It has become evident over the past few years that online retailing has surpassed physical retailing as the world’s No.1 industry. The global online retail market is forecasted to grow from USD 57 billion in 2016 to USD 119 billion by 2021, according to a report released by the World Internet Conference (WIC).
For many businesses, this means the opportunity is tremendous and it can be beneficial for an individual to venture into the world of online business. However, there are also significant risks involved.
In order to help you make the right decision and protect your investment, we have compiled a list of some of the best online store builders in South Africa.
If you are planning to open an online store and want to attract more customers or sell more products, it would be worth your time to know about these 10 good online store builders in South Africa.
What is an Online Store Builder?
An online store builder in South Africa is a website that helps you create your online store. You can then sell your products directly on the site to customers, and the money you make can be deposited directly into your bank account.
Why Would You Consider an Online Store Builder?
There are several reasons why a business could consider using an online store builder. Some of these include:
a). Ease of Use
It is easier than you think to set up an online store with one of these platforms. They have in-built templates that get the process done in no time at all. You do not need to be a web developer or have any technical expertise for setting up your online store with these platforms.
These platforms are easy to use and you can make changes on the fly without having to contact any technical support person. It is also possible to manage your inventory and customer database without requiring assistance from the development team.
c). Customer Service
These platforms offer 24/7 customer service, so if you want assistance or assistance with a particular problem, you will not be waiting long for it.
They also offer live chat facilities that allow you to talk directly to your customers and keep them informed about any developments on your website as well as product updates and sales promotions.
The prices of these online store builders are relatively cheap when compared with other similar products and services available in the market today.
This is because they offer free plans for their customers, making it possible for anyone interested in setting up an online store to do so at very little cost (usually free).
7 Best Online Store Builders in South Africa
Shopify is one of the best online store builders in South Africa. This platform is suitable for anyone who wants to launch an eCommerce store and sell products.
It allows you to design your website, set up and manage your store, sell your products and even promote them.
Shopify comes with a host of features that make it a popular choice for online stores owner:
- You can choose from different themes – Shopify comes with over 50 pre-built templates that you can use to design your own store;
- Supports multiple currencies – Shopify is compatible with numerous payment gateways such as PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, PayU, and more;
- Has thousands of apps – Shopify has over 6,000 apps that you can use on your website;
- Offers 24/7 customer support – Shopify offers 24/7 customer support through its live chat function or through email;
- It allows you to track sales – You can track the number of people who visit your website by signing up for Google Analytics;
BigCommerce is another good online store builder in South Africa. This platform lets you create an eCommerce website in minutes using their drag-and-drop editor, which makes it easy to create a professional-looking site quickly and easily.
It also has an API that allows developers to build custom applications on top of its platform so that it becomes even more versatile.
Pros and Cons of BigCommerce
- It is easy to use – it has a drag-and-drop editor so that you can create your website quickly;
- It has a wide range of templates – BigCommerce has over 600 themes that you can use to design your website;
- It offers a wide range of payment gateways – BigCommerce allows you to accept payments through PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, and more;
- It has a wide range of features – Shopify doesn’t offer many features such as affiliate programs, iOS or Android applications, and other technical features such as forms and payment gateways;
- BigCommerce is compatible with multiple currencies – you can accept payments in South African Rand, US Dollar, or any other currency;
- You get 24/7 customer support – you get 24/7 customer support through email or live chat. The team members have years of experience in eCommerce development;
- It provides powerful analytics tools – the platform comes with powerful analytics tools such as Google Analytics and the ability to track sales using Google Analytics. You can also track visits from search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo! etc.;
- BigCommerce has an API that allows developers to build custom applications on top of its platform so that it becomes even more versatile.
- BigCommerce doesn’t have an easy-to-use interface – the platform is designed for users with advanced programming skills. If you are a beginner or intermediate programmer, you may find it difficult to use this platform;
- You can’t customize the website design – you can only customize the layout and theme of your website. If you want to change the look and feel of your website,
3). OLITT: Best Online Store Builder in South Africa
OLITT is another popular eCommerce store builder in South Africa. This platform allows you to create an online store that can sell products and ship them to customers. It has over 300 themes and packages you can choose from to design your site.
At the same time, OLITT is compatible with more than 10 payment gateways – OLITT is compatible with PayPal, Stripe, Flutterwave, and MPESA, and they are working to add more.
It has a wide range of apps.
This means that you can easily Integrate your OLITT shop with other apps like Mailchimp (for emails), and Google Analytics (to track the performance of your website).
OLITT gives you access to its 24/7 customer support. This means that anytime you run into a challenge, you can easily reach out to OLITT’s team of experts through its live chat function or through email.
Other features include:
- SEO Tools: Perform Search Engine Optimization for your pages with Olitt SEO Tools.
- SSL Certificates: Free SSL Certificates for all Landing Pages and Websites you publish.
- DNS Management: Easily manage your Domain Names Records from a secure OLITT’s DNS Management Platform for free.
Magento is another one of the most popular eCommerce platforms in South Africa. It allows you to build a store that can be customized according to your needs. It has everything you need to make your store a success.
Magento offers a range of features that make it ideal for online stores owner:
- It allows you to design your website;
- Has a range of payment gateways such as Check/money order, Bank Transfer, Cash on delivery, Purchase Order, and Zero Subtotal Checkout.
- You can build an online store in minutes – Magento comes with drag-and-drop modules that allow you to create almost anything from scratch;
- It offers 24/7 customer support through email or live chat;
WooCommerce is an open-source eCommerce platform designed to power fast, secure, and scalable online stores.
Why is it good?
WooCommerce offers a wide range of features that make it an ideal choice for new users. It supports mobile devices and has a clean user interface that makes it easy to create or customize themes and layouts.
It also comes with a variety of options for payment gateways, shipping services, and content management tools.
You can also use WooCommerce for affiliate marketing or sell your own branded products through your website.
How to set up WooCommerce?
To learn how to install WooCommerce on your website, visit their official website at http://woocommerce.com/.
Once you have installed the software on your WordPress website, you can start setting it up. Upload your products and make sure everything is included.
For instance, have clear and persuasive product descriptions. Do not forget product images.
Wix is a free and easy-to-use website building tool. It makes it easy for users to create professional websites that are responsive, search engine optimized, and mobile friendly.
Why is it good?
It comes with a number of features that makes it ideal for new users. For instance, it allows you to create professional websites without any coding knowledge or experience.
You also get to design your website in a matter of minutes using their drag-and-drop interface.
When you finish designing your website, Wix automatically generates the code so that you can publish it on the internet immediately.
Wix has been designed with SEO in mind so that your site ranks higher on search engines like Google and Bing.
You can also use Wix as an online store tool or sell your own branded products through your website by using their eCommerce plugin integration feature.
How to set up Wix?
It is easy to get started on Wix. Just create an account and pick a template from the available options.
Remember, to start selling using Wix, you must be a premium member. This means that you need to upgrade your plan to a paid one that supports eCommerce integration.
Weebly is the most popular and affordable web design platform in South Africa. With over 18 million users worldwide, Weebly is a great platform for beginners to get their store off the ground.
The site offers a wide range of options for both personal and professional use, from email marketing to analytics and social media integration.
Some of the best features of Weebly include: –
- Easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor: With a simple drag-and-drop editor, it’s easy to create the perfect online store.
- Built-in analytics and reporting: Weebly tracks your visitors, sales, and revenue in real time.
- Free hosting on Weebly servers
- Customizable templates, fonts, and colors: Weebly offers a wide range of templates to choose from, allowing you to create the perfect online store.
- Easy-to-use payment system: Weebly’s payment system is incredibly easy to use, allowing you to accept credit cards, debit cards, and PayPal.
How to Pick the Best Online Store Builder in South Africa
There are various factors to consider when picking out the best online store builder in South Africa.
We will discuss the top 5 factors below:
a). Number of Products and Services offered
The first factor is about the number of products and services offered. If you are looking for an all-inclusive service, then it would be better if you stick with one online store builder.
However, there are different types of online store builders that offer a range of products and services. They may not have all products or services but they can offer more than what you need.
It is therefore important to pick one that offers a wide range of products and services so that you do not have to compromise on quality.
b). User Experience Quality (UX)
UX stands for user experience quality and it refers to how easy it is for a customer to use the product or service provided by the online store builder.
The UX should be designed in such a way that it will help your customers make an informed decision about purchasing your product or service.
You should ensure that your customers can easily find all the information they require as well as purchase without any difficulty. This is especially important if you want your business to grow quickly as people often make purchase decisions based on how fast they can find information about your product or service.
c). Customer Support Quality
Customer support quality refers to how good the customer support team is at solving problems faced by users in relation to their online business.
A good online store builder in South Africa should have a customer support team that is highly trained and well-versed in the various aspects of online marketing and also has the necessary technical expertise to resolve issues that may arise.
This will ensure that your customers are able to get the answers to their questions about your business as quickly as possible.
How secure your online store is from hackers, malware, and other threats?
A good online store builder in South Africa will provide you with a secure environment where your customers are able to manage their online business without any threat of hackers or malware.
This is important if you want to ensure that your business does not have any downtime caused by problems such as these.
e). Marketing Channels
Before you pick an online store builder in South Africa, first look at the marketing channels that it offers.
Some online store builders provide you with only one marketing channel, while other online store builders may offer several marketing channels such as email marketing, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), and more.
It is important to choose an online store builder in South Africa that offers a wide range of different marketing channels to ensure that you are able to market your business in the most effective way possible.
If you are planning to open an online store and want to attract more customers or sell more products, it would be worth your time to know about these 7 good online store builders in South Africa.
If you want to start a business, then you need an online store builder that will help you launch a successful eCommerce site and sell products.
Either way, OLITT is one of the best online store builders in South Africa. This platform is suitable for anyone who wants to launch an eCommerce store and sell products.
It allows you to design your website, set up and manage your store, sell your products and even promote them.