If you’re looking to start an online business where you will be selling products or services, you’ll need a good eCommerce Platform to get you started. An eCommerce Platform is something that provides you with everything you need to sell online.
A well-rounded platform will allow customers to search for products, add products to a cart to manage their orders, and make payments with debit and credit cards. We’ve searched through dozens of eCommerce Platforms in Canada and compiled our top 7 list.
Best eCommerce Website Builders in Canada
1. Helcim – Canada Owned and Editor’s Choice
Helcim allows you to set up a fully-hosted online store in just minutes. Helcim like many other online stores on this list is a one-stop platform for e-commerce.
The great thing about this brand, asides from having its HQ in Alberta Canada, is that you can host your store on its online platform without having to pay for web hosting or a server. Pricing is dependent on monthly volume so you can pay based on where your business is at.
Helcim also allows you to easily create custom content pages, add a blog, and have full control over your online store’s settings. Another great feature is Helcim’s payment processor.
If you run a physical store, you’ll want to accept payment seamlessly. Helcim’s mobile credit card processor makes payment so easy and seamless.
2. Shopify – Popular
Shopify is by far the number one most well-known and best eCommerce Platform in Canada. Used by some of the most popular brands globally, Shopify is the platform used by huge names like Staples, Steve Madden, and Heinz.
The website brands itself as being a platform “built for speed,” and the entire platform is built around that motto. Not only does Shopify offer fast bandwidth from anywhere in the world, but they also have a variety of features that are designed to speed up the buying process for your customers.
Their feature Shop Pay, for example, allows customers to save their credit card information so that they can quickly and easily checkout each time they want to shop.
The feature is said to speed up checkout by up to 60% – and as we all know, speed is of utmost importance when it comes to maintaining customer attention.
Shopify is also a great platform because it has everything you need all in one place to build your website, sell your products, and accept online payments. It offers a free trial and has packages starting at just $9.99.
3. Wix – For Beginners
Wix.com is another one of the top names in eCommerce Platforms. The Platform allows you to create websites for any type of business and has hundreds of customizable templates to choose from.
The best thing about Wix is that it has everything you need in one place and can be an excellent option for any business, large or small. At the very minimum, Wix has an excellent free plan that has tons of features that you can use to build a successful eCommerce Website.
Upgrade to a paid plan, and you have access to any feature that you can possibly think of. From blogs to forums, to chat, and reviews – Wix has it all.
If you live in Canada, you probably know that French is our second language. Most people in Canada speak some English, but French is the common language in some areas like Quebec.
For this reason, it’s important that we also touch base on French eCommerce Platforms. In our opinion, the best French platform in Canada is Webself.
In addition to its multi-lingual capabilities (Webself also has a Portuguese and Spanish version), Webself also has an excellent platform to build from.
Their free plan is exceptional in comparison to other free plans out there and includes everything you need to build your own eCommerce website, including many Premium features that you have to pay for with other platforms.
Unless you are running a Fortune 500 company, you can get away with the free version of Webself for as long as you need.
BigCommerce is an eCommerce platform that works with companies worldwide, with Canada being one of their top.
They work with a variety of name brands, including Tmbr and Ben & Jerrys! BigCommerce runs on its own servers and provides clients with everything they need to build and run their own website.
The platform is an excellent choice for anyone who doesn’t have a lot of web design skills because it requires no HTML or CSS knowledge at all. With that being said, tech-savvy people have the option to tweak stores using things like HTML.
BigCommerce is more expensive than some other platforms, with plans starting at $29.95 per month. With that being said, they do offer a 14-day free trial wherein you can sample their platform without any commitment or credit card information.
Standard, Plus, and Pro plans are aimed at small to mid-sized businesses, while the Enterprise Plan is meant more for larger businesses and corporations.
Magento is an open-source platform that has significantly advanced customization options. They allow you to choose from various themed pages and then allow you to customize them and add extensions as you please.
Magento is used by many massive brand names like Nespresso and Samsung, and it’s considered an excellent option for large businesses looking for an eCommerce platform.
With that being said, it may be a little advanced for small businesses, so if you are just starting in the eCommerce world, Magento may not be the best option for you.
You can use Magento as a free service wherein you can download it and use it to create your own website, or upgrade to the hosted service where you don’t have to install anything yourself.
The service offers features like inventory and coupon management, product bundles, customer support, newsletter management, marketing tools, and over 5000 extensions.
Volusion operates just like many of the other eCommerce Platforms on this list but stands out in one main category – inventory management. When it comes to inventory management, Volusion’s system stands out among the rest.
Its inventory management software makes it very easy to keep multiple channels up to date.
Volusion is also different from other Platforms in that it offers a network of freelancers (at a price, of course) that can help with things like development and design.
This is good news because as much as we like Volusion, it’s not the most user-friendly platform. With that being said, if you are considering hiring others to build your website for you and have the money to throw at it, Volusion may be a platform that is worth considering.
8. Big Cartel
Some eCommerce website builders are designed for specific industries and purposes. And if you’re in the arts industry, Big Cartel is where you want to be.
Designed specifically for artists and makers, Big Cartel is a great place to start a creative business. Plus, if you have less than five products, you can start your business and website absolutely free, making this a great starting place for beginners.
Unfortunately, Big Cartel doesn’t score that well in the ease-of-use category, but they have an excellent dashboard teacher who will walk you through everything you need to know to build your own website.
It’s also important to note that their templates aren’t easily customizable but that’s okay because they look great to begin with!
9. Constant Contact
Instead, they are most well known for their email marketing tactics. With that being said, if email marketing is your main strategy, Constant Contact also has a pretty good website builder too, and you can use the two together.
Unlike many website builders where you have to purchase a domain, Constant Contact will give you one free for a year. Their website builder is also completely free to use and is very simple for beginner builders.
While Constant Contact isn’t quite as feature-rich or advanced as websites like Wix and Shopify, they do have an AI-powered tool that allows you to download content straight from Facebook, making uploading content quick and easy.
Like Constant Contact, most people don’t think of Hubspot as an eCommerce website builder. Instead, they are most well known for their excellent marketing services. But if you’re looking for a place where you can build a website and market it, Hubspot is the place to be.
Key advantages of using Hubspot include its CRM, speed, security, and SEO marketing tactics.
Hubspot uses a Content Delivery Network that means your website will load quickly no matter who is visiting it from anywhere in the world. It also ensures that any videos, photos, or large files you upload don’t slow your website down.
Hubspot also offers heavy levels of security and backs up all of your information and data in the cloud. Plus, because Hubspot is primarily known for marketing, it’s almost unsurpassed by other website builders when it comes to content and SEO.
Unfortunately, Hubspot isn’t 100% free like some other builders on this list, but it offers free demos.
If you’re looking for ease-of-use, Square might be exactly what you are looking for. Though it’s difficult to customize with Square, they offer a ton of free templates that make it quick and easy to get a professional website look.
Once you have selected your template, Square also makes setting up your online store very easy. Using Artificial design Intelligence, you can set up your own store with just an answer to a few questions. It makes the work minimal and the setup easy.
In terms of affordability, you can’t really beat Square either. Squares cheapest plan starts at $12 per month and works its way up from there depending on which features you want.
With that being said, Square also offers an excellent free option that doesn’t skimp on features. So if you are a new business just starting up, Square might be a good option to get started completely for free.
We did an in-depth comparison of Shopify vs Square if you’re interested.
We shouldn’t confuse Square with SquareSpace, but the reality is, both of them offer excellent eCommerce options. Like Square, SquareSpace offers tons of free templates but makes them completely customizable.
All templates are also completely mobile-friendly, so you don’t have to do any additional work to make them so. SquareSpace also offers a free trial and affordable plans, starting at just $12.99 per month.
If you are serious about blogging and wish to make it a key component of your website, SquareSpace is one of the best options out there.
Their blogging capabilities are some of the best in the industry and are feature-rich with the ability to schedule posts, offer commenting, and AMP support.
SquareSpace also offers a live chat that is available 24 hours a day for all of your questions or concerns.
If you don’t want to spend a lot of money to upgrade to premium features, Site123 may be a good option for you.
While the website builder isn’t quite advanced as some of the others on this list, you would never really know the difference unless you used the others before. In other words, Site123 still has a really good website builder.
The templates on Site123 are pleasing to the eye and easy to customize. The site’s speed is quick, and as long as you don’t mind advertisements, you can try out any of the features absolutely free.
Having said that, Site123 does miss out on some key advanced features, so depending on how deep you want to go with your website, this might not be the best option for you. It is a good option for you if you want a free, basic website for promoting and selling your products or services.
If you want to target a Canadian audience, Weebly is one of the best places to do it. Weebly is one of the largest eCommerce platforms out there, with over 50 million websites built worldwide.
Weebly was bought out by Square, another eCommerce company, in 2018 but still remains one of the top platforms out there.
The thing that people love most about Weebly is the ease of use. Weebly does not require any difficult HTML or computer programming knowledge. Instead, it’s a simple drag and drop builder that even the most technologically challenged can use.
With Weebly, you can easily build your webpage, add a blog and image galleries, and build your online store with just the click of a few buttons. You can also choose from hundreds of additional apps to add to your site, each of which is as easy to add and use as the last.
Weebly has several different plan options to choose from and gives you a free domain name for a year.
A lot of people like to sell their products on WordPress. If this is an avenue you would like to take, WooCommerce may be a good option for building your website. WooCommerce is a plugin for WordPress and can be added as an additional feature at any time.
The bad news is, WooCommerce isn’t the best option for beginners as it requires a little more technical knowledge to build your website. With that being said, if you have the technical skills to use it or are willing to take the time to learn, WooCommerce can provide you with a variety of rich and helpful features for selling.
Free features include the ability to add unlimited users and products, but you can also upgrade and purchase advanced features as well.
Of course, these are just a few of the many different eCommerce platforms out there, so if none of the above work for your needs, don’t hesitate to keep looking.
Depending on the size of your business, you may want to start with a platform like Shopify because it’s really easy to use. You can always upgrade to more premium plans later once your business begins to grow.