Hi there, are you looking for the best eCommerce website builder for beginners? You are in luck. I have tested and experimented with several eCommerce builders and can comfortably tell you that different builders work best for different scenarios.
I will give you tips on how to choose the best builder and in return, running your eCommerce store should be smooth sailing from here on out.
The first thing many beginner users concentrate on when deciding on which eCommerce builder to use – is the price. They want free stuff and that is understandable. Yet don’t be fooled, as there is more to an eCommerce builder than just its price.
The best eCommerce website builder for beginners should have the following characteristics:
This list will provide you with the best eCommerce website builder for beginners so you can choose the one which is best suited for your specific needs.
So for this article, we will concentrate on the following eCommerce website builders:
Now, let’s get going, shall we?
It’s of no wonder that Wix is one of the most popular website building platforms available. It offers numerous different features and by using them, you can create a truly unique website.
This eCommerce website builder provides you with a greatly flexible drag-and-drop editor which offers extremely great versatility when creating your online store.
Sadly, that flexibility comes with numerous functions that can be hard to navigate through for a beginner.
Although, Wix has a solution to that problem, and the solution is – ADI or Artificial Design Intelligence.
ADI system will design a website based on what answers you provide on a short questionnaire. Any beginner will have no trouble at all building their website and that is why I personally suggest using the ADI. Or at least you can start out with it until you gather more experience making websites.
Once you have completed answering the questions, you will be prompted to pick the colors and type of font to be used on your website.
That is basically it when it comes to the initial setup process. It’s just that simple.
Moving forward, you will receive a theme that was automatically generated by the ADI. You can then further edit and change up this theme by selecting different colors for the page and font types, but remember that you can’t change the theme once it is published.
You won’t have the ability to browse the template gallery at your leisure, because it is only available with the default Wix editor.
Although it could be viewed in a positive light, as it takes away a lot of complexity for beginners.
Well then, let’s continue with the editing. Throughout the whole process, Wix ADI will guide you step by step via a convenient checklist.
Going forward, ADI keeps true to making things simple, as you can add pages, as well as an online shop, to your website with merely a few clicks.
All the further editing and adding of new products is done through the Dashboard interface in an intuitive manner.
Each individual product can be further customized. You can edit product info which consists of picture or video, name, price, and description.
Moreso, advanced options are there for you to make use of. You can track your inventory automatically, fill out shipping information, and refund policies.
Although the dashboard houses not only store settings but all the marketing and SEO features as well.
Being one of the best eCommerce website builders for beginners, Wix lets you easily attract new customers by providing you with SEO tools, coupons, email marketing campaigns, and even a logo maker.
Now, all you have to do to get a logo generated for you is to answer a few questions, just like with ADI. The system will generate a selection of logos for you to freely browse and use.
Although you can get a free logo it will be a low-resolution one. Only premium users get to use high-resolution logos.
Lastly, what happens if you can’t find the functionality you need? Well, Wix App Market is here for the rescue! Here you can find anything your heart desires when it comes to your online store’s functionality.
The Wix App Market is huge. For example, if you want a live chat to be a feature in your online store, a simple search will present you with multiple plugins to choose from.
Some plugins are free to use, others have some premium features and lastly, there are fully paid ones.
Wix has three exclusive plans for eCommerce and business, which range from $17/mo to $35/mo.
The cheapest is called Business Basic and for $17/mo offers unlimited bandwidth, 20GB of storage space, online payments, analytics, and a free domain.
Next up is the Business Unlimited plan, at $25/mo it offers 35GB of space and logo design tools for your business.
To unlock the full Wix experience, you want to choose the Business VIP plan, at a cost of $35/mo, which will not only expand your storage space to 50GB but will also allow dedicated and exclusive priority support for your business.
In the end keep in mind, that Wix ADI, compared to standard Wix website builder, takes away some of the flexibility, but drastically simplifies the process of creating and managing your online store.
If you went on a quest to find the easiest eCommerce platform for beginners, then SITE123 should have shown up on your radar as one of the best choices. And not only is it really simple to get started with but offers extensive eCommerce options too.
SITE123 offers its users a platform that might sometimes feel a bit limiting if you are advanced in the website building. Yet, if you are a beginner, these small limitations are only a plus, as it will not overwhelm you with various functions.
Actually, SITE123 provides its users with exceptional simplicity and ease of use. The setup begins with you selecting a category for your website.
Then a template will be automatically generated for you and the editing process can take place.
Moving forward, you will be presented with the editing interface which can be found on the left side of the screen.
Don’t get upset if you don’t like the initial template you are presented with, for you can change it at any time, choosing from a large selection provided.
There are over 200 of said templates, so everyone is sure to find one that suits them best. As for online store specific templates, there are 33 of them to choose from, but you can edit them to make your website look unique.
Every feature is also easy to find as they are neatly grouped under respective categories. All of the tools at your disposal are very streamlined and simple to understand so you’ll master them in no time.
However, if you run into any sort of problems, there is always a 24/7 live chat support just waiting to help you out, but let’s be honest, with the interface this easy to use – you won’t need additional help.
Now, that you have the initial pages all done to your liking, it is time to set up an online shop as it probably is the main reason you are here after all.
I was a little bit astounded by how many in-depth customization options SITE123 had to offer for the products that you list in your store. It seems like eCommerce is the strong suit of SITE123.
You can add product descriptions, categories, and images, just like most builders let you. However, there are additional options like shipping and tax rates, automatic inventory management, and coupons.
Although even with all the functions to keep track of, you will not struggle at all, as everything is presented in an extremely easy to understand manner. So even more complex features are explained to you in a simple way.
Since you got your online store all sorted, let’s see what SITE123 has on offer in regards to SEO and analytics.
SITE123 gives you all the necessary tools for basic SEO. You can edit meta descriptions and titles.
As you can see, it is nothing to write home about if you want in-depth customization. Yet for beginners, the provided options are more than enough to cover everything essential to SEO.
Furthermore, you have email marketing, helping you reach out to a potential audience.
Email marketing with SITE123 is just as easy to do like everything else on the platform. It does not delve too deep into complicated settings and functions. This really helps SITE123 take its place as the best eCommerce website builder for beginners.
In the end, SITE123 is just perfect for beginners, presenting all of its features in a simple to understand way and 24/7 chat support at the ready. It also definitely delivers when it comes to creating a great online store.
SITE123 offers its users to choose between a free plan and four paid ones. The paid plans can vary from $10/mo up to $30/mo.
Although you must stay vigilant if you want to grab a good deal since SITE123 likes to regularly change up its pricing and offer you a deal.
The free plan, unsurprisingly, is quite limiting. It only gives you 500MB of space and has a SITE123 subdomain.
Overall, SITE123 offers competitive pricing and enough features to warrant it. It may lack some deeper customization that other builders have to offer, but SITE123 is perfectly streamlined for new users to work with.
Squarespace is the platform to choose when you want to create beautiful online stores thanks to its professionally designed templates. Yet making such high-quality websites should be hard for a beginner to do, right? Well, not here it isn’t, as Squarespace expertly caters to new users.
In order to simplify the process of working with it, Squarespace chose to not overburden you with a large selection of features and left only the essentials.
Before starting an online store in Squarespace you will be faced with a choice between 90 exclusive templates.
Sadly of those 90 templates, only 8 are tailored specifically for online stores.
Following that, the page creation process is very simple – incorporate a logo, choose the colors and fonts to use. You can see this shown below.
You can try your hand at creating an online store in the free version of the builder, but if you want to go live with your shop, then you need to buy a premium subscription.
Furthermore, your online store will be displayed as another page in your dashboard, so it will never be hidden behind menus. Within this page, you can edit the products and their visualization.
Delving even deeper, editing the products in the online store is really simple. You can upload a product and have it listed in mere minutes.
Although, that simplicity might come from the fact that you don’t get many different settings to choose from.
Squarespace centralizes control options in the bar on the left of the dashboard. There, under the commerce section, you will find everything you need to manage your store.
Also, in this dashboard, you will find the Marketing section, where you can edit promotional campaigns and the SEO of your website. In the properties of the page, you can edit the title and the URL, you also can edit everything related to SEO in more detail.
So, all the SEO functions are in one convenient place, which is a great thing for any beginner.
Some of the options come with an additional cost and you will have to be careful with it. For example, Email Marketing requires $5/mo added on top of your chosen plan.
On the other hand, statistical and analytical information on your website is available with all the plans and can be accessed from the same menu.
Here you are provided with all the useful information needed to effectively run your website and an online shop.
Squarespace offers three plans with eCommerce capabilities beginning with the Business Plan that starts at $18/mo. This plan makes your site secured with an SSL certificate, a free domain, unlimited products, gift cards, and unlimited storage as well as bandwidth.
However, the first-tier of eCommerce subscription has a 3% transaction fee for all of your sales.
Once your business grows, you can upgrade to a Basic Commerce plan for $26/mo and reduce the cost of transactions to 0%, in addition, your customers get the ability to create accounts and you get Instagram integration.
The last plan called Advanced Commerce costs $40/mo, it unlocks the possibility of recovering abandoned carts, selling subscriptions, offering discounts, or connecting external applications through APIs.
All in all, Squarespace does everything in a manner that you would not lose the sight of your page as you continue editing. Because of that, it is very easy for new users to learn all the functions as they can see what each of them does in real-time.
Being specifically designed for eCommerce, Shopify is a feature-rich online store website builder. It is a little more complex, yet not too much, so still ideal for beginners.
As there is somewhat of a small learning curve, but trust me that in the end, it will all be worth it. Shopify is a propper eCommerce platform and not just a simple website builder with integrated online shop features.
Once you see what masterpiece of an eCommerce website you can create with it you’ll know that those efforts were not in vain.
Shopify truly is worth being called the best eCommerce website builder for beginners. Unlike other web creators, the design here is relegated to second place.
Once you are registered and the details of your online shop are generated, you can start editing the website itself.
Going forward, in the main panel, you can manage the products, inventory, shipments, and also the appearance of the website.
What I loved about Shopify is the fact that you can edit the website pages with a simple WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor, extremely great for beginners.
WYSIWYG is an editing process where you see all the changes happening in real-time and elements are presented in the same way they will look in the end product.
Furthermore, you can start editing from scratch, without any templates constricting your imagination. If you wish to do so, go ahead.
As for premade designs, you can access 10 free Shopify themes, pay for a third-party theme, or upload your own. The premium themes come at a cost that might range from $140 to $180 which seems a bit expensive.
Honestly, the selection of free themes is bare, even though the designs themselves are great.
More than 80 paid Shopify themes are official and were created by the company itself, but the best thing is that you can also access a huge gallery of third-party themes.
Below you can see a gallery of themes from other developers I have found while browsing Shopify’s library.
Overall, such a model makes the whole process way easier for new users, as they can find specifically designed themes that suit their eCommerce website.
Now let’s put the design aside for a bit and move on to the functionality. One of the things that caught my attention was the possibility of creating automatic discounts.
This means that the customer will get the discount applied automatically in their cart.
You can determine more than 5 conditions for your automatic discounts in addition to being able to do it in percentage, value, quantity, or buy X and obtain Y as well.
Discounts are a great way to attract customers, especially if complemented by a good marketing campaign.
Doing all of this with Shopify is really easy. It is due to being able to use templates for emails and integrate these campaigns with Facebook, Pinterest, or Snapchat. So the possibilities are practically unlimited.
Surprisingly, you will get all of this with every of the Shopify’s plans on offer. The only difference between each of them is the level of reports and some limits related to shipping, as well as the fees charged for transactions.
Finally, it is time to talk about the main feature of Shopify – the apps. The App Store is just teeming with applications that offer any functionality you might ever need.
Now, let’s say you want to generate automatic backups when working. Well, you guessed it, there’s an app for that. And all it takes is just two clicks to add it to your store.
So if you ever used a mobile phone, you will have absolutely no problem using the Shopify App Store.
However, do keep in mind that these apps are not all free. Some of them have different options or trial versions available, while others are completely premium from the get-go.
Although it has been dubbed as the best eCommerce website platform for beginners, it does not come that cheap.
A starter Basic Shopify plan starts at $29/mo with 2 staff accounts, unlimited products, SSL security certificate, discounts, and gift cards. However, each transaction will cost you 2% of the total price if you are using any other payment providers besides Shopify Payments.
Furthermore, to increase the staff accounts up to 5, you will have to pay $79/mo for the Shopify plan. This will also provide you with more detailed reports, up to 72% shipping discount, and transaction fees dropping just to 1%.
The most expensive package is called Advanced Shopify and it is for big businesses costing $299/mo. It allows you to have up to 8 staff managing your store, have advanced reports, and transaction fees that are 0.5% from total price.
Overall, Shopify can be somewhat complex at times but provides its users with the most in-depth online store options out there. It is clearly made to be an eCommerce platform first and foremost and is a great investment for veterans and beginners alike.
BigCartel can really be called the easiest eCommerce platform for beginners. It is an ideal option for small businesses who are just starting out or for creatives, who want to expand their craft online.
BigCartel does not overwhelm you with numerous features and functions, instead opting for a simple and functional design, it is especially great for those who are just starting out with the website building.
However, being so simple, it may not have enough advanced management tools to create everything you would like. Yet it gets the job done for users that don’t seek many fancy options.
Firstly, when you start your website creation process, you will be faced with a progress bar that will continue to fill up as you set up various elements for your online shop.
As you complete the setup, the bar will eventually reach 100%, but first, let’s start things from the top.
First of all, you will have to add your products to the store. The interface here provides you with very few options, compared to other platforms. You can only add a few price variations and shipping or tax costs and that’s basically it.
Next, you can configure the store’s appearance. Here you are also limited to just a few options – 8 simple themes to be exact. That doesn’t feel lackluster at all, as all of the themes are modern and have a sleek design.
Once you reached the editing you’ll notice that there aren’t many options present. You can change things like background color, font styles or add a call-to-action button.
Unfortunately, this is the end of everything that has to do with your BigCartel online store.
For more advanced things like marketing, store management, or an online chat you will have to access the apps and plugin market.
Sadly, you won’t find much variety here either. To use some of the apps you will have to pay extra on top of your subscription plan.
Big Cartel has four subscription plans. With the Free plan, you can sell up to five products with real-time stats, but your store will be under a bigcartel.com subdomain.
The Platinum plan goes for $9.99/mo and allows you to edit the theme using your own code and upload up to five images per product. Also, it increases the number of products you can sell up to 50.
There is also the Diamond plan, costing $19.99/mo you can have Google Analytics, shipment tracking, and discount pop-ups.
The best of the best is the Titanium plan. This costs $29.99/mo and gives you some more flexibility required to expand your business further. You can sell up to 500 products with this plan, which isn’t that many for a bigger scale store.
Definitely, integrations or extensions are not the main strength of BigCartel. Especially when you compare to other competitors in the market. Yet it manages to redeem itself with a very easy to learn interface and pleasant website building process.
First, ask yourself what you are hoping to achieve by starting an eCommerce website. Next, look at the features that you would want to have. Then, after you’ve read this list, you should be informed enough to make the final choice and start building your website.
Overall, the best eCommerce platform for beginners is the one that presents you with enough flexible tools and makes it easy for new users to get the hang of the platform.
In the end, let’s sum up the list of best eCommerce website builders for beginners: