Almost two decades ago, I built my first website using html. I was 12 and it took me days just to build a simple page.
These days though, things are much simpler. With e-commerce website builders, you'll be able to get a fully functioning e-commerce website up in a few days. Even if you don't know how to code.
If you're at a point in your life where you want to build an e-commerce website using a website builder and not sure which one to go with, I've created this guide just for you.
In this guide, I'll be comparing the essential features of 4 popular hosted e-commerce website builder solutions. At the end of this guide, I hope you'll have a better idea of which builder will be the best fit for your needs.
Let's get started!
E-commerce Builder Comparison Summary
|Platform Transaction Fees||2.9%||0%||0%||0%|
|Payment Gateways||iPay88, MOLPay, PayPal, Stripe||iPay88, MOLPay, PayPal, Stripe||iPay88, MOLPay, PayPal, Stripe||iPay88, MOLPay, PayPal, Stripe|
|Local Shipping Integration||EasyParcel||EasyParcel, Shippop||None||None|
|Themes||Shopify Marketplace & 3rd Party Themes available||Only EasyStore Themes||BigCommerce Marketplace & 3rd Party Themes available||Only Shopline Themes|
|Apps||3rd Party app marketplace available||Limited to EasyStore apps||3rd Party app marketplace available||None|
If you want more detailed review of each builder, check out my detailed reviews:
What can you do with a website builder? (Advantages)
First, let's take a moment to understand what you can do with website builders.
The most attractive feature of a website builder is ease. You can build a fully functional e-commerce website without touching a single line of code.
With modern e-commerce website builders, you can:
- Set up a website with a theme
- Create an online store for all your products
- Accept orders from customers
- Let customers make payment using payment gateways online or through offline payment options
- Process customer orders
- Send essential emails to customers on their order status
- Let customers manage their accounts
On top of this, if you opt for a hosted solution, they will also host your website for you. This way, you can fully focus on your business without worrying about the technical details.
For a non-tech person looking to build an e-commerce website, website builders can help you get started with your business ideas quickly.
What can't you do with e-commerce website builders? (Disadvantages)
Hosted e-commerce website builders do come with limitations. It's best to be aware what they are before building your website on them.
Here are some common limitations with most hosted e-commerce website builders:
- Lock-in - when you've built your e-commerce website on one platform, it will be hard to move to a new one. You'll most likely need to start from scratch.
- No e-mail hosting - hosted e-commerce websites normally don't come with e-mail hosting. So you'll need to use another host just for email. This will increase your overall costs.
- Expensive to add features - hosted e-commerce websites are usually pretty rigid when it comes to adding extra features to your website. Usually these would come with high development costs or monthly app prices.
E-commerce Website Builders (Malaysia): Detailed Comparison
Now you have a better ideas of the pros and cons of using an e-commerce website builder, let's compare the 4 popular builders in Malaysia and help you choose the best one for you.
Pricing is one of the top things someone considers when picking an e-commerce website builder. In this category, EasyStore is the clear winner at RM59/month.
If budget is your biggest concern, EasyStore will be your best bet. For the features it offers, EasyStore's RM59/month deal is pretty sweet.
Winners: Shopify, EasyStore
Having the right payment methods on your website is crucial. When buyers see a payment gateway they trust, they are more likely to convert.
For now, EasyStore, and Shopify has the most number of local payment gateway integrations. These include the most widely recognised payment gateways like iPay88 and MOLPay.
With website builders, you can use themes to quickly set up your e-commerce website. Of the 4 builders, Shopify has the most number of available themes. This is because it has its own theme marketplace as well as a large number of 3rd party developers building themes for the platform.
Winners: Shopify, BigCommerce
Apps help to extend your e-commerce website. Of the four, Shopify and BigCommerce have the most third party apps. EasyStore and Shopline only offer features within their platform, but don't have any additional apps.
If you're looking for an e-commerce builder with more flexibility when it comes to feature expansion, Shopify and BigCommerce won't leave you disappointed.
Verdict: Different Builders for Different Needs
Let's face it: no website builder will be perfect.
The best way to pick out a good theme is to understand what you're looking for in a builder.
If you're looking for an affordable e-commerce builder solution, then EasyStore's e-commerce website builder is a great solution.
On the other hand, if you want an all-in solution with a large number of themes and apps to choose from, your best bet will be Shopify. Though, it will cost you more than double of EasyStore.
Let me know: which of these website builders are you interested in trying?