With today’s online business phenomenon, finding the right website builder is crucial. More worrying, can be the fact that your potential customers are on the hunt for attractive, quality websites to make purchases from.
Here we look at South Africa’s most used web builders to help you determine which one is right for you.
- Choosing a suitable online store builder will argely depend on your unique sell needs and business outline.
- Elementor has built a status as a manageable yet potent way to transform your WordPress site into a lucrative online store.
- You can create customized edits to your design while also ensuring that it looks great on mobile devices. This means that you don’t have to switch lanes between the editing view and the preview.
- Oxygen is created for those who have some savvy when it comes to coding. It holds many important key features such as templates for layouts of different website pages and reactive components that you can add to enrich your site and engage visitors.
- SeedProd features a simple but effective drag-and-drop interface. THere you can easily create pages, posts, and even themes in minutes without knowing a thing about coding.
- SureCart is a brand new online store answer for WordPress, and a WooCommerce alternative. It is more geared towards small business owners like content creators and sellers.
- WooCommerce is an all-in-one free online store builder for your WordPress online store.
- The right page builder tool will save you the time of creating pages from scratch, the effort of learning your site’s backend, and the cost of a developer.
Evaluating Online Store Builders
A decent online store builder will be in line with your selling needs and business model. For Instance, even though Elementor and WooCommerce are extremely popular, this does not mean they will be the most suitable for you. If they were the best, there wouldn’t be other platforms on the market.
When looking for an business website builder, you need to consider the following:
Ease of Use
The platform must be easy to use for both you and your customers.
Integrated Payment Processing
The biggest element of an online store is the payment processing system. You want to get paid and you want your customers to have an easy way to do it. So choose a platform that allows your customers to effortlessly enter their payment information in order for you to profit from sales.
If you sell products online, you don’t want to go through the embarrassment of not having the inventory to conclude the sale. So only choose an online store builder that organizes your inventory.
After the purchase it will be your responsibility to ensure that the product is delivered to the customer.
Choose an online store builder that makes this process easy for you, and look for shipping options that:
- Estimate shipping costs based on your customer’s location.
- Gives a choice between standard and swift delivery.
- Has options for on the spot downloading of online products. This applies to products like music, eBooks and courses.
You might sell high quality products but an eye-catching template may just be the extra incentive needed to drive a sale. Your online store should have a great style and look.
So look for an Online Store builder that has multiple themes with contemporary and fresh designs. Be careful not to choose a builder that only has one or two great designs. One that has many options so you won’t be stuck when it comes to changing or adjusting the website template.
When you start creating your online store you will probably use your desktop PC or laptop. You will be able to see what it looks like on a bigger screen. However, you should consider the fact that all your customers will probably have access to a mobile device. Which means more traffic for you.
Ultimately your online store needs a reactive web design that looks great on all devices.
Now let’s explore some of your options.
First on our list is Elementor. This is a free and widely held drag-and-drop page builder. It has become somewhat of a household name as a user-friendly and potent way to modernize any WordPress site. With Elementor you will find an impressive library of blocks and a smooth editor to get building.
Remember when we spoke about the importance of mobile viewing? Well, here you can test the layouts of your pages in a mobile view. You will be able to do your design edits while working in mobile view. So don’t waste your time moving to different previewing and viewing planes.
Practical use is what the Oxygen page builder is best known for. Even though it focuses on a drag-and-drop building system, Oxygen’s outline also adds a few programming terms. The latter being a benefit if you have handy developers on your team- if you aren’t one yourself.
Oxygen boasts multiple exciting features such as layout templates for varied website pages and posts, in addition to other reactive building blocks that you can easily add to improve your site and occupy your visitors.
Oxygen is more geared towards those who enjoy working in code. Even though its isn’t really suited for beginners, you can arrange the nuts and bolts of your business site better than other builders.
Many budding entrepreneurs have trusted SeedProd to create their WordPress online store. Just like other site builders, SeedProd has a drag-and-drop interface. Typically, it lets you create pages, posts, and even themes. What’s more, you don’t need any coding experience.
It is basically a blank canvas so you can go back to the drawing board and design your pages. You can also choose from many designed page templates included. Extra elements include customizable login pages, maintenance mode and designing personalized landing pages.
SeedProd also knows how infuriating slow loading time can be. That’s why it emphasizes on performance. This subtle attention to detail helps boost performance to visitors, especially when viewing your site on a mobile device. Slow connections can be a repellent for potential customers who don’t have the patience to wait on a sluggish website.
It should go without saying, but if you haven’t heard, one of the best free online store builders is definitely WooCommerce.
However, you will only be able to run its free online store by using WordPress. It’s not a separate online store platform like others but, when you add the WordPress to WooCommerce you can have a powerhouse online store.
Like we said, WooCommerce is free but you will need WordPress hosting, which starts at $2.95 (Roughly R54.00).
When it comes to payment integrations you can use Square, Stripe, PayPal or other online credit card processors.
You can also choose from multiple e-commerce WordPress themes, or create your own.
With WooCommerce you can sell just about anything on your WordPress site. From physical items, digital downloads, service bookings, subscription sales, online lessons as well as donations. The free version does allow selling of physical and digital goods, but there may be cases where you need paid extensions or add-ons.
While not exactly an online store builder, the SureCart WordPress plugin is a brand new alternative to WooCommerce. There are two parts to SureCart, the platform, which is the Ecommerce engine, and the plugin.
SureCart was meticulously designed for WordPress business sites who want a better alternative for taking payments. Created with highlighting performance, visual appeal, and is absolutely easy to use for the not-so tech savvy. SureCart is a fresh compelling solution for your online store.
You won’t have any technical issues. Where other builders may leave you stuck with performance or sticky caches, SureCart does all the strenuous work here. Everything you need to ensure smooth sales, without any glitches, is done through their dependable servers. You can have smooth operation without any nuisances or a need for a developer.
This is a new platform to selling products so (for the moment) It is currently ideal for:
- Creators who sell digital products like courses, templates, and slider files
- Creative freelancers or service providers looking for a hassle-free approach to either receive or pay their invoices
- Social organizations (Like NGO’s and NPO’s) who want to accumulate contributions from supporters
- Small business owners who sell simple physical products like books or music
- Event venders who want to sell tickets to an event online
Even though SureCart is currently limited to these types of merchants, we are excitedly anticipating more opportunities for physical sellers in early 2023.
Beyond a shadow of a doubt, creating your own online store may seem intimidating. Some of the options above may be particularly puzzling if you think about the sheer amount of flexibility and customization they allow.
The right page builder tool will save you the time of creating pages and the cost of a developer. Think carefully about your goals and needs and decide on the best tool from our handy guide.