Opening an eCommerce store is a fantastic way to start earning money online. But if you don’t have prior experience, the prospect of building an online store from scratch can be daunting—that’s where online store builders come in.
There are many online store builders to choose from that can provide you with a beautiful, fully functional digital storefront in just minutes. However, finding the right fit can be difficult, so we did the research for you. Whether you’re looking for a free online store builder or the easiest online store builder to navigate, I’ll take you through the best platforms in the game right now so you can build the digital shop of your dreams.
Let’s get started!
What Is An Online Store Builder?
If you’re wondering how to start an online store, you’ll first need to find an online store builder. An online store builder is a platform that allows users to create a digital storefront without any programming or web development experience. There are several different online store builders available, each with its own set of features and price points.
When it comes to features, ease of use is one of the most important to consider. Many store builders are designed for people with no coding or design experience. They should be easy to navigate, have a user-friendly interface, plenty of templates, and a robust customer support system.
The second factor to consider is the cost. Many free store builders are available, but they may have limited features. You may need to pay a monthly fee for a more comprehensive solution. However, this will likely be necessary if you plan on selling products online regularly. The more features you have access to—like integrated SEO and compatibility with other online marketplaces—the more money you can make in the long run, which is well worth the extra investment.
Finally, consider the possibilities each store builder offers. Some builder platforms offer more robust solutions than others. If you need advanced options like inventory management or shipping integrations, ensure the platform you choose offers them.
The best online store builders strike a balance between ease of use, cost, and available features. In the next section, I’ll show you some of my top choices for website builders.
Best Website Builders For Online Stores
When creating a website to sell products, you want an all-in-one solution, including professional pre-made templates, extensive customer support, and marketing tools to promote your business. If you want the best of the best (with manageable prices and ease of use), the store builders below are all fantastic options.
If you're looking to build an online store, Shopify is one of the best website builders. Shopify is easy to use, even if you're not a tech expert or have zero coding experience. The platform is intuitive and user-friendly, so you can get your store up and running quickly.
Additionally, Shopify offers a wide range of templates and themes to choose from, so you can find a design that fits your brand. And if you need help customizing your site, there's plenty of support available via forums and Shopify Learn.
To top it all off, Shopify is reliable and secure, so you can rest assured that your customer’s data is safe. The platform is trusted by big brands ranging from Sephora to Redbull, so you’ll be in good company.
There are many excellent website builders out there to choose from. So, what makes BigCommerce stand out from the rest as one of the best online store builders?
To start, BigCommerce offers a wide range of features and functionality. With this platform, you’ll be able to do everything from setting up a custom domain name to providing discounts and promotion codes for loyal customers. You can also take advantage of built-in marketing tools like SEO and easily integrate with other online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay.BigCommerce is also highly scalable, so as your business grows, you can upgrade your plan to accommodate your changing needs.
Many businesses and entrepreneurs trust WooCommerce, and for a good reason—the platform offers many features and flexibility that make it one of the best options for building an online store.
WooCommerce has an impressive extension store, meaning that you can find plugins for just about anything you want to add to your website. Whether you need a custom payment gateway or want to add an appointment booking system, there’s likely a plugin you can use.
Additionally, WooCommerce themes are organized by category, making it easy to find a theme that fits your needs. For example, if you’re looking for a theme related to retail, you can easily find one in the “fashion and apparel” category that is optimized for this purpose.
Free Website Builders for Online Stores
As the world of retail increasingly moves online, businesses must follow suit to remain competitive. While many web design and hosting companies will build and host a website for a fee, there are also many excellent free online store builders. Here are some of the best free website builders that won’t break the bank.
Square Online is the perfect solution if you’re looking for a free website builder that can help you create a professional website quickly and easily.
With everything you need to get started – from built-in SEO to seamless integration with social media platforms – Square Online is a comprehensive, affordable option for businesses of all sizes.
Square is known for its secure payment gateway and point-of-sale tools, so if you are already using them for your business, transferring your data to Square Online will be a straightforward process. And if you don’t, no worries—Square Online comes with Square’s payment gateway already built in.
Webflow is a powerful, intuitive website builder that enables users to create responsive websites without writing code. Webflow’s drag-and-drop interface and the Webflow Designer tool makes it easy to design and build a custom website without the typical development costs and time required.The free version is one of the most comprehensive and affordable options in the eCommerce world, offering a free domain name and 50 CMS items (tools that help you build and edit your webpage). If you need to upgrade your plan at any time, the paid versions are still very affordable, starting at $12/per month.
Google Sites is a free, simple online website builder that allows you to create and customize your website through your Gmail account. While the themes are basic, you’ll be able to add links, insert sheets and documents from your Google drive, and seamlessly design your website with photos.
While this is the most basic of the platforms I’ve mentioned, it’s also completely free and would be perfect for new business owners looking to get their feet wet. If you’re already familiar with how to use Gmail services, using Google Sites should be a walk in the park.
Easiest Online Store Builders
Convenience is critical when you’re creating an ecommerce website. You need to be able to quickly and easily add products, set prices, and take payments without having to worry about technicalities. An online store website builder takes care of everything for you so you can focus on what’s important—selling your products. That’s why finding an easy-to-use store builder is so essential. Below are a few of my recommendations.
If you're looking for an easy online store builder with a built-in community and award-winning premade templates, Squarespace is a fantastic option. Squarespace is known for its slick, professional designs, so if you want to have a beautiful storefront without having to customize your website at all, it may be the ideal platform. You can even hire a Squarespace Expert to build your website for you.Squarespace also offers a ton of cool features, like the ability to add memberships to your website and comprehensive training webinars that can help you get the most out of your website. Even though Squarespace offers so many cool features, they are all super easy to navigate, making it one of the most manageable platforms for users.
Wix is an easy online store builder with many built-in features that make it easy to manage your inventory, process payments, and track orders. Wix has one of the most user-friendly website customization tools, the Wix Editor. This tool allows you to choose from a wide range of templates and designs but also gives you customization freedom so you can create a store that’s unique to your brand.Wix is an all-in-one solution that allows any business owner to create a functional, comprehensive store. The platform provides tools like a logo maker, built-in SEO, and Wix Analytics, so you can track your progress as your store grows.
If you’re looking for an easy way to build an online store, Zyro is a superb option. With Zyro, you’ll get a free domain for one year, 24/7 customer support, and a website with lightning-speed loading time.
Additionally, Zyro has some of the best AI tools available, making it easier than ever to build an online store with its free logo maker, content generator, and image enhancer.
Best Online Store Builders - FAQ
If you’re looking for a free online store builder that will allow you to create a professional-looking store, then Webflow is the best option. With no monthly fees or commissions on the basic plan, you can keep all of your profits and start building your business efficiently. Other excellent free options are Square Online and Google Sites.
Shopify is the leading online store builder with everything you need to create a successful online store. With Shopify, you can choose from over 100 professional themes, add products and payments, track orders and shipping, and advertise easily on social media. Plus, Shopify is constantly adding new features and expanding its platform to help you grow your business.
Some of the top website builders, rated on convenience, features, and pricing, are as follows:
Still need more ideas and examples of how to use these platforms? Check out my article on the best CMS for online businesses.
Regardless of your budget or experience, there is a website builder out there that is perfect for your business. Although competition in the online retail world may be fierce, with the right website, you can stand apart from the crowd and hit your business income goals.Whether you’re looking for the best free online store website builder or the top-rated eCommerce platform, I hope this article helped you find the right fit. If you need more ideas for how to make money without a job, check out my book “The Lazy Man’s Guide To Living The Good Life.” Good luck!