The Best Ecommerce Website Builder for your Online Brand [Comparison]

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When you're looking at building a website, you obviously want to use the best. But how do you find the best ecommerce website builder?

Wait what even is the definition of the ‘best'?

Chances are that you don't want to try just the one online store builder.

You don't want to, nor should you, commit to just one ecommerce website builder, only to realise there are better options out there.

So, to find the best online storefront builder for you, ask yourself a few questions:

  • How experienced am I?
  • What am I selling and in what way am I selling it?
  • What exactly do I want to achieve?

What's best for you will depend on your experience.

If you're selling handmade shoes, your best ecommerce website builder is going to be different to someone that's dropshipping on Oberlo.

What's best for you will differ if you're making 10 sales a month, or 10k sales.

You'll also get more out of your online store builder if you know the state of ecommerce today.

If you know the best marketing methods and how to drive traffic to your store, you can take advantage of some more complex and advanced features of these builders.

Long story short, you decide what's best.

Now you know what you need, take a look at this table to get a quick overview:

QUICK VIEWPricingThemesEase of useSupportTotal
Shopify378927/40
WooCommerce1094326/40
Shoplo756622/40
Magento1075325/40

This isn’t one of those ‘top 10’ Youtube videos where we start at 10 and count backward, so let’s start from the top – the best of the best online store builders:

Shopify: The best ecommerce website builder today

ecommerce blogs 3

Shopify needs no introduction. It is the go-to ecommerce platform solution for so many people getting into the world of ecommerce today and is the foundation for its own little culture – Shopify Success Stories.

Why?

It's a young company that has grown alongside the ecommerce industry. The product's features have somewhat dictated the industry which has led to it having some of the most advanced features come as standard.

It's no surprise that there are a staggering number of Shopify alternatives out there.

Simple, quick to set up and incredibly easy to use daily, Shopify is our pick for the best ecommerce website builder.

bigcommerce vs shopify tips

Plans are hosted, you can build your own online store any way you want and you can list an unlimited number of products. Features and themes are endless.

Shopify features

As a completely hosted ecommerce platform, you don't have to do any setup. This itself is a massive advantage and makes it the best ecommerce website builder compared to self-hosted ecommerce builders.

Once you are set up, you can accept payments through a plethora of services – PayPal, Stripe, BitCoin, or even Shopify's own ‘Shopify Payments‘.

A stunning number of themes let you build your store e.x.a.c.t.l.y as you want it to be. Create discount coupons, invoices and integrate with nearly every Social Media platform out there.

Use the Facebook Pixel with your Shopify store to get the most out of your Social Media Marketing. Read: How to: Facebook Pixel on Shopify [Install in less than 5 minutes]

Shopify pricing

Pricing may be Shopify's only downside to the best ecommerce website builder out there. 

It's expensive.

The Basic Shopify plan starts at $29 per month + 2.9% and $0.30 per transaction.

Transaction fees get lower as the monthly price (and access to features) increases. The Shopify plan costs $79 per month and Enterprise plan comes in at a hefty $299.

While this is expensive, remember that fee included 99.9% of everything you need to sell online! Be sure to budget correctly if you're to use Shopify, the best ecommerce website builder in our eyes!

Shopify themes

Shopify's simple builder tool makes it easier for you to create your online store just as you want it.

As the best ecommerce website builder, you have access to hundreds of free themes. Customize one, or you can use a paid theme and have even more ways to personalise your store.

shopify mobile themes

Straight off the bat, all themes are attractive and user-friendly. What's more, it doesn't take to much customization to get your web store echoing your business branding. 

Shopify: Easy of use

Shopify is the easiest way to build a store, period.

Its a matter of entering your email address, store name and a few other specifics about your brand and then you're ready to go.

The customization can be a little overwhelming as there's so much that you can do, but if you know how to add a picture to Facebook, you'll be able to use Shopify.

Shopify support

Each Shopify plan includes access to 24/7 support channels via email, live chat or phone. Shopify's support staff are also knowledgeable about the basics of running an online store, too.

Why it's greatWhy it's not
Works first time, every timeDarn expensive
Feature rich, no need to spend money elsewhereNo access to the code for extra personalisation
Quick, reliable and easy to use on a daily basis

Want to see how Shopify goes head-to-head against WooCommerce? Read the article: WooCommerce vs Shopify – Who really is the best ecommerce platform? [Read now]

WooCommerce: The online store builder

WooCommerce is a great free online store builder.

That's right, free online store builder.

But there's a catch (there always is).

shopify alternatives woocommerceUnlike most all of the other ecommerce solutions listed in this article, WooCommerce and WordPress are not hosted.

If you decide to use WooCommerce, you’ll be responsible for buying hosting, a domain name, security and backups yourself.

The plus side to this is that you have complete granular control over nearly every aspect of your ecommerce store.

WordPress, the parent company of WooCommerce is responsible for 30% of all websites. That surely has to make WooCommerce one of the most used and best ecommerce website builders!

That being said, WooCommerce might not be the best ecommerce website builder if you’re completely new to building an online store.

However, if you do decide to use WordPress and the ecommerce plugin, WooCommerce, it’ll be completely free and you’ll enjoy incredible levels of customization.

WooCommerce pricing

$0. WordPress and WooCommerce are free for you to build an ecommerce store but you need to pay for a domain and hosting yourself. 

WooCommerce themes

Access to thousands of free themes and incredible numbers of paid (and stunning) themes.

WooCommerce: ease of use

Set up of WordPress is quite involved. Installing WooCommerce is easy and building an ecommerce website with WooCommerce is simple.

WooCommerce Support

WooCommerce support is non-existent.

There are helpful tutorials that you can reference, as well as support forums, but no phone call or email address. You can find an answer to 99.99% of problems online, though.

This best ecommerce website builder has a very hardcore group of advocates!

Why it's greatWhy it's not
Staggering levels of customisationSelf-hosted = lengthy & complex set up times
Insane number of plugins for just about everythingYou're responsible for security, backups & downtime
Versatility and integrations for daysNo dedicated support channels

Interested in WooCommerce? See how it fares compared to another ecommerce platform, Wix in: Wix vs WordPress – Which is the best for your online store? [Read now]

Shoplo: the online store builder you've never heard of

Shoplo is a relatively unknown ecommerce store builder. It's a versatile, innovative and easy website builder that deserves a lot more attention than it gets.

Why?

It includes many of the features that expensive solutions like Shopify and WooCommerce offer, but at a fraction of the price.

Shoplo

What's more, it's significantly cheaper than many of the hosted options on this list!

Features like abandoned cart emails, discount codes and invoices are all stock standard. Accepting PayPal and Stripe payments is normal, as is integrating with Facebook, eBay, and many other sales channels.

If your budget and experience are low, Shoplo may be the best ecommerce website builder for you.

Here's a fine example of a Shoplo webstore:

LOCA BIKES Shopify alternatives

Shoplo features

Shoplo is an ecommerce builder that makes it easy for you to sell online, no matter where you are already selling.

You can export a product feed to list your inventory on Google Shopping, Amazon, eBay and even WooCommerce and Shopify stores.

You're able to expand your brand into other parts of the world easily with simple language versions of your story, as well as multiple currency versions.

Shoplo pricing

Shoplo pricing starts at $12 per month for the starter plan and increases with access to other features for $25, $45 and $75 per month respectively. 

Shoplo themes

Like most hosted platforms, Shoplo gives you access to a wide range of professionally designed themes.

The ecommerce theme builder is a unique and powerful tool that lets you drag and drop each element of your store where you want it to be.

Change the layout of a menu or footer with a simple click. All themes are optimized for both mobile devices and desktop.

Shoplo: ease of use

Shoplo is one of the easier ecommerce website builders, no doubt about that.

Setting up your store, adding products and day to day management is easy.

Use of the more advanced features like Product Feeds and SEO make things a little more complicated. As you grow though, the best ecommerce website builder will grow with you – and Shoplo does just that.

Shoplo support

Shoplo has an extensive knowledge base where users can find out just about anything they need to know about using the platform.

There is a support team that's fluent in a half-dozen languages so they're bound to speak your language. A good team = the best ecommerce website builder.

Why it's greatWhy it's not
Big features, small pricetagStandard features are a little lacking
Easy to setup & use every day
Integrates with a wide range of marketplaces

Ecwid

Ecwid is a lot like everyone else on this list, but there's one (fantastic) thing that sets them apart.

ecwid ecommerce builder

They're an ecommerce platform builder, yes, but the platform is aimed at those who already have an existing website.

While BigCommerce, WooCommerce and Shopify let your build an ecommerce store from scratch, Ecwid is for those who already have a website, but want to add a web store and shopping cart function to that website.

So while Ecwid is an ecommerce website builder, it does so in more of a ‘widget' kind of way – hence the name, Ecwid – Ecommerce Widget.

Copy some HTML code and paste it into your existing site, and you have your storefront and secure checkout.

With over 1 million customers in over 175 countries, there's clearly a lot of demand for such a creature! Let's take a look at why that is:

Ecwid features

Since Ecwid is more of a widget, you'd expect the features to be a little less than a complete ecommerce builder – and you'd be wrong. 

Ecwid gives you access to POS (point of sale) technology. Are you selling online, as well as in a store, or perhaps a weekly market?

Use the Ecwid point-of-sale system to accept payments on the go and sync your products, sales and customers with your online inventory.

pos ecwid app

One of Ecwid's most impressive features is language detection.

Translate your store into nearly 50 languages, and Ecwid technology will automatically detect the region your customer is in and show your store in their local language. 

Other standard features include:

  • Free SSL certificates
  • Social media integration
  • Customer management
  • Real-time shipping calculator (based on customer's IP address)
  • Turn your online store into a mobile app

Payment gateways are some of the most important features of an online storefront. EcWid accepts a wide range of payment gateways, over 50 actually, for accepting credit card payments.

This is great for you as you can sell to parts of the world that have a specific payment gateway preference.

Ecwid pricing

Ecwid, like most of the best ecommerce website builders, comes with a free version. But, just like all those same ecommerce builders, the features of the free version are quite limited.

Paid plans are as follows:

  • $15/month ($12.50 if paid annually) – Venture plan – sell up to 100 products
  • $35/month ($29.17 if paid annually) –  Business plan – sell up to 2500;
  • $99/ month ($82.50 if paid annually) – Unlimited plan – sell an unlimited number of products

As mentioned earlier, with a higher plan comes more features, such as:

  • Edit existing orders and manually create orders on the Business and Unlimited plans
  • Free consultation time on the Unlimited plan
  • Customisable invoices and integrations with Google Shopping on the Business and Unlimited plan
  • Automatic abandoned cart recovery emails on the Business and Unlimited plans

Ecwid: ease of use

The dashboard of Ecwid is quite intuitive and easy to use. There's no need to consult a manual or help desk to get your bearings and figure out how the platform works. It'll take time, but it's not a frustrating, draining process.

Here's an example of a store made with Ecwid:

ecwid store example

One fantastic feature that the Ecwid team give you is an onboarding checklist – simply put, it's a checklist of features that you need to check out to get your head around how to use the platform.

Ecwid support

If, of course, it's a little too tricky for you and you need a hand, Ecwid has an extensive range of support materials to help you out.

On the free plan, you have support via email. The Venture plan gives you access to email as well as live chat support features. Business and Unlimited users can make the most of email, Live Chat and phone support.

Ecwid is best for you if you've already got a website but would like to add a checkout and shopping cart function to it.

It doesn't have the ‘all in one' solutions like Shopify or BigCommerce, but it isn't as complex as those creatures either.

It's a different creature for a different kind of ecommerce entrepreneur.

Why it's greatWhy it's not
An easy way to turn any site into a storeNot the best for high-volume sellers
POS functionality for offline salesSupport quite limited
Multi-language functionality Free version has little SEO features

Magento: The big boy of ecommerce builders

Magento is one of the most flexible and best ecommerce website builders we’ve looked at.

It's an online store builder that's been adopted by a massive business moving millions of units or a home-office operation.

Small-scale enterprises have access to a free version of the Magento ecommerce builder with a wide range of features. There are many free open source online store builders out there, not with the flexibility and variety of Magento

Magento

Magento features

Magento is one of the best ecommerce website builders as it has a wide range of important features.

As open source online storefront builder, most of the features come by the way of add-ons, plug-ins, and extensions. This is a benefit as you can pick and choose the best options for your business.

Magento pricing

As mentioned earlier, Magento is a free online store builder. As open source software, there are no fees.

Magento themes

Just like every other option on this list, there are a wide number of free and paid themes for you to choose from.

Most themes are optimized for mobile and are easy to navigate.

What’s interesting is that many themes also carry over into the cart area.

Luckily, most of the cart and check out designs are simple and smooth so your customers won’t be distracted or confused

Little details like this are what make Magento one of the best online storefront builders!

Magento: ease of use

Magento isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s an ecommerce builder that’s best suited to experienced entrepreneurs or brand managers.

Like WooCommerce, setup is difficult as it is self-hosted. However, day to day operations is quite simple.

Magento support

Magento has a knowledge base that’s full of handy information.

It does not have a phone or email support center.

It does, however, have a handful of third-party companies, or ‘solution partners’ that can help you out with the platform. For one of the best ecommerce website builders, the support can't help but feel a little lacking. 

Why it's greatWhy it's not
Incredibly customisableNo official support
Completely freeSelf-hosted = complexities
Useable by all sizes of business

Wix: The original ecommerce builder

Wix has been around since 2006 and in that time, it's built over 120 users in 190 countries. 

wix vs wordpress logo

The platform is aimed toward entry-level entrepreneurs, wanting a user-friendly experience to build their first ecommerce site.

Wix makes it easy to build an online shop as it's fully hosted, meaning that unlike WordPress, you don't need to set up hosting or anything like that.

Want to know how Wix compares to its nemesis, WooCommerce? Take a look at the article: Wix vs WordPress – Which is best for your online store? [Read now]

Users simply sign up, add products, pick a design and then your product is just about ready to sell!

Wix features

Wix is a very versatile platform, that's for sure.

Whether you're selling a single product, like your own book, or a wide range of products with many variants, Wix can cater to your needs.

There are a wide range of plugins and extensions that can take care of simple things, like email marketing, or more complex things.

Some of our favourite apps in the Wix App Store include:

  • Web-stat – great for instant and real-time analytics of traffic.
  • Events Calendar – A simple way t show off events on your homepage.
  • Sell downloads – A simple way to sell downloadable products online.

wix vs wordpress apps

While there are dozens of Wix apps available for the free version, you will have access to more apps if you decide to use a paid version of Wix

Wix pricing

Wix pricing, like most hosted online store builders, comes in different levels.

Connect DomainComboUnlimitedEcommerceVIP
-1GB bandwidth
-500MB of storage
-Connect your own domain name.
Wix places ads on your site
$4.50USD /month
-2GB bandwidth
-3GB of storage
-Free domain & no advertising
$8.50USD /month
-Unlimited bandwidth
-10GB of storage
-2 free apps
$12.50USD /month
-Unlimited bandwidth
-10GB of storage
-2 free apps
-Secure payment gateway
$16.50USD /month
-Unlimited bandwidth
-10GB of storage
-2 free apps
-Secure payment gateway
-Email marketing
-Professional website review
$24.50USD /month

Wix themes

Wix comes standard with over 70 ready to use themes. Each theme can be edited and rearranged as you please.

wix ecommerce

All Wix themes are mobile friendly, and you're also about to create one-page themes, very similar to landing pages.

Wix: ease of use

The main control panel of Wix is easy to navigate. Adding and managing new products is a straightforward task.

Managing Social Media and email marketing are also easy, thanks to the user-friendly design.

When you're creating the design of your Wix online store, you'll use the Wix editor. This drag and drop tool makes it easier for you to get your store looking exactly as you'd like to look, too.

If you're not design-minded or simply want to start with something simple, the Wix ADI is a great ecommerce tool. 

The Wix ADI is a simple setup wizard that will get your store looking pretty darn good automatically.

Wix support

While Wix does have a free plan, that plan doesn't have access to support. Once you're on a paid plan, you'll have access to Wix by email and access to their support documentation.

All in all, Wix is a great entry0level option for those new to ecommerce and selling online.

Why it's greatWhy it's not
Works straight out of the boxLimited access to extra features
Great looking user interfaceNot the best value considering other competitors
makes designing a web store very simple

BigCommerce: an ecommerce website builder for SME's

BigCommerce has been around for a while but has really found it's own in the last few years.

BigCommerce website builder

The platform is aimed at businesses that already have an established online presence and a wide inventory to manage.

With more complex tools and access to advanced features, the BigCommerce ecommerce builder makes things like automation and inventory management much simpler

Is BigCommerce as good as Shopify? Read the article: Who Wins the BigCommerce vs Shopify Battle in 2018? [Read now]

BigCommerce is much more than a basic shopping cart feature.

If you're a small, single-operator-home-office business, or a massive brand moving millions of dollars, BigCommerce may be your best ecommerce store builder. 

BigCommerce features

As BigCommerce is geared towards users who know what they're doing, there are many features you can use. 

  • Simple migration from other ecommerce platforms
  • Integrate with the popular and region-specific payment gateways
  • Above average SEO control.

Just like Shopify, BigCommerce users have access to apps – both third-party made and official BigCommerce apps. Some apps have a ‘freemium' version, that once paid, give you access to a wider range of features.

shopify vs bigcommerce features

Some of these apps include multichannel inventory management, product reviews and social media automation. 

BigCommerce pricing

BigCommerce is a feature-rich ecommerce platform, designed for those who are already established brands.

Because of these reasons, BigCommerce isn't the cheapest option. 

  • Standard – $29.95/month – Access to everything you need to start a store.
  • Plus – $79.95/month – Same as standard, including optimised conversion and customer management.
  • Pro – $249.95/month – Streamlined for high-volume selling

BigCommerce themes

BigCommerce has some of the best-looking web store themes out there. What's more, they also very versatile which nearly every element being customisable.

best bigcommerce websites

BigCommerce themselves haven't developed too many themes, but instead, leave it to a third-party company to create the themes. There are only a total of 7 BigCommerce themes available though.

Some users have said that the lack of a ‘Sandbox and development area' (somewhere you can design your theme before going live) is very frustrating on such a large-scale ecommerce builder.

The BigCommerce theme builder is one of the few ecommerce theme builders that allows you to switch to the mobile theme and edit it.

BigCommerce: ease of use

As a major ecommerce builder, BigCommerce knows the importance of a good user interface.

The surface is easy to navigate, and only a few hours of research is needed to learn how to use the tool in its entirety.

shopify vs bigcommerce tips

Common sense navigation and the ease of configuration is a major upside.

Some BigCommerce users find the lack of theme customisations quite frustrating, and the lack of a mobile app is also a major grievance.

BigCommerce support

The BigCommerce client success team know the importance of good support. If you do run into a problem, 24/7 support is available via:

  • Live Chat
  • Phone
  • Email
  • BigCommerce University' – free ecommerce lessons.
Why it's greatWhy it's not
Lots of very basic featuresExpensive if you're scaling
Great for those with ecommerce experienceHigh-end features can get expensive
Fantastic looking websiteNo mobile app

What's your best ecommerce website builder?

There you have our best ecommerce platform website builders.

You saw all these online store builders put head to head in a completely, unbias manner. Some are simple to use, others are free. Some have insane levels of customization, some are pretty vanilla.

A vanilla online store builder might be what your brand needs.

On the other hand, money may not be a factor for you.

The main thing that you take from this article is that the best ecommerce website builder is different to what's best for the next person.

We encourage you to try as many online store builders as possible, read as much content as you can able each ecommerce platform.

Go out there, ready to try and experiment.

Over to you – what's your favourite ecommerce platform?

Let us know in the comments!