If you are looking to build an e-commerce empire, then you have to start at the beginning. You need to create an online infrastructure and set up your online store to serve as your identity online. To do that, you need an e-commerce website builder. It helps you in a host of different ways, from building your website, setting up product pages to helping you learn how shopping carts work to payment methods and customer service. E-commerce website builders can help you out a lot, especially if you are trying to build a dropshipping operation.
We here at Dropship USA work with dropshipping entrepreneurs and specialize in creating highly optimized websites geared towards generating sales. From our years of experience, we've found that Shopify is the best option when it comes to dropshipping, but there are plenty of other e-commerce website builders out there. Our experience in the e-commerce industry gives us a unique perspective on what works and what doesn't. We've used plenty of different website builders over the years and then landed on Shopify as our overall choice.
The e-commerce website builder landscape is everchanging, and each year they come with new features that can take one to the top over the other. Since it's the start of a new decade, we thought we should give out a comprehensive review of top e-commerce website builders in 2021. So let's check out the 2021 best e-commerce website builder review. But before we get into the review, let's check out whether or not it makes for e-commerce entrepreneurs to start investing in website builders.
Does It Make Sense To Invest In E-Commerce Website Builders?
E-commerce website builders are the easiest and fastest way to get you to market. If you want the fastest possible release date for your website and start selling, then getting an e-commerce builder to build might be what you need. Website builders feature drag-and-drop page editors that allow you to create a website without having to touch one line of code. The best ones will enable you to do everything, including managing orders, shipping, and many more.
However, if you are already an experienced website builder and have websites elsewhere, then you don't need to use an e-commerce website builder. For example, if you already have a WordPress website, then you can simply install the WooCommerce plugin to add e-commerce functionality. You can even use the Shopify Lite plan to manage inventory and embed "buy now" buttons to your existing website.
However, if you are starting out, then hands down, the best option is to go with a top e-commerce website builder. Website builders are the perfect option for you, even when you are simply setting up an online platform to bolster sales through COVID-19. If you are a brick-and-mortar store and you see sales are ramping down, then you can use an e-commerce website builder to help supplement your revenue through online sales. If you build a website that's optimized, then you can even attract new customers.
Best E-Commerce Website Builder For Non-Designers: Wix
WIX is one of the best website builders in the market, and it can turn any non-designer into a design pro. The website builder provides you with all you need to build a successful website. From a free domain name, a robust drag-and-drop site editor, to hundreds of pre-made templates that will help you create whatever type of website you want to develop. Wix doesn't charge any additional transaction fees meaning you get to keep whatever you earn from your site.
The Wix interface is simple to learn and use, and in no time, you will be able to make changes, add new products, and manage sales with the utmost ease. It doesn't have any number caps on the amount of product you can list, so that means there is no limit to the amount of revenue you can generate from your online store. However, what we don't like are the storage space and included features limitations that Wix has. But if you are only getting started, then you won't feel these problems. The cheapest plan offers 20GB of space along with abandoned cart recovery and the ability to sell on social media.
You can also take advantage of the site builder's online booking platform to sell services and classes, host public or private events, and manage online orders for delivery or in-store pickup. There are 700+ pre-built design templates, so you will never have a problem finding the design you love. It also has built-in SEO tools to ensure your site pops up on search engines. Now, the cheapest plan allows you to get everything you need to start out, but it still doesn't offer you everything. When you upgrade to a better plan, you can unlock advanced features like priority customer support, the ability to sell memberships and subscriptions, automated sales tax, shipping discounts, and a built-in customer loyalty program. There are four tiers to its plans, they are:
- Basic – 23 dollars per month
- Unlimited – 27 dollars per month
- VIP – 49 dollars per month
- Enterprise – Starting at 500 dollars per month
The Best E-Commerce Website Builder For Dropshippers: Shopify
Whenever you are looking at website builder rankings, you will find that it consistently ranks high on almost all the top ten e-commerce website builder lists. Shopify stands out amongst its users because of the immense customer support it offers. If you need customer support, then Shopify is the top e-commerce website builder on the market as it provides comprehensive 24/7/365 customer support. It's a feature-rich platform and has a drag-and-drop page builder that makes launching your website a breeze. You can get up and running a well-oiled drop shipping operation in no time without having to touch a single line of code.
Along with its instantaneous live chat options, you will also have access to a massive community forum that's filled with questions and answers from Shopify experts and current customers. You can even ask a question of your own if you see the previously asked questions aren't tending to your problem, and you will see your questions answered within a few hours. If you need more support, then the Shopify Knowledge base can help you out as well. It arms its readers with a robust collection that's full of articles, courses, podcast episodes, and how-to guides.
Whenever you have a question on how to do something, odds are Shopify has a guide on that specific thing. Along with that, there every Shopify plan comes with all the essential tools and features to get you started. You will find everything from built-in marketing tools and digital gift cards to shipping discounts, unlimited products, and support for 133 currencies. The platform has all you need to succeed. There's an app market that offers 4,000+ free and premium apps designed to extend your online store's capabilities. You will find an app for everything in there, and there are five different plans for you to choose from, they are:
- Lite – 9 dollars per month (only includes an embeddable buy button)
- Basic – 29 dollars per month with essential features
- Shopify – 79 dollars per month with standard features
- Advanced – 299 dollars per month with all features
- Plus – Starts at 2,000 dollars per month for large stores
Best E-Commerce Website Builder For Artists, Photographers & Creatives: Squarespace
If you are an artist or photographer, or a creative, you need to rely on imagery and branding that helps you sell your work online. As a modern creative, you need to make sure that the website is filled with photos, videos and the design is engaging enough to generate interest. If you need to elevate your art, then the top website builder for this is Squarespace. It was created with one thing in mind to build creative, highly visual websites with dozens of aesthetically pleasing templates.
Squarespace lets you put visuals at the front and center of your online store. Usually, the templates don't require much change, but you can make edits to the template you choose with the editor. The drag and drop editor is perfect, and changing colors across your entire site will only take you seconds. So to get started, you can simply start applying your branding, upload your images and videos, set up your product listings, and you are done. It also offers features like premium spots on your calendar for custom work or consultations using the online booking tool.
If you take up the advanced e-commerce plan, then you will even have access to features that will allow you to sell memberships and subscriptions. Squarespace is perfect if you sell stock photography subscriptions, digital assets, or other products with recurring revenue. You can find Squarespace in most top ten e-commerce website builder lists and with good reason. Once you are done building the site, and you want to start marketing, it provides you with tools that help you get the word out via social media, and you can connect to potential customers.
Squarespace's social media integrations allow you to sell right on your social channels meaning your customers won't even have to visit your website for you to make a sale. Every Squarespace plan comes equipped with features and built-in tax tools, the ability to create discounts, gift cards, mobile inventory, and store management, and in-person payments if you sell at pop-up events or art shows. So if you are interested, then you can check out the three Squarespace plans:
- Business – 18 dollars per month with 3% transaction fees
- Basic Ecommerce – 26 dollars per month with no transaction fees
- Advanced Ecommerce – 40 dollars per month with no transaction fees
Best E-Commerce Website Builder For Small Stores Wanting to Stay Small: Weebly
One of the reasons why we think Weebly is a top e-commerce website builder is because of how easy and simple it is to use. In fact, it's the simplest and easiest one to use in our list. If you are a smaller business, independent seller, or a local operation that's looking for a no-fuss, no-frills solution to building your site, then this one might be for you. Since the pandemic hit, many needed businesses needed to pivot online because they couldn't lean hard on walk-up customers. It hit businesses like restaurants and small retailers especially hard.
Weebly has become one of the most popular options for smaller shops and operations, but for newcomers, latecomers, and those suddenly needing to incorporate e-commerce into their business. One of the reasons for its popularity is because, in about 20 minutes, you can list your products, create your online store, and push them to your customers. It is effortless for you to operate, and you can add new products, remove out-of-stock products, push updates, and track your inventory levels without fiddling too much with the platform itself.
All the Weebly plan comes with a built-in shopping cart, a quick shop that lets your customers check out in a matter of seconds and gives them automatic tax calculations. You will get unlimited products and in-store or delivery options at the checkout. Weebly comes with features that you can use to create custom coupons, offer digital gift cards, and manage inventory in real-time as customers order. It even allows you to optimize your site for local SEO and capture leads to grow your email list. And the best part? All of these features are available on the free plan.
The only drawback is that you can't connect a custom domain name. There's another thing that can be a deal-breaker for you, and that is the free and 1st tier plans display Square ads on your website. However, these ads are really unobtrusive, with no pop-ups or in-line ads. It's just a little light or dark bar at the bottom of your site. There are also upgrades available that allow you to run an ad-free website, plus a free domain name for the first year, no transaction fees, and unlimited storage space. Here are the plans you should check out:
- Free – No monthly fees with a 3% transaction fee
- Personal – 6 dollars per month + a 3% transaction fee
- Professional – 12 dollars per month with no transaction fees
- Performance – 26 dollars per month to access all features
Best E-Commerce Website Builder For Rapid Scaling: BigCommerce
If you want an e-commerce website builder that will grow along with your business, then BigCommerce is the one you want. However, it has a few drawbacks. There is no introductory plan for beginners, unlike the other ones in this list, and each plan has an annual revenue cap. The cheapest plan on BigCommerce has a revenue cap of 50 thousand dollars, and you'll quickly outgrow this plan as your online store grows with the features BigCommerce offers. Whenever you want your e-commerce operation to proliferate, you need automation, personalizing the customer experience, and deliver enhanced strategies that bring in new customers. BigCommerce combines all three to help you build your business as fast as possible.
It also has features that let you sell across multiple channels like Facebook and Pinterest. BigCommerce enables you to choose the payment gateway you want to pick and avoid transaction fees so that you can keep most of what you sell. Team and product onboarding is a breeze as every plan offers unlimited products and unlimited staff accounts without any extra cost. You can even connect to marketplaces like Amazon & eBay. One of the best features of BigCommerce is the single-page checkout process that boosts online sales by a lot.
Your customers will be able to pay the way they want to, with BigCommerce offering various payment methods and even supporting Apple, Google, and Amazon Pay. Every BigCommerce plan has essential e-commerce features like discounts and coupons, enterprise-grade reporting tools, product ratings and reviews, a built-in blog, and real-time shipping quotes through various carriers. However, suppose you want to scale up. In that case, you can take up an advanced plan that unlocks features like conversion audits, abandoned cart emails, advanced segmentation, and in-depth SEO optimization capabilities. These features can bolster the numbers and bring in sustainable growth.
The customer support from this top e-commerce website builder is fantastic, with 85% of issues resolved on the first contact. There's always someone 24/7/365 ready to answer questions or for getting personalized site audits and tailored advice. You will also find a robust community-driven forum and thorough product documentation to ensure you get all the answers you need to build a successful e-commerce operation. Here are the pricing plans from BigCommerce for you to check out:
- Standard – 29.95 dollars per month with a 50k dollars annual revenue cap
- Plus – 79.95 dollars per month with a 180k dollars annual revenue cap
- Pro – 299.95 dollars per month with a 400k dollars annual revenue cap
- Enterprise – Custom pricing for those making more than 400k dollars
Best E-Commerce Website Builder For Limitless Customization: Shift4Shop
Now, if you are an experienced developer or have one on your team, then you might find some of the e-commerce website builders in this list limiting. You might feel that you don't have much control over how your website looks or functions. Shift4Shop, previously known as "3D cart," has created a top e-commerce website builder that meets these expectations. The platform is truly a limitless e-commerce website builder built explicitly for people who want complete control.
You can start however you want, from creating with a template and customizing to your heart's desire or completely coding and developing from scratch. Shift4Shop is a customizable site builder. It even has options for you to build a custom mobile app for easy shopping on the go. All the plans come with unlimited products, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited product variants, and a fully functional built-in CRM. It offers more than many top e-commerce website builders in the market right now. And you can add a limitless number of products and have limitless traffic to your store without having to pay extra.
It even has an option for bulk discounts. This feature comes in handy when selling products wholesale as well as directly to consumers or other businesses. One of the most standout features of this e-commerce website builder is the ability to customize the checkout page. It's the perfect way to streamline the ordering process specifically for your customers. Every plan comes with complete FTP access, the ability to use REST APIs for a fully integrated experience, and access to Shift4Shop's team of developers and engineers if you run into any problems.
Shift4Shop heavily features on every top ten e-commerce website builders list because it offers a 100% FREE end-to-end e-commerce platform with access to every feature it has to offer. The only caveat is that you have to use its payment processor and be based in the US. If you use the in-built payment processor, then you have to pay a standard transaction fee of 2.9% + 0.30 dollars. However, you can sign up for the standard plan if you want to use a different payment processor or based on someplace else. Here are the Shift4Shop plans for you to check out:
- Basic – 29 dollars per month for two users with essential features (up to 100k dollars/year in sales)
- Plus – 79 dollars per month for five users with standard features (up to 250k dollars/year in sales)
- Pro – 299 dollars per month for 15 users and all features (up to 1M dollars/year in sales)
Building E-Commerce Websites That Generate Sales
So there you go, that's the Dropship USA 2021 review of the top e-commerce websites out there. As you can see, unlike most top ten lists, we made sure you know which e-commerce site builder specializes in what. Heck, we didn't even add ten e-commerce builders here anyway. We believe in providing value to our audience, and we only provided you with the review of the e-commerce site builders that are worth it. Our core mission is to provide value and streamline the process to ensure your business is geared towards success. That is why we create highly optimized drop shipping websites that tend to generate massive sales.So if you are on the hunt for a website that sells, then please contact us, and we will take care of the rest. And with that being said, that's about all we have for you today. Let us know in the comments below if we've missed any other top-e-commerce website builders. Also, hit us up on our socials and send in your thoughts and suggestions on how we can improve our service to better cater to your needs. We will come back with something new for you soon. Until then, see ya!