This table provides a comparison of the best solutions to create ecommerce stores. You don’t need any programming skills to use them, and there is nothing to install on your computer.
We’ve divided them by your project’s size: at the top you can find solutions for medium & large online stores. Scroll down if you are looking for a smaller solution. By the way, if you’re a beginner you may find our ecommerce tutorial worth reading.
For more detailed information, such as a video review, simply browse through the individual test reports!
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The Swiss Army Knife of Online Stores
Basic Shopify: $26
Advanced Shopify: $266
Ease of use
Apps & Community
Creating regular content
The Name Says It All
No transaction fees
Solid SEO features
Yearly sales threshold
Create regular content
Best eCommerce add-on for WordPress
Advanced features for larger online stores
Customer and store administrator accounts
Ease of use
Lack of support
A Solution for Experts
Many features available
Deal of the day feature
Blogging system not integrated
Not easy to use
Makes Selling Super Easy
Business Plus: $38
Very easy to use
Supports physical & digital goods
SSL-encryption on your own domain
Shipping and tax calculator
No offline payment available
Wix Business Basic: $23
Wix Business Unlimited: $28
Wix Business VIP: $49
Ease of use
Physical & digital goods
No sales fees
Real time shipping only available in US.
For Creatives With eCommerce Ambitions
Online Stores Basic: $26
Online Stores Advanced: $40
Good blog integration
Sell services and subscriptions
Great for social media
Not as easy to use as other tools
No automatic sales tax
Great for European Stores
Fulfills ecommerce regulations for EU countries
Ease of use
Great cost/performance ratio
No additional sales fees charged by Jimdo
No selling of digital goods possible
No import / export of product data
Affordable online store solution with multilingual capabilities. No transaction fees and unlimited products.
All plans include an unlimited number of products and bandwidth. There are no transaction fees.
Start Up: $44.95
Your can host your store with an external hosting provider. No transaction fees.
While creating a website is fairly easy these days, you can’t really say the same thing when it comes to eCommerce. You could go for website builders like Jimdo or Wix, which are very easy-to-use and inexpensive—but they don’t offer a whole lot of payment options or integrations with shipping companies. Then there are eCommerce tools like Shopify that are extremely powerful but their cheapest plan with unlimited items starts at $29 per month, and what’s even more: they charge a transaction fee. Store plug-in with a freemium option Chances are that you are looking for something in between: an eCommerce store that will be less than $20 per month and doesn’t take a cut of your sales. Ecwid seems to be able to do just that. They have created a store ‘plug-in’ that you can use with any type of existing website. Most importantly: you can use their basic plan free of charge (freemium model). So let’s take a look at Ecwid’s features and see if it’s worth our time and money. Venture vs. Business plan – reasons to upgrade Generally speaking, the Venture plan is already pretty powerful and enough for most small stores to get started. You can add up to 100 items and you have access to all payment gateways and shipping companies. A definite advantage of the Business plan (which is $35.00 per month if you pay annually) is the ability to use the automatic tax calculator, inventory management, and discount codes. The tax calculator works for Ecwid users from US, Canada, Australia and Europe. Is Ecwid SEO-friendly? Recently Ecwid introduced SEO-friendly URLs. They used to include special characters (“#”) that not only looked ugly but also made it harder to rank your store in Google. Thanks to this change search engines will have no issues indexing your store’s content. Setup Installing Ecwid couldn’t be easier. You simply...
Shopify is an excellent ecommerce platform for smaller and larger online stores. You can create an unlimited number of products and there is no bandwidth limitation, which makes the online store incredibly easy to scale, depending on your needs.
Shopify doesn’t only include excellent ecommerce design templates, but you can also edit them according to your own preferences. Pros have complete access to the template code and they can add more features to the store through the integrated API. Alternatively, you can use the app store. It allows you to integrate many standard features without the need for coding.
If you choose Shopify, you can start selling through multiple channels: Amazon, Facebook, Pinterest, eBay, and many more. You can even add a purchase button for your online store on other websites.
Shopify has basically all the relevant payment and shipping methods covered. Stores based in the USA or Canada additionally benefit from the integrated Shopify Payment and Shopify Shipping solutions. If possible, you should absolutely use these services, or else Shopify will default to charging up to 2% transaction fees for each sale.
If that doesn’t bother you, then this is one of the most robust solutions you can choose without needing to worry about the technology, allowing you to focus completely on sales.
Even though the name says otherwise, BigCommerce is meant for both small and big online stores. Unlike Wix or Weebly, it is built with ecommerce as their main focus, similar to Shopify. With BigCommerce you’ll be able to sell unlimited products with any plan. This includes B2C and B2B.
As opposed to some of their competitors, BigCommerce doesn’t charge any additional transaction fees nor limits the your online traffic. But each plan has a yearly sales threshold limit. If you go over it, you’ll be moved to a superior (and more expensive) plan, even if you don’t need the extra features.
After testing BigCommerce, we were impressed with their SEO features. They have all the most important SEO options store owners might require, and they are easy to implement. For example, customizing title tags, meta-descriptions and URLs is a walk in the park. More advanced features like 301 redirects and sitemaps are also included.
Unless you are ready to dig under the BigCommerce hood, there isn’t a way to create multilingual online stores. It’s true that multilingual support for online stores is something that all store builders need to improve, but some of their competitors have solutions that don’t require coding experience.
BigCommerce is great to create online store related content. In other words, adding products and categories is straightforward. However, if you need to add other types of contents (e.g. blog post or landing pages), things go south quick as it’s not optimized for these.
WooCommerce is the number one ecommerce plugin for WordPress. You can use it for smaller and bigger online stores. However, it’s not exactly beginner-friendly because getting it all set up isn’t nearly as self-explanatory as with the other providers.
The first issue is that you will have to check whether your theme (meaning, your general website layout) is even compatible with WooCommerce in the first place. Making adjustments completely depends on the theme’s settings. Should the theme lack proper documentation, you won’t be able to make any progress unless you consult with a professional.
And even if WooCommerce is in itself free of charge, don’t forget the hidden costs of hosting, a domain, the theme, additional plugins, or extensions.
WooCommerce can shine, however, if you want to sell internationally. By combining it with a plugin such as WPML, your shop can be multilingual. Since we’re talking about open source software, you can also make adjustments and changes at any time (however, remember that this will cost you some time and effort). On the other hand, that also means that there is no dedicated support unless you’re working with an agency or freelancer who offers additional help.
If you aren’t exactly tech-savvy and don’t already have a WordPress website, we recommend checking out a solution such as Shopify. It’s just easier to use.
Volusion is one of the most popular ecommerce builders. They claim to be ‘the all-in-one ecommerce solution’ in the market. It’s a similar concept to Shopify and BigCommerce.
Its entry level prices are a bit cheaper than the competition. However, they limit the amount of traffic your website can receive (e.g. 1 GB, 3GB, 10 GB or 35 GB) and they also limit the number of products that you’ll be able to sell with each plan. So in the end they may not be cheaper for you.
Their ecommerce features are comparable to their competition and they offer similar tools for you to work on your store’s marketing (e.g. coupons, Amazon integration, etc).
However, the difference is that Volusion’s system is not as easy to use as the other tools. For example, creating regular content (e.g. a promotional page) is somehow complicated, and most likely you’ll need to read an entire support article before you do.
It also has some key features missing that you should be aware before purchasing this store builder. For example, if you need a blog, you’ll have to connect one created with an external tool (e.g. WordPress).
Weebly is one of the providers geared towards smaller stores. The simple structure makes the setup process particularly smooth, and product management is also easy thanks to Weebly’s centralized system. Should your shop see significant growth, you can import and export products. By using external software such as Excel, updating your prices, for example, can be much faster.
Obviously, you can sell more than just standard products such as t-shirts or jewelry. It could include digital goods like MP3s or ebooks. Thanks to the Weebly App Center, adding customer reviews to the store is a piece of cake as well.
If you sell to customers in different regions, you can enter tax information for each country individually. In case some of your customers are located in the United States, you can even automate the tax settings completely. This applies to shipping information too. Thanks to real time shipping rates, your customers will always see the actual cost of shipping when going to checkout.
Of course, support is also included in the package. Apart from the standard FAQ, you can use email, a live chat, or you can call the weebly support team from your phone.
WixStores is an excellent choice if you want to create a great-looking online store, all thanks to their 100+ design templates. Use their fantastic image and video function to give your product galleries that extra pezzaz, and always rest assured that everything will look great on phones and tablets. They’re bound to have something for your taste, too.
This store system is clearly made for smaller online stores, but the usability is great. All the products are centrally managed, which is similar to Weebly’s solution. You can sell both physical goods and digital downloads.
Available payment methods cover all the classics: money transfers, credit cards, PayPal. Wix doesn’t even charge a transaction fee.
As Wix only has one single plan for ecommerce, you have access to all the features right away. You can also try out all the settings in the free version, but you just won’t be able to publish the store without paying.
One interesting addition to the online store is Wix ShoutOut. You can use it to send newsletters to your customers, keeping them up to date on news, offers, and other highlights.
Jimdo is more than just a tool for websites with blogs, it offers an online store feature too. According to Jimdo, more than 250,000 online stores are using their platform. The software targets smaller shops, mostly because there currently is no product import or export included in Jimdo’s feature set.
Unlike Weebly or Wix, Jimdo uses decentralized product management. This can become confusing if your store goes beyond a certain size. However, you can still set up and publish new products without any major technical skills – even in the free version, JimdoFree.
Jimdo offers all the usual payment methods: Credit cards, PayPal, payment by invoice, money transfer, cash-on-delivery, cash-on-pickup, check, you name it. Jimdo does not charge any additional transaction fees.
Your shipping options are just as varied: By default, you can offer delivery to domestic and international destinations. Should you need more flexibility, you can opt for the JimdoBusiness plan and set up shipping fees depending on weights and categories.
Unfortunately, there is no customer login feature. This also means that customers currently cannot leave reviews. And while you can sell digital goods through a workaround, it’s not a standard feature. The store itself is made for physical goods intended for shipping.
These are our three favourite free ecommerce site builders:
If you’ve already got a website but only need ecommerce as an add-on we recommend Ecwid. The here is 10 products too but it’s a more advanced solution overall. Please check out our full article where we review the best free website builders.
Write us! The market changes fast. We are always happy to receive insight on new products.
From the providers listed here, only Jimdo fulfils the requirements for Germany and France. As the requirements are very similar throughout the EU, it should be fine for other member states as well (but we can’t guarantee it).