With the ecommerce industry growing rapidly each year - and even more so in this new normal caused by the coronavirus pandemic - we’re seeing a growing number of aspiring online retailers looking to take a piece out of the ecommerce pie. Aside from coming up with the right product that customers will be raving about, the challenge is to choose the best ecommerce website builder for your business. There are a variety of options available in the market today - from simple platforms that provide the most basic features you need to start selling to the more advanced site builders complete with responsive ecommerce website templates, secure payment gateway solutions, inventory management and even digital marketing tools. You can go from beginner to advanced and then to fancy in just a few clicks.
How do you choose the best ecommerce website builder for your new venture? Here are a few points to consider.
When making any kind of investment, the first thing that we usually look at is price. How much will a platform cost us? If you’re somebody who just wants to try their hand at online selling and is hesitant to spend a lot of money on a speculative venture, there are platforms that allow you to start your business for free. As the best free ecommerce website builder, Strikingly lowers the barrier to entry for those who want to start their online stores but may have limited resources to do so. By adding the Simple Store section, you can transform your website into a single-product online store for free. Once your business takes off, you can switch to a paid subscription to start offering multiple categories of products.
Free services may come with a caveat - you cannot add a custom domain, which could help you create a more professional brand. For beginners, this may be a small price to pay and you can start off with a free custom subdomain keeping in mind that you may want to use the same website name when you upgrade to a custom domain later on.
Integrations and plugins available for ecommerce websites will also influence your choice of platform. Many site builders specializing specifically in ecommerce sites feature a wide variety of tools for running your online business. To start, determine what kind of tools and services you need depending on your business model. Some of the most popular plugins you might need include those that help you arrange shipping for products, rewards and membership features to build customer loyalty, email marketing and accounting.
3. SEO tools
One of the things you might have learned on how to build an ecommerce website is optimizing your content for search. Ecommerce websites need to rank high on relevant searches to attract targeted traffic. Your customers should be able to find you when they are actively searching for products or services you offer. An SEO friendly ecommerce website builder features blogging capabilities and customizable website name and metadata among others. Customers should als be able to leave reviews on your website to help keep your content fresh.
4. Mobile responsive
With more than half of product searches done from mobile devices, you are at risk of losing sales opportunities when your website is not mobile ready. Your selected platform should provide you with a variety of mobile-responsive ecommerce website templates to enable your customers to easily access your page from any screen size or browsing environment.
You are setting up an online venture with a view that it will grow in the future. It is difficult to predict for now up to what extent but you need a website builder that will support your business growth and scale up with you. You can start small with minimal features but you want to make sure that your chosen platform will give you room to grow and will not charge you with outrageous fees on your way up.