then again, we can’t compare the Squarespace ecommerce website builder with Wix or Weebly, as the latter solutions are significantly easier to use.

Features

One of the features separating Squarespace from its competitors is its elegant storefront designs. The store builder’s templates accentuate images, which is a huge plus considering that you’ll want to add images to your products. Additionally, Squarespace templates are compatible with mobile devices, so you won’t have to worry about whether mobile shoppers will be able to access your online store.

To help you set up your online store, Squarespace gives you the option of adding an unlimited number of products, and it doesn’t add any transaction fees (with the platform’s online store plans). When it comes to ecommerce apps, the Squarespace ecommerce website builder doesn’t rely on third-party apps all that much, but rather it provides built-in ecommerce tools. One of these is the Squarespace Inventory Management tool. Using it, digital sellers can easily add/edit products and prices, keep an eye on stock levels and manage product variants and options.

Payment-wise, digital sellers can accept payments via PayPal, Stripe, and Apple Pay. The option of creating membership systems is available too. The Advanced plan features can add even more ecommerce functionalities to an online store, including gift cards, discounts, and abandoned cart autorecovery. When it comes to integrations, merchants who use the Squarespace ecommerce website builder can rely on Xero for accounting services and ShipStation for printing labels.

Pros
  •         Professional and modern store templates
  •         Unlimited products
  •         Advanced analytics tools
  •         Powerful inventory management tools
  •         Automated emails via Mailchimp
  •         Secure ecommerce platform
Cons
  •         A limited number of payment methods
  •         Few free templates
  •         No app market
  •         Social selling limited to Instagram
  •         Live chat not available at all times

Verdict

Considering all the Squarespace ecommerce website builder tools, it’s up to you to decide whether this platform is where you want to start your online store. This ecommerce solution offers high-quality templates for online stores, there are no transaction fees on online store plans, and the choice of ecommerce tools is solid.

However, if you’re looking for a more comprehensive ecommerce toolset or an ecommerce solution that offers numerous apps and integrations to add to your store’s functionality, you might want to consider other ecommerce options.

One Last Thing

Before we wrap all up, we checked various sources in search of the best ecommerce website builder in the UK. Digital shoppers, according to Built With, mostly rely on Shopify, followed by Squarespace and Wix. Shopify’s Lite plan is one of the top reasons for the platform’s high popularity among UK digital sellers. It’s one of the most affordable ones on the ecommerce market that allows merchants to sell without an online store.

Not everyone wants to shell out about £270 (the annual price for BigCommerce’s Standard plan) to get their business up and running. Then again, that investment might be inevitable to get all the ecommerce tools your store needs. But there’s no one solution for all, which is why we’ve created this list of the best ecommerce website builders. Some online sellers might just need the Shopify Lite plan, for example, while other merchants will opt for BigCommerce’s less affordable plan. At the end of the day, you decide which ecommerce solution will work best for your online business.

To Sum Everything Up

In conclusion, this has been our selection of the top ecommerce website builders. If we had to choose the single most prominent feature for each of these ecommerce platforms, it would look like this:

  •         BigCommerce: a comprehensive set of built-in ecommerce tools
  •         Wix: an incredibly easy way to set up an online store
  •         Shopify: extensive list of payment providers available (100+)
  •         Squarespace: stunning storefront designs
  •         Weebly: affordable ecommerce solution for creating a fully functional store

We cannot create an ecommerce Frankenstein, of course. So test each of the platforms, and decide which of the best ecommerce website builders ticks off the largest number of features you want your online store to have. Decide on your budget, and you’re ready to start!

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