10 Most Popular Ecommerce Content Management Systems
E-commerce has changed the way the world does business. Experts estimate that the number of online buyers in the year 2020 is slated to surpass 2 billion. What began as a humble e-commerce sales activity 40 years ago in the year 1982, has now taken the world by storm and is growing at a whopping rate of 23% year-on-year.
The impact of COVID-19 and social distancing norms is expected to have a long-term positive impact on the growth of the eCommerce model. And this is the best time for small businesses to embrace the world of e-commerce. It’s never been easier to foray into the e-commerce segment, thanks to the best e-commerce website builders that are available at your fingertips.
At Be Media we specialise in growing Ecommerce stores revenue and customer base.
Ten Best Ecommerce Website Builders
Choosing a website builder with eCommerce benefits that are best suited for your business can be quite a daunting task. Here’s our comprehensive guide to the parameters of e-commerce website builders to help you decide the online store website builder to give your business a kick-start in the world of eCommerce.
Our team of experts recommends these 10 best ecommerce website builders to help you start your online business without burning a hole in your pocket.
Shopify is one of the most popular online shopping platforms that are ideal for first-time sellers as it facilitates not just an easy way to start an eCommerce business but also helps you when your sales grow.
Features of Shopify
- Available in several languages including English, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Spanish, Swedish, Thai, and Turkish.
- The option of using the existing domain name on Shopify.
- Offers free 90-day service, without the need for credit card details.
Advantages of Shopify
- No need for technical know-how and user friendly
- Great for multi-channel sales—social, online, and offline
- Provides options for high scalability to support future growth in business
- Enhanced security of payment transactions through encryption via SSL at no added cost.
Disadvantages of Shopify
- No option of B2B platform
- Paid option after the free trial plan expires
- Transaction fee is charged for non-Shopify payments.
If you want to build on Shopify with Be Media click here!
Bigcommerce offers an eCommerce platform at affordable rates without compromising on the 3S’s of eCommerce—Scalability, Stability, and Security. Bigcommerce comes with several built-in features that are ideal for growing businesses.
- Completely adaptable to mobile devices
- Options for discount coupons and gift vouchers
- Convenience of high speed with Google Cloud platform, Google AMP, and Akamai Image Manager
- Digital wallet that is compatible with Amazon Pay, Google Checkout, PayPal, Apple Pay, and many other platforms.
Advantages of Bigcommerce:
- Offers the convenience of selling across different online platforms including Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook
- Competitive pricing with an additional 10% discount for annual plans
- No transaction fees on any plans
- Offers multi-layer security features including firewalls, 24×7 monitoring, and file-integrity scanners
Disadvantages of Bigcommerce:
- Limited free theme templates
- Automatic upgrade to higher plans in case of exceeding the sales limit
- Needs code for multi-lingual features
“The Be Media web development team work across a lot of CMS’s but when we really looked at what we want to work on and what we know and trust it was very clear. WordPress running WooCommerce was our number 1 requested website CMS and followed second by Shopify. We work on what we know works for the client’s business”.
Wix is a website builder that offers small businesses the convenience of creating a professional eCommerce website without compromising on security and creativity, albeit at a reasonable price. With more than 500+designer templates available, Wix allows for simplicity offering one of the most easy to use website builder platforms compared against all the other listed alternatives here.
- Versatile drag and drop feature to design your website to suit your creativity quotient
- Enhanced scrolling effects including fade-in scrolling, zoom-in, parallax, and reveal
- Connectivity to Google Search Console
- Flexibility to scale up site features with the help of Wix App Market
Advantages of Wix
- Security enhanced with encrypted SSL certificate
- Wix Code Forum to help clients with coding related issues
- Enhanced creativity with templates, 100+ fonts, and animations
- Automatic site back that can be restored easily
- Automatic Design Intelligence (ADI) for better social media and customer connect.
Disadvantages of Wix
- Need for third-party apps for extra features
- Slow loading speed for mobile platform
- Difficult to change templates after the website goes live.
Weebly is a drag and drop website builder which offers more than twenty-three third-party apps that can be integrated to create professional online stores. With more than 40 million users worldwide, Weebly is a tried and tested service provider for small business. This is a good match if it is your first business website because it is very simple to use and get started.
- Free video library to create engaging video backgrounds
- Embed code for better customization options
- Option of an integrated shopping cart with different social media platforms
- Password-protected pages for superior security
Advantages of Weebly
- Provides all the basic tools needed for advanced eCommerce
- Easy to use with no prior coding knowledge
- Adapts well to mobile platforms
- Easy to implement SEO settings
- Auto-save function for safeguarding data
Disadvantages of Weebly
- Problems related to the backup system
- Design flexibility is limited
- Transaction fee is charged on sales
Square Online Store
Whether you are a restaurant, nonprofit organization, small business, or in the service industry, you are sure to benefit from setting up an online shopping platform with Square Online Store. Square Online Store is a one-stop-solution for all your eCommerce needs including everything from setting up appointments to facilitating in-store pickups.
- Online appointments by linking with Square appointments
- Square POS to facilitate automatic inventory, orders, and items sync
- Order status text alerts
- Unsplash image library for professional-quality photos
- Coupon codes for great discounts
Advantages of Square Online Store:
- Easy to use dashboard—simple to use for beginners
- Superior marketing features – paid advertisements as well as email marketing
- Best suited for merchants with low volumes
- No prior coding knowledge needed
Disadvantages of Square Online Store:
- Not suitable for high volume sellers
- Customer support only on weekdays
- Not much scope for customizations
- Dependence on Square payment gateway to avoid transaction fees
Strikingly offers customizable templates to businesses to create a unique store on their eCommerce platform with no transaction fees. It is a website builder with eCommerce features that will help you when in the getting started mode. We would not recommend this for established businesses.
- Offers flexible order management systems to run the business from anywhere
- Unique product categories to help your business grow
- Video backgrounds to help create interactive content
Advantages of Strikingly
- Enhanced customer support with 24×7 support lines
- One of the most cost-effective eCommerce platforms
- Single page layout for better customer experience
Disadvantages of Strikingly:
- Limited features in free version
- Customer support only in English language
- Limited scalability options
- Lacks state-of-the-art plug-ins for professional quality apps
Imagine an eCommerce website builder with no advertisements! And add to that the benefit of reaching out to a global audience of more than 40 million registered users and support in more than 20 world languages. Yes, Webnode is one of the best eCommerce website builders available in the market today.
- Drag and drop editor facilitates ease of use
- Choice of using your own domain
- Integrated with Google Analytics and Google AdSense
Advantages of Webnode:
- Ad-free site
- Well suited for multi-lingual customers
- Good choice of free design templates
- Easy order management
Disadvantages of Webnode:
- Not suitable for advanced blogging
- Need to buy advanced plans for premium features
- Complex pricing plans
If you are looking for a website builder with eCommerce facilities that include more than 150 payment methods, all-year-round 24×7 customer support, and no transaction costs, then you should consider 3dcart as your online shopping platform.
- Google AMP integration
- Provides newsletter smart lists
- Built-in blog facilities
- Unlimited email hosting
Advantages of 3Dcart:
- Built-in CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool
- Ideally suited for first-time users and small businesses
- No transaction fees
Disadvantages of 3Dcart:
- Limited scope of free templates
- Limited mobile adaptability
- Pay extra for premium features
Volusion is an online store website builder that offers interactive design template themes that help create specialized online sales platforms in absolutely no time.
- PCI Certified check out process
- SSL certification for superior safety
- Efficient customer management system with better contact information and purchase history
- Easy to use CRM system
Advantages of Volusion:
- Extensive 24×7 support with a live chat option
- Flexible pricing option based on number of products and bandwidth size
- Offers superior analytical tools
- Wide range of payment choices
- No extra transaction fees
Disadvantage of Volusion:
- Extra cost for obtaining SSL certification
- Limited design choices
- Expensive premium design templates
GoDaddy is more than an ecommerce website builder. It is an internet domain registrar as well as a web hosting company that provides comprehensive solutions including SSL security, website building, domain name registration, and professional email to name a few. We would advise anyone thinking of building an eCommerce store on GoDaddy to rethink the reason why and speak with our web team for better options.
- Multi-language support
- cPanel for better control on the website
- Round the clock customer support
- Mobile-friendly layouts
Advantages of GoDaddy
- Easy to use—both from computers as well as mobile devices
- Affordable pricing – as low as $4 per month
- Enhanced security features including SSL certification
Disadvantages of GoDaddy
- Not suited for advanced blogging
- Limited editing layouts
- Extra restoration fees
- GoDaddy is NOT a website builder or particularly good at it.
- We fear what would come out of this as an end result and how long it would take to repair it.
To see some better alternatives to GoDaddy you can see what website technology Be Media suggest on this page.
How to Choose a Good eCommerce Store Builder
Form follows function
So said the 19th Century architect Louis Sullivan, as a tenet of not just his professional philosophy, but of all things in this world. The form of houses, hills, and horses all follow each function those entities perform as a part of their daily existence.
And so we can apply it to your eCommerce website.
As you look to build your online storefront through which your customers will ogle, engage, and purchase goods and services from you, you need to know how to design it around the necessary functions.
Only when you have sorted out the functions that will serve your eCommerce store best can you build it. And the best eCommerce store builders all have well-defined functions through which they bring about the best possible form for your website.
These functions are, of course, logical extensions of your customers’ needs and desires, as they browse your website. They are usually:
- Multi-channel integration
- Customer relationship management (CRM)
- Security and Customer Data Protection
- Product management
- Order management
- Return management
- Smartphone Scalability
These functions are what each eCommerce store builder will try to fulfil to a sufficient extent. Your job is to figure out what fits best to your eCommerce needs, as per your budget, specific business category, and web traffic.
If you’re a start-up, you’ll try to start with an affordable and minimalist store builder. If you’re a small/medium business (SMB) or large enterprise with heavier requirements, you’ll try to spend good money on an expensive, but more capable, store builder.
But, before choosing an eCommerce store builder, you need to know that there are two types of eCommerce building platforms available for purchase online.
SaaS-based eCommerce Store Builders
Examples of such are Shopify, Woocommerce, and BigCommerce. These platforms give you readymade solutions for your website design and UI, and do not need you to find web hosts. Vendors do all the management and customization and take a commission for their services.
As such, technical knowledge is not needed from your side, but customization is minimal and source code is closed, giving you less overall control. SaaS-based platforms are used by business owners who do not want to waste time on website management and who would rather find quick solutions. “SaaS” stands for “Software as a service.”
Open-source eCommerce Store Builders
Examples are PrestaShop, Magento Community, and WordPress WooCommerce. There are two types of open-source store builders: free and custom open source platforms.
- Free open-source store builders have readymade design templates and UI solutions, along with the potential to use source code for modules, extensions, and plug-ins. Therefore, technical knowledge is required, but there is more room for customization by the owner (though not very much). So, businesses can avoid those recurring commission charges that SaaS-based platforms entail.
- Custom open-source store builders offer the advantages of free open-source platforms and SaaS-based platforms. They offer both readymade and highly customizable solutions, albeit for a much higher price.
The Functions to Look for In a Good eCommerce Store Builder
A large component of consumers today are online (which is why you’ve set up shop digitally), and many of them come from several eCommerce marketplaces at once — Amazon, Google Shopping, eBay, Facebook, Instagram, and even your email marketing center.
You may already have seller accounts on each of these eCommerce marketplaces, and it would make life so much easier if you could integrate your store to each of them — to help synchronize orders, product listings, and product comparisons.
You need to look for eCommerce store builders that have these options of multichannel integration. BigCommerce, Shopify, 3dshop, Volusion, and many other examples of stores are able to enable this for your benefit.
Customer Relation Management
This function refers to your store builder’s requirement to collate and use customer relationship data to inform your business and marketing objectives.
Data such as personal info, account numbers, sales, behavior, buying trends, tracking and delivery, credit card verification. etc., can be used to find a marketing objective to fulfil. CRM systems also store client information in the cloud, keeping it accessible to any number of individuals at any time.
An eCommerce store builder which integrates CRM within its frameworks should be researched and utilized for the best possible results. CRM informs and enhances the digital potential of any website looking to expand its base.
Security and Customer Data Protection
Customers share their personal and financial data with your company’s store, when making purchases. These could be vulnerable to phishers who use the data to illegally obtain money. So a tight security layer needs to be integrated into your overall website framework by your website builder.
Make sure it comes with decent Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TSL) protocols. Make sure it offers foolproof payment gateways and systems, with multiple options of payment. Also, if there is added security, such as a Payment Card Industry (PCI) 3.1 Level 1 certification and several data centers for backing up data, choose accordingly.
Your customers want to feel like their information is secure while making a purchase. That is vital to any eCommerce website.
This is one of the main aspects of eCommerce store building. Your products are the reason customers and digital visitors make the trip to your web pages. Your products naturally need the best display configurations, product search features, and product categories available to eCommerce website building interfaces.
Product search features and promotions are how your products get found through search engines and ads. These happen through keywords, negative keywords, prices, geolocations, and other SEO factors. It is preferable that your store builder have a product management system that integrates these factors along with those of your other seller accounts.
Product categories, display pictures, and sorting must be made given convenient access. Lists should be uploadable in bulk through .xls or .csv files. The more tools your builder provides, the better it is for your business.
Product Order Management
Customers order thousands of products and services everyday. This huge uprising of activity and monetary value needs an overview, through which it is made simple to your team.
This is another highly important aspect of eCommerce store building. Orders need to be tracked, sold products need to be subtracted from the inventory, returned products need to be re-added into the inventory, and customers need to be notified of shipping services on email, text messaging, or calls.
Product Return Management
Often, customers are either dissatisfied with products they buy, or opt for another similar product. They will require the option of returning those products, either with a whole refund or a partial refund, depending on the date limits..
A good return management system is one that can adroitly handle return rules, date limit, return charges, refunds, and the identification of which products are eligible for return, and which aren’t.
Then, when all is done, it should be able to integrate with the inventory and tally the sold products.
Website Search Engine Optimisation
The means by which your store website, its web pages, and your product listings will be found on search engines is structured by strong SEO frameworks in your store. Every store builder needs to accommodate for this, with appropriate URLs, meta tags, meta descriptions, custom domain and image names, and seamless integration with Google Analytics.
It isn’t easy to get your products ranked high on Google Search, and only well-researched SEO embeddings and a good product display will help you slowly build your profile.
We would not suggest putting your entire SEO plan into an app or tool. As much as these tools and apps make it easier they use a precalculated plan to make recommendations and suggestions. The true power of SEO comes from having the big picture of all onsite and offsite happenings. Our SEO team are truly exceptional at what they do and can really help your store visibility.
Since 2014, the majority of internet users have been mobile and smartphone users. Most of our digital activity, attention, and eCommerce product sales, are within the jurisdiction of our pocket screens. So it only makes sense that all eCommerce stores be scaled to smartphone screens as well, with their different rations.
If you come across an eCommerce store building platform that doesn’t have the option for smartphone scalability, then you should drop it immediately. All eCommerce sites need mobile-responsive templates now. Also, if your builder comes with its own type of mobile app, then that doubles the advantage.
By the end of all your research — which should be sufficiently dogged after checking 100 different platforms only to find that WordPress & WooCommerce are the most popular — you would have found the eCommerce store builder that meets the requirements of these functions. These are functions that are common for their necessity within your own unique business and its model. Only you can know the nature of your business and to what degree each of these functions should be at, to make possible its best returns.
Lastly, remember to check for updates and upgrades to the various platforms available online. We would highly recommend speaking to one of our web team about the features that best suit your business and what platform that is, to help you reach your business goals. Developments are quick in the digital world, and eCommerce is too important a medium to be left behind in.
Be Media has designed and developed a lot of eCommerce websites, if you are looking at refreshing or creating your online store contact the team at Be Media to get the conversation started.
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