An e-commerce website is any website that allows an individual or business to buy and sell goods and services online, as opposed to through a storefront location. Platforms for online sales, such as eBay, or Amazon have been around a long time. Since those two platforms came online in the early 1990s, however, online marketplaces have exploded, and we’ve researched the best ecommerce website builders for small business owners.
Unlike an ecommerce platform, like Shopify, which allows shoppers to discover and purchase products and services, ecommerce websites are websites that are built by the seller. This article will outline how to create an ecommerce website for your business, as well as examine some of the best ecommerce website builders for Canadian businesses.
When does it make sense to use an ecommerce website builder
If you’ve built a website before, you might consider building your own ecommerce website, too. But, whereas standard websites simply promote products and services, an ecommerce website gives your customers the option to buy products and services directly from the platform. For this reason, the ecommerce website must be optimized to support secure credit transactions. Trusting an expert to integrate the right web plug-ins and widgets will ensure your ecommerce website is ready to process shopper requests.
Fortunately, ecommerce functionality is more easily achieved with the help of a website builder. If you’ve had a successful brick and mortar location for a period of time and want to add online sales, or you’re looking to launch an online business, using an ecommerce builder to create a website is the logical next step.
Why Should I Use an Ecommerce Website Builder?
Here are the top benefits to using an ecommerce website builder:
Modern ecommerce website builders are user-friendly
You can design your own custom ecommerce website in just a few clicks using a preset template. There are also built-in features like content management and custom reporting capabilities that make building and operating a website a seamless experience for you, as well as an enjoyable shopping experience for your future customers.
Your search engine optimization (SEO) visibility can increase
A lot of online web traffic comes from paid advertising or search engines. By having an ecommerce site, you increase your chances of attracting new customers who may be searching for a similar product or service and thus increase your overall SEO ranking. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic to a specific website (in this case your ecommerce website) from external search engines like Google.
Free or affordable options are available
There are a growing number of affordable, and even free, ecommerce website builder plans that provide professional templates. However, keep in mind a lower cost (or free) plan may not include all the powerful built-in features or plug-ins of a higher cost plan that provide value to you as a seller.
What to look for when choosing the best website builder
When choosing a website builder for your business, there are several important factors to consider. First and foremost is your budget: how much money are you willing to allocate to your new website? Most ecommerce websites require annual or monthly membership fees, and you should be prepared to allocate funds for this, on top of any upfront website design costs.
Many ecommerce website builders offer a free option to get your store started, however, those free options typically exclude more advanced features.
Next, consider your own technical expertise. Do you have prior website building, or basic coding experience? If the answer is no, you may want to consider a website builder that has an integrated drag-and-drop model, which allows you to quickly and easily design your website with little to no technical experience. A fully-integrated ecommerce solution means that all of your website’s data seamlessly connects to the built in ecommerce platform, allowing for easy transactions between yourself and your customers.
Other important elements to consider when choosing the best website builder are:
- How well do the available templates match your business?
- SEO and other marketing tools and integrations
- Is there a content management system (CMS) to include a blog?
- Site performance and load time
- iIs there 24/7 customer support and is it free?
- What online payment methods are offered?
- How much are transaction fees and are there additional hidden fees?
Discover the best ecommerce builders for your small business
A good ecommerce builder can jumpstart your sales and elevate your business to the next level. But how do you decide which one is best?
Here, we list some of the best ecommerce website builders for small business owners in Canada, and include the pros and cons, leading features and pricing structure for each..
Let’s take a look at some of the best options out there!
Launched in 2006, Shopify is a Canadian multinational ecommerce platform that offers its retailers several services, including secure payments, digital marketing, and shipping.
To date, millions of global brands use Shopify to sell, ship, and process payments from anywhere in the world.
Shopify pros and cons
Affordable monthly plans: Shopify has a basic plan that starts at $29 USD ($37 CAD). The Basic plan provides perks similar to its more advanced plans, including discount codes, abandoned shopping cart recovery, gift cards, and manual order creation.
24/7 support: All of Shopify’s pricing plans provide 24/7 customer support.
Lots of custom storefronts: Shopify has plenty of custom themes that allow the seller to design a storefront that speaks to the business. For example, sellers can choose from templates designed specifically for in-person selling, international sales, and even minimalist themes.
Plug-in apps: Shopify has more than 1,200 plug-in features that simplify the overall transaction for the seller, whether through inventory management, shipping support, or more. Plug-in applications are software programs that can enhance or extend existing applications. They’re easy to add as an extension to your web browser, too.
Monthly fees can add up: Monthly fees can become costly, especially if you’re interested in unlocking paid features, such as a social media login plug-in.
Limited free options: Shopify currently offers six free storefront templates. To purchase a template with different features and capabilities, prices range from $150 to $350 USD.
Not CMS-friendly: If you’re hoping to feature a blog, photos, or video on your website to complement your e-commerce platform, Shopify is not the best choice, as the platform’s CMS is limited compared to other platforms, like WordPress.
Shopify features and pricing
All of Shopify’s plans include the following:
- Unlimited products
- Unlimited bandwidth and online storage
- Shopify point of sale
- Gift cards
- Online sales channels
- Fraud analysis
- Manual order creation
- Discount codes
- Finance reports
- Customer support
Shopify’s pricing structure is divided into three tiers:
Basic: Starting at $29 USD per month, this plan is suitable for new ecommerce businesses that conduct occasional in-person sales
Shopify: Starting at $79 USD per month, this plan is suitable for growing businesses that sell online or in-store.
Advanced: Starting at $299 USD, this plan is suitable for scaling businesses that require advanced reporting. The Advanced plan is the only option that offers Shopify customers custom pricing for products by market, the ability to estimate duty and import taxes for enhanced customer clarity, and third-party calculated shipping rates.
Founded in a dorm room at the University of Maryland in 2003, millions of websites have been designed using Squarespace, thanks to its relatively simplistic interface. Arguably one of the most popular website builders on the market, customers predominantly use Squarespace to create a website, build a brand, and, of course, sell anything and everything all over the world.
Squarespace pros and cons
Free templates: Squarespace is known for its award-winning ecommerce templates, all of which are free. A blank template is also available for sellers who want full creative control over design.
Built-in SEO tools: Every Squarespace website and online store is mobile-friendly and includes a suite of integrated features as well as useful guides to maximize prominence in search results.
Exclusive members-only area: One of Squarespace’s newest features is a member area that enables business owners a new opportunity to further monetize their website by adding paid “members only” areas.
No phone support: Unlike some of the other ecommerce website builders, Squarespace does not have phone support. If an issue cannot be resolved through the company’s chat assistance, this could cause some frustration. Squarespace does, however, offer 24/7 online support via email and Twitter. Live chat is available during most weekdays.
No support for third-party apps or plug-ins: While Squarespace offers a wide variety of templates, they are not easy to customize.
More expensive pricing plans: Squarespace offers monthly pricing starting at $19 USD per month, or annually starting at $168 USD, offering a 30 per cent in savings by paying up front for the year.
Squarespace features and pricing
Some appealing features of Squarespace include:
- A user-friendly shopping cart system
- 24/7 customer support (online only)
- The ability to sell an unlimited number of products
- The ability to sell physical goods, digital goods, services and subscriptions
- Automatic abandoned cart recovery (on ‘Commerce Advanced’ plan)
- Gift cards and discount codes
- Customer accounts (‘Commerce’ plans only)
- Built-in SEO tools (with the option of adding advanced tools)
Squarespace’s plans are divided into four categories:
Personal: Starting at $19 USD per month, the Personal plan is not optimized for e-commerce. This plan is great for creatives such as photographers or designers who want to showcase their work. The plan does not support secure transactions.
Business: Starting at $33 USD, the Business plan is Squarespace’s most popular plan Sell unlimited products, digital gift cards, accept donations, and enjoy fully automated e-commerce capabilities on this plan. However, it is the only plan that charges a 3 per cent transaction fee.
Commerce: Squarespace offers two Commerce plans: the Basic Commerce ($36 USD per month) and the Advanced Commerce ($65 USD per month). Both the Basic and the Advanced plans provide sellers perks like advanced website analytics, fully integrated e-commerce, no transaction fees, the option to promote your products on Instagram, and the option to check out on directly on your domain. The Advanced plan offers additional benefits including advanced discounts, the ability to sell subscriptions, more advanced shipping options, and more.
One of the relatively newer website builders to come onto the scene, Zyro, was founded in 2019. It features a drag-and-drop platform that’s perfect for (you guessed it) users with zero knowledge of coding, website design, or website hosting.
Zyro offers a user-friendly interface for businesses to flawlessly design beautiful, custom e-commerce sites.
Zyro pros and cons
Easy to use: Building a website with Zyro can be done without any previous coding experience, as all of the templates provide functional design integrations. A website can be built in as little as an hour, Zyro comes with a host of templates, widgets and other design elements built directly into the platform.
Personal domain: With Zyro, you get your own custom website domain, which is free for one year for website, online store, and advanced store annual users on all plans except Business.
Free web hosting: Zyro provides free web hosting with every plan, as well as a free SSL certificate which ensures the website will always be secure for your customers.
Built-in SEO: All websites created with Zyro are search engine optimized by default, which will help build your online presence.
Limited customizability: Because of its simplistic drag-and-drop structure, Zyro’s design parameters are limited to text, image, button, video, and map. More advanced customizations are not possible on the platform at this time.
Templates: Zyro does not allow users to change a website template once it’s built. To refresh the look of a website, or access a new theme, the user must start over and build a new website.
Lack of advanced features: Zyro is great for beginners, such as those who have never designed a website or run an online store. However, those looking for more advanced reporting tools and analytics may find the platform is too limited.
Zyro Features & Pricing
Some of the most attractive features of Zyro include:
- A free domain for one year on all plans
- Free email for three month on all plans
- 24/7 customer support
- Marketing integrations
- 30-day money-back guarantee with every plan
- Affordable monthly pricing
- Unlimited storage and bandwidth
- Multiple payment options for Online Store and Advanced Store plans
Zyro offers four premium plans:
Website: Starting at $12.09 USD per month, the Website plan is perfect for those who are looking to create a professional portfolio, blog, or business website.
Business: Starting at $12.50 USD per month, with the Business plan, you can start selling immediately. The Business option includes e-commerce benefits, like the ability to sell up to 100 products, and up to 20 payment methods.
Online Store: Starting at $19.90 USD per month, the Online store plan is ideal for business with an enhanced product line, and want a fully functioning online store. It includes advanced e-commerce tools, like shipping and tax management, discount coupons and gift cards, and inventory management.
Advanced Store: Starting at $19.90 USD per month, the Advanced Store is an ideal plan for business owners. The Advanced Store provides more e-commerce tools than the Online Store plan, including the option to sell in multiple languages, integration for newsletters, automated email marketing, abandoned cart recovery, and more.
Founded in 2009, BigCommerce enables users to list, optimize, advertise, sell and fulfill products across more than 100 popular global channels including Google, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, Snap, Amazon, eBay, Walmart, and Target.
BigCommerce Pros and Cons
Free trial: BigCommerce offers a free 15-day trial.
Unlimited selling: Customers can sell an unlimited number of digital or physical goods and services.
Custom coding: Users with coding knowledge can change CSS or HTML to tweak the appearance or functionality of their website.
Multiple currencies: BigCommerce allows users to make transactions in multiple currencies, making it an attractive option for businesses with a global reach.
Sales limitations: BigCommerce places an annual limit on online sales, ranging from $50,000 to $400,000 depending on your plan.
Limited free templates: BigCommerce only offers 12 free templates (all quite similar), out of its 175 templates.
No email marketing: Unlike other e-commerce competitors, BigCommerce does not offer email marketing.
BigCommerce pricing and features
Some of the most attractive features of BigCommerce include:
- No transaction fees
- Unlimited bandwidth, products, and file storage
- Mobile-responsive website
- Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Amazon Pay
- Real-time reporting tools
- Built-in blog templates
- Coupons, gift cards, and discounts
BigCommerce currently offers four pricing plans:
Enterprise: Contact for custom quote.
BigCommerce users can also save up to 10 per cent off of Pro and Plus plans if an annual plan is purchased.
Started in 2006, Weebly is a popular web hosting tool thanks to its affordability and user-friendly features. It can be used to build a website, and offers plenty of e-commerce options, too.
Weebly pros and cons
Affordability: Along with its free plan, Weebly’s plans range in price from $7 to $30 USD per month.
Drag and drop: Weebly uses drag and drop elements, making it a great choice for those with no prior website building experience.
SEO tutorials: Weebly provides free SEO tutorials, to help new users improve their website’s search ranking.
Limited customization: Weebly’s editor tool offers limited creative freedom.
Outdated designs: Compared to its competitors, Weebly’s free templates (and paid versions) lack modernity and innovative design.
Lack of mobile optimization: Weebly websites are web-first, meaning that on a mobile device, pages can be awkwardly cropped, stretched and scaled. This isn’t ideal, as an increasing number of shoppers use their phones to browse.
Weebly pricing and features
Some of the most attractive features of Weebly include:
- An easy drag-and-drop website builder
- Complete integrated ecommerce solution
- Affordable monthly plans
- Third-party app integrations
- Custom domains available
- Powerful SEO tools
Weebly offers four plans:
Free: Provides a basic website with some benefits, such as unlimited products and services to sell, a shopping cart, and free SSL security.
Personal: At $7 USD per month, the Personal plan provides a personal domain.
Professional: At $15 per month, the Professional plan provides a custom domain and add more customization.
Performance: At $30 per month, the Performance plan offers additional features that drive growth and manage operations.
Founded in 2005, Big Cartel is a niche ecommerce platform that caters to artists and creators.
Big Cartel pros and cons
Niche platform: Big Cartel’s templates are designed specifically for those looking to start or grow their creative business.
Convenient shipping options: Big Cartel lets users offer their customers free shipping, or flat-rate shipping.
Multiple currencies: Websites can sell products in 24 different currencies.
Selling limit: There is a limit on the number of products you can sell, depending on your plan.
Limited templates: Big Cartel only offers 18 templates, regardless of whether you select a free or paid option.
No built-in blog: Despite being a platform for creatives, Big Cartel does not offer a built-in blogging feature.
No abandoned cart recovery: Big Cartel does not offer abandoned cart recovery functionality.
Big Cartel pricing and features
Some key features of Big Cartel include:
- No hidden fees
- Free customizable themes
- Capability to offer customer discounts and run promotions
- Built-in Google Analytics reporting tools
- Custom domains
- Real-time stats
- Sell online and in-person
Big Cartel offers three pricing plans:
Gold: The Gold plan is free, and allows users to list up to five products. No credit card is required for this plan.
Platinum: At $9.99 USD per month, the Platinum plan allows up to 50 listed products.
Diamond: At $19.99 per month, the Diamond plan increases the maximum product listings up to 500.
One of the longest-running ecommerce platforms, Shift4Shop (formerly 3dcart) was founded in 1997. It’s one of the only platforms to offer a fully-integrated ecommerce solution for free.
Shift4Shop Pros and Cons
Free templates: There are more than 100 beautiful templates on Shift4Shop and they are all free!
Easy customization: With Shift4Shop’s integrated Core Theme Editor users can easily tweak a template theme using colour schemes, fonts, and more.
Extra pages: The platform allows users to add extra website pages, free of charge, that automatically adapt to the website theme.
App store: Shift4Shop has a designated app store that allows users to seamlessly add applications and plugins for further customization or customer accessibility.
Sales limit: All of Shift4Shop’s plans (except the free plan) have a sales limit; users who generate more have to upgrade to a more expensive plan.
Long wait times: Though phone support is offered, long customer wait times are not uncommon.
Limited customization: The drag-and-drop tool is only available on select themes, and customization can also be limited.
Shift4Shop pricing and features
Some key features of Shift4Shop include:
- Domain registration
- Abandoned cart emails
- Basic SEO tools
- 24/7 phone support
- Over 100 payment gateways, such as Stripe, PayPal, and Square
- Built-in blog feature
- Unlimited bandwidth and order processing
- No transaction fees
Shift4Shop offers five plans:
Startup Store: For $19 USD per month, users can list unlimited products and services.
Basic Store: For $29.00 per month, users gain access to all Shift4Shop’s essential features.
Plus Store: For $79.00 per month, users get the platform’s full marketing suite, including cart saver newsletters, and more.
Power Plan: For $129 per month, users can list unlimited products and enjoy up to 90,000 website visits per month.
Pro Store: For $229.00 per month, users have access to ecommerce automation features.
All plans include 24/7 support, mobile-friendly themes, website hosting, and real-time shipping.
Founded in Austin, Texas in 1999, Volusion provides small and large businesses with an all-in-one e-commerce software platform that can suit a variety of online stores.
Volusion pros and cons
Free trial: Users can sign up for a free14-day trial without providing a credit card.
No transaction fees: Volusion does not charge sellers transaction fees.
Lots of templates: Seller can choose from more than 300 templates, enabling sellers.
24/7 support: Volusion offers free 24/7 support via online or phone with additional support available based on the plan.
Sales limit: All Volusion plans have a sales maximum that ranges from $50,000 to $500,000 USD.
No built-in blog: Businesses cannot add a blog as a marketing tool.
Poor site search function: Volusion’s built-in search tool could use some improvement, which may impact a customer’s shopping experience.
Volusion pricing and features
Some key features of Volusion include:
- Built-in SEO management
- Responsive themes and templates
- Custom domains
- CSS Editor
- Homepage slider
- Free 24/7 support
- Seamless app integrations
- Integrated shopping cart feature
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Social media integrations
Volusion currently offers four monthly pricing plans:
Personal: At $29 USD per month, this option is great for sellers who intend to earn $50,000 per sales year or less, and allows them to list 100 products
Professional: At $79 per month, this option is great for sellers who intend to earn $100,000 per sales year or less, and allows them to list 5,000 products.
Business: At $299 per month, this option is great for sellers who intend to earn $500,000 per sales year or less. Product listings are unlimited.
Prime: Based on a user’s total sales volume, or more accurately their gross merchandise volume (GMP), this option is for those who intend to earn more than $500,000 per year. Product listings are unlimited.
Perhaps one of the most well-known platforms, WordPress came out in 2003 and is a free and open-source CMS that features plenty of plug-in themes and templates.
WordPress pros and cons
Tons of plug-ins: WordPress offers hundreds of third-party apps and plug-ins which allow for a fully-customizable website, including the helpful Yoast SEO tool.
User-friendly CMS: WordPress is one of the most popular website builders, thanks to its easy-to-use features.
Mobile-friendly: WordPress is one of the best website builders out there for mobile-friendly website design.
Security: As an open-source platform, WordPress is at risk for attracting cyber criminals or malicious coding software, like viruses.
Required updates: Due to its reliance on third-party plug-ins, it’s not uncommon to be notified of mandatory updates from time to time.
Customization: The WordPress platform is free, and plans are reasonably priced, but the cost to customize can add up quickly.
Learning Curve: While WordPress does offer flexibility, more complex additions to your site may require some specific web development skills.
WordPress pricing and features
Some key features of WordPress include:
- Custom domains
- Hundreds of customizable themes
- Mobile-friendly websites
- Free 24/7 email support (paid plans can access live chat assistance)
- Drag-and-drop integrations
- Built-in social media tools
- SEO tools
- In-depth statistics and reporting tools
In addition to its free option, WordPress offers four plans. Prices vary depending on whether users select a monthly or annual billing cycle:
Personal: At $9 per month ($60 per year), the Personal plan is best for personal use.
Premium: At $17 per month ($120 per year), the Premium plan is best for freelancers.
Business: At $45 per month ($396 per year), the Business plan is best for small business owners.
eCommerce: At $77 per month ($708 per year), the eCommerce plan is best for online stores.
All plans include hosting, unlimited email support, the option to remove WordPress ads, and the ability to collect payments, however, only annual subscribers includeaccess to a free domain for one year.
Hitting the market in 2011, WooCommerce is an open-source e-commerce plugin that was designed specifically for WordPress.
WooCommerce pros and cons
Themes: WooCommerce has hundreds of beautifully-designed themes (a mix of free and paid) to suit a variety of businesses.
Seamless integration with WordPress: WooCommerce is an open-source ecommerce plugin for WordPress, meaning the two can be paired for flawless execution.
Fully customizable: WooCommerce offers free CSS, HTML and PHP style code which allows users with some programming knowledge to customize a website’s header and footer design, fonts, colours, and more.
Plug-ins: WooCommerce has lots of great plug-ins, but adding too many can reduce your website speed.
Costly add-ons: Some extensions and plug-ins are free, but others are not, which means more costs on top of your monthly plan.
WooCommerce pricing and features
Some key features of WooCommerce include:
- Easy online store set up
- Flexible and secure online payment solutions
- Automated tax calculations
- Built-in Google Analytics
- Translation available in 24 languages
- Free and open source
- Global support teams
- 30-day money-back guarantee
New users must sign up to WooCommerce with a WordPress account to view pricing details.
Purchased by retail giant Amazon in 2021, Selz is a direct competitor of Shopify. This ecommerce platform allows business owners to sell on social media and existing websites, and also allows users to create their own custom websites.
Selz pros and cons
Free SSL certificate: this is included with Selz, which maximizes privacy for customers and security for sellers.
Multichannel selling: Selz allows users to sell via social media in addition to their website.
Global transactions: Selz offers sales capability in more than 100 currencies and accepts payment in 20 currencies.
Third-party fees: Selz has third party payment processor fees.
Cost for value: There is not much distinction between Selz’s three plans as far as advanced features go.
No phone support: Selz offers 24/7 support, but this is limited to email and a live chat plug-in.
Selz Features and Pricing
Some key features of Selz include:
- 14-day free trial, no credit card required
- Includes a blogging platform
- Custom domain names available
- State-of-the-art themes
- Free SSL certificate
- Built-in payment processing
- Powerful, secure checkout options
- Real-time sales analytics
- Integrated inventory management
- Built-in shopping cart tool
- Automatic tax calculation at checkout
Selz offers four plans:
Basic: At $29 USD per month (or $26 per month annually), this plan is an option for those who are just starting an ecommerce business.
Standard: At $59 per month (or $53 per month annually), this plan includes all the basics, plus SEO tools to help grow your business.
Advanced: At $199 per month (or $179 per month annually), this plan includes advanced features and the lowest credit card transaction fees.
Do It For Me: For $599 per month, Selz provides an team of marketing, design and ecommerce experts to create your ecommerce site, set up sales channels and integrate business systems.
One of the most popular options for ecommerce website builders outside of North America, Jimdo was founded in 2007 in Hamburg, Germany.
Jimdo pros and cons
No transaction fees: Jimdo does not charge fees for transactions.
Free plans: In addition to its affordable monthly plans, Jimbo offers a free option that doesn’t require a credit card.
No coding knowledge required: Users can opt to build a website in “no coding” or “coding expert” mode, making it accessible to both beginners and more advanced designers.
Limited products: Jimdo only allows sellers to list a maximum of 100 products, regardless of their plan.
Limited templates: Jimdo’s selection of templates is small compared to its competitors.
Limited payment options: Jimdo only offers Paypal, debit, or credit options.
No 24/7 support: Jimbo offers email-only support and staff members respond “as soon as possible.”
Jimdo Features and Pricing
The key features of Jimdo include:
- No transaction fees
- Free domain
- HTTPS security
- Convenient payment methods
- Advanced SEO tools
- Mobile-optimized websites and ecommerce stores
- Statistics and reporting
Jimdo offers two separate pricing plans: one for websites and one for online stores.
There are four plans for websites:
Play: Free of charge, the Play plan includes basic features as well as a .jimdosite.com subdomain.
Start: At $12 USD per month, the Start plan is designed for personal website use and includes all of the Play plan features, plus a domain and the option for ad-free content.
Grow: At $19 USD per month, the Grow plan is the best option to grow your business website and includes the Start plan features plus SEO, visitor stats, and support within four hours.
Unlimited: At $49 USD per month, the Unlimited plan adds unlimited storage, professional design analysis, and premium support within an hour.
For the business owners building an online store, Jimdo offers three plans:
Basic: At $19 per month, the Basic plan includes all the basic elements required to start your online store, and allows you to manage and ship orders.
Business: At $25 per month, the Business plan is Selz’s bestseller, and includes product variants, social marketing, and social selling.
VIP: At $49 per month, the VIP plan adds unlimited storage and professional design review.
Magento (now Adobe Commerce)
Purchased by Adobe in May 2018, Magento launched in 2008 as a multi-channel commerce experiences for B2B and B2C customers on a single platform.
Magento pros and cons
Great features: Adobe Commerce has an extensive list of advanced features, like catalogue management, gift registries, and extensive customer support.
Advanced SEO: Magento is heavily equipped in SEO tools, which is good news for small business owners looking for additional exposure and web traffic.
24/7 support: Adobe Commerce offers 24/7 phone and email support.
Costly customizations: While there are a lot of great free features, additional customization can become costly.
Complicated: Compared to some of the simpler ecommerce sites that use a drag-and-drop tool, Adobe Commerce is less intuitive, and is not ideal for beginners.
Developer required: Coding experience is required, and most users must hire a developer.
Adobe Commerce features and pricing
Some key features of Adobe Commerce are:
- The ability to sell from anywhere
- Integrated B2B functionality
- Mobile-friendly website
- Headless API-based commerce
- Integrated Amazon sales channel
- Inventory and order management
- Page builder tool
- Shipping solutions
- Progressive web applications
- AI-powered live search tool
- Customer account management
- All-in-one payment solution
Adobe Commerce prices its plans according to the size of your company and the business model. Therefore, users must contact the Adobe Commerce sales team directly for pricing information.
All Adobe Commerce plans include standout features like core application support, business intelligence support, increased customization, a technical account manager, performance measuring tools, and more.
Founded in 2009 in Palo Alto, California, Duda specializes in high-converting websites that make managing an ecommerce website easy for new or experienced sellers.
Duda pros and cons
Unlimited storage: There is no cap on content, which gives users a lot of creative freedom.
Team integration: A feature allowing comments for team members, makes Duda an option for users with multiple staff accounts.
Apps and widgets: Duda’s integrated widget builder and app store make customization simple.
SEO tools: Compared to other ecommerce websites, Duda’s integrated SEO is lacking.
No free options: Unlike many competitors, Duda does not offer a free plan and has a limited distinction between tiers.
Duda features and pricing
Some key features of Adobe Commerce are:
- Website personalization
- Multi-language websites
- Millions of free and premium images
- 14-day free trial
- Widget builder
- Mobile-friendly websites
- White label website builders
- Fully-integrated apps
Duda has four plans (prices in USD) which can be billed monthly or annually:
Basic: At $19 USD per month, this plan includes one website, sites hosted on AWS, and email support.
Team: At $29 USD per month, this plan includes one website, phone, email, and chat support, access to team and management features, and more.
Agency: At $59 USD per month, this is Duda’s best value plan. It offers priority support, four websites and AWS hosting, dynamic pages connected to customer data, and more.
Custom: This option allows users to create a custom plan that suits their needs, and provides access to features like tiered discount pricing, onboarding and account management, integration with external data sets, and more. Contact the sales team to get started!
While plenty of ecommerce website builders promote their platforms as easy-to-use, Strikingly, founded in 2012, promises that mobile-optimized websites can be completed in mere minutes!
Strikingly pros and cons
Free plan: In addition to its three paid plans, Strikingly offers a free plan that includes 5 GB monthly bandwidth, 24/7 support, 500 MB storage, and a simple store.
Easy to use: Strikingly doesn’t require any prior coding or design experience to get started.
Responsive templates: Strikingly offers a selection of niche templates that are also mobile-friendly.
Limited storage: Strikingly only offers between 20 GB and 100 GB of storage, depending on the selected plan.
Limited products: Only users who pay for the VIP plan can list unlimited products.
SEO: Strikingly’s SEO is less advanced than competitor website builders.
Strikingly features and pricing
Some key features of strikingly are:
- Built-in free HTTPS
- Integrated social feed
- Built-in website analytics
- Full ecommerce functionality via Simple Store
- Built-in blog platform
- 24/7 email and live chat support
- Sign-up and contact forms
- Domain name registration available
Strikingly has three plans available, which can be billed on a monthly or annual basis. Those who select a yearly plan save $48 per year, which in turn represents $144 in savings in two years; $288 in three years, and $528 in five years. All plans are priced in USD.
Limited: At $12 per month, this plan is perfect for those who are just starting out, but need more than what’s offered on the free plan. Features include 1 GB of storage, 50 GB bandwidth, the ability to sell up to five products, and a five per cent transaction fee.
Pro: At $20 per month, this is Strikingly’s most popular plan, and is a great option for those who are looking to launch and grow their business. Features include 20 GB of storage, unlimited bandwidth, the ability to sell up to 300 products, and a two per cent transaction fee.
VIP: At $59 per month, this plan includes power features for businesses and membership sites and is a great option for established sellers who do a great deal of sales volume. Features include 100 GB of storage, unlimited bandwidth, the ability to sell unlimited products, and no transaction fee.
Founded in Portugal in 2009, Jumpseller is an ecommerce software that allows businesses to create online stores to sell their products on sales channels or through social media platforms.
Jumpseller Pros and Cons
No transaction fees: Jumpseller does not charge transaction fees on any of its plans.
Unlimited products, bandwidth, and storage: This gives sellers the freedom to list as many products as they choose, and does not limit creative freedom or earning potential.
Extensive help centre: Jumpseller has a dedicated education hub that provides helpful insight and guides on a variety of topics from getting started to advanced customization.
Limited languages: Your online store can only be configured up to a maximum of eight languages or less, depending on your plan.
Higher cost: Jumpseller is one of the costlier website builders on the market, with not many distinguishing features between its highest and lowest priced plans.
Some coding required: Jumpseller is suited to those with some coding knowledge, although its program called Jumpdesign assists new users.
Jumpseller features and pricing
Jumpseller offers five pricing plans:
Basic: At $9.90 USD per month, this plan may suit new small businesses as it offers unlimited products and storage, a free SSL, sales channels, and more.
Plus: At $18.90 USD per month, this plan includes the Basic plan’s features, as well as a free domain and the option to sell digital products.
Pro: At $37.80 USD per month, this plan includes all of the features of the Plus plan, plus promotions and discount codes, a customer log in portal, and abandoned cart recovery.
Premium: At $75.60 USD per month, this plan includes the Plus plan features, as well as product filtering, your domain on store emails, and custom administrator accounts.
Advanced: At $225 USD per month, this plan includes the Premium plan features, plus additional features to increase sales volume.
Plans can be billed annually, which allows users to enjoy a 10 per cent discount, or on a biennial basis, which offers a 20 per cent discount.
Founded in 2003 by two friends, PinnacleCart is an ecommerce solution that is popular among small-to-medium-sized businesses.
PinnacleCart pros and cons
Live chat: All PinnacleCart plans include live chat which offers support in real time.
Unlimited products: There is no limit on the number of products that users can list online.
14-day free trial: PinnacleCart lets users try out the software for 14 days to see if it’s the right ecommerce solution.
Expensive: With the cheapest plan starting at $79.95 USD per month, PinnacleCart is one of the pricier website builders on the market.
Selling limit: PinnacleCart has a $250,000 annual sales limit on its Standard plan, and users exceed that must upgrade their plan.
Limited themes: There are only 12 themes to choose from that look very similar.
PinnacleCart features and pricing
Some key features of PinnacleCart include:
- More than 400 features
- One-click checkout
- Integrated blog feature
- Coupons, discounts, gift cards and more
- Real-time shipping with quotes
- Cart abandonment remarketing
- Predictive search function
- No set-up fees or long-term contracts
- Quickbooks online integration
- Google Shopping
PinnacleCart has three plans:
Standard: At $79.95 USD per month, this plan includes unlimited products, five admin accounts, and no transaction fees.
Advanced: At $199.95 USD per month, this plan includes unlimited products, unlimited admin accounts, and no transaction fees.
Enterprise: This plan is designed for high-volume plans and services, and offers features like unlimited products and admin accounts, as well as unlimited sales volume. Contact the PinnacleCart sales team for a quote.
Square Online (now SquareUp)
Square Online pros and cons
Ideal for low-volume merchants: Square Online is a great option for low-volume sellers that won’t be too negatively impacted by the transaction fees.
Free plan: Square Online offers a free plan, alongside its paid plans.
Unlimited products: Square Online allows sellers to list unlimited products, regardless of their payment plan.
Transaction fees: Square Online charges 2.9 per cent plus $0.30 per transaction on every plan, including its free plan.
Not practical for high-volume merchants: Square Online’s transaction and processing fees can make this a costly option for high-volume sellers.
Limited features: Square Online lacks some of the basic features offered by its competitors, like built-in SEO and reporting tools.
Square Online Features and Pricing
Some key features of Square Online are:
- Easy-to-use store builder that doesn’t require no coding experience.
- Seamless social media integrations
- Built-in Photo Studio app for easy product photography
- Supports all major credit cards and PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay
- Flexible ecommerce website designs
- Free and affordable plans available
- Third-party app integrations
Square Online has four plans:
Free: The Free plan allows users to sell online with a 2.9 per cent and $0.30 transaction fee. The plan also includes unlimited products, social selling, SEO, and more.
Professional: At $15 USD per month, the Professional plan includes basic features plus a custom domain, a free domain for one year, no Square ads, and password-protected pages.
Performance: At $30 USD per month, the Performance plan includes the Professional plan features plus abandoned cart recovery, Paypal integration, advanced reporting, gifting options, and product reviews.
Premium: At $85 USD per month, the Performance plan includes the Performance plan features plus real-time shipping and low processing rates.
Takeaways for Choosing the Best Ecommerce Website Builder
An ecommerce website builder is the digital storefront to your business. Just like a window display is crucial to attract customers at a brick and mortar shop, the theme of your ecommerce website drives customer and sales traffic to your online business. You want an inviting and user-friendly online store to draw attention to your products or services, and ultimately, get customers shopping.
When choosing an ecommerce website builder, it’s always important to consider your brand, annual budget, and long-term goals of your business. Before you start designing your online store, take inventory of your products, determine your desired aesthetic and brand identity, and weigh the pros and cons that each ecommerce builder offers.