A lot of people today love online shopping, and the number continues to grow each year. Statista.com found 58.3% of internet users worldwide purchased products online in 2019, and the numbers are expected to double this year.
That is why it’s important to choose the eCommerce website builder that can truly help your business. It should not become an unnecessary obstacle to business growth, and it should provide ease to both you and your customers.
There are plenty of factors to consider when choosing the perfect website builder for an eCommerce website. In this article, I will explain 10 important things that may help with the decision process.
1. Fast Hosting
This factor is the most important to consider when running an eCommerce website. 57% of consumers will leave a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load, and 80% of them will not return. That means losing a lot of potential customers.
In this case, it is best to avoid settling for shared hosting plans. Shared hosting places a website together with others in one server, which highers the risk of slowdowns and crashes, as their resources are shared. This is unacceptable for a site that handles transactions.
Fortunately, you can have a website builder package that comes with a fast hosting plan and other important features for eCommerce websites. Hostinger is a prime example of this.
2. Domain Name Registration
A domain name is the web address that customers will type in the browser’s URL tab to visit your website. For most parts, a domain name is the brand of an online business and the first thing customers will remember.
That is why it’s great to opt for a website builder that offers a free domain name in the package. As soon as you finished planning the business, you will be able to secure a domain name that best suits the brand. That way, it will be easier for the customers to remember the business.
If the website builder plan does not include a free domain name, you can always use a domain checker tool to browse for available domain names. Brainstorm some ideas for the brand and book the domain name right away if available.
3. SSL Certificate
There are a lot of important features that an eCommerce website should have to support the customers’ ease of transaction. Aside from website speed, the customers need their data to be protected, and that is possible with the help of an SSL certificate.
An SSL certificate encrypts data during transfer from servers to browsers and vice versa. This feature blocks malicious third-parties from taking advantage of sensitive data such as personal information and credit card numbers. SSL certificates are a must for eCommerce websites.
It would be best to choose a website builder package that offers an SSL certificate for your eCommerce website. However, if your plan does not include one for free, you can always get an SSL certificate separately and install it on your website.
4. Pricing Plans
It’s great to have as many features as possible included in a website builder package. However, there are plenty of website builders over the internet that may offer better value for money. I recommend looking around to collect options and comparing them to see which one best suits your needs.
To begin, make sure that the options have at least the two things I have mentioned above – a free domain name and a free SSL certificate. It would be better if it has other beneficial features too such as SEO tools that may help with site ranking.
Then, ensure that the plan suits your budget and there are no hidden fees. Review the pricing plan descriptions and refer to other user’s experiences through their reviews. By then, you should be able to see which plan best suits the business’ needs.
5. Customization Flexibility
A website builder is created to make designing a website easier, not the other way around. To choose one, make sure that your website builder option is easy to operate and has a user-friendly interface.
There will be a lot of information to place on an eCommerce website. That is why it’s best to opt for website builders that offer beautiful, easy on the eyes themes. This is beneficial to ensure the customers’ best shopping experience.
A good website builder should also give ease for the owners to edit and customize parts of their website in a few simple clicks. Choose a website builder that provides a drag and drop feature to make editing information easier.
6. eCommerce Functionality
An eCommerce website cannot function properly without key features such as a product catalogue, stock management, and easy to use payment gateways. These features guarantee a comfortable shopping experience for customers.
When choosing a website builder, ensure that these features are included in the tools. Usually, you can find them as an installable, easily customizable add-on from the builder’s app store, or attached to the theme.
7. Payment Gateways, Shipping, and Tax
A great website builder would give you ease in operating your business. For instance, some website builders offer payment gateways that support multiple processors so that the owners won’t need to connect any third-party processors and can start selling immediately.
It is also great to have a feature that supports automated shipping. This makes it easy for business owners, as this feature can help with not only international shipping, but also automated labelling and updating tracking number per shipping orders. However, this feature is normally only present with big-name platforms that offer fulfilment services. For a smaller store, a shipping cost calculator feature or integration with FedEx, UPS, and similar reputable carriers can be more than enough.
Some eCommerce website builders are also equipped with a tool that automatically calculates tax per order according to where each customer lives. Make sure that the website builder you choose has these features to make shopping easier for the customers, and tracking orders easier for you as a business owner.
8. Transaction Fees
Some website builders have hidden transaction fees that you might not realize. For instance, most software takes a few percentages from your sales, which becomes an extra tax on your end. This fee might sum up to hundreds or thousands of dollars per year.
There are several ways to go around this problem. You can opt for website builder options that offer commission-free sales to keep the revenue or choose feature-rich ones that have the most suitable commission fee to your budget.
Either way, I recommend always reading the pricing plan and reviewing the payment scheme carefully. This is helpful to avoid getting charged with hidden commissions that might reduce business profit.
9. Marketing Features
Promotion is highly important when starting an online business. That is why an eCommerce website should benefit from site builders that offer any marketing features.
Usually, great eCommerce website builders offer tools that ease marketing the business for the users such as SEO tools, personalized emails, and analytics for audience insight. You can use these tools to reach out to a bigger audience, retain existing customers, and encourage repeat purchases.
An online marketplace benefits greatly from promotions through various platforms. Promoting through social media or blog can help enhance reach to a bigger audience, spread more sales leads, and eventually boost sales.
This is possible if your website builder can integrate your shop with a social media platform, or better yet, a blog. Provide content related to your products and business to engage your audience. Not only reaching out to a bigger audience, but this can also help your site rank better in search engines.
All in all, it is always great to have plenty of features available in a website builder. However, when choosing one, ensure that the key features and core functionalities are there to give ease to your business processes.
First, make sure that the website builder offers the basic features that a website should have in a package. This includes a domain name, a free SSL certificate, and a fast hosting service.
Then, it should support the key features that an eCommerce website could not run without. Tools that make transactions easier should also exist to help ease business processes for both the owner and customer.
Ultimately, choose a website builder that offers tools and features that can help market the business. This will help with reaching a bigger audience and spreading more sales leads.
I hope this article helps, for any questions please feel free to leave a comment in the comments section below.