This article will highlight the top eCommerce website builders in South Africa.
The eCommerce space is booming in South Africa. Traditionally a large consumer of digital products, the country is quickly becoming a hotspot for online retail.
The rise of e-commerce has been led by companies that take advantage of new technologies to provide customers with an easy shopping experience.
In fact, in 2020, South Africa’s eCommerce grew by 66% compared to the year before. This increase was primarily influenced by the restrictions placed on traditional retail stores that led to the reduction of in-store shopping by 30%.
This alone explains why everyone is rushing to start an online store. And if that is you, read on to discover which tool you should choose for your online store.
Why Should You Start an Online Store?
There are many benefits to having your own eCommerce store in South Africa.
One of the obvious benefit is getting your products out into the market and reaching customers who would not have otherwise been able to find them.
But, more importantly, you will be able to create a solution for your customers’ needs that they may not be able to get from other shops.
The other benefit of starting an online store is that you will be making more money with less effort.
You can easily close shop in the evening and still make sales by the morning–because there is no need for on-site customer service as you don’t offer any physical product.
What’s more, if you are selling digital products here in South Africa, it is easier than ever to start an online store because all you have to do is upload a few files or links and send them to people who would be interested in buying!
What is an eCommerce Website Builder?
ECommerce website builders in South Africa are software applications that help you create custom eCommerce websites in just a few clicks.
These website builders come with different features such as drag and drop functionality, blog functionality, multilingual support, theme customization options, etc.
And you can use these website builders to create your custom eCommerce website in a few minutes.
Why Use an eCommerce Website Builder?
When you build an eCommerce website in South Africa, you want it to be unique to your brand. It should reflect your company’s voice and style–it is a reflection of how you want customers to perceive your business.
Even if you don’t have the time or skills to build an eCommerce store, there is still a way for you to make your online presence distinctive.
Using an eCommerce website builder can help with this process. There are many benefits that come with using an eCommerce website builder.
As mentioned earlier, these tools help make it easy for you and other people in your company to create an online store that reflects who you are as a company.
They also help make it easier for customers to find the right products and get their orders delivered quickly.
In addition, many website builders offer free trials so that brands can try out their site before investing in one of their services.
This means that you don’t have to spend thousands of rand hiring a developer to help create your online shop.
Top 6 eCommerce Website Builders in South Africa
That said, here are some of the best eCommerce website builders
Shopify is one of the most popular eCommerce website builders in South Africa.
The platform allows you to easily set up your own online store and take advantage of Shopify’s pre-programmed features.
These features include a built-in payment gateway, social media integrations, and pre-made templates to help you get started quickly. With Shopify, there are no monthly fees or setup costs required to use the product.
There are also more than 5 million Shopify users across the globe that can provide support for your business when you need it.
The simplicity of the platform is what makes it a prime candidate for small businesses looking for an eCommerce solution without spending too much money on setup fees or high monthly fees.
- Ideal for larger stores – The Shopify platform’s robust back-end and wide selection of goods make it excellent for scaling and supervising large enterprises.
- Multi-platform selling – Cross-market your products on Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, and eBay.
- Stand-out design functionality and flexibility – You can choose from a variety of free and paid templates, or make your own if none match your needs.
- Over 3,000 apps available – There are a lot of apps and third-party extensions available to help you improve your store’s quality. Shopify’s library is impressive.
- Extensive payment options – Customers can use Shopify’s payment options and 100 other options.
- Not as easy to use as other platforms – It can be difficult to learn how to use Shopify’s editor, which is not as user-friendly as it might be.
- Overly reliant on apps – Shopify’s limited integrations make it difficult to upgrade the depth and breadth of your store. You’ll need to use third-party applications to get the most out of it.
- High transaction fees – In addition to other payment gateway costs, Shopify Payments requires a hefty transaction fee.
- More expensive than it appears – The cost of running your store, in addition to transaction fees, can increase the monthly cost. You must also install additional apps.
Shopify offers a full range of eCommerce solutions and tools to help you sell more online. You can start a store that sells a single product, or host a few different storefronts.
Volusion is another one of the top eCommerce website builders in South Africa.
It has a strong focus on customizing and improving the customer experience with its unique integration of tools like Shopify and BigCommerce.
Volusion enables you to easily create online stores without any knowledge of coding or design.
All you need is an idea for your store, and then Volusion will walk you through the process of building it from start to finish.
This includes uploading your own product images, designing your own logo, choosing colours, and adding features like payment processing, social media integration, shipping options, and more.
With Volusion’s easy-to-use interface, you can handle everything from setting up your website to handling customer service questions yourself.
- Multiple built-in support features
- Fraud Resistant: They have a fraud score that provides a comprehensive risk analysis, which is a smooth way to protect your store from credit card fraud.
- Enhanced Security
- Customer Support: Their customer support is decent. The chat option responds almost immediately.
- You get a free trial
- Volusion does not have a dedicated app store. This means that they do not support third-party apps
- Their themes and designs can be better.
3). Wix eCommerce
Wix is another one of the best online shop platforms in South Africa.
The platform provides you with everything you need to launch and grow an online business.
With a wide range of themes and an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface, Wix lets you create your online store with a few clicks of the mouse.
The platform is also quick to process orders, making it ideal for startups who want to grow their businesses as quickly as possible.
With features like Live Chat, Automatic Order Fulfillment, Inventory Management and more, the Wix eCommerce in South Africa is meant for anyone looking for an easy way to create an online store.
- The interface is intuitive and useful.
- You’re not locked into long-term plans.
- Wix allows you to maintain site safety without restricting performance.
- Wix offers quick drag-and-drop website creation functions in order to provide a modern look.
- The starter plan does not get rid of advertisements on your site.
- There are no unlimited plans.
- The App store on Wix doesn’t really offer apps.
- Wix makes SEO a pain in the neck.
4). WooCommerce – WordPress Plugin
WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin which helps you to design an online store.
It comes with over 400+ ready-to-use extensions, themes, and templates.
You can also build your own theme or template with the help of this plugin.
WooCommerce offers plenty of features that will make your website look impressive and gain more visitors.
With this plugin, you can sell physical or digital products, accept payments, share information about your products, manage inventory, and much more.
You can install and set up this plugin within a few minutes. There are many tutorials available online that help you to set up the plugin in a few minutes. If you want to design a theme or a customised website, you can use the WordPress custom theme option.
- Completely free and open source
- 100% customizable
- Regardless of the nature of your online business or the types of products you sell, WooCommerce adapts like a glove!
- This platform is regularly updated to keep up to date with cybersecurity
- There is a lot of documentation, articles, and educational guides on the WooCommerce Community.
- Sometimes, the installation of some extensions requires timely payment or monthly fees for plans.
If you are looking for the best online shop platforms in South Africa, Woocommerce can work for you.
Weebly is another website builder that provides eCommerce features and is compatible with mobile devices.
It comes in a variety of plans, starting from just $12 per month. The design tool is user-friendly, making it easy to create beautiful layouts without any technical experience.
There are also numerous templates that can be used as starting points for customizing your own layout and brand. It can be used for a variety of purposes.
The possibilities are endless, as it can be used to start a blog, sell products, or even create an online course. The only limitation is your imagination.
All of its features can be used to create a website, blog, or even an online course. This website builder also provides you with a variety of eCommerce features, making it easy to sell products, whether it be physical or digital.
It is also mobile-friendly, making it easy to use on a variety of different devices.
- Solid site speeds
- High design flexibility with themes
- The Weebly editor is simple and easy to use
- Weebly comes with a Mobile App
- Freeloaders are stuck on the Weebly domain
- Limited blogging tools
- You are better off using offline photo editing
- You need to pay for more help
BigCommerce is a fully customizable platform that you can use to create and run your very own online store in South Africa.
It allows you to manage your products and inventory, find qualified leads, sell across multiple channels, secure payments, handle orders, tracks analytics and more.
BigCommerce offers a free 15-day trial so you can try the service before deciding whether it’s right for your business. After that, you can start paying $29.95 per month.
- With BigCommerce, you can enjoy a wide range of features for a very low price. When you sign up for an entry-level BigCommerce plan, you’ll get a lot of basic features. You can get a lot of advanced features for a lot less money with BigCommerce.
- It makes selling in multiple currencies very straightforward.
- Real-time shipping calculations are available on any plan on BigCommerce, making it superior to Squarespace and Shopify, which only work on a premium plan or with an add-on (see words above for comparison).
- BigCommerce charges no fees for transactions, whether you use a third-party payment gateway or not.
- All plans get a good set of reporting tools, but not all competing products do.
- Abandoned cart functionality is far more expensive as compared to some of its competitors.
- You must purchase a more expensive monthly plan if you go over your yearly limit.
- The free themes are in many cases too similar to each other.
- The number of typefaces included in the free themes is very limited.
- The page builder doesn’t currently let you work with custom typefaces.
- Unlike some competing products, there are no shipping discounts available on any plan.
- It could be a bit easier to edit the free templates.
- The built-in blog doesn’t facilitate RSS feeds.
Bonus: OLITT Shop
OLITT is a leading Saas platform that helps entrepreneurs and SMBs to launch websites, landing pages, and online stores swiftly.
And now, you can create an online store fast with OLITT Shop.
OLITT Shop is a simple digital storefront that can be launched in 3 minutes.
It supports integration to a custom domain, social commerce catalogues, multiple payment gateways, shipping channels, marketing tools, and support tools including Livechat and helpdesk applications.
And for as low as R439 per year, you get the following:
- Free hosting
- Unlimited Storage
- 1 Free domain for 1 year
- 10 Free Websites
- Connect Multiple Custom Domains
- Ticket & Live Chat support
- SEO & Marketing tools
- More Pre-built Websites
- Remove OLITT branding ads
- Social Media Integrations among other perks.
What To Consider When Choosing an eCommerce Website Builder
eCommerce website builders in South Africa allow you to create an online store that sells products and/or services.
When setting up your eCommerce website, it is important to consider the following factors:
Some eCommerce website builders have free plans while others charge a monthly fee. It is important to find a website builder with a low monthly cost so that you can start building your store with no upfront investment.
At the same time, choose a website builder in South Africa that has features you need before you begin building your store.
For example, if you want to sell products other than digital goods, make sure the website builder supports these types of sales.
Moreover, when choosing an eCommerce website builder in South Africa, be sure to consider its usability and design. You should also check whether the eCommerce website builder is easy to use and well-designed.
Online stores are becoming more and more popular. More and more people are making their products available for sale on the internet.
However, learning how to build an eCommerce website can be difficult and time-consuming. To make things easier, this blog post features the best eCommerce website builders available in South Africa.