In the past, launching an eCommerce website was an expensive and time-consuming process, often requiring the expertise of a professional web developer and a significant financial investment. Business owners with limited budgets had little choice but to face the challenges that came with creating an online presence for their brand.
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Fortunately, the digital landscape has evolved dramatically in recent years. Today, eCommerce website builders have made it possible for entrepreneurs to establish and manage their online stores without breaking the bank. These powerful tools have leveled the playing field, allowing businesses of all sizes to compete in the thriving world of online commerce.
In this post, we will explore the best eCommerce website builders available in the market, enabling you to make an informed decision when choosing the right platform for your eCommerce business. Our comprehensive guide will provide valuable insights and help you navigate the exciting world of eCommerce with ease and confidence.
Let’s dive right in:
7 Best eCommerce website builders in 2023
Dukaan is a global commerce platform with one of the best eCommerce builders in the game. The platform is relatively new, however, using it feels like the team behind it has spent a lot of time observing the shortcomings of their competitors and creating a product that does everything that they don’t.
Using the Dukaan platform does not require any technical expertise. Dukaan’s eCommerce builder offers intuitive drag-and-drop functionality, access to a variety of highly customizable themes, and all the tools you will need to provide a delightful experience on your eCommerce website. You can get started with just your business name and product catalog ready.
Since Dukaan is a complete eCommerce solution and not just a builder, you can enjoy additional benefits such as integrations with over 40 unique plugins. You can use these plugins to easily get started with impactful marketing and conversion activities such as email marketing, pop-ups, abandoned cart recovery processes, and much more.
The best part is, Dukaan is one of the most affordable options on this list. The premium plans start at just $14.99/month, and there’s even a 7-day free trial that you can use to determine if Dukaan is the right platform for you.
Here are some of the most attractive features of the Dukaan platform:
- Drag-and-drop functionality: Build and customize your store, even if you don’t have any technical expertise.
- Multi-Device Website Management: Manage your website using smartphones, tablets, and personal/work computers.
- Business Analytics Dashboard: Track your store’s performance. Use this data to make optimization decisions to boost conversions on your store.
- Access To Additional Tools and Plugins: Additional tools and plugin integrations offered by the Dukaan platform make it easy for store owners to create a holistic and delightful website experience.
- Round-The-Clock Support: The Dukaan support team offers great support with prompt responses and quick solutions.
Wix started out as a regular website builder but later added limited eCommerce builder features to their platform. However, since 2020, the eCommerce builder features have been upgraded. These days, Wix offers powerful eCommerce features, including a drag-and-drop builder and support for domain registration and hosting.
If you have used Wix to build a non-eCommerce website, you may already be familiar with how great their drag-and-drop builder functions are. Beyond their intuitive website builder, Wix also offers additional eCommerce-relevant features like customizable themes and the ability to build abandoned cart recovery campaigns (among others).
While Wix does not offer a free trial, you can get started with building your store at no cost. However, to bring it online and start selling, you will be required to pay for a premium plan. With eCommerce plans starting at $23 per month (charged annually), Wix is one of the more expensive options on our list.
Wix is a good option for first-time store owners that plan on selling a limited number of products. You may find the Wix platform lacking if you have a large product catalog and a big inventory. Many stores built on Wix report using third-party inventory management tools, as Wix’s inventory management dashboard lacks some important features such as low stock alerts.
Some salient features of Wix eCommerce include:
- Drag-And-Drop Builder: One of the best website builders in the game, Wix eCommerce is known to be intuitive and easy to use, even for beginners.
- Large Variety Of Templates: Use these customizable templates to make sure your store looks unlike any other.
- Integrations: Wix eCommerce integrates with social media and other channels to help you sell on platforms beyond your online store.
- SEO Optimization: Wix offers free SEO optimization recommendations. Use them to boost your store’s performance on organic search.
Ecwid is a great option if you are on a budget, as the platform lets you start selling for free. The catch? You can only sell up to 10 products with the free plan. However, this is usually good enough for first-time store owners.
If yours is a non-profit organization, Ecwid will also give you free access to their basic premium plan, “Venture,” for six months. This plan is otherwise priced at $15 per month and lets you use Ecwid to sell up to 100 products. The most expensive plan offered by Ecwid allows users to create a smartphone app based on their store at no additional charge.
While Ecwid can allow you to create your own store, you can only create a one-page website. If you are planning on building a one-product store, this might be a good choice.
However, Ecwid is a better choice for those who already have a website and want to add eCommerce functionality to it. The tool offers access to over 70 highly customizable themes, along with access to an App Marketplace. The marketplace features apps and plugins that can be used to maximize the functionality of any store. So if you have a website built on Wix or Squarespace, or WordPress, Ecwid can help you turn it into an eCommerce powerhouse.
Some of the more notable features of Ecwid include:
- No Transaction Charge: Unlike many of its competitors, Ecwid does not charge a transaction fee from its users.
- Free Plan: The free plan that allows users to sell up to 10 products can prove beneficial for store owners operating on a shoestring budget.
- Custom App: Sign up for the “Unlimited” plan, and Ecwid will provide you with a custom app for your store that you can make available on iOS and Android devices. Please note that this feature/benefit is only available if you pay for the Unlimited plan annually.
BigCommerce is one of the most well-known names on this list and for good reason. The platform is responsible for powering some of the biggest eCommerce brands today, including (but not limited to) Nokia, Skullcandy, and Toyota.
BigCommerce offers two types of plans, named BigCommerce Essentials (for beginners) and BigCommerce Enterprise (for enterprises). The enterprise plan offers a customized experience for large store owners. You can choose from one of the three BigCommerce Essentials plans if you are a small business owner. Starting at $29.95 per month, BigCommerce is not cheap by any measure.
However, the premium users pay to get access to the platform’s expertise gained by powering thousands of eCommerce stores to date. The BigCommerce interface is designed to literally walk users through building an online store.
It will tell you exactly what steps you need to take, much like a tutorial to building your first store. The platform will even recommend relevant tools and plugins. These recommendations are customized to your store and the products you are offering.
The major downside of using BigCommerce is the revenue caps enforced by their system. If you are subscribed to the most basic plan and your store is thriving, and your revenue numbers cross the revenue limit, you will be asked to pay extra. The only alternative to this is to upgrade to a more expensive plan with a higher revenue limit.
Here’s a list of some of the best features offered by BigCommerce:
- Cross-Channel Commerce: This feature allows users to sell products on online marketplaces, including Amazon.
- No Transaction Fee: Users can sell products without having to worry about transaction fees.
WooCommerce isn’t an eCommerce platform or a standalone eCommerce store builder. Instead, it is an open-source plugin for WordPress websites. Any WordPress website can be turned into an eCommerce store using the WooCommerce Checkout plugin.
WooCommerce makes it easy to add products to your website and offers a host of additional eCommerce features. Some examples include inventory management, a tax calculator, payment tools, and even a number of shipping integrations.
Since this popular plugin is built for WordPress, it can be combined with other plugins to boost the eCommerce functionality of your website. In fact, there are a number of plugins on the WordPress marketplace that are specifically designed to be used with WooCommerce.
The open-source plugin is supported by a strong community with more than 350 contributors and thousands of members. Moreover, with a little technical knowledge, you can use the open-source tool to further upgrade the experience of your store and make it stand out.
That said, if you are a complete beginner, you may find working with WooCommerce a little difficult. Since it works only with WordPress, you may have to learn to use that platform before you can even begin working on your store. It is also worth noting that there is no official support team behind WooCommerce.
Unlike with a dedicated support team, you may not find instant resolutions to your problems. If you get stuck somewhere, you will have to depend on the community to help you.
Some of the most remarkable features of WooCommerce include:
- Great For WordPress Websites: Since WooCommerce is designed for WordPress, it works seamlessly with WordPress websites. It also integrates well with the tools and other plugins in the WordPress ecosystem.
- Ability To Create Customer And Administrator Accounts: Such a feature is great for enabling team collaboration and securing return customers.
- Complete Control Over Customer Data: WooCommerce provides you with all your customer data in one place, without giving any access to any third-party apps without your permission.
The Shopify store builder makes it easy to build a store, and the CMS features make it a breeze to manage even bigger stores that feature thousands of products. The CMS allows users to build a database of their products and use links to quickly find and cross-reference them whenever needed.
It is used by well over 3 million online sellers of different sizes. Shopify’s biggest advantage is its ecosystem. While the platform itself only offers nine customizable themes and other basic features to start a store, it has a thriving marketplace that offers hundreds of customizable themes and useful tools. That’s not all; you can find a number of third-party marketplaces that offer many more tools and themes.
While this thriving ecosystem of themes and tools is a great advantage, it comes at an extra cost, over and above what you pay for the basic Shopify services. At $29 per month for the basic plan, Shopify is one of the more pricey options on this list.
There are a couple of other disadvantages of using too many third party plugins. For one, too many plugins can slow down your website’s speed, degrading the overall user experience. This can potentially affect your conversion rates.
Then there’s also the matter of learning to use multiple tools just to be able to ensure your store functions the way you want it to. Thankfully, there are a number of Shopify alternatives that offer a more holistic solution at a more affordable price.
Here are some of the most impressive features of Shopify:
- Thriving Ecosystem: With Shopify, you get access to thousands of themes and tools custom-built for the platform.
- Complete Access To Underlying Code: Shopify enables complete access to the underlying HTML and CSS of your store. This means you can customize your store to truly stand out from the crowd.
- Advanced POS System: This tool is great for those who also have a physical store. The Shopify POS connects your physical and digital stores.
- Unlimited Bandwidth: Like many top eCommerce platforms, Shopify does not charge its users on the basis of the amount of traffic they attract.
Squarespace is another website builder turned eCommerce platform, just like Wix. This means that the eCommerce features available on the platform are relatively new and may involve a slight learning curve. In other words, Squarespace is a great option for you if you are already familiar with the process of building a store.
Squarespace is especially revered for the beautiful themes it offers. However, while the designs are truly high quality, some may feel restricted by the limited number of options.
That said, since Squarespace has been in the business of building websites for some time, their drag-and-drop builder works remarkably well. It may be one of the best builders out there.
With its “Commerce Advance” plan, users can sell gift cards and subscriptions. While these are great features, at $49 per month, they may be a little too expensive for many store owners.
Squarespace also offers some powerful in-built features like merchandising and shipping management. However, there are no third-party themes or apps available for Squarespace stores. While some may view it as a bad thing, others may find it refreshing to pay just one platform for all their online store needs.
Here are some of the best features of Squarespace:
- Well-Designed Templates: Squarespace offers some of the best eCommerce templates on the web.
- What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) Editor: The editor makes it easy to build websites and visualize pages before they are made live for potential customers.
- Powerful Email Marketing Features: Automate your email marketing with ease and secure more sales and repeat customers.
There are a number of other good tools that this list does not cover. However, we have covered the best ones out there. This should make it easy to narrow down your choices and pick a website builder that suits your unique needs.
While all builders on this list offer some really attractive features, they all have their pros and cons. Thankfully, most of them offer free trials that you can use to determine which platform offers the most relevant set of features.
Guest Author: Piyush Shah is an affiliate marketer and SEO wizard who has contributed to major publications like Hubspot and G2 and heading SEO for Dukaan. With over $10M in affiliate sales for Amazon, he’s an e-commerce expert. In his free time, he’s also a talented ghost music producer for Bollywood, bringing his creativity and passion to the entertainment industry. Follow him on Twitter & Linkedin.