Table of Contents
- 1 Weebly eCommerce Solution by Square
- 2 IMPORTANT UPDATE: Weebly’s E-Commerce Offering Takes A Huge Leap Forward
- 3 IMPORTANT UPDATE: Weebly’s E-Commerce Offering Takes A Huge Leap Forward
- 4 What Weebly eCommerce is all about?
- 5 Ease of use:
- 6 Features and Flexibility:
- 6.1 Out of the box:
- 6.2 Themes/Templates:
- 6.3 3rd party Apps market:
- 6.4 Hosting:
- 6.5 Backups:
- 6.6 Migration:
- 6.7 eCommerce tools:
- 6.8 Secure checkout & Smart shopping cart:
- 6.9 Inventory tracking:
- 6.10 Highly effective product search function:
- 6.11 Display & Merchandising functions:
- 6.12 Make your ‘local’ shop a global enterprise:
- 7 SEO features:
- 8 Mobile functionality:
- 9 Support and Resources:
- 10 Pricing:
- 11 Conclusion & Recommendations:
Weebly eCommerce Solution by Square
- Intuitive integration: Ease of Online Store integration with web builder
- Physical & Digital sales: Both can be sold with ease
- Own domain SSL-encryption: Customer checkout shows your unique URL
- No customer login functionality: This means no ‘repeated’ customer shopping benefits
- E-mail order confirmation: A customised message can be added to order confirmations but you cannot add your own company logo to the message
IMPORTANT UPDATE: Weebly’s E-Commerce Offering Takes A Huge Leap Forward
The recent announcement that Square (No, not Squarespace!) have bought out Weebly for $365 Million Dollars affords positive benefits for businesses already using the Weebly E-Commerce platform.
It should also tempt those considering an E-Commerce platform to re-evaluate their thinking due to this significant advance in the Weebly + Square service offering.
The acquisition brings together the well-established expertise of Square’s all-in-one payment processing system and growing presence in the Hardware and Point of Sale (POS) arena to the highly rated Weebly site builder.
This union can only strengthen the belief that the new Weebly + Square platform will bolster the E-Commerce benefits for online stores.
There is no doubt that global e-Commerce transactions will continue to mushroom. This means online stores need to make the most of such opportunities while benefitting from the use of a payment systems that offers lower sales transaction fees. The convenience of an all-in-one payment systems is surely a step in the right direction.
Any online business that is, or intends to sell their products and services globally should now make this eCommerce platform a serious consideration. We have already upgraded our Weebly review scores accordingly!
What Weebly eCommerce is all about?
Weebly is up there with the best drag and drop website builders in today’s market, but it offers far more than website building alone. The Weebly Commerce tools offer SMEs an easy to set-up and efficient onward management of an online store.
In this review we will get into the major features and benefits that a Weebly online store can offer SMEs.Visit Weebly.com
Ease of use:
The tools this platform offers are one of the better options for those choosing a drag and drop website builder. When used effectively it will certainly help to grow your online business online.Visit Weebly.com
Features and Flexibility:
Any eCommerce platform worth implementing should offer a good feature set. This should be flexible enough to meet immediate needs as well as allowing continual growth as your online presence gains momentum. In this respect a Weebly store fits the bill.
We will go in-depth on pricing options later in the piece but it is our recommendation that anyone implementing a Weebly online store opts for either the Business or Performance price plan. This is because these are the only 2 plans out of the 4 available that offer shipping and tax calculator features.
Out of the box:
The Weebly website builder comes with a comprehensive eCommerce module providing a wide array of important features. This includes flexible shipping options, the ability to sell physical as well as sell digital goods, inventory management, a mobile-enabled store, and very important filtered product pages search ability.
Weebly may not offer as many templates as its major competitors, but the ones available are quality and will suit the vast majority of business ventures.
One huge advantage here is that anyone who has coding knowledge can take advantage of the access Weebly offer to the template source code. If you want a design that is out of the ordinary rather than out of the box you would be wise to invest in the services of a professional marketing company to gain maximum benefit.
3rd party Apps market:
With over 200 apps available from their App Store you should have no problem in taking full advantage of apps offered. To make things even more user friendly these apps are sectioned into 4 category groups (while the 1st category is not strictly a 3rd party offering it is worth mentioning). The categories are: Made by Weebly, Boost Traffic, Spike Sales and Get Social.
Cloud-based hosting is included on all plans. As mentioned, those wishing to maximise the Weebly Commerce capabilities should opt for the Business or Performance price plan. When doing so you get unlimited storage.
Up to 10 websites can be hosted using one account and an important hosting benefit must be mentioned: Weebly is one of the few exceptions amongst web building platforms that allow you to export your site to another platform.
These can be manually downloaded from your site but you will be unable to restore them.
As would be expected, the Weebly customer support team will help with domain migration from your current provider. They also offer a ‘redirect’ service, and for those taking a new, annual subscription the chosen first-year domain name is free of charge. After this it will cost a minimum of $19.95 per year.
Weebly Commerce tools offer a complete solution to start and continuously grow your online store. Here are 5 that show just how powerful the Weebly online store builder can be.
Secure checkout & Smart shopping cart:
This review strongly recommends you look very closely at this powerful combination. It gives your visitors peace of mind through a convenient, fully integrated shopping cart that couples with a secure checkout.
During creation of your Weebly store the shopping cart software is automatically set up. It must be emphasised that no technical skills are required to achieve this.
Whether you have a handful of products or a large inventory this Weebly online store tool automatically tracks inventory and thus allows accurate management of stock. It alerts customers of the number of each item available and automatically places an ‘out of stock’ notice when an item is sold out.
Highly effective product search function:
An important asset for any online store is customer ability to quickly find exactly what they are looking for. The Weebly online store achieves this by highlighting the most relevant products to their search and then allows them to drill down to such things as price or colour.
Such an accurate and timely search function increases exposure of your inventory and helps achieve higher sales.
Display & Merchandising functions:
Due to the ease of the drag and drop creation you can present your merchandise in as creative a manner as you wish. The rich product descriptions you create can be given extra emphasis by adding slideshows as well as videos.
Make your ‘local’ shop a global enterprise:
The ability to sell online means the world is your oyster! Global markets continue to grow unhindered and your Weebly online store makes sure this can happen for you. Their eCommerce package offers international support for payment acceptance, real time shipping rates and taxes.
Weebly offers a greater choice that its peers when it comes to payment processing. You can choose from 4 leading payment processors:
To give an example of global coverage, a Weebly store offers payment via PayPal in 25 countries and Stripe in 11 countries.
Shipping options allow easy management when sending goods to any destination and the flexible, ‘fine-grain’ tax management controls contribute to effective global selling practices.See Weebly Features
Whichever provider you choose for your eCommerce needs it is essential that SEO and mobile functionality is factored in.
These two functions are vital to the health, recognition and ease of purchases for whatever products or services you offer.
Those who ignore the importance of SEO do so at their peril. The truth is that you can offer the best quality and widest range of products out there, but without good search engine rankings you will not get the recognition deserved.
This section of our review will go into what the package offers, but first, a word of advice: Unless you have in-house SEO expertise it would be a wise decision as well as a sound investment to avail of the services provided by a professional digital marketing company. This will be effective in increasing brand awareness while moving your site up the search engine ranking tables.
If further proof of how important effective SEO is to a brand you should think about how often you go further than the 1st page of a Google search when looking for anything online. The reality is that the vast majority of us rarely get past the first page in our search. This must tell you that to increase exposure to your products or services you must be visible. Only a solid SEO approach will achieve this.
In terms of the Weebly eCommerce offering, this is automatically designed to include SEO features such as:
- A sitemap
- SEO-friendly HTML formatting
- Title tags
- Meta descriptions
- Responsive designs
- Rich snippets
The Weebly online store also offers implementation of more advanced SEO settings. This includes such things as alt tags on images, page-specific descriptions, the ability to embed video, create important internal links, tools to track performance and the ability to receive real-time SEO scores.
In terms of resource material they also offer a fairly comprehensive guide to understanding SEO. However, those with little experience in the SEO field should consider whether they wish to spend time away from doing what they do best; running their business or trying to juggle this with implementing effective SEO practices. It is not an easy balancing act and many quite rightly decide to hand this over to a company that majors in this field.
Our review SEO section started with advice relating to the importance of good SEO practices in order to increase online store success, so let’s also finish the section with words which reinforce this:
The importance of SEO?
It is an essential tool that when implemented effectively will drive traffic to your site. Increased online exposure is a direct route to acquiring new customers.See Weebly Features
When assessing the correct platform for your online store it is important to understand the importance of mobile visitors. This can be achieved by putting yourself in their shoes.
Mobile access to online stores is increasing exponentially, this means you must provide a rewarding customer experience to mobile visitors.
The Weebly online store achieves this through excellent, responsive design themes and mobile preview options.
It offers a perfect balance between mobile and desktop visitors. In essence you can create and manage a single site that works for visitors everywhere.
Your Weebly store comes automatically optimised for mobile browsing and search engines. What this means is that your store is flexibly responsive. It utilises the same content no matter which device a visitor is accessing from and adjusts your templates based on the size of the viewers screen.
Dynamic mobile templates:
The varied selection of layouts offered by Weebly helps guide the design and feel of your website. Creative control is yours over key mobile design features such as header images and social sharing.
Mobile traffic growth handled with ease:
Our Weebly eCommerce review has already mentioned the importance of mobile access and its growing use. When implemented correctly the optimisation capabilities a Weebly store offers will give you best advantage in terms of grabbing your share of mobile visitor business.Visit Weebly.com
Support and Resources:
While setting up your Weebly online store (or any eCommerce store for that matter!) access to support and resources is crucial. This is particularly the case during the early stages of any venture. It is inevitable you will need assistance, and when you do, you will need it quickly.
Weebly offer extensive, in-depth articles on many topics that are eCommerce related, they have an FAQ section to answer the most commonly asked questions and a Weebly community section. This consists of other Weebly users who can offer advice on a wide range of topics.
As for direct contact relating to your Weebly store you can contact them via telephone, live chat or a support ticket.
Their customer success team are available 7 days a week:
Monday-Friday: 06.00-18.00hrs Pacific Time
Saturday-Sunday: 08.00-17.00hrs Pacific Time
All Weebly customers can access the team via email as well as chat support. Those with a ‘Pro Plan’ or higher get access to live phone support.
Note: You can also contact the Weebly customer success team through the platform’s social network accounts in Facebook or Twitter.Visit Weebly.com
No Weebly e Commerce review would be complete without the all-important pricing structure, so let’s get down to figures.
Weebly offer a straightforward structure, there is a free plan and 4 subscription price plans. These are termed as their Starter, Pro, Business and Performance plans. Obviously, the more you pay per month, the more functionality you will receive.
For an online store to run efficiently we recommend you concentrate on the Pro, Business or Performance plans, but will explain what is available with all subscription plans to help your decision.
This plan costs $8 per month and is really only effective for very small eCommerce websites which do not sell in excess of 10 items. For all transactions via this plan there is a 3% transaction fee levied.
Costing $12 per month this plan is a good fit for a Weebly online store selling up to 25 products. However, there are no shipping and tax options included with this plan and there is still the levy of a 3% transaction fee.
The Weebly store Business plan will cost $25 per month. It allows you to sell unlimited products, you can manage tax and shipping options and no transaction fees from Weebly are levied.
This is the Weebly eCommerce top price plan. Coming in at $38 per month it gives everything the Business plan offers plus advanced eCommerce features such as automated shipping rates.
Note: The above monthly prices are based on a 1-year contract. You receive a free domain for the first year which is renewable at $19.95 per year thereafter.See Weebly Pricing
Conclusion & Recommendations:
Weebly eCommerce websites are a solid choice for SMEs looking to create an easy to design and manage online presence. It is seen as a popular choice for business owners across the globe for very good reason.
Unless you are a small business or your niche-market is localised we do not recommend using the starter or pro plans for your Weebly e-Commerce platform.
This makes the Business plan at $25 per month worthy of consideration, and for just $38 per month the Performance plan will provide you with a fully-featured and functioning Weebly online store.
This last suggestion gives you the ability to add an unlimited number of products to your online store without Weebly adding transaction fees. Coupon codes can easily be generated and that all important shopping cart and secure check-out function is yours.
Weebly offer a free 30-day trial with a money-back guarantee on all plans. This means you would be wise to take the platform for a trial spin and test it extensively.
During the trial period you will quickly get to grips with what is offered. Start selling then by the end of this period you will understand whether the Weebly online store offering is the right fit for your business.
This is the route taken by many stepping into the online store world. It must be said that the majority are impressed enough during the trial period to sign-up permanently for one of the excellently priced eCommerce plans.
Thanks for reading! Please share any comments below!
[Review last updated in Nov 2019]