Let me ask you something...
Do you really need to read yourself to death, researching the best hosted eCommerce solutions for building your online store?
I've seen all the so-called 'review' websites out there. They give you colorful tables and charts, offering you a 'comparison' for every type of online store builder software and platform under the sun. Well, let me give you the bad news: most of these websites are just in it to get an affiliate commission from the eCommerce website builder company --- they've probably never even logged in to any of the 10, 20, or 30 online store eCommerce solutions which they're claiming to review. Could I be wrong? Sure. But based on my decades in online business from different angles, something tells me that I am probably right.
In any case, personally, I wouldn't look past Shopify. But as human beings, it is in our nature to want to compare various alternatives before making a decision --- that's perfectly fine and even encouraged in some cases. Just don't get stuck on it for ages. You could be using that time to actually build your business, regardless of the eCommerce website builder platform you choose to go with.
I am not trying to bash anybody out there. I am simply being transparent and truthful as is my policy on this blog. Does that mean that I don't get some type of a commission if someone makes a purchase following a recommendation on my website? No. I get a commission the same as any other affiliate out there. Those few dollars support me and help to keep this valuable service free for my loyal readers. I also often link to websites which do not pay me anything.
I am not like those bloggers who nickel and dime everything they talk about and who wouldn't give the time of day to anyone who isn't paying them money. I don't care if someone is paying me or not. If I need to link to them to provide you with the best value, then that is what I am going to do. In fact, you are encouraged to let me know about any valuable resources you find. If I agree with your evaluation, I will try my best to have them mentioned on my blog, regardless of compensation or lack thereof.
eCommerce Website Shopping Cart Alternatives
Staying on the same topic, below are some of the eCommerce website builders which I do not recommend. Hence, I am linking to their website in a plain fashion in this post, without any affiliate link or compensation arrangement. You can check them out if you wish, and even sign up with them if you wish. I am here to help and I wish you the best in your business.
Let's be clear about one thing here. I am not saying the above-mentioned services are trash. Some of them are well-known and well-liked by their customers. They simply did not make Zabubli's Top 3 eCommerce Website Builders cut. Everyone has their own opinion, and this is my educated opinion.
You Are the One Who Will Build Your Own eCommerce Site
The platform and the eCommerce website shopping cart solution is only a platform, it won't automatically print money for you. The actual work of building and running a successful online store has to be done by you. Researching and finding the best products to sell online has to be done by you.
Sourcing products has to be done by you. Marketing your business has to be done by you. As long as you understand that, then we should be good to proceed further.
Without further ado...
Zabubli's Top 3 eCommerce Website Builders for 2017
Here's what you need to know about my top 3 eCommerce webstore building platforms.
Free Trial Offered: 14 Days
- Simply the best in its class
- 100+ professional eCommerce templates available to be used immediately
- Fully mobile responsive
- Easily customize your online store to your heart's content
- Start small, scale as you grow
- Sell physical and/or digital products - no restrictions
- Integration with over 50 payment gateways including PayPal
- Ability to integrate the sales system from your brick-and-mortar store with Shopify
- 128-bit SSL data encryption - your customers' information is always protected
- Pricing is a bargain for everything they offer
- Worldwide 24/7 support via phone, live chat, and email
You May Not Like
- Learning curve in beginning can be a bit frustrating
- Month to month price is slightly higher than annual (paid at once) price
- Some optional advanced customizations cost extra
Bottom Line: Shopify is the most value-packed & powerful eCommerce website builder out there today. Period. This platform has allowed all sorts of entrepreneurs to build solutions and grow their business based on their needs. Shopify customers include internet business beginners, small mom-and-pop shops, and even huge corporations such as Google and Tesla. Their 14-day trial is open to anyone and does not require a credit card to get started.
Free Trial Offered: 15 Days
- Supports PayPal One Touch integration
- Ability to customize to a great level
- Supports physical and digital products
- Ability to integrate with various platforms such as Facebook and eBay
- Secure payment gateway support
- Offers an App Store with advanced tools available for purchase, should you wish to upgrade your website further (similar to Shopify)
- Website designs are fully mobile responsive
- 24/7 support via phone, live chat, and email
You May Not Like
- Limited options for free eCommerce templates compared to Shopify
- Except for Enterprise plan, other plans have annual sales revenue limits
Bottom Line: While not as exhaustive as Shopify, BigCommerce is still a comprehensive, feature-packed set of eCommerce website building tools. Their selection of eCommerce site design templates is limited compared to Shopify, but they are working on adding more on a regular basis. They have a 15-day trial which also does not require a credit card to get started.
Free Trial Offered: 14-day refund policy with premium plans only
- Good for complete newbies who aren't tech savvy
- One of the best drag and drop website builders currently available
- 100's of beautiful free templates to choose from
- Websites are mobile friendly
- Great for those looking to do business on a smaller scale
- 24/7 email support (phone support has limited hours)
You May Not Like
- Website templates are not easily customizable
- Free plan includes advertisements on your web pages
- Websites are mobile friendly but not mobile responsive
- Not suitable for large scale, complex eCommerce stores
Bottom Line: I recommend Wix more for beginners who are looking to set up a professional & good looking website for a lower monthly cost. While Wix does have the ability to handle eCommerce stores, it is best to go with Shopify or BigCommerce if you plan on running a large online store (or eventually growing into one). Wix does not offer a no strings attached free trial. They do offer the option to cancel your plan within 14 days to receive a full refund (this applies to premium plans only). They're good people and overall a solid company with a quality product.