E-Commerce Online Store Builders Comparison Factor


[1] Overall – Scores are based on average of scoring above – You should not base your decision solely on the average scores as there are many qualitative / subjective factors that you should consider prior to deciding.  


Our scoring is to help you narrow your choices, then you should always test out at least 2 of the website builders to see which one you are comfortable with before investing your time and money.  We highly recommend you read our detailed reviews for each website builder as we cover each builder in much more depth in those reviews.


[2] Stores Powered – Number of websites powered by each website builder is based on publicly available information (N/A = no available data for stores).  This does not necessarily equal to the number of active online stores, but will give you an indication of each e-commerce store builder.


[3] Comprehensiveness of e-Commerce Tools – Shopify and Bigcommerce are pure e-commerce store builders and as such, they have a very comprehensive set of tools.  Wix, Weebly & Squarespace are also broadly used by non-e-commerce users.  So the available store tools are not as comprehensive as Shopify or Bigcommerce.  


Generally , if you are looking to build an advanced store, Shopify andBigcommerce will be more suitable.  If you are selling a limited number of products, or boutique items, WixWeebly andSquarespace will work.  Click on the links above to see our detailed analyses of each store builder and its tools.


[4] Support – Shopify & Bigcommerce both provide 24/7, multiple support channels.  Wix also has multiple support channels but their phone support is only available from 6am – 5pm PST.  You can also schedule a call with them.  Squarespace’s answers all their emails within an hour which is superb.  Weebly has regular email support, and their live chat only runs during business hours from Monday through Friday.


[5] Transaction Fees – If you use Shopify Payments to process payments, there will be no transaction fees.  If you choose not to use Shopify Payments, transaction fee is 2% for the Starter and Basic Plans, and 1% for the Professional Plans. Shopify Payments allow you to manage your payment gateway directly in Shopify’s user dashboard, so it’s very convenient as you don’t have to log into your payment processor to manage your transactions.  


For Bigcommerce, there is a 2% transaction fee if you sign up to their Silver plan.  But if you upgrade to their Gold and Platinum plans, there are no transaction fees.


For Weebly, there are no transaction fees if you enroll in theirBusiness Plan. If you are using their Free, Starter or Pro plans, there is a 3% transaction fee per transaction.


[6] Integrated Payment Processors – Squarespace uses Stripe as its payment processor, which is a bit limiting if merchants are operating outside of areas Stripe serves.  Squarespace Commerce is currently available in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands & Spain.  


An alternative is to use Ecwid, an independent e-Commerce widget, together with Squarespace for merchants who are not living in the countries listed above.

[7] Email / Newsletter Integration – Integrating a newsletter service to your store is a very powerful marketing tool as you can stay in touch with your customers, promote products or coupons to them, and just stay in touch to build a relationship with them to encourage your customers to return and shop again.


Shopify doesn’t have a fully integrated newsletter system built into its basic platform.  However, you can use one of its Apps from theShopify App Store to connect your store with newsletter services such as MailChimp and Constant Contact.  Bigcommerce can be integrated with MailChimp, Constant Contact or iContact.  Wix has a tool called WixShoutOut (Free) where you can communicate to your users via newsletter. Weebly cannot connect your store to a newsletter service provider yet. Squarespace integrates with MailChimp.  


[8] Marketplace Experts Shopify, Bigcommerce & Wix (in Wix Arena) have a group of freelance experts who can help you setup and customize your store.  This comes in very handy if you ever want hire help who are very familiar with their platforms to save yourself time, or to make modifications to suit your business.


[9] App Store Extensions – Shopify, Bigcommerce and Wix have a very extensive App Store where the apps allow you to bolt on even more advanced e-commerce features to further automate or add more functionality to your store.  Tools cover sales & marketing, shipping, inventory / fulfillment, accounting, reporting, etc.  These are very helpful if you start to grow your store and can leverage on these tools to further automate these functions to save you time.


[10] Abandoned Cart Recovery – Multiple research studies have shown that 2 out of 3 of your potential customers put products into the check out cart, then forgets about it when they get distracted.  The Abandoned Cart Recovery tool allows you to automatically email them to remind them to purchase your products, or even offer them coupons to encourage them to complete their purchases.  


This is a very powerful follow up tool that have been proven to increase your sales without much more effort on your part.  Since it is automated, you don’t have to do anything to follow up with those who have “abandoned” their carts.  Only Shopify (Professional or higher plans) and Bigcommerce (Gold plan or higher) offer this tool.  See our detailed discussion on Abandoned Cart Recovery tool for Shopify here.


[11] Point of Sale System – Shopify is the only builder that offers you the ability to integrate your physical, offline store with your online e-commerce store.  For an extra $49 per month, you can use iPads as sales devices in your physical store.  The iPads will automatically synchronize with your online store so that all the products are consistent and all the inventory levels are always updated together.  


If you have a physical store and want to build an online store to grow your sales, Shopify can power both your offline and online stores under one centralized system.


[12] Pricing – Monthly pricing based on annual plans.  Monthly price will be higher if you enrolled on month-to-month payment plans. Pricing plans should not be compared directly based on pricing as each builder offers different features for their own plans. Please read our detailed review for each website builder for further details.  You can also see more discussions about the cost to build a website here.


About Nguyễn Viết Hiền

Passionate, Loyal
This entry was posted in Web 2.0 API vs RSS Reader, Web Design. Bookmark the permalink.

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