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E-commerce website builders like WordPress, facilitated offline businesses across the globe when the wave of online commerce came in. With the worldwide pandemic and its woes, the e-commerce industry welcomed thousands of first time online shoppers.
We witnessed hundreds of neighbourhood kirana stores and homepreneurs experimenting and exploring different ways to offer their products and services online. It is predicted that by the year 2040, an estimated 95% of all purchases will be through e-commerce.
This article is an attempt to throw light on one of the most uncomplicated e-commerce website builders, its features and benefits. We will also address some of the frequently asked questions in the latter part.
E-commerce website builder: An overview
Before diving deep into the informational part of the article, let’s get the basics right!E-commerce website builders are online tools that help a business or an individual sell their services and products online. Have you heard of WordPress, Shopify, Wix? Well, they are e-commerce website builders for you. Click To Tweet
Usually, they are effortless to use with feature sets like no code requirements, drag and drop functionalities, pre-designed themes and so on. They are positioned as platforms that help you save big on time and effort by taking care of complex tasks.
Features of an e-commerce website builder
It is always good to have a rough framework of what you want your website to look like. Based on the business you are planning to start and its requirements, the list might need some tweaks. However, an ideal website builder should have the following features:
Functionality to create a store
While the sole purpose of any e-commerce website builder is to empower its user with an online store, every builder brings with it its rulebook. Run a detailed analysis after mapping your store requirements. Ensure if the website builder will let you add one extra block or not.
Some of your store requirements can be a section for product reviews, a section for similar products and so on.
Another feature to watch out is the level of coding required. If you do not know how to write code, make sure you go with a 100% no-code builder.
Secure payments & multi-currency supportIn the modern world, most entrepreneurs prefer to operate their business 100% online. Click To Tweet
E-commerce has helped people expand their business across geographies, which used to be a massive challenge in the offline world.
However, this also brings in the need for a secure digital transaction of money. Not all e-commerce website builders support international payments. Payment gateway service providers like Razorpay provide easy integrations to enable digital payments with leading e-commerce website builders like WordPress, Magento, WooCommerce and so on.
[Suggested reading: Your Complete Guide to Starting an Online Reselling Business in 2020]
Content management capabilities
Building an online store is not limited to adding product listings and integrating a payment gateway. You will be required to add pages like Terms & Conditions, About Us, Refund Policy etc. Ensure that the website builder you choose lets you add unlimited pages, edit the content, add images and let you deactivate any module, if required.
Pro-tip: As business scales, building a blog adds a lot of value. Plan well in advance if your website builder will let you host a quality rich blog with its functionalities.
Discount & promotion management
With the increased competition in the online world and so many options to buy a product or avail a service, it is becoming essential for businesses to run offers and promotions from time to time. Click To Tweet
Evaluate if your e-commerce website builder will let you create and manage discount codes. Also, check if the website builder lets you do the following features:
- Add discount codes to categories, brand or products
- Add discount codes that affect shipping
- Set codes as ‘active’ or ‘inactive’.
- Ability to set percentages off, amount off or a set price
- ‘Auto Apply’ discount codes when product added to cart option
- Set and manage dates code is active
- Add minimum and maximum quantity requirements for discount codes
- Set number of times code can be used before automatically becoming inactive
Analytics and real-time data reporting
Data is a gold mine for any entrepreneur, no matter the business, experience or expertise. The e-commerce website builder you sign up for must have intuitive reporting in place. Look for a platform that provides you with data points like sales by amount, store sales order volume, new customers vs. returning, top-selling products, top-selling brands, most used discount codes and so on.
Email marketing capabilities
Email marketing is not going to fade away, at least not anytime soon. Customers, including the majority of the buyers, i.e. the millennials, prefer to receive business communications via an email. Look for a website builder that lets you send promotional emails, timely newsletters, invoicing details and so on.
This will help you save on your time and effort which you would otherwise spend on third-party application integrations, migration and management.
Breaking the myth – Free e-commerce website builder
While we are in between the discussion of e-commerce website builders, let’s get one thing right – there’s no free website builder. Yes, there are affordable solutions, and then there are premium service providers, but there’s no to any sorts of a free website builder.
There are different pricing models that these website builders have in place. While some builders start your monthly or yearly subscription only when you make the website live, some would ask you to give your credit card details before you even play around with them.
Most often, e-commerce website builders run on a subscription basis. They might also charge you the maintenance charges, setup fee, domain hosting charges etc. If you choose to avail some of their add-on services like SMS marketing, email marketing, exit-intent pop-up, they will keep adding them to your subsequent subscription.
Pro-tip: Often, e-commerce website builders offer lucrative discounts if you choose to pay the yearly amount upfront. Keep a watch on it when you have finalized on a service provider.
Circling back to the affordable solution we mentioned above, Razorpay Payment Pages is one of the most affordable e-commerce website builders out there. Let’s understand why that is and how it works in detail.
Affordable e-commerce website builder – Razorpay Payment PagesRazorpay Payment Pages is designed to assist individuals and startups in accepting online payments from their customers, even if they don't have a website or an app. Click To Tweet
Anyone can easily create a storefront within 5 minutes and start accepting payments via credit and debit card, netbanking, UPI and more.
That’s not all. You can also accept international payments from your customers from across the globe. The best part you ask? This requires no coding or technical knowledge.
Payment Pages helps you build a proper web page with customized content, ready-to-use template, media support and social media sharing option: everything that you need in the initial stages when you open the door and step into the online world!
Share the Payment Page with your customers, add it to your social media channels, share across groups over social media channels like WhatsApp, Facebook etc. and let your customers explore your products. When they finally find what they are looking for, they can add it to their cart and pay within minutes.
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E-commerce website builder – FAQs & answers
Now that you have a good chunk of information at your disposal let’s quickly address some of the frequently asked questions.
Which website builder is best for e-commerce?
Questions like these are tough to answer. For, this is something that purely depends on your requirements. E-commerce, in itself, is a vast term. It includes business across the industry.
For example, if you want to sell the items you bake at your home, accept online payments and send receipts to your customers, Razorpay payment pages can be the best fit. However, if you are looking at running a blog, setting up inbound marketing channels and upscale it over the years, going ahead with a full-fledged e-commerce website builder like WordPress will be the right choice.
How do I build a good e-commerce website?
Building a good e-commerce website is one of the things that need to be discussed openly. Everyone can use the functionalities e-commerce website builders offer and create a store, but not everyone can build an online store that converts a user. Listed below are some of the tips that can be handy for you:
- Keep your content on point. Avoid being verbose and beating around the bush. Mention what you do and have for a visitor.
- Integrate a live chat service provider or a chatbot. Humans can get tired not to be available 24*7. But, bots are available 24*7 and can help you improve lead generation for your business.
- Offer discounts on bulk orders. You can choose to gamify the process by incentivizing frequent shoppers.
- Leverage social media marketing. Understand which platform will be the best suitable for your business and accordingly market your business there.
How much should I pay for an e-commerce website?
There is no exact price value that can be attributed to an e-commerce website builder since each of them varies, depending on the level of customizations you use. However, run extensive market research, talk to experienced users within your circle and use the free-trial feature before approving the transaction request to ensure you are not overspending.
Can you build your e-commerce website?
Yes, you can! Technology has empowered us all to the extent that a single person, sitting in any corner of the world can create an e-commerce website in a couple of days, integrate payment gateway within a day’s time and use marketing tools to make the best of all the efforts.
We hope by now, you have found the answers to most of the things you were looking at. It is a lot of work to build an online business, but with the advent of e-commerce website builders, a lot of the tasks can be taken care of with ease. Draw all the time you save from these easy to use tools and platforms to more critical areas that can help you boost your business growth.
If you genuinely want to create your e-commerce website, all it takes is ambition, time, work, and a little bit of startup capital. The most crucial step is deciding to get started. Not everything may be in place on day 01, but the keep is to keep moving and #OutgrowOrdinary.