With so many eCommerce site builders out there, choosing the right one can be a nightmare. The good news is that because of the fierce competition, the platforms are only getting better, so actually, there are no completely wrong decisions.
The key difference between competing web services lies in the flexibility and pricing. While some are clearly aimed at newbies and restrict customization to using ready building blocks only, others open up the codes allowing tech-savvy users to fine-tune their stores with pixel accuracy.
User market: Launched in 2006 as a DIY site builder for newbies, Weebly has helped to create over 25M websites, including 30,000 active online stores. Seemingly not content with just letting its users integrate eCommerce services from PayPal and other third-party payment providers, the company has spent the last two years building a native eCommerce platform.
Features: Digital goods and physical goods; mobile store and checkout; filtered product search; inventory management; flexible shipping options; tax control; various payment options; coupon codes and more.
In case you already own a webstore, you can easily import it to Weebly eCommerce. You can migrate a store from Etsy, Shopify or upload a CSV file directly into Weebly’s eCommerce platform for fast and easy setup. Once imported, you can tweak your store design to create a unique look.
To add extra functionality to your store, visit Weebly’s App Center where you will find both Weebly’s and third-party apps you can integrate into your site. These include various social, marketing, shipping and other widgets.
Pricing: Weebly’s pricing options range from $0 to $25/month, depending on the number of items you’re looking to sell. The Free, Starter and Pro plans come with Weebly transaction fee (3%) that is charged on top of the standard fees charged by Stripe and PayPal. The Business plan removes the Weebly fee and unlocks the fully-featured eCommerce experience.
All in all, Weebly offers enough functionality for creating a decent eCommerce site. Its full-featured version is $25/month, which is in our opinion a very generous offer.
Check out what real Weebly-powered web stores look like: Weebly Store Examples.
User market: Shopify has been an eCommerce powerhouse since its launch in 2006. It’s a niche site builder meaning its feature set is built around commerce. It targets established businesses who have been around for awhile and get enough income.
Features: Commerce-centered designs; retail connection (Shopify Point of Sale); Shopify App Store; split tenders (you can accept two or more payment types in a single transaction); discounts; multiple staff accounts; customer profiles (automatically created with new orders); barcode support and more.
Pricing: Shopify plans range from $29 to $299 a month. The plans vary based on additional features. Each plan lets you sell unlimited products. Credit card rates are: online: 2.9% + 30¢; in Person: 2.7%.
If you want to start selling on your existing website, be it a WordPress site, Tumblr blog or even a Squarespace portfolio, Shopify has a brilliant offer for you – the Shopify Buy Button. For just $9/mo you can add the button to any site, it’s as simple as embedding a YouTube video.
How it works: you log into your Shopify account, add the product, and then generate a button for it. Copy and paste the embed code provided into the page where you want it to appear. You can easily customize the look of your button. If you’re selling multiple products, you can also embed a shopping cart, so visitors can buy multiple products at once.
Shopify is very powerful and leaves lots of room for customization. It’s a great choice for large companies.
You may want to check out our compilation of real Shopify stores: Shopify Store Examples.
Weebly vs Shopify: Conclusion
So which is better: Weebly or Shopify? It depends on your needs, your budget and whether you already have a website.
What we tried to show in our Weebly versus Shopify review it that both platforms are great, but for different uses. We find Weebly a smart solution for small and medium-sized webstores. At $25 a month you’ll get the full featured Weebly Commerce with the ability to sell unlimited number of digital and tangible goods, 0% Weebly transaction fee, integrated shopping cart on your domain, and the ability to generate coupon codes.
What about Shopify, it’s undoubtedly feature-richer and more flexible, and it’s reflected in its pricing. It’s a great place for those looking for a solid eCommerce solution that leaves lots of room for growth, and those who aren’t ready to start a fully-featured webstore, but wants an easy way to add products to an existing website (the Shopify Buy Button feature).
All in all, if you need to create a multi-purpose website with powerful blogging platform and eCommerce module and pay for it reasonable price, Weebly website builder will be more preferable.