I’ll explain the top features, benefits, prices, and specific use-cases for each platform below. I’ll point out any potential downsides or drawbacks, as well.
I’ve also included the key factors to consider when selecting the ecommerce website builder that’s best for your needs.
Shopify – Best for Beginners
Shopify is one of the most popular ecommerce platforms out there. It is a true plug-and-play option for people looking to start an online store with minimal hassle.
We like it for beginners because Shopify is the best way to start on the right foot. You can sell as many products on as many channels as you like. There are no annoying limits or tradeoffs that you typically find with solutions as easy as Shopify.
In terms of designing your online store, Shopify offers more than 100 free and paid themes to choose from. Each theme has settings that allow you to customize everything to your liking. Add features and functionality to your store by installing apps from the Shopify App Store.
I like that all payments are handled directly through the platform. With the Shopify Payments gateway built-in to your plan, you won’t need to connect any third-party processors to accept payments. So, you can start selling immediately.
Keep in mind you can always use another payment gateway by choosing from one of the over 100 payment processors that integrate with Shopify.
All plans come with web hosting, unlimited email forwarding, unlimited bandwidth, and a content delivery network for optimal performance. You’ll also benefit from marketing and SEO tools, mobile optimization, and analytics.
Shopify offers 24/7 customer support via phone, email, and live chat.
With Shopify, you have the potential to set up dropshipping, customer accounts, target abandoned carts, and manage your shipping rates.
Basic Shopify – This plan costs $29 per month and has everything you need to set up an online business from scratch. You get critical features, including an online store, unlimited products, a sales channel, and abandoned cart recovery.
Shopify – This plan costs $79 per month and is ideal for expanding an existing store. You get three extra staff accounts and additional functionality like ecommerce automation and cheaper credit card and debit card rates. You also save more on third-party transaction fees if you choose a different payment processor.
Advanced – This plan costs $299 and provides all the enterprise features you need to scale your business. You get up to 15 staff accounts, up to eight inventory locations, and advanced reports. You also save more on credit and debit card fees and third-party payment processing fees.
Consult with a Shopify sales expert if you’re building a high-volume ecommerce shop and need an enterprise-level solution.
Wix – Best for Launching an Online Store in Minutes
Wix is one of the most popular website builders out there. The company has made the process of creating a site as easy and enjoyable as possible.
So it’s no surprise that their web store solution, Wix eCommerce, makes it every bit as easy to start selling online in no time.
Wix has grown in recent years by adding serious muscle to the ecommerce capabilities they offer users. Wix eCommerce is not just a store add-on to their regular site builder; it’s a complete integrated online business solution packing a full suite of impressive tools and features.
It’s very intuitive. Use one of the hundreds of templates available to quickly whip up your storefront. Just tweak the colors and add your logo to match your branding and then add your products.
Or, lean on the artificial intelligence of Wix’s ADI builder, which will create it all for you (in mere minutes) after you answer a few questions.
As long as you have an image in your mind of what you want, Wix get you there.
Wix is the shortest distance between having no store and launching a professional ecommerce site.
If you’re creating a new ecommerce site for the first time, the simplicity of Wix will make your life much easier. Its incredibly versatile platform is practically tailor-made for someone with no web development experience.
But just because Wix eCommerce is easy to use, that doesn’t mean it skimps on important features.
Every plan offers unlimited bandwidth for your web store, plus a free domain for one year and unlimited products.
You also get a generous $300 in digital ad vouchers so you can drum up awareness of your new online store. That’s $100 each for Google Ads, Bing Ads, and local listings.
It’s also worth noting that all online payments from your Wix store are 100% commission free. This is a huge benefit, as a lot of other ecommerce platforms take a cut from your revenue.
Wix eCommerce is jam-packed with features to help grow and nurture your web store.
You can track and manage orders, payments, inventory, conversion rates, and revenue with ease from the Wix dashboard. You’ll get the hang of it really quick.
And every ecommerce package allows you to sell subscriptions and implement pricing plans in addition to selling your products. You can even save the payments methods and delivery addresses of loyal customers to give them an easier checkout experience.
And speaking of customer checkout, Wix is serious about payment protection. Every Wix ecommerce site is compliant by default with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). The checkout process is secure for both merchants and buyers, and merchants can choose from 50+ secure payment providers.
Wix is also super reliable, with an uptime rate of 99.98 percent. That means no matter when your customers want to shop, your site will be up and open for business. And your site data is secure, too. Wix saves your site backup data across 20 data centers and backup servers in diverse locations.
We’re really just scratching the surface here. Wix eCommerce plans also include:
- Abandoned cart recovery
- Mobile optimization
- Wix chat
- 50+ payment methods
- Global shipping
- Coupons and discounts
- Restaurant features (online orders, reservations, menu)
- Tickets and event management
- Online appointment booking
- 24/7 site security monitoring and optimization
Wix’s SEO tools are another big standout. They allow you to optimize your website for mobile by creating an automatic mobile-friendly version of your website as you customize it. They also get your site listed on Google within 60 seconds.
Wix’s AppMarket provides more than 250 excellent apps from services like MailChimp, Quickbooks, and HubSpot to seamlessly integrate into your website. That way, you can take advantage of their offerings to grow your business.
Wix eCommerce pricing comes in three plans:
- Business Basic — $27/month
- Business Unlimited — $32/month
- Business VIP — $59 per month
Each tier adds more useful features to your web store’s arsenal, including support for multiple currencies, dropshipping tools, custom reporting, loyalty programs, and more.
There’s also an all-encompassing, fully custom Wix Enterprise plan that starts at $500 per month.
Wix does have cheaper plans, but they’re for personal or portfolio sites. If you want to accept online payments, the Business Basic plan is the lowest plan available that’ll work for your needs.
To save some money, you could always sign up for a free Wix plan without the ability to acce
pt online payments, build a personal website with Wix for no cost at all, then upgrade to a Wix eCommerce plan once you’re ready to start selling.If you’re not happy with Wix, you can always cancel within 14 days to get a full refund.
Zyro – Best for Simple Online Stores
Zyro offers an affordable way to launch a simple online store. There aren’t as many bells and whistles as some of our other recommendations, but for people looking for a cheap and easy way to start selling online, Zyro is perfect.
You don’t need any coding knowledge. You don’t need to switch back and forth between preview and edit mode. All you need is to move elements around until you have the exact layout you want.
You’ll also be able to promote and sell your products across websites like Instagram, Facebook, and Amazon.
There are a ton of different customizable themes across nine categories—so you can pick the perfect theme for your business.
One thing that sets Zyro apart from the competition is its powerful AI business tools. These tools leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning to help you create your brand identity using:
- Business name generator
- Slogan generator
- Logo maker
- AI content generator
- AI heatmap
The AI content generator will furnish SEO-friendly content for your website. That’s perfect for those who are new at writing copy for the web or anyone who might be a little nervous about their word choices.
Zyro prices and plans with the ability to build an online store are as follows:
- Business —from $3.59 per month
- Advanced Store —from $14.39 per month
Zyro does offer a cheaper Website plan, but that doesn’t come with the ecommerce features you need to sell online.
Recent updates to Zyro’s offerings include an email integration to have a dedicated email account associated with a domain, and blog post scheduling to make content management easier.
Simple, but powerful–that’s the appeal of Zyro. Everything you need and nothing you don’t
BigCommerce – Best Site Builder for Multichannel Selling
BigCommerce is a reputable and trustworthy ecommerce site builder.
It’s also very versatile. It has B2B-specific features like bulk pricing rates, quote management, customer groups, and custom price lists.
BigCommerce specializes in multichannel selling. Every plan comes with the ability to sell on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google Shopping, eBay, Amazon, and POS.
So for those of you who want to leverage omnichannel sales, BigCommerce should be at the top of your list.
The website builder itself is very intuitive and includes a drag-and-drop tool that makes creating the website easy.
BigCommerce is packed with lots of essential features right out of the box. Compared to other platforms on this list, it’s probably the most extensive feature list you’ll find.
But there’s a catch: It’s not the most beginner-friendly website builder. That’s because the extra features tend to make things more complex.
The platform is designed to help larger ecommerce sites scale quickly. So, if you’re just starting out, you’ll most likely be paying extra for features you won’t be using.
However, if you want the ability to have tons of ecommerce and website customization features at your disposal without paying extra for apps or extensions, BigCommerce is perfect for you.
All BigCommerce stores benefit from enterprise-level security and high uptime rates. You’ll also get 24/7 customer support via phone, live chat, and email.
Here’s a look at the price points for BigCommerce:
- Standard — $29.95
- Plus — $79.95
- Pro — $299.95
Save up to 10% on your subscription when you pay annually for Plus and Pro plans.
These rates are almost identical to Shopify. While Shopify is a bit easier to use, BigCommerce comes loaded with more features. So if you’re deciding between those two options, you’ll need to determine which features are the most important to you.
Squarespace – Highest Quality Ecommerce Templates
Squarespace offers ecommerce functionality built directly into its plans, which is not the case for most traditional website builders.
Perhaps the reason most people love them, though, is their beautiful and award-winning template designs.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned pro who loves to jump in and craft a website to your exact design specs or a complete beginner who just wants a fantastic looking website straight from a template.
Anyone can build a modern and visually appealing ecommerce store using Squarespace.
Every element of every page is easily customized using the intuitive and highly-responsive, drag-and-drop builder.
Squarespace has award-winning templates that are specifically designed for online stores. Whether you’re selling products, services, subscriptions, or digital goods, Squarespace has a solution.
The Squarespace mobile app allows you to manage and edit your website on the go. You can also use it as a POS solution, too.
Squarespace has built-in SEO tools, analytics, blogging tools, and everything else you need to make your online store a huge success.
There are hundreds of apps built-in to Squarespace. However, there is not an app store or marketplace for one-click installations. If you want to install a third-party app that’s not already built-in to Squarespace, you’ll need to use code to accomplish that.
Squarespace has four different plans, three of which have fully-integrated ecommerce capabilities:
- Personal — $14 per month
- Business — $23 per month
- Basic Commerce — $27 per month
- Advanced Commerce — $49 per month
Save up to 30% with an annual subscription.
Online selling starts with the Business plan, but I recommend the Basic Commerce option as the bare minimum for most people.
This option has 0% transaction fees, POS, ecommerce analytics, customer accounts, and other features you’ll want at your disposal once you start selling online. It’s well worth the extra $8 per month.
As your business scales and you want more advanced features, you can always upgrade to the Advanced Commerce plan. But you may not need that on day one if you’re starting a new store from scratch.