21 Nov · 11 min read
Are you looking to develop your eCommerce website on a medium or small budget? Need not worry. There are many platforms available to create your website on a very minimal budget or even for free.
While it can be fussy for you to find the best option after comparing many of them, we are here to walk you through a comparative guide to understand your needs, match them and find a perfect platform to create your website in some simple steps.
We’ll try to evaluate all those possible metrics you would like to consider while moving forward with website development.
So hop on and see for yourself:
Shopify is one of the most renowned and best platforms to build your eCommerce website globally. It’s the second most used platform after WooCommerce, with 23% of market shares.
Shopify has basically 4 categories to build your eCommerce Store:
In this solution, Shopify provides you with three main services. Which are branding, online presence, and setting up your store.
In this vertical, you are going to sell your products on your website. Get creative themes, and create your online store. Shopify POS buy button, checkout, sales channel options, and much more are there to explore in this. This basically targets your sales.
This basically focuses on the marketing perspective. From content marketing to Social Media and Email marketing, until making everything automated, it’s all done by Shopify. You can create everything in minutes through Shopify, including Facebook ads, Customer groups, and everything marketing.
In this step, you get to manage everything under your eCommerce website and also focus on the automation part of eCommerce.
Hence Shopify takes care of your store from the initial phase till the automation. The pricing plan of Shopify ranges from 29 USD/Month to 299 USD/Month depending upon the size of the business. Which is a decent amount to pay for such fascinating services.
WooCommerce is the most popular platform to develop eCommerce around the world. Why? Before we got these new CMS platforms, WordPress was the leader and even still is, but we do have eCommerce websites running on new CMS or new website development platforms globally.
Where WooCommerce provides plugins, to give your websites a better look and feel and make your website an Online Store. The basic version of WooCommerce is free, which is highly customizable, with a number of extensions. For example, with WooCommerce extensions, you can make and accept bookings, sell your subscriptions and accept payments as well. Different extensions vary in the price but range generally from 0 USD to 249 USD each.
Being a WordPress, you will need to invest some time to learn about WordPress, as it is a bit more critical CMS than others available in the market. However, it is a very versatile and customizable CMS. It requires you to buy a separate domain name, SSL certificate and web hosting.
BigCommerce is considered as a direct competitor of Shopify, as they both have many commonalities in terms of capabilities. BigCommerce is built for power users with technical skills, and is full of customizations.
You can easily build your online shop using drag and drop visual page builder with customized themes, optimize the checkout page and process, connect APIs needed, and make use of tons of features available. Building the online store by BigCommerce takes a small amount of learning curve. It also offers multi currency payments. It also provides options to pay with Apple Pay, Google Pay, Amazon Pay and over 65 payment gateways, making it even easier to adapt.
When it comes to pricing, it starts from 29 USD per month, and there are no free plans available, but the free trial of one month is there.
In 2018, the payment processing leader Square bought Weebly. And then they came up with Square Online which has powerful payment processing, plus an easy website building platform. There is no doubt that Weebly and Square Online have similar interfaces.
Square Online has a proven quick ability to build online stores in no time and the editing is also quite easy. With minimal learning required, you can build your eCommerce store with a few clicks around your dashboard. It also has multi-channel integrations to make your marketing insights quicker and simpler. It also has great integrations for selling your products online.
Coming to the plans, it offers a free plan along with a multi selling option. Which means you can sell across your online store, Instagram, Facebook etc. There is an inventory management system as well, which keeps track of your each sale.
Paid plans start from 12 USD per month to 72 USD per month, which is billed annually. They also provide POS for in-person sales.
Wix is a very easy-to-use website-building platform and is proven to be one of the best platforms across the world with over 110 million users. It is highly customizable and its drag-and-drop feature makes it easier to use. It provides very high-quality online stores with excellent themes. It provides multichannel integration too. Some of its best features are, abandoned cart recovery to regain the lost sales, Buy Now and Add to Cart options, Dropshipping, Integrations with Shipstation, etc.
When it comes to pricing, Wix does have a free plan, where the features are limited and you have to use your own purchased domain separately. The business plan starts from 23 USD per month billed annually, which includes free domain hosting, unlimited storage, and so many other features.
Squarespace is a popular website-building platform and is often compared to the champ WordPress as well, because of its focus on Content. They have good numbers of templates, which can be used to build your perfect website suitable to your brand and niche.
The web builder of Squarespace is specifically designed by keeping a few points focused which are subscription, digital content, and POS sales. It is very easy to use and the easiest builder to get a grip of. Squarespace provides you with lots of quality features combined with a good inventory system.
Weebly is popularly known for its simple and easy-to-use platform. It’s owned by Square, however, SquareOnline and Weebly have different offerings. The drag-and-drop option allows you to build your website easily. Weebly also offers features like SEO, Analytics, Shipping Tools, and easy payment via PayPal, Stripe, etc.
Weebly offers a free plan with limited features, but also gives you the authority to set up an online store without any upfront investment, which is great for startups having fewer budgets. Weebly’s paid plan starts from USD 12 per month and includes a free domain, free hosting, SSL, label management, shipping management, inventory management, tax calculators, and much more. Which makes it a great choice to opt for your business.
Big Cartel is one of the most affordable platforms to create your online store. It’s a good platform for designers, artists, and other makers as well. It's easy to make an eCommerce Builder. It also features your artwork and other products.
The basic free plan of Big Cartel allows you to sell 5 products, including a custom domain, customizable themes, order management, shipment tracker, and other classic features to manage your small store. With a free plan, it also provides you with multi-channel selling including Facebook and Instagram. If you want to sell more products then integrate with Google Analytics and you can access other features as well. Those plans start from 10 USD per month. It also provides you with an inventory tracking system.
Magento is a CMS that was specifically designed for eCommerce. It was launched in 2008 and acquired by Adobe in 2018. This is more like WordPress and mostly compared with WooCommerce because of the steep learning curve involved. It has a lot of features including a little bit of complexity in setup. But other than that, it's a great fit for big businesses.
It works very well with Adobe suites and other online services. They don’t disclose their pricing plans on the website, hence to know their plans, you should connect to their sales team.
You might still feel confused not to pick any of this eCommerce website builders but we are here for you to keep a check on some metrics even if you are going to choose anything other from our list:
There are many eCommerce website builders available in the market but you can’t just go for any option blindly, as you have a budget to satisfy and the core thing is it shouldn’t cost you more than you are making. So look for an eCommerce Builder which is satisfying your budgets as well as other factors too.
Being competitive is good but to an extent, the situation should not arrive where you are not even able to set your hands on the system due to its complexity. Hence you have to be honest with yourself and pick a builder which matches your technical qualifications too.
There are a lot of features available as you encountered the above-mentioned platforms, but you have to decide whether you need a POS, whether you need marketing services or you need a multichannel selling platform. It’s you who has to decide on a suitable platform for your needs. As it’s very easy to get lured by these services and fall into a trap eventually.
This is a crucial feature for any of the eCommerce websites as being a seller you would not like to keep track of inventories manually. And another valid point is that whenever a customer is buying your products, the website inventory management system should automatically decrease.
We are in an era where as a customer we shop everywhere. Hence a seller has to keep this point in mind that you obviously require a platform where the option to sell on multichannel is available. Call it the need of time, but it's really required.
In the end, it’s your decision, which eCommerce Website Building Platform you want to choose, which works out best for your requirements. But we hope we helped you to give you an idea over a few best-selected platforms across millions of eCommerce businesses. Till then happy searching!