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Top 6 ecommerce builder sites

By Paul Skeldon September 19, 2017 - 11:35 am

So you are ready to build out your e-commerce site and you need a cool offering to stand out from the crowd. What are your options if you have a budget?

Here we take a look at the top 6 best value for money site builders out there based on key criteria such as web design flexibility, hosting, marketing tools, payments and customer service.

Big Commerce

In 4 years, BigCommerce has provided ecommerce software and services to over 50,000 stores, processing 14 million transactions, across 65 countries, for a total exceeding $2 billion. By now, its services are tried, tested, and rich with features hardly matched by other software companies

Includes

  • Web design – basic templates right up to you adding your own CSS and HTML
  • Hosting – Unlimited high res uploads and 99.9994% up time guaranteed.
  • Back-up – the hosting also includes back up of your site and data
  • Marketing tools – the site offers a range of marketing tools, including fully customizable newsletters and SEO tools
  • Payment tools – 65 payment options including PayPal, credit card, eChecks and more are included
  • Customer support – The main site includes a full knowledgebase along with webinars and even video tutorials. If you ever need to know how to do something, chances are it is explained right there.

COST: £24.99 PCM
FREE TRIAL: 15 days

Shopify

Shopify is a one-stop shop. Upload products, enjoy a fully functional shopping cart, delight in powerful and reliable ecommerce web hosting, and feel reassured by their online security features that ensure your customers’ transactions will be safe and protected.

Includes

  • Web design – over 100 e-commerce templates, fully customizable, including using your own HTML and CSS. It also includes iOS and Android apps
  • Hosting – The hosting is globally sourced and backed up and with unlimited bandwidth, traffic spikes are catered for
  • Back-up – see above
  • Marketing tools – You get $100 worth of Google Adwords credit to launch your marketing campaign
  • Payment tools – The system easily integrates with over 50 different payment gateways, including PayPal
  • Customer service – email support, forums and a dedicated customer support line.

COST: £29.00 pcm
FREE TRIAL: 14 Days

Volusion

Volusion has a large selection of tools, services and features offered. This includes a number of website design tools and hosting options. It is one of the easiest e-commerce solutions to use as well as one of the most versatile.

Includes

  • Web design – There are dozens of design templates to choose from. These are all fully customizable and allow you the option to insert your own HTML code. A design wizard walks you through every step of the creation process and make sure that you do not miss anything.
  • You will also have the ability to add any type and amount of additional content to your site. This includes articles, products and categories. Create captions, titles, content sections and much more. And it offers mobile templates too.
  • Hosting – Offers 4 hosting packages from basic right up to all the bells and whistles so any kind and size of business can create what it needs.
  • Back-up – The hosting packages offer different levels of back up.
  • Marketing tools – Offers a free Facebook store and even eBay and Amazon integration on some of the more expensive packages
  • Payment tools – 50 + including PayPal and credit card
  • Customer service – there is an extensive FAQ section, product manuals and even a number of video tutorials available on the site. 24 hour live support is also offered. You can access this through the phone (toll-free), email or even live chat. All of these options will connect you to an experienced, friendly and very knowledgeable member of their support staff.

COST: from £15 to £135 pcm
FREE TRIAL: 14 Days

Wix

Wix is a relatively new entrant to the market for website building sites and comes with all the elements you’d expect from something new. It is really quick and easy to use – with it being literally possible to build a site in 5 minutes if you want it basic and good.

One of its nicest features – and part of why it already has 77 million users in 90+ countries – is that from the get go it helps you: suggesting templates for the industry/market you are in and taking it from there.

Includes

  • Web design – There are hundreds of design templates to choose from. These are all fully customizable and allow you the option to insert your own HTML code. A design wizard walks you through every step of the creation process and make sure that you do not miss anything.
  • Hosting – Offers 4 hosting packages from basic right up to all the bells and whistles so any kind and size of business can create what it needs.
  • Back-up – The hosting packages offer different levels of back up.
  • Marketing tools – Offers a free Facebook store and even eBay and Amazon integration on some of the more expensive packages
  • Payment tools – 50 + including PayPal and credit card
  • Customer service – there is an extensive FAQ section, product manuals and even a number of video tutorials available on the site. 24 hour live support is also offered.

COST: from £2.55 to £10.10 pcm – for basic number of apps in each range. The cost scales up depending on what you want to do. See here
FREE TRIAL: 14 Day

Web.com

Web.com is uncomplicated and very easy to use, with a number of very professional and powerful tools and features, giving you full control. The company has been around for a number of years with a very strong track record of success.

Includes

  • Web design – There are more than 500 templates available for your convenience and each of them is capable of full customization. The site offers users the ability to change fonts, colors, product layouts and more. If you prefer, have the team of experts at Web.com build you a custom storefront solution.
  • Hosting – Professional hosting included, allowing your new storefront a place to remain so that your customers may easily and quickly access the site and buy your products. The plans vary in price according to the exact specifications you want, such as the number of products you are looking to sell and the transactions fee for each sale made. You also receive a free domain name.
  • Customers will also have the ability to turn their site into a mobile compatible site. There is a small additional add-on charge for this service.
  • Customer service – Web.com has a help and resources page online which provides a number of articles and customer testimonials. Frequently asked questions are also included, making it easy to find answers to common questions.
  • Of course, you may also send an email, right from a form located online. You should expect an answer within a few hours. There is also a toll-free telephone line to speak live with someone in the support department.
  • NOTE – Web.com charges for their e-commerce sites in a rather unique fashion. The basic price of both options has been significantly discounted. The basic package allows you to list up to 20 products and have an unlimited number of email addresses.
  • For this, you will be charged just $6.95 per month, plus a small 2.5% transaction fee for any sales made. The standard package allows for as many as 500 different products to be listed and the ability to submit items to Google listings.
  • The fee for this is only $15.95 per month plus an even smaller 1.5% transaction fee. There are no additional set-up fees.

COST: from $6.95 plus 2.5% transactions fee
FREE TRIAL: 14 Days

SquareSpace

SquareSpace Commerce is the most recent addition to the unique – and unfortunately named – SS platform. This is an ideal option for a smaller store (for 200 or less items) to start selling their wares online.

The platform really is easy to use and takes all the typical hassles out of getting your own site built and integrated with things like payment processing, SEO and even marketing systems. Best of all the prices are very affordable and you can be online incredibly quickly.

Includes

  • Web design – There are several dozen templates to choose as a starting point. From here, the design editor is drag and drop making things very intuitive. Best of all, you do not need to know any code to make it all work.
  • Hosting – Each customer also receives hosting included with their package and numerous other tools to make managing the site easy. One of these tools is social media integration so that you can connect with your followings on sites like Facebook and Twitter.
  • Import existing inventory from a number of other sources (even Shopify and BigCartel). Users who are familiar with Google Analytics will also find it easy to integrate for deeper information about your visitors and users.
  • Marketing tools – There are also some impressive marketing and SEO functions included. Users may edit page titles, meta descriptions and create custom URL’s. They also include XML site maps, valid XHTML code.
  • Payment tools – There is a 30-second account sign-up with Stripe, the SS preferred merchant payment processing solution. It is also quite easy to include payment buttons and numerous product variants.
  • There are also options which allow for multiple types of coupon creation along with full tax and shipping tools to help with store and order management.
  • Customer service – English speaking call centre support. You may also send an email, which should be answered in a reasonably quick amount of time. They also offer an extensive knowledge base. You will also receive live chat support and even a peer to peer network where other users help to support one another.

COST: $30 pcm for six months; $24 pcm per year
FREE TRIAL: 14 days

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