Weebly eCommerce Store Builder Review

Introduction

Based in San Francisco, Weebly is a big name in the website builder and web hosting industry. In 2006, 22-year old students David Repo, Chris Helmer and Dan Hacker co-founded the company as a software for anyone to build an Internet portfolio.
According to BuiltWith, Weebly powers almost one million sites on the Internet in 2017. This Weebly eCommerce review focuses on the eCommerce service offered by Weebly and not Weebly as a whole.

Ease of Use

Weebly eCommerce gives you a storefront automatically. It's your choice to customise as you want. You can use HTML and CSS components to make the store more unique. Weebly uses a simple but effective drag-and-drop editor which you can use to insert an element. The editor works without an issue. It is easy to use, navigation is flawless, and offers smooth transitions.
Adding a product, category, filter, image, and URL, and setting up your store can be done in minutes. Weebly also gives you the opportunity to sell your products on other content pages of your site (such as blogs).

Themes

There is a list of 12 themes to choose from. Although the list is small, the themes are functional and efficient. They are all responsive and mobile-friendly. They use vector social icons and boxed header, among other features. They are highly customizable to create your unique store. The themes come pre-installed with Weebly Business and Performance plans.
There are other themes and templates from third-party developers such as WebFireforest, Luminous Themes, ThemeForest, and RoomyThemes, etc. In addition, you can import and export your store data via CSV, so migrating to and from another platform is supported.

Features and Integrations

Weebly eCommerce sells itself as an easy way to build a fully integrated store. How true is this? First, the shopping cart is integrated automatically and comes preloaded with a secure checkout. Inventory tracking is another built-in integration that manages your products.
Further, you can create multiple product variations. For example, if you're selling a Nike sneaker, you can set up variations by size and colour. You can also create categories and filtered product search. As a result, your customers will explore your store easily. Analytics on Weebly is on an intermediate level.
If you opt-in for Weebly Business plan or Performance plan, you will an SSL certificate that secures transactions, data, and connections of your store. You will have a number of payment options to use: PayPal, Authorize.Net, Stripe, Square, Apple Pay, Android Pay, and credit cards.
Moving on, there is the Weebly Promote tool — a free newsletter service to engage with your customers. The Real Time Shipping tool is a tool to estimate shipping costs live. Weebly eCommerce uses USPS, UPS, FedEx, and DHL. You can set up your shipping rates according to your desired criterion and return policies as well.

Performance

On the desktop platform, the average full loading time was 4.7s when tested with three Weebly stores. On the mobile platform, the average full loading time resulted to the same time. This is actually bad since mobile websites are supposed to load faster than desktop websites.
Weebly has a page dedicated to teaching customers the latest SEO techniques in addition to your store's automatic optimisation for search engines. The page is probably the most helpful page to increase site visibility on search engines. Everything is covered from choosing a domain, URL optimisation, image SEO and sitemap to title tags, description, internal links and link building. Keyword to content mapping, keyword research and much more are featured as well.

Pricing

There are Free, Starter and Pro plans available for stores with low budget — but the Business and Performance plans are built for online stores. The Free plan is totally free and offers the most basic features. The Starter is a simple upgrade that removes Weebly branded ads. Pro plan takes it more serious with professional site features.
Weebly Business plan comes with fully integrated eCommerce features and priced at £19 (when billed per year) or £26.64 (when billed per month). The Performance plan is the Business plan with advanced eCommerce features and email marketing and priced at £28.89 (when billed per year) or £35 (when billed per month). Both plans come with a free domain.

Customer Support

First, Weebly's support team works 24/7/365. There are a number of ways to contact them. They work from 6 AM to 6 PM (PT) Monday through Friday and from 8 AM to 5 PM (PT) Saturday through Sunday. You can call 1-844-493-3259 if you're using Pro or higher plan. Alternatively, you can start a live chat or open a Support Ticket on their website. Both ways can be used at any time any day.

Pros

User-Friendly Interface with Drag & Drop Editor
Pre-Designed Page Layouts

Cons

Limited Templates, Themes, and Customisations
Outdated CMS
Limited Payment Gateways
Lacks Proper eCommerce Analytics
Slightly Pricey

Highlights

Weebly eCommerce Pricing
Weebly Stores
Weebly Business Plan
Weebly Website Builder

Conclusion

Weebly is really good for building a store quickly and easily without any prior knowledge of programming or other technicalities. There are plenty of integrations to make your store functional and competitive. SEO aspects are automatically taken care of, and the software is easy to use.
But when compared to software dedicated for e-commerce, Weebly stands zero chance. The developers should work on certain aspects that I've pointed out in this Weebly eCommerce review.
At the end, I only recommend this to stores with small to medium requirements. If otherwise, it's highly recommended to look elsewhere for a competent store builder.

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