Online Store Builder. If you are planning to run an eCommerce store, you, probably, search for a proper online store builder and, more likely, have already gone through dozens of options. In the beginning, it’s so easy to go nuts because the choice of builders is indeed huge. Which one to pick up? Do I really need any?
These and more questions, probably, appear in your head and, in this article, you will find the answers!
Apart from that, you will find out about:
As you see, we have a lot to do, so let’s not waste the time because time is money : )
Many technical issues will appear immediately before the onset of the big business. Since a website is a storefront, the main channel of communication between you and the customers, an office, a platform for all technical, organizational, and financial stories, it’s going to be one of the biggest concerns.
The importance of the modern user-friendly website that works without bugs is undeniable. In a globally competitive environment, no other option is possible.
Many questions appear when you start puzzling over the way to build a website. You can either build it yourself or hire specialists. “I’d build it myself and save money but I have no coding skills and find this way extremely time-consuming” you might point out, sighing.
In this case, an online store builder comes in handy because:
Long story short, an online store builder is useful when you are:
You definitely fall into one of these categories, so, the answer to the question whether you really need an online store builder is: “It depends but it indeed helps to facilitate the process, plus, save time and money” : )
Now, let’s see which options do you have.
Wix vs Shopify – which one to pick up? Wait, there are dozens of Shopify competitors and it’s so easy to get lost!
In this part, we will consider 5 on-trend user-friendly online store builders with the greatest features. But before let’s go quickly through some interesting statistics.
So, considering eCommerce usage distribution in the top 1 million sites, we see that WooCommerce, Shopify, and Magento occupy leadership positions with such market shares as:
On the one hand, there are still at least 45% of the top 1 million websites using other software. On another hand, in comparison to the enormous number of other options, these three giants hold huge shares, so, they must definitely offer something worthy.
Let’s check it out!
|subscription-based service||a plugin (WordPress add-on) that requires a server||subscription-based service||subscription-based service||a stand-alone software + a subscription service|
|subdomain + hosting + an opportunity to pick up a domain name||subdomain + hosting depend on the already existing WordPress website||subdomain + hosting + an opportunity to pick up a domain name||subdomain + hosting + free custom domain name/an opportunity to connect own one||subdomain + hosting + an opportunity to pick up a domain name|
|product + order management features||product + order management features||product + order management features||product + order management features||product + order management features + shipping charges|
|100+ payment getaways||100+ payment getaways||multiple payment getaways||multiple payment getaways||60+ payment getaways|
|basic customer management||basic customer management through third-party plugins||basic customer management||basic customer management||customer management through groups and communities|
|1,200+ apps and 100+ themes||thousands of third-party themes (free & paid)||100+ professional themes||260+ apps and 500+ themes||470+ apps and 7 free & 80+ paid themes|
|mobile-friendly + an opportunity to edit CSS, HTML||mobile-friendly to the extent allowed by the theme||mobile-friendly||mobile-friendly||mobile-optimized|
|unlimited number of products and bandwidth||bandwidth depends on the host||unlimited bandwidth||20GB storage and unlimited bandwidth||unlimited number of products and bandwidth|
|discounts, gift cards, and coupon codes||discounts + coupon codes||discounts + coupon codes||discounts + coupon codes||discounts + coupon codes|
|2.9%+$0.30 transaction fee + a 14-day no-risk free trial to all new users /2% for own getaway||2,9% + $0.30 transaction fee (first $50,000 is free)||no transaction fee||2,9% + $0.30 transaction fee for the USA/1.9% + €0.3 for Europe||2.9% + $0.30 transaction fee|
|email, live chat & phone support||ticket support but a large community worldwide||a large knowledge base on the website (tutorials, forums) but no chat, email, or phone support||email & phone support||chat, email, and phone support|
|small to large eCommerce stores||WordPress users, who want to switch to eCommerce||small to large eCommerce stores||Wix users, who want to switch to eCommerce||small to large eCommerce stores|
In reality, the question of suitability remains open because this issue is super individual and depends on what eCommerce store owners expect from the online store builder.
Although all builders offer more or less the same basic set of features, there is an obvious discrepancy in the details that might play a decisive role exactly for your store.
For instance, absolute beginners and non-techies might look for the option with 24/7 support only. Then, WooCommerce automatically becomes less attractive. People planning to sell the goods on the go or in a brick-and-mortar store will find Shopify or BigCommerce an optimal solution due to the POS (point of sale) system that doesn’t require any additional tools or machinery for this purpose. Those, who need advanced reports on sales and store activity, will check out BigCommerce and Magento first of all as they offer in-depth reports and great analytics modules.
In this case, such inquires as “Shopify vs Wix” or “Shopify vs WooCommerce” make sense.
Another moment to consider is store design. A website is a storefront and its role lies in attracting customers.
Designs in Shopify are classy and top-notch. You will find 8 free and 64 paid solutions (from $160 to $180) with thoroughly designed complex designs and customizable page elements.
So, those, who look for something sophisticated, will find something indeed worthy over there.
There is no such thing as WooCommerce design because the plugin just adds eCommerce functionality to the WordPress website, which is simultaneously an advantage and a disadvantage.
You don’t have to go through much of the technical hassle and that’s good. Unfortunately, some things might not function the way you expected them to and, in some cases, you have to change the theme to activate some eCommerce functionality.
Still, there are thousands of WooCommerce compatible themes. So, finding one won’t be a big deal : )
Without a doubt, Magento vs Shopify loses when it comes to designs. The official marketplace offers 17 themes that anyway don’t look that stunning and professional.
It turns out that along with software, you get a tiny headache that hits when you are puzzling over the resources with themes. Still, there is a fast-acting medicine called third-party marketplaces that contain dozens of worthy options for Magento (from $68 to $362).
Though the choice is noticeably less, it’s still possible to find a high-quality modern theme.
Considering BigCommerce vs Shopify, you won’t notice much of the difference in terms of design. BigCommerce offers indeed top-notch and thoroughly created themes in various styles with editable elements. Adjusting the theme’s style is quite flexible and is possible in a matter of clicks.
Besides, BigCommerce vs Shopify has more free themes, namely 12. The paid ones are quite expensive – from $150 to $300.
Wix claims to have 500+ pre-made templates but only around 100 of them are eCommerce-ready. Still, even this number might be enough to find a suitable template because they are indeed classy and first-rate.
Besides, you can pick up a template and add eCommerce functionality via add-ons or access code within Dev Mode and make direct edits there. Non-techies will enjoy using Wix visual drag-and-drop builder with intuitive navigation.
Another cool thing about Wix is a big number of niche-templates, for instance, for T-shirts or smartphone stores.
Now, let’s wrap up the question of designs:
Besides these on-trend online store builders there are so many options left to consider, so, let’s run quickly through a couple of them!
Apparently, Shopify is being compared with hundreds of its competitors, so, let’s watch the battle!
Etsy vs Shopify is a marketplace where you sell goods among other sellers, instead of creating a very own store. Etsy isn’t an online store builder – it’s an existing eCommerce website like Amazon or eBay. Instead of creating a website, you create an account and start selling.
The pros of Etsy vs Shopify:
…that are quite high. So, let’s consider the cons of Etsy vs Shopify:
The bottom line:
Etsy is good for selling creative stuff. It’s also awesome if you want to start fast. But its weak sides are high fees (that do matter as the number of items grows) and impossibility to create a strong unique brand.
Comparing Shopify vs Squarespace, it’s so easy to make a verdict because Shopify wins in many categories but Squarespace also has a couple of pros:
Still, Squarespace vs Shopify comes with a solid number of cons:
The bottom line:
Squarespace vs Shopify is losing objectively. But more than 3 million websites still use it, so, let’s not write it off.
Ecwid vs Shopify is a very different eCommerce tool as its a plugin. It’s particularly suitable for those, who just want to add a bit of eCommerce to the website and it indeed has some pros:
Sounds too good to be true? Let’s add a fly in the ointment:
The bottom line:
Ecwid vs Shopify loses but it’s still okay for small and simple stores : )
Let’s assume that you’ve already decided on:
That’s a so-called skeleton of the store and once you thought through the fundamental organizational stuff, you can move to the technical part – creating a website.
So, we’ve already figured out that creating a store with an online store builder is fast, stress-free, and cost-effective. Let’s also assume that you chose a builder and even downloaded it.
Now, register the domain name that will cost you from $10 to $20 per year. It’s possible within:
So, you have an idea of your online store and you even registered a domain name. What’s next?
Next, you will create a website. First, choose a template: go to the marketplace with templates for the chosen builder (let’s say WooCommerce) > browse the solutions > purchase/download it > go to the Elementor Page Builder. The template will appear on the dashboard.
How to choose the right template? At least, answer to the questions:
The answers will help to filter out unsuitable variants and focus on the potentially right solutions.
Next, comes customization of the template. With a modern online store builder, it’s not going to be a big deal. Making changes is possible within mouse clicks due to the drag-and-drop nature. Still, even direct edits of code are possible with Shopify or Wix, for instance.
So, it’s about your flights of imagination that bring the idea of a perfect online store to life. You can pick up a premade page template, change the layout, page elements, color scheme, add text, images, widgets, web forms, listings, banners, whatever you find useful.
The skeleton of the store is ready, you empowered it with muscles and blood, so, it looks better but just like a body won’t function without organs, an online store is impossible to imagine without products. So, now, let’s add some.
With an online store builder, you take control over the product pages, so, do whatever you think looks good and is convenient but don’t forget about vital information:
Here is an example of a detailed user-oriented description:
Here are a couple of stunning examples of the eCommerce stores built with different software:
As you see, lots of things should be considered while creating an online store but even more work should be done to create a top-notch website like one of the aforementioned. Despite the ease of use of the online store builder, it’s not always possible to reach a breathtaking result because of the lack of experience or time.
In such cases, professional setup services come in handy indeed! For instance, the Online Store Setup Services from TemplateMonster is an ultimate solution to get an online store created and set up hassle-free by the web designers with 15+ years of experience.
After the order is approved, a project manager collects information about the store (style, shipping and payment methods, currencies, and other details) and conveys it to web designers.
Within 1 to 5 business days (depending on the package), the team presents the result to review. If the website requires any changes, they will be made as stated.
Doesn’t it sound awesome to have a full-fledged web store done within a couple of days by the experienced pros?
Four plans differ depending on the services, ETA, and an eCommerce platform:
The price also differs depending on the package – from $99 to $579 (at the moment of writing).
“Do I really need this service?” you might ask and your doubts are justified because apart from that you’ve already faced some expenses.
Still, if you have never:
Moreover, if you don’t have much time or have no idea how your store should look like, you will definitely benefit from these services because you:
So, if the bullet points resonate with you, don’t hesitate to get the help of the resourceful web designers!
Those, who have never dealt with creating a web store, often struggle to choose a template because they have no idea which features it should have.
Of course, this issue is individual but the set of the basic features is more or less the same:
As a website is literally a storefront, don’t forget about the high-resolution photos and videos as many online shoppers find visuals the most influential factor affecting the purchase!
So, when you search for a template, ensure it’s able to meet these requirements.
We gradually came to the end of the guideline on how to choose an online store builder and, hopefully, you don’t wrack your brains anymore on what choose – Wix vs Shopify or BigCommerce vs WooCommerce. If so, feel free to leave a comment and get the help : )
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