Best ecommerce website builders in 2021 – Tom’s Guide

The best website builders cover a range of use cases, not least the best ecommerce website builders and the best small business website builders. Those with ecommerce tools allow you to build a website and sell products online, providing your business with a new sales avenue.

With an ecommerce store, you can drive sales for products and services, whether online or offline. Online products can be forwarded directly to customers over email, while offline products are shipped to the customer’s mailing address supplied at the time of purchase. 

Whatever your approach, building a website with an online store is the first step to launching an ecommerce business. You don’t need to have tech knowledge to do this, or know how to build an ecommerce website beforehand. Here’s our guide to the best ecommerce website builders, so you can get started selling online.

Our top picks for the best ecommerce website builders

Wix: best for customization and design flexibility
For ecommerce, Wix is a top choice, three online store plans boasting advanced tools, a huge number of visually-appealing templates, an exceptional editor with high levels of customization, and comprehensive support. You get the full website builder included with its free package, a 14-day money-back guarantee with every plan, and ad-free sites on paid plans plus extra features.
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Shopify: clutter-free, feature-rich store builder
Powering the sites of over 1 million merchants in 175 countries, Shopify helps you to create an online store in minutes, with an extensive range of third-party apps and a clutter-free interface. It comes with a built-in shopping cart and checkout manager, and offers excellent marketing and security tools.
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BigCommerce: the perfect platform for maximum sales 
BigCommerce helps you leverage and maximize your sales, with easy cross-platform integration and an extremely versatile, easy-to-use builder packed with features. Not for beginners, the service’s ideal users are growing ecommerce businesses after higher sales, with features including 24/7 customer service and product filtering.
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How do you choose from the best ecommerce website builders?

The most important factor is scale, depending on your business and growth potential. Weigh up pros, cons, and features: cart recovery, shipping calculation, and inventory management are key, and a choice of payment platforms, functionality and a slick interface.

What are the best ecommerce website builders?

The best ecommerce website builders for you will depend largely on your business’s needs and preferences. Wix is our first choice for most small- and medium-sized businesses looking to launch an online store. Its drag-and-drop interface is very easy to use, and there are an array of tools available for marketing and search engine optimization. 

If you’re a larger business with more ambitious plans, Shopify may be the better fit. It’s more expensive than Wix, with a higher monthly subscription fee and commissions charged per transaction. However, it’s the ultimate content management system for online stores, and over 1.2 million users run businesses through it.

There are also a number of other platforms to choose from, with unique features. BigCommerce helps you maximize your sales by tapping into a variety of social media channels, while Squarespace allows creative professionals looking to maximize income from their services with an online store to build visually-stunning, slick ecommerce sites.

Volusion is a cloud-based ecommerce platform that lets you launch an online store in minutes; Weebly is the only website builder offering free ecommerce tools via integrations with Square Online; and Zyro is a website builder with ecommerce capabilities tailor-made for newcomers, known for being beginner-friendly and extremely affordable. 

The best ecommerce website builders, compared
Website builder Cheapest ecommerce plan Storage Bandwidth
Wix $23 a month (Business Basic) 20GB Unlimited
Shopify $29 a month (Basic) Unlimited Unlimited
BigCommerce $29.95 a month (BigCommerce Standard) Unlimited Unlimited
Squarespace $12 a month (Personal) Unlimited Unlimited
Volusion $29 a month (Personal) Unlimited Unlimited
Weebly $12 a month (Pro) Unlimited Unlimited
Zyro $2.90 a month (Basic) 1GB 3GB

The best ecommerce website builders available

Wix's homepage

Wix is the best website builder for small and medium-sized businesses (Image credit: Wix)

1. Wix

Best for small- and medium-sized online businesses

Specifications

Storage: 20GB

Bandwidth: Unlimited

Starting price: $23 a month

Reasons to buy

+Powerful website builder+Support for online bookings+Ecommerce-specific plans and features

Reasons to avoid

Not for beginnersPoor customer support

Wix can be used to build websites of all stripes, especially ecommerce websites. Every paid plan comes with a free domain name, a drag-and-drop site builder, and hundreds of themes and templates to choose from. 

Ecommerce-specific features include abandoned cart recovery, automated sales tax, and subscription management. There’s even a booking platform that you can use to monetize your services and host events.

The best thing about Wix? It doesn’t charge any commission fees per transaction. It also doesn’t impose any limitations on the number of products you sell or transactions you complete within any given time. Wix also offers unlimited bandwidth. And there are dedicated tools for handling marketing and analytics. 24/7 customer support is available for all business subscribers via phone and chat. 

There are four business-specific plans to choose from for ecommerce sites. Business Basic, which costs $23 a month, should be enough for most small or medium businesses. It offers 20GB of regular storage and five hours of video storage. Of course, you can upgrade your plan at any time. 

Business Unlimited and Business VIP offer 30GB and 50GB of regular storage respectively, although the rest of the features are mostly the same. Business VIP also offers priority support. In addition, there’s a dedicated plan for enterprise users for $500 a month. To find out more, read our Wix review: if you go with Wix, make sure you read our guide on how to build a website with Wix before you start.

Shopify's homepage

Shopify is the best ecommerce platform for large online stores (Image credit: Shopify)

2. Shopify

Best ecommerce platform for large online stores

Specifications

Storage: Unlimited

Bandwidth: Unlimited

Starting price: $29 a month

Reasons to buy

+Lots of features+Third-party app store+Built-in payment gateway

Reasons to avoid

ExpensiveCharges transaction fees

Shopify is more expensive than Wix, but for good reason. With over one million stores currently running on its platform, Shopify is easily the most powerful website builder with ecommerce features. Each plan comes with tons of features, including web hosting, unlimited bandwidth, a built-in content delivery network (CDN), over 70 themes and templates, and 24/7 customer service. 

You also get specific tools for dropshipping, abandoned cart recovery, shipping rate management, and customer account management. Another unique feature with this platform is that it handles all ecommerce transactions in house for free. Shopify normally charges 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction, but those charges are only levied if you use third-party payment gateways to process transactions. 

You can also use Shopify Payments, the platform’s built-in payment gateway, which is available free of charge. What’s more, Shopify features a built-in app store that you can use to integrate your online store with hundreds of third-party applications. 

Basic Shopify costs $29 a month, and comes with the aforementioned transaction fees. You can also upgrade to higher tier plans for more features like gift cards, professional reports, advanced report building, and career shipping. These plans include Shopify ($79 a month) and Advanced Shopify ($299). Payments can be made on a yearly basis up to three years in advance. 

Our full Shopify review provides more information, while our comparison of the top two website builders with ecommerce pits Wix vs Shopify. If you choose Shopify, don’t forget to read our step-by-step guide on how to build a website with Shopify.

BigCommerce's website

BigCommerce uses multichannel integration to maximize your sales (Image credit: BigCommerce)

3. BigCommerce

Best ecommerce platform for maximum sales

Specifications

Storage: Unlimited

Bandwidth: Unlimited

Starting price: $29.95 a month

Reasons to buy

+Packed with features+B2B support+Drag-and-drop site builder

Reasons to avoid

Not very beginner-friendlyCosts can be prohibitive for beginners

BigCommerce is a great option if you want to leverage every possible channel to maximize your sales. It integrates easily with platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Google Shopping, Amazon, and eBay. The website builder is extremely versatile, while also being very easy to use thanks to its drag-and-drop mechanic. 

There are a lot of features to choose from, which advanced users will definitely appreciate. These include customer management, bulk pricing, and more. Most of the features are built into the platform, so you don’t have to worry about getting third-party apps or extensions either.

However, there is a flipside. Because of its many features, BigCommerce can feel a bit intimidating to beginners in the industry, who might be overwhelmed by the sheer number of options it offers. You can easily end up paying more for features you don’t even need, which can be a problem if you’re operating on a small budget. 

BigCommerce is best suited to growing ecommerce businesses that are hungry for more sales. For a more laid-back approach, a different platform with fewer features and a lower price tag might be the best option. BigCommerce Standard costs $29.95 a month, and there’s a 15-day trial and 24/7 customer service included. 

Those interested in even more features, such as abandoned cart saver, product filtering, and price lists, can easily upgrade to a higher tier plan. BigCommerce charges $79.95 a month for its Plus plan, and $299.95 a month for the Pro plan. To find out more, make sure to read our BigCommerce review.

Squarespace's homepage

Squarespace is favored by creatives for its award-winning templates (Image credit: Squarespace)

4. Squarespace

Online stores for creative professionals

Specifications

Storage: Unlimited

Bandwidth: Unlimited

Starting price: $18 a month

Reasons to buy

+Award-winning templates and designs+Drag-and-drop site builder+Analytics and customer management

Reasons to avoid

Relatively expensiveNo free plan

Squarespace is one of the most popular website builders, and is especially loved by people within the creative community. This is because it comes with award-winning site templates that can fit just about any kind of business. These are very polished and intuitive, but it also offers quality ecommerce features at the price of regular subscription plans. 

Its highly functional drag-and-drop editor can be used to design pretty much any kind of ecommerce store, and you can sell products, services, and digital goods. It has built-in tools for SEO and blogging; an analytics dashboard showing site performance in great detail; and lots of apps to choose from. You can even inject your own code if you’d like to use an unsupported third-party app, though there’s no centralized marketplace for one-click app installations.

For online stores, you’d have to go for at least a Business plan for $18 a month, while larger and more dedicated online stores can choose from Basic Commerce and Advanced Commerce for $26 and $40 a month, respectively. These plans also come with 0% transaction fees and customer account management. 

Read our Squarespace review to find out what we made of this website builder, and if you chose to use it for your online store, make sure to reference our walkthrough on how to build a website with Squarespace. We also compared it with a main competitor in our Wix vs Squarespace feature.

Volusion's homepage

Volusion is one of the oldest names in ecommerce website creation (Image credit: Volusion)

5. Volusion

The experienced ecommerce website builder

Specifications

Storage: Unlimited

Bandwidth: Unlimited

Starting price: $29 a month

Reasons to buy

+Trusted brand+Ecommerce-specific features+Excellent support material

Reasons to avoid

Sales and product limitationsNot easy to get used to

Founded in 1999, Volusion is one of the first names to offer a website builder with ecommerce. As of 2021, it has sold services worth $28 billion and hosted more than 30,000 online stores. 

Like BigCommerce, Volusion is packed with features and is therefore meant for advanced users who have some experience running an ecommerce store. Its systems aren’t easy to get used to, but it does have a knowledge base with lots of resources on getting started. 

With Volusion, there’s a limited choice of free templates on offer, and the paid templates are extremely expensive. A few features worth mentioning include abandoned cart recovery, product categorization, and customer data migration.

Volusion has its own payment platform called Volusion Merchant Program, but it’s only available in the US. For users from other countries, Volusion allows you to accept payments via credit card. Paypal and Stripe are also available as payment options.

Volusion costs $29 a month for the Personal plan. It includes a limit of $50,000 in sales per year and 100 products. For users who want more, Professional ($79 a month) offers up to $100,000 in sales and 5,000 products. 

There’s also a $299 a month plan called Business, which allows for $500,000 in sales and an unlimited number of products, and which also includes priority support. Finally, custom pricing is available for enterprise users who require unlimited levels of everything. Read our full Volusion review to find out more.

Weebly's homepage

Weebly is the only website builder offering a free ecommerce plan (Image credit: Weebly)

6. Weebly

Free drag-and-drop ecommerce site builder

Specifications

Storage: Unlimited

Bandwidth: Unlimited

Starting price: $12 a month

Reasons to buy

+Very easy to use+Free ecommerce hosting+Includes email marketing tools

Reasons to avoid

Lacks in featuresLimited site builder

Weebly is a fairly good hosting provider and website builder with a forever free plan. Under this plan, you can launch a basic ecommerce website completely free of cost. Users who require more features can always upgrade as the need arises. 

The drag-and-drop builder requires zero coding knowledge, is easy to use and quite functional, and paid plans are quite affordable too. All in all, Weebly is an excellent choice for entrepreneurs who are looking to expand their business online with an ecommerce store. There are also features for shipping and inventory management, and dedicated tools for email marketing, analytics, and SEO. 

Finally, Weebly allows you to add tags to indicate when products go out of stock. It offers three paid plans and a forever free plan, starting at $12 a month for a Pro subscription. Business and Business Plus cost $25 and $38 respectively, and both come with inventory management, tax calculation, and shipping calculation features.

Weebly is developed by Square, and is therefore integrated into their POS system. Your site utilizes this, allowing you to manage customers from a unified dashboard. It’s worth noting that in the long-term, there’s a pivot towards Square’s own ecommerce store builder, with new customers already being funnelled towards it. Existing Weebly customers will continue to be supported in terms of features and functionality, however.

If you want to find out more about Square’s builder, read our Square Online review, and if you choose to use it, take a look at our step-by-step guide on how to build a website with Square Online.

Zyro's homepage

Zyro is an easy-to-use ecommerce website builder for newbies (Image credit: Zyro’s homepage)

7. Zyro

Online store builder for beginners

Specifications

Storage: 1GB

Bandwidth: 3GB

Starting price: $1.89 a month

Reasons to buy

+Extremely easy to use+Powerful AI+Drag-and-drop interface

Reasons to avoid

Not many addons or featuresCan’t switch templates mid-design

Zyro is the website builder for beginners. It features a very simple interface and a low starting price, both of which are perfect if you’re just starting out in website development and don’t want to make a heavy commitment just yet. The drag-and-drop interface is super intuitive and helps you set up a website with just a few clicks. 

There’s quite a collection of themes, separated into nine categories depending on your business niche. You can connect your store to and sell products on Facebook, Instagram, and Amazon. Zyro’s biggest selling point, however, is artificial intelligence, which it uses to develop your brand identity, via a business name generator, a slogan generator, an automated content creator, a logo maker, and a heatmap. 

The content generator helps you create ready-to-publish content for your website with a few clicks, which comes in handy if writing isn’t your kind of thing. Most importantly, all of this is offered at a pretty cheap price, allowing you to easily opt for the best plan in the bunch without sacrificing too much.

With Zyro, the basic plan costs just $1.89 a month. Then there’s Unleashed for $3.09 a month, eCommerce for $8.99 a month, and eCommerce Plus for $14.99 a month. While the Basic plan offers only 1GB storage and 3GB bandwidth, Unleashed, eCommerce, and eCommerce Plus all come with unlimited storage and bandwidth for your online store, as well as a free domain for one year. 

The eCommerce and eCommerce Plus plans also offer shipping and inventory management features. However, eCommerce Plus is the only plan that allows for unlimited products per online store. Find out more by reading our Zyro review.

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Best ecommerce website builders in 2021 – Tom’s Guide

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