What is an e-commerce website builder
These days, the Internet is quite a bit more user-friendly than it was a few years back. For business owners, getting your shop online was the main challenge. You’d be fairly dependent on platforms like Amazon and eBay, or use social networks to advertise products. And if you weren’t a super coder or couldn’t hire one to design and build your website, the process was a nightmare.
But things have changed around here! When it comes to launching an e-commerce site - even if you have minimal sitebuilding experience - website builders are easy, affordable and accessible. These online store-building platforms are used by millions of business owners to create pages for businesses ranging from small ventures to multinational companies.
These resources for entrepreneurs and all kinds of businesses are keeping up with the consumer demand for online shopping experiences. Americans are more likely to make purchases from companies that they follow on social media. So there’s no underestimating the importance of a well put together website, with a quality SEO ranking and mobile compatibility.
The foundation of e-commerce sitebuilding is the template or theme. Builders provide a diverse selection of customizable template designs that come with built-in features, allowing you to fill in the content.
The dashboard is the website builder’s control panel. From there, you can navigate to sales, marketing and shipping, tweak design and layout and integrate third party apps.
Choosing between e-commerce website builders
E-commerce website builders are generally split into two categories: online stores and websites with e-commerce capabilities added on.
Online store builders are geared towards managing businesses and sales, with great features that help you sell more. If your priority is selling in bulk, this is the option for you.
If you already have a website and would like to add e-commerce functionality, or if you want to build a website that includes e-commerce, you might choose the second type of website builder.
Many website hosting companies offer auto-installers for e-commerce features. Because different hosting companies provide different features, we recommend that you do a bit of research to determine which features are the most important for your business. When searching, use keywords like “e-commerce hosting,” “easy e-commerce,” “shopping cart hosting” or variations of these.
Perhaps the most simple option is to launch your shop through an existing e-commerce platform (like Amazon). Designing your own store is easy, you can rely on the existing site’s software, secure shopping system, domain and domain configuration, DNS, etc. Plus, hosting is included in the total monthly cost and you won’t have to buy a domain.
Free: Yes, you can find e-commerce options for 0 cost! There are quite a few options, with diverse systems - we recommend doing a demo before you commit to any of them.
One-time fee: You’re most likely to see this option when hosting software on your own website.
Monthly fee: Typically you’ll be charged monthly fees for shops that are being hosted on existing e-commerce websites.
The bottom line
Because online shopping has become so widespread, consumers have become accustomed to services like free shipping and free returns, and a streamlined onsite experience with fast-loading pages. A solid e-commerce website builder will help you put together the front end experience that customers are looking for, while also offering tools to grow your business and maximize sales.