How Female Entrepreneurs Can Make Money with an Online Store (Hint: Forget Etsy)

By Amanda BradleyAmanda Bradley

Online Ecommerce platforms like Etsy can be tempting when you’re starting out as a female entrepreneur. They are easy-to-use, low-cost, and make it quick for you to launch a business. In the early stages of your business, using a marketplace like Etsy can be a sensible decision. But as your business grows and your confidence increases, you may decide that you’re ready to take the next step.

You’re ready for your own online store.

Strong female entrepreneur

How to Make More Money With Your Own Online Store

When you operate on the Etsy platform, there is a lot of competition, even at the last step of the transaction. This creates a real risk that a lead that you nurtured could turn away at the last minute to buy from another store. It’s also difficult to differentiate yourself on a marketplace platform. Etsy stores show low sales volume, compete fiercely on price due to in-platform competition, and struggle to rank well on the SERP. The average Etsy store makes only $291 in profit each month.

Female entrepreneurs can make more money and keep control over their Ecommerce business with an online store. Here’s why:

  • Transaction costs won’t take a bite out of your increasing profits
  • You have full creative control to build your brand
  • You can use your reputation to drive traffic to your brand instead of driving it to Etsy
  • All the backlinks you get improve your own search engine ranking—on Etsy, backlinks only boost Etsy’s own SEO
  • You’ll be free to sell whatever you’d like, without any product restrictions
  • You can sync offline sales directly with your store
  • You can access customer data to learn more about your market and run better marketing campaigns

The Best Ecommerce Site Builders for Female Entrepreneurs

If you’re feeling nervous about building your own online store, don’t worry. Today’s Ecommerce website builders give you step-by-step instructions, and an easy-to-use, intuitive drag-and-drop builder. They make it fast and simple to create your own site with an online store. Here are the 6 best Ecommerce site builders for female entrepreneurs.

1 Wix—Success Story: Bone Zappetit 

Julie Catona went straight to Wix to build a website for her organic superfood dog treat business. She found it easy to create her site and match it to her creative vision. Her customers appreciate that her website is both unique and user-friendly, and she enjoys watching her business grow. 

Advantages of Wix for Bone Zappetit:

  • Easy-to-use, drag-and-drop website builder
  • Integrations with social media, promotions, and tools to gather consumer feedback
  • Ongoing updates
  • Plenty of templates and themes to make your site look fabulous
  • Lots of online customer support resources

“The thought of maintaining a website would have been impossible if not for Wix’s amazing ‘one click’ updates & fantastic Ecommerce,” says Julie.

Wix online store begins at $12.50/month

Visit Wix

2. Volusion—Success Story: Lili Alessandra 

Sandra Hernandez Yedor opened her Lili Alessandra store on Volusion in 2002. She sells luxurious, hard-wearing bedding and soft furnishings in brick and mortar stores around the country, and through her Volusion Ecommerce store. This year, she expects her Volusion sales to overtake her brick and mortar sales for the first time.

Advantages of Volusion for Lili Alessandra:

  • Very elegant themes that are simple and intuitive to use
  • Easy scalability
  • Advanced shopping cart software to reduce cart abandonment
  • Customer support available round the clock through email and phone, with the option of priority support for a faster response

"We’ve had amazing results using Volusion," says Sandra.

Online store begins at $29/month

Visit Volusion

3. WooCommerce—Success Story: Tiny Tags 

Melissa started her business selling keepsake jewelry after the birth of her first son. She wanted a keepsake to commemorate his birth, but couldn’t find anything she liked. So, she made it herself. 10 years later, Melissa uses WooCommerce to sell customized keepsake jewelry to mothers, and business is thriving.

Advantages of WooCommerce for Tiny Tags:

  • Gravity forms integration allows for detailed personalization on items
  • Advanced checkout process that enables customers to order items with the correct personalization
  • Integrations for marketing automation, customer support, visitor analytics, and more
  • 24/7 customer support and live chat

“We wanted options like conditional statements where if you say you want 2 tags and back engraving, the proper text fields appear. WooCommerce allowed us to do all of that,” says Melissa.

Online store begins at $6.95/month with BlueHost

Visit BlueHost+WooCommerce

4. Squarespace—Success Story: Adrienne Raquel 

Adrienne Raquel is a photographer and art director. She chose to use Squarespace to present her portfolio. Adrienne wanted a website that reflects her unique style and vision and was able to customize Squarespace's templates to get the aesthetic she wanted. With her Squarespace site, Adrienne has been named as one of today’s top female creatives by TIME, Elle, and Refinery29.

Advantages of Squarespace for Adrienne Raquel:

  • Customizable layouts that allow for unique color schemes, fonts, and formatting
  • Easy drag-and-drop website builder that is user-friendly
  • Fast tools that enable new projects, pages, and images to be added in minutes
  • 24/7 customer support via Twitter and email, and live chat support 4am-8pm, Monday to Friday. 

“You get a premium look on your website without struggling to create it,” says Adrienne Raquel.

Online store begins at $18/month

Visit Squarespace

5. BigCommerce—Success Story: Lily Boutique

Chris and Tori Gerbig began their online fashion boutique selling clothing on Etsy and other online marketplaces. Sales were doing well, but the Gerbigs felt that they could scale faster with their own online store.

They opened Pink Lily Boutique on the BigCommerce platform in 2014, and never looked back. All their business metrics increased after they opened their BigCommerce store. 

Advantages of BigCommerce for Pink Lily Boutique:

  • Transparent pricing
  • Flexible, intuitive, drag-and-drop design templates, including a code-free Ecommerce builder
  • Dedicated account manager and 24/7 customer support via email, phone, and live chat
  • Integrated apps and Ecommerce tools including ShipStation and InStockNotify
  • Open API for integrating any other tool you need

“BigCommerce’s integrations with ShipStation and InStockNotify have made it possible for our team to perform functions that would have previously taken days or even weeks in a matter of minutes,” says Chris.

Online store begins at $29.95/month

Visit BigCommerce

6. Weebly—Success Story: Pretzel Princess

Betty started her business selling chocolate-covered pretzels after her retirement. She was nervous about going into business and terrified at the idea of starting a website, but Weebly made it very easy for her. Now, she offers gift baskets, gluten-free pretzels, and 34 different pretzel options. Her Ecommerce site is thriving.

Advantages of Weebly for Pretzel Princess:

  • Very easy to use drag-and-drop website builder
  • Plenty of templates to choose from
  • Simple to upload photos and customize your site
  • Fast and powerful platform
  • Quick email customer support response during business hours

“I cannot believe that in 24 hours I had a website in place with my photos on it!” says Betty.

Online store begins at $25/month

Visit Weebly

Choose an Ecommerce Web Builder to Grow Your Business

With one of these Ecommerce website builders, you can set up your own customized, branded online store in just a few hours. Easy drag-and-drop website builders, multiple integrations, and a full range of design options make it simple to boost your revenue way beyond Etsy with a personalized Ecommerce site. 

For more information about Ecommerce site builders see our list of the best Ecommerce site builders.

See Best Ecommerce Site Builders

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