Setting up an eCommerce website can be tasking, especially for those with little-to-no technical knowledge about web development.
Many would-be online retailers have abandoned the prospects of whatever profit they would make online because they could not access beginner-friendly resources to set up an online store.
To develop an eCommerce website, you need two things: a domain name and a hosting service. If you think of your website as a house, your domain name is the address to your house. In essence, your address is not your house. It’s just a means to identify your house and help others find you easily.
A typical domain name is usually represented as “www.domainname.com.” Of course, some websites can end with “.org” or “.store” and several other extensions. But the name and extension play a role in how well the domain name ranks on search engines like Google and gets suggested for potential customers.
If a domain name is your address, hosting is the process of building the house itself, getting furniture, painting, and everything in it. More concisely, it includes the codes and widgets that make up the features a professional web developer integrates into your eCommerce site.
As you may have guessed, building an eCommerce site of your own would be time-consuming and expensive, but it should be part of your marketing goals. This is why it is often advisable to use eCommerce hosting providers. It not only saves time but is also cheaper and allows you to get right into the business of selling as soon as possible.
What is an eCommerce Hosting Provider?
Still on the house analogy, if web hosting is the process of building a house, eCommerce hosting providers are realtors that sell ready-made, customizable houses. In more concrete terms, an eCommerce hosting provider is a website that helps you create an eCommerce website with pre-configured and customizable features. It is a website builder focused on creating an online store by providing relevant functionalities to help potential online sellers spend as little time as possible creating an online store. We have searched the web and come up with seven of the best eCommerce hosting providers for you.
ECommerce Hosting Providers vs. Web Hosting Services
Traditional web hosting services are provided by web host companies. According to GoDaddy the traditional web hosting service sells or leases space on a server where you store the files that make your website accessible on the internet. This is different from eCommerce web hosting and web builders. Here are two major differences:
When we think of web hosting, we are thinking about the internet. Regardless of their use, websites are hosted by traditional web hosting platforms like GoDaddy and NameCheap. At least for web hosting companies, the focus is a general, all-purpose framework that allows users to create their ideal website.
On the other hand, eCommerce hosting providers create experiences and functionalities for eCommerce owners. This is why payment integration, delivery tracking, and financial audits are recurring features that one would expect from an eCommerce web provider.
Ecommerce website hosting services require little to zero programming skills. Since they exist to help retailers figure out how to increase sales and profit. It’s about how to increase online business revenue for online retailers.
On the other hand, web hosting usually involves hands-on website coding. Unlike the template-based eCommerce website designs, you are expected to create your web design or outsource it to a professional when using a web hosting platform.
Things to consider when choosing your eCommerce hosting provider
Before you choose your eCommerce hosting provider, there are a couple of things to consider. We have highlighted some of them for you below.
Ease of use
The first thing to consider when choosing your eCommerce hosting provider is the ease of use of the website. An easy-to-use hosting provider will usually come with simple drag-and-drop templates for beautiful eCommerce web design and management.
You should look for pocket-friendly options. For example, some eCommerce hosting providers charge hundreds of dollars, and some allow you access quite a decent website for less than $50.
Besides setting up an easy-to-use website that customers can easily navigate through, you want to ensure that you put customer service in mind as this can make a lot of difference and help you stand out of the competition.
Another essential thing to consider when choosing where to host your eCommerce store is how flexible the pre-configured features and widgets available on the website are.
Top 7 ecommerce hosting providers you can choose from
Here’s Khorrami Consulting ultimate list of eCommerce hosting providers you can find on the internet.
#1. Square Online
Square Online is one of the best eCommerce hosting website builders for you if you are just starting to build your online store and are not ready to commit your hard-earned money to an eCommerce website. With Square Online, you have access to some decent web designs and templates for free, as well as a reasonable number of features you can implement into your store.
Unlike most eCommerce hosting sites that offer a “free trial” of 7 to 14 days, with Square Online, you can create a fully-functional eCommerce website without paying a cent!
However, note that there are lots of limitations with this free plan. Notwithstanding, its free plan allows you to sell an unlimited number of products, pickup, delivery, shipping, and an automatic inventory tracking system.
#2. Wix eCommerce
Wix is famous for its ease of use, beautiful designs, and customizable features, making it attractive to small businesses looking to open their online store. Wix’s eCommerce platform offers over 500 beautiful web designs, free branding services such as Logo Maker and Business Name Generator for small businesses to build their online brand and attract customers.
88% of Wix users say they would recommend it to their friends and family, and for good reasons. The Wix eCommerce platform offers one of the best flexibility for online stores of all kinds and combines that with beautiful designs.
Shopify is one of the most powerful platforms for building efficient eCommerce websites. According to its website, Shopify already serves 1.7 million businesses in over 170 countries. Shopify offers merchants and retailers world-class site performance, robust payment processing systems, and inbuilt sales and marketing analytics. This makes it the go-to hosting provider for larger businesses interested in tracking their products’ growth, sales, and marketing.
With Shopify, online retailers and merchants enjoy one of the best payment processing infrastructures on the internet with Apple Pay, PayPal, and dozens of the leading payment systems out there, which makes it easy for your customer to buy your products.
Shopify’s wholesale marketplace and international commerce features make it easily the best hosting provider for large businesses.
Unlike other eCommerce hosting providers on this list, Amazon is not a website builder but a marketplace. It is undoubtedly the biggest eCommerce platform globally, facilitating over $1billion worth of business transactions daily as of 2020.
One in three Americans has an Amazon Prime membership. The sheer amount of eCommerce transactions daily on Amazon makes it the best place for beginners to grow and scale their business. Many beginners and experienced online retailers choose Amazon because of the daily volume of goods the platform processes.
However, a disadvantage of selling on the Amazon marketplace is that the platform is very competitive.
Our pick for the best eCommerce software for WordPress users is WooCommerce. WooCommerce is owned by WordPress, the content management platform that hosts over 65% of websites on the internet. And since its launch, it has garnered a lot of users.
We’d recommend WooCommerce for you if you’re already familiar with the WordPress content management system and can find your way around its plugins, templates, and web design themes.
Sometimes what makes a lot of difference isn’t even the technology your eCommerce business is built on. It may be how well the eCommerce platform provider handles technical issues. And BigCommerce has one of the best customer service experiences for people building online stores.
It gives 24/7 online customer service via its live representative chat and phone calls during business hours. You can even get assistance from customer service on marketing your product and SEO best practices. As an online business, how well you grow your customer retention rate is determined by how easily and quickly technical difficulties they encounter on your website are solved.
Zyro may not be a big name in eCommerce unlike Shopify, WooCommerce, and Amazon, but it sure has its advantages. In an age where artificial intelligence is the ultimate differentiator, Zyro is helping eCommerce store owners build and manage their dream online business with artificial intelligence. It provides you with an AI content creator that generates business names, slogans, blog titles, and content fillers for your website.
The AI capability of Zyro also includes a heat map reader that allows you to track the activities of your customers while interacting with your online store. This will allow you to display the right set of products, and organize your website the best way possible for your customers to see their preferred products without stress and buy as soon as possible.
While we’ve given you our best pick on eCommerce hosting providers available, look out for their pros and cons to determine what will work best for your business needs.