Weebly vs Volusion vs BigCommerce – Compare Top Store Builders
Selling stuff online is threatening to replace old, face-to-face shopping completely. Sure, some things will always be better to buy in person, such as tailor-made clothes for instance, but for some other product groups, like for instance electronics, there is not a single reason why you should waste your time and energy going to a shopping mall.
You can buy your TV from the comfort of your home, and browse as much as you want, comparing products, without some grumpy retailers unwilling to offer advice.
Convenience is just one primary reason for the increased popularity of online shopping. Another reason is affordable pricing. Online stores do not have to pay people at the counter, rental and electricity bills. They have some other expenses (hosting for example), but, compared to traditional, real-world stores, these costs are minimal.
Since they keep their expenses so low, online stores can offer much lower prices. Of course, customers have to pay the shipping, but it usually pays off, and they still save quite a bit.
Many advantages and no real disadvantages- eCommerce is growing steadily, and it will continue to do so. Therefore you, the seller, have to keep up with the time, and start your own online store, ASAP.
Store builders are a great place to start. These simple, intuitive tools allow even the users who do not possess any coding or technical skill to build an online store, all by themselves. Most of the store builders use simple techniques like drag & drop, basic setting tweaking, but they also allow total customization to the user.
There are some significant differences among them, of course, but they all share some principles: they try to be as user-friendly as possible, but still, they provide useful tools for building a great looking and functional store.
The end choice will fall on you; you will have to decide which one you will use to build your store. The main criteria for choosing should be your technical expertise, store size, and any particular needs. In this article, we will give you an overview of three store builders that are widely used: Weebly, Volusion, and BigCommerce.
Let’s highlight one thing before we even begin reviewing. No matter which one of these three you choose to build your store, you will not regret it. All three are top-quality builders, easy to use but packed with functions, and that is the main reason for their popularity.
WeeblyVisit Site »
We have said how most store builders aim to be as simple as possible, but Weebly has taken this to a different level. You will not find a store builder as simple to use as Weebly; we guarantee you that. This simplicity is the most evident characteristic of Weebly; people love it, and more than 40 million websites are built in this builder (2% of the entire Internet!).
One thing: being simple does not mean weak, and Weebly has attracted positive reviews not only from basic users but businesses and entrepreneurs too. Moreover, if you do know some coding, Weebly lets you edit the source code using HTML or CSS. You can also edit themes, to give them even more personality.
Everything in it is done just by dragging and dropping. The whole interface is simple and self-explanatory, and your need for help will be minimal, or completely non-existent. This makes Weebly a perfect option for those of you who possess no technical or coding skills whatsoever. Even a total novice user who has never written a single line of code in their life will be able to make a beautiful website using Weebly.
You can also use some of the pre-designed layouts and themes Weebly provides, to speed up the process even more. And, don’t be afraid, choosing a theme is not permanent, you can switch between them later. However, try to use these just as a starting point, and don’t be lazy, you do not want your store to look like all others, or for your customers to feel like you were not trying. It is all about that reputation!
The excellent thing about Weebly is its mobile-friendliness. The websites and stores you make using this builder will look great no matter the platform if you choose some of the newer, mobile friendly themes. This is vital for eCommerce since the number of mobile purchases is steadily overtaking those made by desktop users.
However, not everything is green. Weebly’s biggest strength is, like in many other cases, its Achilles heel. The drag & drop does work great, but only if you want the most basic customization. If you want something more than that, sorry.
Some basic functions such as editing column width or backgrounds will require coding. Also, although the websites you make in Weebly are optimized for mobile devices, you will not be able to edit how they specifically look at them. And one big issue with Weebly is no “undo” option. Also, if something happens, like a connection or power loss, your changes will be lost, so make sure you save your work quite often.
But, all things considered, Weebly is an excellent service. You will get a fantastic site builder completely for free. There are some premium plans too, that will offer you a lot more, but the free version is a great place to start and see how Weebly feels. The most straightforward store builder out there is a perfect tool for beginners to make a beautiful store, and we think that you should definitely consider trying Weebly.
VolusionVisit Site »
Another crowd favorite is Volusion. This store builder has rapidly increased its popularity and has become one of the most popular and widely used builders today. Volusion is easy to use, but it is not as simple as Weebly, and some other builders.
You will need to read a guide that will walk you through before you start since things are not as self-explanatory. Most of the things in Volusion is done by dragging and dropping, like in similar builders. But once you get the hang of it, you will smoothly glide, and start enjoying the process.
However, what it lacks in the initial simplicity, Volusion more than makes up with features. It is fully integrated with Amazon and eBay, which is super awesome. Also, it supports an unlimited number of products, allows you to create different special offers such as coupons and discounts for your customers, or some periodic benefits such as daily and weekly deals.
It also has some useful options like abandoned cart notifications, process returns and refunds, related offers and similar. You will also be able to do end-to-end marketing within Volusion.
Lead generation will help you in making decisions, ensuring everything you do is based on real customer feedback. This will help your marketing a lot, making your customers want to come back and revisit your store. Volusion has plenty of themes, but, unlike some other builders, you will have to pay for most of them (at least for the good ones).
Also, Volusion has a superb support team, which you can reach around the clock, via different methods; phone, email, and even live chat. This is very important, especially for beginners who are more likely to ask for help.
Volusion has the right balance; it is not too complicated, and will not chase away basic users, but it is also packed with features that will fulfill the expectations of advanced users.
This builder is managed and developed by eCommerce experts, and will also help you establish healthy business strategies giving you an edge in the harsh market. The content you create within Volusion is SEO-friendly, allowing you to keep your store high in the search results. Volusion did a great job with the embedded search tool, to make easy for your customers to find the items they need.
As you can see, Volusion has many advantages. However, they come at a price- there are no free plans. There is a free trial period though so that you can try it, and see how it works for you. It also lacks some other features, such as blogging software, and user forum, but overall, it is an excellent builder.
BigCommerceVisit Site »
The third store builder we review is BigCommerce. This is a unique software because no matter the plan you decide to choose, it puts some convenient tools in your hands. Each plan allows an unlimited number of products, staff accounts, and bandwidth, but to get some more advanced features (such as saving abandoned shopping carts, customer reviews, dedicated SSL and similar), you will have to pay a bit more.
There are different plans, but be aware, BigCommerce is not the cheapest store builder. However, you do not have to purchase anything without testing- BigCommerce gives a generous 15-day trial, completely free of charge. But be warned, if you do not want to continue using it, make sure to cancel your subscription- once the payment is made, there are no refunds!
The first thing you will notice when you start building your store is the BigCommerce dashboard. It is a bit more detailed compared to some other builders, but it is not too hard to understand.
The layout is quite intuitive, and you will feel right at home quickly. Adding products is done step by step, which we like. You can fill the basic information, and come back and edit the details later on.
Considering the interface- there are more than 100 themes, some free, others paid which you can use, and edit further. Also, there is an option to buy unique themes from custom designers, to make your website stand out.
You can bolster your store’s features even further by adding some cool options such as loyalty programs and recurring billing, or integrated marketing campaigns, customer surveys. Also, if you are familiar with HTML, there is an option to edit the code, allowing you even more control.
BigCommerce is optimized for mobile devices, allowing your visitors to shop from their phones and tablets. A preview option is also available, where you can see how the mobile version of your site looks.
All things considered, BigCommerce is an excellent tool. It is not the cheapest, but it offers a good number of advanced features and a lot of flexibility. The 15-day free trial makes it well worth trying.
Weebly, Volusion, and BigCommerce are all excellent store builders, no doubt about that. Each one is unique and has its own set of strengths and weaknesses. We recommend you to try all three, and see how they feel, before deciding which one to use to build your store. But rest assured, all three are terrific choices, and picking each one of these three is an excellent decision.
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