Creating an online store from scratch can be easy so long as you’re using the right web builder. On this page, you’ll find the top ecommerce website builders available on the market today.
Most of which come with great payment gateways, themes, tutorials, competitive pricing, and even free demo accounts so you can get a feel of which builder makes the most sense for your needs and your wallet.
Best Ecommerce Website Builder Overall: If you’ve been thinking about starting an online business to sell your goods and services, you’ve more than likely heard of Shopify.
Over 1,000,000 businesses from over 175+ countries worldwide trust and use Shopify as their number one ecommerce platform.
With big brands such as Huel, Heinz, Gym Shark, Leesa, Chubbies, Kylie Cosmetics, Sephora, Tesla, RedBull, and Nescafe trusting Shopify for their ecommerce needs in a world that’s gone from in-store retail to online retail, it says a lot about their platform.
So why are so many big brands trusting the ecommerce giant?
For starters Shopify serves solopreneurs with a small boutique shop, to enterprises of all sizes doing massive volume. Their platform makes it simple for businesses of all sizes to setup their stores in no time with over 70+ ecommerce store templates to choose from.
They even offer their own payment gateway! But if you don’t want to use theirs, you can easily integrate with PayPal, Stripe, Worldpay, Amazonpay, and many more.
We highly recommend Shopify if you’re looking to start an online store. Check out their 14-Day Free Trial here.
Or, if you still aren’t convinced and need a little more information, you can check out our in depth Shopify Review here.
Easiest Ecommerce Builder: If you want an easy to use ecommerce website builder with over 500+ templates to choose from, a beautiful drag and drop builder, with seamless payment integrations at price points you can afford, then Wix is the way to go.
Wix could very well be the best ecommerce builder if Shopify wasn’t around, it actually hurts putting it second on our list of ecommerce platforms to choose from. So who is Wix built for?
If you’re selling clothes, handmade soaps, or have an existing business you’re looking to scale, Wix can handle all of that and more.
Wix is known for it’s ease of use and simplicity. It also has great SEO functionality and even comes with an app you can use to manage your inventory while on the go.
Price points are also affordable, with their eCommerce pro plan starting out at just $49/mo. Even better is Wix’s highly rated customer support which comes in handy when faced with road blocks you may need some help with.
Try out their 14-day free trial today and see if Wix is the right fit for you.
Best for Large Companies: Founded in 2009 and based out of Austin, Texas, BigCommerce has the most built-in features out of all ecommerce builders.
Big brands such as Ben&Jerry’s, Skullcandy, Woolrich, and Burrow all rely on BigCommerce for their ecommerce platforms.
Think of BigCommerce as a hosted ecommerce platform. Meaning you can buy a domain name and have it hosted with BigCommerce and then you get all the tools to create your online store. Make sense?
While definitely directed and recommend for enterprises and fast growing companies, they do offer BigCommerce Essentials which is geared towards small business owners just getting started.
This includes features like channel integration selling through Amazon, eBay, and Facebook and even includes phenomenal control when it comes to SEO and getting found in the search engines.
Overall ecommerce is a fantastic choice whether you’re a big enterprise or just starting out.
Try their 15-day free trial and see if it’s a right fit for your business.
Best WordPress Ecommerce Plugin: If you’re a WordPress lover and want to stay on the popular CMS platform while also starting an online store, then WooCommerce is the way to go.
Initially started in 2008 as WooThemes, the company decide to double down their focus on ecommerce and thus the growth of WooCommerce began.
Since its inception, WooCommerce has had over 39million downloads as an ecommerce WordPress plugin, and is currently active on over 3million websites worldwide. It’s also free!
Yes, you read that right. The WooCommerce plugin is free, you just need to have a domain name and web hosting with WordPress installed.
WooCommerce profits from solutions like in-platform extensions and add-on’s, eCom store templates, etc. that you may want for your store which can all be found on the WooCommerce marketplace.
Over time you might also find that you need to pay for support from one of their developers as it’s not the easiest platform to use.
It’s fully customizable, payment gateways include PayPal, Stripe, Amazon Pay, Square, or you can even use WooCommerce Payments.
It’s a great place to start if you’re looking to create, grow, and scale your eCom store on WordPress.
Best Small Business Ecommerce Website Builder: On the go and need a platform that can give you a beautiful website without all of the crazy code, simple payment options, all in one easy to run platform? If that sounds like you, then Squarespace may be the ecommerce platform you’ve been looking for.
Squarespace started out in 2004 as a blog-hosting platform in Baltimore, Maryland and by 2017 was valued at over $1.7 billion dollars. It’s safe to say they’ve provided and continue to provide a quality service since their humble beginnings.
Is Squarespace the best choice for your ecommerce needs?
Here’s a brief overview..
Many user reviews talk about how it can be difficult to navigate their site as there are no prompts to guide you in the website building process.
Nevertheless, the platform still ranks as one of the best choices for starting an eCommerce store. It definitely ranks right up there alongside WordPress as one of the better eCommerce builders for blogging and SEO.
You’ll also get access to over 100+ professionally designed website templates to bring your store to life, excellent customer support, and a mobile app to edit while on the go.
Check out their free 14-day trial and see if Squarespace is right for you.
Best for Existing Site Owners: Want to integrate eCommerce selling on your existing website without abandoning it and starting all the way over from scratch? If that sounds like you, Ecwid may be the right choice for you.
One of the great things about Ecwid is their free forever plan. Yup, it’s 100% free forever so long as you have 10 products or less that you’re selling. If you want some additional features like selling on Facebook, Amazon, Instagram, or Etsy, then you’ll need to upgrade to their Venture plan.
Ecwid is a great option for someone who’s looking for something affordable, easy to use, and straight to the point to integrate onto their existing website.
Features include 69 payment gateways, excellent tutorials, premium phone support for paid accounts, and social media pixel tracking features built right into the back end, which makes for easy tracking.
If you already have an existing website with WordPress, Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, Joomla, Blogger, etc, Ecwid will integrate seamlessly so you can start selling online immediately.
Ecwid’s free forever plan does come with limitations and will be on their own server with an .ecwid extension in the URL but this can be easily fixed by upgrading to a paid account and buying your own domain and hosting.
Great For Beginners: The idea of starting an online store can seem hard, especially if you aren’t tech savvy. Weebly eCommerce builder makes it easy to create an online store.
With their easy to use drag and drop builder, blogging tools, simple checkout options, and affordable pricing, Weebly is a great choice for someone who’s just starting out.
Payment gateways include Stripe, Square, and PayPal Express. You also get access to over 15 pre-designed eCom themes to start your store from.
Square recently acquired Weebly for $365 million in 2018 and is going through a bit of a transition, so sudden changes to the Weebly platform have been known to change without notice from time to time since the acquisition took place.
One of the downsides is a lack of multi-channel selling integrations. If you intend on selling through Amazon or directly through social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, Weebly currently doesn’t offer these options. Shopify, Squarespace, or BigCommerce would be better choices if this is part of your selling strategy.
Overall Weebly is a great choice for beginners who are looking to keep it super simple. You can start selling for free with Weebly’s free plan or upgrade to a paid plan and gain access to features like item reviews, shipping labels, and abandon cart emails.
Take Weebly for a test run today with a free account and see if it’s a right fit for your eCom needs.
Best eCommerce Builder for Artists: Are you an artist who wants to sell their work online in the simplest way possible? If that sounds like you, look no further because BigCartel was made just for you.
BigCartel is best for artists, photographers, musicians, and makers alike who are looking to sell individually and not with the intention of creating a massive store.
One of the first things you’ll notice with BigCartel is the simplicity. From a web design standpoint, you’ve got great options with over 17 themes to choose from to get your store up and running.
Payment gateways currently include Stripe, PayPal, Venmo, Apple Pay, and Square. You can also sell directly through Facebook and tag your products through Instagram.
If you want some customizations, you will need to know or outsource a bit of CSS/HTML, but overall for what you’re getting, the pricing is extremely fair.
Multilingual Ecommerce Platform: Want to easily translate your website into multiple languages without any additional plugins? If so, Jumpseller is a great choice to build your eCom store with.
They also offer over 21+ payment gateways, with popular brands like PayPal, Stripe, and international brands such as Klarna and Skrill.
Jumpseller has more of an international intention behind their platform because they were originally founded in 2009 in Porto, Portugal as Vendder. Since their official launch in 2010, Jumpseller has gone on to serve over 10,000 stores and currently operates out of Chile.
Their motto is to sell anywhere in the world. So if you have an idea that you wish to bring to an international audience, Jumpseller may be a great choice for you. While a bit limited on the themes (20 templates) and limitations on theme customization, it’s still a good choice. Their multilingual feature is really the separator for them.
Robust Yet Difficult: Considered to be one of the founding fathers of online eCom, Volusion was founded back in 1999 out of Austin, Texas.
Since those humble beginners, Volusion has helped over 180,000 customers start selling online, and has grown the company to over 250 employees, with over $29billion in sales processed throughout their customers sites.
With numbers like that, it’s safe to say the platform does a great job at delivering in the eCommerce space. But is Volusion the right choice for you?
But before we get into the details, you must know that as of July 27, 2020, Volusion filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in an effort to recapitalize the company, fund future innovations, and strengthen their balance sheet.
With Covid-19 happening, it makes sense why a company could possibly be falling on hard times, and it’s admirable to see the company making a public statement that shares their reasoning for the actions taken.
Transparency aside, what you get with Volusion is a robust store builder, that is honestly a bit difficult to use at first. Many users report that creating an online store with Volusion up front is hard.
Unless you’re tech savvy or have the mental capacity to really dig through and figure things out, you may suffer a headache or two just getting your store up and running.
But if you’re someone who’s constantly on the go, you can manage your store (granted you get it set up) through their mobile app, and can even integrate with over 1,000+ apps through Zapier.
Volusion currently offers a 14-day free trial which includes 11-themes. They also offer paid themes starting out at around $180 each. It’s hard not to have a love/hate relationship with Volusion.
Nevertheless, they make the list.
Difficult to Use: 3dCart was founded in 1997 and boasts features on top of features. With over 90+ free templates, 200+ built-in features, an SEO editor that prompts your every move, 160+ payment gateways, and over 22,000 active merchants selling on their platform, what’s not to like about 3dCart?
Put simply, more features doesn’t always mean a better user experience. In fact, many users have found the platform quite difficult to use.
They do offer plenty of tutorials to help navigate your way through the eCom platform, so you’ll never be short of help. Customer support is all based in the Unites States as well, so you’ll always get a fluent english speaker via chat or phone. This is definitely a plus when running an online business.
3dCart also offers a 15-day free trial so you can test them out before you buy, no credit card required. One of the drawbacks is they really make you reach to get access to certain features, causing you to need to upgrade your plan as you need more features.
For all that is offered, you can get a better result with Shopify or Wix with less of a headache, but to each their own.
Not The Greatest Ecommerce Option: Jimdo is great for creating a website but if you want to start selling online with an eCom store, you can do much better.
Founded in 2007, the German based website builder and all-in-one hosting solution, doesn’t offer much flexibility in regards to web design.
If you plan on selling digital goods like eBooks or physical products such as clothes, Jimdo isn’t the best option. If you wanted to say display your menu because you owned a restaurant and wanted some good SEO features so your website could be found, then we’d recommend it.
While not the best for eCommerce, it’s still capable of giving you basic eCommerce functionality. For example, Jimdo payment gateways only include PayPal and Stripe.
Templates on Jimdo also seem to be a bit generic and outdated. Some of the templates are also mobile optimized and other’s aren’t. There definitely needs to be some maintenance on the Jimdo interface.
If you’re on a budget and want something bare bones where you can sell a few products, try Jimdo. But if you’re really serious about building an eCommerce store, you’re better off going with Shopify or Wix.
You can also create an account with JimdoFree and check out Jimdo before upgrading to a paid plan to see if it’s right for you.
Needs Updating: PinnacleCart was founded in 2003 and has served over 30,000 customers in over 25 countries. Track record aside, the user interface can use a serious facelift and getting started has a serious learning curve.
When it comes to eCommerce, having a helpful knowledge base is a must, especially when you’re first getting started. Their YouTube channel’s last uploaded September 5, 2019, that’s over one year ago.
If SEO and blogging are important to you for attracting new customers (I’d imagine it is) then PinnacleCart isn’t the best choice. You can add PinnacleCart to your existing WordPress site, or you can add a page through PinnacleCart but that’s about it. SEO definitely isn’t one of its strengths.
Knowledge base aside, they definitely are an all-in-one solution. They have multilingual capabilities, international payment gateways, responsive templates, abandon cart software, and much more.
While there are a lot of features, complexity can be the enemy of progress. People want something simple, something easy to set up, something where they can start selling right away with a modern look and feel.
If you’re tech savvy, have a lot of patience, and don’t mind a web 2.0 experience, PinnacleCart can get the job done.
Very Technical Open-source Ecommerce Platform: Founded in 2007 and based out of Paris, France, Prestashop is an open-source ecommerce platform currently serving over 300,000 shops worldwide and is available in over 75 languages.
They even offer a marketplace where you can shop through over 3,000 store themes, store add-ons, anti-spam captcha plugins, and so on.
Despite all of the amazing bells and whistles, it is extremely technical and you will be required to have a self-hosted website in order to run Prestashop.
One of the main drawbacks we see when creating an eCommerce store is the overwhelming amount of options available. Yes, you want a platform that gives you flexibility and options, but too many options can be an overwhelming crutch to getting started.
3,000+ themes to choose from, where do you start?
Hundreds of plugins to use, which do you use?
Not technically savvy with databases? Overwhelming.
Large Ecommerce Marketplace: Etsy was founded in 2005 and in 2019 generated over $818 million dollars in revenue and had over 45.7million buyers who purchased goods through their platform.
Etsy in a nutshell is an eCommerce platform that focuses on vintage and handmade products. You’re able to create you own online store and then list your handmade products on Etsy’s marketplace.
Think of it as one big flea market, whereas Shopify or Wix is creating your own stand alone web store where you’ll have to generate the traffic on your own whereas Etsy essentially puts you in a position to be in front of their already existing shoppers.
If you want full control of your storefront with robust tools, then Etsy isn’t the choice you want to go with. If you want something simple, easy to set up, with the marketing done for you, Etsy is a great choice.
In order to get your products on Etsy, you will have to pay listing fee’s. Each item you list on Etsy will run you $0.20 cents USD and will expire after four months plus a 5% transaction fee per sale you make.
While the ease-of-use and marketplace exposure makes Etsy very popular and tempting to use, there are some drawbacks. For example, you won’t be able to create a true brand identity as you have limitations on your design. A logo is as unique as your storefront is going to get.
They have however, recently crated Etsy Pattern, which is essentially their take on competing with the big eCommerce players where you can create your own storefront and have slightly more design control than a regular Etsy shop but it’s still limited in what you can create.
You won’t get any Facebook pixel tracking and if you want a custom domain, to host your Pattern store, you’ll need to buy that on your own and then integrate it and there are lots of fees. If you want to create a big storefront, Etsy and Pattern by Etsy probably aren’t your best bets.
Also note, that everything sold on Etsy “must be handmade, vintage, or a craft supply” according to their website. So if you’re looking to sell anything other than this, we wouldn’t recommend Etsy.
They offer a 30-day trial of Pattern by Etsy, see if it works for you or if you want to stick with the standard Etsy account.
Best for Selling Digital Products: Founded in 2011 as a weekend project by Sahil Lavingia, Gumroad has helped creators earn over $330M.
The platform is dubbed as a super-simple commerce platform for creators and it definitely lives up to the name in regards to simplicity.
The most commonly sold products on Gumroad are eBooks, films, music, software, and tutorials. So if you’re in the digital marketing space and specifically focus on digital products, Gumroad is a great choice.
If you’re looking to create an entire eCommerce storefront with multiple products, Gumroad isn’t your best bet. While you can certainly sell physical products, they do act as one-off sales. So don’t intend on creating shipping labels, sizes, and an inventory like you would on a more robust eCom platform like Shopify or Wix.
Each product essentially has it’s own mini-page. You create a product on the back end and then a unique link is created for you to share so you can sell that item on social media, through your website, or even through your email list.
It’s super simple to setup, payment method is easy, and you get paid every Friday through PayPal or through ACH as long as your balance is over $10USD.
Gumroad is great for selling digital products and downloads but poor for creating a customized storefront.
You will however have a decent email marketing software integrated, can create membership based billing, can create an army of affiliates with unique affiliate links, and get access to a great analytics dashboard. So there are definitely tradeoffs.
If you’re a creator who wants to focus on creating and less on the selling of your goods when they’re ready to sell, and maybe you even want to quickly and easily create unique links for affiliates to promote your stuff, then Gumroad is a great option.
Gumroad’s getting started plan is free to use, they also have a creator plan that’s $10USD/month which gives you access to some cool features. Create your account today.
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