Website Builders

Best E-commerce Website Builders Compared – 2021

Do you want to catch the wave of the ecommerce boom? The easiest and quickest way to start selling online is to use a suitable ecommerce website builder to create your own online store and sell the products and services you want.

We have tested and reviewed the top best ecommerce website builders for 2021 and have picked the best ones based on their main features, namely their ease of use, price, fees, design and flexibility, ecommerce tools, help, and support, and customer satisfaction.

Here are our tops picks, in a glance.

9 Best Ecommerce Builders of 2021

  • Wix – the best ecommerce websites builder in general
  • Shopify – the best ecommerce web builder for larger stores
  • BigCommerce – the best e-commerce websites builder for quickly growing businesses
  • Squarespace – the best designs and stores focused on brand image building
  • Square Online – the best budget-friendly website builder with ecommerce features
  • Weebly – the best ecommerce website builder for entrepreneurs
  • Volusion – the best e-commerce website building platform for those who want to analyze and track the performance
  • 3dcart – the best ecommerce website builder for sellers who want the most payment options
  • Big Cartel – the best option for hobby and craft stores and sales

Our top choices for the best e-commerce website builders for 2021 are Wix, Shopify, and BigCommerce. Wix is one of the easiest e-commerce web building platforms to use and includes numerous ecommerce tools. Shopify is the leading ecommerce website building and managing platform and has the greatest choice of ecommerce features, tools, and add-ons.

BigCommerce has the most integrated sales tools and is among the best options for building ecommerce websites for fast-growing businesses, as it allows for scalability.

Best Ecommerce Builders Comparison Chart

Here is a quick overview of the main features of our top ecommerce website builder picks and how they compare with one another:

Wix

Best overall ecommerce website builder

Wix Pros and Cons

Wix Pros:

  • A website builder for ecommerce offering the greatest ease of use, suitable for beginner users and people with no tech skills
  • Easy customization and excellent flexibility of design and features
  • A variety of ecommerce tools, including multi-channel sales, abandoned cart recovery, and more

Wix Cons:

  • There are no built-in inventory management stock level alerts for your online store
  • Switching from one template to another is not possible once the store is up and running
  • It is not  suitable for very large ecommerce businesses and store owners with large sales volumes

Wix features

Wix is our top pick among the best ecommerce website builders. the ecommerce business site builder is among the easiest website builders of all, thanks to its simple drag-and-drop builder editor interface. It also uses Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) to help users build the best online store with minimal effort.

Read our full Wix review

Still, the Wix store builder is a powerful online store building and management option, with its wide array of useful ecommerce tools and features.

The ecommerce website builder platform allows any big or small business owner to choose from more than 100 professional templates and hundreds of apps to further customize their online stores.

Wix is among the best website builders for ecommerce for people with no coding or tech skills who would like to build and run their own online stores.

Even with the least expensive plan, you will receive the most important ecommerce tools, including:

  • Multi-channel sales to Instagram, Facebook, and other channels
  • A drag and drop ecommerce business store builder and everything you need for its website design and functionality
  • Abandoned cart recovery reminders to customers
  • Reservations and online bookings
  • More than 15 payment gateways supported
  • Product zooming
  • Access to the extensive App Store

With the more expensive subscription plans for the ecommerce business builder, you will also receive tools like sales in different currencies, subscriptions, selling on other marketplaces, sales tax calculations, and more to add to your online store.

Wix Pricing

Wix offers four dedicated ecommerce and business plans, which include:

  • Wix Business Basic – for $23 per month when billed annually, 20GB storage, free custom domain for a year, 24/7 customer care, unlimited products, abandoned cart, social media channel sales
  • Wix Business Unlimited – $27 per month when billed annually, including all from the Basic plan, and 35GB storage, 100 automated sales transactions, multiple currencies, 250 products via dropshipping, marketplace sales, 1,000 product reviews, USPS discounts, and more
  • Wix Business VIP – $49 per month when billed annually, including everything from the Unlimited plan, plus 50GB storage, priority customer care, 500 automated tax transactions, dropshipping for unlimited products, 3,000 product reviews, and more
  • Wix Enterprise – custom-tailored solution and pricing, which includes everything that the customer needs and negotiates with Wix, and has VIP support

Shopify

Best ecommerce builder for large stores

Shopify Pros and Cons

Shopify Pros:

  • Some of the most powerful built-in and additional ecommerce tools and features designed to promote sales increase and business growth of your online store
  • High customer satisfaction, used by millions of online stores around the world
  • One of the biggest app stores with hundreds of apps – free or paid to improve your website, sales, performance, and more
  • Excellent and versatile customer support

Shopify Cons:

  • It does charge transaction fees if its in-house Shopify payment gateway is not used for payments
  • Using too many paid apps may add to the costs very quickly
  • A pricey option for small or new stores on a tight budget

Shopify is among the leading ecommerce website builder and management platforms. It is suitable for businesses of all sizes and types and includes an easy-to-use website builder, multiple professionally designed themes, and access to thousands of apps, plus the ecommerce tools and features integrated into the subscription plans.

Shopify Review 2021 – Key Pros and Cons

Shopify Features

Since Shopify is a dedicated ecommerce business builder platform rather than a general website builder, it is specialized for building, managing, and growing an online store of any type and size.

Shopify is designed to allow any beginner and business to create an online store and provides everything you need to start it and manage it successfully.

Even for the Basic Shopify plan, users will receive access to numerous useful ecommerce resources, included:

  • The site builder interface and tools needed to build e-commerce websites
  • Ability to sell unlimited products
  • Multiple sales channels
  • Selling and inventory management to up to 4 locations
  • Discount code and gift card use
  • Abandoned cart recovery
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Up to 2 staff admin accounts
  • Sales in 133 currencies, and fraud analysis
  • Shopify POS Lite
  • Discounts for shipping up to 64%
  • 24/7 live, phone, and email support

Once you create an online store, and your business starts growing, you can upgrade to a more expensive plan which comes with even more built-in features, like professional reports, 4 staff accounts, 5 locations for sales, USPS Priority Pricing, third-party automatic shipping rate calculation, setting multiple languages for international customers, and more.

Shopify Pricing

Shopify has three main and two additional subscription plans, including:

  • Basic Shopify for $29 per month
  • Shopify for $79 per month
  • Advanced Shopify for $299 per month
  • Shopify Lite – for selling from any site for $9 per month
  • Shopify Premium Plus – for the largest enterprises, starting from $2,000 per month

The downside is that Shopify charges transaction fees for its more than 100+ payment gateways unless you use the in-house Shopify Payments gateway.

You can try out Shopify for free thanks to its 14-day free trial, and scaling up and upgrading your Shopify plan is easy, so it is a platform to pick if you are ambitious and are looking to keep growing your ecommerce business continuously.

BigCommerce

Best for fast-growing businesses

BigCommerce Pros and Cons

BigCommerce Pros:

  • Very scalable ecommerce platform which is suitable for all growing online businesses
  • Unlimited numbers of items can be sold
  • Built-in multi-channel sales
  • Rich in features and tools, sales, inventory, accounting, shipping, marketing, and powerful SEO included to create an online store of any kind
  • No transaction fees

BigCommerce Cons:

  • It is not the easiest and more user-friendly platform to build and edit an online store
  • Maybe overkill for smaller-sized businesses
  • No one-click upsells

BigCommerce is our top pick for the best ecommerce website builder and platform for fast-growing online stores and businesses.

BigCommerce Features

BigCommerce is the ecommerce platform with the most and most powerful ecommerce tools, which will help growing businesses grow even further and faster.

With any of the BigCommerce plans, you can expect to get the following ecommerce features:

  • No transaction fees
  • Unlimited storage, traffic, products, and staff accounts
  • Multi-channel sales on Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Instagram, and Google Shopping
  • Mobile site and a mobile app
  • Most popular payment gateways supported, including Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, and Google Pay
  • A blog
  • Pro-range reporting tools
  • Real-time shipping quotes and one-page checkout
  • SSL certificate
  • Product reviews and ratings
  • Multiple currencies
  • 24/7 support

If you sign up for one of the more expensive plans, you will also receive abandoned cart and persistent cart savers, credit card storage, product filtering, API calls, priority routing and support, Google customer reviews, and more.

The fact is that the abundance of ecommerce features provided by BigCommerce is great news for large and growing businesses but can be too much for smaller online merchants.

BigCommerce Pricing

The BigCommerce ecommerce platform has four plans for its users, as follows:

  • Standard – for $29.95 monthly
  • Plus – for $79.95 monthly
  • Pro – for $299 monthly
  • Enterprise – custom price

Users can opt for a 10% discount on the BigCommerce subscription fees if they pay annually.

There is also a free 15-day free trial, which you can use to get the feel of the ecommerce site builder platform and decide whether you want to pay for a subscription.

The cheapest Standard plan is sufficient to start an online store and to run most small and medium online stores. Still, keep in mind that the company has the policy to upgrade the plans once users reach a certain sales volume per year.

The sales limit per year for the cheapest plan is up to $50,000. If you surpass the limit, you will be moved to the next plan, which has a limit of up to $180,000 per year and then to the Pro plan, where the sales volume limit is up to $400,000 annually.

Squarespace

Best for brand-focused stores

Squarespace Pros and Cons

Squarespace Pros:

  • The most beautiful, award-winning templates for your storefront
  • Premium quality website customization features
  • Premium inventory and website analytic tools for your ecommerce site

Squarespace Con:

  • Limited payment gateways – Stripe, PayPal, and Apple Pay
  • Not too many available add-ons and extensions

Squarespace is the best ecommerce website builder for merchants which is focused on design and brand image and offers some of the most aesthetically pleasing website themes of all platforms.

You can read our full Squarespace Review

Squarespace Features

Squarespace, like Wix, is not a dedicated ecommerce site builder platform. It is a general website builder that has added optional ecommerce site functionality instead.

Still, users of the Squarespace website builder can take advantage of the following powerful ecommerce store features and tools:

  • Free custom domain and SSL security
  • Unlimited storage and bandwidth and number of products
  • Award-winning mobile-optimized templates for any industry
  • All the tools you need to get started and run your ecommerce store
  • Useful SEO features
  • Advanced analytics and metrics for the website
  • Professional email
  • Up to $100 in Google Ad credits
  • Zero transaction fees for the sales and payments
  • Unlimited products
  • Donations and gift card options
  • A checkout and customer accounts
  • E-commerce analytics and merchandising tools
  • Abandoned cart recovery
  • Subscription sales
  • Advanced shipping options
  • Sales on Instagram
  • Ecommerce APIs
  • Limited availability labeling for encouraging customers to make purchases

Squarespace Pricing

All Squarespace users are required to start with a free 14-day trial, and then if they decide, to move on to one of the available paid plans for ecommerce, including:

  • Business – for $18 per month when paid annually
  • Basic Commerce – for $26 per month when paid annually
  • Advanced Commerce – for $40 per month when paid annually
  • Enterprise – custom price

Since the Business Plan is not designed specifically for only stores only but for all types of business websites, it does include a 3% transaction fee for payments made and sales made on the website.

With the two ecommerce plans, there are no transaction fees for the payments made by your customers.

As you can see, the ecommerce plans offered by Squarespace are less expensive than those offered by other website builders and ecommerce platforms. But, the number and types of ecommerce tools and features you will receive with these plans are more limited than those offered by more expensive ecommerce website builders.

Still, it is a platform that is one of the best store builders for creating a stunning online store and online business site, and selling all types of products.

Square

Best for sellers on a budget

Square Online Pros and Cons

Square Online Pros:

  • This is the platform that offers the best value for money, suitable for tight budgets
  • Fitted with the instruments, you will need to sell online and keep track of your online store successfully
  • Integrated marketing features that will help promote your products, brand, and store
  • It has a free plan which you can use to start selling right away

Square Online cons

  • It is not as customizable and flexible as other ecommerce website builders
  • Transaction fees can be limited if you use the in-house Square payment gateway
  • It is not as intuitive, so it has a steeper learning curve as compared to Wix or others

Square Online offers an opportunity to build and start running an online store completely free. Its paid plans are affordable and offer superb value for money.

Square Online Features

Square Online is an ecommerce platform that is designed to allow anyone to get started in online commerce as easily and as cheaply as possible.

With the free plan, you will get the following features for $0:

  • Listing and selling unlimited products
  • Automated inventory, syncing orders, and items with Square POS
  • Shipping, delivery, or pickup options for the sales
  • Integration with Instagram to increase your audience
  • Text confirmation for clients
  • Customization of customer orders 

With the free plan, you won’t need to pay a monthly fee. But you will be charged 2.9%+30 cents per transaction. You will also have ads and branding by Square on your free online store.

The transaction fee is 2.9% + 30 cents for the paid plans, and only the Premium plan has a lower transaction fee of 2.6% + 30 cents.

Some of the other advanced features included in the more expensive plans include a free custom domain, customer reviews posting, and order fulfillment and discounts on shipping labels, abandoned cart recovery emails, a real-time shipping rate calculator, and more.

Square Online Pricing

Apart from the completely free plan which you can use for an unlimited time, the other plans are also very affordable.

Here are all of the Square Online price plans:

  • Free – for $0 per month
  • Professional – for $12 per month billed annually
  • Performance – for $26 per month billed annually
  • Premium – for $72 per month billed annually

You should opt for the Professional plan for an ad-free store, but if you want to unlock useful ecommerce features like abandoned cart delivery, you will need to upgrade to the $26 monthly Performance plan. For lower transaction fees, you will need to subscribe to the Premium plan.

Although it is not as feature-rich as some of its competitors, Square Online is an excellent choice for newbies in online commerce who are just getting started and offers the best value for money of all.

Weebly

Best for entrepreneurs

Read our full guide –  Weebly Review 2021 : What to Expect

Weebly Pros and Cons

Weebly Pros:

  • It has an entirely free plan with some of the most comprehensive free ecommerce tools and features
  • Its paid plans are among the most affordable of all
  • The interface is easy to understand and use, perfect for beginners

Weebly Cons:

  • The templates and features as not as customizable as other website builders
  • It is not so suitable for large-sized businesses because it doesn’t have a very powerful inventory management tool
  • You will need to install additional apps for offering multi-channel sales

With its affordable prices and completely free plan combined with a multitude of ecommerce features and tools, Weebly is among the best options for beginners and for entrepreneurs.

Weebly Features

Weebly was acquired by the Square Online platform a couple of years ago and is moving towards becoming a leading ecommerce platform itself.

It offers one of the best completely free plans of all, which includes numerous features, including:

  • Free SSL
  • Adding code
  • Sales of unlimited items
  • Adding item badges and options
  • Shopping cart functionality
  • Quick shop feature
  • In-store pickup
  • Automatic tax rate calculator
  • Square gift cards and coupons
  • Inventory management
  • SEO
  • Lead capture and Instagram feed

With the paid plans, you will receive even more tools, including sales of digital goods, shipping calculators, PayPal payments, shipping label printing, abandoned cart recovery emails, item reviews, advanced ecommerce insights, pop-up notifications, and more.

Weebly Pricing

Weebly has a completely free plan and three other reasonably priced paid plans, including:

  • Free – $0
  • Personal $6 per month annually or $9 month to month
  • Professional – $12 per month annually or $16 month to month
  • Performance – $26 per month annually or $29 month to month

The Professional plan is the most suitable of all plans for most online stores and ecommerce needs, and it will cost you only $12 per month.

Volusion

Best for tracking performance

Volusion Pros and Cons

Volusion Pros:

  • Some of the best analytical tools of all provided by ecommerce platforms
  • Supports numerous popular payment options and has no transaction fees
  • Superb backend online store management tools, including inventory, shipping, mobile app, and more

Our full Volusion Review

Volusion Cons:

  • It is not as inexpensive as some of the other ecommerce web builders on our list
  • It lacks a blogging feature
  • Limited customization of the storefront design

The main strength of Volusion lies in its built-in backend sales and analytics tools and features, while its storefront design is a bit lacking.

Volusion Features

Volusion is our best pick for online merchants who love data and want to closely track their online stores’ performance.

It has strong positives and some negatives, but of its strongest advantage, the sales tools provided are the best, and those included for the cheapest Professional plan:

  • Unlimited storage, bandwidth, and products
  • Leading payment gateways supported with no transaction fees
  • Custom domain, SSL, and HTTPS certificate
  • Inventory synchronization
  • Automatic tax calculator
  • Manual and phone sales included
  • Integrated dropshipping
  • Product options
  • Fulfillment centers, bulk order processing
  • Useful mobile app for store management
  • Online and phone customer support

Volusion Pricing

The online store plans offered by Volusion include:

  • Personal  for $26 per month prepaid per 3 months
  • Professional for $71 per month prepaid per 3 months
  • Startup for $161 per month prepaid per 3 months
  • Business for $269 per month prepaid per 3 months
  • Prime for a custom-tailored fee per month

The ecommerce plans have limits for the sales volumes per year, with the Personal being limited to $50K, the Professional to up to $100K, the Startup to up to $250K, and the Premium to up to $500K.

The pricing of the Volusion plans is similar to that of Shopify, but Shopify does have more ecommerce tools and features.

Big Cartel

Best for hobby stores

Big Cartel Pros and Cons

Big Cartel Pros:

  • Perfect for creative, hobbyists and small sellers with individual items for sale
  • You can set up an online store for your items or work for free
  • You can sell physical and digital goods and services too
  • Helpful prompts and easy navigation for an online store building

Big Cartel Cons:

  • The available themes are not the most impressive of all ecommerce website builders on this list
  • Some coding is required if you truly want to customize your online store
  • The ecommerce features are much simpler than those offered by others

BigCartel is an ecommerce platform designed for artists and creative who can sell their work for free or easily via inexpensive paid plans.

Big Cartel Features

Big Cartel offers artists and creative to sell up to 5 products completely free via the free plan. If you sign up for the free plan, you will get a number of quite useful features, which include:

  • An image per every product listed
  • Up to 5 products can be sold online or in-person
  • Free themes which can be customized
  • Real-time statistics tracking
  • Discounts and promotions
  • Shipment tracking
  • Product groups and options
  • Sales tax autopilot

With the paid plans, which cost from $9.99 up to $22.99 per month, you can sell up to 500 items in your online store, list 5 images per product, edit items in bulk, and more.

There are no listing fees for BigCartel, and it is an excellent choice for hobbyists, crafters, artists, and others who have limited items to sell.

Big Cartel Pricing

Apart from the free plan, Big Cartel has several other paid plans, which include:

  • Gold – free for up to 5 items
  • Platinum – $9.99 per month for up to 50 products
  • Diamond – $19.99 per month for up to 250 products
  • Titanium – $29.99 per month for up to 500 products

3dcart

Best for payment options

3dcart Pros and Cons

3dcart Pros:

  • SEO prompts which will help improve your online store ranking and build traffic
  • You can switch from one template to another to redesign your storefront whenever you want
  • No transaction fees and 100+ payment solutions and options
  • No transaction fees

3dcart Cons:

  • It is not as popular among online merchants and entrepreneurs
  • Not the least expensive of our top choices

3dcart Features

3dcart offers a wide range of ecommerce tools and features but is not as popular as some of our other top choices.

Still, you can gain access to the following impressive features if you sign up for the cheapest Basic 3dcart plan:

  • Unlimited products, bandwidth
  • 2 email accounts
  • API and FTP access
  • Real-time shipping
  • Shipping label printing
  • Unlimited product options and variants
  • Product category set up
  • Product zoom function
  • Inventory control
  • Bulk quantity discounts
  • Mobile store, Facebook shops
  • Dropshipping
  • Gift wrapping
  • Single page checkout
  • Automatic tax rate calculation
  • Reports, and QuickBooks connector
  • Product and Google customer reviews
  • Cross-sells and upsells
  • Saved cart option
  • Built-in SEO, blogging tools
  • Social wish, gift certificates

The more expensive paid plans offer even more exciting features and tools to grow your business and boost your sales.

3dcart Pricing

There are no transaction fees, hidden fees, and all plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Here are the 3dcart price plans you can pick from:

  • Startup for $19 per month – up to $50K sales per year
  • Basic for $29 per month – up to $100K sales per year
  • Plus for $79 per month – up to $250K sales per year
  • Power for $129 per month – up to $500K sales per year
  • Pro for $229 per month – up to $1M sales per year

Even the Startup plan comes with very impressive features and is suitable for starting a new online store. For unlocking further functions and tools, entrepreneurs should opt for the higher-priced plans.

3dcart offers discounts of 10% for a prepaid 1-year plan and other discounts for students, faculty, non-profit, and resellers.

Best Ecommerce Website Builders: Recap

As you can see, there are some excellent ecommerce website builders and platforms which will allow any person or business to start selling online easily and quickly.

Our top choices are Wix as the best overall ecommerce builder, Shopify is the best choice for larger and growing stores, and BigCommerce for the fastest-growing online businesses.

Here is a quick recap of our review and comparison of all of the top ecommerce platforms for 2020.

9 Best Ecommerce Website Builders: Quick Refresh

  • Wix – amazing customization and powerful, scalable tools
  • Shopify – one of the most extensive collections of built-in ecommerce tools and available add-ons
  • BigCommerce – the widest variety of integrated ecommerce features
  • Squarespace – the most beautiful templates perfect for branding
  • Square Online – excellent value for money and the best choice for Square Payments users
  • Weebly – superb ecommerce tools and feature for online entrepreneurs
  • Volusion – the best for those who’re more interested in the data rather than in the design of their online store
  • 3dcart – wide array of payment options and gateways, affordable plans, impressive ecommerce tools
  • Big Cartel – the best choice for artists selling a few items

Thankfully, you can try all of these ecommerce website builders for free first before you decide to commit to a specific one, so try out a few or all of them, and you will hopefully find the perfect fit for your needs, skills, budget, and preferences.

FAQs

Are there any free ecommerce builders?

Yes, we have included several ecommerce builders that offer completely free plans, including Weebly, Big Cartel, Square Online. The others have free trials or offer 30-day money-back guarantees.

What’s the best ecommerce builder for small stores?

Wix is the best option for small stores, but Square Online is another great option that offers the best value for money.

If you are only going to be selling a few items, you can opt for BigCartel.

What’s the best ecommerce builder for large stores?

Shopify and BigCommerce are the most recommended ecommerce platforms for large-sized stores and for faster-growing online businesses because both platforms are scalable, and you can keep adding features as you grow.

Why should I use an ecommerce website builder?

Ecommerce website builders are designed for making the task of developing an online store and running it an easier and more affordable option for people and businesses of all sizes.

Instead of having to hire a professional web developer and hosting service to create and manage your website, you can do it yourself with a suitable ecommerce platform.

What about WordPress?

WordPress remains one of the most popular and widely used website builder tools in the world. While you can use it to create any kind of website, online stores included, WordPress is a much more technical option and requires coding skills, more time, and experience or learning.

Otherwise, WordPress offers the widest range of themes and plugins which you can use and is suitable for creating the most complex and data-heavy websites and ecommerce stores.

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