Are you in the UK and looking to start an online shop? Here is some wisdom for you on the best online store builders in the UK.
First, you will need to know what an online store builder is, what it does, and what to consider when choosing one—lastly, a precise list of the various and the best of these platforms you can find in the UK.
Let’s get started!
What is an online store builder?
An online store builder is a website platform where you can sell your products, including both tangible goods that ship, online and offline services, and digital products that can be downloaded. The word website can feel intimidating but worry not, for most of these platforms do the technical work for you. The only thing you will need to do is choose your template, and customize it to your store needs and style. Having said that, let’s look at the uses of an online store builder.
Services offered by online store builders
a). Dropshipping sales
Some online store builders manage the order for you such that when a customer or buyer makes an order, their supplier platform receives the product details from you and ships the order on your behalf. Depending on how you want to handle your sales, you can choose a platform that supports dropshipping for your store.
b). Retail fulfillment
This is a method where customer order is handled and shipped by the merchant or by a third-party fulfillment provider. Some of these platforms offer e-commerce fulfillment provider services if the method is on your radar.
c). Selling physical goods
You can sell physical goods on an e-commerce platform, but you also have to have a physical delivery system in place to transfer goods to buyers. However, some of these online store builders in the UK do not support these kinds of sales. Hence it is good to identify your business needs and match them with an online store builder that is fit.
d). Digital products
Some online store builders allow the sale of digital products like music, images, text, video, e-books, and software. If your business offers digital products, you only operate online and don’t have to worry about logistics.
e). Service businesses
E-commerce platforms cover online service providers and businesses for sales of products like tickets and insurance. With this type of business, many other parameters must be evaluated in real-time.
f). Plug-and-play integrations
For seamless transactions, some online store builders integrate their e-commerce system with the POS system which allows to pull detailed data in real-time directly between the two systems.
g). Subscription sales
Online store builders are a great place to host your online business that offers subscription sales to access products like software, music, video, or photography. Subscription sales are a way to sell products and services that require regular recurring payments.
You can host your restaurant website on an online store builder to sell products ranging from merchandise and unprepared foods to made-to-order meals for delivery or takeout.
i). Event promotions
Online store builders in the UK can be the best platforms to host your events website. You can also sell tickets to your event as well as advertise your event on the same website.
j). Print-on-demand businesses
Whether you are a creative looking to start selling your customized products online or to add customized products to your existing online store, print-on-demand is your go-to style. Some of the online store builders in the UK are ideal for these kinds of businesses.
k). Influencer brands
Online stores are also ideal for influencer brands who want to sell physical or digital goods on a branded website and via Instagram.
What to consider when choosing an online store builder
Price and features:
Despite most online store builders offering a basic free plan, to use the best features, you might need to subscribe for higher plans which means more money. You have to make sure the plan you are choosing suit your business-specific needs. Different platforms offer different features on various plans, hence it’s good to research well before choosing an online store builder in the UK.
Integration with online applications and tools:
You might be a new online store owner or already have a store running online. Before you choose an online store builder, it’s good to check which tools and applications it allows integration with and if they are relevant to your business.
The variety of payment options offered by a platform is very essential for your business. Payment solutions and gateways enable your customers to transact freely with their available options. A customer would walk away from a deal because of the payment option not being ideal for them especially due to location.
The methods an inline store builder offers for shipping products are also an important consideration especially if your business does in-person deliveries. If third-party shipping solutions are involved, you need to be sure of their efficiency and quality deliveries. It will be sad when your products keep on getting returned because they were mishandled during shipping and lost quality.
The range of available templates should be able to fit your business needs. The availability of quality, beautiful and large variety of templates offered by an online store builder gives your business the chance to look unique and easily stand out from others.
DIY or hire a website developer:
Most online store builders in the UK do all the tech work for you. However, you can find some that need some intense specifications which a tech-limited entrepreneur cant manage. That will need you to hire a website developer hence incurring more money. It is therefore important to know all the required processes of setting up your online store for each online store builder candidate for your business.
Now that we have discussed most of the know-how of starting an online store, let’s check the best online store builders in the UK.
The Best Online Store Builders In The Uk
Mostly, when you are starting your online business in the UK you need a plan that is can accommodate all your needs and that is pocket friendly. If you have started a business you know how draining it can be at first, but with the best deal in the entire of the Uk, nothing can go wrong.
Olitt is the best deal that any online business, whether a startup or an upgrade, can trust to offer the best package at a very affordable price. It would completely unnecessary to invest an unreasonable amount of money for a plan when you can get a better plan for a reasonable amount of money.
If you are a business owner in the UK, you know the value of every single dollar or euro you make from your business and you would want to make as much money as possible while spending the least amount possible.
The best term to describe Olitt is value for your money because apart from being very affordable, Olitt also offers the best features for your online store. The basic plan is free and the first plan you get for Eur 6.64 per month with the best features you can get in the UK online market.
Olitt features include:
- Sell unlimited products
- Unlimited Storage
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- Variety of Shop Templates
- Free domain
- Connect Multiple Custom Domains
- DNS Management
- Security with SSL
- Discounted Domains
- Free Pre-built Websites
- Free hosting
- Ticket & Live Chat support
- SEO & Marketing tools
- Social Media Integrations
- Variety of online payments
Olitt has a free basic plan and a pro plan with a 30-day money-back guarantee and SSL secure payments.
- Pro plan: EUR 6.67/month
- Pro plan: EUR 28.62/year
Big-commerce is an e-commerce platform where you can easily set up your online store in the UK and they take you to step by step through the process.
It is a big solution for almost all types of sales and any business style you might want to host online. You do not need to be a tech expert to set up your online store in the UK and Big-commerce is one of the platforms you can trust with that.
Big-commerce has a plugin for WordPress and it allows you to launch a fully functional online store on an existing WordPress site.
Big-commerce features include:
- Unlimited number of products in your store
- Unlimited orders
- Unlimited disc space
- Unlimited bandwidth ( no limitation in the number of visitors your store can handle)
- Real-time chat 24/7 + Phone support
- Fully functional online store + shopping cart functionality that your customers can use
- Visual and drag-and-drop tools to create your store
- Optimized for mobile devices
- Card processing + multiple online payment gateway systems
- Delivery integration
- Tax calculation automation
- Customer accounts
- Search engine optimization
- PCI Compliance Level 1
- Free integration with SSL
- Tools for selling via social networks
- Stock management
- Sales report
BigCommerce has four plans and free 15 days trial version.
- Standard plan: EUR 27.72/month
- Plus plan: EUR 75.51/month
- Pro plan: EUR 285.79/month
- Enterprise plan: Contact the BigCommerce team for details.
Shopify is the most popular online store builder for established businesses and already successful e-commerce entrepreneurs but not the best for startups. It offers an all-in-one solution for online store owners in the UK market and having been built specifically for selling things online, it offers a lot of apps, plugins, and integrations for your online store.
However, Shopify can be quite costly, especially for the advanced plan which has the best features hence its best suited for successful e-commerce entrepreneurs.
Shopify features include:
- Shopify POS
- Out-of-the-box SEO Tools
- Shopify Dropshipping
- Shopify Analytics
- Abandoned Cart Reminders
- Completely Automated
- Plenty of Integrations
- Real-Time Data Transfer
- Scalable Infrastructure
- 24/7 Live Support
- Schema Management
- Live Monitoring
Shopify offers a 14-day free trial with no credit card information.
- Basic plan: EUR 27.72/month
- Shopify plan: EUR 75.51/month
- Advanced plan: EUR 285.79/month
WooCommerce is generally the most popular online store builder but only because it is open source and not because it’s the best. It is relatively easy to set up a Woocommerce online store and very user-friendly.
If you need your website to look good and perform a lot of functions you may need to hire a website developer to do more of the technical work.
Also, if you need added functionality it can be very costly, as well as vulnerable to security issues.
WooCommerce is best suited for entrepreneurs who are not sure how serious they want to be with selling online, and just want to build an online store for testing.
Since WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, you’ll need to find your web hosting provider, install WordPress and build your website using WooCommerce to handle the eCommerce part of your WordPress site.
Woocommerce features include:
- Sell anything
- Countless themes
- Unrestricted customization
- Built-in blogging
- Embed products, checkout, and more on any page
- Categories, tags, and attributes make products easier to find
- Product ratings and reviews
- Customize for your location
- Product sorting and filtering
- Unlimited images and galleries
- Unlimited products
- More than 800 official extensions
- Open development
- Built-in payment processing from leading providers
- Shipping options
- Inventory management
- Search Engine Optimization
- WordPress.org Forums
- WooCommerce is free to download and use.
- However, you have to pay for themes and plugins.
- You also pay for your web domain and hosting.
E-commerce sales have been growing so rapidly lately and in the whole of Europe, Uk is the leading marketer for online stores.
With so much room for e-commerce to continue growing, if you think e-commerce is the future, that future is now hence this is the perfect time to build an online store in the UK.
Starting an online business in the UK is one of the smartest moves to accelerate the process of becoming financially independent hence it’s crucial to make sure you do it right and with the best online store builder.
An online store builder that creates value for your money and offers quality and sufficient features for your store to run productively is the best partner for your business.