It’s safe to say we’re a part of the first generation that gets to make the most out of the Internet. One of the many advantages of the Internet is the ability to shop online. But it’s not just that you can do your own shopping online. These days it’s easy for anyone to set up their own shop and sell goods online! This means it is very easy to also have an online business by selling products online. And then if you learn proper online marketing, you can get a lot more customers with your online store than you would ever be able to by running a physical store.
Setting up an online store used to be, and is still considered by some to be a complicated task. Most of us are probably not well acquainted with the crucial elements and the way they function as a part of an online store.
The good news is that the whole concept of running an online business and running an online store is not that complicated. There are special online store builders that can help you can not only understand the process better, but also build your online store in no time.
Most popular online store builders and their online marketing capabilities
The advantages of having an online store over having a physical retail store are too many to count. However, that doesn’t mean that running an online business is easy. You should put just as much thought and effort into setting up your online store as you would with a regular retail store.
Online store builders are meant to be all-in-one systems that are supposed to provide you with everything you need to set up an online store. However, not all online store builders are created equal. The differences between various online store builders vary based on the services and features offered, their versatility, quality and ease of use.
Take a look at some of the most widely used online store builders and the features offered.
Founded in 2004, Shopify was based on software originally intended for the creators’ own online store. Shopify has reported that there are over 120,000 users of their platform, making it one of the fastest growing online store builders.
Main features: A bit more diverse than its competition, Shopify offers both an e-commerce platform and a point-of-sale software. Businesses using Shopify can accept Paypal or Bitcoin payments.
Online Marketing: Shopify offers built-in SEO features as well as advanced e-commerce analytics. You can have full reports about details and statistics on how many people find your website and how they find it.
Price range: Shopify offers a 14-day free trial period. After your trial period is over, Shopify has four plans if you want to continue building your store with them.
- Starter Plan – $14 per month;
- Basic Plan – $29 per month;
- Professional Plan – $79 per month;
- Unlimited Plan – $179 per month.
Weebly was founded in 2006 and in 2007 it was selected for the winter startup program of the Y Combinator in Silicon Valley. As reported in 2012, Weebly hosts over 20 million websites. Starting off as a simple website creator, Weebly now stands behind not just e-stores and personal pages, but many other types of websites, too.
Main features: Weebly’s website creator is most of all known for its simplicity and ease of use. It provides a good range of elements you can use in creating a website. And these elements are presented to you as part of the Weebly drag-and-drop website builder. This means that you do not need any specialized knowledge to set up an online store with Weebly. Just drag and drop until you like what you get.
Online marketing: Weebly enables you to set up all of the basic SEO functions for each of your website’s pages. There’s also a website statistics dashboard offered by Weebly, useful for keeping track of page views and unique visitors over a period of time.
Price range: Other than the option to build a website for free, Weebly offers three premium plans. The following prices are valid for a six month plan, but there are bigger discounts for the one year and two year plans.
- Starter Plan – $4.83 per month;
- Pro Plan – $9.83 per month;
- Business Plan – $29.00 per month.
Primarily a company that specializes in web hosting and domain registrations, GoDaddy was founded in 1997 and currently manages over 58 million domains. GoDaddy offers a multitude of products and services, from domains and hosting, to email and marketing tools, and even website creators.
Main features: This company has been in the game long enough to know how to keep customers. The GoDaddy website builder has a sleek and intuitive design, offering a wide choice of free website templates. You can easily customize the look and feel of your website, and GoDaddy will automatically optimize it for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.
Online marketing: GoDaddy has a very handy SEO wizard that enables you to take control of all areas of search optimization. A minor flaw is that GoDaddy doesn’t let search engines index pictures. Other than that, GoDaddy also has a separate SEO service that you can incorporate into your plan, starting at $2.69 per month.
Price range: Godaddy does not offer a free trial period, but they do have a refund period of up to 45 days for their annual plans and 48 hours for their monthly plans. They have three plans to choose from.
- Personal Plan – $5.99 per month;
- Business Plan – $9.99 per month;
- Business Plus Plan – $14.99 per month.
Wix is a freemium web development platform, so users can create basic websites for free. However, users must have a premium packages to remove ads, add e-commerce capabilities, connect their websites to their personal domain and so on.
Main features: Primarily a website creator, Wix gives users complete freedom in creating their online store the way they want it. Their drag and drop tools make it incredibly easy to create your own store. There is also a special mobile editor for adjusting Wix sites for mobile viewing.
Online marketing: With the ShoutOut application by Wix, you can easily send newsletters, but that on its own, is not enough for doing marketing. You can set up the basic SEO tags, but there is also the option of looking up additional SEO tools on the Wix App Market.
Price range: Despite being one of the leaders in the website building field, Wix has just one website plan that includes a shopping cart and is suitable to running an online business.
- Yearly eCommerce Plan – $16.17 per month;
- Monthly eCommerce Plan – $19.90 per month.