Updated on May 30th, 2023
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The best ecommerce website builder platforms in 2023 compared and reviewed with a fresh perspective for your unique online store.
Platforms for ecommerce website building are without a doubt one of the top essential business tools.
In today’s dynamic digital landscape, selecting the ideal ecommerce website builder platform is critical to your online venture’s success.
To assist you in navigating the plethora of options available, I will present a fresh comparison and review of the best platforms for online store building: Squarespace, Wix, Shopify, Bigcommerce, WooCommerce, and Square Online.
We will delve into their unique features, ease of use, price, target audience, company backgrounds, etc.
Furthermore, we will highlight what truly sets each ecommerce platform apart.
The 6 ecommerce site platforms details
Before we start
We have done the leg work to make picking one easier for you.
We reviewed and compared various good online store creators before narrowing them down to the ones we believe to be the top best.
We achieved this by utilizing a combination of methods, including trial testing, engaging with their support teams, conducting in-depth research, reading user reviews and expert insights on reputable platforms, relying on personal experiences, examining third-party integration compatibility, evaluating the community and ecosystem, and assessing their track records of embracing trends and technology, among other factors.
1. Squarespace Online Store Builder: The Creative Visionary
Why We Picked It
Squarespace, a pioneer in the world of ecommerce website builders, is renowned for its visually striking designs and intuitive interface.
Founded by a university student, the company has grown to power millions of websites across various industries.
- The founder, Anthony Casalena, started the company with a $30,000 investment from his father.
- In 2021, Squarespace became a publicly-traded company, listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
- Award-winning templates designed to captivate audiences
- Built-in analytics to track your online store’s performance
- Integrated email marketing to engage and retain customers
- Squarespace Extensions to enhance your store’s functionality
- Appointment scheduling for service-based businesses
Squarespace’s commitment to offering visually appealing designs sets it apart from other ecommerce website builders, making it the preferred choice for those who value aesthetics.
Ease of Use:
Both beginners and pros will appreciate Squarespace’s user-friendly interface, which simplifies the process of building a sophisticated online store without any coding knowledge.
Squarespace is the go-to choice for creative entrepreneurs, bloggers, photographers, and small businesses that prioritize aesthetics and user experience.
A 14-day free trial is available for all plans. Also, offer a 14-day money-back guarantee for their annual plans.
- Personal: $12/m
- Business: $18/m
- Basic Commerce: $26/m
- Advanced Commerce: $40/m
The Personal plan is suitable for small websites and portfolios, while the Business plan is ideal for small businesses that require basic ecommerce features. The Basic and Advanced Commerce plans cater to growing businesses with more advanced ecommerce needs.
The company’s ecommerce website builder plans caters to different business needs.
G2: 4.0/5, Capterra: 4.3/5
2. Wix Online Store Builder: The versatile innovator
Why We Picked It:
Next on our list of the best online store builders is Wix. Started as a Flash-based website builder but pivoted to HTML5 in 2012, anticipating the decline of Flash technology.
Wix’s versatility and commitment to innovation have made it a popular platform for online store building.
With headquarters in Tel Aviv, Israel, the company has grown into a global brand that caters to a diverse clientele.
- Customizable templates for unparalleled creative control
- Wix App Market to expand your store’s capabilities
- AI-driven design through Wix ADI for a tailored website
- Wix Corvid for advanced development capabilities
- Multilingual website support for international enterprises
Wix’s extensive App Market and unique AI-driven design tool, Wix ADI, offer unparalleled customization and versatility when creating ecommerce websites.
Ease of Use:
Wix’s drag-and-drop editor enables users with no coding experience to create a professional-looking website with ease.
The platform is suitable for small businesses, solopreneurs, and those who require flexibility in website design and functionality for their online store.
I used years ago to put together a small website for a friend’s small online fashion store. I will say that even then it was super easy to use, especially. The drag-and-drop functionality.
That functionality has improved tremendously over the years.
Wix offers a 14-day, money-back guarantee for their Premium plans paid with a credit card.
- Combo: $14/m
- Unlimited: $18/m
- Pro: $23/m
- VIP: $39/m
- Business Basic: $23/m
- Business Unlimited: $27/m
- Business VIP: $49/m
Limited free plan available with basic features and Wix branding.
The Combo, Unlimited, Pro, and VIP are good for individuals and businesses that require a professional website without ecommerce capabilities. The Business Basic, Business Unlimited, and Business VIP are designed for businesses that need a comprehensive online store.
G2: 4.2/5, Capterra: 4.4/5
3. Shopify Online Store Builder: The ecommerce powerhouse
Why We Pick It
Born out of a snowboard store, Shopify (originally named Snowdevil) has evolved into a dedicated ecommerce platform, empowering enterprises of all sizes to build and scale their online store.
A one-of-a-kind company that helps businesses sell online successfully without a doubt.
- Extensive app ecosystem to enhance your store’s functionality
- Multichannel selling across popular marketplaces and social media
- Built-in POS system for seamless online and offline sales
- Shopify Exchange for buying and selling online stores
- Shopify Capital for flexible business financing option.
Shopify’s vast app ecosystem and multichannel selling capabilities make it a powerful choice for businesses seeking a comprehensive ecommerce solution.
Ease of Use:
Shopify’s user-friendly interface and comprehensive knowledge base make it easy for beginners and experienced users to create and manage their online stores.
Their website builder is a top option and perfect for small to large businesses that want to optimize sales and grow their online presence.
- Basic Shopify: $29/m
- Shopify: $79/m
- Advanced Shopify: $299/m
The Basic is ideal for new businesses, while Shopify is suited for growing businesses with more advanced requirements. The Advanced plan is perfect for scaling businesses that need extensive ecommerce features.
Provides a 14-day free trial for all their plans, which allows you to test their platform before committing.
G2: 4.4/5, Capterra: 4.5/5
4. Bigcommerce Online Store Builder: The SEO trailblazer
Why We Pick It
Founded in Australia, Bigcommerce has emerged as a powerful ecommerce building platform that caters to businesses of all sizes, offering advanced customization and robust SEO capabilities.
- Initially called “Interspire,” but rebranded due to a trademark dispute.
- The company’s co-founders, Eddie Machaalani and Mitchell Harper, met in an online chatroom discussing business ideas.
- Provides a monthly “Town Hall,” allowing merchants to participate in live Q&A sessions with the company’s executives.
- Advanced product options for a tailored shopping experience
- Seamless integration with popular marketplaces and advertising platforms
- Robust SEO tools to improve your store’s visibility.
- Built-in headless commerce capabilities for ultimate flexibility
- Customer segmentation for targeted marketing campaigns
Exceptional SEO tools and seamless third-party integrations set it apart, allowing businesses to grow their online presence and streamline operations.
Ease of Use:
Bigcommerce’s feature-rich interface is user-friendly, catering to both beginners and seasoned users.
Bigcommerce is ideal for small to large businesses that require a scalable platform with advanced customization and strong SEO capabilities.
- Standard: $29.95/m
- Plus: $79.95/m
- Pro: $299.95/m
- Enterprise: Custom pricing
The Standard package is suitable for small businesses, while the Plus and Pro plans is ideal for growing and medium-sized businesses. The Enterprise is designed for large businesses with high-volume sales and custom requirements.
A free 15-day no-obligation trial is available for all packages.
G2: 4.2/5, Capterra: 4.4/5
5. WooCommerce: The customization champion
Why We Pick It
WooCommerce, a popular open-source ecommerce plugin for WordPress, offers unparalleled customization and flexibility when it comes to managing and building online stores.
Acquired by Automattic in 2015, WooCommerce now powers over 30% of all online stores.
- Was created by WordPress enthusiasts— Mike Jolley and Jay Koster.
- Has an annual conference called “WooConf” dedicated to the plugin, featuring presentations and workshops.
- Seamless integration with WordPress for a cohesive online presence
- Highly customizable to suit your store’s unique needs
- A large selection of extensions to enhance your store’s functionality
- Built-in blogging capabilities for content marketing
- REST API for advanced integration and development
WooCommerce’s unmatched customization capabilities and seamless integration with WordPress make it the preferred choice for businesses seeking to build a tailored ecommerce solution on the WordPress platform.
Ease of Use:
While user-friendly for those familiar with WordPress, this ecommerce website builder platform may have a steeper learning curve for beginners.
Perfect for businesses already using WordPress or requiring a high level of customization for their online store.
Pricing: Free to use (excluding hosting, domain, and extensions)
WooCommerce is a free, open-source plugin for WordPress, making it suitable for businesses of all sizes. However, additional costs may apply for web hosting, domain registration, and premium extensions.
G2 Rating: 4.4/5, Capterra: 4.6/5
6. Square Online: The champion for omnichannel selling
Why We Pick It
Previously known as Weebly eCommerce, Square Online has evolved into a user-friendly ecommerce website creation and platform designed for businesses of all sizes.
Acquired by Square in 2018, this online store building platform offers a seamless experience with the Square ecosystem.
I can attest to the seamless experience of the company’s ecosystem as it was my first and longest-term card reader when I started my digital marketing agency. I always recommend Square products including their ecommerce website builder as I always have a positive experience dealing with the company.
- Square Online’s predecessor, Weebly, was initially founded by three college friends in a dorm room.
- Weebly’s original purpose was to provide a simple platform for students to create their online portfolios.
- Square Online allows users to create and sell digital gift cards, providing a convenient way for customers to support businesses.
- Built-in POS system for streamlined online and offline sales
- Integration with Square hardware for a cohesive retail experience
- Curbside pickup and local delivery options to cater to customer preferences
- Online Checkout for accepting payments on other websites
- Support for over 100 currencies to reach a global audience
Its seamless integration with the Square POS system and hardware makes it an exceptional choice for businesses seeking an omnichannel solution.
Ease of Use:
Intuitive interface that caters to both beginners and experienced users, making it easy to create a functional online store.
Definitely a top choice for brick-and-mortar businesses looking to expand their online presence and leverage the powerful Square ecosystem.
- Free (only basic features and comes with Square branding)
- Professional: $16/m
- Performance: $29/m
- Premium: $72/m
The Free plan caters to small businesses and individuals, while the Professional package is ideal for businesses that need a custom domain and additional features. The Performance and Premium package is for growing and established businesses with more advanced ecommerce requirements.
G2: 4.3/5 | Capterra: 4.7/5
The importance of ecommerce and online store creators
The growing importance of ecommerce cannot be overstated, as companies increasingly rely on online sales to drive revenue and growth.
According to the Census Bureau of the U.S. Department of Commerce, ecommerce sales in the second quarter of 2021 accounted for 14.6% of total sales, highlighting the need for businesses to establish a strong online presence.
Furthermore, the National Retail Federation (2021) emphasizes that “online and other non-store sales continue to see the most significant growth.”
In addition to the growth of ecommerce, businesses must also adapt to the new digital reality, which involves constantly evolving consumer behavior and expectations.
An article in the Harvard Business Review, titled “Adapt Your Business To The New Reality,” emphasizes the importance of flexibility and innovation in adapting to the shifting landscape, stating, “Businesses must not only adapt to the new reality, but they must also continuously innovate to stay ahead of the curve.”
Online store builder platforms like Squarespace, Wix, Shopify, Bigcommerce, WooCommerce, and Square Online play a crucial role in this adaptation process by providing businesses with the necessary tools and features to create responsive, user-friendly, and scalable ecommerce websites that cater to the ever-changing needs of today’s consumers.
Comparing the best platforms for website building before choosing
Choosing one of the best ecommerce website builders for your business depends on your unique requirements, budget, and desired features.
I hope that my fresh comparison and review of Squarespace, Wix, Shopify, Bigcommerce, WooCommerce, and Square Online will help you make an informed decision.
Keep in mind and compare each platform’s ease of use, great qualities, target audience, story, standout elements, etc, to find the perfect fit for your online store.
They are good website builders for online store creation.
Embark on your ecommerce journey with confidence!
About the Author
A Los Angeles resident who loves to write awesome guides on SEO, WordPress speed/security, content strategies, business and personal finance, digital and growth hack tools, legal stuff, etc, that are helpful to businesses, solopreneurs, bloggers, and consumers.
What I write about is based on tests, extensive research, and 11+ years of experience as a former Senior digital & content marketing consultant with a division of Thomson Reuters and running a successful digital marketing agency…[Read full bio]