We’ve tested every major ecommerce platform out there, so we can help you pick the right one for your needs. Based on our thorough tests and assessments, we've found that Wix is the best ecommerce website builder around. Wix is perfect if this is your first time creating an online store, even if you have no coding or web design experience. It has fantastic online sales features and modern templates – plus, regular Wix discounts make the platform particularly appealing for smaller businesses, too.
Shopify is our joint-highest scoring website builder for ecommerce. In fact, if you're looking to create a large-scale online store then it may prove a better choice than Wix, thanks to its vast array of sales and fulfilment features and ability to tie in seamlessly with a physical store sales funnel.
Remember – the internet may be the biggest marketplace in the world, but unless your business has the right website, no one will be able to find your products, let alone buy them. So follow our recommendations and make the right choice before you start building an online store.
Based on our thorough tests, these are our favorite ecommerce website builders:
- Wix – Fantastic templates and a modern suite of ecommerce functions make this our top choice for all but the largest online stores.
- Shopify – The best way to build a large-scale online store and manage your sales with sophisticated payment and shipment features.
- BigCommerce – Runs Shopify and Wix very close for the top spot, this is a fantastic ecommerce website builder.
- Square Online Store – A simple but surprisingly powerful tool, from a brand well-known in the retail space.
- Squarespace – Designed as a website builder, Squarespace is also a great ecommerce platform.
- Volusion – Great for sales and reporting, but a little hard to use.
- Weebly – Gives you a good website, but lacks some sales features.
In this guide, we'll also cover some more general points about ecommerce website builders, including:
- Top Seven Ecommerce Website Builders – Take a look at our independently-assessed top seven
- How We Test Ecommerce Website Builders – Peek beneath the hood of our unique user testing
- Ecommerce Website Builder FAQs – We answer all your burning questions about ecommerce website builders
- Next Steps – Get started with the best ecommerce website builder for you
Check out our full comparison between Wix and Squarespace, two of the most popular ecommerce platforms on the market
Top 7 Ecommerce Website Builders
We put each ecommerce website builder through a rigorous testing and analysis program to cut the wheat from the chaff.
Wix is the best ecommerce website builder for smaller businesses, including first-time online stores and ecommerce platforms that don't have a bricks and mortar store as well. With a huge range of templates and bang-up-to-date ecommerce features, Wix is a brilliant platform for creating a slick online store. With its ADI system, you simply need to answer a few quick questions from Wix and the platform will build you a draft site in moments.
Shopify is our joint best-rated ecommerce website builder. Though it scores the same as Wix in our tests, we'd argue Shopify is better for larger stores. It is truly made for streamlined online sales, but it also pairs brilliantly with existing sales funnels from a physical store or chain of shops. If you want a large, complex online store, then Shopify is perfect – it can scale to match the needs of even the most ambitious business.
Try before you buy to see just how much Shopify can do for you – Get a 14-day free trial
However, if you want to create a smaller or more boutique online store, our top recommendation is Wix. This website builder makes it breathtakingly easy to design a professional-looking site from scratch, and Wix now has some very sophisticated ecommerce functions and apps to help your business grow.
Want to know more about our favorite ecommerce builders and what makes them so great? Below, we've rounded up our test scores for each of the main ecommerce website builders on the market.
Our score is based on independent assessments of ease of use, features, ecommerce functionality and value for money
Cheapest Ecommerce Plan (per month)
Priciest Ecommerce Plan (per month)
Number of extra sales channels
Physical Product Sales
Digital Product Sales
Click to check for deals, discounts and tiers of plans
BEST FOR SMALLER STORES
BEST FOR LARGER STORES
Wix is our top choice ecommerce website builder. It makes creating an online store brilliantly easy, and it's perfect for smaller or boutique stores
The best ecommerce website builder for larger businesses, with outstanding features, great websites, and a scalable platform
Runs Shopify close with great sales features, but a small knowledge base and weaker website design let it down.
Perfect for anyone already using Square POS or looking to get set up quickly and cheaply
Can't match the scalability of the its rivals, but you'll get a great-looking, easy to use sales website.
A good alternative to BigCommerce with better web design. Can be confusing to use, though.
Has some advantages over Wix when it comes to sales features, but Weebly's overall platform isn't as compelling.
* Save 10% on Squarespace with code ‘TECHCO10'
For more detail on how each brand did in our tests, keep reading for our review summaries below:
The perfect website builder for smaller online stores
Wix is brilliant for smaller online stores., but thanks to a massive overhaul of its sales features over the past year, it can now truly hold its own with the very best ecommerce platforms. It makes creating an online shop incredibly easy, even for first timers, and the results will look slick and professional thanks to some brilliant templates.
Wix hasn't historically offered all of the features necessary for managing larger stores. However, Wix has been working hard to boost its ecommerce functionality in recent months with a host of new features and improvements, including its new Ascend all-in-one business solution and mass product imports.
It's some of the smaller feature updates, perhaps, that make Wix for ecommerce feel effortless for both merchants and customers. These include:
- Buy It Now and Add to Cart button features for smooth, customer-centric sales
- Updates to the shipping functionality, right down to the ability for merchants to print shipping labels
- Multi-channel integration, which now supports the ability to sell via Instagram
- Improvements to the Wix app store, which now has more ecommerce apps available, improved security features and a better search function
- Great design options
- Excellent help and support
- Competitive pricing plans
- Perfect for smaller sites
- Website templates can't be changed after publishing
- Storage space could be a little more generous
Is Wix good for ecommerce?
Wix is great for ecommerce if you're running a smaller online store, and if you're keen to design your own site. When you sign up for a Wix ecommerce site, you get access to a rapidly improving ecommerce platform, with unmatched help and support. What’s more, in our user testing, Wix scored well for ease of use – particularly for having an easy to understand interface.
Ascend allows you to centrally control and automate a range of business functions, from promoting your business with marketing emails to giving customers help and support with chatbots. You can also easily create multilingual sites with Wix – ideal for users in countries with one or more major languages.
See our full Wix Ecommerce review for more
Designing an ecommerce site with Wix
Wix's ecommerce platform uses exactly the same design tools as the regular Wix website builder. This means that you'll easily be able to build a brilliant-looking online store in minutes.
Wix offers a great range of templates for online stores that you'll be able to customize with new text and images for all your products, plus contact forms and extra pages. Wix's drag-and-drop editor makes everything super easy, as well.
How much does Wix ecommerce cost?
Wix offers three dedicated ecommerce pricing plans: Business Basic, Business Unlimited, and Business VIP.
Monthly cost (paid monthly)
Monthly cost (paid annually)
Site Booster & Form Builder App
Email campaigns and emails sent per month
Priority Response & VIP support
20 campaigns/ 100,000 emails
20 campaigns/ 100,000 emails
A decent choice for new businesses
Handy email tools for growing your business
Extra support tools are welcome, but not essential
Business Basic costs $20 per month when paid annually and gives you all the essentials to start an online store, including 20GB of storage and the ability to sell products online.
Business Unlimited costs $25 per month when paid annually. It has some small advantages over the Basic plan, such as access to Wix's logo creator tool, but nothing completely essential to running a bigger online store.
The Business VIP costs $35 per month when paid annually, but gives you access to VIP help and customer support. This might not seem like a massive upgrade, but it might save you a small fortune in the event that something goes wrong with you website.
See our Wix pricing guide for more detail on its ecommerce plans
The best ecommerce website builder for large online stores
Shopify excelled across the board in our testing. It combines top class sales channel integration with a simple and intuitive UI, and features great reporting tools to help optimize your sales.
Shopify is nearly unmatched when it comes to integrating disparate sales channels into a single online platform. Through its Shopify Payments system, you’re able to track everything from sales on Instagram through to Google Shopping, and even real-world point of sale transactions. That’s right – if you run a bricks-and-mortar store, you can manage all your sales, inventory, and accounting through one platform.
- Unmatched sales and reporting features
- Simple to set up, use and edit your store
- Excellent and varied support options
- Fantastic design options
- Can become more expensive than rivals
- Charges transaction fees unless you use Shopify Payments
Designing an ecommerce site with Shopify
Shopify is probably the best ecommerce platform when it comes to design (excluding Squarespace, but we’ll get to that a little further down). It offers loads of different website templates, all of which are mobile optimized and can be edited and changed to your liking with remarkable depth.
Don't underestimate just how simple it can be to create your own online store – paying for a website designer is no small undertaking, with costs often spiralling into the thousands. A website builder, however, can be far cheaper and surprisingly easy, even for novices. Thanks to Shopify's great templates and intuitive setup, you could create a functioning online store in a matter of hours. To see for yourself, simply take advantage of the 14 day free trial.
How much does Shopify cost?
Shopify offers three main pricing plans: Shopify Basic, Shopify, and Shopify Advanced.
Now, a word of caution. Shopify will seem much more expensive than some of the other platforms on this list. However, you're paying for a superior experience with Shopify.
Cost (paid monthly)
Cost (paid annually)
Abandoned cart recovery
Online credit card rates
In-person credit card rates
Shopify POS app
Hardware peripheral support
2.2% + 30c
1.9% + 30c
1.6% + 30c
While the Basic plan costs $29 per month when paid annually, it will give you all the tools you need to run an online store. No extra apps required – everything is ready to go.
The confusingly named Shopify plan costs $79 per month. This gives you some cheaper credit card processing rates, and some nice extra features such as gift card issuing. It also gives you support for hardware peripherals, such as receipt printers, which are essential if you're running a bricks-and-mortar store as well as your website.
The Shopify Advanced plan costs $299 per month when paid annually. You get access to a report building tools, as well as third-party calculated shipping rates, which means customers will be able to see how much it'll cost them to get a product delivered through different companies.
Want to know more? See our Shopify pricing guide
A close runner-up to Shopify for creating a large ecommerce store
While it can’t quite match Shopify, BigCommerce is still an excellent ecommerce platform. The main drawbacks to BigCommerce are its slightly limited customization options, and that its help and support options can’t match Shopify's.
However, when it comes to its core function as a sales platform, BigCommerce can match Shopify stride-for-stride.
BigCommerce reporting and transaction fees
This is thanks to its excellent reporting and sales analysis tools, excellent product inventory detail, and the wide range of sales channels it can integrate, including real-world point of sale transactions.
BigCommerce doesn’t place transaction fees on the sales you make – something that you might have to put up with if you opt for Shopify. However, BigCommerce will place a cap on the total value of sales you can make, which increases depending on the pricing plan you choose.
Want to know more? See our BigCommerce pricing guide
- Integrates loads of sales channels
- No transaction fees
- Lots of built-in features
- Limited choice of website themes
- Restrictive storefront editor
- Places a cap on the value of sales you can make
BigCommerce allows you to manage loads of different sales channels through its platform. In addition to selling on your own website, you'll also be able to sell products on Instagram, eBay, and Amazon while controlling everything through your BigCommerce account.
This makes BigCommerce a much more viable option than some of the website builder-focused options, if you're looking to run a big ecommerce operation.
BigCommerce has three main pricing plans, and they're very similar to Shopify's. There's the $29.95 per month Standard plan, the $79.95 per month Plus plan, and the $249.95 Pro plan.
Price (paid monthly)
Price (paid annually)
Products, storage, and bandwidth
Sell on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google Shopping
Abandoned cart saver
Maximum online sales
Up to $50k
Up to $150k
Up to $400k
The Standard plan allows you to list an unlimited number of products with any payment processor you want. However, it doesn't give you access to some of the customer-centric features that are now commonplace, and your annual sales are capped to $50,000.
The Plus plan ups the sales cap to $150,000 per year. It also allows you to create custom customer groups for more precisely targeted marketing, while customers are able to score credit cards.
The Pro plan gives you access to Google customer reviews, allows you to import a custom SSL certificate, and lifts the sales cap to $400,000 per annum.
Want to know more? See our BigCommerce pricing guide
A simple and surprisingly powerful ecommerce platform
Square Online Store is one of the easiest ecommerce platforms to get started with. Signing up and building a store with the platform is remarkably straightforward. All the tools you need to create an online store are offered up straightaway with minimal fuss and confusion.
What's more, unlike most of its rivals, you can start selling stuff online without signing up for one of Square Online Store's paid plans.
However, while it is simple and cheap to get started with, Square Online Store has some problems.
- Fantastic reporting tools
- Syncs perfectly with Square's POS platform
- Strong email and social media marketing rools
- Can start selling for free
- Expensive transaction fees
- Limited to Square or PayPal payment processing
- Design options are a bit generic
Square Online Store design
Square Online Store doesn't offer you a whole lot in the way of design or customization options.
In fact, during our user testing, we found Square Online Store's designs to be a bit basic. Unlike most of its rivals, Square Online Store doesn't give users a range of site templates to choose from. Instead, you get a basic layout which can be changed a bit, but you'll still be left with something that looks a bit generic.
Square Online Store pricing
As we mentioned above, Square Online Store is the only worthwhile ecommerce platform that allows you to start selling stuff for free — with a pretty expensive 2.9% + $0.30 transaction fee on all sales.
Price (billed monthly)
Price (billed annually)
Can you publish your website to a custom domain name?
Does your website host Square branding and adverts?
Free custom domain for a year
Post customer reviews
Abandoned Cart emails
2.9% + $0.30 per transaction
2.9% + $0.30
2.9% + $0.30
2.6% + $0.30
However, there are some drawbacks to the free plan. For example, you won't get a custom domain name — meaning you'll be left with something that looks sloppy and a bit unprofessional. Your site will also feature Square Online Store branding, with banner adverts that, again, make your site look amateurish. However, you get access to all the accounting and inventory features offered on the more expensive plans which is, in our mind, pretty remarkable.
The paid-for plans start with the $16 per month Professional plan which removes the Square Online Store branding whilst also giving you unlimited storage. The $29 per month Performance plan gives you some extra marketing and shipping features.
The $79 per month Premium plan lowers the transaction fee to 2.6% and offers improved shipping discounts. Your customers will also be able to use the real-time shipping calculator, letting them see exactly how much they'll pay at checkout.
Square Online Store bricks and mortar
Perhaps one of Square's biggest upsides is that it has seamless integration with Square's POS software.
That makes Square Online Store a great choice if you're already using Square's POS tools for a bricks and mortar store. All your sales, accounting, and inventory information will be stored together, making everything easy to access and easy to manage.
Exceptional website templates, but some drawbacks
You might be forgiven for thinking we’ve put Squarespace in by mistake. After all, it’s a website builder first-and-foremost, designed to give you a great-looking website, and not designed as an ecommerce platform.
However, we found Squarespace to be a very competent ecommerce platform. For a start, its product and inventory management is just as advanced as any of the other platforms on this list, with a surprising amount of detail on offer. It also allows you to easily stock different types of products, from your standard physical products to digital downloads and even services.
- Cheaper than ecommerce rivals
- Exceptional website design options
- Easy to use
- Deep customization options
- No transaction fees
- Doesn't integrate that many sales channels
- Reporting can be slightly basic
- Limited apps can seem restrictive
As we mentioned above, Squarespace's real advantage is that it has some of the best website builder templates on the market. The templates are all designed in-house, and are completely optimized for mobiles and tablets as well as laptops and PCs.
There are plenty designed specifically for ecommerce websites as well, so getting started will be a piece of cake.
Taking payments on Squarespace
Squarespace is not completely without fault, though, as it limits your payment and accounting options to two third-party companies – not ideal if your business is already up-and-running. You’re also limited in your ability to internationalize due to tricky language settings and shipping choices.
However, Squarespace does offer compatibility with Square – one of the biggest POS providers out there.
Squarespace offers two pricing plan for online stores: Basic Commerce and Advanced Commerce.
Cost (paid monthly)
Cost (paid annually)
Cost (paid annually)
Commerce – Basic
Commerce – Advanced
A good value plan that's perfect for growing ecommerce businesses
The best choice for larger-scale ecommerce businesses looking for a beautiful website
With annual purchase
With annual purchase
The Basic plan costs $26 per month. For that, you get a mobile optimized checkout, and improved commercial metrics to identify any pain-points your users are finding with your site. What's more, you won't have to pay any transaction fees on any sales.
The Advanced plan costs $40, and gives you lots of extra features. For example, you get abandoned cart recoveries as well as shipping rate calculations for USPS, FedEx, and UPS. You get access to Squarespace's Orders API, which allows you to build custom integration with third-party services for order fulfillment and production logistics. Plus, you can sell gift cards and recurring digital services, such as magazines or members-only podcasts.
Want to know more? Read our full Squarespace for ecommerce review
Powerful ecommerce features, but can be trickier to use
Volusion is a great ecommerce platform. However, it isn’t quite as intuitive and straightforward to use as BigCommerce or Shopify, which really holds it back in this context. It does have great, mobile-responsive website templates, though, which will help make your site stand out from the crowd.
- Good product management
- Impressive website templates
- Easy to integrate sales channels
- Some features only on top-tier plans
- Navigating around the backend can be confusing
- Could offer a few more sales channels
Volusion sales features
Like the other platforms in this list, Volusion has a good range of strong sales features – especially its highly-detailed inventory management. This will pay dividends as your business grows, as managing your stock and analyzing your sales performance will be easy.
It also has no transaction fees, and a great range of reporting tools which can help you stay on top of your dealings.
But, as we mentioned above, it can be a bit confusing to navigate. Some features relating to your site’s design, for example, can be accessed from two separate menus, creating a doubled-up feeling which leaves your head spinning.
Some menus are simply confusing, with pages you’d expect to be in one place being located in a seemingly unrelated menu. Still, Volusion’s proactive help and support team should be able to help.
Volusion offers four fixed pricing plans, as well as a POA plan for the largest businesses.
The Personal plan costs $26 per month, and is meant for small businesses. You only have access to online support, and will be limited to 100 products and up to $50,000 sales per year.
The Professional plan costs $71 per month, and will let you list 5,000 products on your site. The sales cap is doubled to $100,000 per year, and you get access to features such as product reviews, newsletters, and abandoned cart recoveries.
The Startup plan costs $161 per month, and gives you access to third-party app integrations. You can also list unlimited products, as well as sell on Amazon and eBay. Plus, the sales cap is increased to $250,000 per year.
The Business plan costs $269 per month, and gives you a lot of extra features. For example, you get access to Volusion’s API, advanced report builder tools, and the platform's ‘Dedicated Success Team’, who can advise you on business decisions rather than simply offering support.
Want to know more? Read our full Volusion review
A respectable ecommerce builder, but bettered by Wix and Shopify
Weebly, like Wix, is a website builder looking to improve its ecommerce game. However, it’s still got some way to go before it can really challenge the ecommerce giants, or even Squarespace.
Weebly product management
With a Weebly ecommerce site, you’ll still be able to use its impressive website builder functions. This means you'll be able to make a great looking site very easily.
What's more, unlike Wix, Weebly does offer bulk product imports and stock management tools without the use of a third-party app. This will make setting up your ecommerce store much easier.
Want to know more? Read our full Weebly review
- Impressive design and website building tools
- Supports selling physical and digital products as well as services
- Good integration with Stripe payment processing
- No transaction fees
- Limited choice of website themes
- Restrictive storefront editor
- Places a cap on the value of sales you can make
However, Weebly doesn’t support multiple sales channels. This means extra work for you, as you won't be able to manage selling products in one central hub.
What's more, you’ll incur a 3% transaction fee on all but two of its pricing plans. Weebly also doesn’t give you the ability to customize your checkout, nor does it allow guest checkout options. All of these factors will hold you back in your quest for online sales, particularly if you’re looking to run a larger store.
We're not convinced of Weebly's efficacy as an ecommerce platform. But it is cheaper than lots of its rivals.
There are three plans for online stores: Pro, Business, and Business Plus.
Pro costs $12 per month, and lets you accept payments through Square and start selling products. The Business plan costs $25 per month and gives you some extra features, including proper inventory management, tax and shipping calculators, and shipping discounts.
The Business Plus plan costs $38 per month, and lets you charge real-time shipping rates and send abandoned cart emails.
How Did We Choose the Best Website Builders for Ecommerce?
Our recommendations aren't based on random guesswork.
We put every website builder on this page through extensive, independent testing.
As well as assessing the features and value for money of each price plan, we put each website past a panel of testers of completely mixed abilities, from experienced web developers to novices. That way, we can ascertain real world ease-of-use for each online store platform.
How we test and rate ecommerce website builders
The scoring above is based on in-depth, independent assessments of each of these ecommerce website builders. So you can know which system is right for you, we put each brand through a series of tests and user feedback assessments.
For an ambitious online store, you'll need excellent features and access to a range of apps – all of which goes into our features assessment. But it's no use having these options if they're too complex to use. That's why we also do real-life user testing, getting users with a range of skill levels to try out the website builders and provide feedback on how approachable they found them.
We rate the variety and quality of templates you can use to create an online store, plus we rate the Help & Support on offer when you need assistance.
Finally, we give an all-important value for money rating, based on the variety of plans available and what you get in return for your investment.
Shopify came out top in our tests. It's a market leader when it comes to creating an online store, and for good reason. It has fantastic features and, crucially, it's a great brand to choose if you're building a large-scale online store.
If you're looking to make a smaller, more boutique store, then we'd recommend choosing Wix – it has some fantastic ecommerce functions, and competitive price plans that will be more appealing than the Shopify top tiers for larger stores.
Building an Ecommerce Website FAQs
Now you know which ecommerce website is the best, and how we came to that conclusion, it only seems right that we answer some important questions and dispel some myths about ecommerce website builders.
In this section, we'll be covering:
- Ecommerce website builder costs
- Whether or not you can create an ecommerce site for free
- Whether Wix is a good choice for an ecommerce site
- Which ecommerce website builder is the easiest to use
- The best ecommerce website builder for small businesses
- What makes a good ecommerce website design
- Whether ecommerce builders give you ready-made site templates or not
How much does it cost to build an ecommerce website?
Not all ecommerce website builders cost the same amount. In fact, platforms such as Shopify or BigCommerce cost significantly more than platforms such as Wix or Weebly.
This is largely due to the complexity of each platform. While Wix and Weebly will let you create a really small, basic site with only a few products, Shopify and BigCommerce are designed for much larger operations.
Broadly speaking, Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly's cheapest ecommerce plans will cost you between $20-30 per month.
Wix's ecommerce plans, for example, range from $23 per month for the Business Basic plan to $500 per month for the Enterprise plan.
Meanwhile, Shopify's cheapest plan is $29 per month, and gives you access to a serious ecommerce experience. However, its other plans cost $79 per month and $299 per month. These are designed for established ecommerce stores, so there's no need to worry about the high prices if you're just starting out.
How do I create a free ecommerce website?
Well, to put it simply, you can't.
You'll have to pay actual money to sell stuff online with these ecommerce platforms. You'd be forgiven for thinking that you'd be able to get at least something for free nowadays, but when it comes to online selling, you can't.
All these website builders do offer some level of free functionality – Squarespace, Shopify, and BigCommerce, for example, have limited-time free trials. However, you'll need to pay to extend these trials into full sites.
Don't let that put you off setting up an ecommerce site, though. As you start making money, you'll quickly recoup the cost of the ecommerce platform you choose.
Is Wix good for ecommerce?
If you want to make a small store – perhaps as a side-hustle, a boutique website, or a site to sell merch associated with another project you're working on (a podcast or band, for example) – then yes.
In fact, Wix is a great choice for an ecommerce site if you're looking to make an online store as part of a larger website.
However, if you're looking to create a large online store for a company that sells lots of products, we'd probably advise going with Shopify or BigCommerce.
Which is the easiest ecommerce website builder to use?
Shopify and Wix are the two easiest ecommerce website builders we've tested, and both should prove simple and approachable when you're creating your own online store. Arguably, Wix just has the edge for first timers, thanks to its best-in-class Help & Support options. Both sites have excellent setup processes, where you're guided through creating a site with some simple questions and easy-to-follow templates to get you started – this can help any beginner feel confident with their first steps.
To determine how easy each website builder is to use, we put each website builder we tested past a panel of users of mixed experience with creating websites. This included complete first-timers who had never made a website before, let alone an online store.
In our table below, we've included ratings for Ease of Use, Help & Support, plus a Customer Score rating, based on the feedback from our real-world user panel.
Which ecommerce platform is best for small businesses?
If you're a small business owner, and want to create an ecommerce site, we'd recommend going with either Wix or Squarespace.
Wix makes creating a website incredibly easy, and you'll have loads of design tools at hand to make it fit your existing branding. Squarespace, on the other hand, has a laser focus on design, and has loads of built-in ecommerce tools.
Wix, however, does offer a more scalable platform that Squarespace for ecommerce sites. So, while both are good for starting out, Wix will likely be a better fit in the long run.
What makes a good ecommerce website design?
The best ecommerce sites are super easy to use and look high-quality. Of course, building a site that can tick both of these boxes is easier said than done.
However, there are some good ground rules to follow:
- Make sure navigation is easy – No one likes clicking back-and-forth between different menus, trying to work out how to get home
- Use high quality images and videos – Customers want to buy things that look nice, and if the stuff you're trying to sell doesn't look nice, no one will buy it
- Mobile optimization – More than 40% of online purchases happen on mobiles, so its worth making sure your site looks good on a phone
- User-generated reviews – These are a great way to build trust in an online store, so make sure your site can use them
This isn't just a matter of pretty visuals and smooth navigation for customers, either. A well designed ecommerce website can improve your revenue – indeed, research by Shopify has found a correlation between quality online store design and increased customer loyalty.
Are there ecommerce website templates?
Absolutely. All of the ecommerce platforms we've recommended here offer online store templates. These make it super-easy to start creating an online store by giving you the bare bones of a site, right off the bat.
You might not like the idea of using a template, and would prefer a more free experience. However, all of Squarespace's templates, for example, are professionally-designed, which might give you the edge on your competition. We've added some of our favorite in the gallery.
A template will also ensure your site stays consistent, so it always looks clean and elegant.
Next Steps in Creating an Ecommerce Site
So those are the best platforms for creating an ecommerce site, but how do you actually go about creating one? We’re going to run through all the things you should consider before, during, and after the creation of your site.
- Pick the right software – This is crucial, because if you don’t get this right, your business might never reach its potential. We’d recommend Shopify if you’re looking for a platform to give you an online store, as well as help you manage bricks-and-mortar stores or other online sales channels. Wix would be a better choice if you’re after a fully-featured website with the ability to sell products.
- Use the trial – Once you’ve picked your software, you should always try it out before committing to it. Shopify (and most other ecommerce builders) will give you a free trial period, normally lasting a couple of weeks. Some website builders, including Wix, have free packages with no time limit. This means that you can make sure the software is right for you, and you know how to properly use it.
- Prepare – The more you put into ecommerce platforms, the more you get out. If you’re already running a business, it’s worth checking whether the software you’re going to use can work with the existing payment systems and accounting software you use. Some platforms, such as Shopify, encourage you to use their own payment systems, for example.
- Get people to try it – Ask friends, family, or even random people to use your store and gather their feedback. After all, when Joe Public is going to be buying your products, you should at least make sure they can use your website.
- Optimize – Don’t sit still; make sure you use the reporting tools offered by your ecommerce builder to improve different aspects of your site. This will help get customers down the sales funnel as quickly and easily as possible.
Ecommerce Platforms - Final Thoughts
Fortunately, Wix and Shopify help to remove as many of the hard yards as possible, with excellent website templates and seamless integration of the tools you need to run a business online.
Shopify would be our go-to choice. You can run a business of any size on its incredibly powerful platform – regardless of whether you're just starting out or are already running a successful business, Shopify has the tools for you.
However, Wix is a great choice for smaller online businesses. If online selling isn't your main income stream, Wix might make a perfect partner. You can still sell everything you want, and get all the features, but it isn't designed to manage large-scale businesses like Shopify is.
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