Launching an online shop for free is easier than you think
Creating an online store today is a piece of cake. There are tons of e-commerce website builders, and all of them have their advantages and weak points. However, today the question is whether it is possible to create an online store for free? And here we face some difficulties. First things first, the number of platforms dramatically reduces when it comes to the trigger word “free”. The choice in free e-commerce website builders is limited. Furthermore, such a user usually has no access to the features reserved for paying users.
PaySpace Magazine has decided to consider the most popular free e-commerce builders available today. As we know, nothing’s perfect, so we have tried to be honest and taken into account both advantages and disadvantages of every single platform.
Normally, Webstarts is known as a website builder. However, they also have an option of online shop building. More than 4M users put their trust in this platform, and such a figure indicates that this site is, obviously, reliable and handy.
Now it’s time to reveal the technical part of the issue. Creating a store is not hard at all. If you have ever had some experience with Wix, the feeling is quite similar. It is possible to move items on the page, and adapt them for mobile screens. A modern experience front-end developer would say that the interface is a little outdated, but still, it is quite a good offer, taking into account that it is free of charge.
- 1Gb of space (which is more than enough);
- Sell whatever you want: both digital and physical items;
- Sell up to 10 products (with up to 20 sales daily);
- Unobtrusive adverts.
- SSL costs $8 per month (it is not obligatory, but it is highly recommended for an online store);
- No SKU. However, they have an option to track the inventory;
- The lack of SEO options.
WooCommerce + WordPress with free hosting
WordPress is a platform that needs no introduction. It is free, and its popular plugin for e-commerce needs is free of charge as well. WооСоmmеrce is one of those tools, which let you build an online store of any range and scale.
But there is one thing you should keep in mind – WordPress does not come with free hosting. There are some available free hosting providers out there, but do not expect too much from them.
- A bunch of useful features;
- SEO features;
- Suitable for big businesses;
- SSL integration.
- Quite technical and complicated. This platform is definitely not for beginners;
- Poor support;
- Sometimes becomes costly, if you buy extra stuff (themes, plugins, etc).
This platform has more than 20M users and more than 200K online stores. These figures say a lot. If you choose a free plan, you would see some ads, but they are not too intrusive. The free plan includes basic features and 5 products option.
- Up to 500MB of storage;
- User-friendly and intuitive interface.
- Only for physical items (meaning you can’t sell services);
- Credit card payments only via PayPal. Other options require paid packages.
It is a young player on the market. However, it has more than 40,000 stores. It includes different plans with different extra features, but still works in Beta stage.
- User-friendly and responsive interface;
- Different payment options (even crypto);
- Wide range of languages.
- No SSL;
- Templates choice is quite poor;
- Paid plans are rather expensive;
- Still operates in Beta stage.
The most important thing is not to confuse Mozello with Mozilla. This company offers you a decent online store builder with multilingual options and an ability to sell up to 10 products for free. Maybe their editor is not the most convenient one, but do not forget that everything comes for free.
- 500MB of storage;
- Multilingual option;
- Up to 10 products.
- The basic plan is not, to put it mildly, sophisticated;
- No SSL;
- There is no way to sell digital products;
- A lack of credit card payments. All other options require premium plans.
This platform has more than 500K users, and it makes sense. A user is able to sell up to 20 products with a free plan (SSL is included). The interface is not bad, although is a little obsolete. Nevertheless, it is user-friendly and suitable for mobile devices and tablets.
- SSL (free of charge);
- Wide range of payment options: Stripe, PayPal, Skrill, and many more;
- A bunch of good features, such as import/export products via CSV, abandoned cart, and many more.
- A backend is outdated, complicated, and not intuitive;
- You can’t sell services and digital products.
There is no question that free e-commerce website builders are a good option for beginners in entrepreneurship and small businesses. However, let’s not forget about good old social media (yes, in 2019 we can call them this way). For example, a lot of people use Instagram to sell goods, and this option really works. It is free of charge, and it is easy to reach the target audience there. Furthermore, don’t forget to check other platforms, like Facebook’s Marketplace, Kajabi, Chirpify, and others.