With the growing number of free and paid eCommerce website builders for small businesses in Nigeria, it can be difficult to know which is the best among them.
What are eCommerce website builder?
These are software applications that allow you to build, and grow your small business all over the world.
While some website builder software operates on the freemium business model, others require that you pay before use.
The paid features help you run sales operations and integrate with digital marketing tools.
There are three major reasons why you should use website builder software when starting an online business that pays:
- They grow with you as your eCommerce business grows.
- You save energy and time to set up your web pages.
- They are cheaper than building from scratch.
In this article, I present the best eCommerce website builders for small businesses in Nigeria.
Also, you will learn factors and features to consider before choosing any.
Let’s get started!
Best Ecommerce Website Builders For Small Businesses In Nigeria
- WooCommerce Website Builder Software
- Shopify Website Builder Software
- Wix Website Builder Software
- BigCommerce Website Builder Software
- Magento Website Builder Software
The Best Among Ecommerce Website Builders For Small Businesses
WooCommerce is an open-source customizable website building software. It offers an all-in-one cart solution on the most popular content management system, WordPress.
Using WooCommerce to build your online store means you will need to buy domain name and hosting, and security separately.
One key reason I enjoy WooCommerce is the total control I have over my eCommerce website design. I can literally do as I want and sell anything with no restrictions.
Be it you sell physical products (shirts, electronics, etc), digital products (ebooks, software, etc) or offer services (web design, writing, etc), WooCommerce can handle your operations.
WooCommerce works on WordPress, powering a large percentage of the web. It’s regularly audited by Sucuri, an industry leader in security, so you are in expert hands.
It’s very simple to install WooCommerce on your WordPress site. You only need to go to the plugin section of WordPress and search for it.
With WooCommerce, you can create coupons, manage orders, and view your sales in your dashboard.
Adding new products on WooCommerce is as easy as adding a new post to WordPress. The only difference is adding other extra information like the product’s price, categories, and more.
If you need help with setting your online store on WordPress using WooCommerce, you can contact me for reliable digital marketing services.
WooCommerce Website Builder
- Ability to Sell Anything and Ship Anywhere
- Multiple Payment Options With No Fees and No Limits
- Customize for your location and Geo-location support.
- User Accounts and Dashboard
- Categories, tags and attributes make products easier to find
- Product sorting and filtering
- Search Engine Optimization and Email Templates
- Coupons, Discounts and One-Click Refunds
- Inventory and Order Management
- Unlimited Customers and Shop Managers
- Shipping Rates and Tax Options
- Unlimited Import and Export Products
- Product Ratings and Reviews
- Unlimited Images and Galleries
- Related and Affiliate Products
The Easiest Among Ecommerce Website Builders For Small Businesses
Shopify is one of the eCommerce website builders popular among small businesses in Nigeria.
And I believe it’s because of its flexibility and ease of use. The smallest of businesses can set up and start receiving payments in minutes.
Shopify has a built-in CMS, multiple themes and lots of third-party apps, making it easy for business owners to start an eCommerce site.
Shopify wants to make it possible for everyone to launch their own eCommerce store, even having no coding knowledge.
It also has an enterprise solution called Shopify Plus that carters for large businesses. You can sign up for a free trial on Shopify to best understand its operation.
The setup wizard walks you through a step-by-step guide on how to add your products, customize your eCommerce store, connect your custom domain name and start receiving payments.
Everything seems simple with Shopify that you need almost no tutorial on how to add your products to your online store.
It’s as simple as filling in the product title, quantity available, inputting prices and writing a description of what the products are about.
There are free available themes to use, and you can also opt in for paid ones if you need more functionalities.
You will also find thousands of Shopify premium themes you can use on ThemeForest.
Getting a web design expert experienced with the website builder software will do you good.
Shopify Website Builder Features:
- Unlimited orders, products, file storage, capacity
- Mobile commerce ready and point of sale
- Use your own domain name
- Free SSL certificate and 24/7 support
- You can accept credit cards + 100 payment gateways
- Automatic carrier shipping rates and taxes
- Web-based ecommerce website builder with drag-and-drop
- Full blogging platform and Drop-shipping
- Multiple languages
- Customer profiles and accounts
- Search engine optimized
- Product Reviews and Gift cards
- Social media integration + sell on Facebook
- Inventory management
- Digital products and many other variations
- Level-1 PCI-compliant.
- Advanced Reporting and Mobile app
The Biggest Among Ecommerce Website Builders For Small Businesses
BigCommerce is an Open SaaS provider and eCommerce platform serving customers at low cost with powerful features.
This is one of the best website builders for small and big businesses – accommodate all.
With BigCommerce, their tutorials walk you through the step-by-step method you need to set up your online store.
BigCommerce’s guides are clear and well-detailed about the information you need, with links to help for further support.
There are hundreds of website building apps in the BigCommerce store you can use to add additional functionalities like SEO, Social media, and more.
BigCommerce integrates with online payment processors like PayPal, Stripe, Braintree and many others.
As part of its flexibility, they give you an option to configure your eCommerce store to accept payments by bank transfer and check.
You can also choose to automate your listing on a popular marketplace like Amazon, eBay and Facebook.
With these, you save time listing manually and customers don’t have to buy directly from your store.
BigCommerce has free built-in themes that look great with a powerful drag-and-drop page builder to customize to your taste without having to know how to code.
It allows those with coding knowledge to tweak the HTML and CSS to suit their needs.
Just in case you need help, there is a community of designers and developers ready to work with you to bring the vision of your store to your reality.
BigCommerce Website Builder Features:
- Unlimited products, orders, file storage, and capacity
- 24/7 live chat support
- Point of sale and visual store builder
- Migrate your store and import products
- Accept payments via PayPal powered by Braintree, Stripe, Apple Pay, Pay with Amazon and dozens more
- Manage orders and inventory
- Sell via Facebook, Pinterest, eBay, Amazon and Square POS
- Multiple marketing features and APIs
- Multi-layered hosting security and DDoS protection
- Level 1 PCI-compliant hosting and HTTPS
- Get found on product comparison sites
- Encourage return visits with email marketing
- SEO features
The Cheapest Among Ecommerce Website Builders For Small Businesses
Wix is best known for its competitive pricing, easy-to-use drag-and-drop site builder and modern themes. It’s often used by business owners and creatives.
The website builder platform boast of helping small business owner interested in creative freedom set up their website.
If you want to build a complete website where an online store is an addition and not the core, check no further than Wix.
Wix is a powerful website builder with tons of features like automated sales tax and abandoned cart recovery.
The Wix wizard welcomes you with a questionnaire that it automatically uses to set up your website.
You can also choose to answer a few more questions about what you sell and let Wix’s Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) do the work for you.
If you have an existing website, with Wix, you can import your content from this site. You can also own a professional email (@yourbusiness.com)
Because of its popularity, Wix has many third-party apps and extensions in its marketplace.
One thing I appreciate about Wix is that it comes with over 500 themes. So, you will not need to change later as the themes are modern and built to look good on all devices.
They categorize these themes into over 50 subcategories, allowing you to search according to your industry.
Wix Website Builder Features:
- Secure Online Payments
- Plans & Recurring Payments
- Customer Accounts
- Free Custom Domain for 1 Year
- Unlimited Capacity and Storage Space
- Unlimited Video Hours
- Customized Reports
- 24/7 Priority Customer Care
- Abandoned Cart Recovery and Subscriptions
- Multiple Currencies and Automated Sales Tax
- Sell on Social Channels and Marketplaces
Today, Wix is a major player among website building platforms as they deliver outstanding value at a lower price.
The Most Expensive Among Ecommerce Website Builders For Small Businesses
Magento is an open-source eCommerce solution. It’s preferred by top companies who are ready to invest in experienced developers and IT teams.
It is not suitable for do-it-yourself web designers or drag-and-drop small business owners.
You can customize and expand however you want with its in-depth feature list.
As a beginner, you may find Magento scary, but an experienced web developer should tweak it to meet your needs.
Magento is Open Source, and it’s free. But if you need more support with the eCommerce platform, there is a paid plan available for you.
Top companies like Nike, Cisco, and Adobe all believed in Magento to run their operations.
Magento has a community with many developers ready to work on your eCommerce store for a fee.
Magento’s marketplace is where you can get extensions and themes to increase your store functionality.
Magento is perfect for you if you:
- Expect to double online growth in the future
- Need sophisticated integrations
- Experience spikes in traffic or frequent surges
Magento Website Builder Features
- Core Application Support
- Business Intelligence Pro
- B2B Functionality
- Single-tenant, dedicated infrastructure
- Managed Cloud Services
- Deployment Tools
- Larger dedicated staging environment
- Faster support response time
- Increased customization available
- 50 GB of testing
- Disaster recovery and data retention
- Varnish-based CDN
- Image Optimization
- DDoS protection and WAF
- Performance Monitoring Tools
- Infrastructure support
- Technical Account Manager
- High Availability Architecture
- Automated data backup
- Expansive monitoring and alerting
- Scale globally on AWS and Azure clouds
Important Features For Choosing A Website Builder Software
Every online business has different needs, and choosing the best website builder for your small business is critical to your success.
As such, there are basic features you must look out for in all eCommerce website building platforms. They are:
Do they provide hosting or not? If they do, how reliable is it? What is the uptime?
You don’t want to wake someday and find out your website is down. You know what that means to your business.
And if you are the one to host, then you can check out my guide on how to choose the best web hosting providers.
Will you be getting a free domain? If yes, how long? Is it just for a year or as much as you keep using the platform?
PS: I don’t encourage registering your domain with the same website building companies you are using. Register elsewhere and connect with the platform.
3. Website Builder Software
You will definitely use a page builder if you are not writing codes. How friendly are the page builders?
Are the themes easy to customize? Can you see your changes in real-time?
Also, with the increasing number of mobile users, check to know if the themes available on the platforms are responsive. I.e. They look good and fit on all electronic devices.
4. Add-ons and Plugins
As your business grows, you will also need to integrate some tools to meet up customer demands.
So, ensure you choose a website builder software with enough apps and integrates with major business providers for your smooth business running.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a must for your online business if you want to appear on the front pages of search engines–Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.
Not all website building platforms for small businesses are excellent for SEO. It’s important you note this.
Factors To Consider A Website Builder For Your Small Business
I am sure you will be happy with the offers you are seeing on all of these website building platforms.
But wait before you commit yourself, a little research of your business and target audience is necessary.
What is your budget? How much do you dedicate to setting up your eCommerce website? You need to have full detail of what you are paying for and how long you can continue paying.
There are two sides to this.
A high-priced website builder software does not always mean the best. And the cheapest website builders will do you no good in the long run.
So you have to balance the features you need and the amount you have to pay.
The best way to do this most times is to compare features from various website builder software and their respective cost.
2. Target Audience.
Where are your potential customers? Where do they hang out?
Promoting your products or services to a targeted audience is a must if you are to succeed in business.
But how do you promote if the website builder software doesn’t integrate fully with these social media platforms?
Facebook alone has billions of monthly users. You can’t imagine the number of sales you can have using these platforms.
A standard website builder for small business should have built-in integrations with major social media networks, so you can market directly to buyers on these networks.
Also, that allows you to measure your conversion rate and know where you need more effort.
Do you sell many products or just some below a hundred?
Choosing a website builder software with low inventory limits can place restrictions on your business.
If you have a large products number to sell, choose the website builder that allows you to sell unlimited products. Very Necessary!
How many people do you forecast on your website? What number of visits do you plan to have per month?
Does your website builder app have infrastructures in place to handle the number of customers coming in?
It’s expected that as you grow, your website builder grows with you. It becomes a poor business when reverse is the case.
Don’t place a ceiling on your business today. Leave room for growth tomorrow.
If you can, choose the best website builder software platform with cloud hosting – Your site will be live even if there are server failures.
In business, nothing is 100% guaranteed.
There will come a day when you will face technical issues or website errors. Will the website building company be available to help?
You need to be sure you are working with actual humans who will be there to assist should any problem arise and not bots.
Avoid website building platforms that either outsource the supports system or ask you to submit tickets for every little need you have.
You need a support system that will attend to you in proper time.
Website Builder Software FAQs
What is the best website builder software?
WooCommerce and Shopify are the best website builders software and ecommerce platforms for small businesses In Nigeria.
Website Builder or custom-building?
Website builder software lowers the barrier to entry to running your online business, saving you time and money.
While Custom solutions require huge capital and a team to build and maintain. Also, it delays before launching.
Is website builder really free?
While some website building platforms offer their core products for free, you still have to pay to access other advanced features.
Which eCommerce platforms in Nigeria is best for dropshipping?
When it comes to dropshipping, I will encourage you to use Shopify because of it many integrations and easy onine store setup.