The past year brought many new adjustments to our lives, lockdowns and quarantines key among them. However, these new adjustments in life also brought changes in the market. Many businesses were forced to shift their sales focus into the online environment; even many grocery chains started making the digital transition into ecommerce. Ecommerce and online stores are nothing new, but the pandemic brought a whole new wave of ecommerce businesses to the market.
Many people started their own online stores to sell their products directly to the consumer. Having a quality product to sell is important, but creating a memorable online shopping experience for the customer is equally as important. A website for ecommerce sales must have the functionality and design that keeps the customer on the site through the point of sale.
According to ecommerce statistics, only 9.6% of Gen Z customers report buying items in a physical store. Even when consumers made purchases in a brick-and-mortar store, 39% reported that they visited a brand's website before making the purchase. So, building the right website could mean the difference between a sale or a potential customer moving on to other brands.
Wix ecommerce is a great choice for entrepreneurs wanting to make a splash in the online marketplace. Small businesses, retailers, and large brands alike have used Wix to build, launch, and scale their online stores. You do not need to know how to code to make your storefront and stand out.
- Design features: With over 500 beautiful templates to choose from, you will have no shortage of options, and each is customizable. Wix hosts hundreds of SEO-friendly plug-ins to help boost your online store presence.
- Ease of use: The non-tech-savvy among us will love Wix's ease of use. Users can build a basic online storefront in less than 10mins (ask me how I know). The drag-and-drop building feature makes the process painless.
- Brand building: Wix offers free business tools like Wix Logo Maker and even a Business Name Generator for those who need fresh ideas.
- Manage transactions: Your products can be listed and sold on multiple sales channels. Online transactions like purchasing, tracking, and processing, delivery, refunds, or payouts can all be managed from the Wix dashboard and Wix Payments.
Wix ecommerce pricing has three monthly plans: Basic - $23 | Unlimited - $27 | VIP - $49
Squarespace is a popular choice for ecommerce creatives, such as podcasters, photographers, and other content creators. Though it is known for its superior portfolio building and blogging features, Squarespace also has some great tools for ecommerce businesses.
- High-quality design: Squarespace offers attractive theme options created by world-class designers. There are hundreds of layouts to complement your product.
- ecommerce options: Inventory management, shipping tools, social media integration, and consumer analytics, and SEO optimization are just a few of the features you get with Squarespace.
- Customizable checkout: Squarespace allows for ultimate customization, even at checkout.
- Support: Squarespace offers mobile support to ensure your website is accessible at all times. It also offers 24/7 tech support.
Squarespace pricing features annual and monthly plans: Business - $18/$26 | Basic Commerce - $26/$35 | Advanced Commerce - $40/$54
Volusion is an all-in-one ecommerce website builder that is ideal for anyone, no matter their level of technological expertise. The customizable storefront options make it easy to build your website quickly so you can dive into your passion and share it with others.
- Customize your design: Volusion gives users a powerful site editor to customize the professionally designed themes, ensuring it has a look and feel you want. Drag and drop features allow you to curate your website with the media content you want.
- Payment setup: Volusion makes getting paid fast and easy. Payment services such as PayPal, Apple Pay, and Stripe can be easily integrated.
- Built-in tools: Order management features make bulk processing and order creation simple. Features like MailChimp allow you to set up, track, and measure the effectiveness of your email campaigns. A Live Chat feature makes sure your customers get their questions answered quickly.
- Analytics: Performance tracking is available with Volusion. Customer insights, such as spending habits, will help you understand and serve your customers better.
Volusion pricing features three-month prepaid or month-to-month options: Personal - $26/$29 | Pro - $71/$79 | Startup $161/$179 | Business - $269/$299
Shopify is used by more than 1,000,000 businesses, and that number continues to grow. It has earned its reputation as being a reliable website builder devoted solely to ecommerce. The tech-experienced or novice alike can create a scalable online storefront with Shopify.
- Professional design: Shopify has over 70 customizable themes designed by professionals. Each template can be easily configured to your taste, allowing you to stay true to your brand and storefront vision.
- Mobile ready: Each storefront comes with a built-in mobile shopping cart, allowing your customers to shop hassle-free on the go from any tablet or phone.
- Shopping features: Shopify integrates over 100 external payment gateways, from PayPal to Bitcoin. If you want to reach international customers, Shopify's online checkout is offered in over 50 languages.
- SEO and analytics: Getting found online is easier with Shopify's customizable SEO practices. It also offers product and traffic reports so you can analyze your growth and sales and gain insights into how customers found your store online.
Shopify pricing and monthly plans: Basic Shopify - $29 | Shopify - $79 | Advanced Shopify - $299
The name says it all. BigCommerce is a force to be reckoned with in the ecommerce website building game. Their mission is simple -- help their users sell more. Whether a small startup or a mid-market business, BigCommerce offers a platform primed for scalable growth in the online market.
- Storefront options: BigCommerce gives non-experienced website builders a drag-and-drop solution with their visual page builder and editor as they work with customizable themes. You can even check your mobile optimization before launching each page, making sure functionality isn't lost on mobile devices.
- Digital wallets: BigCommerce makes it easier for your customers to pay you for your awesome products, integrating PayPal, Amazon Pay, Apple Pay, and more.
- International features: Do you want to reach customers worldwide? BigCommerce helps you serve global shoppers by accepting payments in over 100 currencies. Their content delivery network ensures your site loads quickly for customers around the world.
- Security and analytics: You can rest easy knowing your store's data is backed up and secure. The BigCommerce Analytics Dashboard allows you to track important metrics and customer data, letting you know which marketing campaigns are working and what products are selling.
BigCommerce pricing and monthly plans: Standard - $29.95 | Plus - $71.95 | Pro - $269.96
What to consider when creating a website
Whether your goal is to build a website to sell products solely online or you are building one to compliment your physical store and increase sales, there are a few important things to consider before setting out to create a website.
- Type of business: What are you selling? A product or service? Are you a new business or startup that is seeking to build a brand from the ground up? You need to find an online store builder that fits your vision, brand, and needs.
- Ease of use: You will need an ecommerce website that has the flexibility to fit your needs, one with SEO capabilities that help get your online storefront noticed online. Customizable templates and theme options are important for those who lack knowledge in coding or website design.
- Works with the tools you need: You will need to ensure the ecommerce website builder is able to integrate with the tools you'll need for your online business; email marketing, customer data, mobile optimization, etc.
- Cost: Perhaps the biggest consideration is cost. Ecommerce website builders have varying prices, with monthly or annual price structures and web-hosting options.
Selling products and services online is nothing new, but in the last year, we saw many businesses throw their hat into the ecommerce arena. Building an online store is an investment, one that pays off if done the right way. Choosing the best ecommerce website builder is essential in helping you bring your product to the internet market.
You want to choose one that is affordable, easy-to-use, and one that houses a host of online features that help you reach your customers while allowing you to stay true to your brand.