The Best Ecommerce Website Builder for Small Business (Feb 2023)
What’s the best ecommerce website builder for small business?
That’s a common question in today’s digital market, as countless entrepreneurs and business leaders look for an affordable way to access selling tools. After all, there are plenty of ecommerce site-building options out there, but not all of them are suitable for smaller companies.
A small business needs a site-building solution that’s both affordable, and easy to use. At the same time, it’s important to purchase something scalable, so your site can grow with your business in the years to come. Fortunately, there are some options out there for small business leaders.
We’ve scoured the internet for some of the most attractive selling solutions for companies with minimal budgets. We chose each of these tools not just because of their affordability, but because they’re also easy to use, and ideal for generating growth in the early stages of your company’s development.
This selection of ecommerce website builders for small business owners will give you a wide range of platforms to choose from if you’re looking for versatile sales features, convenient back-end technology, and a price that isn’t going to break the bank.
Shopify is one of the better-known ecommerce products in the world today, popular for its wide selection of sales features, customizable functionality, and ease-of-use. Shopify makes it quick and simple for companies of any size to find their place online, with a host of great tools for selling products both physical and digital.
There are customizable themes you can use to make your store look more professional, and you can offer your customers a range of payment processing options to suit their needs. Shopify even comes with access to specific templates depending on the industry you’re building your business in.
With Shopify, companies can launch their online business in minutes, or migrate an existing store into the Shopify environment. There’s also a host of applications and tools you can use to add capabilities to your store, and access to a wide community for support. You can find apps for SEO tools, collecting customer reviews and even inventory management.
Depending on the size of your store, you can potentially get away with the cheapest Shopify package. The “Lite” service allows you to add a button to your website for checking out, or you can use the $29 basic package for a full website building experience. This makes Shopify very affordable for smaller companies.
- Lots of templates and customizations for branding
- Add new functionality through add-ons and plugins
- Sell across multiple digital channels
- Hosted eCommerce so you don’t have to handle backend issues
- Secure and convenient checkout process
- Affordable pricing structure
- Not the most scalable shop builder
- Some ordering limitations
Best for ✅
Shopify is one of the most impressive market-leading tools for ecommerce if you want a quick and simple way to activate your store online. You can even go simple by just adding a Shopify button to your existing website.
2. Square Online
You’ve probably heard of Square Online already as a fantastic payment processing solution for companies of various sizes. However, there’s more to Square than a POS. Square also allows you to build your own store conveniently online, with the help of Square Online. The software allows businesses to combine their offline and online selling solutions into one package.
Square’s online website builder comes with a range of customization options, to help you make your brand stand out in a digital world. You can set up fast without needing to know any code, and start selling products immediately, with syncing between your offline and online store inventories.
Although Square does allow you to set up your store for free initially, you will need to pay a fee for transactions, which can eat away at your profits if you’re not careful. However, Square will still appeal to anyone who’s already familiar with the Square brand.
Square doesn’t charge for your online store setup, but you will need to pay a transaction fee whenever you accept a payment through the store checkout. There are also additional fees to pay for certain functionalities, so make sure you do your research before you start “adding” features.
- Great for combining online and offline selling
- Convenient choice for people familiar with Square
- Easy-to-use for beginners
- AI functionality included
- Free to create your store
- Not many customizations’ options
- Only 1 payment processing option
Best for ✅
Square Online is an amazing choice if you’re already running an offline store with a Square POS. If you’re comfortable with the payment processing you get offline, then you’ll be able to easily sync your online and offline store online.
A popular choice among companies who want to create a stunning aesthetic website, Squarespace is brilliant for creatives and business owners looking to build a portfolio online. There are various great templates to help get you started, and Squarespace is excellent for freelancers and solo entrepreneurs too. The whole experience is very straightforward for beginners.
If you’re keen to make a professional visual impact on your customers, it’s hard to go wrong with Squarespace. This popular ecommerce builder ensures you make the right impression with beautifully designed themes, great checkout experiences, and even a good environment where you can publish blogs for content marketing purposes.
The Squarespace site offers a free domain with each package, so it’s quick and easy to get started online. You can also build cover and landing pages to attract attention to various specific products.
Squarespace charges based on the functionality each client needs. The least expensive package starts at around $18 per month, with access to a range of simple sales tools. Even the cheapest service comes with 24/7 support, so you know you’re going to get the guidance you need. However, you’ll need the Commerce plan to start selling online, which starts at $26 per month.
- Stunning range of templates to choose from
- Blogging and SEO functionality for marketing
- Excellent range of pricing options
- Extra features like cover page builders
- Customization options for developing your brand
- Free domain included with each package
- Intended for freelancers more than businesses
- Not much scalability for bigger brands
Best for ✅
We’d recommend Squarespace for freelancers and creative professionals looking to showcase a unique portfolio online. You can make sure that your company stands out from the crowd without having to invest in any coding education.
An ecommerce platform with an excellent reputation for boosting sales, BigCommerce is a fantastic tool for omnichannel selling. With the right ecommerce plan, you can boost your revenue across email, social media, and within your ecommerce store.
BigCommerce comes with an excellent site builder, the option to integrate with sites like Amazon and various transaction processing options, including PayPal support, and compatibility with various credit card providers. If you want a site builder that helps you to scale your small business, BigCommerce is a great choice. The solution has more built-in features than many of the other small business website builders out there, and it’s wonderfully intuitive when you get used to it.
Though BigCommerce does have a learning curve to manage, it could help you out with incredible site optimization if you learn how to use it. There’s also less reliance on external plugins and apps. You can immediately sell through multiple payment gateways like Stripe, and PayPal, access all your web hosting in one place, and grow your business plan.
There’s a free 15-day trial so you can test the features of BigCommerce, then the Standard plan starts at around $29.95 per month. The “Plus” package is $79.95 per month, with access to extra features like abandoned cart saver, and the “Pro” plan is $299.95 per month. Users can request a specialized enterprise plan too.
- Easy to sell across multiple channels
- Scalable online store builder for your business plan
- No need for an app store with in-built ecommerce tools
- Works for all kinds of ecommerce business
- Various marketing tools
- Expensive paid plans
- Significant learning curve
Best for ✅
If you’re looking for an omnichannel ecommerce solution which allows you to sell on everything from eBay to Facebook, BigCommerce has you covered. This solution also makes it easy to scale your business over time, with access to a wide range of advanced features.
Wix Ecommerce is one of the better-known solutions in the market for those just getting started in the digital world. This powerful website building solution offers an all-in-one experience, where everything you need is already built into the service. Wix hosts your store, handles the security, and delivers a handy checkout solution for you too.
Though there are definitely more advanced website builders out there, Wix has a handful of unique capabilities which make it particularly compelling to beginners. For instance, you can access AI innovations to help you design the perfect website template from scratch. Wix also offers a handy drag-and-drop builder so you can customize with ease.
With plenty of tools for securing your website and helping customers check out with ease, Wix is sure to attract a wide range of potential customers. However. You do need to pay things like transaction fees, which is a bit of a problem for some beginners.
Wix has a free plan to get you started, but it’s not suitable for eCommerce, and comes packed with Wix branding. If you want to sell things online, you’ll need at least the Business Basic plan, which starts at $23 per month. The more functionality you need, the more you’ll have to pay.
- Lots of customization options for your website
- Great range of secure payment options
- Discounts, gift cards, and other loyalty tools
- Plugins and apps to expand your site
- Useful AI-driven tools
- Not ideal for significant scaling
- Not the most ecommerce features
Best for ✅
Wix is ideal for companies that need a lot of hand-holding to get their store up and running, there’s plenty of support available to help you make your site great. Plus, it’s easy to customize your store with apps and add-ons.
Although Branchbob isn’t as well known as many of the website builders listed here, it’s certainly worth a second look if you’re a small business with a meager budget. For starters, Branchbob is entirely free to use. The only costs you’ll incur are if you want to purchase and connect a custom domain name and whether you decide to buy any of their premium integrations.
It’s incredibly intuitive; when you first sign in to your dashboard (sidenote: Branchbob calls this the cockpit), it provides you with a checklist of things to complete to help get your online store up and running as quickly as possible.
We also like that Branchbob comes with a few in-built marketing features, order management functionality, and product management tools. On top of that, there are a few themes to choose from (most of them free), which you can slightly tweak to meet your needs.
All in all, Branchbob provides everything you need to launch a simple online store with minimal effort.
As we’ve already hinted at, Branchbob is entirely free to use. It doesn’t charge any monthly fees or transaction costs. However, using premium apps or purchasing a custom domain name may incur expenses.
- It’s totally free to use!
- The built-in coupon creation tool is pretty sophisticated – you can dictate whether you offer a percentage or set amount of money off. You can also set dates for which the coupon is valid between and from.
- In theory, you can have your online store up and running within minutes.
- You can design, launch, and manage your eCommerce store from the convenience of your smartphone.
- You can offer customers many different payment options, including major credit and debit cards, Klarna, Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Amazon Pay, to name just a few!
- There aren’t many themes to choose from
- You can’t sell digital products
- Branchbob doesn’t offer third-party shipping or drop shipping integrations
- Unfortunately, many articles on the help center are written in broken English.
- Customization is very limited if you don’t boast coding know-how (HTML and CSS).
Who’s Branchbob Best For?
Suppose you’re unsure about whether launching an online store is for you. In that case, Branchbob is an excellent choice, as you don’t have the burden of any financial outlay. It’s also a fantastic choice if you’re a novice because it’s undoubtedly one of the more intuitive platforms on the market.
However, if you don’t know how to write code and have a more specific idea of what you want your online store to look like, Branchbob might come up short. There aren’t many themes to choose from, and without digging into the code, there isn’t much you can do to tinker with the design.
Among the easiest to use website building tools on the market today, Ecwid is a popular service for all kinds of business leaders. The great thing about this solution is that if you already have a website, you won’t have to design a new one from scratch or migrate anything to access the selling functionality you need. Ecwid is an open-source plugin that can attach to existing sites on Joomla, Drupal, WordPress, and many others.
With Ecwid, you can easily start selling your own products and services online for free, with a flexible environment that adapts to suit you. You can access things like checkout customizations, one-click checkout pages, and so much more. There’s also a host of apps that integrate with Ecwid to take your store to the next level.
For business owners on the move, Ecwid also comes with a mobile app which you can use to check out your latest transactions and manage various parts of your store.
As mentioned above, there’s a free version of Ecwid available forever if you don’t have a lot of demands as a business owner. The free package is quite advanced and will make it easier to launch a store instantly. If you need more functionality, pricing starts at £15 per month.
- Simply plugs into your existing website
- Easy to use environment with lots of customizations
- Apps and add-ons for extra functionality
- Mobile store management features
- Various options for payment processing
- Cross-channel selling options
- Requires an existing website
- Some limitations to the free plan
Best for ✅
If you already have a website and you just want to add ecommerce functionality into the mix, then Ecwid has you covered. This solution will help you to stay ahead of the curve with access to a range of fantastic, flexible features and decent customer support.
One of the easier-to-use solutions on the market for small businesses, Weebly is a featured-packed and effective store builder. Though not the most advanced product on the market, Weebly ensures beginners can start creating an effective website, and selling their solutions in no time. You don’t even need a huge budget to get started.
With various great templates to choose from, as well as customization elements, convenient shopping cart options, and more, Weebly has earned the attention of would-be business owners worldwide. There are tons of professional templates to get you started, a customizable shopping cart, and a range of extra features too, like in-built Google analytics.
One of the most attractive features of Weebly, is the fact that it’s powered by Square, so you know you’re getting an excellent checkout experience for your audience.
As one of the more affordable website builders around, Weebly starts with a price tag of only $9 per month. However, you do need a specific package of at least $29 if you want access to ecommerce functionality.
- Great for beginners without building knowledge
- Options for easy team collaboration
- Lots of integrations and apps including email marketing
- Responsive themes to choose from
- Affordable pricing
- Not very scalable
- Not many payment processing options
Best for ✅
Weebly is an excellent choice for beginners who want to jump into online selling as quickly as possible. The pricing is affordable, and you don’t have to mess around with finding the right payment processor, because you’ll already have access to Square.
Shift4Shop, known by some as 3DCart, is a powerful site building tool, ideal for smaller business owners. If you know you want to start selling online fast, but you’re limited in terms of budget, Shift4Shop has got you covered. You don’t have to pay a fortune for your store package, and there aren’t any transaction fees to deal with either.
Shift4Shop offers a wide selection of features for business owners to explore, including cross-channel selling opportunities, SEO strategies to help you find customers online, and a range of extra payment providers to choose from. It’s a great end-to-end environment for building an online presence, and Shift4Shop is very easy to use too.
If you’re looking for a turnkey eCommerce system that makes it quick and simple to grow your business, Shift4Shop is a wonderful choice. You can even make customizations to your site with things like CSS or HTML.
The first month is free when you start selling with Shift4Shop, which is excellent for keeping your costs low. There’s also a free forever plan which comes with unlimited products, users, features, and bandwidth, as well as hundreds of themes.
- Suitable for SEO and content marketing
- Cross-channel selling opportunities
- Various payment providers to choose from
- Tons of customization options
- Affordable pricing with free option
- May require some basic coding knowledge
- Not the most scalable store
Best for ✅
If you’re looking for a flexible product that you can use for free, Shift4Shop is an excellent investment. You’ll be able to launch your company online in no time, and develop a great brand, without spending a fortune.
NopCommerce is an open-source eCommerce platform based on Microsoft technologies. It supports over 60,000 live shops, including plenty of small businesses. The reason for this is likely its affordability: nopCommerce is entirely free. On top of that, it supports over 1,500 integrations and has a thriving community with over 250,000 members worldwide.
With NopCommerce, you can sell unlimited products and an infinite number of staff accounts, support multiple stores and vendors and benefit from popular payment methods and gateways. In addition, the platform includes useful shipping features and advanced business reporting and analytics.
Because it’s open-source, you can customize anything you like and own every aspect of your store. NopCommerce also supports a range of marketing features. For example, gift cards, product reviews and ratings, email, and discounts. It also allows you to add content types to your website: polls, a blog, a forum, custom pages, and more.
NopCommerce is immensely feature-rich but focuses less on visual store design. As a result, tech-savvy store owners will feel at home with this platform, whereas beginners might find it less intuitive.
NopCommerce is entirely free to download and use. There is, however, a copyright note at the bottom of any store you create with the platform saying “powered by nopCommerce.” However, this can be removed by purchasing a $250,00 license key for your website.
There’s also a marketplace where you can purchase themes and plugins. These range from $0 to $999. Most premium themes come with some plugins included and typically cost around $250.
- Thanks to its open-source nature, you can customize the platform however you wish.
- NopCommerce comes with full GDPR support, making it a good choice for European businesses
- It’s very scalable, making it a suitable option for small businesses and enterprises alike
- It’s completely free to use
- NopCommerce releases updates every 6-7 months
- You may need to purchase a license key to remove the copyright note at the bottom of your website. This is quite expensive.
- Buying premium themes and plugins might be a high additional cost
- Because of its open-source nature, all dedicated support comes at a premium, starting at $83.25 a month.
Best for ✅
NopCommerce is best for merchants that hope to expand their business across multiple stores. However, it isn’t ideal for beginners or those without IT support. Hence, we recommend NopCommerce only to those comfortable with tackling technical challenges.
👉 Read our comprehensive nopCommerce review.
These days, there are plenty of ways to build your own website, whether you’re looking to buy your own domain name and host your website yourself, like with WooCommerce, or you want a full ecommerce site builder and cart recovery system that’s managed for you.
There are tons of tools out there aside from the options we’ve mentioned, like GoDaddy and Volusion, so don’t be afraid to explore some other options for web design if the options to sell products above don’t appeal to you. Ultimately, the best ecommerce website builder for small companies will be the one that makes setting up your storefront easy.
Ideally, you want to be able to sell products with a range of payment gateways, from Shopify Payments to Apple Pay, and PayPal, and have access to various tutorials and FAQ guidance if you don’t already have the know-how for building your store.
Remember to look for a solution and set of pricing plans that can scale with your business, as well as various user-friendly tools for start-ups to use when implementing their SSL certificate, improving search engine performance, or even checking analytics in real-time.
A beginner-friendly tool for website design will ensure you can start selling fast.